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Eric Cross' Dynasty Notes - Andrew Abbott, Spencer Steer, Sebastian Walcott, and More!

Andrew Abbott - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

In the dynasty world, news and notes articles take on a whole new meaning. Not only are we discussing short-term value with these players, but we need to look long-term as well. A good dynasty manager is like Crazy Eyes from the movie Mr. Deeds. You have to have one eye on the present and one eye on the future. "I wasn't talking to you, Deeds. I was talking to that squirrel over there. [points at a goat]."

So that's what I'm going to do each week with this Dynasty News and Notes article here on RotoBaller. I'll be going around the league, discussing all the notable storylines and players both from a short-term and long-term perspective. Let's get to it.

In this week's report, I'll be discussing even more Cincinnati Reds players, recent promotions, low-level standouts, and more.

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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty News and Notes

Last week's Dynasty News & Notes was centered around plenty of exciting players in Cincinnati and Baltimore. Well, we're not done talking about the Cincinnati Reds this week as Andrew Abbott has been highly impressive since debuting in early June. In seven starts overall, Abbott has posted a 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 8.4% walk rate, and a 28.9% strikeout rate. That line looked even better before he allowed six earned runs in four innings against the Brewers yesterday. Abbott has been missing bats consistently and has a whiff rate above 28% on all three of his offspeed pitches so far, including 42.6% on his changeup.

However, there are some red flags in the profile too that I just can't ignore. Abbott is allowing plenty of hard contact (11.5% BRL, 43.3% HH) and a whopping 69.2% of his batted balls allowed have been fly balls or line drives. That's certainly concerning when Abbott pitches half his games in the most pitcher-friendly venue in baseball. Long-term, I'm very much a believer in Abbott being an impact arm for fantasy, but now might be a decent time to at least see what you could get for him via trade given his hot start.

Let's keep it in Cincinnati for one more player and discuss Spencer Steer. While Steer might not be the shiny new toy in Cincinnati, his performance this season has him currently inside my top-10 dynasty first base rankings, right in the same tier as Triston Casas and Nathaniel Lowe. In 368 plate appearances, Steer has racked up 14 home runs, nine steals, and a .284/.375/.489 slash line along with an impressive 11.4% walk rate and 18.2% strikeout rate.

Steer's quality of contact metrics, while solid, won't blow you away. However, he's able to maximize his power output and home ballpark given his optimum 18.9° launch angle. Steer is also displaying above-average plate discipline metrics with an 83.2% zone contact rate, 20.9% chase rate, and 22.5% whiff rate. And to wrap it all up, Steer's sprint speed is in the 77th percentile. I'm seeing no reason to believe that Steer can't remain a top-100 caliber fantasy player moving forward and a top-10 first baseman for dynasty leagues.

Moving to another National League Central team, St. Louis' Nolan Gorman has been in a major funk lately. Entering play on June 4th, Gorman had an impressive .276/.364/.564 slash line. but since then, he's slashing only .151/.232/.279 with a massive 40% strikeout rate in 95 plate appearances. Gorman's quality of contact metrics are very good with a 13.6% barrel rate and 49.4% hard-hit rate, but when you're running a 74% zone contact rate and 34.4% whiff rate, inconsistency will usually rear its ugly head throughout a full season.

Even if Gorman is more of a .240ish hitter moving forward, his ability to swat more than 30 homers annually keeps him in the top-10 overall discussion at the second base position long-term. So if you're fine with that, he makes for a decent buy-low right now. If you roster him and don't want to deal with the inconsistency, wait for him to heat back up then explore trade options.

Who knows how long he'll be up for, but it was exciting to see Dominic Canzone finally get the call to Arizona. If you've been following my Top 25 Prospects to Stash article every Tuesday here on RotoBaller, you'll know that Canzone has been a mainstay near the top of those rankings. And even though he's excelled in the minors over the last few seasons, Canzone still feels a bit underrated and undervalued to me.

Season Levels PA Slash Line HR SB BB% K%
2019 RK/A- 195 .281/.318/.535 8 5 4.6% 14.9%
2021 A+/AA 339 .302/.375/.522 14 19 9.4% 20.9%
2022 AA/AAA 436 .300/.367/.541 22 15 8.5% 19.0%
2023 AAA 304 .354/.431/.634 16 2 12.8% 13.2%

Canzone isn't running as much this season, but the rest of his offensive profile has been incredible, hitting for average and power while showing an exceptional approach at the plate. Yes, those numbers get inflated by the league and home ballpark he was in, but Canzone is absolutely legit. My only area of concern right now, and it's a minor one, is that he only has one home run in 84 plate appearances against southpaws. But again, that's minor as he's still hitting .271 against them. Long-term, I could see a Bryan Reynolds type of player here with Canzone if everything clicks at the Major League level.

The other notable promotion over the past week was Baltimore promoting outfielder Colton Cowser. In 56 games for Triple-A Norfolk this season, Cowser slashed .330/.459/.537 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs, and seven steals. He's always been an elite source of OBP and even dropped his strikeout rate from 27.8% to 23.3% this season. With above-average to plus power and average or better speed, Cowser has top-50 overall upside and is basically Canzone with more speed and higher OBP upside. He's going to cost a lot more to acquire though as Cowser has been considered a top-20 fantasy prospect for a while now. But it should be worth it.

It's been around a month since rookie leagues started up and one of the most impressive bats so far has been Texas Rangers shortstop prospect, Sebastian Walcott. In nine games for Texas' Complex Level squad, Walcott has already racked up eight extra-base hits, five home runs, and three steals. The upside here is massive and Walcott's dynasty stock is already beginning to skyrocket. Given his big and projectable 6'4 frame along with the power and athleticism he's already displaying, Walcott could be a top-10 dynasty prospect by this time next season. This is a player that could cause major FOMO.

Another teenage prospect shooting up rankings this season is Gabriel Gonzalez from the Seattle Mariners. While he was already rising up rankings given his performance last season, he's taken his game to the next level this season in Lo-A, slashing .350/.402/.529 in 71 games with 19 doubles, nine home runs, and eight steals. Scouts have long praised his power and strong throwing arm, but Gonzalez has made strides in the hit tool department as well, now projecting as at least an average hitter with the potential for plus power. Don't expect a ton of steals from him as he's a fringe-average runner, but the all-around offensive profile is exciting for fantasy purposes and could have him flirting with the top-25 in my prospect rankings by the end of the season.

Out of all the impressive rookie arms this season, the one that isn't getting talked about enough is Seattle's Bryan Woo. On the surface, Woo has a 4.08 ERA which isn't overly impressive by itself. But this is why surface stats can be misleading. When you dig deeper, you see that Woo has an impressive 2.72 xERA (94th percentile), 6.7% walk rate, 32.8% strikeout rate (94th percentile), 33.2% chase rate, and a 29.1% whiff rate. If you take out Woo's Major League debut against the offensive juggernaut Texas Rangers, he would have a 2.36 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.

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