Top NL West Prospects for 2017 Dynasty Leagues

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Welcome to the sixth and final edition 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 offseason, 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!

 

NL West Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues

I have covered all of the other divisions in baseball. We will update the prospect lists for every team in the offseason this year. To read more about my prospect coverage, click here.

Top Overall Talent: Brendan Rodgers (SS, COL)
Top Prospect who won’t debut in 2017: Brendan Rodgers (SS, COL)
Ordinary hitters gain substantial boosts in value when they play for the Colorado Rockies. So what happens when you have one of the best prospects in the game who plays in the minors of the Rockies? Then you have a future fantasy superstar, and it’s safe to say Rodgers is doing everything he can to turn himself into that superstar. The Rockies were likely extremely happy when Rodgers fell to them at third in the 2015 draft, because he is now starting to emerge as one of the best prospects in the minors.

He made it to High Class-A this season, and posted a .400/.419/.700 slash line with 12 homers in 48 games there before being promoted to Double-A. Now 20 years old, Rodgers could be ready to debut in 2018 with the big-league club, and with Coors Field being his home and an already-superb power tool, Rodgers could be one of the most productive shortstops in all of baseball.

Top Prospect to Debut in 2017: Chris Shaw (1B/OF, SF)
Shaw has done a lot this season to put himself in this position. Sure, there is not a deep crop of prospects in this division who seem likely to debut this season, but let’s not take anything away from Shaw. He has built on a middling Double-A debut in 2016 to a strong campaign in Richmond this season, posting a .301/.390/.511 slash line while reducing his strikeout rate by 5 percent. He is now continuing to bash at Triple-A — though the strikeouts have gone up — and could reach the majors if the San Francisco Giants decide to sell off some big-leaguers and free up a spot for him. He is probably a first baseman or left fielder going forward, but with his power, he could still be a solid fantasy contributor in a lot of leagues.

Biggest Boom or Bust: Chris Paddack (SP, SD)
Paddack had been enjoying a breakout 2016 campaign between both the San Diego Padres’ and Miami Marlins’ Class-A affiliates. He was walking less than 5 percent of opposing batters while whiffing over 40 percent. All of that helped to keep his ERA below 1.00 the entire season. However, his season was cut short at only 42.1 innings after it was announced he would require Tommy John surgery. But in his limited time, Paddack flashed two plus-pitches and a curveball that looked to be a future plus pitch for him. He also boasted some of the best command of any pitcher at his age. And standing at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Paddack presented a frame with room to build and potentially add some extra velocity and durability. TJ surgery is rough, and could totally knock his future stardom off course. But if he can rebound as well as some before him have, he could be a future No. 2 or 3 starter in the majors.

Biggest Sleeper: Sam Hilliard (OF, COL)
It is easy to see why people have slept on Hilliard. He is a 23-year-old still sitting in High Class-A, coming off a season where he struck out 28.5 percent of the time at Class-A. However, Hilliard has posted jaw-dropping numbers at Lancaster this season, registering a .288/.352/.468 slash line with 12 homers and 23 stolen bases. He is still striking out in roughly a quarter of his plate appearances, but with that power/speed potential, owners will live with the strikeouts. After all, Bradley Zimmer has been regarded as a pretty solid fantasy player, right? If Hilliard can limit the strikeouts enough to maximize his power and speed, he could reach the majors by 2018 or 2019. Should he stay with the Rockies, that power/speed combination playing in Coors Field could look really nice on fantasy rosters.

 

Top Prospect Hitters

Best Power Hitter: Chris Shaw (1B/OF, SF)
With 15 homers in 79 games already this season, it should be no surprise that Shaw has a little bit of pop. A season ago, he totaled 21 homers between 132 games at High- and Double-A. Scouts believe Shaw to be a future 25+ home run hitter in the majors, with many believing there may even still be some raw power left for him to tap into. He has done an effective job lately making more contact as well, which should help him make the most of his strong, powerful swing. San Francisco is not an easy place to hit home runs, just ask Brandon Belt, but Shaw should still be an annual 20-homer threat, making him valuable enough to own in most dynasty leagues.

Most Likely to Hit over .300: Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD)
There’s a very good chance Verdugo is one of the most frustrating prospects in baseball. So many have predicted power and speed to come from him over the years, and yet over his three-year career, he has only reached double-digit totals in either home runs or stolen bases twice (once with homers, once with steals). However, Verdugo has remained consistent with the bat, as he has only posted a full-season batting average below .300 once (last season) and that was still a very respectable .273. Verdugo is basically another version of Jesse Winker, but with the ability to play all three outfield spots. Verdugo takes his fair share of walks and really limits the strikeouts this season. In fact, this season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, he has a 10.3 percent walk rate and only a 9.4 percent strikeout rate. Whether he develops power or speed awaits to be seen, but Verdugo should at least prove to be a reliable source of a high batting average for fantasy owners.

Best Burner on the Bases: Buddy Reed (OF, SD)
Reed is a big guy, but he doesn’t move like one. The 6-foot-4, 210 pound center fielder has true 70-grade speed, as exhibited by his 15 stolen bases a season ago at Low Class-A (51 games) and his seven steals this season with Class-A (42 games). Scouts give near universal praise of his speed, with some believing he has the capability deep down to steal 30 bases or more per season. Of course, you have to reach base to steal bases, and Reed does not reach base that often. His inability to hit could limit his fantasy usefulness, and could even prevent him from reaching the majors. His speed could be a solid reward should he reach San Diego, but owners will need to be patient as he learns how to hit.

 

Top Prospect Pitchers

Strikeout Machine: Yadier Alvarez (SP, LAD)
It was tempting to give this to fellow-Los Angeles Dodger Walker Buehler, but ultimately I settled on Alvarez. The reason for that simply being Alvarez has the greatest strikeout potential. Though he is only whiffing 23.1 percent of batters this season, this is the first time that number has ever been below 30 percent. And if you talk to scouts, they will tell you Alvarez might have the most electric repertoire in the minors. Not only can he frequently touch triple-digits with the fastball, but he has two other above-average pitches (curveball and changeup) as well as a nasty, mid-80s slider that is his top secondary offering. The control can waver at times, and Alvarez has had his fair share of struggles this season, but with his outstanding stuff and sky-high upside, Alvarez is as fine a bet as any to be a strikeout machine in the majors as anybody.

Best Command: Walker Buehler (SP, LAD)
Buehler went from not a single appearances in the minors in 2015 (TJ surgery), to just three appearances in 2016 to now emerging as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and already at Double-A. The former Vanderbilt standout has dominated Double-A this season, racking up 56 strikeouts compared to only 12 walks in 45.1 innings of work. Scouts have praised not only his stuff in his first real taste of pro action, but his outstanding command as he has located his pitches with exceptional accuracy this season. He does not quite have the upside of Alvarez, but Buehler and his control give him a higher ceiling, and the safer guy to bet on to reach the big leagues as an effective starter.

 

Top 10 Overall Dynasty Prospects for the NL West

1. Brendan Rodgers (SS, COL)
ETA: 2018

2. Willie Calhoun (2B, LAD)
ETA: 2018

3. Ryan McMahon (1B/2B/3B, COL)
ETA: 2018

4. Walker Buehler (SP, LAD)
ETA: 2018

5. Fernando Tatis (SS, SD)
ETA: 2020

6. Yadier Alvarez (SP, LAD)
ETA: 2019

7. Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD)
ETA: 2018

8. Chris Shaw (1B/OF, SF)
ETA: 2017

9. Pavin Smith (1B, ARI)
ETA: 2019

10. Mackenzie Gore (SP, SD)
ETA: 2021

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Pavin Smith (1B, A-)
ETA: 2019

2. Drew Ellis (3B, A-)
ETA: 2019

3. Dawel Lugo (3B/SS, AA)
ETA: 2018

4. Daulton Varsho (C, A-)
ETA: 2020

5. Domingo Leyba (2B/SS, AA)
ETA: 2018

6. Taylor Clarke (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

7. Jasrado Chisholm (SS, A)
ETA: 2020

8. Socrates Brito (OF, AAA)
ETA: 2017

9. Anthony Banda (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018

10. Matt Tabor (SP, NA)
ETA: 2021

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Colorado Rockies

1. Brendan Rodgers (SS, AA)
ETA: 2018

2. Ryan McMahon (1B/2B/3B, AAA)
ETA: 2018

3. Tom Murphy (C, AAA)
ETA: 2017

4. Forrest Wall (2B, A+)
ETA: 2019

5. Colton Welker (3B, A)
ETA: 2019

6. Riley Pint (SP, A)
ETA: 2020

7. Peter Lambert (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

8. Sam Hilliard (OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

9. Garrett Hampson (SS, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Pedro Gonzalez (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2021

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Willie Calhoun (2B, AAA)
ETA: 2018

2. Walker Buehler (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

3. Yadier Alvarez (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

4. Alex Verdugo (OF, AAA)
ETA: 2018

5. Yusniel Diaz (OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

6. Jeren Kendall (OF, NA)
ETA: 2020

7. Mitchell White (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

8. Gavin Lux (SS, A)
ETA: 2020

9. Starling Heredia (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2020

10. Will Smith (C, AA)
ETA: 2019

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the San Diego Padres

1. Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS, A)
ETA: 2019

2. Mackenzie Gore (SP, NA)
ETA: 2021

3. Anderson Espinoza (SP, NA)
ETA: 2019

4. Cal Quantrill (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

5. Jorge Ona (OF, A)
ETA: 2019

6. Adrian Morejon (SP, A-)
ETA: 2020

7. Josh Naylor (1B, AA)
ETA: 2018

8. Luis Urias (2B/SS, AA)
ETA: 2018

9. Franchy Cordero (OF, AAA)
ETA: 2017

10. Eric Lauer (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the San Francisco Giants

1. Chris Shaw (1B/OF, AAA)
ETA: 2017

2. Bryan Reynolds (OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

3. Christian Arroyo (2B/3B/SS, AAA)
ETA: 2017

4. Austin Slater (OF, MLB)
ETA: 2017

5. Heliot Ramos (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2022

6. C.J. Hinojosa (SS, AA)
ETA: 2018

7. Tyler Beede (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018

8. Sandro Fabian (OF, A)
ETA: 2020

9. Steven Duggar (OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Andrew Suarez (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018