Top 100 MLB Sophomore Dynasty Rankings
With the new year in place, most dynasty drafts are about to get underway. Whether you play in a standard sized league, or a deep league with 900 rostered players, this list of 100 should do the trick. On the far right of the tables, you will see their estimated ADPs for 2018, which as you’ll notice, does not entirely control a player’s dynasty value. I’ve broken the 100 down into seven tiers and will both define the tiers and breakdown one more controversial player from each grouping.
League Award Tier
Each of these six players are special enough that the Hall of Fame could potentially be in their future. Chances are, only one or two will fully realize their potential and sustain that level of play long enough to make Cooperstown, but the matter of the fact is that these guys have ridiculously bright futures. I named it the League Award Tier because I think it is more likely than not that each of these players will compete for an MVP or Cy Young award at least once in their careers.
- Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD): Last year as a rookie, the 6’4″ righty had some rough stretches which led to a season-long 4.57 ERA, but his peripheral stats suggest much better is on the horizon. The difference between his 10.9 K/9 and 6.9 H/9 was only topped by five starting pitchers: Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Rich Hill and Robbie Ray. Sure, he needs to work on his command and consistency a little, as most youngsters do, but that is mighty impressive company.
Much like the previous group, these are the players who I expect to play on an all-star team at some point in their careers. That isn’t to say that they are all a lock, but I’d put the odds above 50% for each of them. In most cases, we have only seen flashes of excellent play at the major league level, and in some cases, not even that, but each of these 11 players is a former top prospect and has the skill level to be a top 60 fantasy player at some point in the next five seasons.
- Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS): Most will scoff that he is not 10 spots higher after posting a sparkling 2.38 ERA and sub 1.00 WHIP in 45 innings last year. After all, he was a former top 5 prospect, right? While that is true, it is not necessarily accurate to regard him as such at the time he re-entered the majors. Giolito may be 6’6″ and 255 pounds, but he has lost several ticks off his fastball and no longer has the stuff to strike out 200 hitters in a season. In fact, last year his 6.8 K/9 was in the same range as Clayton Richard and Jason Vargas, which is a far cry from Cy Young territory.
Strong Regular Tier
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if two or three of these sophomores ended up all-stars or if one with serious potential (Glasnow or Swanson) morphed into a superstar, but more likely, these are your 6th to 12 round pick types. Some will be more reliable than others, of course, but for at least a handful of years, each of these players should prove quite helpful to fantasy teams.
- Chad Green (SP – NYY): There are many mysteries to be found throughout the top 1o0, but perhaps none more than Green, who was hardly a prospect and will attempt a transition to the rotation this year after a spectacular 2017 in the pen. Green performed well in the minors, but was never overly dominating. Last year, however, he may have flipped a switch, posting 103 Ks in 69 innings and allowing just 34 base hits. We will find out quickly if he belongs in the all-star tier or is better suited for a back-end bullpen role for the remainder of his career.
Useful Regular Tier
There is serious potential sprinkled throughout this tier, but each comes with legitimate question marks. Will Edwards ever got a shot in the rotation? Will Paulino’s stuff still be there once he is healthy? Will Brian Goodwin ever get his chance to shine with that loaded Nationals’ outfield? There are also a handful of low-ceiling players that have already displayed major league competency like Mancini, Haniger and Freeland. What it comes down to, is that while I don’t anticipate these players being perennial top 100 fantasy picks, I’d bet on each being fantasy relevant in standard leagues for at least a handful of years.
- Jeimer Candelario (3B – DET): You won’t see the 24-year-old drafted in most standard leagues this year, but you can bet he will be a hot pickup after a few weeks of starting for the Tigers. Prior to last season, he was a top 100 prospect who always hit well in the minors. He was dealt to the Cubs and most people seem to have forgotten about him because he had a BABIP driven .265 BA in Triple-A before he was called-up. While Jeimer isn’t a star in the making, Detroit may have another Travis Fryman on their hands.
|45||Carl Edwards Jr.||RP||CHC||190|
Standard Fringe Tier
There isn’t much to like in this tier for standard leagues this season, and half of these players will never get over that hump, but each has the upside to emerge into a quality big league player. If you are in a dynasty league, monitor these names closely if they aren’t drafted because it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone who follows closely if any of these names leap a tier or two by the all-star break.
- Jack Leathersich (RP – PIT): We only got to see 5 major league innings out of the 27-year-old last year because he was bouncing back from surgery. What the leather rocket has done in the minor leagues, however, is post video game-like numbers. He has 462 career strikeouts in just 278 innings. To put that into perspective, Chris Sale has “just” 378 in his past 278 innings. Granted, that is against Major League hitters, but that’s why Leathersich is merely fringe. If he gets ahold of a closer job, he might end up the best in baseball someday.
Fantasy Hopefuls Tier
There isn’t much to suggest that any of these players will ever be more than afterthoughts in standard fantasy baseball leagues. Several of them once had more significant potential, but the writing is on the wall. Others have already been mediocre MLB players as rookies, but don’t have any upside beyond what they have displayed. With all of that said, each year we see one or two players from this tier bust out into quality big leaguers and even stars. Jose Ramirez, J.D. Martinez, Jonathan Villar and Corey Kluber are just a few of the many names who have accomplished the feat.
- Drew Steckenrider (RP – MIA): If I had to bet on one player breaking out, it would be the 26-year-old reliever for the Marlins. At the moment, Brad Ziegler has the job and he is in countless trade rumors. Plus there is the fact that 25 closers lose their jobs every season. When it inevitably happens in Miami, Steckenrider may jump right into the role and never look back. His 14 K/9 trailed only Craig Kimbrel, Delin Betances. Corey Knebel, Kenley Jansen and Trevor Rosenthal last season.
Lost Cause Tier
Don’t waste your time on anyone in this range unless you are in the deepest league known to mankind or a simulation league where Yandy or Camargo’s splits versus lefties will prove beneficial. You may hear or remember something positive about one of them every so often, but that does not negate the fact that you chasing a rainbow. 90% of players in this tier will be out of the league in less than 5 years, and only once in a blue moon will one prove to be a wise investment.
- Parker Bridwell (SP – LAA): You may see a 10-3 record with a 3.64 ERA for a rookie and think he must be something pretty good. We are talking about someone with a 4.74 ERA through 8 minor league seasons and just 5.5 K/9 last season. The odds of him ever becoming a top 100 pitcher are virtually zero. His peripherals last season indicate that his ERA should have been north of 5.00. Perhaps most importantly, the Angels are not even planning to include him in their six-man rotation and that should tell you everything you need to know.
Thanks for reading, and remember that you can shoot me a prospects question or any dynasty question any time on twitter.