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2017 Top-400 Dynasty League Fantasy Baseball Rankings

 

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Below you will find my personal top-400 dynasty league baseball rankings. In order to be eligible for this list, a player must have over 200 career MLB at bats or 50 innings pitched.

To see my top-100 prospects and players under those limitations stated above, please click the following link: https://mlbreports.com/2017/01/11/2017-top-100-major-league-baseball-prospects/. If you have any questions, please follow and tweet me @dynasty_digest.

 

Rank Player Position Team
1 Mike Trout CF,UT LAA
2 Mookie Betts RF,UT BOS
3 Kris Bryant 3B,LF,RF,UT CHC
4 Manny Machado 3B,SS,UT BAL
5 Bryce Harper RF,UT WAS
6 Nolan Arenado 3B,UT COL
7 Clayton Kershaw SP LAD
8 Jose Altuve 2B,UT HOU
9 Paul Goldschmidt 1B,UT ARI
10 Carlos Correa SS,UT HOU
11 Anthony Rizzo 1B,UT CHC
12 Corey Seager SS,UT LAD
13 Trea Turner 2B,CF,UT WAS
14 Francisco Lindor SS,UT CLE
15 Josh Donaldson 3B,UT TOR
16 Madison Bumgarner SP SF
17 Xander Bogaerts SS,UT BOS
18 Noah Syndergaard SP,RP NYM
19 George Springer RF,UT HOU
20 Chris Sale SP BOS
21 Starling Marte LF,CF,UT PIT
22 Max Scherzer SP WAS
23 Freddie Freeman 1B,UT ATL
24 Christian Yelich LF,CF,UT MIA
25 Giancarlo Stanton RF,UT MIA
26 Gregory Polanco LF,RF,UT PIT
27 Charlie Blackmon CF,UT COL
28 Miguel Cabrera 1B,UT DET
29 Corey Kluber SP CLE
30 Jake Arrieta SP CHC
31 Alex Bregman 3B,UT HOU
32 Rougned Odor 2B,UT TEX
33 J.D. Martinez RF,UT DET
34 A.J. Pollock CF,UT ARI
35 Brian Dozier 2B,UT MIN
36 Wil Myers 1B,UT SD
37 Miguel Sano 3B,RF,UT MIN
38 Joey Votto 1B,UT CIN
39 Daniel Murphy 1B,2B,UT WAS
40 Carlos Martinez SP STL
41 Ryan Braun LF,UT MIL
42 Jose Abreu 1B,UT CHW
43 Andrew McCutchen CF,UT PIT
44 Edwin Encarnacion 1B,UT CLE
45 Kyle Schwarber LF,UT CHC
46 Addison Russell SS,UT CHC
47 Jacob deGrom SP NYM
48 Yu Darvish SP TEX
49 Stephen Strasburg SP WAS
50 Robinson Cano 2B,UT SEA
51 Anthony Rendon 3B,UT WAS
52 Jonathan Villar 2B,3B,SS,UT MIL
53 Chris Archer SP TB
54 Yoenis Cespedes LF,CF,UT NYM
55 Buster Posey C,1B,UT SF
56 Carlos Gonzalez RF,UT COL
57 Eric Hosmer 1B,UT KC
58 David Price SP BOS
59 Carlos Carrasco SP CLE
60 Julio Urias SP,RP LAD
61 Jason Kipnis 2B,UT CLE
62 Johnny Cueto SP SF
63 David Dahl LF,UT COL
64 Jonathan Lucroy C,UT TEX
65 Trevor Story SS,UT COL
66 Stephen Piscotty CF,RF,UT STL
67 Kyle Seager 3B,UT SEA
68 Jon Lester SP CHC
69 Hanley Ramirez 1B,UT BOS
70 Justin Upton LF,UT DET
71 Matt Carpenter 1B,2B,3B,UT STL
72 Justin Verlander SP DET
73 Jose Quintana SP CHW
74 Chris Davis 1B,UT BAL
75 Danny Salazar SP CLE
76 Gerrit Cole SP PIT
77 Kyle Hendricks SP,RP CHC
78 Byron Buxton CF,UT MIN
79 Masahiro Tanaka SP NYY
80 Maikel Franco 3B,UT PHI
81 Julio Teheran SP ATL
82 Zach Britton RP BAL
83 Aaron Sanchez SP TOR
84 Gary Sanchez C,UT NYY
85 Michael Brantley LF,UT CLE
86 Jackie Bradley Jr. CF BOS
87 Jean Segura 2B,SS,UT SEA
88 Billy Hamilton CF,UT CIN
89 Kevin Gausman SP BAL
90 Rick Porcello SP BOS
91 Aaron Nola SP PHI
92 Aroldis Chapman RP NYY
93 Jameson Taillon SP PIT
94 Todd Frazier 3B,UT CHW
95 Ian Desmond LF,CF,UT COL
96 Kenley Jansen RP LAD
97 Matt Harvey SP NYM
98 Willson Contreras C,LF,UT CHC
99 J.T. Realmuto C,UT MIA
100 Dee Gordon 2B,UT MIA
101 Lance McCullers Jr. SP HOU
102 Roberto Osuna RP TOR
103 Evan Longoria 3B,UT TB
104 Nelson Cruz RF,UT SEA
105 Craig Kimbrel RP BOS
106 Nomar Mazara LF,RF,UT TEX
107 Khris Davis LF,UT OAK
108 Lorenzo Cain CF,RF,UT KC
109 Carlos Santana 1B,UT CLE
110 Edwin Diaz RP SEA
111 Michael Fulmer SP DET
112 Wade Davis RP CHC
113 Marcell Ozuna LF,CF,UT MIA
114 Ian Kinsler 2B,UT DET
115 Cole Hamels SP TEX
116 Andrew Miller RP CLE
117 Dellin Betances RP NYY
118 DJ LeMahieu 2B,UT COL
119 Kenta Maeda SP LAD
120 Jon Gray SP COL
121 Orlando Arcia SS,UT MIL
122 Felix Hernandez SP SEA
123 Brandon Belt 1B,UT SF
124 Adam Jones CF,UT BAL
125 Albert Pujols 1B,UT LAA
126 Danny Duffy SP,RP KC
127 Joe Ross SP WAS
128 Yasiel Puig RF,UT LAD
129 Mark Trumbo RF,UT (N/A)
130 Justin Turner 3B,UT LAD
131 Mark Melancon RP SF
132 Javier Baez 2B,3B,SS,UT CHC
133 Sonny Gray SP OAK
134 Odubel Herrera CF,UT PHI
135 Ken Giles RP HOU
136 Jose Bautista RF,UT (N/A)
137 Jonathan Schoop 2B,UT BAL
138 Michael Conforto LF,UT NYM
139 Nick Castellanos 3B,UT DET
140 Steven Matz SP NYM
141 Aledmys Diaz SS,UT STL
142 Dallas Keuchel SP HOU
143 Jerad Eickhoff SP PHI
144 Yasmany Tomas LF,RF,UT ARI
145 Devon Travis 2B,UT TOR
146 Blake Snell SP TB
147 Jake Lamb 3B,UT ARI
148 Yordano Ventura SP KC
149 Anthony DeSclafani SP CIN
150 Troy Tulowitzki SS,UT TOR
151 Adam Eaton CF,RF,UT WAS
152 Jeurys Familia RP NYM
153 Yasmani Grandal C,UT LAD
154 Cody Allen RP CLE
155 Dustin Pedroia 2B,UT BOS
156 Zack Greinke SP ARI
157 Jurickson Profar 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF,UT TEX
158 Tony Watson RP PIT
159 Sam Dyson RP TEX
160 Taijuan Walker SP ARI
161 Marcus Stroman SP TOR
162 Kelvin Herrera RP KC
163 Salvador Perez C,UT KC
164 Joc Pederson CF,UT LAD
165 Ben Zobrist 2B,LF,RF,UT CHC
166 Kevin Kiermaier CF,UT TB
167 Adrian Gonzalez 1B,UT LAD
168 Drew Pomeranz SP,RP BOS
169 Carlos Rodon SP CHW
170 Evan Gattis C,UT HOU
171 James Paxton SP SEA
172 Drew Smyly SP SEA
173 Jay Bruce RF,UT NYM
174 Matt Kemp LF,RF,UT ATL
175 Jake Odorizzi SP TB
176 David Peralta RF,UT ARI
177 Kole Calhoun RF,UT LAA
178 Brad Miller 1B,SS,UT TB
179 Jose Ramirez 3B,LF,UT CLE
180 Victor Martinez UT DET
181 Mike Moustakas 3B,UT KC
182 Sean Manaea SP,RP OAK
183 Elvis Andrus SS,UT TEX
184 Jorge Soler LF,UT KC
185 Dexter Fowler CF,UT STL
186 Justin Bour 1B,UT MIA
187 Garrett Richards SP LAA
188 Neil Walker 2B,UT NYM
189 Ender Inciarte LF,CF,UT ATL
190 Jung-Ho Kang 3B PIT
191 Jose Berrios SP MIN
192 Tanner Roark SP,RP WAS
193 Jordan Zimmermann SP,RP DET
194 Vincent Velasquez SP PHI
195 Randal Grichuk CF,UT STL
196 Seung-Hwan Oh RP STL
197 Raisel Iglesias SP,RP CIN
198 Marco Estrada SP TOR
199 J.A. Happ SP TOR
200 Adrian Beltre 3B,UT TEX
201 Jeff Samardzija SP SF
202 Brandon Kintzler RP MIN
203 Matt Moore SP SF
204 Joe Musgrove SP,RP HOU
205 Trevor Bauer SP,RP CLE
206 Max Kepler RF,UT MIN
207 Ryon Healy 3B,UT OAK
208 Domingo Santana RF,UT MIL
209 Corey Dickerson LF,UT TB
210 Adam Duvall LF,UT CIN
211 Collin McHugh SP HOU
212 Starlin Castro 2B,UT NYY
213 Jason Heyward CF,RF,UT CHC
214 Brandon Crawford SS,UT SF
215 Eric Thames 1B,UT MIL
216 Russell Martin C,UT TOR
217 Rich Hill SP LAD
218 Brandon Maurer RP SD
219 Micahel Pineda SP NYY
220 Hunter Pence RF,UT SF
221 Daniel Norris SP,RP DET
222 Tommy Joseph 1B,UT PHI
223 Alex Colome RP TB
224 A.J. Ramos RP MIA
225 Kendrys Morales UT TOR
226 Dylan Bundy SP,RP BAL
227 Eduardo Rodriguez SP BOS
228 Chris Carter 1B,UT (N/A)
229 Matt Wieters C,UT (N/A)
230 Brian McCann C,UT HOU
231 Shelby Miller SP ARI
232 Jose Peraza 2B,SS,CF,UT CIN
233 David Robertson RP CHW
234 Robbie Ray SP ARI
235 Jacoby Ellsbury CF,UT NYY
236 Josh Harrison 2B,UT PIT
237 Matt Shoemaker SP LAA
238 Carlos Gomez LF,CF,UT TEX
239 Tyler Skaggs SP LAA
240 Marcus Semien SS,UT OAK
241 Tim Anderson SS,UT CHW
242 Chris Tillman SP BAL
243 Jaime Garcia SP,RP ATL
244 Archie Bradley SP ARI
245 Didi Gregorius SS,UT NYY
246 Aaron Blair SP ATL
247 Josh Reddick RF,UT HOU
248 Matt Wisler SP,RP ATL
249 Adam Conley SP MIA
250 Brandon Drury 2B,3B,LF,RF,UT ARI
251 Stephen Vogt C,UT OAK
252 Mike Napoli 1B,UT (N/A)
253 Tyson Ross SP TEX
254 Logan Forsythe 2B,UT TB
255 Gio Gonzalez SP WAS
256 Hector Neris RP PHI
257 Mike Fiers SP,RP HOU
258 Eduardo Nunez 3B,SS,UT SF
259 Danny Velancia 1B, 3B, RF, UT OAK
260 Cam Bedrosian RP LAA
261 Kyle Barraclough RP MIA
262 Ervin Santana SP MIN
263 C.J. Cron 1B,UT LAA
264 Eugenio Suarez 3B,UT CIN
265 Travis Shaw 1B,3B,UT MIL
266 Hyun-Jin Ryu SP LAD
267 Cameron Maybin CF,UT LAA
268 Wilmer Flores 1B,2B,3B,UT NYM
269 Matt Duffy 3B,SS,UT TB
270 Adam Ottavino RP COL
271 Luis Severino SP,RP NYY
272 Addison Reed RP NYM
273 Denard Span CF,UT SF
274 Jeremy Hellickson SP PHI
275 Zach Davies SP MIL
276 Matt Bush RP TEX
277 Carlos Beltran RF,UT HOU
278 Nathan Karns SP,RP KC
279 Jarrod Dyson LF,CF,RF,UT SEA
280 Shawn Kelley RP WAS
281 Rajai Davis LF,CF,UT OAK
282 Zack Wheeler SP NYM
283 Mike Leake SP STL
284 Gerardo Parra 1B,LF,CF,RF,UT COL
285 Jason Hammel SP (N/A)
286 Wei-Yin Chen SP MIA
287 Luis Valbuena 3B,UT (N/A)
288 Lucas Duda 1B,UT NYM
289 Kevin Pillar CF,UT TOR
290 Nate Jones RP CHW
291 Braden Shipley SP,RP ARI
292 Kolten Wong 2B,UT STL
293 Leonys Martin CF,UT SEA
294 Chris Devenski SP,RP HOU
295 Tyler Thornburg RP BOS
296 Tyler Naquin CF,UT CLE
297 Lance Lynn SP STL
298 Hunter Strickland RP SF
299 Mitch Moreland 1B,UT BOS
300 Yunel Escobar 3B,UT LAA
301 Ryan Dull RP OAK
302 Alex Cobb SP TB
303 Arodys Vizcaino RP ATL
304 Asdrubal Cabrera SS,UT NYM
305 Derek Law RP SF
306 Francisco Rodriguez RP DET
307 Michael Lorenzen RP CIN
308 Jose Reyes 3B,SS,UT NYM
309 Huston Street RP LAA
310 Mike Foltynewicz SP ATL
311 Byung Ho Park 1B,UT MIN
312 Brett Gardner LF,UT NYY
313 Patrick Corbin SP,RP ARI
314 Jeanmar Gomez RP PHI
315 Will Harris RP HOU
316 Trevor Plouffe 1B,3B,UT OAK
317 Corey Knebel RP MIL
318 Jeremy Jeffress RP TEX
319 Zack Cozart SS,UT CIN
320 Wilson Ramos C,UT TB
321 Joe Panik 2B,UT SF
322 Darren O’Day RP BAL
323 Angel Pagan LF,CF,UT (N/A)
324 Curtis Granderson CF,RF,UT NYM
325 Brandon Phillips 2B,UT CIN
326 Mike Montgomery SP,RP CHC
327 Brad Boxberger RP TB
328 Adam Wainwright SP STL
329 Ian Kennedy SP KC
330 Marwin Gonzalez 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF,UT HOU
331 Fernando Rodney RP ARI
332 Alcides Escobar SS,UT KC
333 Dan Straily SP,RP CIN
334 Yadier Molina C,UT STL
335 Brandon Finnegan SP CIN
336 Ketel Marte SS,UT ARI
337 Wellington Castillo C BAL
338 Steven Souza Jr. RF, UT TB
339 Blake Treinen RP WAS
340 Scott Kazmir SP LAD
341 J.J. Hardy SS,UT BAL
342 Jim Johnson RP ATL
343 Hector Santiago SS,UT SF
344 Sandy Leon C,UT BOS
345 Steve Cishek RP SEA
346 Micahel Feliz RP HOU
347 Hisashi Iwakuma SP SEA
348 Martin Prado 3B,UT MIA
349 Trevor Rosenthal RP STL
350 Michael Wacha SP,RP STL
351 Hyun Soo Kim LF,UT BAL
352 Clay Buchholz SP,RP PHI
353 Jhonny Peralta 3B,SS,UT STL
354 Brett Lawrie 2B,UT CHW
355 Matt Adams 1B,UT STL
356 Michael Saunders LF,RF,UT PHI
357 Mychal Givens RP BAL
358 Melky Cabrera LF,UT CHW
359 Mike Zunino C,UT SEA
360 Pablo Sandoval 3B,UT BOS
361 Ivan Nova SP,RP PIT
362 Carson Smith RP BOS
363 Derek Dietrich 1B,2B,3B,UT MIA
364 Kendall Graveman SP OAK
365 Travis d’Arnaud C,UT NYM
366 Justin Wilson RP DET
367 Drew Storen RP CIN
368 Brock Holt 3B,LF,UT BOS
369 Freddy Galvis SS,UT PHI
370 Yovanni Gallardo SP BAL
371 Ryan Madson RP OAK
372 Sean Doolittle RP OAK
373 Keon Broxton CF,UT MIL
374 Brad Hand RP SD
375 Hector Rondon RP CHC
376 Jordy Mercer SS,UT PIT
377 Francisco Cervelli C,UT PIT
378 Tyler Chatwood SP COL
379 Blake Swihart C,LF,UT BOS
380 Alex Wood SP,RP LAD
381 Jayson Werth LF,UT WAS
382 Yan Gomes C,UT CLE
383 Chad Kukl RP OAK
384 Brandon Moss 1B,LF,RF,UT (N/A)
385 Derek Norris C,UT WAS
386 Shin-Soo Choo RF,UT TEX
387 Brad Ziegler RP MIA
388 Henry Owens RP MIA
389 Andrelton Simmons SS,UT LAA
390 Cameron Rupp C,UT PHI
391 Luke Gregorson RP HOU
392 Ryan Schimpf 2B,3B,UT SD
393 Kevin Siegrist RP STL
394 Brad Brach RP BAL
395 Steven Wright SP BOS
396 Steve Pearce 1B,2B,UT TOR
397 Devin Mesoraco C,UT CIN
398 Daniel Hudson RP PIT
399 Tony Cingrani RP CIN
400 Ryan Zimmerman 1B,UT WAS
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2017 Top-100 Major League Baseball Prospects

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As the baseball season quickly approaches, it’s time to take a look at the top-100 prospects for 2017. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to follow and tweet me @dynasty_digest. You can also find more of my articles at www.dynastydigest.sportsblogs.com.

 

Rank Player Team Position
1 Alex Reyes STL SP
2 Yoan Moncada CHW 2B/3B
3 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
4 Brendan Rodgers COL SS
5 Gleyber Torres NYY SS
6 Victor Robles WSH OF
7 Dansby Swanson ATL SS
8 Ian Happ CHC 2B/OF
9 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
10 Lucas Giolito WSH SP
11 Eloy Jimenez CHC OF
12 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B/SS
13 Tyler Glasnow PIT SP
14 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF
15 J.P. Crawford PHI SS
16 Austin Meadows PIT OF
17 Amed Rosario NYM SS
18 Clint Frazier NYY OF
19 Josh Bell PIT 1B/OF
20 Joey Gallo TEX 3B/OF
21 Manuel Margot SD OF
22 Francis Martes HOU SP
23 Brent Honeywell TB SP
24 Nick Senzel CIN 3B
25 Michael Kopech CHW SP
26 Kevin Maitan ATL SS
27 Willy Adames TB SS
28 Bradley Zimmer CLE OF
29 Jason Groome BOS SP
30 Anderson Espinoza SD SP
31 Jorge Mateo NYY SS
32 Yadier Alvarez LAD SP
33 Kyle Lewis SEA OF
34 Franklin Barreto OAK SS
35 Riley Pint COL SP
36 Blake Rutherford NYY OF
37 Josh Hader MIL SP
38 Corey Ray MIL OF
39 Alex Verdugo LAD OF
40 Hunter Renfroe SD OF
41 Lewis Brinson MIL OF
42 Isan Diaz MIL 2B/SS
43 Mickey Moniak PHI OF
44 Jose De Leon LAD SP
45 Erick Fedde WSH SP
46 Reynaldo Lopez CHW SP
47 Jake Bauers TB 1B/OF
48 Aaron Judge NYY OF
49 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. TOR SS
50 Willie Calhoun LAD 2B
51 Luke Weaver STL SP
52 Francisco Mejia CLE C
53 Raimel Tapia COL OF
54 James Kaprielian NYY SP
55 Harrison Bader STL OF
56 Braxton Garrett MIA SP
57 Kolby Allard ATL SP
58 Tyler Jay MIN SP
59 Rowdy Tellez TOR 1B
60 Kyle Tucker HOU OF
61 Tyler O’Neil SEA OF
62 Sean Newcomb ATL SP
63 David Paulino HOU SP
64 Derek Fisher HOU OF
65 Jeff Hoffman COL SP
66 Nick Gordon MIN SS
67 Nick Williams PHI OF
68 A.J. Puk OAK SP
69 Kevin Newman PIT SS
70 Luis Ortiz MIL SP
71 Mike Soroka ATL SP
72 Jesse Winker CIN OF
73 Zack Collins CHW C
74 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 3B
75 Amir Garrett CIN SP
76 Mitch Keller PIT SP
77 Jorge Alfaro PHI C
78 Dominic Smith NYM 1B
79 Ronald Acuna ATL OF
80 Bobby Bradley CLE 1B
81 Chance Sisco BAL C
82 Sean Reid-Foley TOR SP
83 Yusniel Diaz LAD OF
84 Matt Manning DET SP
85 Forrest Whitley HOU SP
86 Brady Aiken CLE SP
87 A.J. Reed HOU 1B
88 Brett Phillips MIL OF
89 Phil Bickford MIL SP
90 Walker Buehler LAD SP
91 Ian Anderson ATL SP
92 Tyler Beede SF SP
93 Richard Urena TOR SS
94 Sandy Alcantara STL SP
95 Max Schrock OAK 2B
96 Cal Quantrill SD SP
97 Triston McKenzie CLE SP
98 Carson Kelly STL C
99 Michael Gettys SD OF
100 Stephen Gonsalves MIN SP

2016 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Trade Analysis (Part 2)

Now that the season is over, I wanted to go through my dynasty league trades throughout the 2016 season and give my analysis. I gave the analysis of my team earlier last week, but this analysis is for a very different team. This team is currently rebuilding and had by far the biggest roster turnover during the 2016 season. Austin, the owner of the team, asked me to analyze his team, so I figured I would share my analysis of his deals (there is A LOT of them). Before going into the trades, let me give you a quick overview of the rules and regulations of the league:

 

-16 team dynasty league founded 1.5 years ago

-Head to head categorical scoring (offensive categories include: Runs, RBIs, HRs, SBs, Slugging, OBP, Strikeouts for hitters, Total Bases…. Pitching categories include: H/IP, BB/9, Total Strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, Quality Start %, Saves, and Holds)

-Roster: 19 active on the roster (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, UTL, 5 SP, 5 RP), 12 bench players, and 21 minor league prospects

-Active salary cap (max of $20 million per player) of $168 million based on actual MLB contracts

-Annual amateur draft for the most recent MLB amateur draft during the offseason (if I mention a draft pick in a trade, that is what it is referring to)

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AND THE TRADE ANALYSIS

2016 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Trades Analysis

Following a 2nd place finish in 2015, this is the active roster I ended the year with:

C– Travis d’Arnaud

1B– Brandon Belt

2B– Robinson Cano

3B– Anthony Rendon

SS– Brandon Crawford

LF– Yoenis Cespedes

CF– David Peralta

RF– Bryce Harper

UTL– Daniel Murphy

Starting Pitchers– Madison Bumgarner, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander

Relief Pitchers– Ken Giles, Daniel Hudson, Jonathan Papelbon, David Robertson, Shawn Tolleson

Off. Bench– Robinson Chirinos, Justin Bour, Jonathan Schoop, Alex Rodriguez

P. Bench– Nick Martinez, Carlos Rodon, Arquimedes Caminero, Jenrry Mejia, Drew Pomeranz, Tom Koehler

Offensive Prospects– Chance Sisco, A.J. Reed, Kean Wong, Tim Anderson, Jorge Mateo, Eloy Jimenez, Manuel Margot, Bradley Zimmer, Brett Phillips

Pitching Prospects– Edwin Diaz, Anderson Espinoza, Michael Fulmer, Taylor Guerrieri, Pierce Johnson, Yoan Lopez, Francis Martes, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Casey Meisner, Luis Ortiz

 

While I did finish the season in 2nd, my roster needed some serious improvements. I had a lot of faith in my ability to scout prospects, so I figured it was time to unload some prospects for win-now talent and trust my ability to refill my minor league system with less publicized talent. You can see all of the trades I made in the offseason and during the 2016 season in order from oldest to most recent below (all trades made prior to the season are in bold and in season is in italics):

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

2017 Top 300 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Rankings (New Statistic)

Hello all you dedicated and crazy fantasy baseball fans. While I know we are all enjoying the playoffs, many people have asked me about when my rankings for the 2017 season will be released. Well, today is your lucky day. Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a new and improved statistical formula to value players in a dynasty league. For those who aren’t familiar with dynasty leagues, here is my personal definition: A fantasy baseball league where your drafted roster is carried over year after year. Please click the link below to see the rest of the article:

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AND RANKINGS

Conner Uselton Scouting Report (2017 MLB Draft 1st Round Prospect)

Conner Uselton is an 18 year old, 6’3 185 lbs, outfielder from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is going into his senior year at Southmoore High School. Uselton is one of the top high school prospects for the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. You can find my scouting report for this potential 5-tool outfielder below:

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

2016 MLB Playoff and Yearly Award Predictions

With only about a month left in the season, it’s time to take a look at playoff and yearly award predictions. These are obviously subject to change, but below are my predictions. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @dynasty_digest.

Playoff Prediction

AL East: Boston Red Sox

AL Central: Cleveland Indians

AL West: Texas Rangers

Wild Card: Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers

 

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

REPORT: New York Yankees Want More Than Lucas Giolito In A Deal For Andrew Miller

Well folks, the madness has started. The trade deadline is quickly approaching and the rumors are growing by the hour. The newest rumor surrounds the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals in a deal for closer, Andrew Miller, that includes top pitching prospect, Lucas Giolito. Before we get into the details of this rumor, you might want to sit down because this might get a little crazy. Clic the link below to see the rest of the article.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (1-10)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 1-10 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. If you want to see the analysis for the rest of the top 100, please visit my blog: www.dynastydigest.sportsblog.com 

 

  1. Yoan Moncada (BOS, 21 Years Old, 2B): Moncada has stolen my heart and he has stolen the top prospect in my midseason rankings. In 414 plate appearances between High-A and Double-A, Moncada is batting .294, with 12 home runs, 43 stolen bases, .404 OBP, and a .513 slugging percentage. He is blocked by Dustin Pedroia at second base, but there is a good chance the Red Sox move him to third base or to the outfield at some point. Regardless of what position he plays, Moncada will be an elite ball player, and an even better fantasy player. He has the ability to steal 40+ bases, with an on base percentage of .370+, and 20 home runs or more in a season. Needless to say, those statistics would put him in an elite class in fantasy baseball.

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (11-20)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 11-20 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

  1. Alex Reyes (STL, 21 Years Old, RHP): If you are looking for a frontline starter, look no further. Reyes has the upside of a top-10 pitcher in the next few years. He has an elite fastball-breaking ball combination and his changeup has developed quite nicely. He has been known to touch 102-103 MPH with his fastball, so that speaks for itself. He has struggled this season at Triple-A, but that doesn’t take away from his potential. In 55 innings pitched, he owns a 5.07 ERA, 51 hits against, 79 strikeouts, and 27 walks. He has an elite strikeout rate, but his walk rate does scare me. He was just scratched from his most recent start in the minors, so many people believe the Cardinals are preparing to call him up to the big leagues.

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Andrew Benintendi Could Be Promoted By The Boston Red Sox Very Soon

Following the promotion of Alex Bregman and David Dahl, Andrew Benintendicould be the next star prospect called up to the big leagues. The Boston Red Sox organization could use an everyday outfielder in left field, and Benintendi could be the answer.

 

Benintendi was drafted seventh overall by the Red Sox in the 2015 MLB Draft. Since stepping on the field as a Red Sox prospect, Benintendi has done nothing but impress. He has proven his bat is above average, possesses above average speed, and he has very good defense in centerfield. Over the past two years, he has started every game in centerfield, but the Red Sox have switched him to left field over the last two games. Many people believe this position change is prepping one of their top prospects for a move to the big leagues.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (31-40)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 31-40 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

  1. Willy Adames (TB, 20 Years Old, SS): Adames has developed quite nicely over the last few seasons. At 20 years old, he is showing great success in Double-A. In 360 plate appearances, he is batting .264, with eight home runs, nine stolen bases, and a .365 OBP. After a slow 2015 season, Adames has rebounded very nicely after his promotion in 2016. He is starting to show more power, speed, and he is getting on base at a better rate. I don’t think he will ever be an elite fantasy baseball player, but he should be average-to-above average.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

2016 Dynasty & Keeper League Top 100 Midseason Rankings

Below you can find my list of the top 100 dynasty/keeper baseball league rankings after the first half of the season. These rankings are obviously subject to change based on the performance of each player throughout the rest of the season. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me on my social media, which you can find at the end of this article. Thank you and enjoy.

 

1. Mike Trout (OF; LAA)

  1. Bryce Harper (OF; WSH)
  2. Clayton Kershaw (SP; LAD)

  3. Mookie Betts (OF; BOS)

  4. Manny Machado (3B; BAL)

  5. Jose Altuve (2B; HOU)

  6. Kris Bryant (3B; CHC)

  7. Carlos Correa (SS; HOU)

  8. Paul Goldschmidt (1B; ARI)

10. Nolan Arenado (3B; COL)

 

SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (41-50)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 41-50 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 51-60

 

  1. Jason Groome (BOS, 17 Years Old, LHP): Well, this ranking won’t mean anything if the Red Sox don’t sign Groome after drafting him 12th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. The Sox and Groome are still in negotiations, but nothing as been finalized yet. At only 17 years old, Groome is incredibly advanced on the mound. He throws a mid-90’s fastball from the left-side, which has great late movement. He also shows a great feel for his breaking ball and changeup. To go along with his great repertoire, Groome has showed great command for a kid his age. Many people expected Groome to go first overall in the draft, but he started to trend downwards due to maturity questions and sign-ability issues. If the Red Sox sign Groome, he has the upside of a frontline starter.

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Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (51-60)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 51-60 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 61-70

51. Jake Bauers (TB, 20 Years Old, 1B): Bauers has improved his game a lot in 2016. Last season, he hit .272, with 11 home runs, eight stolen bases, .342 OBP, and a .418 slugging percentage in 534 plate appearances. In only 368 plate appearances this season at Double-A, Bauers is batting .285, with 10 home runs, seven stolen bases, .373 OBP, and a .430 slugging percentage. He also has very advanced plate discipline, which should serve him well in his career. Bauers has one of the prettiest left-handed swings you will see, so it is no surprise that he is hitting so well this year.

 

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RUMORS: Houston Astros To Call Up Top Prospect, Alex Bregman

Following a very impressive appearance in the the MLB Futures Game, Houston Astros’ top prospect, Alex Bregman, could find himself back in a Major League Baseball stadium very soon. There has been rumors and reports that the Astros could call up Bregman as early as this weekend. While nothing has been confirmed, this is very exciting news for baseball fans and fantasy owners.

 

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Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings Analysis (61-70)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 71-80 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 71-80

  1. Kyle Lewis (SEA, 20 Years Old, OF): Kyle Lewis was drafted 11th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2016 MLB Draft. Lewis went to a small college named Mercer University, but nothing about Lewis is small. He puts up HUGE numbers at the plate, he is a massive human being, and he is going to be a big-time prospect. He stands 6’4 and weighs about 210 pounds. He currently plays centerfield, but as he fills out, he is expected to play one of the corner spots in the outfield. In his last season at Mercer, Lewis hit .395, with 20 home runs, 72 RBIs, and a .525 OBP. In his short time in the minors, he hasn’t been overmatched at all, which is a great sign. Lewis has immense potential and could be a serious home run threat down the line.

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings Analysis (71-80)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 71-80 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 81-90

 

  1. Luis Ortiz (TEX, 20 Years Old, RHP): Oritz has been very impressive when he is on the mound. Unfortunately, Ortiz has been very injury prone in his first few seasons of professional baseball. He was drafted 30th overall by the Rangers in 2014. Since being drafted, he has flown through the minors. At the age of 20, he is already in Double-A. He is 4.3 years younger than the average competition in Double-A, so that is very impressive in itself. In 61.1 innings between High-A and Double-A this season, he owns a 3.23 ERA, 61 hits allowed, 56 strikeouts, and only 13 walks. He has a great feel for all of his pitches, which translates to very few walks. Ortiz has the potential to be a 2/3 starter in the Rangers rotation in the near future.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (81-90)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 81-90 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 91-100

  1. Gary Sanchez (NYY, 23 Years Old, C): Sanchez has been a highly touted prospect since 2011. He has fluctuated in the rankings each year, but he is finally close to the big leagues. In 243 plate appearances this season, he is batting .281, with nine home runs, .321 OBP, .487 slugging percentage, and a .808 OPS in Triple-A. His defense has improved quite a bit to go along with his elite arm, so it looks like he will stick behind the plate. Sanchez is the catcher of the future for the New York Yankees.

 

SEE THE ANALYSIS OF PLAYERS RANKED 82-90

Exclusive Interview With 2017 Draft Prospect and UNC Tar Heel, J.B. Bukauskas

J.B. has an electrifying fastball and slider combination, which both have potential to be plus-plus pitches. He is also developing a change-up that many scouts believe could solidify him as a top of the rotation starter one day. It’s hard to say which pitch is his best between his fastball and slider. He sits between 93-96 MPH with his fastball, but his slider could be the best breaking ball in the 2017 draft class. His elite combination of pitches, command, and maturity on and off the mound should make him one of the top prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft.

 

He is one of the top arms in the Cape Cod League this summer. He is also playing with Team USA this summer in Japan, Taiwan, and Cuba.

 

To view the rest of the article and the interview, click the link below:

 

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Noah Syndergaard and His Fantasy Owners Dodge A Bullet

I checked my phone yesterday, as I got a notification, and my heart skipped a beat. The notification read, “Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard left today’s game after 6 innings because of elbow discomfort, will see team doctor.” First of all, I’m a huge fan of Thor. Second of all, I own him in two of my fantasy leagues. Third of all, I hate to see another young pitcher plagued by the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. Well have no fear folks, all Thor fans have dodged a bullet.

 

So see the rest of the article, click the link below:

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Astros’ Prospect, Alex Bregman, Hit In The Head By A 94 MPH Fastball

Many Houston Astros and fantasy baseball fans have been wondering when Alex Bregman will finally make his MLB debut. Unfortunately, it might be delayed after taking a fastball to the head on Monday night. Luckily Bregman got up on his own power and he seems to be okay, but he sat out last night as a precautionary measure. Hopefully this event doesn’t hurt Bregman physically or his approach at the plate.

 

To view the rest of the article, click the link below:

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Why Clayton Kershaw Should Be The National League MVP

That title is a bold statement, but I’m standing by my words. Clayton Kershaw is playing at a level that isn’t even comparable to other pitchers in 2016. It is very difficult to compare the statistics of a batter to a pitcher for the MVP race, but in my opinion, it is very obvious that Kershaw deserves this award if he continues at this pace.

 

Of course there are plenty of deserving bats who will compete for the NL MVP award, including Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rizzo, and many more, but Kershaw is putting together one of the most dominant pitching seasons we have seen in the the history of baseball. Please click the link below to see how Kershaw compares to his peers in 2016 and in baseball history:

 

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2012 American and National League MVP Awards Announced

Friday November 16th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  The final awards have been announced. Both races could have gone either way, with deserving candidates in each league. In the end, each winner won by a large margin (Cabrera 362-281 and Posey 422-285). There really were not any surprises in this year of MVP voting. Here’s my analysis for each league.

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2012 AL and NL Cy Young Award Winners

Thursday November 15th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Both Cy Young awards were announced yesterday. R.A. Dickey won in the National League and David Price won in the American League. Dickey won by a large margin; he had 209 points by 27 first place votes and five second place votes. This race was not even close. Price on the other hand, won by four points. He received just one more first place vote than Justin Verlander, who finished second. Here’s my take on how the voting went down.

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Drew Taylor Interview: The Story of an Intercounty League Pitcher

Wednesday  September 21, 2011

 

 

MLB reports:  We are proud today to feature on MLB reports:  Drew Taylor, former Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays prospect pitcher, currently playing in the Intercounty Baseball League.  Based in Ontario, Canada, the Intercounty League has produced several major league players including Rob Butler, Rich Butler and current Brewers closer, John Axford.  Drew’s baseball blood lines run deep, as his father Ron Taylor is former MLB pitcher himself.  Part of the 1969 Miracle Mets during his playing career, Dr. Taylor is a long time team doctor for the Toronto Blue Jays.    From getting signed by the Jays, having a World Series champion pitcher as a father, recovering from injuries and life in the Intercounty League and working towards becoming a doctor, we covered many topics with Drew.  For a great baseball tale from a different part of the game, we present our recent interview with Drew Taylor:

MLB reports:  Welcome to the Reports Drew.  Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for this interview.  First question we always like to ask: who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?

Drew Taylor:  I always loved to watch David Wells pitch when I was younger. As a lefty I learned a lot about setting up hitters and how to use a curveball effectively against left- and right-handed batters. I also loved his approach. He went right after hitters no matter who they were and rarely fell behind in the count. A true lefty – he was a character on and off the mound. I had the chance to get to know him a little when he was playing in Toronto. When I was in high school, I threw a bullpen in Spring Training for the Jays. I didn’t know I would be throwing that day so I only had my first baseman mitt with me. He gave me a glove to use and watched me throw giving me some pointers after the pen, very generous; he is the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. I also learned a great deal from watching him that day in the way he treated people and engaged with fans asking for his autograph. Down to earth.

MLB reports:  Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?

Drew Taylor:  I would have to say Travis Snider. I played with Travis our first year in the Blue Jays minor leagues and actually lived with him for the first part of the season. He came into the Jays straight out of high school and was thrust into a system that was known for drafting mostly college athletes. Here he was living with Jeff Gilmore, who graduated early from Stanford and had already begun a Masters in History and myself, already with Undergraduate and Masters degrees from the University of Michigan. But in truth, Travis was probably the most mature of the group of us. As I got to know Snider I found out why. He had faced a great deal for a kid of his age. There have been a number of articles written him since he broke into a big leagues focusing on what he and his family went through while he was in high school.  If you haven’t read them, I suggest you look them up.  I won’t go into all the details here, but in short when his mother was dealing with serious health issues, he was placed in a difficult situation at a very young age. As the only son, he stepped up to be a rock for his family. There are a lot of talented athletes that get drafted and Snider is definitely one of them.  Sometimes though it is experiences like these that separate the men from the boys and dictate who will have the resolve and discipline to make the jump to the big leagues.

MLB reports:  Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?

Drew Taylor: I transferred for my sophomore year to the University of Michigan from Georgia Tech in 2003. I came into a program that had a great history but had struggled in the past few seasons, finishing only 21-32 the previous year. Rich Maloney had moved from Ball State to the Michigan to take the helm as head coach. He called each player in one by one before the season, sat us down and laid out what he expected of us. It was the first time a coach had talked to me that way. He demanded excellence and explained how each one of us as individuals could contribute to the team’s success. I owe a great deal to Rich and would not have had the success I had that year without his ability to inspire his athletes and instill confidence in them. He turned that program around and we ended up 30-27 that year, climbing to 43-21 and winning the Big Ten by the time I graduated. “Those who stay will be champions.” I personally ended up 9-1 in 2003, making the All-Big Ten and All-Region Teams and was given the Geoff Zahn award for Michigan’s top pitcher. After pitching only 9.1 innings the previous year, this was a big turnaround for me. Rich knows how to get the most out of his players and I hope he remains a college coach so I can send my kids his way one day.

MLB reports:  You were signed in 2006 by the Toronto Blue Jays after the draft. Were you scouted by certain teams before the draft and were you expecting to be drafted?

Drew Taylor:  The most amount of attention I received was probably in 2001. My velocity shot up during my final year of high school and while pitching for the Ontario Blue Jays the summer before starting university. I had a number of clubs call and make offers, including the Rockies, Blue Jays, and Braves, to see if I would forgo school to sign professionally. But I was dead set on getting my education. While at Michigan, I had a great sophomore year going 9-1 and followed it up with a good showing in the Cape League which drew some attention again. Then during my draft eligible Junior year I ended up injuring my shoulder in my first start of the year. I tried to come back and pitch a couple of times, but ended up having to shut it down for the season. That effectively ended any chance I had of getting picked up in the draft, so I focused on my rehab, knowing that I would be back at Michigan the next year and would have to prove I could compete all over again. In 2006, the Blue Jays called right after my final game and signed me to a free-agent contract. I reported to camp two days later.

MLB reports:   Being signed by your hometown Jays must have been very special.  What were your feelings after the draft and what was the process like up until the time you were signed?

Drew Taylor:  Being signed by your hometown team is always special, but there were so many things on the go I didn’t get much of a chance to sit down and enjoy the feeling. When I got the call I was in Michigan right after we got back from the NCAA Regionals in Atlanta. It was a little bit of a whirlwind because I had just got back to my apartment when I was told I was leaving again in two days. In those two days, I quickly packed up my apartment and hit the road for Toronto. Kevin Briand and Sean McCann were the scouts that signed me and I went down to the then named SkyDome to meet them and sign my contract. With the papers in, Kevin walked me down onto the field and it finally sunk in.

MLB reports;  As a 6′ 5″ left-handed pitcher and being the son of an ex-major league hurler, what were the expectations you set for yourself once you joined the Jays system?  Did you envision yourself in the major leagues one day and what was your plan to get there?

Drew Taylor:  Everyone who signs a contract, or for that matter who has played baseball at any level has thought about what it would be like to play in the majors. For me, I had a father who had done it for 11 years, and because of that I had the opportunity to be exposed to the game at a high level from an early age. I fully expected to make the majors and as soon as I signed professionally, I set out to realize that goal. Competition increases as you move up in the system and ultimately I never reached my goal of reaching the majors. There are a lot of talented players in professional baseball, many of the guys in the minors have the talent and ability to play in the majors, but lack consistency. At the major league level you have to be able to make adjustments within the same game or within the same at-bat. Realizing how to make these adjustments takes time and experience, which is one of the reasons athletes in baseball require time to mature and develop above other sports. The mental side of baseball is much more important than the physical… as Yogi Berra said “Ninety percent of baseball is mental, the other half is physical.”

MLB reports:  For all the fans that have never experienced minor league baseball before, give us an idea as to what life is like in the minor leagues as compared to what people see in major league stadiums.  The level of competition, amenities and support from the major league team for its minor league system- what is it like?

Drew Taylor:  Night and day. Have you ever watched Bull Durham? Its bang on. The minors consist of a lot of long bus trips, fast food, and tiny locker rooms. The other big difference that people do not realize is how little money players are paid in the minors. Bonus Babies get a big cheque at the beginning, but the weekly salary is barely enough to live on. I would love to see the Major League Baseball Players Union fight for better pay in the minors, but once you make it to the majors I assume those guys try not to even think about the minors again. I don’t see it happening. Another problem is that players in the US and Canada are entered into the draft, while international players are all free agent signs. This means that home-grown talent can only negotiate with the team that drafted them, while international players have the ability to shop around different teams and drive up their signing bonuses. We need to move to a world-wide draft. One thing I will say is that players who make it to the big leagues know what it is like in the minors because they came up through it. Many guys are very good to the guys at lower levels. Especially if they are back down in the minors for rehab starts. One guy that sticks out in my mind that always looked after the guys at the lower levels was Brandon League. He was down for rehab for a while in Dunedin one year and went out of his way for us.

MLB reports:  Injuries unfortunately played a huge part in your career, as it affects many young hurlers.  Please tell us what happened to you health wise and your path through injuries, surgeries and how health affected your career.

Drew Taylor:  I only threw twice in my junior year at Michigan before it was painfully evident that something was not right. I ended up having a small tear in my rotator cuff and a strained bicep. I rehabbed and came back strong enough to get picked up by the Jays. My velocity had never returned fully after my arm injury in University, so I had to find other ways of getting hitters out than just blowing it by them. Additionally, I moved primarily to the bullpen after being a starter my whole life. My mental approach to baseball improved greatly, learning how to set up hitters and get them out not just by beating them with a pitch, but beating them with a pitch they didn’t expect. Instead of facing the same hitters many times in one game as a starter, I was now coming in relief and mostly only had to face batters once. I had to develop the ability to strike out a batter when I came on with runners on base and I focused on improving out pitches. My first year was in Pulaski Virginia in the Appalachian league facing a lot of young free-swingers. I used this to my advantage and ended up striking out 37 in 27 innings. As you move up through the system, hitters have a much better approach and wait for you to throw a pitch they are looking for or for you to make a mistake. You have to improve with them, or you will get left behind.

MLB reports:  For those fans that aren’t aware, your father is Dr. Ron Taylor. A team doctor for the Jays, your dad was a star pitcher in the big leagues and played on World Championship teams.  What influence did your dad have on your career?  What was your relationship like growing up?

Drew Taylor:  My dad was a huge influence on me. He never pushed me into baseball, or medicine for that matter, they were both my choices.  Once I made the decisions to pursue being a professional pitcher and then a doctor, his support and guidance was bar none. He had a great career in the majors for 11 seasons, winning two World Series with the Cardinals in 1964 and the Amazin’ Mets in 1969. I had a big leaguer at my disposal and he taught me things about playing at a level that very few have made it to. Even when we would sit down and watch a game on TV, we would be talking about setting up hitters and he would always ask me what pitch I would throw next.  The biggest thing he taught me is how to deal with pressure and maintain focus and confidence – something I can take with me in all aspects of life. In 6 appearances in Major League post season games he threw over 10 innings without giving up a run. In 1964 he threw 4 innings in the World Series without giving up a hit, allowing only one base runner on a walk to none other than Mickey Mantle. There definitely were some expectations, and it was very tough to deal with when I had my arm injury and my future in baseball was in question. When I was released by the Phillies in 2008, I came home and he said something that will always stick with me. He told me if he “could only choose one career between baseball and medicine, it would have been medicine.” He has been able to help countless more people as a physician than as a pitcher. If I had kept playing baseball, my window to return to school might have closed. My brother Matthew, has also been a great guy to have around. What he lacked in talent he made up for in knowledge. I still talk shop with him when we watch games and he often comes out to watch me throw, giving me some pointers after the game, whether I want to hear them or not. He works in film, but I always thought he would be great in the front office or as a GM. He knows baseball, better than me.

MLB reports:  To go along with the Jays connection, you mentioned to me that you know Pat Gillick well.  Please tell us your relationship with Pat and the Phillies organization.

Drew Taylor:  After my second season with the Blue Jays, they let me go and I immediately got a call from the Phillies asking me to attend spring training in Clearwater next year. Pat is one of the greatest minds in baseball and has been a mastermind behind winning teams and franchises since he started as a General Manager. He is always at ground level watching his players from rookie ball up to the majors and has a huge presence at camp. When he was with the Blue Jays, he became great friends with our family and recently invited us down to watch the induction ceremony at Cooperstown. It was my first time there and a tremendous experience to see the rich history the sport has and its influence and presence in North America and around the world. Bobby Cox, who was also formerly with the Blue Jays was down at the induction as well and they told me the story of how I ended up being named Drew. My parents were deciding between Forrest or Andrew and Bobby suggested they just call me Drew. I am glad he did. Forrest Gump came out when I was 11… that would have been a rough year…

MLB reports: You currently play for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intercounty Baseball League in Ontario, Canada.  Many famous players came through the IBL, most notably John Axford of the Brewers.  For fans that are not familiar with the league, please tell us more about playing baseball in the IBL and the Leafs’ organization.

Drew Taylor:  The Intercounty Baseball League started in 1919 and was founded as a minor baseball league feeding the majors. Now it remains as an independent league. It has a great deal of variety in players and level of experience. Many of the players have had professional experience in affiliated ball and are at the end stages of their career. The rest of the players are comprised of current or former university and college athletes trying to get signed to professional contracts or who want to maintain playing baseball at a high level of competition. Ferguson Jenkins, Paul Spoljaric, Jesse Orosco, John Axford, Pete Orr, Rob Ducey, Rich Butler and Rob Butler are some of the major leaguers that have played in the league either before their major league career or afterwards. I have actually had the chance to pitch head-to-head against Spoljaric on a few occasions and it is always exciting to face off against a former big leaguer. The league has a shorter schedule and we don’t play every day, so it allows guys to maintain full-time jobs while playing, which is rather unique. I have been playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs for the past three years while being a full-time student at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital.

MLB reports:   I have read that you have been involved with a number of charity groups surrounding baseball and sports, tell us about that?

Drew Taylor: I have been getting involved in some charities that are doing great work in Toronto and across Canada. I recently participated in Strike Out Cancer in support of Mount Sinai Hospital with an all-star list of actors and hall of famers including Kurt Russell, Roberto Alomar, David Justice, Gary Carter, Gary Sheffield,  Bret Saberhagen, Devon White, and others. This past year the event raised over 1.4 million for research and treatment of women’s cancers. We also participated alongside local athletes, actors, musicians, and personalities in the Bulletproof campaign which sells apparel in support of the Special Olympics. Another fun group of people, Jays Days, get together when the Jays are on the road to watch the game together at Opera Bobs. Proceeds from sales of ball-park hotdogs, popcorn, and refreshments go to Horizons for Youth, a 35 bed youth-shelter dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk youth in Toronto.

MLB reports:  Having attended Michigan and with your father a doctor, a little birdy told me that you were looking at a career in medicine yourself. True or False?

Drew Taylor:  True. I ended up passing on professional baseball out of high school to attend university as I wanted to become a doctor. After finishing my undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Michigan, I was signed by the Blue Jays. At the same time I signed I had sent in my application to medical school. I was accepted and had to make a tough decision. I decided that I would have the chance to go to medical school after playing, but only had one opportunity to play professional baseball.  Thus I continued to play ball. I didn’t want to lose any momentum in medicine, so I applied to the University of Toronto and continued graduate school in the off-seasons. While with the Phillies and now playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Intercounty League, I have been completing my PhD. I will finish this year and will be applying to medical school again.

MLB reports:  How many more years to you see yourself playing baseball?  When your playing career is done, do you see yourself staying in the game and in what capacity?

Drew Taylor:  I will continue to play as long as I enjoy the game and my arm holds up. I broke my elbow this past year and it was a long season of rehab before I was back pitching again. I finished the year strong so it rejuvenated my desire to keep pitching. Once it is over for good I would like to stay involved with baseball and sports in general. My PhD is in Biomedical Engineering and ultimately I want to pursue a career in Orthopedic Surgery, possibly even specialize in upper extremity to compliment my experience dealing my own injuries. My dad is the team Physician for the Toronto Blue Jays.  I would love to follow in his footsteps and serve a professional team.

Thank you again to Drew Taylor for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports.  We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Drew.  As well, please follow Drew on Twitter (@DrewWTaylor).

**Some of the photographs in today’s feature are from the private collection of our guest, Drew Taylor. **

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

James Shields to the Reds for Alonso and Grandal: July 31st MLB Trade Deadline Rumor

Saturday July 23, 2011

MLB reports:   We are now only eight days away from the MLB non-waiver trade deadline and the rumors continue to fly fast and furious.  Along with the Carlos Beltran and Heath Bell sweepstakes, the names Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Willingham, Brandon League, Hunter Pence and Hiroki Kuroda have been tossed around as possible candidates to be moved next week.  Another big time name has recently been thrown into the mix that we will be looking at today.  James Shields, “big game James”, one of the top starting pitchers on the Tampa Bay Rays may very well be playing for a new team very soon.  The Cincinnati Reds are apparently calling and with big prospect bats sitting on the farm, the Reds may very well have the necessary bait to haul in one of the biggest fishes on the trade market.

The 29-year old James Shields was drafted by the Rays in the 16th round of the 2000 MLB draft.  Shields made his major league debut in 2006.  Here is a quick rundown of his lifetime statistics:

Year W L ERA IP H BB SO WHIP
2006 6 8 4.84 124.2 141 38 104 1.436
2007 12 8 3.85 215.0 202 36 184 1.107
2008 14 8 3.56 215.0 208 40 160 1.153
2009 11 12 4.14 219.2 239 52 167 1.325
2010 13 15 5.18 203.1 246 51 187 1.461
2011 9 8 2.53 156.1 118 40 151 1.011
6 Seasons 65 59 4.02 1134.0 1154 257 953 1.244
162 Game Avg. 13 12 4.02 224 227 51 188 1.244

 

A definite innings-eater, James pitched almost 1000 innings over his first five seasons, making him one of the most consistent and reliable pitchers in the game.  A lack of run support has definitely hurt Shields over the years, as he had the numbers to obtain more wins had the Rays offense been able to support him better.  I have watched too many instances of Shields pitching complete or near complete game losses, despite only giving up 2-3 runs per game.  2009 and 2010 were not kind to James in some ways, as some analysts viewed Shields as having hit his peak and starting to decline.  Going into 2011, nobody knew what James Shields the Rays would be getting.  The steady ace that the team enjoyed for the majority of his career or the 2010 inconsistent version.  Looking at Shields at the halfway mark of the season, he is enjoying by far his greatest season in the majors.  A sparkling 2.53 ERA and 1.011 WHIP, Shields has been everything that the Rays could have expected more.  But with success comes many questions, with the most pertinent being what the Rays should do with James.

The whispers and talk has been growing by the day that the Rays may be looking to move Shields by July 31st.  The Reds have been the team most linked to the Rays, given their desire to bolster their rotation and the deep farm of prospects they can offer the Rays.  The Reds are sitting on some of the top prospects in the game that are currently blocked at the major league level.  Yonder Alonso, 1B/OF is considered one of the best hitters not at the major league level.  Alonso would represent the centerpiece of a potential Shields deal.  Born in Cuba and having attended the University of Miami, Alonso is often compared to his friend Alex Rodriguez, based on his combination of power and patience at the plate.  Not bad company at all.  The 24-year old Alonso was drafted 7th overall in the 2008 draft by the Reds and has quickly advanced in their system.   Currently in AAA, Alonso sits at a .297 AVG, .871 OPS, with 12 home runs and 46/59 BB/K.  The Rays, desperately in need of bats, currently have Casey Kotchman manning first.  Alonso would be a perfect fit in taking over the first base job for the next decade.  He is a special hitter that does not come along very often.  While a pitcher of Shields stature is not easy to replace, the Rays would be filling a huge void in their lineup by adding Alonso.  Dealing from strength to fill a need is smart baseball management and the reason why we are discussing the trade of Shields today.

In addition to acquiring Yonder Alonso, the Rays would be adding a number one catcher to their system in either Yasmani Grandal or Devin Mesoraco.  I have seen both names thrown around, but my gut is that the Rays will end up receiving Grandal.  Mesoraco was featured by us back in June.  The likely Reds catcher of the future, Mesoraco is expected to get the call either this year or next at the latest to replace incumbent Ramon Hernandez.  With a solid backup in Ryan Hanigan, the Reds have an abundance of catchers, a strength considering that few major league teams have potential superstar backstops playing in their lower levels.  The 22-year old Grandal was born in Cuba and played in Miami, similar to Alonso.  Drafted 12th overall in the 2010 MLB draft, Grandal recently got the call to AA.  Mesoraco on the other hand, is 23-years of age and was drafted 15th overall by the Reds in the 2007 MLB draft.  Mesoraco is back for his second tour of duty in AAA, hitting a solid .309 and .895 OPS, with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs.  After battling injuries in his career, Mesoraco hit a combined 26 home runs over 3 levels last season and has not slowed down since.  The Rays would be thrilled to receive Mesoraco in a Shields trade, but Grandal is considered by many to actually be the more talented backstop.  A win-win either way for Tampa Bay.

But why trade Shields and especially, why now?  Many Rays fans are asking themselves those questions right now.  On the surface, Shields and the Rays look like a perfect fit.  He is young and still in the prime of his career.  Shields has proven to be healthy and durable since joining the Rays.  He is signed through this year, with team friendly options through 2014 at $7, $9 and $12 million per year respectively from 2012-14.  In baseball they say you can never have too much pitching.  If that is the case, then some feel the Rays should consider stockpiling their pitchers and building their team from strength.  But that is a narrow view of major league teams and how they operate.  Let’s take a look at our five top reasons for the Rays to trade James Shields right now:

1)  Sell at the Peak

You never know what the future will bring, so sometimes it is important to live in the moment.  Shields, while a steady and consistent pitcher, is currently pitching at the highest level of his career.  The Rays will need to determine if he has truly broken out or merely playing above his head.  The value for Shields may never get higher than it is today.  As well, teams contending for the playoffs may be willing to pay more at the deadline than the offseason for Shields.  The Rays, if feeling especially lucky, could request the addition of either Mike Leake or Travis Wood to the trade mix from the Reds.

2)  Numbers Game:  Rotation Log Jam

The Rays have been known for acquiring, developing and stockpiling pitchers in their system.  This past offseason was no different, as the Rays traded away top starter Matt Garza to the Cubs for a package of prospects, including Christopher Archer and Sam Fuld.  With Jeremy Hellickson ready, willing and able to join the big club, the Rays needed to clear room for their next future star pitcher.  Hellickson, combined with David Price, Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann form a formidable one through four punch in the rotation.  Based on their age and salaries, none of these starters will likely be going anywhere soon.  While Alex Cobb has been brought in for temporary measure to the majors, Matt Moore just got the call to join AAA Durham in anticipation of joining the Rays rotation soon.  Moore, one of the top-five pitching prospects in baseball, will not likely be kept on the farm too long given his dominance over minor league hitters to-date.  That is how the baseball system works.  Prospects are developed and either traded for veterans or take over for departed veterans from major league teams.  As the Rays have no intention of trading Moore, a spot will have to open up for him.  Unfortunately for James Shields, he is the veteran most likely to go.  From there, it will only be a matter of time before Archer is ready to join the big club and the cycle will continue.

3)  Dollars and Cents

It is no secret that the Rays are on a very tight budget.  Low attendance figures, despite continued recent major league success including a World Series appearance in 2008, has meant that the Rays cannot afford to hang onto high priced veterans.  Shown the door in recent years were Carlos Pena, Matt Garza and Rafael Soriano, among others for financial considerations.  While James may have what is considered a team friendly contract, paying him close to $10 million or so per year for each of the next three seasons does not work for the Rays budget.  Moore, combined with Alonso and Grandal, would fill three positions for the Rays at a combined salary that will be a fraction of what Shields makes.  In other words, Shields is a luxury that the Rays cannot afford and can fill quite adequately within at a cheaper cost.  While we do not like to think about the economics of the game, it can drive roster decisions on the same level as talent and ability.

4)  Innings- Wear and Tear

James Shields is starting to enter a zone that many MLB teams dread.  The 200-innings per season for over five seasons club.  While an informal group, there has been much talk in baseball circles that most pitchers after their first 1000 innings pitched have a high risk of injuries and decline.  Pitchers like Brandon Webb and to a lesser extent Ben Sheets, are shown as examples of modern pitchers that have arm/shoulder problems after pitching many major league innings over a span of 5+ years.  While Shields has not shown any risks yet of developing injuries, his numbers going into this season were of concern for the Rays.  So while Shields is having a Cy Young caliber season, the Rays may be fearful that he will be susceptible to injuries or declining performance very soon.

5)  Pitchers Need Run Support

In the same way a fast car needs a powerful engine and reliable tires, a major league team needs both offense and strong pitching.  The current build of the Rays is starting to mirror the San Francisco Giants.  Great young pitching but not enough hitting.  The Rays can stockpile as much pitching as they like, but if they cannot score runs they will have a difficult time making the playoffs, let alone win a World Series title.  Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal are two superstar bats in the making that the Rays desperately need and do not have in their own system.  The expression goes that teams “develop pitching and buy bats.”  In this case, the Rays will be taking to buying the bats that they themselves cannot produce.  With a starting lineup of nine hitters, that Rays will be instantly filling over 20% of their lineup by way of this trade.  The hit the rotation by losing Shields would be absorbed by the addition of Matt Moore to the major league club.  But the boost to the team’s offense as a result of the addition of Alonso and Grandal is invaluable.

Verdict:  The bottom line is that the Tampa Bay Rays are in a quandary.  James Shields is the heart and soul of their pitching staff, the go-to guy who has earned his nickname of “big game.”  But as the most expensive starter on the staff, with the team’s top prospect almost ready to receive the call to the show and the team desperately needing good young hitting, the Rays have no choice but to consider moving Shields at the trade deadline.  As the team is still in contention, management will have to be careful of not sending a message that they are throwing in the towel on the season.  But to get the biggest reward, the team will have to pay a big price.  It will be difficult in the short-term to accept the trade of James Shields from Tampa Bay.  But considering the hitting that the Reds would be sending to the Rays, this is a deal that the Rays cannot afford to miss out on.  Keep an eye on Tampa Bay as the team will continue to improve, get younger at a competitive payroll come deadline day and still remain in contention.  If this is truly James Shield’s last week in a Rays uniform, please be sure to catch his last start live or on television from Oakland this coming Wednesday July 27th.  With Desmond Jennings and Dane De La Rosa just recalled by the Rays from AAA, the cycle of player and prospect replenishment has already begun again in Tampa Bay.

 

 

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Top 5 Closers Available at July 31 MLB Trade Deadline

Friday July 22, 2011

 

MLB reports:   The MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is rapidly approaching.  With only nine days to go, MLB teams need to decide if they are buyers or sellers.  Right up until July 31st deadline, the baseball world will be buzzing on potential deals.  While transactions can occur after July 31st, the respective players will need to first pass through waivers, which makes trades more difficult to happen.  Especially in the category of closers, who are sought after by almost every team.  Whether to obtain a 9th inning stopper or upgrade their middle relief, the majority of MLB teams are currently on the prowl.

There are some contending teams would love to add a closer, including the Rangers and Cardinals.  The host of other teams battling for a playoff spot are ready to take a current closer to pitch the 7th or 8th inning.  To win today in baseball, you usually need 2-3 closer-type pitchers in your pen.  The Brewers recently added Francisco Rodriguez to compliment John Axford.  The New York Yankees signed Rafael Soriano to pitch in front of Mariano Rivera, although David Robertson has since grabbed the role.  True closers will always be in demand and teams with playoff aspirations will always find room for these guys on their rosters.

As the line between buyers and sellers becomes less blurry, we take a look today at the top five closer candidates to be traded by the July 31st MLB Trade Deadline:

 

1)  Heath Bell:  San Diego Padres

The Rolls Royce of available closers, the Padres are talking to teams on a daily, if not hourly basis on the availability of Heath Bell.  Nearly every team has been linked to Bell in the past few days, from the Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies, Red Sox, Jays and Tigers.  The prize of the closing market, expect the Padres to demand a king’s ransom for his services.  At least two top prospects, with one being major league ready should get this deal done.  With 28 saves and a 2.45 ERA, the 33-year old Bell is having another fantastic campaign before his impending free agency.  The Rangers and Cardinals are most in need of a closer, with the Rangers the most likely destination based on availability of prospects.  The Rangers have the superior farm system and could match up best with the Padres.  The Phillies and Jays are the dark horses according to reports and need to decide if they are willing to pay the price.

 

2)  Brandon League:  Seattle Mariners

A first time All-Star in 2011, Brandon League has raised his stock this year and given the Mariners an interesting trade chip to work with at the deadline.  League has chipped in 23 saves already this year, with a 3.35 ERA and 1.088 WHIP.  With a team friendly contract and under team control for another season, League should draw much interest on the market.  St. Louis seems like a logical choice, as the Cardinals will be looking for a long-term solution to their closing woes.  I cannot see the Mariners dealing in their division and having to face League next year with the Rangers.  A top prospect or two middle prospects should make this one happen.  With the Mariners far out of contention and in complete rebuild mode, a top closer seems like a luxury that the Mariners cannot afford at the moment.  The Mariners need offensive help and need it quickly, with League being one of many candidates likely to leave Seattle by July 31st to replenish the farm system.

 

3)  Frank Francisco, Jon RauchOctavio Dotel, Jason Frasor:  Toronto Blue Jays

If Heath Bells is a Rolls Royce, the Blue Jays are running a used Ford dealership in their bullpen.  Frank Francisco is like a used mustang with transmission problems, while Jon Rauch is a pickup truck without the V8 engine.  The Jays have assembled a collection of the middle-of-the-road closers and setup men this year in their bullpen.  Francisco will likely draw the most attention, despite his mostly awful numbers this year.  At 31-years of age and throwing big time heat, Francisco still has potential.  Rauch has served as the Jays closer for much of the year and could be in demand as well.  Octavio Dotel, the eldest member of the pack, has bounced around during his major league career and could be a useful trade deadline pickup.  The most effective reliever though for the Jays has been Jason Frasor and a smart team should consider him.  While the Jays are unlikely to offer any true closers to contending teams, there are middle relief candidates to be had.  Expect the Phillies to come calling and pickup one of the above.

 

4)  Kevin Gregg:  Baltimore Orioles

For those teams that like to play with fire, closers don’t get more dangerous than Kevin Gregg.  A 4.00 ERA and unsightly 1.583 WHIP are not numbers that scream out lock-down closer.  Gregg has shown though the ability to get hot at times during his career and will be considered by many teams over the next week.  Signed through next year, the Orioles will look mainly for salary relief in shedding Gregg’s contract.  Personally, I wouldn’t consider Gregg if I was running a team.  But somehow he will likely move by July 31st.

 

5)  Leo Nunez:  Florida Marlins

Another up-and-down closer in the Gregg mold, Leo Nunez is quietly having a very solid season for the Florida Marlins.  Up to 27 saves, with a 3.22 ERA and 1.187 WHIP, Nunez might actually be the best affordable option on the closers market.  The Rangers and Cardinals will sniffing around here, as will the Red Sox, Indians and Tigers.  As the Marlins and Tigers have matched up well before in trades, I can see this swap happening.  The Tigers have the ability to surrender a decent pitching prospect and can use Nunez down the stretch as Valverde insurance.  With the Tigers in contention and the majority of their bullpen being fairly unstable for most of the year, Nunez might be a late inning option that the the Tigers can ill-afford to miss out on.

 

Send us your comments and opinions on available closers for the trade deadline.  Other names thrown around have been Joakim Soria, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Andrew Bailey and Brian Fuentes.  The trading of players, especially closers, is especially reliant on the competitiveness and status of a team in the standings.  With so many teams still in their respective races, there are not as many top bullpen arms available at this point in the season.  But come August, as more teams continue to drop out, expect to see even more trade activity.  Exciting times, as the MLB pennant races continue to heat up, and baseball trade talk is on everyone’s lips.

 

 

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