Top AL East Prospects for 2017 Dynasty Leagues: Midseason Update

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Welcome to the first of RotoBaller’s six-part midseason dynasty league prospect update! Today I am looking at the American League East Division, analyzing which prospects are going to be the best long-term assets for fantasy owners in dynasty leagues.

Just to be clear, this is an overview of the entire division, meaning prospects from all five teams will be discussed here. I am not going to delve into the value of each prospect in the teams’ respective Top 10 lists and only focusing on the elites of the elite, but we’ll do a more advanced look into each of the teams’ prospects during the offseason. And of course, if at any point you have any prospect related questions, you can hit me up @EdwardSutelan on Twitter.

By the way, if you are interested in more MLB prospects columns, head on over to our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. Throughout the season, you will find the rest of our team prospect breakdowns, fantasy baseball prospect rankings, tiered positional rankings, keeper values articles, and more - all in one easy place.

Editor's note: Get MLB Premium for free through October when you buy an NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS). Whoa. Check out our MLB and NFL Premium tools, and crush your leagues. Sign Up Now!

 

AL East Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues

Today I am beginning my list of prospect systems in the AL divisions. Later, I will delve into the AL Central, AL West and all three divisions in the National League. To read more about my prospect coverage, click here.

 

Top Overall Talent: Gleyber Torres (SS, NYY)

Top Prospect who won’t debut in 2017: Gleyber Torres (SS, NYY)
Torres almost certainly would have debuted this season had he not gone down with Tommy John surgery. But dynasty owners should not fret as the surgery was on his non-throwing arm, and he was already on the cusp of the majors when it happened. When Zack Cozart endured the same surgery to his left arm, he was able to return for the start of the regular season the following year. Torres will not hop right off the DL and into the big-league lineup, but he won’t spend much time in the minors. Between his advanced approach, well above-average power and sharp defense, Torres should be able to make quick work of the minors again next season, and should be able to debut by May or June of 2018. He is a potentially elite shortstop prospect and is a must-own in all dynasty leagues.

Top Prospect to Debut in 2017: Rafael Devers (3B, BOS)
This is reaching a bit to say with any form of certainty that Devers will debut in 2017, but my money is on him reaching the majors at least in September like Yoan Moncada did last season. Torres may be an elite shortstop prospect, but Devers offers just as much elite potential at the hot corner, with scouts clamoring over one of the best approaches for a 20-year-old in the minors and some pop that is finally starting to show up in games. The big question will always be whether or not he can stick at third base, but his bat will translate even if he has to switch to the other corner. Dynasty owners should eventually be able to see a .300 hitter with 25+ homers per season, and a potentially elite third baseman for the Boston Red Sox.

Biggest Boom or Bust: Brendan McKay (1B/SP, TB)
McKay could potentially take fantasy baseball into unknown territory. Pitchers have gone on to hit before and vice versa, but no one in the fantasy baseball era has played both a position and pitched at the same time. But the Tampa Bay Rays have expressed interest in trying it with McKay, which could give birth to a new elite fantasy contributor. The “Boom” is that he succeeds, and owners get both a No. 2 or 3 pitcher in the rotation while simultaneously owning a .300 hitter with 20+ home runs at first base. The “Bust” is that the effort he puts into both positions drains him year after year and he is unable to effectively do both. A third option is that the Rays simply decide to force him to stick with one, which would help him reach his full potential at either of the two positions. But for now, owners have to at least recognize that a two-way player is in development, making him a very exciting fantasy prospect to own.

Biggest Sleeper: Ryan Mountcastle (SS, BAL)
Combine the fact that four of the farm systems in the AL East are so deep with the fact that the one in Baltimore really isn’t and it’s pretty easy to see how many could overlook Mountcastle. Everyone has talked about what youngsters like Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have done this season, but little regard has been given to the fact that the 20-year-old Mountcastle owns a .307/.337/.539 slash line with 15 homers and seven stolen bases at Class-A Advanced this season. Part of that may be the concern that Mountcastle does not have the arm for shortstop and will ultimately necessitate a move to left field, but his power/speed combination could potentially play anywhere. If he can keep hitting as he has, and starts to prove scouts wrong about his defense, expect his name to begin to shoot up prospect lists.

 

Top Prospect Hitters

Best Power Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B/3B/OF, TOR)
This is all pure projection here, but there is a lot to project. Guerrero is only 18 years old and has just seven homers in 71 games at Class-A this season, but scouts see a future premier slugger in his future. The ball jumps off the bat during his batting practice, and some scouting sites like Baseball America have already started projecting him as a 70-power bat. The problem with Vladdy Jr. is that he may have to switch off the hot corner and move to first base or left field, but his bat could be explosive enough to play anywhere. This is a potentially elite bat, and with his plate discipline already well beyond his years, he could be a quick riser to the majors and be there before he can drink.

Most Likely to Hit over .300: Gleyber Torres (SS, NYY)
As mentioned earlier, Torres has an incredibly advanced bat, made all the more remarkable by the fact that he’s only 20 years old. He makes a ton of hard contact, consistently sending line drives to all fields and has demonstrated time and time again that he is not afraid to take a walk. Scouts see not only plate discipline, but a lightning quick bat that should help keep his batting average above .300. This guy will eventually be competing for batting crowns, and you will want him on your roster when he does.

Best Burner on the Bases: Jorge Mateo (2B/SS/OF, NYY)
This division has more power arms and bats, but Mateo stands out as easily its best speedster. He stole 49 bases in 64 games in his first full pro season, 82 in 117 games in 2015, 36 a season ago at High Class-A in 113 games and already 31 in 81 games this year. Mateo’s bat still has a lot of progressing before it is MLB ready, but he is a true 80-grade speedster and could be the future center fielder for the New York Yankees. At worst, he is another Billy Hamilton. At best (and some believe he could at least hit .260-.270), his floor could 60-70 bases per season. He is a future elite baserunner and will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable asset to many fantasy owners.

 

Top Prospect Pitchers

Strikeout Machine: Brent Honeywell (SP, TB)

Best Command: Brent Honeywell (SP, TB)
There’s a lot of solid pitching prospects in the AL East, but none are quite up to snuff with Honeywell. There’s no pitcher with better control and no one with a deeper repertoire than the Futures Game MVP. According to MLB Pipeline, Honeywell has received 55 grades on two pitches (cutter and changeup), a 60 grade on his fastball and a 65 on his screwball to go along with 60 control. He is trails only Lucas Sims in strikeouts at Triple-A right now (though Sims has nearly 20 more innings and only five more strikeouts), and has continued to keep that walk rate at an extremely sharp 6.3 percent. With high-octane stuff, nasty breaking pitches and near elite control, Honeywell is beginning to look like a future front-of-the-rotation arm for Tampa Bay.

 

Top 10 Overall Dynasty Prospects for the AL East

1. Gleyber Torres (SS, NYY)
ETA: 2018

2. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS)
ETA: 2017

3. Clint Frazier (OF, NYY)
ETA: 2017

4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B/3B/OF, TOR)
ETA: 2019

5. Willy Adames (SS, TB)
ETA: 2018

6. Brent Honeywell (SP, TB)
ETA: 2018

7. Brendan McKay (1B/SP, TB)
ETA: 2020

8. Blake Rutherford (OF, NYY)
ETA: 2020

9. Anthony Alford (OF, TOR)
ETA: 2017

10. Bo Bichette (2B/SS, TOR)
ETA: 2020

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Baltimore Orioles

1. Chance Sisco (C, AAA)
ETA: 2018

2. Ryan Mountcastle (SS/OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

3. Cedric Mullins (OF, AA)
ETA: 2018

4. Austin Hays (OF, AA)
ETA: 2018

5. Tanner Scott (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

6. Cody Sedlock (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

7. Keegan Akin (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

8. D.L. Hall (SP, ROK)
ETA: 2021

9. Jomar Reyes (3B, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Adam Hall (SS, ROK)
ETA: 2022

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Boston Red Sox

1. Rafael Devers (3B, AA)
ETA: 2017

2. Bobby Dalbec (3B, A)
ETA: 2019

3. Jason Groome (SP, A)
ETA: 2019

4. Michael Chavis (3B, AA)
ETA: 2018

5. Roniel Raudes (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

6. Tanner Houck (SP, NA)
ETA: 2020

7. Travis Lakins (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

8. Sam Travis (1B, MLB)
ETA: 2017

9. Mike Shawaryn (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Cole Brannen (OF, NA)
ETA: 2022

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the New York Yankees

1. Gleyber Torres (SS, AAA)
ETA: 2018

2. Clint Frazier (OF, MLB)
ETA: 2017

3. Blake Rutherford (OF, A)
ETA: 2020

4. Jorge Mateo (2B/SS/OF, AA)
ETA: 2018

5. Chance Adams (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018

6. Dustin Fowler (OF, MLB)
ETA: 2018

7. Justus Sheffield (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

8. Domingo Acevedo (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

9. Tyler Wade (2B/SS, MLB)
ETA: 2017

10. James Kaprielian (SP, NA)
ETA: 2020

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Tampa Bay Rays

1. Willy Adames (SS, AAA)
ETA: 2018

2. Brent Honeywell (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018

3. Brendan McKay (1B/SP, A-)
ETA: 2020

4. Jake Bauers (1B/OF, AAA)
ETA: 2018

5. Jose De Leon (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018

6. Jacob Faria (SP, MLB)
ETA: 2017

7. Casey Gillaspie (1B, AAA)
ETA: 2018

8. Jesus Sanchez (OF, A)
ETA: 2019

9. Joshua Lowe (3B/OF, A)
ETA: 2020

10. Lucius Fox (SS, A)
ETA: 2019

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Toronto Blue Jays

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B/3B/OF, A)
ETA: 2019

2. Anthony Alford (OF, MLB)
ETA: 2017

3. Bo Bichette (2B/SS, A)
ETA: 2020

4. Lourdes Gurriel (2B, A+)
ETA: 2018

5. Richard Urena (SS, AA)
ETA: 2018

6. Rowdy Tellez (1B, AAA)
ETA: 2018

7. Logan Warmoth (SS, ROK)
ETA: 2019

8. Max Pentecost (C, A+)
ETA: 2019

9. Sean Reid-Foley (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

10. Nate Pearsons (SP, NA)
ETA: 2020