Dynasty League Review – Losing SUCKS
Here at Pitcher List, we thought it would be fun to give the readers a look into the dynasty leagues of Pitcher List staff members. Two weeks ago, I talked about trading for a superstar, my possible Blue Jays star and crappy relievers. This week, I talk about Danny Jansen, Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., and discuss some fantasy dynasty questions. Just as a point of reference, I go over free keepers and our MiLB system in my first dynasty post if you are unsure what some of the terms mean.
My team is in the midst of a phase. Having been a winning team in the last four years (in which I made the playoffs in all of them), losing has been a bummer. I’ve tried to build this squad for 2020 and so far it’s looking intriguing, yet still have some work to do. Having moved out a ton of prospects to acquire stars, I need to replenish my farm. So my plan for the next month or so will be searching for moves that help me grow my farm.
This week was some kind of mediocre. I went 0-2 only scoring 203 points, losing to both my AL East opponents (and probably wrecking my playoff dreams). My pitching was absolutely awful, allowing 24 ER in just 36.2 IP. Andrew Heaney had a two-start week but didn’t do much with it, having a 1.44 WHIP and allowing 6 ER in 11.1 IP. Thankfully, his changeup was used much much more, coming in at 19.8% and 28.9%. While the Angels never strike out, he showed versus the Athletics that he can still be a weapon, with a 17.3% swinging strike rate, the highest it has been in over four starts. He NEEDS the home run rate to drop though, as no matter how many swings and misses he’s getting, an almost 20% HR/FB rate will hold him back. J.D. Martinez was kinda low-key awesome as he has been this year, with 28 points and 2 HRs. I can still see an explosion coming from him, and with the all-star break maybe he can get some rest for his wonky back. His barrel rate and EV are the lowest they’ve been in five years, but his xBA and xSLG are still ELITE (top 2% and top 3% respectively) and he should be hitting more home runs. While Statcast shouldn’t be used for predictive reasons, it still shows that while he’s been ailing, he’s also been a tad unlucky and should have better stats than he does.
What more can I say about Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.? The dude has been on an absolute tear since coming back. Instead, I will link a great article done on FanGraphs about how he’s mastered hitting sliders, and one done on Pitcher List’s own Tim Jackson that highlights how much he’s grown as a hitter since he was sent down. He’s become a beast in LF, with the AL leading six Outfield Assists in just 39 games played there. He’s probably the best Team Keeper for me (since Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Cavan Biggio are both going to be free keepers) and I am THRILLED to have him.
I did not make any trades this week, as nothing was presented to me I really wanted to make. Next week though, I make TWO OF ‘EM. One of them I will probably regret.
Favourite Trade Not Mine: Only one trade made this week (THE LEAGUE IS FALLING APART). The Detroit Tigers decided to add another decent bat to their already dangerous lineup, and one that should be an upgrade over current 3B David Freese.
|Detroit Trades||Diamondbacks Trade|
|MiLB OF Parker Meadows||3B Jake Lamb|
|MiLB SP Anthony Banda|
While Jake Lamb has been hurt the last couple of years, he’s still showed an ability to mash righties with the best of them and do it without sacrificing batting average. Don’t expect him to do anything against lefties, however, as he’s a career .161/.244/.291 hitter against them. He’s more than likely a platoon bat, but on the strong side of one, so he can still have some killer weeks. Parker Meadows is an interesting outfield prospect who may have swing-and-miss issues throughout his career; however, he’s got more raw power than his older brother Austin Meadows, so he could be someone to explode. Anthony Banda is a bit of a post-hype guy, as Tommy John derailed his season last year in the Rays system. In AAA in 2018 he had a 3.30 FIP with a 26.9% K rate in 42 IP, so it’s possible he could be a tad underrated.
Favourite Waiver Wire Add: Mike Brosseau – Houston Astros. This is the second week in a row the Astros win my favourite waiver wire add (I guess that’s what being last place will do for you). I must admit before looking at the transactions for this week I had absolutely no idea who Mike Brosseau was. So far in his small MLB sample, however, he seems to be someone that should be on everyone’s radar. While the .474 BABIP is sure to regress, in AAA this year he hit .317/.408/.590, so the bat seems to be pretty legit. HOW DO THE RAYS KEEP FINDING THESE GEMS?!
My Blue Jays are starting to come alive! The rest of the team not so much. My team went 0-2 again this week. Hoo boy have Danny Jansen and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. been hot though. Jansen this week destroyed everything he could, with four home runs and 41 total points. His recent success can be partially attributed by pulling more fly balls, allowing him to unlock some power he hasn’t shown this year. His fly-ball rate has gone from 28.3% in March/April to his season high of 48.1% so far in July and pull rate from the low of 35.4% in May to July’s high of 55.6%. Pitcher List’s own Ben Palmer dug into him more last Saturday. He hasn’t struck out in a game since June 21st, and during that time has a .354/.367/.854 slash line with a crazy .275 BABIP. Small sample, and he won’t stay this hot, but WOOO. For catcher being such an awful position, I feel good about having Jansen in dynasty. Noah Syndergaard, on the other hand, wasn’t so hot. On the year he’s got a low 8.90 K/9, 4.68 ERA, and a 1.28 WHIP. He’s not the ace everyone bought him to be this year, and with his slider still M.I.A, all you can do with him is hold. Thankfully in dynasty I don’t feel too bad about him, but I would LOVE if the Mets moved him. Will it happen? Probably not, but A MAN CAN DREAM!
Edit: Holy crap it might be a possibility. PLEASE TO HOUSTON!
This week I made two smaller deals. One is gambling on a pitcher who has shown absolutely no ability to become what his potential was, and another was me trading away a waiver wire addition.
|Blue Jays Trade||Red Sox Trade|
|MiLB OF Alek Thomas||SP Reynaldo Lopez|
This was my first drunk trade offer of the season, I must admit. I forgot I had sent it, and my main reasoning for sending it was that Reynaldo Lopez had shown glimpses of greatness this year and he could be a decent second-half pitcher. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was traded and/or is moved to a bullpen role. So, suffice to say I don’t love this buy, but with pitching as barren of a wasteland as it is this year, why not? Also, his 2.11 HR/9 rate has to go down, right? Alek Thomas just recently participated in the Futures Game, rocking a 154 wRC+ in A-Ball this year. His one knack coming into the year was power might be an issue; however, he’s got a .189 ISO which will play. I regret this move. DAMN YOU NICK FOR ACCEPTING IT AFTER FRIDAY AS WELL, NOT COOL BRO. Although Lopez did put up negative points for him versus me, so HA.
|Blue Jays Trade||Cleveland Indians Trade|
|2B Brad Miller||MiLB Cionel Perez|
This was more about getting anything for Brad Miller rather than dropping him outright, which was my original plan. The Indians needed a 2B replacement for Tommy La Stella, who recently broke his tibia and will be out for 8-10 weeks, and he decided that Brad Miller would be able to fill the void in the meantime. In limited time since being called up by the Phillies (and I mean LIMITED, 27 PA’s since June 16th) he’s got a .304/.407/.652 slash line, which is pretty damn good for a bench player. It’s likely he’s nothing and won’t continue to be that good if given more playing time, but worth a shot. Cionel Perez is probably nothing special, but does showcase three potential 60-grade pitches in his fastball, slider, and curveball (according to FanGraphs). They also had him at 100 in their top-100 list coming into 2019. His profile does scream reliever, however, as his control (4.50 BB/9 in AAA this year) and below-average changeup will limit his ability to start. I figured it was worth stashing in my minors as I had space and can see what I have in him for the rest of the season.
Favourite Trade Not Mine: The Diamondbacks literally keep making smart moves, and I AM HERE FOR IT. After being towards the bottom for the last couple of years they’re on the upswing and should be dangerous in the NL for the next couple of years. So what exactly did they do now? Well just acquired the best 2B in the majors so far this year is all!
|Diamondbacks Trade||Pirates Trade|
|FK2 Kevin Newman||2B Ketel Marte|
|MiLB 1st||MiLB 4th|
|MiLB 2nd||MiLB 12|
Kevin Newman has been incredible the last month or so, but do we really expect the power that he’s showed to stay? He has more home runs (six) than he does barrels (four) and his hard-hit percentage is in the bottom 8%. He has cut his strikeout rate down to 12% and has an xAVG of .292 so he could become a leadoff guy or decent MI bat. We all know that Ketel Marte is the real get here though. Marte this year has been one of the biggest breakouts, hitting the same number of home runs by the All-Star Break that he has the last three years combined. The power seems mostly legit as he’s increased his launch angle, he’s barrelling up more balls, and he’s done all of this while keeping his strikeout rate a palpable 14.1%. While the MiLB first-rounder is valuable, it was the Milwaukee Brewers pick, who’s going to finish as the best or second best team in the league, so it will be the back end of the first round and not super valuable.
Favourite Waiver Wire Add: Dairo Agrazal – Texas Rangers. This week wasn’t a great week for waiver wire adds, I must say. Agrazal has been decent in his three starts since getting called up, sporting a 2.81 ERA with two wins. BUT IT’S ALL A MIRAGE FOR THE MOST PART! He currently sports a 6.08 FIP thanks in part to a 3.94 K/9 and will probably run out of luck if the Pirates continue to run him out there for starts. But maybe his magic lasts longer? Remember when Aaron Harang threw 204 IP with a 3.57 ERA in 2017? That was wild and maybe Agrazal can do that.
To end my dynasty review articles from now on I will be answering a couple of questions related to dynasty! If you have any for the future feel free to comment, ask me on twitter or even on Reddit! This week I got some help from my Dynasty League friends as it was my first week and I CAN DO WHAT I WANT.
What do you do with a team that is terrible and is also probably going to make the playoffs? -Byron
What Byron means is should he sell-off his pieces or keep going, as he’s in a weak division and will make the playoffs with a losing record. In his situation, I would personally continue to try for the playoffs. Once you’re in, you never know what could happen. Towards the deadline, I would be looking to make deals that won’t cost pick/prospect capital but that can improve the team incrementally enough to help make the push. Pitching depth is key and making sure you don’t have any spots taken by guys that either won’t be starting full-time or hurt. I believe in you Byron.
Do you focus on pitching prospects given the quality of throwers in the Futures Game? Or do you take that as a sign that you need to get the bats you can? -Ryan
This is an interesting question because unlike my recent Yordan Alvarez-for-a-bunch-of-pitching-prospects move, I tend to lean taking hitting prospects over pitching prospects. I somewhat believe in TINSTAAP as they’re so so prone to break down and not live up to their potential, but in this new environment in which pitching is a barren wasteland and players are getting the call younger and younger, I have shifted towards looking at arms closer to the show than hitters. I will always be the guy that trades prospects for proven, but in terms of looking for them give me the pitcher closer than the hitter.
(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)