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These 5 Young MLB Players Took a Huge Step Forward in 2016

There’s still another month of baseball to be played before 2016 is officially put in the books, but the cold winter months are feeling closer than ever. The mornings feel brisk, leaves are falling from trees and 20 of MLB’s 30 teams will soon be forced to watch the postseason from their respective couches.

Instead of focusing more on young players who took a huge step back this season, we’ll shift to those who used 2016 to show the tremendous progress in their development. The following five ballplayers put together the type of performance that will make their respective teams depend on them heavily to either repeat or continue growing in 2017.

DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado Rockies

It’s been amazing to watch this transformation over the past three seasons. In 2014, LeMahieu won a Gold Glove award, but his offense mostly revolved around hitting singles. His average jumped in 2015 along with a slight bump in power, but he’s come into his own as a 27-year-old this season.

Now, he’s in command of the National League batting race with a few games to go and is slugging nearly .500. Check out the three-year progression in his triple slash:

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Re-Drafting The 2010 MLB Draft: Bryce Harper Remains Elite

As the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft approaches, it is time to take a look back on previous draft results. With that said, I am starting a new segment where I will give you my personal redraft of previous MLB Amateur Drafts. Today I will focus on the 2010 draft, which had some of the best talent in the past few decades. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to tweet me @dynasty_digest. If you enjoyed this article, please follow my blog for more updates on other drafts, fantasy baseball, and other baseball topics (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com).

  1. Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper (Actual Pick: Bryce Harper)

  2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Manny Machado (Actual Pick: Jameson Taillon)

  3. Baltimore Orioles: Chris Sale (Actual Pick: Manny Machado)

 

To see the rest of the draft, click the link below:

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Draft Kings 4/29/16

P- Juan Nicasio (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $5,800. To me, this seems like a no brainer. First of all, Nicasio’s price point helps the flexibility of the rest of the lineup. Second, he is facing the 25th ranked offense in Major League Baseball at his home park. Third, he has a great strikeout rate, which will lead to great points on Friday. In 20 innings this year, he has a 4.50 ERA, 21 strikeouts, and 11 walks. In 2016, he has started against the Cardinals, Tigers, and Diamondbacks, whom all have great offenses. This match-up seems to be in Nicosio’s favor and it could be a great game for daily fantasy on Friday.

P- Aaron Sanchez (vs. Tampa Bay Rays): $7,100. Sanchez had a rough game last game, but prior to that, he had only give up 3 earned runs in 3 starts. He will be starting against the Tampa Bay Rays, whom he has already dominated this year. The Rays are ranked as the 29th overall offense in Major League Baseball, which shows how terrible they really are when it comes to hitting. In Sanchez’s 2016 debut, he threw 7 innings against the Rays, giving up 1 earned run, 5 hits, 0 walks, and 8 strikeouts. Sanchez will be hungry after his rough start last week, so he should put up a huge game on Friday.

 

Click the link below to see the rest of the picks, which include some of baseball’s top hitters:

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Draft Kings 4/22/16

P- Aaron Nola (vs. Milwaukee Brewers) $8,300. Rather than picking an elite pitcher and a low/mid tier guy (which I typically do), I’m sticking with two very solid mid-tier options. Aaron Nola has been very impressive this year despite his high ERA. In 19 innings pitched, he has 23 strikeouts, a 5.68 ERA, but he owns a 3.14 FIP. His low FIP shows that his ERA is very inflated and shouldn’t reflect his performance early in the season. He has a great strikeout rate and he is facing a very weak Milwaukee Brewers offense. The Brewers have the 5th most strikeouts in Major League Baseball, so there is a great chance Nola will capitalize on the swing and misses of the Brewers on Friday.

P- Aaron Sanchez (vs. Oakland A’s): $7,200. Sanchez has started 2016 on a very impressive hot streak. In 20 innings pitched, he has a  1.35 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and 7 walks. His walk rate could hurt you a little bit, but at this price, I think he is worth it. He is facing the 25th worst offense in baseball on Friday. While the Oakland A’s don’t strikeout much (113 strikeouts, which is 11th best in the MLB), they do struggle to take a walk (only 37 walks, which ranks as the 5th worst rate in the MLB). Since Sanchez’s kryptonite has been his walk rate in his career, this statistic could work to his favor on Friday. If he can limit the walks, he could be a very solid daily fantasy option.

 

To view the rest of the picks, click the link below:

 

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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 2 – April

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

The Cubs will top our list for a second straight week despite losing 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at Wrigley Field this weekend.  The biggest reason is the pitching.

Jake Arrieta is 3 – 0, and has picked up right where we he left off in 2015, and Jon Lester has thrown awesome too.  The Bullpen has also been good.

The bats are too solid not to come around and gel as the season moves along.  They are playing .750 baseball after a 4 – 2 week still.

Bryce Harper is the best player on the planet, and has homered in 6 straight contests at Citizens Bank Ball Park (4 overall in a row for the MLB this year.)

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are their top players – and all performing like it, the rest of the club is following through in their secondary roles.  This team is scary.

I have the Royals as the top American League club.  This squad is 8 – 1 in games that are not started by back end of the rotation man Chris Young.

The reigning 2 time pennant winners have company on the top of the Division to make it interesting, however this team has the better pedigree the last few years.

Some may say with a weekend series win – that the Dodgers should be put in front of the Giants, yet they are still only one game ahead of San Francisco.

With the Giants – there is no real weakness, while with the Los Angeles team, the Bullpen is not giving everyone confidence in the back half of games.

The Dodger Blue is still in the top 5, so I am high on them. Kenta Maeda could be the steal of the winter with how this guy is throwing so far.  Reinforcements are starting to come back. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball April 12, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Matt Slocum / AP

Charlie Morton pitched shutout ball into the 7th, finishing 6 2/3 innings, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts, getting the 3-0 decision for Philadelphia over San Diego.

Trevor Brown continued his surprising power surge with a pair of homers and 4 RBI to lead the Giants to a 7-2 victory in Colorado.

Derek Holland gave the Rangers 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4 in the 8-0 blowout in Seattle.

Justin Upton went 4 for 5 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored in the Tigers 8-2 win over Pittsburgh.

They all owned baseball on April 12, 2016.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

Aaron Sanchez Joins The Toronto Blue Jays Rotation, But Does This Hurt His Fantasy Baseball Stock?

Aug 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) delivers a pitch during the Jays 2-0 win over New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) delivers a pitch during the Jays 2-0 win over New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez doesn’t lack for ability or elite pitches. His fastball is just about as good as they come and he has an above average curveball. His arsenal was put on full display this spring training. He has thrown 20 innings this spring with a 1.35 ERA, 19 strikeout, and only three walks. Based on these numbers, it looks as if he has made many adjustments to put a lot of the concerns mentioned above to rest. It is great to see that Sanchez is dialed in this spring, but it is important to take spring training statistics with a grain of salt. If Sanchez can continue to develop like he has shown in the small sample size this spring, he could become a very dominant arm in 2016. As for now, he should be drawing some attention in mixed leagues and definitely worth a waiver wire pickup. If for some reason this experiment with Sanchez in the rotation doesn’t work out, he still has the upside to be an elite closer in the future. To read the rest of the article, click the link below:

 

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Blue Jays Need to Keep Aaron Sanchez in the Bullpen in 2016

The Blue Jays believe Aaron Sanchez can be a dominant MLB starter. However, in 2016 Sanchez needs to focus solely on being a dominant reliever.

When the Blue Jays were dispatched from the MLB playoffs in October, Toronto fans flocked by default to the side of the National League Champion New York Mets. They were the last hope of preventing those hated Royals from claiming a title they deserved but no one wanted to see. It helped that there was some Blue Jays influence on the Mets roster.

Not only did Travis d’Arnaud pass through in two separate trades for Cy Young pitchers, but the Blue Jays saw their contribution to New York’s stable of young stud pitchers smolder his way into the hearts of the masses with his flowing locks and blazing fastball. Noah Syndergaard was the expendable arm in the eyes of Alex Anthopoulos, and as Blue Jays fans watched him keep the Mets in the series, the question asked was “So when will Aaron Sanchez be this good?

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Toronto Should Trade For Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun has been the starter in RF for the Brewers for almost a decade. Greeted warmly at the team's convention recently, a multitude of fans gathered for autographs. Speaking to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, Braun said that he has felt embraced in Milwaukee since his suspension, insisting he had only one "challenging conversation" with a fan while calling around last year to apologize to season-ticket holders. "It wasn't surprising in any way," Braun said of that one tough talk. "I made a mistake; I made a big mistake. I don't expect everybody to be supportive or everybody to be understanding or everybody to understand where I was coming from. I certainly didn't anticipate the amount of support I received." Before the Biogenesis scandal took center stage, he was hitting .298 with 9 HRs and 38 RBIs. Expect those numbers to climb dramatically and be much closer to his career .312 average, and tack on 30-40 HRs.

Ryan Braun has been the starter in RF for the Brewers for almost a decade. However, he has battled several thumb injuries, and is now 32 Years Old.  Since Milwaukee will not likely be contenders for the next 3 – 4 years in a tough NL Division, they should really start to rebuild.  Toronto also needs to look past 2016 – when both Encarnacion and Bautista are Free Agents.  If they can’t come up with the funds to sign either of them in extensions, they should pursue Braun in the next 6 – 8 months.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Toronto Blue Jays have played it conservative for 2016, but still have a realistic shot to win in 2016 because of their offense.  Going beyond 2016 looks extremely difficult when you factor in they may lose both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista following next year.

This would be a shame, but both players should be able to command around $20 MIL per year for at least the next 2 – 3 years after this upcoming one.  That may be too much for the Canadian club to afford.

Our website has spoken at length of how Toronto must capitalize on this opportunity.  As of right now, I don’t think they have enough pitching to get it done in the playoffs either.

Free Agency will be a tough sell for the franchise to bring in any ace pitchers or premiere offensive stars in the coming years.  You also may have a tough time to crack those deals when the Canadian dollar is hovering around 70 cents for every American Greenback right now.

I say go after Ryan Braun via a trade in the next 6 – 8 months. Read the rest of this entry

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