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Dynasty League Implications from the 2016 MLB Draft

With all 40 rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft completed, we have seen all 1,216 of the top college and high school prospects find homes with MLB teams and begin their long journeys through the farm system. However, as we have learned from players such as Brandon Finnegan, Jacob Lindgren, Kyle Schwarber, Aaron Nola, and Carlos Rodon, the journey won't be too long for those exceptional few prospects who find themselves to be early bloomers. Also, as the quick ascent to the top levels of the minors by players such as Tyler Beede, Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman, Andrew Benintendi, and A.J. Reed have demonstrated; there are some talented prospects that are worth stashing due to their impending MLB roster placement.

Whether it was a future super star, a high-upside sleeper, an unusually mature college star, or a prospect that will make a quick ascension to a team that needs him, every pick in the MLB Draft has the potential to change the course of baseball history. So for the sake of Fantasy Baseball Managers now, in the future, and scowering Dynasty Leagues, let's look at the implications of the 2016 MLB Draft.

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Potential to Make the Most Immediate Impact

Nick Senzel (3B, CIN): The Reds are known for taking things slow with highly touted prospects, but if they were to put anyone on the fast track to the majors, it would be Senzel. The Tennessee third baseman was considered to be the most MLB-ready bat in the draft, and it is easy to see why. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Senzel had fantastic slash lines consecutively of .315/.419/.420, .325/.399/.495, and .352/.456/.595. Not only did he have sensationally well-rounded figures at the plate, he also had good performances on the base paths. In 591 career AB in college, he stole 46 bases in 56 attempts for an 82% success rate. Once again, the Reds take it slow with the prospect pipeline, but that doesn't change the fact that Senzel is the most complete bat in the whole 2016 Draft.

Will Craig (3B, PIT): Craig was taken 22nd overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Wake Forest third baseman isn't just arguably the best college power hitter that was in the 2016 MLB Draft, he is also a solid closer. In 17 relief appearances and 26 IP in his 2016 season, Craig posted a 2.42 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 4.15 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, and allowed zero homers on his way to eight saves for the Demon Deacons. However, he wasn't drafted as a closer, he was drafted as a game changing power bat. Craig had three straight seasons of absolute dominance at the plate. In 551 combined AB from 2014, 2015, 2016, he hit 37 HR on a .281 isolated power number, and produced an average three year slash line of .350/.465/.632. He steadily improved towards a 2016 explosion where he took just 171 AB, hit 16 HR on an amazing .374 isolated power figure, and hit for a 1.303 OPS. He has the arm strength necessary to play the hot corner at the next level, but could also profile at first base if need be. Josh Bell may be a strong offensive prospect for the Pirates ahead of Craig in the Pittsburgh pipeline, but he doesn't offer anything near the power upside offered by Craig. If the Pirates find themselves needing some pop at the plate in search of a wildcard birth in the near future, Will Craig looks every bit prepared to handle what is thrown at him.

Eric Lauer (LHP, SD): Lauer's figures at Kent State this season are very eye opening, especially considering his MLB club plays in a very pitcher-friendly park. In 2016, Lauer pitched 104 innings, including three shutouts, produced a 0.69 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9. It is his ability to strike batters out while still exhibiting great control of his pitches in the strike zone that makes Lauer so MLB ready. When thinking of drafted prospects who could make a sudden contribution, you look for maturity, and Eric Lauer exudes maturity on the mound.

Zack Burdi (RHP, CWS): Burdi had a phenomenal career as the closer for the Louisville Cardinals; producing 20 saves, a 1.99 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, while allowing just 0.5 HR/9, 2.91 BB/9, and 10.85 K/9 in 68 IP. What is really impressive is his steady improvement. The former Louisville closer worked his WHIP down from 1.45, to 0.82, to 0.77 in 2016; his BB/9 from 6.1, to 2.45, to 2.20; and his K/9 from 5.23, to 9.20, to 14.44 in his final year. Burdi has greatly improved his control and has thrust his strikeout rate into the stratosphere, and with the same electric stuff as his brother Nick, it isn't a stretch to think the contending south siders may call Burdi up in a hurry just like they did with Carlos Rodon. If the White Sox decide to keep him as a reliever, he could potentially reach the majors this season. With his stuff, he profiles as a future closer, allowing him to keep dynasty value even if he remains a reliever.

Anthony Kay (LHP, NYM): Kay did a great job eating up innings in his most recent season with the UCONN Huskies, making 17 starts and pitching 119 innings for an exact average of 7 IP per outing. While he had a great season this year with a 2.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, and 8.4 K/9, it was his season at the age of 20 that illustrates his true talent. In 2015 Kay pitched 100 innings, made 14 starts, and three relief appearances. In that time he produced a 2.07 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, a mere 0.18 HR/9, 2.25 BB/9, and 8.64 K/9. As a LHP who has been drafted by last year's NL Champions, don't be shocked if his solid control, ability to limit power, and workhorse style land him in the express lane to Citi Field.

Sleeper - Kyle Cody (RHP, TEX): Cody has had a roller coaster career as a Kentucky Wildcat, but he returned to Lexington in 2016 after he didn't come to terms with the Twins over concerns regarding an elbow issue that had reportedly hampered Cody in 2015. This season, the Wildcat starter silenced doubters of his health by pitching 83.1 IP in 14 starts which is an average of 6.0 IP per start, producing a 3.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 0.32 HR/9, 3.24 BB/9, and 8.1 K/9. Cody has been very successful at limiting HR over his career; producing HR/9 figures of 0.31, 0.24, and 0.32 outside of his injury suppressed 2015 season. While his figures may not be as eye-opening as other college arms, it is important to remember, he pitched in the SEC where every team is a juggernaut loaded with top-round talent. At 6'7'', with a fastball that averages between 92-95 and reaches 98 MPH, Cody is a strong candidate to be ready quickly in a high leverage relief role for a Texas Rangers team that looks poised for the postseason talent and who is already making use of their organization's young blood.


Prospects on Deck: Players Worth Stashing for Short Waiting Periods

Corey Ray (OF, MIL): The Louisville Cardinals were well represented in the upper echelon of the MLB Draft, and no one represents the upper echelon of college prospects like Corey Ray. Ray had two seasons at Louisville with 264 AB or more (other season was 265 AB) and in that time his numbers were phenomenal. In 2015, the former Cardinal right-fielder hit 11 HR, stole 34 bases in 44 attempts, and produced a slash line of .325/.389/.543. This season, he was completely unconscious at the plate and on the base paths by hitting 15 HR, stealing an amazing 44 bases and not getting caught a single time, and producing a slash line of .314/.391/.553. He was drafted by the Brewers who are clearly in a rebuilding process, but they haven't yet sold away the pieces that are blocking Ray's path to the majors. The Brewers have no reason to rush the speedster, but his power/speed and fantastic contact rate make him a very appealing stash.

A.J. Puk (LHP, OAK): With the talent that Puk holds, it was a bit surprising that he dropped to the A's at 6th overall. Nonetheless, after a few blockbuster trades that the A's made for their postseason charge a couple years ago have left the A's farm system a little dry. Puk will immediately be at the top of the charts just like a Taylor Swift track. In his last year as a Gator, Puk produced a 3.21 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 0.77 HR/9, 3.99 BB/9, and 12.21 K/9. It is once again important to remember that he pitched in the SEC where college baseball Titans like LSU, Vanderbilt, and Georgia compete. With his nasty lefty slider, Puk has often received comparisons to Andrew Miller. The A's are certainly in no hurry to rush the former Florida southpaw to the majors, and they will most likely give him ample time to work in the minors. However, with his talent, he is worth keeping a sharp eye on.

Kyle Lewis (OF, SEA): Kyle Lewis may not have gotten heavy exposure manning the outfield at Mercer, but he should've gotten attention in 2015 and 2016 as one of the best pure hitters in college. In 2015, Lewis took 226 AB and hit 17 HR off of a .310 isolated power figure and hit for a slash line of .367/.423/.677. This season in 223 AB, Lewis smacked 20 HR with a .336 isolated power figure and a jaw-dropping slash line of .395/.535/.731. He has a great approach at the plate and makes solid contact with consistent XBH power. Most of the Mariners long-term future is invested in guys like Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker, and Ketel Marte. There are some other highly touted OF prospects for the Mariners, but very few of them can offer the well-rounded skill set that Lewis does.

Justin Dunn (RHP, NYM): Few prospects made as significant improvement as Justin Dunn. In 2015, he was mediocre at best with a 4.94 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 1.14 HR/9, 3.99 BB/9, and 8.75 K/9 at Boston College. This season, the Eagle right-hander was phenomenal with a 2.06 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 0.41 HR/9, 2.47 BB/9, and 9.87 K/9. While the SEC is the top baseball conference in all likelihood, the ACC is also composed of very high competition. Dunn even pitched in a Boston College vs. Boston Red Sox spring training game this year, and he found success against players like Dustin Pedoria. How many prospects can boast that already? The Mets obviously are stacked in the rotation department, but Bartolo Colon is obviously near the end of his career, the Mets have been open to trading a talented arm for a left-handed batter, and the Met bullpen always needs polishing. With Dunn's quick improvement and proven maturity, he will be fun to look forward to in the Mets near future of contention.

Jordan Sheffield (RHP, LAD): In following a long line of Vandy Commodore aces like David Price, Sonny Gray, Tyler Beede, Carson Fulmer, and Walker Buehler, Jordan Sheffield was drafted to the Dodgers who fortunately tend to move prospects along a faster pipeline (cough cough, Julio Urias is 19-years-old, cough cough). Sheffield is already 21-years-old and turned in a dandy of a season on the mound in 2016 in Nashville. He pitched 101.2 innings in 16 starts for an average of 6.4 innings per outing, produced a 3.o1 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0.27 HR/9, 3.54 BB/9, and 10 K/9. Vandy pitchers with Sheffield's work horse style and mound maturity have made a habit of quick ascents to the MLB. The Dodgers obviously have that Clayton Kershaw fella, but outside of him, it is essentially a prospects race to the rotation. It is a race Sheffield is capable of winning.

Sleeper - Bryan Reynolds (OF, SFG): Wow, Vanderbilt is a hotbed for MLB talent. Bryan Reynolds dropped to the 59th overall pick and was selected by the San Francisco Giants. At 59th overall, the Giants got a magnificent bargain. In Reynolds's first two seasons at Vanderbilt he took 281 and 286 AB, hit for four and five home runs, stole 14 of 20 and 17 of 19 bases, and hit for smooth slash lines of .338/.395/.480 and .318/.388/.462. In 2016, he focused a lot less on base running, stealing eight bases in 13 attempts, and focused more on power. In just 224 AB, the Vandy outfielder hit 16 doubles and 13 HR and had an isolated power figure of .272 in addition to an even more greatly improved slash line of .330/.461/.603. The Giants are currently five games up on the Dodgers in the NL West and absolutely have a clog in the pitching department with several mature prospects and Madison Bumgarner manning the ship. However with core pieces like Hunter Pence and Denard Span aging and facing injuries, Reynolds has a great opportunity to work his way up to the Giants at a brisk pace. Impressive power/speed figures in combination with an overall phenomenal career slash line at one of the NCAA's most elite schools at developing big-league ready talent tends to fair well for a player's career.


Still in the Dugout: Prospects Worth a Long Term Stash

Mickey Moniak (OF, PHI): The Phillies took Mickey Moniak #1 overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. That is a big deal considering the strength of the Philly Farm System and the optimistic nature of their rebuilding process. Moniak profiles as an overall strong and safe offensive player with a good mixture of power and speed. It is hard to get a clear picture from high school stats, but Moniak's are pretty telling. As a mere freshman in 2012-2013, Moniak was able to produce a .304 BA for La Costa Canyon HS. The next three years of his HS career are scary good. As a sophomore, the California high school outfielder produced a slash line of .461/.526/.652, as a junior he hit .426/.488/.574, and as a senior he hit .476/.540/.942. His senior season OPS was 1.483...WOW. Also showing off some speed, in just 328 AB between his sophomore and senior seasons, he stole 40 bases. He won't be up in Philadelphia alongside Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph any time soon, but if he develops at a steady rate throughout the minors, Moniak will be a great statistical contributor to the impending Philly dynasty.

Jason Groome (LHP, BOS): If it was surprising that Moniak was taken first overall, it was even more shocking that Groome dropped all the way to #12 to the Boston Red Sox. There aren't too many high school stats available, but for Barnegat HS in New Jersey in 2014-2015, Groome made eight starts, had a 0.98 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 1.88 BB/9, and a K/9 of 16.12 which is so blazing it would give Daffy Duck that funny blown off beak. The New Jersey native fell to Boston because there were concerns that Groome sometimes likes to have "too much fun." If the biggest concern about Groome is that he is an 18-year-old kid who enjoys partying, there doesn't seem to be much to worry about. There is a fine line between Johnny Manziel and Rob Gronkowski, but there is a gigantic line between Jason Groome and Johnny Football.

Gavin Lux (SS, LAD): Lux was taken 20th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the state of Wisconsin where he was named player of the year. Lux is a big shortstop at 6'2'' and had a monster senior season for Indian Trail High School. When selected as Wisconsin POY, he was batting .544 with five HR in just 17 games. The high school shortstop has also received high praise for his exceptional character, attitude, intelligence, and ability to be a great teammate which would certainly be a welcome presence in the Dodger clubhouse in the future. There are plenty of youthful power-hitters in the Dodgers organization like Corey Seager, Trayce Thompson, and Joc Pederson. Lux needs a good amount of time to be ready in LA, but he has demonstrated the skills and talent to be a power-hitting shortstop at the highest levels.

Delvin Perez (SS, STL): Perez is just 17-years-old but he has the accolades of a much more seasoned player. He has been named to the 2015 Underclass 1st team, the 2016 Canada/Puerto Rico All Region 1st team, and was a 2016 Rawlings - Perfect Game 1st team All American. Yet he falls to 23rd to an organization as strong as the Cardinals? How?...Oh wait, it was only the biggest elephant in the room during the draft. Perez tested positive for PEDs. The Cardinals weren't scared off, and it could be a gamble that pays off big time. The Puerto Rican native ran the 60 meter dash in 6.53 seconds which is better than 98.5% of the 2016 graduating class. Perez also made infield throws at speeds of 93 MPH which is better than 99.5%  of the same grad class. He is a traditional shortstop who excels in defense and raw speed. They are still waiting to see how his bat develops to see whether he can be on a track to the majors as fast as his sprinting splits. Hopefully Perez doesn't take any additional short cuts to develop his bat to the Cardinals liking, if you know what I mean.

Taylor Trammell (OF, CIN): The Cincinnati Reds are no current stranger to rebuilding processes, and they hope 35th overall pick Taylor Trammell from Georgia will be instrumental in said process. Trammell is a phenomenal overall athlete. He was named Offensive Player of the Year for Georgia Class A football while at Mount Paran Christian School after rushing for an incredible 2,479 yards and 36 TDs. That would give off the impression that Trammell possesses impressive raw strength and speed. In his sophomore and junior baseball seasons, the high school outfielder owned slash lines of .343/.492/.686 and .393/.526/.672 while hitting a combined 10 HR and stealing 39 combined bases in 160 AB for those two seasons. With an average OPS of 1.186 and 39 steals in a mere 160 AB against his 2,479 rushing yards and 36 TDs, it is truly a close call in saying what is more impressive. He initially committed to Georgia Tech for baseball, but he was unlikely to attend due to his draft stock. The Reds have plenty of OF prospects stocked up, but most are either one-dimensional or pure hitters without much kick in the power/speed department. Trammell is a tremendous athlete who has been profiled as having the skills and talent to play Center Field in the future. For a team who is currently at the basement of the National League, it makes sense that they may be able to put a guy like Trammell to use in the future.

Sleeper - Nolan Jones (3B, CLE): Jones is a big 6'5'' infielder who has been profiled as having a possible future at either shortstop or third base due to his arm strength that allows him to throw fastballs that average between 86-90 MPH. Jones was also a high level hockey player in Pennsylvania and his brother Peyton is a Penn State hockey prospect who is likely to be drafted at the end of June into the NHL. Jones has insane raw power and power-hitting skills. His bat speed at impact measures to 105.787 MPH which is better than 99.66% of the 2016 graduating class, while his infield throwing speed of 92 MPH beats out 98.47% of 2016 seniors. The new Indians third base prospect is a big and powerful player with the infield skills of a much more finesse type player. He is a lot like Anthony Davis being 6'11'' but possessing a soft shooting touch and guard skills. The Indians may have Francisco Lindor at shortstop, but they have had a consistent hole at third base for years. However, if Jones is hitting with the kind of power he is capable of hitting for, the Indians will find a way to move Jones up as soon as he is ready, even if it takes time. The stars make us forget, it takes a lot of time for virtually every player who reaches the big leagues.


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You are already aware that wide receivers will play a critical role in the success of your fantasy football teams. The undeniable volatility that exists with the running back position has also presented an increasing rationale for prioritizing wide receivers when you build your rosters -- both at the onset of your drafts and as... Read More

Jaylen Warren - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Who Should I Start? TNF Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions for Week 14 - Jaylen Warren, Ezekiel Elliott, Chuba Hubbard, Najee Harris, George Pickens, Zack Moss, Raheem Mostert

It's almost time for Thursday Night Football. Who Should I Start? Who Should I Sit? Set you optimal fantasy football lineups for Thursday Night Football and Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season. Our free Who Should I Start? tool will help make your fantasy football lineup decisions. Compare up to four NFL players, and... Read More

Week 14 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2023 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 14 is here, and it could be a must-win for many fantasy managers. With only one week left until the Week 15 fantasy playoffs, this could be do or die for most fantasy teams. That makes lineup decisions even more stressful heading into this weekend. RotoBaller will have you covered all week long and... Read More