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9 Prospects to Target in Your Dynasty League (Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 3, 2019

Jesus Luzardo is expected to play for Oakland in 2019 and is worth trying hard to trade for

Whether you prefer redraft or dynasty leagues, prospects matter. Each year in redraft leagues, there are one or two who stand above the rest, where owners are inclined to get them at any cost. Often when this situation happens, owners will pass up proven valuable assets for these prospects because of the hype around them. We call this the shiny toy syndrome.

In dynasty leagues, though, it’s a different battle. Most of the top prospects are owned, and you’ll find yourself trading proven talent for prospects depending on the makeup of your team. Every dynasty owner wants to own Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Kyle Tucker, and Wander Franco

Acquiring these players, though, requires a massive overpay. But if you want your guy, go and get them. Let’s, however, take a look at some other prospects that you should look to acquire that won’t require your first born as payment.

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Nick Senzel (3B – CIN)
Remember, this isn’t strictly a buy-low article or an article trying to discover prospects that you don’t know about. If so, Senzel wouldn’t be on here. This is all about acquiring an impact prospect. 

He’s still a consensus top 10 prospect, but I do think there are some owners who don’t value him that same as they did heading into 2018. After battling vertigo and surgery on his left elbow, Senzel didn’t make the splash to Cincinnati that many had hoped he would. Senzel was moving around the field in hopes of playing outfield if needed in Cincinnati, but he’s now blocked there too after the Reds acquired Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig from the Dodgers.

With the hurdles in his way, now is actually a good time to ask on Senzel for a decent price. Aside from Guerrero, he has the best hit tool in the minors, and the comparisons to Alex Bregman hold true. Mind you, the comparisons were Bregman before he exceeded his own expectations, but you’re looking at a future second- or third-round pick in redraft leagues with Senzel.

Jordyn Adams (OF – LAA)
A toolsy prep outfielder on the Angels? You don’t say. Similar to Jo Adell, the Angels’ top pick in 2017, Adams is another high-school bat with all of the potential in the world. Adell put on a good showing in 2018, putting him in the conversation as a top 15 overall prospect rather quickly. 

If Adams can replicate the same success, we may be looking at two Angels outfielders in the top 20 prospects at this time next year. A 2021 outfield of Adams, Adell, and Brandon Marsh will ease the blow in the post-Trout years in Los Angeles.

Jesus Luzardo (SP – OAK)
I don’t do pitching prospects. I just don’t. They aren’t worth the investment, and it’s much easier to trade for pitching at the big-league level than it is to pass up farm bats for arms. That being said, once the pitchers are an inch away from the majors, I’ll see what the market is to acquire them. The hype is typically out of control before they make their debut, and since pitchers usually take longer to adjust to the majors, it’s better to make an offer after a few rough outings.

One pitcher who can contribute in 2019, but also has big hype surrounding him is Luzardo. Billy Beane said that he expects Luzardo to contribute in 2019 for Oakland. There’s an outside shot that he earns a rotation spot out of spring training, but May or June seems more likely.

Luzardo has three-plus pitches and is as polished as any pitching prospect can be. He’s one of the rare arms that is worth ponying up for.

Vidal Brujan (2B – TB)
2018 was a breakout year for Brujan, as he stole 55 bases in High-A. He’s a small guy, but Brujan can hit double-digit home runs. If you’re in a roto league, this is a guy you want to target before the rest of your league catches on. Steals are becoming more and more scarce.

Taylor Widener (SP – ARI)
Do you know who led all minor leaguers in strikeouts last year? It wasn’t Luzardo, Michael Kopech, or any other big-name flamethrower. It was Widener with 176. 

He was advanced from Double-A last year, so this is a big year for him to prove himself in Triple-A and, ultimately, Arizona. He looks to soon be a fixture to the Diamondbacks rotation at a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, and he can be had for practically nothing in your league.

Alex Kirilloff (OF – MIN)
Other than Franco, no prospect saw his stock rise last year more than Kirilloff. He missed 2017 after Tommy John surgery, but showed no signs of rust in 2018. There is a lot of Christian Yelich in Kirilloff.

Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TB)
Peter Alonso gets all of the love, which is understandable, but Lowe may be equally as good, but with a better hit tool. You’re looking at a 25-homer guy who will hit .300 and take a walk. Why pay up for Alonso when you can get the same production at a discount with Lowe?

Keston Hiura (2B – MIL)
Hiura is the poor man’s Senzel…and that’s not a bad thing. Hiura has the best bat in the minors outside of Senzel, and his power only looks to be developing more and more to mid- to late-20s power. Think of prime Dustin Pedroia but with more pop. Sign me up.

Chris Paddack (SP – SD)
Paddack put together a ridiculous stretch in 2016 where he had a 0.80 ERA in 42.1 innings in Single-A between the Marlins and Padres. He then fell victim to Tommy John, but he came back as strong as ever in 2018 with a 2.08 ERA in 90 innings. The Padres are going to manage his workload in 2019, but Steamer surprisingly has him for 74 innings with a 3.55 ERA and 9.34 K/9 for this upcoming year.

Best-case scenario, he’s the ace of your fantasy team for years to come. Worst-case scenario, he’s a dominant, multi-inning reliever ala Josh Hader. I hope Fernando Rodney was worth it to give up Paddack, Miami.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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