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June 11, 2014

Top 50 Dynasty League Prospects

2014 Draft Edition

by Bret Sayre

In some ways, it’s a chicken or the egg argument as to whether the growing popularity of the MLB draft is leading to the boom in dynasty leagues, or whether the boom in dynasty leagues is leading to increased interest in the draft. Either way, it is much more common today for fantasy owners to pay attention on draft day, to get a glimpse of the players they are either going to be drafting later this month, this off season or throwing out at auctions in three-to-five years.

There has been much talk over the last year or so about the quality of this draft class, and while it certainly is great for major league organizations, it’s not ideal for those fantasy owners picking at the top of dynasty drafts. What this class makes up for in incredible depth, it lacks in potentially elite fantasy talent at the top. This means that instead of 2014 being a great year to be picking at the top of draft (sorry, those of you who were tanking to get Rodon last year), it is a great year to have multiple selections. Last year, Kris Bryant was the slam-dunk no. 1 option among Rule 4 draftees, but this year offers no such clarity. It also didn’t help that a few choice players in the top-10 went to organizations that are big detractors from their fantasy value. Just taking two examples, if Alex Jackson had gone to Colorado and Kyle Freeland to Seattle, there would be more net fantasy value in the draft. However, the opposite happened and we are now left in the balance by a combination of those rough home parks and the organizations’ abilities to develop those types of players in recent history.

Before we get down to the specifics of the list, let me state the obvious: if you are looking to read about these prospects in detail and get a great sense of who they are from a scouting perspective, you need to be reading what Nick Faleris has been putting out on the site over the past few months, and check out his video library. What I am able to do here, with fantasy valuations, is made possible by the work that Nick and the rest of the prospect team are doing in covering these players. In other words, I am the CliffsNotes, they are the Shakespeare.

So with the 2014 First Year Player Draft now in the books, it’s time to take initial stock of how the players involved rank from a dynasty league perspective. It’s also important to keep in mind that a lot will change between now and January (when the final 2014 signee list will come out)--especially because the pushed up signing deadline will get more of these prospects into games sooner. The economics are relatively simple, like all of the other dynasty lists you see at Baseball Prospectus, this assumes a medium-sized mixed league (14-16 teams) with one catcher spot. It also presumes that you can keep a player forever without price or contract consequences.

Anyway, the list awaits.

1) Carlos Rodon, LHP, Chicago White Sox (Round 1, Pick 3)
Rodon’s stock has taken a tumble over the last four months, but it’s quite impressive that even a downtrodden Rodon tops this list. If the summer 2013 version of him shows back up, he’s a slam dunk top pick here--and it’s in there somewhere. No one else in this draft (hitter or pitcher) boasts the combination of upside, floor and ETA than Rodon does--and those are all very important in the fantasy world.

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

BP Comment Quick Links


A wise man puts Stinnett on the list, less he has no concern for his own throat. :)

Jun 11, 2014 03:50 AM
rating: 1

How high would the Cuban kid Castillo be on this list? Any other international players expected to sign this season that are worth keeping an eye on?

Jun 11, 2014 08:03 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

This draft is deep enough that he'd probably slide into the 15-20 range. You never know with Cuban players who haven't already defected, like Jorge Despaigne (who is a name to store in the back of your mind), but two guys coming from Asia (Jeong Choi from Korea and Kenta Maeda) are both worth monitoring for fantasy. They could each carry some immediate value upon arrival (if they come for 2015).

Jun 11, 2014 10:15 AM

If you were to provide a guesstimate, how many of these guys are no brainers that would make next years BP Top 100 list? How many might make this top 100 list?


Jun 11, 2014 09:37 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

On the low side, I'd say about 15 players from this list will be on the top 100 fantasy prospects list at season's end. On the high side, it could be over 20. Feels like the no-brainers end around Beede for me.

Jun 11, 2014 10:17 AM

im surprised spencer adams is only honorable mention.... he is supposed to be one of the more projectable arms in the class; a highly athletic kid just starting to devote himself to baseball full time who already hits 95 and features a plus slider.

whats your take and thoughts for moving him down so far?

Jun 11, 2014 10:03 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

He is a good, projectable arm, but his inclusion in HM isn't a red mark, it's a sign of the depth of the class. He'd be in the 25-30 range of the two most recent classes, and it's his rawness and ETA that pushes him out of the top-50. Some prep arms I like (him, Sands and Gatto) could have certainly been included in that last tier, but were excluded because of the general risky nature of second-tier prep pitchers for fantasy.

Jun 11, 2014 10:21 AM

I always appreciate your dynasty work, DL. It comes in handy.

Jun 11, 2014 12:19 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff


Jun 12, 2014 10:20 AM

Surprised to see Burdi that high, just because of his landing spot. When would you realistically expect him to have the opportunity to record saves in Minnesota? (Or, maybe in other terms, when do you anticipate Glenn Perkins goes the way of most relievers?)

Jun 11, 2014 13:38 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

Could be as soon as next season, as you never quite know when closers are going either going to lose effectiveness or leave town. Burdi could be one of the 10 best relievers in the game at peak, so even if he doesn't close, he may still carry decent value.

Jun 12, 2014 10:19 AM
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