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2017 MLB Sophomore Dynasty Rankings

Feb 3, 2017


Buxton missed the mark last season but could be in store for a breakout season

Last year, we saw another impressive young rookie class. No, it wasn’t the same quality as the class that produced Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, Lance McCullers, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Joc Pederson, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, and Miguel Sano, among many others in 2015, but still quite good.

What I’m going to do today, is break down the top three long-term pieces from this sophomore class, three guys that I expect to rise up the ECR considerably over the next few seasons, then three players I expect to bust in the same time frame. Then, at the bottom, you will find my top 40 sophomore rankings for dynasty leagues.

*A sophomore is anyone who lost their rookie eligibility last season by surpassing 130 career at bats or 50 career innings pitched.

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The Top Three

Corey Seager (SS, LAD)
Prior to entering the big leagues, the Dodgers’ 6’4″ shortstop knocked 75 extra-base hits in just 118 games while batting .349. There has never been a doubt that the kid can hit and his raw tools suggest he should take another step or two forward. He is already a top-20 fantasy asset, but one day he may just join the likes of Trout and Kris Bryant near the very top.

Byron Buxton (OF, MIN)
The Twins and everyone in baseball thought Buxton was going to be a gem, hence the ranking of top overall prospect in baseball, then he has proceeded to bat just .220 with 12 homers in his first 138 games. That doesn’t quite mean he is out for the count, however. Buxton has been playing through injuries and has the skill set to bat .280 with 20 homers and 60 stolen bases in this league so don’t give up on him now. He started to showcase that in the second-half with an .812 OPS as just a 22-year-old.

Alex Bregman (3B, HOU)
Going into last season, some considered Bregman a top 20 prospect while others weren’t too sure, then he surged forward, batting .306 with 44 extra-base-hits in 80 games despite being one of the youngest players in the league. That stretch made many consider him to be the top prospect in baseball and he showed some glimpses of that ability in his 49 game MLB debut. He has the makings of a 35 HR, .290 batting average type of player like Josh Donaldson, though reaching that potential is quite the challenge.

Helium Talents

Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX)
The Rangers have been loaded with top prospects over the past five years from Jurickson Profar to Rougned Odor to Joey Gallo, so it is easy to understand why Mazara was quietly a top 15 prospect, especially with his pedestrian numbers. Last Spring, it became apparent that even at just 21 years old, he could cut it in the Big Leagues. He started his career by batting .300 with 9 homers in his first 160 at bats then cooled off. The potential for him to consistently knock 35 to 45 homers in a few years is within him.

Julio Urias (SP, LAD)
When we watched the Dodgers’ shiny new lefty mow down 84 batters in 77 innings, it was easy to forget he was just 19 years old. Dominating older hitters is nothing new for the kid, though, he posted a 1.40 ERA with 10 K/9 in the minor leagues before his call up. Urias should be expected to improve upon his 3.74 ERA this year on his way to becoming a potential Cy Young winner a few seasons from now.

Jose Berrios (SP, MIN)
Why are we so tempted to continue getting down on players after a disappointing short sample size? Berrios did post an 8.02 ERA in 58 big league innings with 35 walks, but that isn’t the type of pitcher he truly is. Rather, he is the guy who was a consensus top 20 prospect who struck out 175 hitters in 166 innings with a dynamite ERA and who throws several nearly unhittable pitches when he is on. If he can tap into that ability in the bigs, he should be a top 50 fantasy asset someday.

Expected Busts

Gary Sanchez (C, NYY)
You may be sick of hearing me talk about The Kraken on the FantasyPros Baseball podcast but I will do everything in my power to ensure none of our listeners/readers make the mistake of reaching for a guy who had a mediocre OPS with 78 strikeouts in 365 minor league at-bats last year before losing his mind and swatting more homers in 53 big league games which is more than any season he has played in so far. He is going to come screeching back down to earth and I don’t want to own him when he does.

Michael Fulmer (SP, DET)
Say what you want about Fulmer’s deception or poise. In fact, I’ll probably agree with you, he has the makings of being a solid big league pitcher, but that doesn’t change the fact that his underlying statistics scream major ERA regression. What’s more is that he didn’t even strike out a batter per inning the minors so his K’s in the majors are probably limited to 160, which will never enable him to become a prime fantasy asset.

Aledmys Diaz (SS, STL)
Delvin Perez will likely push the weak defending Diaz off of shortstop in a few seasons, but for this year, his fantasy stock should go backwards even though he will retain his positional eligibility. We can expect a drop in HRs, RBI, R and especially batting average from his BABIP driven .300 performance.  Consider that Diaz never once posted an OPS over .784 in the minors or batted even .280 and you’ll understand why I’m skeptical that he can come anywhere close to repeating his 2016 breakout campaign now or anytime soon.

Check out all of our 2017 fantasy baseball player profiles >>

The Top 40 Rankings

Rank Player Team Pos 2016 ECR 2019 Proj
1 Corey Seager LAD SS 16 5
2 Byron Buxton MIN OF 183 20
3 Alex Bregman HOU 3B 79 30
4 Nomar Mazara TEX OF 186 35
5 Julio Urias LAD SP 170 40
6 Trea Turner WAS CF/2B 18 45
7 Trevor Story COL SS 34 50
8 David Dahl COL OF 87 60
9 Sean Manaea OAK SP 174 65
10 Dansby Swanson ATL SS 192 70
11 Edwin Diaz SEA RP/SP 104 75
12 Blake Snell TBR SP 256 80
13 Jon Gray COL SP 157 85
14 Willson Contreras CHC C/OF 108 100
15 Dylan Bundy BAL SP 298 110
16 Steven Matz NYM SP 142 120
17 Jameson Taillon PIT SP 149 125
18 Jose Berrios MIN SP 372 130
19 Archie Bradley ARI SP 408 140
20 Gary Sanchez NYY C 65 150
21 Hector Neris PHI RP 274 160
22 Tim Anderson CWS SS 235 170
23 Max Kepler MIN OF 275 175
24 Michael Fulmer DET SP 117 180
25 Jose Peraza CIN SS/2B/OF 240 190
26 Orlando Arcia MIL SS 338 200
27 Mallex Smith TB OF 376 210
28 Kyle Barraclough MIA RP/SP 348 220
29 Mychal Givens BAL RP 501 250
30 Raul Mondesi KC 2B 350 280
31 Aledmys Diaz STL SS 132 290
32 Michael Feliz HOU RP 502 300
33 Tommy Joseph PHI 1B 205 320
34 Tyler Naquin CLE OF 270 340
35 Joe Musgrove HOU SP 315 350
36 Ryon Healy OAK 3B 161 360
37 Ryan Schimpf SD 2B/3B 255 380
38 Chris Devenski HOU SP/RP 352 400
39 Keon Broxton MIL OF 201 425
40 Zach Davies MIL SP 287 450


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