Notes on Connor Seabold, Colton Hock, Quinn Brodey, and possibly other guys who sound like they wear critter pants.
Connor Seabold, RHP, Cal State Fullerton
Seabold is a slender right-hander with a relatively narrow frame that has some projection to it, though there isn’t quite as much there as you’d expect out of a 6-foot-2 kid that’s barely scraping 175. The delivery features elasticity and notable coordination, with fluidity through a high, sweeping leg kick. There’s notable spine tilt into a deep arm swing, and he’ll get late on occasion. But the arm gets compact and is lightning quick to release. He repeats pretty well to drive above-average command projection. He lived off the fastball in this start, as he has in previous starts I’ve seen of his, sitting 91-93 all night with an occasional cutter in the 87-88 range. The pitch gets quality sink and finishes with some late life, and he was able to move it around and above the zone consistently all night. The command was especially strong to the arm side in this start, though his feel to work the whole of the zone was on display. He worked in the occasional upper-70s breaking ball, which can show a fairly round shape. He mostly deployed it as a chaser, and he struggled to start it consistently enough in the zone when he did. He dropped one would-be changeup at 83, as well, though it was a lost pitch. The fastball and feel are the draws here, as his heat is the type that can miss barrels consistently without premium velocity. I’ve yet to see the makings of a strikeout pitch from him, but he projects well as a durable ground-baller who generates weak contact.
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A deeper dive into the pool of future fantasy contributors at this position.
Bret just up and ranked the top 125 outfielders for dynasty league play, and those will be running at the beginning of next week. To wet your whistle in the meantime, we've got a whole bunch of guys who either didn't make his cut or have a good shot to next year. Before you jump in, a very important disclaimer, given the vast seas ahead of us in this series: there are probably like three dozen other potentially useful players I could’ve justified writing about here, but this column already pushes the boundaries of time, space, and our editorial staff, so eventually I just have to hang up the ol’ digital autopen. Happy to talk about anyone else in the comments. Previous pieces in this series can be found here:
A deeper dive in search of future fantasy contributors at this position.
And now, we graduate into the real red meat sections of the series. This week’s look at shortstops, followed by upcoming digs into the outfield and starting pitcher mines, will produce limited space. The six spot draws the most elite athletes the low minors and amateur ranks have to offer, and the dynasty-relevant depths of the position extend accordingly well below some of the positions we’ve traversed so far. You can find the rest of the series here: catchers, first basemen, second basemen, and third basemen. And as always, before proceeding down low, be sure to check Bret’s Top 50 for the position.
There’s just an absurd amount of prospect talent floating around already at the position, and there’s a larger infusion coming in the next draft class. There’s some interesting depth to the college shortstop ranks entering the season, though no potentially elite players with separation from the rest of the class. The high school class, however, has a whole bunch of talent that at least currently occupies the position, and I’ve highlighted a couple potential first-rounders below.
A deeper dive into the fantasy future at this position.
Now we start to get to the good stuff. We’re getting far enough along on the defensive spectrum that we’re starting to see some depth below the deep. Whereas catchers are inherently shaky investments in dynasty leagues, and both first- and second-base ranks tend to swell later on with good bats that fail more demanding positions, third base has its share of lifers. The position boasts a fairly deep prospect pool right now, with notable strength in the last two draft classes. That’s where I’ve concentrated the bulk of the notes below, with another 25 names (plus Will Middlebrooks) beyond Bret’s Top 50 for the position. Here are the previous columns in this series for catchers, first basemen, and second basemen, along with last year’s article for the position.
A deeper dive in search of long-term fantasy contributors at the keystone.
Second base is another of the more difficult positions to predict future value at, as the cream of the prospect crop typically comes later on in the form of failed shortstops moving off the position. But there’s certainly a niche of bat-first types with weak arms that have begun to populate the early ranks with, dare I say, increasing frequency in more recent years, with a couple prep keystoners even landing in the top round of some recent drafts (Forrest Wall in 2014 and Jesmuel Valentin two years prior). Bret covered the best of the bunch today in his Dynasty Top 50 for the position, while the best of the rest are belong, along with some of the shining lights for your radar heading into the draft-eligible amateur season. In case you missed the first couple incarnations of this series you can find my deep-league look at catchers here and first basemen here.
Back-Up Types, But In (Or Close Enough To) Their Primes!
A deeper dive into the fantasy future at this position.
Predicting future first basemen of relevance can be a tricky endeavor, as the position tends to be a landing strip for failed defensive efforts elsewhere, and true-to-form first basemen face exceedingly high natural barriers to success. After we muddle through the veteran re-treads theoretically capable of making mixed-league runs and generating some modicum of 2017 value, we’ll moved on to some longer (and longer still) term discussion. There’s enough power among the veteran prospects who fell short of Bret’s Top 50 list to warrant some turned heads, with a couple of A-ball guys sitting under Shaw who I like for watch lists in even medium-depth leagues this year. Unfortunately, last year’s draft class was especially brutal for first-base talent, with all of two guys drafted as cold cornermen garnering so much as a $200,000 bonus. But then there are some intriguing names on down the 2017-and-beyond line, and organizational purview will of course add depth to this list as the season wears on and hope for more polished leather wears out.