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:

1) Trea Turner WASH, SS – In the age of power hitting Avatars, the 185-pound speedster takes the top spot on this list. Don’t let his size fool you, though, as he still crushed the ball with a well above average exit velocity of 89.06 MPH this season, which goes nicely with his .304 batting average and 81 steals in 759 career at-bats. Prime Projection: 115/20/83/.294/.357/.475/53

2) Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B/OF – Judge vs. Bellinger is the impossible to avoid debate that is sure to rage all off-season. The winner is a bit easier to decide in dynasty leagues than redraft, mostly because Bellinger is three years younger, but he also beats Judge in K% (26.6% vs. 30.7%) and it all seems just a little more effortless for Bellinger. Prime Projection: 112/46/116/.277/.376/.599/9

3) Aaron Judge NYY, OF – About those Avatars I was talking about earlier, I think Judge might actually be one. It really does feel like a paralyzed from the waist down military hero’s consciousness was plugged into this body and he is just learning how to harness his superhuman strength and athleticism for the first time. Right down to that look he gets on his face after big plays, like even he can’t believe how dominant he is. Judge still has the underdog feel to him, but he is actually the big bully, demolishing baseballs with a league leading average exit velocity of 94.85 MPH, and he also holds the mark for the longest homerun of the season at 495 feet. Prime Projection: 113/49/111/.263/.392/.604/7

4) Ronald Acuna ATL, OF – The current top prospect in the game, Acuna has a safer floor than former #1 overall prospects Yoan Moncada and Byron Buxton, and a higher ceiling than Alex Bregman, Andrew Benintendi, and Corey Seager, all former #1 overall prospects as well. The combination of Atlanta’s organizational philosophy of aggressively promoting their top prospects and Acuna’s elite talent made for a truly unique and fun season to follow for us prospect hounds. Prime Projection: 109/30/106/.302/.370/.530/25 ETA: 2018 Opening Day if decision is based on merit. June/July if based on $$$

5) Alex Bregman HOU, 3B/SS – Ever since Bregman blew up at a fan on Twitter on July 9th, calling the fan “a flea on the nutsack of society,” he has completely turned his season around, slashing .314/.370/.535 with 11 homers and 10 steals in 72 games. He had been slashing .256/.335/.418 prior to that. Apparently, the incident stemmed from the fan tweeting out that Bregman was a “dick and asshole” after running into him at a party, and it boiled over when that same fan tweeted that Houston should have traded Bregman for Sale in the off-season. I’m willing to give Bregman the benefit of the doubt here that he just has a misunderstood sense of humor. I know he is a fan of the prank show Impractical Jokers, as am I, and if you watch that show enough, your sense of how you can and can’t act in public gets majorly skewed. This segment has been brought to you by TMZ Prospects. Prime Projection: 98/25/94/.294/.367/.482/15

6) Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – I would be lying if I said Benintendi’s .221/.319/.264 triple-slash with 1 homer in 140 career at-bats vs. lefties wasn’t the slightest bit concerning. I do think he will eventually figure it out to at least be respectable against them, but it was the deciding factor in choosing between him or Bregman. Neither of these guys will win you any one category, but true 5-category producers allow you the flexibility to find value in whatever form it takes during the off-season draft/auction and in trades. Prime Projection: 96/24/91/.288/.363/.472/16

7) Corey Seager LAD, SS – Although it didn’t show up in his homerun total, Seager posted a career high flyball rate of 33.1% and a career low groundball rate of 42.1%. He consistently hits the ball very hard (89.74 MPH average exit velocity), and it all leads me to believe there are eventually going to be a couple 30+ homer seasons in here when he hits his mid to late 20’s. Prime Projection: 101/29/92/.292/.378/.510/3

8) Gary Sanchez NYY, C – It’s about time there was a catcher who can actually mash, and not just relative to other catchers. It harkens back to the days of yore, when Mike Piazza and Pudge Rodriguez were putting up insane numbers. Except these days they are only juicing the balls, and not the humans. Prime Projection: 88/36/104/.280/.350/.535/2

9) Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B/OF – A victim of the institutional discrimination against right-handed first base prospects, and first base prospects in general on mainstream prospect lists, Hoskins proved the naysayers wrong by treating Major League pitching the same way he treated Double-A and Triple-A pitching. And that is with tons of flyballs (45.2% flyball rate) and tons of walks (17.5% walk rate). Prime Projection: 96/39/107/.268/.385/.558/5

10) Yoan Moncada CHW, 2B – Slashed .264/.354/.453 with 7 homers, 3 steals, and a 57/21 K/BB in final 41 games of the season. Elite power/speed combo makes it easy to overlook his 32% strikeout rate. Prime Projection: 98/27/89/.258/.366/.474/30

11) Rafael Devers BOS, 3B – Current hitting profile is closer to Seager than Bellinger/Judge, but Devers is doing this as a 20-year-old in the Majors. He is already smacking the ball harder than most MLB hitters (89.89 MPH), so I can only imagine the rockets he is going to hit when he reaches his physical prime. Prime Projection: 91/33/111/.302/.367/.539/5

12) Vlad Guerrero Jr. TOR, 3B – I’m sick of comparing Vlad to his father, so I’m going with a different ceiling comp this time, and probably a more accurate one – Albert Pujols. Prime Projection: 115/37/115/.310/.410/.585/6 ETA: August/September 2018

13) Byron Buxton MIN, OF – Stop me if you heard this one before, but Buxton dominated towards the end of the season, slashing .314/.359/.553 with 12 homers, 15 steals and a 68/14 K/BB in final 62 games. I’m not buying the batting average due to his still raw plate approach, but the power and speed are very real. Prime Projection: 93/22/76/.259/.327/.451/32

14) Eloy Jimenez CHW, OF – If anyone is going to come close to matching the excitement of Judge and Bellinger’s war on baseballs in 2018’s rookie class, it will be Jimenez. He’s already made waves for hitting a monster homerun in last season’s Futures game, and the power comes with a strikeout rate that hovers around 20%. Prime Projection: 93/34/110/.289/.368/.555/4 ETA: August 2018

15) Victor Robles WASH, OF – When Bryce Harper inks his inevitable $400+ million deal with the Yanks next off-season, all eyes will be on Victor Robles to fill those massive shoes. He won’t come close to matching Harper’s power, but his plus hit tool and plus speed should help make up some of the difference. Prime Projection: 103/18/78/.307/.374/.469/28 ETA: July 2018

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

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