It is graduation day here at Imaginary Brick Wall, and not a moment too soon, as 2017 Top 100 season is right around the corner. I thought about getting a celebrity to give the inaugural commencement speech, but then I remembered I didn’t know any. Sorry guys, and six girl readers (yes, I have one more girl reader than Razzball). 30 prospects graduated from my off-season 2016 Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings, and before I let go of them for good, let’s celebrate by ranking them one last time for Dynasty Leagues:
*Off-Season top 100 rank in parenthesis
21) Raul Mondesi Jr. (#56) KC, SS/2B – Sneakily put together the strongest offensive season in his career in the minor leagues, slashing .268/.322/.469, with 7 homers, 24 steals, and a 60/17 K/BB in 52 games, but his eye sore of an MLB triple-slash (.185/.231/.281) has seriously overshadowed that. KC has thrown him into the deep end from day one of his professional career, so considering the raw talent and bloodlines, I’m more inclined to be encouraged by the step forward in the minors than discouraged by his MLB debut.
22) Dylan Bundy (#88) BAL, RHP – The first thing I did when I got into this 30 team Dynasty League that my Prospector in Crime, Ralph Lifshitz, roped me into was trade 4 cheap years of Bundy for Derek Fisher, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Pedro Payano. The AL East and Camden Yards is enough of a challenge to overcome without worrying about Bundy’s injury risk on top of it. Plus, in the 14 games he started last season he put up a pitching line of 4.52/1.30/72 in 71.2 IP, which certainly flashed his considerable upside, but also didn’t exactly make him untouchable on my roster. I should add that only 4 of the 12 categories are impacted by starting pitchers in this league, giving me even more incentive to move him.
23) Jon Gray (#100) COL, RHP – Coors Field: Where Aces Go To Be 4th Starters
24) Jose Berrios (#12) MIN, RHP – Disastrous MLB debut had everyone scratching their heads. There is struggling, and then there is 8.02 ERA in 14 starts struggling. Even his trademark control vanished as he walked 5.4 batters per nine innings, although, I don’t blame him for not wanting to throw the ball over the plate after giving up 11.4 hits and 1.9 homers per nine innings too. Probably nothing else you can really do but hold him at this point. His trade value is shot, and he is a big enough name that he will probably still be valued too high in a buy low scenario.
25) Archie Bradley (#83) ARI, RHP – 9.1 K/9 in 141.2 IP is his only saving grace, because the other numbers aren’t pretty. I’m a sucker for strikeout upside in fantasy, so he isn’t the worst guy to have hanging around the bottom of your roster in Dynasty Leagues.
26) Mallex Smith (#91) ATL, OF – MLB debut didn’t really move the needle much in either direction. Maintaining his solid plate approach in the majors was good to see, but as expected, his batting average plummeted without the aid of weak minor league defenders. If he can gain some strength and hit the ball with a little more authority, there is a long career as a speedy leadoff man ahead of him.
27) Jake Thompson (#80) PHI, RHP – These next three pitchers just don’t do it for me. I was relatively low on them coming into the year, and probably even lower on them now. They all have plenty of talent, so as long as they stay healthy and maintain their stuff a breakout will always be possible.
28) Aaron Blair (#81) ATL, RHP – Look up one inch.
29) Braden Shipley (#84) ARI, RHP – Look up two inches.
30) John Lamb (#40) TB, LHP – Woof. I blame the secret back surgery he had last off-season that wasn’t disclosed until spring training, but with his littered injury history to begin with, I can only blame myself.