2018 Top 70 Dynasty Baseball Hitter Rankings: Inexperienced Players and Prospects: 16-34

All-inclusive Dynasty Baseball rankings are inherently flawed because player valuations change drastically based on whether your team is contending, rebuilding, or somewhere in between. Older players are also usually far more expensive and/or on shorter contracts than younger players, which complicates things even further. I love reading Dynasty Rankings, and of course they have value, but for those reasons I decided to stick with inexperienced players and prospects. I defined “inexperienced players” as players who graduated to the Majors in 2016 or 2017. I wanted to rank players whose true talent levels were still at least a bit of a mystery. Here are the 2018 Top 70 Dynasty Baseball Hitter Rankings: Inexperienced Players and Prospects: 16-34:

Click here for 1-15

16) Ozzie Albies ATL, 2B – Only 5’9’’, 160 pounds, but the 20-year-old Albies is already hitting the ball as hard as the average Major Leaguer with an average exit velocity of 87.29 MPH. He had a 40.3% flyball rate, a 14.8% strikeout rate, and was 8 for 9 in stolen base attempts. Simply put, Albies is an elite dynasty asset. Prime Projection: 102/18/73/.290/.366/.457/26

17) Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Tucker is so good, he can hit doubles without even stepping up to the plate. Due to the new Arizona Fall League experimental rule of starting with a runner on 2nd base during extra innings, Tucker was the first ever “placement runner.” Welcome to the future of baseball, where they just place runners where they want them if the game is taking too long. Prime Projection: 93/28/97/.274/.359/.490/14 ETA: August/September 2018

18) Fernando Tatis Jr. SD, SS – Drafted #1 overall by Estrellas Orientales in Liga de Beisbol Dominicano, Tatis is slashing .400/.571/.650 with 1 homer and a 3/7 K/BB in 20 at-bats. In that same league, other players of note include Vlad Jr. (.276/.382/.448), Eloy Jimenez (.400/.405/.714), Jorge Mateo (.320/.320/.440), Teoscar Hernandez (.231/.259/.346), and Jung Ho Kang (.107/.161/.214). Prime Projection: 97/30/104/.283/.372/.505/15 ETA: 2019

19) Trevor Story COL, SS – The sophomore slump consistently creates great buying opportunities in dynasty leagues. I remember trading Matt Kemp for Anthony Rizzo back in 2013, and Rizzo has been carrying my squad ever since. Not to say Story will be quite as good as Rizzo, but he already showed signs of coming out of it in the 2nd half of the season, slashing .254/.314/.520 with 13 homers and 4 steals in 70 games. Prime Projection: 82/32/91/.248/.325/.492/12

20) Ian Happ CHC, 2B/OF – The logjam for playing time on the North Side of Chicago is about to clear up. Theo Epstein acknowledged in a press conference a few days ago that, “Sooner or later you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. We’re entering a phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.” I guess that means Theo is willing to take 75 cents on the dollar if it lands them some much needed pitching this off-season. Prime Projection:86/28/87/.262/.338/.481/10

21) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – Solid 5-category contributor, and power should play up at Great American Ball Park. Boring write-up for a boring but valuable hitting profile. Prime Projection: 92/22/89/.286/.374/.477/14 ETA: July 2018

22) Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – The head first slide into first base struck again, as Zimmer’s Kamikaze slide on September 10th cost him a broken hand which required a plate and nine screws to fix. The injury is just one more red flag added to an already risky profile due to a 29.8% strikeout rate, but the 8 homers and 18 steals he produced in his 101 game MLB debut is just a small taste of what he is capable of. Prime Projection: 85/21/79/.253/.334/.450/27

23) Willie Calhoun TEX, OF/2B – If you have any doubts about how much power the 5’8’’ Calhoun really has, just check out this mammoth walk-off grand slam he hit to dead center field. The homer was so impressive, it was nominated for MiLBY’s most exciting home run of 2017, with the winner to be revealed November 1st. Am I the only one who didn’t realize these awards existed? Prime Projection: 83/34/97/.282/.339/.509/2 ETA: Should compete for a job in Spring Training

24) Gleyber Torres NYY, SS/3B – Torres got back in the cage for the first time after undergoing Tommy John surgery. All systems go for him to take over for Chase Headley at 3B at some point next season. That is unless Cashman is able to pull another rip-off trade involving Starlin Castro, then Torres will play 2nd. Prime Projection: 95/26/92/.287/.369/.488/9 ETA: June/July 2018

25) Brendan Rodgers COL, SS/2B – Miniscule walk rate is an easy reason to ding Rodgers, but he still makes the type of contact that foreshadows some monster seasons on the horizon in Coors Field. Prime Projection: 88/31/105/.287/.340/.508/5 ETA: September 2018

26) Willson Contreras CHC, C – Does Contreras’ 53.3% groundball rate limit his upside, or does it mean there is even more untapped power potential to be unleashed? These are the important questions in life I spend 53.3% of my day thinking about. Prime Projection: 71/26/87/.281/.362/.482/4

27) Nomar Mazara TEX, OF – Mazara was traded straight up for Amed Rosario in my hometown dynasty league between two very smart owners. Team needs came into play, but I think it is a good indicator of Mazara’s objective value. He is only 22 years old and has already displayed a strong plate approach with loads of hard contact. A major power breakthrough is only a matter of time. Prime Projection: 80/30/100/.281/.355/.506/3

28) Amed Rosario NYM, SS – Speaking of Rosario, he didn’t exactly impress in his Major League debut, but he still managed 4 homers and 7 steals in 46 games. He’s raw, but there is easy 20/20 potential here. Prime Projection: 92/16/71/.281/.342/.440/21

29) Lewis Brinson MIL, OF – Brinson went 5 for 41 in his MLB debut, but two of those hits were home runs and one was a triple. He finished with an average exit velocity of 90.86 MPH. It’s a stupid small sample, but it sums up Brinson perfectly — elite talent with a still raw hit tool. Prime Projection: 86/27/83/.260/.327/.472/17 ETA: May 2018

30) David Dahl COL, OF – If you own Dahl, hold on for dear life, because I’m sure the vultures are out circling. The constant injuries are starting to become a concern, but the potential upside he brings in Coors Field will be near impossible to recover by dealing him right now. Prime Projection: 86/25/83/.277/.341/.470/16 ETA: Should compete for a job in Spring Training

31) Scott Kingery PHI, 2B – There aren’t many prospects with 20/30 potential and the ability to hit for a high average too, let alone one knocking on the door of the majors. At 5’10”, 180 pounds, Kingery’s physical tools don’t jump out at you, but little dude can pack a punch. Prime Projection: 91/21/76/.279/.336/.460/24 ETA: June/July 2018

32) Royce Lewis MIN, SS/OF – As much love as Lewis has received, I’m not sure it is enough. He combines plus speed and a plus hit tool with the kind of big hacks and bat speed that indicate considerably more power is coming. I would be surprised if he isn’t a top 5 fantasy prospect by this time next year. Prime Projection: 98/20/78/.293/.375/.472/26 ETA: 2020

33) Matt Olson OAK, 1B/OF – Elite 92.13 average exit velocity and a 46% flyball rate puts Olson in rarified air when it comes to power hitters. I’m sure some of that exit velocity was the result of his ridiculously hot finish to the season (20 homers in 139 at-bats), and his 27.8% strikeout rate makes him a batting average risk, but I’m betting that he is mostly for real. Prime Projection: 79/34/91/.244/.339/.482/2

34) Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – Chapman is one of my favorite sleepers for redraft leagues, and is obviously a great dynasty asset too. He put up a 90.04 average exit velocity with a 50.5% flyball rate and 28.2% strikeout rate. He’s basically the right hand hitting version of Olson. With Khris Davis, Olson, and Chapman in the middle of the order, Oakland is going to absolutely mash next season. Prime Projection: 77/33/90/.239/.331/.476/3

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)