Discover more from The Dynasty Dugout
Small Sample Size Schmample Size B-Side Arms: International Arms
Nate Handy discusses Four B-Side Arms in depth with video breakdown.
My co-host Matt and I strapped on our mudding shoes and dug into every system’s full-season levels, focusing on very lightly to completely un-rostered Fantrax prospects (in some cases not even in the player pool yet), sharing our observations on the Prospect B-Sides podcast. The hope is to find some very low-investment/high-reward players who eventually help our dynasty big league clubs or add chips on our trade tables. We find such endeavors and “wins” imperative to winning certain types of leagues, or at least maintaining sustained success, putting ourselves in contention year after year.
Be sure you sub and listen to the B-Sides Podcast here:
We’ve engaged in some competitive mudding, if you will, and are also stamping a hitter and a pitcher from every system as our official B-Side choices in a way to express which of the bunches we want to either watch most closely or perhaps even get a cheap investment in this offseason. We’ve had a few “draft” episodes highlighting the finds we found most interesting and have now worked our way through half of the MLB division’s systems, with three left to go, but he and I have some different approaches to this endeavor.
On the pitching side of things, Matt has gravitated toward arms he feels have a high probability of making the major leagues. Despite his personal disdain toward walks, he chose Giants’ RHP Kai-Wei Teng as his #1 arm in our process, for example. Teng was just added to the Giants’ 40-man roster and has led the minor leagues in strikeouts over the last three seasons. Dynasty owners have stayed away because of a lack of velocity and command. Yet, a potentially excellent B-side selection, in our opinion. As we’ve moved along, Matt has leaned toward upper-level “soft-tossing lefties” with above-average to great command who might have more strikeout upside than meets the eye.
I, on the other hand, am realizing I’ve gravitated toward much riskier swings on arms who have barely pitched in full-season ball, and have as little as one video archived outing. The two approaches have led to more ideas for anyone listening, but leaves me in a position to come up much emptier than Matt...or win really big if one of them realizes potential I wonder might be there.
Sometimes, a player just strikes you as different and gets your attention in an obvious way. That was the case for some of these. Here’s a little visual aid to the “new” arms I’ve come across and found to be my best B-Side option in their respective systems. Let’s get into it a little bit.
Check out Part 1: International B-Side Arms
B-Side High School Arms
Another blind spot can be later round prep selections the organizations pried away from college. A year or two later, the reasons the organization were anxious to get their hands on these young pitchers show up on broadcasts, while the majority of dynasty owners have forgotten the name…if they ever knew it at all.
Jackson Humphries, LHP, CLE, 19
Humphries is starting to hit lists, so more attention may be coming. With just six 2023 outings for our perusal, it was enough to get the gist. Equipped with a full starter’s tool kit, whiff potential throughout the arsenal, and an organization capable of helping him along, Humphries might be the best-kept secret in the teenage arm universe. Or at least, in the dynasty baseball world. You don’t catch many teenagers darn-near pulling off immaculate innings during their fourth full-season appearance like Humphries did above. Humphries stock was rising heading into the 2022 draft, and the trajectory seems to be continuing.
Gary Gill Hill, RHP, TB, 19
Hill logged 3.2 A-Ball IP after a late August move off the complex. All viewable. All are flashing a sharp fastball/slider combination. Albeit a smaller frame, I can’t help but think the Rays will get this attack as sharp as it can get, which could end up tantalizing to dynasty owners. We’ll get into him more during the AL East episode.
Isaiah Lowe, RHP, SD, 20
Injury may have kept Lowe from becoming a more popular name in 2023. Lowe was shut down after just three early-season starts. The lively arm showed some surprising polish during the brief look. Lowe did make a rehab R-ball appearance in August, but I’m not privy to the extent of the injury. 2024 may very well end up a rehab year, but if not…the 60-grade fastball has plus secondary friends to dominate the lower minors. Lowe may also be hitting some top 30s.
Eduardo Rivera, LHP, OAK, 20
The A’s scooped up a big ole chunk of Puerto Rican clay during the 2021 draft that flashed some form. Plenty of polish is still needed here with Rivera, and the head-whacky delivery doesn’t instill all the confidence, but the physically imposing lefty has budding teeth with a chance to grow into a monster. If it happens, I want to be there for it. Lefties who throw this hard typically get ample time to figure it out. Rivera logged 69 IP in 2023, making his A-ball debut while still a teenager. Stockton doesn’t broadcast, so only eight road starts to peruse; there were dominant stretches, and rough times, which seems par for the course.