Fantasy Baseball Trades: Seeing Is Believing
For two months, a rival owner has coveted Astros Dexter Fowler in the TDGX Experts League and offered fantasy baseball trades for the outfielder. Between struggles and injuries to my top four picks (Jose Fernandez, Eric Hosmer, Gerrit Cole and Pedro Alvarez), Team ROTOscouting has been out of contention since May. But while other bottom teams have pawned off veteran talent for prospects, my 40-man roster includes few, if any players above 30. So when the inquiring team repeatedly asked for Fowler, the outfielder didn’t fit the profile of a player typically sold off at this time of year.
Instead of emailing asking what it would take to land Fowler, the owner began making offers for fantasy baseball trades including Cardinals outfield prospect Stephen Piscotty as a primary piece. Earlier in 2014, a trip to nashville to scout Piscotty, Oscar Taveras (Scouting Report), Tim Cooney (Scouting Report), Randal Grichuk (Scouting Report) and others revealed a hitter with solid, but unspectacular offensive tools. A strong comparison would be A.J. Pollock who was a league average hitter (99 wRC+) before breaking out in 2014. In comparison, Fowler has a career wRC+ of 106, or six percent above the league average. Piscotty has the ability for production similar to the Houston outfielder by 2016.
The second player offered, Sean Coyle, is having a breakout year in Double-A. The 5-foot-8 second baseman has a .516 slugging percentage and strong walk rate. In a deep league like TDGX where 800 players are owned, it makes sense to own the 22-year old. Having scouted him as a member of the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League, Coyle is a quality prospect, but not a player worth coveting in fantasy baseball trades.
After declining and asking the owner to up the second player, two variations were offered.
First, former Braves prospect Brandon Drury (now with the Diamondbacks) was included as a better second piece over Coyle (debatable having scouted both). The other option was Luis Severino (Scouting Report), a relative unknown entering the 2014 season who has reached Double-A after dominating in Charleston and Tampa. With both players breaking out, it’s easy for an owner to offer both in fantasy baseball trades as if each held equivalent value.
Fantasy Baseball Trades: Which Player Was Too Good To Pass On?
When Brandon Drury was included as a throw in in the Justin Upton trade, it was an indication the Diamondbacks had done their homework. Coming off a disastrous full season debut, Drury’s numbers reflected a non-prospect. However, many looks at the right-handed hitter revealed a hitting prospect with quick wrists, bat-to-ball ability, but terrible swing mechanics. Apparently he’s been fixed, accumulating 34 home runs since the beginning of the 2013 season. Even so, Drury provides little, if any upgrade over Sean Coyle. As far as fantasy baseball trades are concerned, it was a lateral move when an upgrade was needed to seal the deal.
Meanwhile, Luis Severino is amongst the best pitchers scouted this season. He’s unpolished, but touched 97 mph with an impressive change-up in game action. With a ceiling of a number two starter, the Yankees prospect has been worth the helium he’s received. With a need for pitching prospects, Severino became a slam dunk and more tantalizing piece than Stephen Piscotty even.
Having seen every player offered in person, the targets were clear and the correct deal obvious. A subscription to ROTOscouting allows for this level of clarity as well. The trade serves as a shining example of baseball scouting being vital to winning fantasy baseball trades in dynasty leagues.
29 Jul 2014 / Mike Newman /
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