March 11, 2013
Top 100 Dynasty League Prospects
Part Two: 51-100
Before we begin, let’s make one thing clear right up front: This is not Jason Parks’ list.
At Baseball Prospectus, we are fortunate to have an amazing prospect team that truly keeps its collective nose to the grindstone both on the diamond and within major-league organizations. We used the research and knowledge of our prospect team judiciously while putting together this feature. However, from there, we used our collective fantasy experience to formulate a list that requires no interpretation for the fantasy player. There’s no work necessary in setting a player’s defense aside in order to figure out his true fantasy value, since we don’t care about the distinction between the defensive skills of Francisco Lindor and Xander Bogaerts. We just care about the “SS” next to their names.
First, there are a few disclaimers specific to the prospect list to go over before we jump in. Again, these rankings are for fantasy purposes only and do not directly take into account things like an outfielder’s ability to stick in center or a catcher’s pop time. Of course, these things do matter indirectly, as they affect a player’s ability to either stay in the lineup or maintain eligibility. So, while Austin Hedges may be a top-20 prospect on BP’s Top 101, this is due in large part to his defensive value, and you’ll see that he’s not on this list because his upside isn’t nearly as great for fantasy.
Additionally, home parks need to be factored in, just as they are when we discuss the fantasy merits of major-league players. Since A.J. Burnett’s fantasy potential increased greatly when he went from New York to Pittsburgh, we can’t pretend that these prospects operate in a vacuum, unaffected by park factors. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they will reach the majors with their current organizations, so although present teams are reflected in the rankings, they are not a heavy consideration. Most importantly, the intention of this list is to balance the upside, probability, and proximity of these players to an active fantasy lineup.
Within the list below, in addition to the write-ups, you’ll find important information about each prospect, including his potential fantasy value (in dollars) at his peak and the risk factor associated with his reaching that peak. Also, you will find a fantasy overview, which summarizes how many categories each player will be useful in, along with any fantasy that carry impact potential. For this exercise, we defined “impact” as having the potential to be in the top 15 to 20 players in a given category. For instance, hitters with 30-homer potential are considered “impact” performers in that department, while pitchers can earn the strikeout distinction by flashing the stuff necessary to whiff 200 batters in a season.
Finally, you’ll also notice that we have provided a spreadsheet (titled BPTop100) detailing useful information on each prospect, including both everything mentioned in the list and specific ratings for every player in each of the five major fantasy categories. Those category ratings are broken down, from highest to lowest, into Elite, Impact, Above Average, Average, Below Average and No Impact. Most of the categories are self-explanatory, but obviously some are context-dependent. With pitcher wins, it’s more about the ability of the pitcher to log quality innings. For runs scored, it’s more about on-base ability and the potential to hit toward the top of a lineup. More specific interpretation of what each rating means from a quantitative perspective can be found within the “Definitions” tab in the spreadsheet. (Please note that in order to access the spreadsheet, which is made available through our subscriber-only server, you will need to reenter your username and password.)