Dominate Your FYPD: A 2024 Dynasty Baseball FYPD Primer
Navigate your dynasty fantasy baseball FYPD with a primer and top 250 rankings from Chris Clegg
It is one of my favorite times of the year, FYPD season. Since COVID bumped back the J2 International Signing period to January 15, most FYPDs do not occur until after the international free agents have signed. This primer will be coupled with my rankings to help you dominate your FYPDs.
Navigating an FYPD is tough. The transition from prep or college ball to the pros is tough. The transition for NPB, KBO, or the J15 signings is also tricky. Imagine leaving where you grew up and moving across the world. You have to learn not only a new culture but also a new language and new teammates. In some ways, the game is played differently. The ball that the MLB uses will be completely different than NPB or KBO use. These factors do not get talked about often but affect a player’s mental state.
2024 Dynasty Baseball FYPD Primer
What I think sets my FYPD Rankings apart from most is having access to college and prep data. One of the better indicators of future success is having strong underlying data not just beating up on poor college or prep competition. Exit velocities naturally drop with the transition from metal to wood, but guys with strong exit velocities with metal bats typically translate well as long as they have bat speed.
Pitch level data is huge too. I believe that pitchers who have strong arsenal traits typically have a strong path to success. Command matters, much like contact does with hitters, but big stuff will always play.
Last year, having data on Jacob Berry allowed us to suggest avoiding that landmine by ranking him outside the top 30 while others ranked him top ten. Roman Anthony, Spencer Jones, and Tyler Locklear were all data darlings that were pushes on our end.
There are a long list of players we could talk about from last year but here is what I look to avoid:
Poor command without elite stuff (Elite stuff can sometimes mask a pitcher with command issues)
Poor fastball velocity(Under 92 for college. Prep has a little more leeway)
Only two pitches(even though we have seen pitchers make that work)
Struggling with high fastballs
Chasing breakers out of the zone
High strikeout rates as a prep/college player
Lack of power(Teams generally focus on players with high exit velocities)
FYPD General Strategy
You can spearhead your FYPD in many different directions, and each year provides a different class of players. Given the breakdown of the 2024 player pool, there are a couple of strategies you can attempt:
Best. Available. Player. Always.
I get far too many questions about players drafting for need in an FYPD. Just take the best player on the board.
The few exceptions might be taking International Professionals like Shota Imanaga or Jung-Hoo Lee if they can help you win now.
Don’t draft based on positional need.
Too many people say my farm system needs more __. So many players change positions in the field. I want my farm system to be stacked with the best prospects possible without worrying about a specific team need.
Trade draft picks for established prospects.
People are enamored with drafting and while it is fun, many managers value the experience of drafting over a player themselves. The new shiny toy syndrome leads some to value picks higher than they should. This leads to being able to capitalize on better prospects or even some with close ETAs that can help you win sooner. Obviously if you can trade picks for MLB pieces that help you content, you do it in a heartbeat.
Be in the Top 4
Seems simple and easier said than done, but that is where the elite values are. Having a top two pick nets you one of Wyatt Langford or Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but the top four for me has Crews and Jenkins who are both in my top six overall prospects. This top four is loaded!
If you are in the five-eight range hold on for dear life, unless you can trade up.
This draft is loaded and has a ton of depth, but the five to eight range is a solid play if you are not in the top four. Paul Skenes, Matt Shaw, Max Clark and Colt Emerson occupy those four spots. Every draft is going to go a bit differently, so you possibly have a stud player fall.
If trades are allowed in draft, trade 2025 picks for this years draft.
Next year’s draft may have a few studs at the top, but it does not have anywhere the depth that the 2023 Draft class does. If you can move a pick for next years class and potentially even move down a few spots for this years class, you will be doing well.
Ex: Trade a projected backend first rounder for the 2024 class for an early second round pick in this years.
Here’s how drafts are likely to go:
The Top Two
Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Wyatt Langford are likely to be the consensus top two. You can’t go wrong with either.
The Next Four
I think consensus will draft the next four picks in some order: Dylan Crews, Walker Jenkings, Matt Shaw, Paul Skenes.
Safe Picks: Dylan Crews, Matt Shaw
Elite Upside: Walker Jenkins, Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews
Max Clark and Colt Emerson are opposites in the sense that Clark has been the elite guy in the class for sometime and Emerson was a massive riser over the last year. Both have potential five-tool upside.
The next big chunk of players consists of college bats plus Hurston Waldrep and Rhett Lowder. The bats in this range include Brock Wilken, Tommy Troy, and Kyle Teel.
Safe Picks: Tommy Troy, Kyle Teel
Upside Play: Brock Wilken, Hurston Waldrep
Fast Movers: Hurtson Waldrep, Kyle Teel
High Floor Arm: Rhett Lowder
The 2023 J15 class was the most talented we have seen since the pandemic. Prices on the international class might be high again, but there is one worth paying for and it is Leo De Vries. Other international players like Shota Imanaga and Jung-Hoo Lee could go a variety of places in the draft, but for win now teams, they make sense.
Elite Upside: Leo De Vries
Instant Impact: Shota Imanaga, Jung-Hoo Lee
Other J15 Targets: Emil Morales, Jose Perdomo, Fernando Cruz, Victor Hurtado, Paulino Santana, Yandel Ricardo, Eduardo Herrera, Adolfo Sanchez, Dawel Joseph
Pitchers are the toughest players to draft in FYPD for a variety of reasons. Pitching prospects are risky. Pitchers break. There are so many reasons pitchers don’t work out. But if I am investing in arms my targets are.
Upside: Noble Meyer, Thomas White, Ty Floyd, John Knoth, Blake Wolters, Alex Clemmey, Cole Schoenwetter, Travis Sykora, Hiro Wyatt, Grant Taylor.
High Floor: Rhett Lowder, Joe Whitman.
Underrated Picks to Click (In My Top-50)
Deep Picks To Click
Nehomar Ochoa Jr.
Traits to Look for In a Draft Pick
Strong Hit Tool
Low Strikeout Rates
High Walk Rates
Low Walk Rates
Command, Command, Command
High Strikeout Rates
3 or more Pitches
High Fastball Velo
If you enjoyed, be sure to check out the full top-250 FYPD rankings here.