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Spring Training Dynasty Notes: March 20
Chris Clegg breaks down all of Monday's Spring Training and WBC action.
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Let’s get to Monday’s action.
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Masataka Yoshida, OF, BOS
Masataka Yoshida seems to be a dude. He not only had a good Spring Training, but he has been killing it in the World Baseball Classic. Another big day against Mexico saw him go three-for-four with a home run. Yoshida is now hitting .474 with a 1.413 OPS in the WBC.
There were plenty of concerns about his power when he came stateside, but he has put some of that behind him. Yoshida had two hard-hit balls. He had two home runs this classic, but more impressively has not struck out in 19 at-bats.
Yoshida will be a high average and OBP player for the Red Sox, and we are finally seeing why the Sox invested the money they did in him. I still profile Yoshida as a 15-18 home run bat who could steal a handful of bases.
Roki Sasaki, RHP, Japan
Acquire all 2026 FYPD picks to set yourself up for Roki Sasaki and Munetaka Murakami. Two of the best players in Japan were on display on Monday, and despite not being at their best, flashed why they could be the top two picks in the 2026 FYPD.
Sasaki pitched four innings and allowed three earned runs. The damage all came from a home run from Luis Urias in the fourth inning.
Sasaki’s stuff is what was impressive. His fastball averaged 100.5 mph, and his slider averaged over 90 mph. His slider generated a 53 percent whiff rate, and he had an overall CSW of 39 percent.
He is also 21 years old and has already shown to be an elite arm in the NPB. Last season he posted a 2.02 ERA in 129 innings in the NPB as a 20 year old. He struck out 173 batters and walked just 23. This is a special talent.
Munetaka Murakami, UT, Japan
Munetaka Murakami is another Japanese player who is set to come stateside in 2026. He is coming off a season in NPB where he hit 56 home runs and slashed .318/.458/.711 slash line. The 56 home runs broke the NPB record for a Japanese-born player.
What is so attractive about Sasaki and Murakami is their age now and when they can come stateside. They will be 25 and 26 years old, respectively and have already shown they are elite players.
These players are far from a fantasy impact but are names to know for dynasty players.
Kyle Wright, RHP, ATL
People asked me if I was concerned about Kyle Wright’s return to the mound against Tampa on Monday. Wright allowed four earned runs across 2.2 innings, including two home runs. It is important to note it was Wright’s first time back on the mound since October. His velocity was down a tick, but that’s to be expected.
Wright said his focus was on his health and not results. I don’t think that was an excuse, as he also acknowledged the start obviously did not go how he wanted. Wright may take a couple of weeks to get back to being himself, and even if that means he misses a start or two, I would rather him be healthy from mid-April on and give you quality innings.
Josh Jung, 3B, TEX
Josh Jung has started swinging a hot bat over the last week. In March, he has a .379/.424/.862 slash line with three home runs. What is even better is he has struck out just four times and walked three times in 29 plate appearances. After March first, he had a spring average of .182 and an OBP of .167, so the fact he has pulled his overall line to .342 is quite impressive.
Some were quite down on Jung’s performance after a shoulder injury last year. But the fact he came back early and showed the power he did was quite impressive. All of the power metrics were quite good as his MILB hard-hit rate after returning was near 50%, and he has a 106.5 mph 90th percentile EV.
Jung’s flaws are that he can get a bit aggressive and expand the zone. He still looks like he can be an average hitter with plus power in his profile. The nice thing is that he will be in a strong lineup and won’t feel the need to be the guy. Jung could hit .260 with 25 home runs this year, and I would not be surprised.
Josh Naylor, 1B, CLE
Josh Naylor put together a breakout season in 2022, where he hit 20 home runs and posted a .256 average across 498 plate appearances. The question is, was it a fluke, or does Naylor have another level?
Naylor did fall off a bit in the second half and saw his batting average drop from .274 to .239. He also has massive platoon splits against lefties. There is probably a strong chance that Naylor is in a platoon, but at least he is on the strong side.
Naylor has been scoring hot this spring and is hitting .342 with two home runs. he has just seven at-bats against lefties but does have two hits and has not struck out. Naylor is an interesting player, but I am not sure I am all in on him.
Jonathan India, 2B, CIN
Jonathan India is the perfect example of a great dynasty buy-low. After an impressive rookie season where he hit 21 home runs and stole 12 bases, injuries derailed him in 2022. His power dropped off, he stole fewer bases, and his average dipped by .020 points.
India went three-for-four on Monday with three RBI. He has one home run and three stolen bases this spring. The best part is that four days ago, India was hitting just .154. He has three straight multi-hit games and has seen his average rise to .289. Small sample, but it is good to see India get it going. Additionally, he has struck out just four times and walked eight.
Nick Lodolo, LHP, CIN
Nick Lodolo threw a gem on Monday, throwing six scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits, three walks and struck out eight. There’s not a whole lot to add here. I have talked a lot about Lodolo this offseason, and I think he only ascends from where he is being ranked right now. It is likely the last chance to buy Lodolo in a dynasty before he really takes off.
Box Score Heros
Patrick Corbin… say what? 6 IP/5 H/1 ER/0 BB/5 K
Logan Gilbert 4 IP/3 H/0 ER/0 BB/5 K
Corbin Carroll 2/3 2 RBI
Oscar Gonzalez 3/3
Cannan Smith-Njigba 3/4 2 RBI
Riley Greene 2/3 3B
Kevin Gausman 5 IP/3 H/0 ER/0 BB/6 K
Alec Bohm 2/4 1 HR/2B
Heston Kjerstad 2/4 2 2B
Other News and Notes
Jarred Kelenic left Monday’s game with minor quad tightness
Brendan Donovan added two hits and three hard-hits on Monday. Just feels like a breakout could be around the corner.
Jordan Westburg added two more hard-hit balls over 101.9 mph. He is a player and his position flexibility only helps him making it to the Majors sooner.
The Braves are rolling with Orlando Arcia as their everyday shortstop, optioning Braden Shewmake and Vaughn Grissom.
Kyle Bradish’s velo took a big dip after being up every start. Uh oh!