The Fantasy Baseball Season is upon us, friends! That means the starting up of new leagues, many of which will be dynasties! Like many of life’s pleasures, dynasties come in all shapes and sizes. From eight-team to 20+ team leagues, from 20-man to 40+ man rosters, and from keeping your whole roster forever to assigning multi-year contracts with salaries, there are endless ways to keep your dynasty leagues fun and competitive. That’s what makes dynasty draft strategy so important.
But no matter the format you and your crew decide to roll out, one thing is certain, Draft Day will play a crucial role in your team’s win-now and long-term success, making a successful draft essential. The first step to prepare is always…
Understanding Your Dynasty Draft Platform
A major factor in determining your dynasty draft strategy is based on which platform you choose. It’s imperative to hammer mock drafts in advance. Folks won’t usually be drafting with dynasty in mind during a mock, but you get the chance to experience your draft room and see where players stand on the board. The more you know about your board gives you an exponential advantage.
For example, the more traditional apps like Yahoo do not cater their draft boards toward dynasty. And while other apps exist like Fantrax do, with more customizable dynasty settings, It’s fair to prefer the interface, simplicity, and other aspects of the Yahoo types. Wherever you play, younger stallions can fall through the cracks on Draft Day for major discounts. Discover them by…
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Consulting Dynasty & Prospect Rankings
Sources like the MLB’s new Top 100 Prospect List are vital when devising your dynasty draft strategy. Consult pages via Google searches along the lines of Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Rankings. Find a few pages you agree with. Figure out where players you like are sitting on the draft board compared to their rankings, snipe the value, and take advantage!
Heading into last season, many had the league’s former #1 prospect Julio Rodríguez ranked roughly 30th in dynasty. Meanwhile, his position on redraft draft boards was more in the 150th-200th range. This allowed him to slip in some cases to 50th or later off the board in dynasty, adding value for those who remembered to snatch him.
A similar concept applies to injured players! Think Luis Castillo last season and Walker Buehler this season.
It’s Exciting That . . .
Eight of the top ten prospects in the MLB’s Top 100 are projected to play in the majors in 2023. But here are two less popular studs in the Top 100 who are also projected to reach the Bigs this year and are worth keeping an eye on. First, number 59 of the Top 100, the Arizona Diamondback’s top pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt.
Last season he reached the AAA level and excelled. The 24 year old from Louisville sported a 5-1 record, 2.63 ERA, and .989 WHIP, with a 10.8 K/9 across 61.2 innings in 10 starts in AAA – meaning he averaged a quality start per start. With the lack of elite starting depth in Arizona, good chance he gets the call sooner than later.
Next we have another 24 year old but this time from Cuba, Oscar Colas! He’s the number 2 prospect in the White Sox farm and number 95 in the Top 100. Colas spent his early years playing in the Cuban Natural Series and the Japan Western and Pacific leagues, but reached the White Sox’s AAA level in 2022 as well. He didn’t spend much time there, so let’s take a look at his numbers across all levels of the minors last season.
Through 481 AB in 117 games, he belted 23 HR and 79 RBI, while slashing .314/.371/.524 for an .895 OPS. One who’s been called the “Cuban Ohtani” for his pitching abilities, Colas is known for having above average raw power and arm strength. As Andrew Vaughn will be taking over 1B duties on a White Sox team with injury-prone outfielders, Colas could too be seeing the field sooner than later.
But while the stashes are fun for the long game, remember you are…
Building to Win Now & Later
Just like young and injured players fall through the cracks, so do the old heads. Keep an eye on your starting lineup and primary reserves throughout the draft. As you approach the middle rounds you’ll face big decisions. Specifically, if you should grab a solid older player to run in your utility spots to help you win now. Alternatively, you could grab that exciting younger prospect who’s high on the rankings but won’t see the field for a bit.
My first piece of advice is always to go with your gut. My second is, to fill those utility spots with production first. Let your league mates take the prospects in this mid-round range. By then, the biggest names should be gone anyway. Get an edge in the first few seasons of your dynasty with stronger production in your lineup. There is endless exciting talent to stash in your farm. Lastly…
Allow Me to Offer My Top 12
A Dynasty Draft Strategy Article should offer a suggestion to begin your draft, no? So here’s how I think it should go down. If Shohei Ohtani can be used as a two-way player, he’s first off the board without a doubt. Otherwise, I’m looking at JRod. In my mind, this man is locked in as the youngest, healthiest, most powerful every-category contributor. As I start a new dynasty league, I’m looking to acquire one of those young every-category contributors. So, trailing just behind him, I’m looking at Ronald Acuña Jr. and Bobby Witt Jr. (Stats shown on all charts below were taken from the Steamer projections on Fangraphs).
|Ronald Acuña Jr.||25||156||31||109||81||35||.270||.367||.486||.853||.369||11.70%||22.80%||.316|
|Bobby Witt Jr.||22||161||26||90||84||27||.262||.312||.461||.773||.333||6.00%||20.10%||.294|
If I Miss Out on Those Three
I’m targeting a young slugger starting with the slightly more mobile Juan Soto and Kyle Tucker, followed by Vlad Guerrero Jr., Yordan Álvarez, and Rafael Devers. After that, I’m rounding off my final four with José Ramírez, Trae Turner, Aaron Judge, and Mookie Betts. At around 30 years old, they are all still in their primes, and more youth can be found later.
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||23||168||39||99||111||6||.292||.369||.554||.922||.392||10.10%||15.30%||.292|
You may have noticed the big name of Fernando Tatís Jr. missing. It’s a personal preference, but with respect to my dynasty draft strategy, too many injuries and personal decisions plagued his young career. I won’t be trusting him anywhere heading into this season. He’s a player I will reevaluate next season based on how this one goes.
There’s also a noticeable lack of pitching in my Top 12. As hitters tend to fly off the board first, I plan on locking in my franchise bat with my first pick. There is no shortage of young studs on the mound these days to grab after the first round.
Let’s Break Down My Favorites in Order
Five more young hurlers who I’ll go out of my way for this year?
Thanks for reading, feel free to reach out any time for more detailed advice, and good luck on draft day!