Travis Sherer’s Top 100 Dynasty Assets, Part 4

Assets 1-25 Assets 26-50 Assets 51-75 Assets 76-100

 

It’s over!

Before we lock up this series for another couple months, I’d like to share a few thoughts on this process. Most of the disagreements I have with people about this list stem from integrating prospects into the list with high performing veterans. Generally, they cannot believe that unproven players can be ranked as highly as all-stars. That is the exact reason I started this list.

Having completed two dynasty drafts this offseason, I found most other lists completely underestimated the value of prospects. By that, I mean they are usually drafted much higher than they are presented on other lists. If you were to use exclusively those lists, you would never get a top prospect  and you might not even get a mid-tiered one. You would be at least one whole round off  and as many as three rounds off  any top-40 prospect.

That said, many other lists try to limit the scope of valuing a player’s worth to a manufactured three- to six-year period. That seems ridiculous to me unless your dynasty league only runs three to six years. A lot of the time, the rationale has something to do with injuries/contracts/current ballparks/etc., but if that is the case, then bake those things into your rankings. For example, if you don’t think young pitchers are stable enough because of performance and health issues, rank them accordingly instead of saying, “It’s so difficult why even try?”

I endeavored to make a more realistic list. I used both the drafts I was in as references along with other lists and my own research and league transactions (trades/offers) to create this. If you’re looking to learn more about my method, read the intro to the 1-25 player list linked above.

Thanks for reading and I’ll update this list back sometime after the season.

 

76. Brandon Lowe, 2B, TB, Age: 25
Last Ranked: NR

 

The only thing I don’t like about Brandon Lowe is his K rate. The rest is gravy. He hits for average and power. He can play multiple positions and he plays for an organization that knows how to develop talent. Lowe is the kind of hitter where even if he’s not hitting well, he’s still hovering around an .800 OPS. That is very good for a second baseman.

 

77. Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK, Age: 24
Last Ranked: NR

 

Is this a breakout year for Ramon Laureano? It’s hard to say, especially since he’s capable of so much more. This kid can do it all. He’s Oakland’s version of Andrew Benintendi, with a little less hit/walk and a little more power. He’s capable of going 25/25, but I’m more in the camp of 20/20 to be safe. Laureano exploded onto the scene at the end of 2018, slashing .288/.358/.474 and then turned heads in the playoffs with his bat and defense. He started very slow this year, but gradually regained his production from last year and is flat out raking right now.

 

78. Max Muncy, 1B/2B/3B, LAD, Age: 28
Last Ranked: NR

 

He’s a late bloomer, but Max Muncy deserves to be on this list due to his advanced approach, multi-position eligibility, and power. On pace to swat more than 35 homers, Muncy is also looking down the barrel of his second straight .900 OPS season — which is one more than Manny Machado has in his whole career for those of you keeping score.

 

79. Scott Kingery, 2B/3B/SS/OF, PHI, Age: 25
Last Ranked: NR

 

Honor demands that we take Scott Kingery seriously. The guy has a power/speed combo that makes you dream big things for the Phillies’ utility man. I hope he doesn’t stay in the OF because his bat would play much better as a middle infielder. I’m not wild about his very low walk rate, but I can’t argue with the results.

 

80. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, STL, 31
Last Ranked: 35

 

Things are starting to turn for Paul Goldschmidt. It’s possible that it is completely all downhill from here. Thirty-one isn’t very old. It is still possible Goldy has a few good years left. If I were a betting man (and I am) I’d put money on him turning in two more seasons of .275/.365/.525 with mid-thirties in home runs. One thing is for sure, he’s not a threat to steal bases anymore.

 

81. Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU, Age: 29
Last Ranked: 36

 

Jose Altuve also doesn’t steal bases anymore. I mean, Shohei Ohtani has stolen almost as many in 2018-2019. He still is a good hitter though at a weak position. He’s been too good for too long to drop him off the list after one weak season and change. If he doesn’t show signs of life soon, however, you’ve got to start wondering if he’ll ever get it back. I also worry about age in terms of injury. He was an iron man six seasons before missing significant time in 2018. He’s already missed a few weeks in 2019.

 

82. Brandon Woodruff, SP, MIL, Age: 26
Last Ranked: NR

 

So far I’ve been wrong about Brandon Woodruff. I didn’t buy into the newfound ability to limit baserunners that he showed in 2018. That was incorrect. Not only has he repeated that, but he’s been even better at it, sporting a 1.13 WHIP. Combine that number with a 10.44 K rate and you’ve got a valuable starter. Woodruff’s working primarily off his fastball/slider combo, which is powerful. Either newfound development or confidence in the change-up or two-seamer might be what has turned him into what you see now, which is pretty good.

 

83. Nate Lowe, 1B, TB, Age: 23
Last Ranked: 93

 

Nate Lowe is showing why the Rays pushed Jake Bauers out the door. I’m not going to say the hit tool is a plus, but I do think he has the ceiling of Rhys Hoskins — a high OBP guy with power who might not ever hit .275. Still that OBP could be at .370 with 35 dingers if everything goes right. He’s starting to take off for Tampa, which seems to have a never-ending supply of talented youngsters.

 

84. Luis Robert, OF, CWS, Age: 21
Last Ranked: NR

 

Thought of as maybe the last great Cuban signing for a while, Luis Robert wowed scouts in 2017 in private workouts. Even though just 17, he looked like he was 25. A potential five-tool star, Robert is living up to the hype so far, tearing up Triple-A, after being aggressively promoted twice already this year. Through High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A this season, Robert is slashing .356/.390/.540 with 19 dingers and 32 stolen bases. He could be up with the Sox in a month if he continues to force their hand. He’s a free swinger, but he also is improving his approach. For now, his plus his speed means he’ll have an easier time getting on base than most despite his free-swinging ways.

 

85. Alex Verdugo, OF, LAD, Age: 23
Last Ranked: NR

 

He’s only 23, but it is amazing how long the Dodgers waited to bring up Alex Verdugo. The kid was in Triple-A two full seasons ago. Sure, he struggled in a cup-of-coffee back then, but his ability to avoid striking out and make contact will keep him in the big leagues for years. I’m not sure how real his power is, but he does remind me a lot of Andre Ethier, and that is really good company to be in.

 

86. Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS, Age: 30
Last Ranked: NR

 

It’s hard to believe that Stephen Strasburg already 30 years old. Maybe it’s because he’s only pitched 200 innings once. His nickname should be Jon Snow because Strasburg was the original Prince Who Was Promised before ultimately not living up to the name. His velocity was never really quite the same after Tommy John, but it appears that he’s found a way to pitch with less electricity, notably by leaning more on his outstanding curveball. He’s not durable by any means, but I believe he actually still has the ability to place high in a Cy Young vote in the next few years if everything goes right. He’s also showed few signs of slowing down. He’s got another three years left in him — hopefully, he’s healthy for most of it.

 

87. J.T. Realmuto, C, PHI, Age: 28
Last Ranked: 49

 

There are more options at catcher in 2019 than in maybe five-plus years. I’d still like knowing that I have a strong foundation at the position and Realmuto is probably the strongest foundation for the next two years. He’s good for .270/.330/.470 and 20 dongs. The speed is no longer something to consider but being in that Philly lineup, he’s going to put up nearly 100 runs and 80 RBI.

 

88. Jesus Luzardo, SP, OAK, Age: 21
Last Ranked: 63

 

Minor injuries have derailed Jesus Luzardo‘s coming out party. That’s unfortunate for all of us because what we have seen from him in the minors and at spring training suggests he will be special. He’s got three plus pitches and advanced control. I’m hoping he still gets a handful of starts before the season ends.

 

89. Justin Verlander, SP, HOU, Age: 37
Last Ranked: 91

 

I often catch myself wondering if you genetically engineered a human to be a pitcher, would he come out just like Justin Verlander? A 6-5, 200-pound, super-hard throwing, even-tempered phenom who can still hit the upper 90s at 37 years young. I guess the only thing he’s missing is that he’s not left-handed. I am blown away by his staying power, especially since five seasons ago we were wondering if he was finished. Now I’ll believe it when I see it, but I also can’t look away from that age.

 

90. Matt Olson, 1B, OAK, Age: 25
Last Ranked: NR

 

If the ball is going to continue to do what it is doing right now, Matt Olson has to be a top 100 asset. Right now the three-year vet is hitting a home run ever 11.55 at-bats, or 2.5 games. That is insane power. He’s also lowering his K rate and keeping the BB rate around 10.00 which is good enough for me.

 

91. Lucas Giolito, SP, CWS, Age: 25
Last Ranked: NR

 

A cautionary tale, Lucas Giolito is what happens when a prospect with all of the talent in the world is mishandled in the minors. He’s been torn up and rebuilt so many times he no longer looks like the pitcher he was when he was drafted seven years go. Maybe that’s a good thing — it certainly has better results in the show. I’d like to see this story have a feelgood ending, but I’m suspicious of his growth. Watching a few of his starts this season, what struck me is even though he sports a low WHIP, he has a tendency of allowing baserunners on in bunches. He’s been pretty lucky in getting out of the jams he’s gotten into, which says to me something is working part of the time. His second-half numbers resemble the old Giolito, we’ll soon see how for real he is.

 

92. Bo Bichette, 2B, TOR, Age: 21
Last Ranked: 64

 

Like many legacy kids, expectations are high for Bo Bichette. So far the kid has lived up to them, hitting well at every level against much more seasoned competition. I’m guessing he’s up by the end of the year. If he isn’t, he will next April. I can’t imagine him playing shortstop in the majors. He’s got the arm for it, but I don’t see his glovework and range as being good enough. He’d be a great second baseman with a plus bat and plus power. Stay tuned.

 

93. Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB, Age: 21
Last Ranked: NR

 

If you want to hear a scout pontificate, ask them about Vidal Brujan. Everybody likes this guy. Sure, his power is almost non-existent, but the kid can hit, the kid can run, and the kid knows how/when to run. He could be up in the majors at the beginning of next season, if the Rays can make room for him, Brujan is a guy with plus-plus speed and a plus bat. My only hope is that they do not move him to the outfield, although that could be possible with Brandon Lowe on the squad.

 

94. George Springer, OF, HOU, Age: 29
Last Ranked: NR

 

George Springer’s career is a head-scratcher. He almost went 40/40 in Triple-A the year before he was called up. He stole 45 bases that year, which is one fewer than the number he’s stolen in six years at the big league level. There is also his power production, which has ebbed and flowed. He’s in the middle of high tide now, with 20 dingers at the break. He could set a new season-high with 35. After a disastrous 2018, he wasn’t even on this list. He still has the ability to be a No. 2 OF for a few years.

 

95. Eugenio Suarez, 3B, CIN, Age: 27
Last Ranked: 45

 

In a year where so many hitters are putting up personal bests, it seems like Eugenio Suarez’s 2019 has been a disappointment. Even if it is possible he ties his career-high in homers and will likely best his career single-season extra-base hits mark. Even if that is the case, his rates have taken a small step back, as has his OBP. I’m not sure what’s different about him, but if he keeps playing like this, he might lose his spot on the list. These small differences are actually what made Suarez stand out in a crowded 3B field.

 

96. Eddie Rosario, OF, MIN, Age: 28
Last Ranked: NR

 

Like Muncy, Eddie Rosario is a late bloomer with some power, but that is about where the similarities end. Rosario does not prescribe to the holy trinity of true outcomes. In fact, he rarely walks or strikes out. I’m fine with that, as long as you can approach .300 and keep the homers north of 25.

 

97. Austin Riley, 3B, ATL, Age: 22
Last Ranked: NR

 

After showing plus-plus power in the minors, Austin Riley exploded onto the scene with 14 homers in his first two months. Those of us paying attention to Riley knew he was capable of this, it just seemed odd that it happened so soon. Now it appears that big league pitchers have adjusted to the talented Brave. His K rate is spiking and there needs to be an adjustment made to continue his success. Hopefully, that comes in the next month or two.

 

98. Patrick Corbin, SP, WAS, Age: 29
Last Ranked: NR

 

Patrick Corbin fooled me. I was not sold that he really turned it around in 2018, but that was mostly due to seeing just how bad he was in 2016 and 2017. I wasn’t sold on his injury history and his insane slider usage rate. So far he’s been worth every penny of his contract. He kind of reminds me of a Zack Grienke lite — just four years younger.

 

99. Max Kepler, OF, MIN, Age: 26
Last Ranked: NR

 

I had a lot of trouble deciding who to put in this spot. I thought of Zack Greinke, Hunter Renfroe, Jorge Polanco, Luis Severino, Robbie Ray, Madison Bumgarner, before ultimately deciding on Max Kepler. I decided between them based mainly on approach. Kepler has quietly become one of the better power-hitting outfielders at avoiding punch outs. With a K rate around 16, all that is really missing is a slight bump in that walk rate before things really take off for him. He’s in the middle of a breakout year, slashing .261/.331/.525. I believe there is potential for more here.

 

100. Matthew Boyd, SP, DET, Age: 28
Last Ranked: NR

 

I go back-and-forth over whether this season’s version of Matthew Boyd is going to stick around. One thing is for sure, that slider is filthy. I wish he’d develop a third pitch because right now that is the only thing holding him back from being 20 spots higher.

Travis Sherer

All Seattle Mariners fans have learned the future is all we have because the present is always too painful. I am Western Washington University alum, a local sportswriter, an official NCAA basketball statistician, a freelance radio and television production statistician, and a minor league standup comedian. Follow me @ShererTravis on Twitter.

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Comments


Evan C.

Hey Travis, great list! Was wondering by how much Robles and Buxton missed your list? I recently acquired both in a pair of blockbusters in my league (Also was able to snag Tatis Jr., McKay, and Nate Lowe as well). Thanks!

Travis Sherer

Thanks for reading!

Unfortunately, I’m not all that high on Buxton. He was ranked 100th on the first version of this list. This is his fifth try in the league and he has yet to really show any progress in power/approach. It’s possible that he turns it around, but I’m very skeptical about it. And I think by the time he does, he won’t have the speed he once had.

As far as Robles is concerned, he’s still only 22, but I couldn’t keep him on this list after the step back he’s taken this year. It looks like he’s sacrificing power for contact, but he’s not actually getting the power.

Evan C.

Hey Travis thanks for the response. I somewhat agree on Buxton but I’m a sucker for the tools and don’t think a post-hype breakout is out of the question. Also, on Robles, if the power begins to come around, would he move back onto the list for you?

I was also wondering about Kyle Tucker. Was he kept off due to lack of opportunity, or is there something in the skills that gives you pause?

Once again, thanks for your time.

Travis Sherer

I misspoke earlier. What I meant to say is Robles is sacrificing contact for power, which I think is a mistake for him. This guy needs to put the ball in play and get on base. So far, his new approach isn’t just leading to more strikeouts, it’s leading to fewer walks and fewer overall hits.

He could move back into the list though if those numbers change, although I am a little nervous about his SB. I know what he is fast, but it isn’t translating to an efficient steals result in both the upper minor league levels and now in the majors, which is concerning.

Ultimately, I’d want to see improvement in both OBP and SBs.

J.C. Mosier

Great stuff, as always. As for your “manufactured three- to six-year period” comment, I have played in more than one keeper league (not dynasty), and I can tell you that it doesn’t matter what that AAA superstar is going to do in 2024, since his contract with my team will have expired long before that. I understand that your list is for dynasty leagues; my point is that us keeper-league players have similar interests, if (slightly) different priorities.

Travis Sherer

That makes sense. I guess the thing that I don’t usually see in the explanations is how those lists are for strictly keeper leagues. Also, with keeper leagues, the rules can be so varied that viewing a list would be counterproductive with different contract/stats/limitations/positions.

Dan

Late to the party here Travis. Any thought to Marco Luciano making it? Obviously is a gamble but if I was in a keeper forever dynasty, I’m not sure I trade Luciano’s potential for Max Kepler or Boyd. May not hit but the ceiling there is incredibly high and there shouldn’t be much blocking him in SF.

Travis Sherer

Hey Dan — Thanks for reading.

There are 11 prospects on this list who haven’t played a game in the majors. I think most people would say that is ambitious (or overly optimistic) to have that many, but then again, that is why I do this list — because I believe most of those people are wrong when it comes to what managers actually value in dynasty leagues. But I digress. Only one of those prospects listed plays lower than Double-A and that’s Wander Franco, who is as unanimous a top prospect as you can get right now. I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to high ceilings, I value that more than the average fantasy baseball writer. That said, I wouldn’t put Luciano on this list yet. He’s got great talent, but there are quite a few others I’d put up here before him. There are a lot of guys with a similar ceiling to Luciano: George Valera, Julio Rodriguez, Gavin Lux, Riley Greene and some think Kristian Rodriguez. I’m probably forgetting someone, but the point is that even though he is killing it in Rookie-A, he hasn’t distinguished himself enough yet to separate from those other names, many of who are further along than he is. I mean Jasson Dominguez could also be right with Lucano at this point. You could make an argument either way, and that is kind of the point.

If you wouldn’t trade him for Kepler or Boyd, I’m not going to say you’re wrong. What I will say is MLB success matters for something because it is so rare. So far what Luciano is doing isn’t as rare, even for a 17-year-old because it’s for a limited time at a low level. Now if he continues to have an XBH nearly every game once we’ve hit 50 games, then we can start talking about where he belongs in those names above before he gets on that list. I’m also interested in seeing what that K rate is like when he’s not hitting everything he sees, which will likely happen at some point in the next month or so even at that level.

It does take a truly exceptional talent to make it on here as a teenager. Luciano could be here in a year, but he has to continue to perform to get there because he has some pretty fierce competition in just the minors right now. I think there is a surplus of hitting prospects in the minors right now and a deficiency of very good pitcher, but that is a topic for another time.

Anyway, I hope I answered your question. If not, let me know.

Dan

Appreciate the reply! Well stated, a lot of high ceiling prospects right now. I was able to grab Luciano this year in a dynasty league after missing out on Wander last year.

Really enjoyed reading this. Keep Machado low, completely agree with your ranking there!

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