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April 15, 2014

Dynasty Dynamics

NL Central U25 Lists

by Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein


To read the earlier U25 editions in this series, click below:

For this exercise, we're each going to rank our top-30 U25 fantasy players by division before we collaborate on a top-150 list once this portion of the project is complete. For each division, we'll give you our individual rankings and then discuss any major discrepancies in our rankings, talk about some sleepers we wanted to rank higher and take cheap shots at each other along the way. It will be like the TINO podcast, but for your eyes, complete with an imaginary Bret Sayre breaking up our fights.

Just like with the preseason organizational top prospect lists, players will have to be born after April 1, 1988 to qualify, and just like with the preseason lists, there is of course an element of subjectivity that comes with these rankings. But unlike the preseason lists, these rankings are all about fantasy.

This week, we'll take a look at one of the most prospect-rich divisions in baseball, the NL Central.

Ben’s Rankings

Craig’s Rankings

1. Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT

1. Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT

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20 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Nojsztat

You guys have no concerns about Shelby Miller being broken?

Apr 15, 2014 06:27 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

I am keeping an eye on him, but I'm not ready to declare him "broken" after two starts. Even if there is an issue and he needs to miss some of 2014, it doesn't change my long-term view of him as a legit No. 2 fantasy starter.

Apr 15, 2014 06:38 AM
 
Nojsztat

It seems that there may be something more to this than just two starts, no? Consider how the Cardinals buried him in the postseason. The Cardinals know everything, so there might be something seriously wrong.

BTW great job with these lists. Subjective as they are, they're entertaining and informative.

Apr 15, 2014 09:43 AM
rating: 0
 
MikeJordan23

I honestly think the Miller not pitching in the post season thing was overblown. He didn't pitch against the Pirates because they hit him really well, and by time the next series rolled around, they were comfortable with Lynn and Kelly in their spots and felt no reason to switch back to Miller.

I do think keeping him on the roster was perplexing, since they didn't use him at all, they could've used his spot for another bat off the bench.

Apr 15, 2014 10:25 AM
rating: 1
 
apaterson

Segura over Taveras? Yikes. Segura hasn't hit at all since last May.

Apr 15, 2014 08:12 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

He hit .277 in June and .281 in July. Not for power, but that's not why you're acquiring him. He also stole 29 bases from June through the end of the season and that *is* why you're acquiring him. Remind me what Taveras has hit in the majors again?

Apr 15, 2014 08:16 AM
 
apaterson

Those empty batting averages came with pedestrian overall offensive contributions though, judging by his 97 & 89 wRC+ in those months, respectively (which includes his contributions on the basepaths). The wRC+ fell off precipitously in the 2nd half, however, down to 57, which is basically Dee Gordon territory.

I won't deny that Segura, for his brief career, has been an above average offensive shortstop (career 98 wRC+ compared to about 85 for league avg), but I would take Taveras' batting title ceiling over that player any day.

I can understand your skepticism and need for OT to prove it at the highest level though, to each their own.

Apr 15, 2014 08:32 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Sure, but most fantasy leagues don't play by wRC+, so that's less of a concern in this instance. I hear what you're saying, but I guess I think he'll be better than he was in the second half, but Taveras' ankle still isn't back to what it was and that caused some concern for me too. Add in the loaded STL outfield and I'm not sure we'll be seeing him immediately. Add in potential growing pains and I think the year+ that Segura could have on Taveras adds value. It's definitely a close call and one I flipped back and forth on.

Apr 15, 2014 08:35 AM
 
apaterson

If only wRC+ was an option in Yahoo leagues! I kid of course, but I'm using it as a proxy for his overall offensive contributions, including SB, AVG, OBP, and SLG, which are common categories. Most projections have Segura somewhere in the range of .275/.320/.400 with 30-35 SBs, which is more in the Everth Cabrera tier than the tier of Desmond and Reyes, et al.

I should preface this by saying that I own neither player, but if I were to take the temperature of my dynasty leagues, I doubt any Taveras owners would trade him for Segura. I think there is perhaps more skepticism of Segura and his 2013 1st half (driven by a .350 BABIP) than there is of Taveras, in the long term.

I will agree with you that Taveras holds minimal fantasy value for 2014, however.

Apr 15, 2014 08:50 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

I hear you and it obviously depends on the categories in a specific league. I think the dearth of talent at SS helps in this case, and as I said, I believe in Segura bouncing back to a certain extent.

I understand what you're saying i/r/t your dynasty leagues, but that's precisely why this is my list. I'm not writing this to be accurate to public opinion, it's my personal evaluation. Depending on the situation - because, as I said, they're quite close in value - I indeed would trade Taveras for Segura straight up.

Perhaps people should be more skeptical of Taveras? Perhaps not. That's up to them, I can only tell you how I view the situation. .350 might be unsustainable as a BABIP but Segura's were uniformly high throughout his minor league career. BABIP can't just be look at in a vacuum. He's fast, which helps, and has shown the ability to support elevated ones prior to his breakout (again, not AS high, but still).

I've said several times, it's a close call for me but I'll take the major leaguer at this point. I still believe in Taveras but I have some minor concerns that put Segura on top for me at the moment.

Apr 15, 2014 09:01 AM
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

That probably came off more aggressive than I intended, but the point is - prospects aren't sure things. I don't think Segura is as good as his first two months nor as as bad as his following ones. If he finds the middle, that's an extremely valuable player at SS.

Apr 15, 2014 08:20 AM
 
boatman44

I like your lists gentlemen, I do ,I do,but as with all things listed as preference's you are open to question....so where the heck is Tim Cooney ,I bet a slab of beef he will be in the top ten of both your lists next year.so there !! :}

Apr 15, 2014 09:11 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Of course they're open for question. Cooney has been great thus far, but realistically, where and when is he going to see time in the big leagues? His upside is that of a 4th starter at best, with a realistic probability of a 5th start if we look at the BP Top 10. Combine the limited ceiling with opportunity - not to mention strikeout stuff - and I just didn't see the upside there to list him. I can't speak for Ben, but that's why he doesn't show up for me.

Apr 15, 2014 09:15 AM
 
boatman44

He will be better than a fourth starter , I see a third starter as a floor , and a Dan Haren type low whip and 6.5 k's per 9 as a ceiling . Thanks for the swift reply though.

Apr 15, 2014 09:40 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

It's going to be difficult for him to be more than a 4th starter (especially in fantasy) with such a limited strikeout rate. Haren hasn't been below seven per nine since 2005 and was above eight consistently at his peak (he reach nine, actually).

Apr 15, 2014 09:53 AM
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

I look forward to your slab of beef.

Apr 16, 2014 07:10 AM
 
mdthomp

Vogelbach over Piscotty. Why is that?

Apr 15, 2014 12:48 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Coinflip for me as I very nearly left Vogelbach off. It's just an impact profile as a hitter though. Plus hit, plus power. Piscotty doesn't have the same type of ceiling i/r/t power, which gave Vogelbach the edge for me.

Apr 15, 2014 12:50 PM
 
mdthomp

makes sense. I'm higher on Piscotty than most, and also down on Vogelbach. don't think the bat plays at 1st.

Apr 15, 2014 13:05 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

I'd take Piscotty first IRL, but I think Vogelbach will have a solid fantasy career, even if it comes as a UT.

Apr 16, 2014 07:09 AM
 
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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week Thr... (04/15)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: AL W... (04/08)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: AL C... (04/22)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (04/15)

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