Dynasty baseball is always complicated. The winners tend to allocate their roster spots most effectively, and this time of year especially, each spot is gold. With short-season leagues underway in Florida and Arizona, new names are popping into the newsfeed all the time. These two remaining short-season “leagues” have inherited the levels left behind by the recent minor league purge, so one could argue they matter more than they ever have. On the other hand, the pitching and defense is perhaps too haphazard to help us sort the hitters. Same goes double for the Dominican Summer Leagues. Also, it’s only been a week, and everyone is telling everyone else to hold their horses while filling their own FAAB runs with DSL hitters like Atlanta OF Luis Guanipa and Guardians SS Welbyn Francisca. And that’s where we’ll close this post: circling some names making waves in the dynasty-verse.
Let’s take it from the top first though. Big news of the night has to be Giants OF Luis Matos, who homered in his first at bat and got pulled from the game after his second. He’s hitting .398 with seven home runs and six steals in 24 games at Triple-A Sacramento. This might be a drill but does not feel like a drill. San Francisco is 35-and-32: good enough to make the playoffs if they started today. Hard to make a strong case against promoting Matos. I added him in two leagues yesterday: a ten-teamer and a twelve. Both redraft leagues. Chasing that lightning.
The Texas Rangers brought RHP Owen White to the big leagues yesterday with the intention of using him in the bullpen. I’m for it. Just has to be deployed more as an infrequent long man than a frequent single-inning guy. White had a 1.14 WHIP and 3.54 ERA in 53.1 innings at Double-A. His season could go anywhere from here. Might settle into a long role. Might become a rotation mainstay. Might be in Triple-A by this time tomorrow after opening his career allowing three runs in two innings.
30-year-old Royals OF Dairon Blanco sipped a little coffee last year (seven PA in five games) but might have a chance to settle in at the coffee shop this time. Get the laptop out. Open the email. Check the media. Scan the box scores. Maybe order a muffin. We’ll see how much time he really gets, but so far so good with two starts in two days. He’s stolen at least 45 bases and hit better than .300 each of the last two seasons at Triple-A.
47 feels like a lot of stolen bases for the 49 games he’s played this year. He also cut his strikeout rate 6.9 percent between last year and this year, adding 2.1 percent to his walk rate. In that park, they need players like Blanco who can shrink the field on defense and play station-to-station on offense. Or they could just bring the fences in, I guess.
Yankees RHP Clayton Beeter (24, AA) hasn’t allowed a run since May 19, earned or otherwise. He’s 3-0 in those four starts covering 21.1 innings. He’s still walking a lot of guys (11 even over this successful stretch), but credit where it’s due, Beeter looked like a reliever after a 1.61 WHIP with the Dodgers in 2022, and now he’s back in the mix.
Cubs SS Jefferson Rojas (18, A) jumped the complex league and hit the ground running with a triple slash of .316/.381/.632 through five games. I’m impressed to see him jump in with a league that’s been underway for months and thrive.
Royals SS Austin Charles (19, A) made the same jump but hasn’t enjoyed the first week as much (.133/.125/.200). At 6’4” 215 lbs, Charles brings rare athleticism and a multi-sport background. Might require some patience for our purposes, but the topside is tremendous.
Yankees OF Christopher Familia (A, 23) has six home runs through ten Low-A games. International players were especially impacted by the Covid shutdown, and Familia’s timeline is still recovering. Tampa’s park is ripe for false positives, and it’s tough to give much credit to a 23-year-old against younger players, but six homers in ten games is six homers in ten games. Not a quick pickup, but Familia is on the map now.
Astros OF Luis Baez leads the Florida Complex League with four home runs in seven games. He’s 19, so that’s not ideal, but he’ll probably be in Low-A soon if he keeps hitting (and walking) like he has (five walks, six strikeouts).
Right here I’d like to insert an interlude like we get from I Think You Should Leave, during which you scan all your leagues for Atlanta OF Luis Guanipa (17, DSL) and Guardians SS Welbyn Francisca (17, DSL). Find a spot for them. Also Rojas. Charles and Baez would be nice, too, if you can fit them, but I realize we can’t play every angle we like, no matter how deep the league goes.
Thanks for reading!