For the debut of Pitcher List 5.0, everyone here on the Dynasty team put together their Top 100 Prospects to make our Staff Consensus Top 100 Prospects for 2020 Dynasty Fantasy Leagues. If you have not checked out the list, what are you doing? I’ll give you a few moments to check it out here.
Alright, welcome back! After looking over our list, there were a couple of players I was highest/lowest on. So, I decided to give my plea on why they should either move up or move down.
Players I Adore:
Carter Kieboom (Overall: 14, Me: 9)
If you have read my posts before, you should know how much I love Carter Kieboom. He has a pretty noticeable leg kick, which allows balls to travel further in the zone, and then he uses his quick hands to get to the ball. Once you watch video of him, it is pretty easy to see him putting together multiple years with a .280-.290 average and 20 home runs. The biggest question is his defense/long term home defensively. We all saw his pretty poor defense when he was called up this year but you should not be concerned. Kieboom is not an everyday shortstop, especially when you have Trea Turner, when healthy. After Anthony Rendon left in free agency, it cleared up a starting role for Kieboom. Also, don’t worry about the recent signings by the Nationals. The Nationals have consistently made signings of older players to fill their bench. There is a slight chance that Kieboom struggles in spring, and they send him to Double-A to get his feet underneath him before calling him up again. (No need to be wary about him being sent to Double-A. The Nationals Triple-A affiliate is in Fresno, CA, while their Double-A affiliate is in Harrisburg, PA).
Drew Waters (Overall: 28, Me: 18)
If this was a real-life prospect list, I would not have Drew Waters this high, but he is a fantasy player’s dream. He has a slight leg kick, and a pretty level swing that should be able to smash line drives into the gaps. He led the minors with 40 doubles, seven home runs, and swiped 16 bags. He is pretty aggressive in the box, only posting walk rates around 6%, and SwStr% in the 15%-17% range. However, his approach paid off, as he won the Southern League MVP, and started to shoot up prospect lists. Before the Braves’ signing of Marcell Ozuna this off-season, there was a slight chance we could have seen Waters in the majors but unless there is a major injury, we will have to wait until 2021 to see Waters rise.
Hunter Bishop (Overall: 64, Me: 43)
One of the most improved players in college baseball, Hunter Bishop was taken 10th overall by the Giants this past summer. He made a pretty drastic swing change, moving his hands from his chest towards his ears, which helped him unlock his power. He hit .342/.479/.478 with 22 HR and 12 SB. He should be able to stick in CF with his above average speed and a great arm. After being drafted, he performed well, but in only 32 games so it is still a small sample size. We should see Bishop begin the year in Hi-A and hopefully Double-A by the season’s end. While he will always struggle with the swing and miss, the potential for power and speed is very enticing.
Tyler Freeman (Overall: 95, Me: 66)
What is the most important tool for a hitter? If you say the hit tool, you are correct! Freeman has some of the best bat-to-ball skills in the minors right now. Other than a 36 game sample after he was drafted, Freeman has never had a SwStk% greater than 5.2%. While he’ll never hit for a bunch of power, signs are pointing towards Freeman being the future Indians lead-off hitter, and racking up a bunch of runs scored for your fantasy team.
Players I Dislike:
Spencer Howard (Overall: 34, Me: 53)
My biggest complaints for how high Spencer Howard is ranked are: 1) he had some shoulder soreness that led to him missing two months last year 2) he only threw 71 innings and has only pitched 30.2 in AA 3) the team he is with. He did, however, make it to the AFL, where his stuff ticked back up to pre-injury status. His fastball was sitting mid-nineties, with a plus changeup and curveball. He should begin the year in AA and reach AAA by the end of the season. I’m a bit hesitant on his success if the Phillies promote him this year, as I think he still has some things to work on. The Phillies rotation is pretty poor, so the Phillies might rush him if they are competing. When it comes to pitching development in the Phillies system, other than Aaron Nola, who was a ready-made college arm, they have not developed many useful starters so I’m a bit hesitant with many Phillies pitchers.
Grayson Rodriguez (Overall: 46, Me: 83)
Oh boy, another pitcher I’m lower on than the consensus. I’m a big fan of Grayson Rodriguez‘s stuff. He has an arsenal of four above average to plus pitches. His fastball sits in the mid-nineties, a mid-eighties slider, and a low-eighties curve and change. He still has some work to do as he only made it low-A this year. If he can keep his command in check, he should be a frontline starter for the Orioles. However, just like Howard before, I’m a bit scared off when it comes to many Orioles prospects. They have a new front office and coaching staff, but we are still waiting to see how they are in developing their players.
Xavier Edwards (Overall: 70, Me: 94)
The biggest fear I have for Xavier Edwards is not his skill set. He has little to zero power, but Edwards can fly with his 80-grade speed and plus hit tool. I’m just not quite sure where he will play with the Rays. The Rays are collecting an exciting collection of bats, both at the major league level and in their minor league system. In front of Edwards are Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan, who I feel bring more on the offensive side of the plate than Edwards. However, with the recent moves made by the Rays, Edwards could be a rover/move around the diamond player that can provide your roster with plenty of stolen bases.
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A noticeable leg kick does not allow the ball to travel further in the zone more than any other unrelated mechanical observation. I assure you that you could start your hands at the same time as said noticeable leg kick and be way out in front of a pitch. The Rays churn players like no other organization, no need to worry about Xavier Edwards spot on the depth chart. He will most likely be traded – the same is true of everyone in the organization. Its not long before people start to realize that the Rays churn and burn as opposed to develop and build. I am sure they will hang on to Franco… I think they will at least. I would imagine there is a non-zero chance they trade him as well. They are like the anti-Dodgers in terms of development. They don’t develop – they maximize the short-term gains and discard the undeveloped remnants.