16 Jun Dynasty Baseball Bats to Buy
Dynasty leagues are an absolute blast! I play in 4 of them, and they are my favorite format I have played thus far. The amount of strategy, trading and team building involved makes it so unique and challenging. If you are a fantasy baseball player and don’t participate in a dynasty league, I’d suggest you change that (but follow me first @bieryplox33)!
Trading is a very important aspect of dynasty leagues, and identifying guys before the public is crucial in landing undervalued players. If you landed Scooter Gennett this off-season, then you know that the benefits can cover up prior mistakes. I went through a bevy of bats below, and highlighted some guys who could net you a profit in trade.
Catcher 1: Buster Posey
I get what you are thinking, a 31 one year old that has been declining since 2012 as a buy? It’s very possible that the Buster Posey owner values him way too highly, but if the Posey owner isn’t a contender, it makes a lot of sense to see how much the legendary backstop costs. I see him sticking behind the dish (being C eligible) for quite a few more years, and this guy will produce a nice average, some respectable pop but most importantly a healthy amount of counting stats. This volume play will go very far in a position that is leaning more towards defense and platoons.
Catcher 2: Tucker Barnhart
Catcher is a complete wasteland, and finding a guy who provides some counting stats without tanking your batting average is valuable in deeper leagues, like the 2 catcher dynasty league you likely play in. Barnhart is far from exciting, but he has improved his wRC+ in the bigs every year since 2015, has an ever improving walk rate, and is only 27 years old. Snatch this Cincy slugger.
First Base: Josh Bell
The Pittsburgh corner-man produced 26 bombs (159 games!) in ’17, but posted a puny 3 homers in 45 games in ’16, so his power is quite a mystery.It will ultimately determine his value, as Bell doesn’t run much or provide a plus batting average. Projection systems have Bell set to finish around 14 homers, so hitting over 20 homers would be a win, considering his sluggish start (he’s at 4 through 69 games.) So what’s changed? From ’16 to ’17 Bell doubled his pull percentage (21% to 42%), and in ’18 it’s stayed at 35 %. Bell also has seen his HR/FB percentage drop to a measly 6% from his career rate of 14%. That should rise and Bell should eclipse 15 homers once 2018 is done. The owner of Bell maybe worried he’s a James Loney type with limited pop. In OBP leagues, Bell has substantially more value considering he’s a walker. If the owner is even a little worried about Bell, I’d capitalize.
Second Base: Yoan Moncada
We aren’t far from when Moncada was a top, top dynasty player to roster. Now his price is lower than it’s been in years, as the hyper aggressive swinger is striking out over a third of the time. The batting average will probably not ever help your team, but the chance to buy a game changer in terms of power and speed at the middle infield is now. I’d chase wherever the owner is in doubt.
Second Base Alternative: Daniel Robertson
If and when the Moncada owner tells you that they will not sell low, you may have to find alternatives. Robertson is certainly an interesting option is deeper leagues or OBP leagues. The 24 year old is really lighting it up with a supreme 131 wRC+ and a .257/.385/.423 triple slash! Beyond his surface stats, Robertson has cut down on his aggressiveness, swinging less, and he has pulled the ball more than he did in ’17. Robertson won’t fuel power, he won’t chip in many steals, but his rate stats in OBP leagues will be a boon, coupled with his adequate runs and ribbies. This guy won’t cost you a ton, I’d see if you could get him on a roster in a deeper format.
Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons
The defensive wizard is injured at the moment, doesn’t fuel the bombs or the bags in an exciting way, but he seems like a very sustainable SS/MI type for a long time. Simmons has a microscopic K rate of 4% in ’18 and his batting average is at .330 thus far! Simmons has produced his highest hard hit rate of his career this season, and he’s walked 2.5 times more than he has struck out. Going forward, I would expect a .290 BA with 11 homers and 15 bags. In this strikeout heavy-bad batting average era, I’d go buy this BA booster.
Middle Infielder Alternative: Chris Taylor
The outta nowhere guy who struggles after his initial breakout is usually acquirable for a price that makes sense. This years version isChris Taylor, who provides a very rare power-speed skill set in today’s steals starved game. He is striking out a lot, 25%, but he boosted his walk rate and is still running well. His wRC+ is healthy, 117, for a guy that you can plug in at many different positions. He is a 27 year old that is showing some skill improvements, he can help you today, and has some room to grow. Scan the player pool for CT and pounce!
Very Cheap MI Alternative: Jose Iglesias
I grabbed Iglesias to be my MI after losing Cano in a deep mixer, and he’s running wild, fueling stolen bases. His bat has improved a bit too from earlier in his career, with a 92 wRC+. I get it, that’s not super useful, but in a deep league or AL Only, Iglesias (28 years old) isn’t a bad guy to roster from day one and get a .265 BA, 6-7 homers and 20+ steals at middle infield.
Third Base: Matt Davidson
Davidson is hitting the absolute crap out of the ball, to the tune of a 45 percent hard hit rate! That’s led to him being 35th in the bigs with a 135 wRC+! Davidson has tripled his walk rate in ’18 and he’s swinging outside of the zone 10% less than he did in ’17. That seems like a sustainable plan that should allow Davidson to produce as a useful fantasy bat. Davidson shouldn’t come with a premium price tag, so I’d feel comfortable adding him in a dynasty league (OBP + Slug leagues especially).
Outfield: Aaron Hicks
The Bronx outfielder was Buxton before Buxton was Buxton. Hicks has posted a healthy 109 wRC+ as a Yankee in 2018, fueling steals, and pacing towards a nice 20-20 season with around a .250 batting average. That’s a nice current output, with a bit of room to grow even more. The guy is only 28, and is in a stupid good Yankees lineup. Buy, buy, buy.
Outfield: Jesse Winker
Power is the grave concern here, and Winker silenced the doubters temporarily in ’17, capitalizing on the big league ball (7 bombs in 47 games, pacing towards a 23-24 homer pace with a .298 BA!) 2018 has been quite a different story, as Winker has provided puke-worthy power numbers (3 bombs in 6o games). On the positive, Winker has reduced his K Rate while bumping up his BB Rate! Winker has suffered greatly from a puny 5 % HR/FB rate while last year he posted a 25% HR/FB rate. That mark should fall to a 13% rate and Winker should finish around 11ish homers come the end of 2018. That’s not super useful, but you are betting a premium approach in a great park with Winker in hitter haven Cincinnati.
Outfield: Byron Buxton
Lord Byron has been Chris Davis-level bad in 2018, suffering from a myriad of injuries, and struggling greatly along the way. In 2017, he posted almost all of his numbers after he returned from injury mid-summer, showing how he can get supernova hot. Buxton has burnt owners habitually, but if healthy I’m not sure how he doesn’t get to 12-16 homers and 35+ steals annually for a long, long time. His super-elite defense provides him a supreme floor, granted he can stay healthy.
Outfield: Bradley Zimmer
6 foot 5 speed demons don’t grow on trees, but Zimmer is ripe for the pickins’ as he has totally bombed his stock in 2018. Zimmer has struck out at a ludicrous rate, 39 % and he has only walked 6 % of the time. Speed and defense is his calling card, and like Buxton, I assumed that his glove would ensure the playing time even through the hitting droughts. Starting Zimmer has been worse than traversing through the Sahara Desert without water, as he has totally scalded owners that bought in. His current K Rate is uncharacteristically high, so I wouldn’t expect that to continue. If you can’t afford to roster his piss poor batting average, I’d completely pass, but with the proper fantasy team context, he could fuel steals and power.
Outfield: Scott Schebler
The 27 year old native Iowan is sporting a .282 batting average, has chipped in a handful of bags, and has launched 8 bombs in a hitter friendly Cincy bandbox through 53 contests. He is also playing CF, which increases his value to the team and helps him finagle more PT in a crowded OF. Schebler has trimmed his K Rate, and he appears to have blossomed into a true regular, as he’s pacing towards a 3+ win WAR season, and a very healthy 121 wRC+. Schebz should come much cheaper than the upside-y guys above, and could help you now and later, similar to Chris Taylor.
Some of these guys won’t be able to be acquired easily, but now is the time to strike for most of them. If you can pickup a guy a year or two before a big breakout, your team will produce the immense value it needs to win in a competitive league.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @bieryplox33 with any questions or comments surrounding any of these players or our great game.