Dynasty Players to Buy, Sell, and Hold (2019 Fantasy Baseball)
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Sometimes you have to make an uncomfortable move in dynasty leagues in order to reach the mountain top. This is a game, and the reason we play is to win. Be bold with your thinking and strategies when building your dynasty squad. Don’t be afraid to trade a player a year too early instead of a year too late. Similarly, don’t be afraid to roster that next big-time player a little bit too early. As long as you’re buying low and selling high, you’ll have a solid contender for years to come.
Brendan McKay (SP/1B – TB)
The next two-way baseball prospect appears to be on the cusp of the big leagues. McKay checks in at number 39 on FantasyPros’ Overall Consensus Prospect Rankings and isn’t showing signs of slowing down his rise. Through 66.2 minor league innings across Double-A and Triple-A, he owns a 1.22 ERA with 88 strikeouts and just 15 walks. The 2017 number four overall pick has four above-average pitches in his repertoire, keeping hitters off balance and allowing him to pitch deeper into games. His big curveball is his most effective weapon at this point, but the command of his pitches helps them all play up.
As if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, the Rays also view him as a hitter. His pitching is clearly ahead of his hitting at this point, though, as he had a .167/.256/.192 slash line with no home runs in 90 Double-A plate appearances. He’s turned things around since getting promoted to Triple-A, slashing .239/.375/.522 with four homers in 56 plate appearances. The Rays are definitely more concerned with his readiness from the pitching side while letting his hitting develop as he climbs the organizational ladder. There’s speculation that McKay could be called up within the next month, so get him in your dynasty leagues while you still can.
Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD)
Lamet was one of the most polarizing pitchers during the 2017 season before succumbing to Tommy John surgery. He threw 114.1 innings in the big leagues with a disappointing 4.57 ERA but huge strikeout numbers (28.7%). A 4.03 SIERA shows that he had some bad luck and was due for improvement in the ERA department. A glance at his minor league statistics back up the big strikeout returns, but it comes with some walks.
Nearing activation to the Padres rotation, Lamet is still striking out the world in his rehab outings, but they’ve been rocky to say the least. Control is typically an issue for pitchers when they return from Tommy John surgery, so it’s not surprising to see him permit seven walks in 19 innings. His most recent outing in Triple-A was much smoother, though, as he allowed just one run on two hits and one walk while striking out eight over five innings. I’m betting on Lamet’s huge strikeout upside and elite slider. Grab him now in your deeper dynasty leagues. In fact, I scooped him up in multiple leagues this week.
Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL)
It’s never easy to sell high on a top-20 player, but that’s just what I’m suggesting with Blackmon. He’s been a major fantasy contributor for the past six seasons, and he’s not showing signs of slowing down. Although he’s likely to hit over 30 home runs for the second time in his career this year, he’s essentially stopped stealing bases. That’s why he finds himself on this list. With this juiced baseball flying out of the park at a record rate, finding steals has become even harder. Balls were flying in 2017 as well, and that was the only year he’s hit over 30 home runs.
Blackmon is always going to contribute in the batting average department, but the baseball is a major factor in his power output. His .325/.371/.629 slash line with 18 homers is nearly impossible to give up if you’re in contention this season. If you find yourself on the outside looking in, see if you can get a haul of young studs for Blackmon. He turns 33 years old on Monday.
Corey Seager (SS – LAD)
Seager was one of the game’s bright young stars following an age-22 season in which he hit .308/.365/.512 with 26 home runs. Unfortunately, it’s been downhill ever since, as he’s failed to put together that kind of season again. He’s certainly not done at age 25, but he’s one of the most overrated players in fantasy baseball these days.
Seager missed almost 140 games last season due to elbow and hip surgeries, and his return to the lineup this season was pedestrian. He slashed .278/.359/.468 with eight home runs, which just isn’t special anymore in today’s hitting environment. A month ago I suggested holding on to Seager and waiting for a rebound, but after looking deeper, I don’t think that “rebound” will be worth the wait. I’m betting you can find someone in your league who still believes Seager will be a superstar someday. Find that person and make a deal.
Ketel Marte (2B/SS – ARI)
The fantasy baseball industry has been projecting a Marte breakout for years. Well, we’re finally seeing him do just that, as he’s hit .316/.364/.585 with 20 home runs so far in 2019. The long balls nearly double his career total entering the year (22), but it’s not all a product of luck. Yes, the baseballs are helping, but Marte’s power output on Statcast data on Baseball Savant shows us that he’s absolutely crushing the ball this year. His 90.5 mph average exit velocity is a full two mph better than last season, and he has also increased his launch angle by six degrees. That’s a recipe for success in the power department. I’m a big believer in Marte, and it would take a Godfather offer to pry him from my hands in a dynasty league.
Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB)
The long-awaited Glasnow breakout finally came at the beginning of 2019. The former top prospect had a 1.86 ERA with a 30.1% strikeout rate through his first 48.1 innings before hitting the injured list with a forearm injury. The initial timetable for a return was four-six weeks, but he suffered a setback this week and will be shut down for another three weeks. This is really tough news for Glasnow owners who were counting on him helping down the stretch.
I’d imagine the Rays will be very careful with him and not do anything that could risk his future. Still, I’m doing everything I can to hang on to Glasnow in a dynasty league. He has arguably the highest strikeout upside in the game and is still just 25 years old. We’ve waited so long for him to put it all together that I can’t just let him go until we know for sure that this is a long-term injury.