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Dynasty Prospects to Consider Trading Away (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 28, 2022
MLB Dynasty Sixto Sanchez

Sixto Sánchez is a risky player to roster in fantasy baseball dynasty leagues.

A few days ago, I wrote about prospects you should look to acquire in your dynasty leagues. It’s fun to dream on prospects, and it’s fun to hang onto them for that magic moment when they finally debut and they turn into everything you hope they’d be.

Unless, well, they don’t.

Part of dynasty leagues is knowing not only who to acquire, but who to ship out and when.

It’s hard to know how to value prospects. I wrote about this in 2020, but for a quick overview, Baseball America did a piece in 2019 looking at the success rate of top-100 prospects who became future All-Stars. They found that 61 percent of All-Stars from 2009-2018 were once top-100 prospects.

I tend to look at prospects in tiers. Top-10 prospects are near-locks to be above-average to elite contributors. Eleven to 25 are above average. Twenty-six to 50 are average. From 51 on, it’s a coin flip, and there’s not much that separates 51 from, say, 150. It’s personal preference at that point.

But even with those top prospects, it doesn’t mean you can’t deal them. In fact, one of the best times to trade a prospect is the day they debut. It’s when their value peaks.

If they haven’t debuted yet, you can highlight players with a lot of helium that will increase their perceived value — whether it’s true value or not.

Below, I identified six players I like (two I love) whose values are on the upswing where I can command a king’s ransom, and also a couple of players whose red flags are sticking out to me whereas I don’t want much to do with them.

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Eury Perez (SP – MIA)
But Slim, what if you win? Will it be weird?

But Mike, didn’t you just write about Perez in your prospects to acquire?

Damn right I did, and I have nearly enough shares to rival Philip Rivers’ family in a game of backyard football.

We’re also talking about one of the fastest risers in the dynasty community. It’s easy to see why, too. The 6’8″, 200-pound Perez has a dominant fastball with a plus-secondary pitch in his changeup, and a developing curveball. He’s also with the Marlins, who are my favorite organization from which to target arms.

What’s working against him? He’s a pitcher, first off, and he’s 18 years old. If there’s one thing that’s never disappointed us in fantasy, it’s an 18-year-old pitcher.

The ceiling is sky-high for Perez, but he’s a few years away, at best, and there’s so much risk in rostering a teenage arm, which have the lowest success rate in baseball.

Find someone in your league who loves Perez (like I do) and offer him in a deal.

Anthony Volpe (SS – NYY)
Speaking of risers, Volpe has ascended toward the top of prospect lists (real-life and fantasy) after his breakout 2021 season.

Volpe, a first-round pick in 2019, slugged .604 in Low- and High-A last year with 27 home runs and 33 steals. He’s not going to be an elite base-stealer, but he has one of the safest — that’s not a bad word, folks — profiles for fantasy. A .290 batting average with 30 home runs and 15 steals are on the table. 

Fantasy managers know it, too, and they are ready for him to debut — which will likely happen in September for a cup of coffee. With the hype behind him, as well as the Yankees tax, Volpe can fetch you an elite win-now piece if you’re contending. I believe in the profile, but I also believe in winning leagues. 

Elly De La Cruz (2B – CIN)
De La Cruz is a Twitter fantasy favorite, and if you want someone to talk you into him, tweet at @baseballpods, as Chris is the leader of the fan club. 

De La Cruz went from obscurity to being a hands-off prospect for the Reds, and it’s easy to see why. He’s extremely talent with emerging power and elite speed. The only question is how the 20-year-old’s hit tool will develop.

I have a few shares myself, and the profile is one to dream on. But there is a ton of hype around De La Cruz right now, which presents a great trading opportunity.

Matt Brash (P – SEA)
I am a Matt Brash fan. I really, really took notice of him in 2021, when he posted a 6-4 record with 142 strikeouts in 97.1 innings for a 2.31 ERA. 

Brash’s slider is lights-out, and while he is a two-pitch pitcher (with a show-me changeup), that elite pitch can carry him as a starter. 

Depending on who you talk to, Brash is either going to be an elite starter or an elite reliever. Because he carries that reliever risk, I wouldn’t mind capitalizing on the hype as a close-proximity prospect for someone who doesn’t have as much role uncertainty.

Asa Lacy (SP – KC)
Lacy was in discussion to be the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, but he fell to fourth overall. It was a good landing spot, and honestly, he looks like a frontline ace who can deliver the 200 innings you want.

But last year, albeit in 52 innings, he was bad.

I don’t care about the 5.19 ERA. I care about the 41 walks and the 1.58 WHIP.

It doesn’t matter how many innings you throw if you can’t hit the strike zone. I’m not abandoning Lacy altogether, but you’ll end up selling him for pennies on the dollar later in the year if he can’t find his control.

Sixto Sánchez (SP – MIA)
Sánchez is coming off a shoulder injury that forced him to miss last season. According to Craig Mish, reports on his rehab progress are not optimistic.

Shoulder injuries are a major red flag for pitchers. While Sánchez has dominated in the big leagues, I’m worried about how he’ll look (particularly his velocity) when coming back. What’s more, the Marlins have a ton of pitching options they can turn to if Sánchez struggles or if the organization feels he needs more time.

This will go one of two ways for dynasty managers with no in-between. Either Sánchez comes back with no problem, or he’s irrelevant in a couple of years. I’m risk-averse, so I’d look to flip him now while he still has the majority of his perceived value. 

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

Dynasty, Featured, Featured Link, MLB, Prospects