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Chris Clegg's Dynasty Fantasy Baseball News, Notes, and Buys/Sells (Week 13)

Vinnie Pasquantino - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Welcome back, RotoBallers, to my Week 13 fantasy baseball news, notes, and buys/sells for dynasty leagues. Thanks for bearing with me. Due to the birth of my daughter, I am much more sleep-deprived, but I am ready to rock and roll with new dynasty news and notes!

Today's article will look at recent prospect call-ups like Ben Rice and Orelvis Martinez, along with several other dynasty-related news. This weekly series will take a look at various prospects, dynasty news, and discuss fantasy implications. If you enjoy dynasty baseball, you know it is a fast-paced game. Keeping up with the Joneses per se keeps you in the game and at the top of the standings. At the end of the day, we all want to build a dynasty team that sustains and lasts for the long haul. I am here to help you do so.

Keeping up with all the current happenings can help you stay ahead of your league mates. Call-ups, trends, and buying and selling players are all just small pieces to help you stay ahead. So, that's what we will do in this article each week, break down everything you need to know to be successful in dynasty. Let's get to it, what do you need to know for dynasty leagues in Week 13 of the 2024 season?

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Recent MLB Prospect Call-Ups

Ben Rice and Orelvis Martinez highlight the big names to get the call-up for debuts this week and an awesome story in former first-rounder Grant Holmes making his debut after 10 years in the minors. Let's break down Rice and Martinez and tell a little of Holmes' story.

Rice spent 49 games in Double-A and 11 in Triple-A before his call-up to the Bronx after the Anthony Rizzo injury. Between both stops, Rice mashed 15 home runs in 60 games while slashing .275/.393/.532. On the surface, the 20.8 percent strikeout rate and 15 percent walk rate look quite good.

Under the hood, the contact rates do give me a little pause. In Double-A, the contact rates were close to his league average, but upon the promotion to Triple-A, things fell off pretty hard. A 66 percent overall and 72 percent in-zone mark leave me questioning how much contact Rice will make in the majors.

Still, he hits the ball quite hard, posting plus exit velocities. He has a chance to get to home-run power from the left side, especially with the short porch in Yankee Stadium.

Martinez got the call to join the big league club and has proceeded to sit on the bench for his first two games. I won't go on a rant on that issue, but hopefully Martinez will get a chance to play rather than wasting away on the bench.

In Triple-A, Martinez mashed 16 home runs and slashed .260/.343/.523. Strikeouts have always been a part of his profile, but this year, things have continued to trend in the right direction, with Martinez having a 24 percent rate. The walk rate, well below average for Triple-A standards, checking in at 9 percent.

Martinez does hit the ball quite hard, having a 107.8 mph 90th percentile exit velocity, which ranks in the upper tier of Triple-A hitters. His 90 mph average exit velocity shows he is capable of consistently hitting the ball hard.

The contact rates are slightly concerning as Martinez had a 65 percent overall mark in Triple-A. But the good news is he makes up for it on pitches in the zone, having an 82 percent contact rate. The chase rate is right around league average, but when he does swing on pitches out of the zone, he is often missing.

Martinez is going to bring an aggressive approach, but it does come with big power. If he finds playing time, he could be worth an add for the power upside alone.

Holmes won't make a fantasy impact, but he does have a story to tell. A first-rounder in the 2014 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Holmes has had quite the journey to where he is now. The 28-year-old journeyman spent 10 seasons in the minors leading up to his MLB debut.

He will be a reliever in the Atlanta bullpen, but he is a fun story to root for.

Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Trends to Watch: Sprint Speed and Stolen Bases

I often hear people talk about sprint speed on Baseball Savant. Usually when they quote a player with fast sprint speed, they assume stolen bases come with it. Oftentimes that is the case, but I think it is interesting to look and see who the fastest players in baseball are and do they often steal bases?

Player SB Sprint Speed(Rank)
Elly De La Cruz 37 30.1 (4)
Brice Turang 26 29.2 (27)
Jose Caballero 22 28.5 (88)
Bobby Witt Jr. 21 30.4 (1)
David Hamilton 19 28.9 (48)
Luis Rengifo 18 26.8 (293)
Brenton Doyle 18 29.2 (31)
Bryson Stott 18 28.8 (52)
Maikel Garcia 17 27.9 (147)
Jarren Duran 17 29.3 (26)

Wow, so among the stolen-base leaders, only two of the top 10 rank among the top 10 in sprint speed (ft/second). While most of these players are fast, there are outliers such as Luis Rengifo, Jose Caballero, and Maikel Garcia. Now, let's look at the fastest players and their stolen-base totals.

Player SB Sprint Speed
Bobby Witt Jr. 21 30.4
Victor Scott II 2 30.4
Pete Crow-Armstrong 12 30.2
Elly De La Cruz 37 30.1
Jorge Mateo 12 30
Johan Rojas 14 29.9
Jose Siri 7 29.8
Tyler Fitzgerald 5 29.8
Julio Rodriguez 16 29.8
Wyatt Langford 6 29.7

If we are honest, this list is a little skewed because you have several part-time players and prospects who have not gotten full playing time. Jose Siri and Wyatt Langford are probably the outliers here who have played regularly and have under 10 stolen bases. So, what matters then? Could it be team tendencies?

Team SB SB%
Reds 105 81%
Brewers 103 87%
Nationals 101 75%
Phillies 77 82%
Red Sox 71 76%
Royals 68 82%
Rays 67 70%
Cubs 63 85%
Angels 62 68%
Guardians 61 72%

The Reds and Brewers, who have the most stolen bases among teams, are also highly efficient. The league-average stolen-base success rate is 78 percent. Both of those teams are above that mark. Those teams also are built with players who are capable of stealing bases.

All of this to say, stolen bases are hard to predict. Of the top-10 stolen-base leaders in 2023, only Bobby Witt Jr. and Elly De La Cruz rank in the top 10 again. Yes, Ronald Acuna Jr. is hurt, but others have taken steps back. Speed, team philosophy, and opportunities all seem like they are important when projecting stolen bases.

 

Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Buys and Sells

Vinnie Pasquantino is one of my biggest dynasty buys right now. You may be asking yourself why if you look on the surface and see a .241/.326/.420 slash line. Having just seven home runs in 70 games so far this season, it is fair to wonder what can Pasquantino actually be at the plate.

There are positives in the profile. Pasquantino has an impressive 13.2 percent strike rate, backed by an overall contact rate of 85 percent. Both figures rank among the top-five percent of all hitters. He also knows how to take a walk, having a walk rate in the upper fourth of all MLB hitters.

You may wonder about the power, and I believe more is on the way. The negative is Kauffman Stadium has done him no favors, being one of the tough hitters parks in baseball. The average exit velocity of 91.6 mph ranks 84th percentile among hitters, and his hard-hit rate of 47.9 percent is 83rd percentile.

It is not an issue of ground balls, either. Pasquantino has a respectable 40 percent ground-ball rate and an above-average barrel rate. Better days are ahead.

It might be time to cash out on Jordan Hicks if you can. He has been tremendous in his transition to a starter role this year as he has a 2.82 ERA across 76.2 innings. But my biggest issue lies in the innings. Hicks has surpassed his 2023 innings total by over 10 already and is at the highest mark of his career since his rookie year in 2018. He will pass that mark in his next start, assuming he pitches at least one inning.

Nothing on the surface yells sell, but the 21 percent strikeout rate is a little bland, and Hicks does allow hard contact. The good news is that the sinkerballer keeps the ball on the ground at a high rate of 54 percent. The bad news is that pitch still has a .309 batting average against.

Hicks has a great splitter and a solid sweeper, with those pitches having whiff rates of 40.9 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively. But he is using the sinker over 50 percent of the time.

He has had some good luck come his way with a .282 BABIP and the 3.69 FIP and 3.86 xFIP both suggest maybe the ERA will trend upward. Hicks is likely to hit an innings cap soon and could land in the bullpen. Cash out now before it is too late.



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