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MLB Dynasty Report: Before They Were Stars

MLB Dynasty Report

Or at the very least, known

Hope you enjoyed last week’s debut. If you are returning, I’ll take it as a yes. If not, welcome! Haven’t written regular work in some time so I may forget to dot some t’s and cross some i’s. But, we’ll get thru it. Together. Last week I uncovered 3 prospects of whom, short of being a blood relative of, you had likely never heard of. This week will be no different, except for now we’ll look at 2 pitchers and 1 hitter, instead of the other way around. Like last week. The following are guys on the verge of becoming desired Dynasty assets but still are in a position of great vulnerability to you the fantasy owner. In other words, you can still get them cheap. I’ll reiterate, this is designed for the deeper Dynasty owner (think 200+ minor leaguers rostered), but at the very least can be used to introduce you to guys you should be starting to monitor. A couple of quick plugs before we continue: Don’t forget to watch The Baseball Show LIVE, every Tuesday night at 9 pm est, with myself and my co-host Ralph Lifshitz. It’s on the Fantrax YouTube channel, so subscribe to that if you have yet to. Also, on Wednesday’s I do a regular AMA on Reddit. If you have any questions, that’s a great place to come and hang. The standard follow me on twitter, yada, yada, yada. But, in all seriousness, check out all the other great writers spewing out work on the rapidly rising Fantrax blog! I’m done schmoozing…

Thairo Estrada, 2B

  • Trenton Thunder – Double A
  • Affiliation: New York Yankees
  • Age: 21 (2/22/1996)

No. This is not a medical report, and it is not a thyroid. Thairo is a right handed hitting 2B’man out of Venezuela, who was signed as an international free agent by the Yanks at the end of 2012. A system that was once considered to be barren, the Yankees have taken advantage of trades, the draft, and the international market quite well. Suddenly, the farm is flush, and guys like Estrada have been succeeding below the surface. While more prominent prospects have garnered most of the attention, Estrada has been consistently rising through the levels, while handling each one without any bumps. The most impressive aspect of his game is his ability to make contact. He has never had a K rate north of 15% (I’m omitting the 17.4% in 6 games at Rookie-level to start 2014), and he also knows how to draw walks! This year through 30 games at Double-A, his first year for this level, he is walking 11.2% of the time, trumping his 9.6% K rate. Those are Luis Urias (Padres) type numbers, and everyone is certainly digging Urias. Is he on the same level? No. Urias is better (at least now). But to get a discounted version absolutely free of charge is like getting a birthday card from Grandma when her eyes start to go. You know, when that $10 becomes a $100 bill by accident. Another thing I really appreciate is that Estrada started out as a big pull hitter, but now sprays to all fields equally. It all adds up to a contact hitter with patience and an approach. His power/speed numbers will never wow you, but he has skills to believe he can be a regular at the Keystone in the Bronx. If the Yankees move Jorge Mateo for a playoff pitcher, Thairo Estrada’s stock will soar. That’s not to say it is the only way, but hopefully, you got the visual.

Logan Allen, RHP

  • Fort Wayne Tin Caps – Class A
  • Affiliation: San Diego Padres
  • Age: 19 (5/23/1997)

MLB Dynasty ReportI realize that when you write a column focused on digging for gold with prospects, some are going to sound like you’re painting the rosiest of pictures. But all stars start somewhere, and what’s not to love about a southpaw who stands at 6’3” and weighs 200 pounds. Logan Allen wasn’t going to get a lot of buzz as an 8th round draft pick, but it was out of high school, and everyone matures differently. Remember the guy voted most popular in your high school class? Yea, well where is he now! If it’s you, my bad – but I can almost guarantee if it is you, you’re in the minority reading this. Originally Logan was a Boston selection and then dealt with San Diego as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade. I think that is a notable fact in itself because if you haven’t been paying attention, Boston is pretty good at unearthing baseball talent. He has still only accumulated a grand total of 115.2 IP, but he is also getting progressively better. Now in his second tour with full season Class A Fort Wayne, he owns a 12.1 K/9 rate. You read that right. And it’s from a lefty. With the size and frame to project to a bulldog. His walks have crept up slightly to a 4.34 BB/9 (new career high), but he hasn’t given up any HR’s in 2017 either. As a matter of fact, he has only given up 2 Home Runs in those 115 IP’s, which happen to be across three levels, all before his 20th birthday. There really isn’t enough of a sample size to definitively say if he can produce ground ball rates at a high clip, but 50% appears to be the bare minimum. I would expect a promotion to Class A Advance in the second half of this season, a cap of 100 or so innings, the push for Double A in 2018, and then he starts to become unobtainable. Provided everything goes right, of course. So, to review: lefty with great size, improving velocity, good control, high strikeout + ground ball pitcher, and all before he can legally drink. What’s not to love? His birthday is a week from today, so why not add him to your roster, then send him a birthday tweet next Tuesday. His handle is @SD_Southpaw

Jordan Guerrero, LHP

  • Birmingham Barons – Double A
  • Affiliation: Chicago White Sox
  • Age: 22 (5/31/1994)
We just took a look under the hood at a solid up and coming lefty in San Diego, but here lies the tale of what happens when things don’t all come together. Guerrero also has great size at 6’3”/195, and throws from the south side – he also hopes to pitch on the south side some day, so how’s that for irony. While he never put up gaudy strikeout numbers, he did flirt with a rate just under 10 K per 9 for roughly 125 innings over Class A and Class A Advanced, at the tender age of 19 going on 20. His walks averaged an impressive sub 2 per 9 ratio, and he was so good the ChiSox were inspired to promote him to Double A. That is when it all went sour. In 2016 the J-Tren (I wish there was a sexier way to say it in Spanish) derailed. The Ks were down, the BBs were up, nothing made sense, and no one was excited about the former 15th round draft selection. Was he too young? Was he hurt? 25 starts and 136 IPs would indicate he was not injured – and I don’t recall seeing anywhere that he was. So by default, can we assume the former, and agree that perhaps he was too young at age 21 going on 22 for Double A Birmingham (the same hallowed ground where Air Jordan once played in the same year Guerrero was born – yet more irony!). Lost in all of this, despite the perceived down year statistically, is that the White Sox believed enough in Guerrero to let him work through his problems. There was no demotion, there was just every 5th day. Now, as he repeats the level, the numbers are off the charts! He leads the Southern League with a commanding 12.7 K/9 rate, while walking only a mere 2.7 per. In 7 starts he is 0-4 with a 5.04 ERA, so perhaps people are continuing to overlook him. However, he also sports a 1.33 WHIP, a 1.92 FIP, and a 2.12 xFIP! Quite frankly, someone needs to be talking more about Jordan Guerrero, and I will gladly take the lead. If he can do this at Double-A, the path to the south side is achievable. Let’s be honest, is anyone in Chicago’s rotation really giving you that must own feeling? Want some more irony? Guess what number Guerrero wears? No, not 45… that’s for the comeback. He rocks the 2-3. I swear I didn’t start this trying to compare a Double-A left-handed pitcher to the greatest basketball player in history, but if it got your attention at all, then my mission was accomplished. Guerreo is going unnoticed in the dynasty league realm, but he is exactly the kind of high upside arrow you want to stock your quiver with. In Dynasty, you have to plan for the day after tomorrow. This guy deserves to be on your short list.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed. I never know where to end things, so how about we just meet back here next week.

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