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Chris Clegg's Dynasty Fantasy Baseball News, Notes and Buys/Sells (Week 7)

Kyle Manzardo - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Prospects Waiver Wire, Draft Sleepers

Welcome back, RotoBallers, to my Week 7 fantasy baseball news, notes, and buys/sells for dynasty leagues. 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 7 of the 2024 season?

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


Recent MLB Prospect Call-Ups

It was another good week of prospect promotions. Teams are being more aggressive now than ever, and the majority of teams want to put their best product on the field, and that is what we are seeing. Let's dive into the three major call-ups that have taken place since the last dynasty news and notes article.

Kyle Manzardo is the most notable hitting prospect to get the call in the last week and was featured at the top of our prospects to stash article last week. Hitting the cover off the ball in Triple-A, Manzardo was rocking a .303/.375/.642 slash with nine home runs in 128 plate apperances.

The under the hood data also supports the performance as Manzardo posted a 91.2 mph average exit velocity and a 90th percentile exit velocity of 105.7 mph. The barrel rate was strong due to ideal launch angles and he paired it with high-end contact. The overall contact rates of 81.2 percent and 89.3 percnet are both very impressive marks.

Manzardo has a higher floor due to the hit tool and plate discipline and has a good chance to stick and be a solid performer right away.

Christian Scott made his long-awaited debut and looked strong against the Rays, allowing just one earned run and walking a piece while striking out six batters over 6.2 innings. After posting a 3.20 ERA across 25.1 innings in Triple-A Syracuse with 36 strikeouts and just six walks, Scott set himself up nicely to succeed in the majors.

From an arsenal standpoint, Scott has seen his velocity take a considerable jump forward in recent years to now sitting mid-90s while topping out at 98 mph. His slider is arguably a plus pitch sitting in the mid-80s with some nice deceptiveness and sweep, causing it to miss a ton of bats. The split-changeup has been a nice improvement to the arsenal as well.

Scott has a strong chance to stick in the Mets rotation throughout all of 2024 and long term could be a solid mid-rotation arm with a very high floor due to his command.

Mason Black dominated Triple-A to the tune of a 1.01 ERA across 26.2 innings with 29 strikeouts to eight walks. While the MLB debut was pretty rough, better days are likely ahead for Black. Getting your MLB debut in Philadelphia is a tough draw for anyone.

A third-round find out of Lehigh University, Mason Black had a successful college career but has taken things up a notch as a professional. Pitching a career-high 123.2 innings in 2023, Black posted a 3.71 ERA and 155 strikeouts.

Black features a low-to-mid-90s fastball that gets up to 98 from a low-release height and VAA. When he locates it well up in the zone, he misses a ton of bats. He pairs it with a sweeper that has nearly 15 inches of horizontal break and late movement to deceive hitters. Black is comfortable throwing it to both righties and lefties, getting whiffs from both. He throws a sinker as well that plays well down and gets a ton of arm-side run.

If Black continues to limit walks, he has a chance to be a solid starting pitcher long term.


Dynasty Trends to Watch

I have been thinking a lot about ground ball rates and how hitters struggle to change their launch angles. It is common to discuss a player and say things like "if they begin to lift the ball, there could be a breakout," or something along those lines. Hitters like Vladimir Guerrero Jr or Ke'Bryan Hayes always seem to fit this conversation, but every year it is more of the same. So, how often do groundball hitters actually improve without sacrificing other skills? Often, changing a ground ball swing means sacrificing other traits. It is an interesting talking point. So here are the highest and lowest ground ball rates among qualified hitters, as well as ground ball risers and fallers.

*Data according to Baseball Savant

Highest Ground Ball Rates

Player 2024 GB% 2023 GB% Delta
Tim Anderson 64.2 61.4 2.8
Yandy Diaz 63.1 52.2 10.9
Harold Ramirez 62 52.2 9.8
Jesus Sanchez 61.6 49.8 11.8
J.P. Crawford 60.3 39.6 20.7
Brandon Drury 60 42.7 17.3
Yainer Diaz 59.8 44.3 15.5
Brice Turang 55.2 42.5 12.7
Gabriel Moreno 54.7 55.3 -0.6
Luis Rengifo 54.5 46.8 7.7

Lowest Ground Ball Rates

Player 2024 GB% 2023 GB% Delta
Max Muncy 22.1 33.4 -11.3
Mike Trout 24.4 33.5 -9.1
Kyle Tucker 25 38.6 -13.6
Brent Rooker 25 33.2 -8.2
Mookie Betts 25 27.6 -2.6
Justin Turner 25.8 35.7 -9.9
Isaac Paredes 27.6 31.6 -4
Cody Bellinger 28.4 35.8 -7.4
Anthony Santander 29.4 35 -5.6
Jorge Solder 29.9 36.2 -6.3

Ground Ball Risers

Player 2024 GB% 2023 GB% Delta
J.P. Crawford 60.3 39.6 20.7
Triston Casas 53.8 36.4 17.4
Brandon Drury 60 42.7 17.3
Yainer Diaz 59.8 44.2 15.6
Jack Suwinski 42 28.1 13.9

Ground Ball Fallers

Player 2024 GB% 2023 GB% Delta
Matt Vierling 32.1 49.1 -17
Kyle Tucker 25 38.6 -13.6
Max Muncy 22.1 33.4 -11.3
Lane Thomas 32.4 43.4 -11
Adley Rutschman 32.8 43.4 -10.6

My observation here is simply this: most of the hitters showing improved ground ball rates never had a ground ball problem to begin with.

Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Buys and Sells

Maybe it is small sample noise, but I am buying the changes in Josh Rojas's profile. Through 99 plate appearances this season, Rojas is slashing .356/.429/.552 with three home runs and stolen bases a piece. Rojas is showing significant improvement under the hood as well. His barrel rate of 7.4 percent is nearly double what it was last year and by far a career-high mark. The average exit velocity is up, and Rojas is hitting the ball at ideal launch angles far more often, as shown by his 50 percent sweet spot rate.

The contact rates have also improved as Rojas's zone-contact rate of 88 percent is up over five percentage points from last season and his overall contact rate is up four percent. The chase rate is down below 18 percent which is an elite mark.

Rojas has shown flashes in the past but has never put it together for a full season, but I think it might be happening here. I am buying Josh Rojas.

Sadly, I am selling Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in dynasty leagues. We talked earlier about ground ball rates and how they can plague hitters, and that is the case here. Yeah, we can hang on to Guerrero's 2021 season, in which he hit 48 home runs and posted a slash of .311/.401/.601, but there were many factors that contributed to that, like playing in Dunedin and Buffalo for most of the season.

Since the start of 2022, Guerrero has a slash of .266/.341/.452 with an average of 24 home runs per 600 plate appearances. Yes, he hits the ball very hard, but the sweet spot percentage is one of the worst in baseball, which really limits his home run potential. His career ground ball rate sits at 49 percent, and in 2024, he is running a rate of 50.5 percent.

The reality is that Guerrero is a good hitter, but he will likely always be limited if he can't fix the ground ball issue, which has been an issue his entire career. The good news is there is a ton of name value with Guerrero. You can still likely get a top 30 dynasty asset for him, and I would cash out in that case.

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