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Dynasty Review: Deep Fantasy League Advice for Week 10

The MLB draft kicks off in just a couple days. While some dynasty leagues allow owners to roster amateurs, most require the player to at least join the professional ranks before entering the player pool. I know Ed Sutelan is taking a look at a few of the top dynasty assets in the upcoming draft. I'll weigh in once draftees begin to play in short season leagues.

For now, let's take a look at a few prospects who will be activated in the near future. The Super Two cutoff is fast approaching (exact date unknown) which means financially motivated clubs like the Pirates are preparing to activate a few of their top names. With one exception, we won't be looking at sleepers this week. Instead, we'll be focused on how non-baseball considerations affect when a player is recalled.

Editors Note: Check out all of RotoBaller's MLB prospects analysis here. You can also head over to the prospect rankings dashboard. Our Rankings Assistant is a handy free tool where you can find team-specific prospect breakdowns, tiered positional rankings, 500+ player outlooks, dynasty ranks and more - all in one easy place.

 

Dynasty Advice for Week 10

Chad Kuhl - Pittsburgh Pirates

We'll get to Pittsburgh's top two pitching prospects in a moment. While I am sure you've read plenty about Taillon and Glasnow, there's a good chance Kuhl is flying under the radar in your league. He doesn't approach the dynamic duo in overall talent, but he could provide free value sometime in the next month.

In 61.2 Triple-A innings, Kuhl has a 1.75 ERA, 7.44 K/9, and 1.61 BB/9. In past seasons, he's posted roughly 5.95 K/9 and 2.45 BB/9. In other words, he's shown some signs of improvement this season while moving to the upper minors.

Given the strong walk rates, you might expect him to be a command and control guy. The reports I have describe his command as "fringy." Most of those were from prior to the season. He's credited with an average fastball, slider, and changeup - none of the pitches stand out.

He's been plagued by home runs in recent starts. Pitchers with low walk rates and iffy command tend to suffer from longballitis. Luckily, PNC Park is the second friendliest stadium for pitchers, and the Pirates outfield is defensively elite.

Aside from Gerrit Cole, the Pirates rotation has performed poorly. Francisco Liriano looks hurt. The other three are eminently replaceable. Kuhl won't be a fantasy ace, but he could be the next iteration of Jerad Eickhoff. There will be room for him to make 10 major league starts.

Trea Turner - Washington Nationals

Turner is the victim of a phantom roster jam. He was briefly called up over the past weekend while  Ryan Zimmerman was out on paternity leave. With Zim returning on Monday, Turner was demoted. He was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk.

Nationals shortstops are hitting .204/.294/.366 with above average defense. Despite the terrible offense, they're still the 15th most productive unit by Wins Above Replacement (WAR). The club could immediately upgrade with Turner, but they feel no pressure to do so - especially with the Mets buried under injuries.

For his part, Turner is hitting .310/.376/.472 with three home runs and 17 stolen bases in Triple-A. He's expected to be a roughly league average defender with a league average, contact-centric bat. For fantasy purposes, his value is tied to batting average, base running, and lineup role. Until the Nationals feel some pressure to make a change, Turner will continue to "develop" in Triple-A.

The Nationals stand to save a few million dollars if they can keep him down until sometime in late July. Turner spent some time on the active roster last year so his Super Two cutoff date is different than most rookies. His fantasy value this season may be overhyped at this point - most rookies are extra careful about stealing bases.

 

Rapid Fire

This week, I'm looking at five players who won't be available in most dynasty formats. I'm focusing on service time considerations and how their respective clubs may wish to proceed.

Jameson Taillon - Pittsburgh Pirates

Despite losing two seasons to injury, Taillon looks like the most polished pitcher in the minors. In 61.2 Triple-A innings, he has a 2.04 ERA, 8.90 K/9, and 0.88 BB/9. His ceiling may not be quite as high as Glasnow or Lucas Giolito, but he's the most likely to provide immediate value.

Rumormongers talked about seeing Taillon pitch tonight, but the Pittsburgh brass shot that down. We're probably only a week or two from his debut. Because he missed so much development time, Taillon is undoubtedly on a innings limit. The extent is unknown; I'd guess something like 120 innings. He may only have another 50 to 70 for the rest of the season.

Tyler Glasnow - Pittsburgh Pirates

Glasnow has bigger stuff than Taillon, but his command is shaky. Major league hitters tend to punish pitchers with plus stuff and minus command. In 61 Triple-A innings, Glasnow has a 2.07 ERA, 10.62 K/9, and 4.28 BB/9. He threw just under 110 innings last season. I'd guess he's penciled in for about 140 frames this year.

The Pirates need to be careful about relying too heavily on Glasnow or Taillon down the stretch. They're a prudent organization so I don't doubt they'll shut down both pitchers prior to the postseason. It might be the right move long term, but it'll be a public relations nightmare.

Alex Bregman - Houston Astros

We talked about Bregman's offensive gifts in the first Dynasty Review. The shortstop prospect is still tearing through Double-A pitching with a .301/.409/.583 line, 12 home runs, three stolen bases, and more walks than strikeouts. Everybody expected him to show more speed than power.

There's talk that Bregman could be summoned in the next couple weeks, but I see that as wishful thinking. For one, the club isn't feeling any pain at third base now that Luis Valbuena is hitting. And while Colin Moran flopped in his debut, there's no rush to add Bregman to the 40-man roster. The Astros probably need to claw back into the playoff hunt before they consider starting Bregman's service clock. They're making progress (28-31 as of this writing).

It's my guess that Bregman remains in Triple-A because he's still learning third base. It's wise to not challenge a prospect along multiple fronts. Once he's comfortable at third, then they can try him against tougher pitchers. It's not unheard of for a top prospect to skip the highest level of the minors, but I doubt Houston is planning to do that with Bregman.

Joey Gallo - Texas Rangers

Gallo recently spent a couple days on the big league roster. The Rangers pinch hit him once. He's in the midst of a contact breakout at Triple-A, but it's clear the club doesn't want to undo the progress. He's hitting .296/.442/.657 in 138 plate appearances with 10 home runs, a 23.9 percent strikeout rate, and a 21 percent walk rate. That sets him up as a better version of Adam Dunn. In past seasons, Gallo's strikeout rate has barely limped under 40 percent.

With Nomar Mazara already carving out a regular role, the Rangers probably don't want to put too much pressure on their rookies. Gallo may eventually assume a regular role later in the season - especially if Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland fail to rebound. Don't expect the promotion to come until after the trade deadline.

Tim Anderson - Chicago White Sox

The White Sox recently acquired James Shields specifically because they have every intention to contend. After a hot start to the season, they've been equally cold of late. The Sox strike me as a desperate club. They could look to a prospect like Anderson for a jolt of adrenaline. While Jimmy Rollins and Tyler Saladino haven't been bad at shortstop, they haven't been good either.

Anderson doesn't strike me as somebody who will thrive in his first taste of the majors. He has plate discipline issues and middling power - .297/.321/.392 with three home runs and 10 steals in 241 Triple-A plate appearances. Those numbers are buffed by a .382 BABIP. The soon-to-be 23-year-old is probably a couple years from consistent major league production. He's also a breakout away from being more than a good utility guy. He's certainly worth owning in a dynasty format, just don't count on instant gratification.

 

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