Archive for Prospects

Thrifting with Prospects

Last week I did a podcast where I went thrift shopping with The BAT X to find some bargain players with strong projections, but this isn’t that. Maybe I could’ve come up with a different name to avoid the potential confusion, though this intro should suffice. What we are doing here today is checking out some prospects who have seen their prices plummet.

Oftentimes prospects are super hyped before they even step foot on a major league field as we can dream on them and wishcast them to be the next huge breakout from day 1. That love is fleeting, though, and when a prospect struggles upon arrival the fantasy community has been known to turn their back on them swiftly and severely. It’s on to the next one for so many which creates a buying opportunity if you still believe and you usually should as these prospects are rarely given a real sample of work before sinking down draft boards.

All five of these one-time mega prospects are going pick 250 or later and have fewer than 500 MLB plate appearances under their belt. They might not hold quite as much hype as they did at their peak while prospects, but there is still a lot of upside in all five bats.

Gavin Lux – 2B – LAD | 2021 ADP: 251 | Last Top 100 Rank: #2 (2020)

Lux has just 151 PA over the last two seasons, posting just a 76 wRC+ with 5 HR and 3 SB in that time. His ADP has dropped nearly 100 picks from last year due in part to the lack of instant success and the fact that he doesn’t have a clear hold on playing time heading into 2021. The continued presence of Chris Taylor and re-signing of Justin Turner leave Lux on the bench hoping for a super utility sort of role, though manager Dave Roberts brightened the outlook in early March with comments about his playing time:

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Peripheral Prospects of 2019, but for 2021

In 2019, Brad Johnson and I published a weekly series in which we, each on a semiweekly basis, identified three or four or five players in the Minor Leagues who (1) had not appeared on previous top-prospect lists and (2) appeared to us to be capable of producing admirably, perhaps significantly, at the big-league level at some point for fantasy purposes.

Because of an actual force majeure (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic), Peripheral Prospects was rendered temporarily null as the Minor League Baseball season was cancelled. Alas, we published nothing about peripheral prospects. But that does not mean peripheral prospects did not thrive! Peripheral prospects indeed thrived.

I figured it would behoove me to not only review my favorite peripheral prospects from the end of 2019 but also highlight my favorite (existing) peripheral prospects heading into 2021, before a whole new batch of peripheral prospects is anointed. Yesterday, I revisited my 10 favorites from 2019; today, I’ll highlight another 10 eight whose progress I’m eager to monitor in 2021.

Presented in chronological order (and not by favoritism):

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Peripheral Prospects of 2019, but in 2020

In 2019, Brad Johnson and I published a weekly series in which we, each on a semiweekly basis, identified three or four or five players in the Minor Leagues who (1) had not appeared on previous top-prospect lists and (2) appeared to us to be capable of producing admirably, perhaps significantly, at the big-league level at some point for fantasy purposes.

Because of an actual force majeure (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic), Peripheral Prospects was rendered temporarily null as the Minor League Baseball season was cancelled. Alas, we published nothing about peripheral prospects. But that does not mean peripheral prospects did not thrive! Peripheral prospects indeed thrived.

I figured it would behoove me to not only review my favorite peripheral prospects from the end of 2019 but also highlight my favorite (existing) peripheral prospects heading into 2021, before a whole new batch of peripheral prospects is anointed. Here, I’ll revisit my 10 favorites from 2019; next time, I’ll highlight another 10 whose progress I’m eager to monitor in 2021.

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2021 Re-Draft Top 25/Dynasty Top 200

Prospects have become increasingly key to winning re-draft fantasy leagues. They have always been major in-season acquisitions, but now they are more prevalent than ever at the draft table. With more fantasy managers knowing the prospects who are likely to make an impact in that season, the battle for their services has become much more fervent, leading some to just stash them for a month or two rather than take the chance of being able to pluck them off the wire once they are called up and risk losing them.

These rankings are now available on The Board on the 2021 Fantasy Rankings tab, where you can also see the Top 200 Dynasty Rankings!

The average draft position (ADP) data used is for 12-team NFBC Online Championship leagues that have a standard 23-man roster and 7-man bench with no IL spots.

Randy Arozarena | TB, OF | Top 100: 4; ADP: 58

Arozarena’s playoff run (10 HR, 1.273 OPS in 86 PA) is getting all the attention, but it is worth noting that he put together a great 1.022 OPS with 7 HR and 4 SB in his 76 PA during the regular season. Throw in a healthy set of projections that have him flirting with or putting up a 20/20 type season, and the 26-year old has surged into the top six rounds of most drafts, regardless of size. The surprising jump in power production did bring a hefty 29% K% in the regular season, though he trimmed it to 22% in the playoffs, and that rate seems more likely given his minor league track record. The power/speed production gives him a strong floor even if the strikeouts are more of a problem than anticipated. The price is high, but the upside is massive and at 26 years old, he is close to being a finished product.

Ian Anderson | ATL, SP | Top 100: 13; ADP: 104

It is hard to have a better debut than what Anderson managed in both the regular season and the playoffs. He steamrolled through six starts in the regular season with a 1.95 ERA and 1.08 WHIP across 32 IP only to then drop 16.7 innings of scoreless ball in the playoffs before the Dodgers finally clipped him for a pair of runs in the third inning of his Game 7 NLCS start. I am a sucker for a prospect arm with a strong changeup and Anderson’s is the best pitch in his arsenal. Eric graded it as a 70 while the fastball and curveball are both average or better, aided by a deceptive delivery that kept batters off balance. He is a key piece for the Braves and there is no reason to believe he won’t break camp with the club. Read the rest of this entry »


2020 Prospect Opportunities — Rockies

Alas, we finish our 2020 Prospect Opportunities series discussing potential opportunities for prospects to earn starting jobs at positions currently manned by a player at risk of losing his job if his poor play continues. Last team up is the Rockies.

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2020 Prospect Opportunities — Padres

Today, we continue through our last division, as we finish our series in the National League West to discuss potential opportunities for prospects to earn starting jobs at positions currently manned by a player at risk of losing his job if his poor play continues. We’ll move on to the Padres.

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2020 Prospect Opportunities — Giants

Today, we continue through our last division, as we finish our series in the National League West to discuss potential opportunities for prospects to earn starting jobs at positions currently manned by a player at risk of losing his job if his poor play continues. We’ll move on to the Giants.

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2020 Prospect Opportunities — Dodgers

Today, we continue through our last division, as we finish our series in the National League West to discuss potential opportunities for prospects to earn starting jobs at positions currently manned by a player at risk of losing his job if his poor play continues. We’ll move on to the Dodgers. LOL at the notion they have any players that might be at risk of losing their starting job due to poor performance. They have literally no players, whether a hitter or a pitcher, that would fit the criteria I have been using for this series. So, I will just discuss a handful of prospects who should be kept on fantasy radars.

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2020 Prospect Opportunities — Diamondbacks

Today, we finally get to our last division, as we finish our series in the National League West to discuss potential opportunities for prospects to earn starting jobs at positions currently manned by a player at risk of losing his job if his poor play continues. We’ll begin with the Diamondbacks.

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2020 Prospect Opportunities — Reds

Today, we continue along in the National League Central to discuss potential opportunities for prospects to earn starting jobs at positions currently manned by a player at risk of losing his job if his poor play continues. We’ll move on with the Reds. The team benefits well from the addition of the DH, as it helps alleviate the logjam of outfielders and offers more playing time opportunities to players that deserve them.

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