In 2013, when 10 intrepid members of the ESPN fantasy staff decided to start up a fantasy baseball dynasty league, I opted to select Jose Altuve in Round 5. This cheap authentic soccer jerseys pick resulted in a heaping helping of snickering and ridicule when it was made. After all, the Houston second baseman was coming off a fairly lackluster second season in the majors, with a not-so-exciting second-half stat line of a .274 batting average, 2 homers, 10 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.
As we get ready for the 2018 season, I’m the only wholesale mlb jerseys one laughing. Altuve has won four consecutive Silver Slugger awards, has stolen 30-plus bases in six straight seasons and is the proud recipient of the 2017 AL MVP. So, what kind of sorcery helped me to see what my colleagues didn’t? It’s actually not that complicated.
When you’re looking to draft a team for a one-and-done league where you throw back all (or nearly all) players into the pool each and every October, all you need to do is come up with a system to properly determine fantasy value for the upcoming season. In a dynasty format, however, your best course of action is to factor in each player’s age in order to add a factor of longevity, but without leaning too heavily on the future. After all, the cheap authentic stitched nfl jerseys vast majority of “can’t-miss rookies” actually do miss, and you don’t want to sacrifice your chances of winning today for the promise of winning tomorrow that might never be realized.
To that end, I’ve compiled a list of five players, age 25 or under, who are currently being taken (on average) in Round 3 or later of ESPN drafts, who have the best chance of joining the likes of Altuve, Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts and Bryce Harper as top-10 pick mainstays — perhaps as soon as 2019. Don’t be afraid to grab these guys well ahead of their ADP. Even if they don’t quite peak as high in 2018 as we might hope, their futures are still looking very bright.
Jose Ramirez, 2B, Cleveland Indians (ADP: 24.8): Ramirez is currently the No. 2 2B being taken off the board, well behind Altuve and in a mini-tier with Brian Dozier and Dee Gordon. Maybe the power surge from 11 HRs in 2016 to 29 in 2017 was a mirage, but the only real difference between the two years in terms of underlying stats were better hard-hit and pull percentages. That seems to me to be more a function of increased experience, rather than luck. I’m buying in.
Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP: 27.5): In a dynasty league, he’d be my first 1B off the board — yes, even ahead of Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo. Sure, recommending the NL Rookie of the Year may seem too obvious, but in part because of the position he plays, he’s going a full round after his AL Rookie of the Year counterpart, Aaron Judge. Quite frankly, given what I feel is a much greater risk of Judge going into a prolonged slump, I’d much rather take my chances with 22-year-old Bellinger.
Jose Altuve made it very clear.
He loves the Astros, his teammates and the team’s increasingly devoted fanbase. There are two years left on his contract with the only MLB franchise he’s played for, and the 2017 American League MVP isn’t worrying or even thinking about leaving the World Series champions right now.
“I want to stay here. If we talk about the city in Houston, I love the city. If we talk about the fans, I love the fans,” Altuve said Monday, as the 2017 trophy winners officially moved into the 2018 season with their first full-team spring training workout at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
But next year, when one of the most team-friendly deals in baseball is a season away from expiring and the Astros will be staring at a major decision about a franchise face on a Hall of Fame pace?
Then things could get interesting.
You, I and everyone you know who knows baseball understands that Altuve is wildly underpaid right now. The five-time All-Star and three-time league batting champion is too much of a team player to ever say that. But the 27-year-old second baseman – aka the best all-around hitter in the game and one of the best players in the sport – was honest and candid while discussing his contract and where his baseball life could go from here.
“I have played four years on my current contract and obviously I’ve had some success,” said Altuve, who signed a four-year, $12.5 million extension in 2013 that featured team options for the ’18 and ’19 seasons. “I’m not thinking about it. I don’t think – I don’t know next year. It’s hard to not think about your last year when you are in your last year. But, right now, I’m good. It’s going to be interesting if I go there and put up another great season with one year left. It’s going be like, ‘OK. Now what? Now what?’ But I think in the end, somebody has to make a decision. It’s either keep me here or let me go. I don’t know what it’s going to be.”