The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Dynasty Baseball Stock Watch: 5 MLB Prospects Answering Questions

We’ve hit a bit of a breaking point for dynasty baseball managers with the recent outbreak of high-profile, top-100 overall starting pitchers facing lengthy absences due to elbow injuries. That list included Gerrit Cole and Eury Pérez already prior to this past weekend before the Guardians revealed that Shane Bieber would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery and the Braves announced that ace Spencer Strider will visit Dr. Keith Meister for a second opinion after undergoing an MRI that revealed UCL damage in his right elbow.

Perhaps the best summary of the complex variables leading to the league-wide uptick in serious injuries comes from 41-year-old veteran ace Justin Verlander, who told reporters following Sunday’s minor-league rehab start for Triple-A Sugar Land: “I think the game has changed a lot, it would be easiest to blame the pitch clock, in reality everything has a little bit of influence, the biggest thing is the style of pitching has changed so much, everyone is throwing as hard as they possibly can and spinning the ball as hard as they possibly can… it’s a double-edged sword… I don’t have all the answers…”

We don’t have all of the answers and it’s too early to completely eschew rostering elite starting pitchers as core components when constructing a dynasty league contender. However, it’s becoming abundantly clear that fantasy managers in dynasty formats need to begin digging deeper into the starting pitching talent pool and be prepared to pivot to alternatives in case they lose a Strider, Cole, Pérez, or Bieber for an extended period. Perhaps the only answer here from a process standpoint is to continue stockpiling pitching depth and hope someone a bit under the radar like Jared Jones or Ronel Blanco blossoms into a certifiable fantasy ace right away.

We could spend several hours debating the strategic adjustment necessary in the wake of these recent injuries, but we’re going to take a more positive approach to this week’s article by focusing on five prospects that are off to extremely encouraging starts and appear to be in the process of answering some of the lingering questions marks we had entering the season.

If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. Just starting out in a dynasty league? Then check out Rick Haake’s Top-400 Overall Fantasy Prospects and George Bissell’s Top-500 Dynasty League Rankings.

5 Dynasty Prospects on the Rise

Heston Kjerstad, OF, Orioles

Where does Kjerstad fit into Baltimore’s long-term offensive mix? There have never been any questions regarding his raw talent, but there were some lingering questions regarding his fit with the Orioles after scuffling to a .748 OPS last year in a brief 13-game cameo at the highest level. The 26-year-old former second overall selection from the 2020 MLB Draft certainly has the potential to blossom into an offensive force and has gotten off to a sizzling start at the dish for Triple-A Norfolk, batting .462 (18-for-39) with six homers and 25 RBI through nine games. Kjerstad and his minor-league teammates are one of the biggest early-season storylines in baseball as they figure to continue pushing for a promotion to Baltimore. He opened the season inside the top 250 overall of the Fantrax Top 500 Overall Dynasty Rankings and should get a significant bump in the next update as it becomes clearer that he belongs in the majors.

Chase Dollander, P, Rockies

Will Dollander eventually solve Coors Field? Dynasty managers won’t get the answer to that mystery for at least a few more years but he delivered a stellar performance last Friday in his professional debut for High-A Spokane. The 22-year-old righty, who was selected – overall in last June’s MLB Draft, recorded eight strikeouts and only issued three walks over five hitless innings. The biggest reason Dollander fell in last summer’s draft was that his stuff took a major step backward in his final collegiate season at Tennessee. Yet, all of the reports have been extremely encouraging so far and it gives him a shot at relevance in deeper dynasty leagues, despite the looming Coors Field factor. He’s worth monitoring over the next few weeks to see if the stuff is back at it’s previous near-elite levels as he begins his journey to the big leagues.

Christian Scott, P, Mets

On the heels of an impressive breakout campaign last year, Scott put together a sublime performance in spring training, which put him on the doorstep of the big leagues. He carried that positive momentum into his season debut last Thursday for Triple-A Syracuse, recording nine strikeouts over four innings of three-run ball. The 24-year-old fifth-round pick from the 2021 MLB Draft will continue rocketing up dynasty rankings as he gets closer to his big-league debut. The biggest question is how he’ll hold up to a full starter’s workload since he hasn’t eclipsed 100 innings in a single season of his professional career. The days of 200-inning workhorses are over, but Scott needs to prove that he can take the ball consistently for at least a few weeks before the Mets consider him as a long-term solution for their starting rotation. His borderline elite command of his formidable arsenal should make him an immediate impact contributor for fantasy managers.

Miguel Vargas, INF/OF, Dodgers

Vargas came into last year with sky-high expectations as Los Angeles’ primary second baseman after tearing the cover off the ball in the upper minors. Unfortunately, he suffered a bizarre finger injury during spring training and never quite got out of the gate, scuffling to a calamitous .195/.305/.367 triple-slash line with seven homers, 32 RBI, and three stolen bases in 304 plate appearances prior to a mid-July demotion that lasted pretty much the rest of the year. The 24-year-old has converted to left field full-time this season and has gotten off to a white-hot start at the dish for Triple-A Oklahoma City, compiling an astronomical 1.023 OPS with three homers, 15 RBI, and one steal in nine contests. The 24-year-old fell off fantasy radar screens after last year’s total flop but could wind up being a decent post-hype breakthrough candidate worth stashing in deeper dynasty leagues.

Yariel Rodriguez, P, Blue Jays

Rodriguez looked extremely impressive in his minor-league debut last Tuesday for Triple-A Buffalo, posting six strikeouts over four hitless innings, after failing to make Toronto’s season-opening rotation due to a spring training back injury that delayed his ramp-up process. The 27-year-old Cuban righty has reeled off 6 1/3 consecutive scoreless frames with a 10/3 K/BB ratio over two starts to open the year, which puts him in line to make his major-league debut in the near future, especially if fifth starter Bowden Francis continues to struggle. Rodriguez was obviously a pretty significant unknown for dynasty managers entering the year since he was transitioning to a starting role after spending the previous few years overseas in Japan as a high-leverage reliever. If the stuff continues to hold up and he continues missing bats in a starting role, he’ll make an impact for fantasy managers, which represents a big change from where we were a few weeks ago. He looks like the best option for the fifth spot in Toronto’s starting rotation right now.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.