A look at how the amateur and international players drafted and signed over the past year should stack up in your drafts this spring.
At this time of year, the focus in dynasty leagues is squarely on two things: the yearly draft and polishing off those last few keeper spots heading into the new season. Usually, these two are very intertwined, especially when it comes to off-season trading—and knowing both the depth and pressure points of the draft class can help you figure out the best course of action for your team. After all, not all draft picks or classes are created equally.
It’s easy to look back at last year’s class—specifically, last year’s list—and see that this is a great year to have multiple draft picks. We’ve known for quite a while that the 2014 class was extremely deep, but when you look at the last five or so names from last year’s list, it’s not exaggeration to say that those players (at this time last year) might have struggled to fit into a top-75 now. In fact, while three members of the J2 class from 2013 made that list, no member’s of last year’s made this one. Some of that may have been due to the talent of Rafael Devers, Eloy Jimenez, and Gleyber Torres, but then again, it’s not like Gilbert Lara, Adrian Rondon, and Juan De Leon are chumps either.
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Tomorrow, we will all flip the calendars to 2015, at least for those of you who still have physical calendars. Or have multi-year calendars, since you’d likely just trash the 2014 one and move on. Do they even make multi-year calendars? Or 16-month calendars? I swear that used to be a thing. Regardless, without wasting any more time on my calendar knowledge (or lack thereof), we’ve reached the time when the combination of fantasy football season being over and the hot stove slowing down to a warming drawer brings keeper deadlines, auctions, and drafts. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, despite what Andy Williams or Nissan might say—and we’re going to start preparing you in full force on Monday.
A lot of the content we will be rolling out over the next three months will be familiar to subscribers, as most of it started last year. However, with more staff this time around, we will be supplementing that with additional articles that will really allow us to dive deeply into each position. And speaking of our increasing staff, here are some names that you’ve already likely seen on the site, but will be seeing more of in the future:
Another year, another almost middle-of-the-road season for the Mets—who have now won between 74 and 79 games in each of the last five seasons. However, over the last four, the direction of the franchise has been noticeable and it’s reflected in the blurbs that make up this fantasy preview. Even in an age of diminishing offense, the Mets have gone from allowing 742 runs in 2011 to 709 to 684 to 618 runs in 2014. What the organization has lacked in producing homegrown hitters, they’ve done their best to make up for on the mound—and with the specter of a Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard playoff rotation dangling in the future, they find themselves without the necessary offense to make it a reality.
It’s been a very quiet off-season so far for the Metropolitans, who signed Michael Cuddyer and John Mayberry and have otherwise sat on their hands. They also haven’t been rumored for any big name free agents, with the exception of Korean superstar Jung-Ho Kang (who may or may not be a shortstop—stop me if you’ve heard that before with this organization). Additionally, in what appears to be a yearly rite of passage at this point, the Mets are also moving the fences in yet again at Citi Field—this time solely in right-center field. While this could be mildly good news for the left-handed sluggers on the team, it’s unlikely to make a substantial difference.
Injuries doomed the Reds to a fourth-place finish in 2014, but there are still four fantasy studs in the Queen City.
The Reds were coming off two straight 90-plus win seasons heading into 2014, and featured almost exactly the same roster that had vaulted them to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 1976 (if you consider losing the Wild Card Game a playoff appearance). However, Bryan Price’s first season as manager was filled with injuries and disappointment—leading to 76 wins and a distant fourth-place finish in the NL Central.
Fortunately for the Reds, returning talent in 2015 is the easy part. Keeping it collectively on the field and productive is going to be a different story. And while they’ve been involved in trade talks for an outfielder—usually dangling one of their soon-to-be-free-agent pitchers—any 2015 success in the Queen City will be heavily based on the names you know bouncing back to the levels you’re accustomed to. And that won’t be helped by their farm system either, which despite having some interesting players, isn’t set up for immediate contribution.