MLB Prospects to Acquire in Dynasty Leagues (2023 Fantasy Baseball)
The 2023 season is among us. Pitchers and catchers are about a month away from reporting. We finally have a regular off-season, and it has been nice not to worry about whether baseball will be played this season. The fun thing about playing in a dynasty league is that it is a year-round deal. In most dynasty leagues, you can make trades throughout the off-season. It creates buying opportunities before players take off. Today, I will highlight several prospects you should look to acquire in a dynasty league before their stock takes off.
Fantasy Baseball Trade Advice: Prospects To Acquire in Dynasty Leagues
Listed at 6’7/240 lb, James Wood is a beast. Considering his size, it is unsurprising that he brings big-time power to the table. What is impressive is his elite plate discipline considering his long levers. Only a couple of professional hitters had higher 90th-percentile exit velocities than Wood’s(109.2 mph), and those players don’t provide the same contact skills. Wood posted an 84.4 percent zone-contact rate and a 22.8 percent chase rate. He also chipped in 20 stolen bases in 76 games.
Wood was part of the Juan Soto deal that sent him from San Diego to Washington, but the move did not seem to phase him. He stepped in after the trade and slashed .293/.366/.463. He did miss time with injury in 2022 but finished the year with a .313/.420/.536 slash with 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases across 348 plate appearances. There is effortless 30-home run power with a solid feel to hit and even some speed in the profile. Wood is a player I want to acquire everywhere in a dynasty because he has a strong chance to be the top prospect in baseball after Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Carroll graduate.
It has been a rollercoaster of a journey for Jasson Dominguez but also for dynasty players who roster him. Everyone was all-in and had to draft him in FYPDs after he signed with the Yankees, and it seems like now everyone has jumped off the Dominguez train. After being deemed the second coming of Mike Trout, Micky Mantle, and Bo Jackson all combined into one player, the expectations were just too high. No player could ever step in those shoes and impress.
Dominguez’s professional debut was set back a year due to COVID and his first season in 2021 was slightly disappointing. This season, however, Dominguez has not gotten the love he deserves. He spent time in Low and High-A before getting a short stint in Double-A to end the year. He finished the year with a slash of .273/.376/.461. He added 16 home runs and 37 stolen bases. Eleven of his 16 home runs came after June 1.
His data was also quite impressive as he posted an impressive 106 mph 90th percentile EV and showed good contact skills. Dominguez’s hard-hit rate was a solid 42 percent, but he got to the power on the pull side. Jasson Dominguez is an excellent buy-low in dynasty, as he still has a ton of upside to offer.
The Jackson Merrill hype has steadily been building all offseason, but it may not be too late to acquire him in a dynasty league. Merill was the Padres’ top draft pick in 2021 at 27 overall. Merrill had a strong debut in 2021 but took off in 2022 despite just 250 plate appearances due to a fractured left wrist and a hamstring injury. Despite multiple injuries, Merrill still slashed .339/.395/.511 with six home runs and 11 stolen bases.
Merrill made elite zone contact last season and saw his exit velocity numbers take a huge step forward. He did add 30 pounds of muscle before the draft, so the power gain is not a surprise. The biggest issue is his ground ball rate, which was 59 percent last season. When I saw him in the Arizona Fall League, Merrill seemed to be working on adding more loft to his swing. Merrill could be on his way to being a top-ten prospect due to a unique combo of contact, power, and speed if this sticks.
If Emmanuel Rodriguez had not had his season end early due to knee surgery, he could already be a top-25 prospect. In Low-A this year, Rodriguez slashed .272/.493/.552. Yes, you read that right; he posted nearly a .500 OBP. In 199 plate appearances, he hit nine home runs and stole 11 bases. He walked 57 times and only struck out 52 times.
Rodriguez scorched baseballs and posted a 106.8 mph 90th percentile exit velocity which is elite in itself, but much more considering Rodriguez was 19 years old. He chased just 12 percent of pitches out of the zone. The biggest concern with Rodriguez is that he doesn’t swing the bat. He posted just a 32.7 percent swing rate last year. The lack of swings caused him to get deeper into counts, leading to more strikeouts. If Rodriguez gets aggressive, watch out. The power, plus OBP, presents an excellent opportunity for a large ascension up prospect rankings. A move into the top 25 is highly possible for the young outfielder.
Josue De Paula has the potential to be baseball’s biggest breakout prospect in 2023. As a 17-year-old, De Paula dominated the Dominican Summer League with elite contact and plate discipline. He posted a 91 percent zone-contact rate and a 19.8 percent chase rate. The power has not quite arrived, but again, we are talking about a 17-year-old hitter who just made his pro debut. The power will come with time. De Paula is a gifted hitter with a projectable frame at 6’3/185. The hype is out of control, but De Paula still may be considered a good buy in dynasty leagues as there is strong potential to rise to the top 25 or even higher if De Paula puts it all together.
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