My Last 10 Dynasty Prospect Pick Ups

I’m currently in five dynasty leagues (no, YOU have a problem) so I’m always scraping the pool to see which prospects I can snag that make sense for my current timeline. At this stage of the season, most of the pop up guys are gone but there are still some lotto tickets in the lower minors that I’ve been taking chances on.

Below I’ll list the last 10 pickups I’ve made across these five leagues from most recent to earliest, which is about a span of three weeks. I’ll give some context in each league and explain why I deem a prospect worthy of an addition.

Liover Peguero, SS (ARI)
League size: 16 teams, min. 240 prospects rostered
Why: What’s the biggest ALARM SIREN EMOJI that goes off in my head when I’m looking at DSL/Rookie guys? It’s when they get promoted to the next level midseason. Peguero, a 2017 international signee, began the year in the Pioneer League and slashed .364/.410/.559 (.448 BABIP) with 5 HR and 8 SB in 38 games. He got the bump to the Northwest League where he’s three years younger than the average player and has begun his career 8-for-17 with just two strikeouts. I’m not looking for some extreme excelling in the short-season level when you’re a teenager, more so just holding your own can be a big boost in value. Peguero has a good frame for growth, is athletic and has quick hands but he’s lacking that oomph power that attracts a lot of us to these younger guys. Given what he’s done so far though, I wanted to get in on the ground floor.

Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP (TOR)
League size: 16 teams, min. 240 prospects rostered
Why: It takes a lot for me to buy in on teenage pitching prospects. But similar to Peguero (and a theme you’ll notice in the post overall) is that if the parent club is showing confidence, that’s a big value booster to me. SWR made the jump to High-A just before his trade to Toronto making him just the second teenaged pitcher at the level. The other guy, Luis Patiño — who’s since moved on to Double-A — was a full year older. The 48th overall pick from 2018 tore through the Sally posting a 30 K%, 5 BB% and a 2.54 FIP (4.25 ERA) in 78.1 innings. He has a four-pitch mix (4SM/2SM/CB/CH) with the first three pitches flashing above average. He’s advanced for his age, showing an understanding of command, especially with the curveball. It’s a repeatable delivery, too. Yeah, the potential future division sucks, but we’re too far away to acknowledge any of that.

Josh Rojas, 2B/SS (ARI)
League Size: 20 teams, min. 200 prospects rostered
Why: I don’t care what these Triple-A balls are doing to statlines, 23 HR, 33 SB and a .332/.418/.606 line in 2019 between AA and AAA is going to get my attention. But more importantly, a trade to a team that is going to give him playing time — and he was promoted on the day I wrote this — is reason enough for a win-now team like me to give him a try. I love that Rojas isn’t a pull hitter and has maintained a 12 BB% with a 15 K% this year, the type of profile that should excel in this offensive environment. He’s a pop up guy, and you shouldn’t take a wait-and-see approach with this type of player anymore. Add first, ask questions later.

Johan Rojas, OF (PHI)
League Size: 20 teams, min. 400 prospects rostered
Why: When you’re in deep leagues like this, the why doesn’t have to be huge. This is the league where I go DSL shopping more often than not. Rojas, however, is a step above that. The just-turned 19-year-old began his season in the GCL where he showed a strong approach at the plate (12/9 K/BB in 74 at-bats) to go with a .920 OPS. That earned him a bump to the Appy League (again, another instance where the team showed confidence and signaled he was ready for advanced competition) where he’s scuffled a bit, but has maintained a 14 K% in 23 games. He’s athletic as hell, which is what excites me the most. I think he settles in as a plus runner but he’s been clocked at 70 run times from home to first and has shown nascent raw power in BP that he’s still learning to get to in games. The reports on his centerfield defense have been strong, too. I expect the wiry Rojas to grow into more power with an outside chance of being an above-average to plus player at peak.

Travis Demeritte, 2B, (DET)
League Size: 16 teams, min. 240 prospects rostered
Why: The least exciting name on the list is also the only one in the majors right now. Funny how that works for us prospect hounds, huh? I technically didn’t add Demeritte to my farm, but rather directly to my major league team. It’s an OBP league where the 24-year-old can continue to rack up double-digit walk rates while supplying above-average power. With Christin Stewart and Jacoby Jones on the shelf for an extended period of time, there’s a good chance Demeritte racks up 140+ at-bats to finish the year to go with 7-8 home runs. If you missed out on Isan Diaz, here’s a comparable replacement.

Jeferson Espinal, OF (ARI)
League Size: 20 teams, min. 400 prospects rostered
Why: Welcome to the dart-throwing part of this post. Espinal, who turned 17 in June and signed for $200,000 in 2018, popped on my radar after a brief blurb in a late July Fangraphs article.

A very twitchy, fast center field prospect with a cornerback build, Espinal takes big, at times out of control hacks, but he has premium tools and a projectable body. He may come stateside for instructs.

I think that’s BINGO for all the buzz words a DSL product can accrue. Video I’ve seen showcases 70-grade speed and a barrel that stays long through the zone where it can barrel a pitch more often than not. However the bat speed looked average at best in his DSL showcase video, though I really dug the lofted path. By now we should know that DSL stats mean close to nothing so long as someone isn’t failing miserably. Espinal is doing well, slashing .360/.414/.462 with 2 HR and 22 steals. Feel free to take a flier on Espinal, but know his value will remain static and you’ll be incubating him for a while.

Francisco Alvarez, C (NYM)
League Size: 16 teams, min. 240 prospects rostered
Why: If you listened to our Prospects Live Fantasy Podcast a couple of weeks ago, you’ll hear the defeat in my voice as I admitted I rostered a catcher and, further, one in the lower minors. Similar to Johan Rojas, Peguero and SWR, the tipping point for Alvarez came when I realized how quick the Mets moved him from the GCL to the Appy League. It took just a 12-for-26 start with 2 HR and a 4/4 K/BB in the GCL to get the bump. What he’s done in the Appy has been very impressive given the fact that he’s the youngest player in the league. He’s hitting .309/.391/.420 with an 8 BB% and 22 K% in 22 games. There’ll be a little body maintenance to do, but remember the Mets paid $2.7 million to sign him, so he’s worth the gamble to see if he can unlock a plus hit tool and average power.

Eduarqui Fernandez, OF (MIL)
League Size: 20 teams, min. 400 prospects rostered
Why: Shout out to Barry Baker who helped me pare down some DSL performers and pointed me to Fernandez. The 17-year-old leads the DSL in home runs with 10 and even has 12 steals too, making him the first DSL Brewer to hit double-digit marks in each category. He even had a three-homer game. The drawbacks are obvious: he’s an extreme pull hitter with a 30 K%. Even his .234/.309/.410 slash line would make us glaze over without much thought. I’m betting on the frame here with the expectation that he could develop into a 30 home run bat whose hit tool doesn’t lag too far behind. Just another dart for your team.

Wilmin Candelario, SS (KC)
League Size: 20 teams, min. 400 prospects rostered
Why: This is the fourth low level teenager I’ve added in this league in the last three weeks. Tip: if you’re in a win-now window and lack the elite prospects, use up a big portion of your farm for DSL/AZL/SS players in hopes one of them sticks and continue churning. That’s how you hit on helium names. Presently, Candelario is a glove-first prospect who has a good shot at sticking at short thanks to his smooth actions and transfers. Immediately that bumps his potential major league future value. At the plate he’s reported to have some swing and miss issues but his bat speed has helped him to produce at the level despite that. The 17-year-old is hitting .297/.371/.467 (.426 BABIP) with 3 HR and 10 SB in 42 games.

Orelvis Martinez, SS (TOR)
League Size: 14 teams, min. 280 prospects rostered
Why: This is my shallowest dynasty league, but even then I was pleasantly surprised to see Martinez available. The 17-year-old began his pro career this year in the GCL (a statement within itself) where he’s hitting .260/.333/.450 with a couple of HR and SB. He’s likely owned in deeper dynasty leagues thanks to his bonus pedigree (he received $3.5 million in 2018, second most of any international free agent). I haven’t gotten a good read on Martinez yet but reports laud his potential plus raw and good enough hand-eye coordination to limit the strikeouts. To wit, he has a 16.5 K% in 115 PA thus far, a strong sign. Like most of the preceding names, you’re just hanging on to Martinez in hopes that at the next stage he performs well and his stock really begins to take off.