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MLB Draft Analysis - Deeper Dynasty Prospects to Target

The role of the MLB Amateur Draft for fantasy baseball differs from league to league. Some dynasty leagues play into the amateur draft, so teams and owners will need to know more than the first round to be competitive.

Below are draft prospects from the later rounds that will find themselves in good spots, with the skills to jump onto the fantasy radar. Some of these players might have some signing concerns, which will take them off rosters, but also off the lists for fellow owners.

For fantasy owners who get into leagues a bit too deep for the regular books, the Rotoballer team has you covered. Target these players for the most value in all amateur and new player drafts this year. For more analysis, catch up on our post-draft prospect risers and fallers.

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Will Holland (SS, MIN) - #149 overall

Holland offers the perfect late-round package, flashing first-round tools with a decline in production his senior year. Teams were scared away by the .244 batting line after a .313 the year prior. Still, Holland is not a finished product, and fantasy owners are buying a stock still on the rise. The concern will be on how polished Holland can be at the plate without plus power.

Entering the draft, some baseball sites listed him as having first-round value, so the pedigree is there. In term of comparisons, Holland flashes Brendan Rodgers but also carries some of the same issues with the swing-and-miss numbers. Expect him to stay at short, but the hit tool will look the same. Fantasy owners looking for the buy-low target should target Holland as the break-out pick in this draft.


Zach Hess (P, DET)- #202 overall

An 18th-round pick by the Braves last year, Hess’s gamble to hold out another year worked with a seventh-round selection in this year’s draft. While an early pick, Hess will be a reliever from day one, with only two real pitches. The good news is that both flash plus, and will drive up the limited fantasy value.  Even over short appearances, Hess will be a Dellin Betances type option, without the elite speed.

Still, he concerns on command will stop him from entering the closer role. This means a set-up role, but again, with the skills, that should still be enough to get him onto fantasy radars. Add in the development time, and Hess could enter the back-end of the rotation with a third pitch. In terms of high-floor pitchers with room for growth, Hess is the best dart throw this year.


Tommy Henry (P, ARI) - #74 overall

While not touching the triple-digits on this pick, Henry was getting first-round buzz before falling to the Diamondbacks in the second compensation round. A college lefty with three plus pitches, Henry will be a quick mover through the system after a full college career. The issue with Henry was a mixed season, with a 6-1 record and 0.76 ERA for the Wolverines through March. After that, and with some struggles in the conference tournament, Henry came back down to earth.

Still, in terms of the landing spot, Chase Field will play well with the skills. The stuff was up in terms of K/9 the season before the draft, but owners will have to watch moving forward. Henry can be a lefty Kyle Hendricks with a bit more zip on the fastball, but the mix to keep hitters off balance. If he slips in dynasty league drafts as he did in the real draft, owners should pounce.


Ethan Hearn (C, CHC) - #192 overall

While a stretch to imagine right now, Hearn might end up being the best catcher in this draft. To achieve that there would need to be skill growth from the player, coupled with disappointments at the top of the draft. Still, if he makes the jump, it will be due to the stick. At the draft, Hearn projected as a power-first catcher with defensive upside. This will add value in real life, but limit some fantasy upside with the batting line.

The floor for Hearn is tied to the glove, as he might have the highest ceiling behind the plate. He will need a few years, but he will catch in the Bigs soon. The Cubs are a good landing spot, with the offensive prospects at the position ahead of him. With Hearn as the foil, this could be the next backstop in the making. For now, the safest of the catching picks outside the top two.


Christian Cairo (SS, CLE) - #130

The son of former Major Leaguer Miguel Cairo, this shortstop prospect enters the Cleveland organization a bit raw. This is perfectly fine due to the team context, as the development of infielders seems to come naturally to Cleveland. The best path for Cairo, in terms of a quick ascent to the Bigs, is the glove. Not only he is he plus at the position but has the tools to learn third and second at least.

Cairo projects much like Jose Ramirez did when he first appeared on the fantasy radar. The breakout was not expected, but Cairo seems to be in the right spot to follow suit. While the power might not be there, Francisco Lindor, another development option from this system, grew into power over time. For now, watch the growth on the hit tool, but love the speed and defensive skills for fantasy impact.


Chase Strumpf (2B, CHC) - #64

With the Cubs appearing once again on the list, Strumpf becomes another on the list who slipped a bit last Monday due to production concerns. Mocked to go in the first round of compensation picks, Strumpf waited until late in the second round. After batting .363 with 12 homers last year, the second baseman has slumped to .285 with only nine bombs. The OBP numbers are also down from .475 to .422.

While not elite in terms of his fantasy value, Strumpf does offer a better than average hit tool, with the glove to stay on the infield. He does lack power according to scouts but has the plate patience to push the OBP line. Expect him to look like D.J. LeMahieu, a former Cubs prospect, but not have the SLG numbers that Coors gave the Rockie second baseman. For now, owners should look past a down year, and settle for a .280 batting line with 12 homers from second.

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