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May 27, 2014

Dynasty Dynamics

The U25 Top 150, Part Three

by Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein


To read the previous editions in the rankings series, click below:

We’ve done it, Internet. We’ve compiled a Big List of Players just for you.

Craig and I have spent the past six weeks breaking down each division, forming individual top-30 U25 dynasty rankings and comparing those lists with some witty (read: tired) commentary in each installment. We’ve also been debating each list on TINO, with the help of Dear Leader Bret Sayre and Mauricio Rubio, and have fielded many questions and concerns on Twitter and via the comments section, too.

Now, Craig and I have combined forces to form a collaborative top-150 list meant to give dynasty leaguers a concrete view of where we think each player’s value lies at this point in time. This is a great exercise because it forced Craig and I to defend players we love and form cogent arguments (a new experience, to be sure) against players we dislike, and I know I’ve personally changed my evaluations of a few prospects and post-prospects through this process.

That being said, we’re still going to provide you with a few tidbits of our own personal feelings about these rankings, and we strongly encourage you to ask us questions in the comments below. We still disagree on some of these players, but overall I think we’ve come to a happy, reasonable consensus.

As always, players will have to be born after April 1, 1988, to qualify, and just like with the preseason lists, there is of course an element of subjectivity that comes with these rankings. But unlike the preseason lists, these rankings are all about fantasy.

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Related Content:  Fantasy,  U25

26 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

majnun

I was a little surprised to see Hosmer so high. Is that me being impatient, or so this upside-related? The lack of power used to be balanced by the steals, but he's abandoned that aspect of his game (maybe).

RIP Ventura :-(

May 27, 2014 05:02 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

It might be Craig and I being too patient. We originally had Hosmer even higher than this, but at a certain point we need to recognize the reality of his lack of production. I still think he's going to put it together and explode, but Craig and I are out on a limb on this one.

May 27, 2014 05:15 AM
 
wjmcknight37

Completely agree. A power hitter with a career 52% GB rate? It will be very difficult for the power to ever arrive. Without the power developing, he's a second division 1B and probably shouldn't even be in the top 150 at all.

May 27, 2014 12:36 PM
rating: 0
 
eadyankee

Jose Fernandez behind Shelby Miller is a bit surprising. What's the rationale there? Concern for Jose returning from TJ sucfessfully?

May 27, 2014 05:05 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

Yes. The rate of success with TJ is such that we don't have to knock Fernandez too badly, but we can't just assume complete recovery, either. Before the TJ, Fernandez was No. 3 on this list.

May 27, 2014 05:14 AM
 
eadyankee

Thanks for the reply. Really sad to lose Fernandez to TJ for all of baseball -- and for all dynasty owners (such as myself).

May 27, 2014 08:10 AM
rating: 0
 
eadyankee

Javier Baez at #10 overall seems a tad aggressive. He is understandably talented, but putting him over Buxton is a bit shocking, given all of the Trout comparisons I have heard raised for Buxton and Baez's rough 2014 start. Could you provide some insight into why Baez is in the top-10 here over more proven commodities like Freeman, Myers, Teheran?

May 27, 2014 08:05 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Part of the reason for Baez over Buxton is that Buxton derives a fair bit of his value as a prospect for his defensive prowess, which is appreciated but not nearly as valuable in a fantasy format. There's also the fact that Buxton is in High-A versus Baez in Triple-A, and Buxton has missed most of the season with a wrist injury, and I don't think it's all that aggressive to have Baez in front right now. As for Baez's rough start, I think he's in the process of correcting that. We believe in the talent and the ability to make adjustments.

As for the more established options, my reasoning would be that the ceiling outweighs theirs. There's an argument to be made that he won't reach that ceiling, and I'm open to that. If you wanted to take Freeman over Baez, I get it. But we're talking a potential 35+ HR bat at shortstop, with a batting average that won't hurt you. That's a rare thing, and as good as Freeman is, 1B is a little deeper when it comes to impact bats.

Again, that's our (or at least my) reasoning. I don't think it's crazy to prefer a Freeman/Myers/etc, though.

May 27, 2014 08:20 AM
 
jonjacoby

Was this list done before the news on Jurikson Profar being out longer than expected? if yes, how far did he fall as a result and if not how much of an adjustment would be made?

May 27, 2014 08:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Yes it was but it doesn't really drop him that much. Maybe behind Fernandez? That's a maybe. He's still 21, and he'll likely still play this season. The lost value for those 2-3 months sucks, but if we're looking at his long term value it just doesn't change much.

May 27, 2014 08:28 AM
 
nzach54

Um. Lindor?

May 27, 2014 08:57 AM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

Uh, he's at 69

May 27, 2014 09:15 AM
 
Nojsztat

Check list 51-100

May 27, 2014 09:17 AM
rating: 0
 
NightmareRec0n

I think MadBum is ranked a bit low. I don't really see an difference between him a Chris Sale or Gerrit Cole for example.

I was actually going to make the same #hotsportstake as Ben. I might have actually ranked Stanton ahead of Harper. Stanton has already shown the elite power Harper is suppose have. Harper is somehow more injury prone than Stanton and he is reaching that point where 15 SB might be more likely than 30. We all love Harper because he has the "one of these years is going to go bonkers and hit 50 HR and steal 20 bases". But Stanton is practically doing that right now. He could reasonably end up with 45 HR and 10 SB this year.

May 27, 2014 10:55 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Well, Sale strikes out more batters and walks fewer than Bumgarner. Allows fewer hits on a per nine inning basis throughout his career too. Oh, also a lower career ERA. He's done all of the same compared to Cole and has proven he can carry an ace's workload, something we expect of Cole, but that hasn't been proven yet. Yes, the differences in those stats are minor, but you're splitting hairs, so I will too.

As for Harper vs Stanton, I don't think that's a mistake at all. I'll agree with Ben that he might drop in the future, but I still firmly stand behind the ranking now. He's three years younger than Stanton, and while Harper is hurt now and Stanton isn't, Stanton missed 39 and 46 games each of the last two years and has more concerns about his build than does Harper. I'd still argue that Harper's injuries are mostly freakish - especially the thumb injury, though if you want to argue about style of player, I'll listen.

May 27, 2014 11:04 AM
 
NightmareRec0n

Thanks, I probably would still rank Harper ahead of Stanton for now, but that could change by the end of the season. And I might take just done it for hot take that is fairly defensible because it is approaching that tipping point.

Because on your Manny Machado "drop": Do you view him that differently than Rendon? They both seem like high average/15HR/doubles guys with projection for more power. Machado is younger, but Rendon has a more advanced approach that is might take Machado two years to develop. I know Machado has the higher ceiling, but he isn't there yet and I feel like he is a case where is real life value is creeping into fantasy.

May 27, 2014 11:58 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

I'm not exactly sure how to answer that. You basically spelled out the differences between them (ceiling), though no, I don't think his ranking here has anything to do with real life value (Rendon is phenomenal at 3rd as well). If you're asking me who I'd take over the next 3 years, it's probably Rendon by a hair. I do think Machado has more than 15 home run power though and I think it could be substantially more, hence his higher ranking.

May 27, 2014 12:04 PM
 
David Jackson

Poor Mike Moustakas.

May 27, 2014 16:51 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

There are some serious risk factors around Shelby Miller and Mark Appel, that I don't think are being factored into their rankings fully.

May 27, 2014 21:09 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

This is a helpful comment.

May 28, 2014 05:27 AM
 
evo34

Yours? One of the least helpful I've seen on this site. Might be more "helpful" to your readership if you defend ranking a guy 22nd overall who has regressed significantly over his first 250 IP in MLB -- so much that his own team didn't want him anywhere near the mound last post-season.

I think both players I mentioned have a shot to be solid; I just think that each is significantly overvalued in this list because there is not enough upside to overcome the risk of being a bust.

May 28, 2014 21:13 PM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

It's hard to defend when you don't point out any of the risk factors but just say that they're there. You left me nothing to defend except to say "we did factor in risk factors" which isn't very helpful.

Miller hit a wall and had a sore shoulder so they didn't pitch him in the playoffs. I don't think that's something to get particularly worked up over, nor do I think it's worthy as a primary reason to dismiss a player of Miller's talent.

I'm not sure we can say this start to the season is "significant regression" more than we can say it's a "small sample size." His strikeouts are down and walks are up, but his hits allowed are about the same and he's been through a bout of bad starts before - where he *looked* awful as well - only to come back as the dominating force he was in the first half of last year.

Both Ben and I believe he can apply the same work ethic he did in adjusting previous to his current situation, and come out of it. It's certainly possible that he won't, but even if he doesn't he can be a useful fantasy asset, hence his ranking.

If you think otherwise, so be it - there's certainly a case to be made for that - but you also haven't yet mentioned one risk factor except to say that "they exist." What are their risks of being a bust? What qualifies as bust to you? Perhaps you're more risk averse than we are (though Appel is rather safe in most eyes), which is fine.

My comment wasn't particularly helpful, to be sure, but the point was that yours brought nothing to the table except you assuming we screwed up by ignoring something. If there's an issue that you're particularly concerned about, either Ben or I would be happy to address our thoughts on that issue and how we weighed it in the overall valuation.

May 28, 2014 21:23 PM
 
evo34

Allow me to spell out the main "risk": getting worse instead of better as your career progresses suggests that your future fantasy earnings are riskier than those of a player on a more traditional, upward trajectory.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=10197&position=P&page=1&type=mini

There is no greater red flag than that, yet by ranking him #22, you are essentially ignoring it. And then in your comment, you confirm your dismissal of his struggles by trying to attribute them to a "small sample size," and assuring us that his BABIP is "about the same" this season. I guess we should just ignore the fact that K/BB stabilizes long before BABIP?

The truth is his peripherals have not been good since last July, or 140+ IP ago -- i.e., for more than half of his career. Let's stick to quickly stabilizing stats. The average K%-BB% for an NL starter is ~12%. Here are Miller's last five full months:

July 13: 13.7%
Aug 13: 14.2%
Sep 13: 1.6%
Apr 14: 3.4%
May 14: 6.7% [estimated after tonight's game]

Total K%-BB% since last July (141 IP): 7.5%

How bad is that? Of the 65 NL SPs with 140+ IP across 2013-2014, a grand total of five of them had a K%-BB% worse than 7.5%.

So, yeah, that's implies just a touch more "risk" that I would tolerate in a supposed top 25 U25 fantasy property. The reason I didn't waste time/space with these stats in my original comment is because I think everyone here is already at least reasonably aware of the trend and how long it has been occurring. Maybe you are not. Or maybe you consider 140 IP to be a tiny sample for K and BB rates. I have no idea. Nor am I interested in engaging in any further argument over it. (FWIW, I'm actually rooting for Miller to turn it around).

As you may recall, I simply stated an opinion on two players you ranked, which for some reason triggered a snarky (non-)reply, followed by a depressingly shallow "defense" of your ranking: Small sample (incorrect) + injury (unsubstantiated, at best) + work ethic (no specifics), when mixed with a recently bottom-10-percent K%-BB% pitcher, sprouts the #22 most valuable U25 asset in fantasy baseball.

May 29, 2014 00:20 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Ah good, more assuming that I'm an idiot. Always the best place to start a conversation.

First and foremost "getting worse" isn't a risk factor. It's a thing that's happened but risk factors tend to be things that affect process. When you detail his K%-BB%, that is an example of a risk factor that I can respond to. When you just assume I ignore an unnamed risk factor, it makes it difficult to address your question.

Second, I'm aware he's been struggling since the second half of last year. It jives with what I said before which was that he hit a wall. You might find that a convenient explanation or dismissal and I'm understanding to that but it's the information that I've been told, and so I'm going with it. I apologize if that's not enough for you.

I, in fact, never mentioned BABIP. I was looking at hits per nine, not the most advanced stat, to be sure but it was in line with last year.

I'm not denying his struggles since July (well, September if you want to be honest since July/August were above average by your standard). I'm saying he hit a wall and has had a bad start, certainly. I am also saying that development isn't linear. Sometimes guys struggle once the book is out on them and need to fail before they adjust. I believe Miller makes that adjustment because he's shown adaptability before.

In terms of work ethic, I figured you knew about his horrible struggles at Triple-A in 2012 during the first half. The second half he rebounded thanks to some adjustments he made and earned a call up. My apologies for assuming you knew that.

As I said before, you might not believe that he does and that's fine. I didn't intend for my reply snarky but leaving an opinion (that was more of a criticism) with no explanation of what you're talking about isn't especially helpful. You could have said "I think you're undervaluing Miller's struggles dating back to last season.

May 29, 2014 05:36 AM
 
Silverback38

What makes the drastic difference to rank Russell and Lindor so far apart?

May 28, 2014 17:18 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

At least on my end - I think Russell can be a plus hit, plus power bat, whereas Lindor is probably something close to a solid average power type.

May 28, 2014 21:24 PM
 
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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Interleague Report: We... (05/27)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: The ... (05/20)
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Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Idea... (06/03)
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The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/27)

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