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Community Post! Prospects To Grab in Dynasty
In our first community post, Nick Robert breaks down three hitting and pitching prospects to grab before their stock soars.
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After a third of the 2023 season, I have compiled a list of six under-the-radar prospects I am looking to stash in my dynasty leagues. This list comprises three pitchers and three hitters that I feel are poised to break out by the end of 2023 and could wind up being top prospects by the beginning of next year. If they are on your league’s waiver wire, scoop them up and stash them while you can. I would also target them in trades while their stock is still pretty low.
Jackson Ferris, CHC, SP
Ferris was drafted by the Cubs in the second round of the 2022 draft with the 47th overall pick. Ferris put himself on the map with an impressive Junior year at IMG Academy in Florida. Kicking off that campaign with a no-hitter and a perfect game. He continued that success into his senior season at IMG and was regarded as one of the top lefty pitchers in the 2022 class. Ferris is a 6’4 lefty with a fastball that sits mid-90s and can touch 97. He backs that up with a plus curveball and a changeup that continues to develop into a solid third big-league pitch. Ferris has also shown a slider that rounds out a solid four-pitch arsenal that indeed projects as front-end starter stuff.
At just 19 years old, Ferris looks ahead of the game when compared to other prep pitching prospects. This is very promising considering he still has plenty of time to continue to grow and develop. The Cubs must already be impressed with what Ferris has shown them and wasted no time assigning him to their single-A affiliate in Myrtle Beach. This is a quick jump for the kid and not always the case for a rookie drafted directly out of high school. Ferris has only pitched 11 innings thus far, but he has dazzled, allowing just one earned run and striking out 16.
Outlook: Ferris has a long way to go and I would not expect the Cubs to rush him in any way. He is a great stash candidate in a league that allows you to hold on to multiple minor leaguers. I am looking forward to seeing how he continues to progress, as I think he could break top 100 prospect lists across the industry as early as the off-season.
Lazaro Montes, SEA, OF
Montes may be the biggest boom-or-bust prospect on this list, but if he booms, he has the potential to be an elite big-league slugger. Signed by Seattle during the 2021 international signing period, Montes was ranked 8th in his class at just 17 years old. At 6’3, 210 pounds, Montes towers over most of his same-aged peers and really stands out while swinging the bat. With a 60-power grade, Montes has shown some of the best raw power in his class. That power should continue to improve as he grows into his large frame and adds muscle. Montes has also shown a good hit tool that will develop as he gets used to higher-level pitching.
Montes really showed off his power in his pro debut last summer in the Dominican Summer League, slashing .284/.422/.585/1.007 with 10 HR and 28 total extra base hits in just 55 games. He did strike out at a well above-average rate, but this is typical of a prospect at his age seeing pro level pitching for the first time. With his hit tool grading at a 50, I do think the strikeouts will go down as he continues to develop.
Outlook: Montes is continuing to pick up traction but is still flying a bit under the radar across the industry. Another stash candidate, I would highly suggest getting in on Montes before it is too late. A solid showing in A ball this year could see him break on to and sky rocket up prospect rankings across the industry.
Jake Eder, MIA, SP
Eder is one of my favorite guys on this list and fits a profile I like to target when looking for pitching prospects to stash. A standout at Vanderbilt, Eder was drafted in the 4th round by the Marlins in the 2021 draft. Miami wasted no time sending Eder to AA where he broke on to the scene as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball logging 71.1 innings while racking up 99 strikeouts with a sub 2 ERA and a sub 1 WHIP. That was until he blew out his arm in August requiring him to get Tommy John. It may sound crazy to target pitchers coming off of serious arm injuries, but these days most pitchers will need TJ at some point and modern medicine has shown that pitchers can now come back even stronger. So much so, many have opted to get the surgery out of the way at the first sign of elbow trouble. That said, most have taken him off their radar and have likely forgotten about the 6’4 power lefty. Thus giving us the perfect opportunity to stash him before he toes the rubber again and inevitably recaptures the industri’s attention.
Eder has a large frame and projects well as a starter with plenty of stamina. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and has shown flashes up to 98. Eder compliments his fastball with a plus slider and changeup, both of which he can locate with consistency.
Outlook: Without the injury at the end of 2021, Eder may already be in the bigs making a big impact in the middle of an up and coming rotation. That said, he looks primed to return and given the track record of pitchers coming back from TJ he should come back just as good if not better. Grab him now before he makes his debut and dazzles the industry yet again.
Samuel Basallo, BAL, C/1B
Next on the list is a Catching prospect out of the Baltimore Orioles system, Samuel Basallo. Basallo was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the O’s in 2021 receiving one of the largest international signing bonuses the club has ever given out. With plus power from the left side and an above average hit tool, the 18 year old has the foundation of what could be a dominant big league slugger some day. He has good size at 6’4 220 and still room to add some muscle. In 84 games of rookie ball action in 2021 and 2022, Basallo bashed 11 HRs with an OBP north of .340 and OPS around .750. While these numbers may not jump off the page, keep in mind that these were Basallo’s age 16 and 17 seasons. This year, he has debuted at Baltimore’s low A affiliate and is putting up more than respectable numbers. Across his first 38 games Basallo has slashed .299/.335/.474/.809 with 4 HR and 11 doubles. Look for Basallo to continue to make strides and improvements as he becomes more patient with age and against higher level pitching. We should continue to see the strikeout rate decrease and the walk rate increase as he continues to mature into a pro ball player.
Outlook: At just 18 and still in low A, Basallo is a deep league stash that you will need to have some patience with. That said, he has all the makings of a future top prospect in an organization that has been churning them out as of late. I am betting on a breakout for Basallo in the years to come.
Anthony Gutierrez, TEX, OF
Next on this list is another international signing with a tremendous amount of upside if all goes well. Outfielder Anthony Gutierrez signed with the Texas Rangers for just below 2 million in January of 2022. Gutierrez comes from the same academy in the Dominican Republic that produced the likes of Rafael Devers and Eloy Jimenez. In his pro debut at just age 17, Gutierrez wasted no time showing off his impressive skill set and potential. In 23 games in the Dominican Summer League, Gutierrez bashed 11 extra base hits in just 91 at bats including 3 HR which helped him boast an OPS of .946 while stealing 5 bases. He cooled down a tad in the Arizona Complex League, but overall made an impressive first impression for such a raw and young prospect. Gutierrez already stands at 6’3 weighing 180 lbs with room to grow and add muscle which will allow him to tap into his true power potential. His early scout grades and production show that Gutierrez could develop into a 5 tool player. Not only does he have above average speed, he has shown great instincts and ability to run the bases which has certainly shown early in his pro career.
Gutierrez will need to get a better feel and patience for offspeed pitches, but he has shown the ability to feast on pro level fastballs. His approach and ability to read pitches should only improve as he gains more experience and continues to develop. Scouts have already noted that they are impressed with Gutierrez’s work ethic and maturity for such a young player.
Outlook: Another deep league stash, look for Gutierrez to make a big jump this year and make his way onto top prospect lists and rankings. He is another player that I am happy to be patient with given the amount of potential he has to be a multi category fantasy producer. The speed is and base stealing ability is there and the patience and power will continue to develop.
Chase Petty, CIN, SP
Next we have Chase Petty who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins with the 26th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Petty was one of the top prep prospects in his class and debuted with a couple of complex league summer games in 2021. He was not in the Twins organization long, as he was sent to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that landed the Twins Sony Gray in March of 2022.. In his first season with his new organization, he had strong showing in low A, striking out 63 batters in 67.2 innings sporting an ERA just north of 3. This earned Petty a call up to high A to close out the year striking out 33 across 30.2 innings ending a strong 2022 campaign.
Petty sports a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and has good run and downward movement that produces a lot of soft contact on the ground. His best swing and miss pitch is his mid 80s slider that already grades out as a plus pitch and has impressed both scouts and opposing players and coaches. Petty’s third pitch is a solid changeup that he will continue to develop as he makes his way through the Reds system. This 3 pitch arsenal and solid command give Petty the tools to be an impact starter at the major league level some day. His quick promotion to high A at the end of the 2022 season shows that the Reds have a lot of confidence in the young righty and should continue to climb the organizational ranks.
Outlook: I am looking forward to seeing how Petty fairs as he starts his 2023 season at high A. If he can make the same jump in progress as last year, I have confidence that he can earn a call up to AA as soon as this year which puts him on track to potentially debut by the end of 2024. I think he will continue to gain notoriety throughout this season which makes right now a great time to pick him up and stay ahead of the game.