For some reason, rounding out a losing season in fantasy baseball comes with a specific type of pain I’ve yet to feel losing in other fantasy sports. Maybe it’s the length of the season. Maybe it’s the abundance of games that lead you to (often mistakenly) assume your guys are going to get out of their slumps (the “slumps” oftentimes never end). Or maybe it’s just that it gets embarrassing to lose matchup after matchup. Whatever the case, losing is never fun.
As the fantasy baseball (regular) season is winding down and my playoff hopes are once again squandered, I took a good, hard look at my roster. My league is set to take eight keepers with you into the next season, and I had at the most two in José Berríos and Max Kepler rostered. I asked myself, what good would keeping these guys do for me next year? Obviously their production wasn’t enough to take me to the post-season promise land, so what’s the point? I began shopping other rosters to see if I could grab some even younger talent by unloading these two and some other solid players that would aid in someone’s post-season run. I was lucky enough to land a deal that involved these two and some others picking up Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the centerpiece of my rebuild.
Again, that’s just where I began. I understand many leagues have the trade deadline set to parallel that of the MLB’s on July 31st, but if you don’t, I’d definitely suggest shopping around to see what young talent you can get from someone looking to take home some metal this year. If the deadline has passed, don’t fret! There’s another way to get going on your rebuild that doesn’t involve trading at all.
Unless your league has a minor league draft (few do), there’s going to be a slew of minor leaguers available for the picking. Obviously, it’s a waste of a roster spot to house a minor leaguer who isn’t getting any reps at the Major League level, but not if you’re deciding to rebuild. I should mention, by the way, that the first step in consenting to rebuild your fantasy baseball team is to accept the fact that next year might be quite rough as well. That being said, the potential to grab the next Ronald Acuña Jr. or Fernando Tatís Jr. for virtually nothing is a nice thing to look forward to.
I’m going to list out a few of the names that I added to my roster to keep going into next year, hoping that they’ll be up in the majors by either the end of this year or at least some point next year. If you’re reading this article, the way you’ve been doing things obviously hasn’t been working, so what’s the worst that can happen?
Luis Robert, OF
Robert is currently 22 years old and is due to be called up by the White Sox sometime very soon. He’s had a monster year in the minors (playing for A(Adv), AA, and AAA) putting up a .333 average with a .384 OBP and a 1.018 OPS. Robert is a huge part of this White Sox rebuild, and he’ll very likely be a part of their team in the 2020 season.
Jo Adell, OF
Jo Adell has been one of the bigger prospect names thrown around over the past few years. He’s in the Angels system, currently playing for the Angels’ AAA affiliate the Salt Lake Bees. At just 20 years old, his slash line of .295/.359/.519 is incredibly enticing. He’s climbed up the minor league ranks this season, eventually making his way to AAA on August 1st, 2019. This leads me to believe he’s not too far off in making the Angels’ roster.
Kristian Robinson, OF
At just 18 years old, Robinson is a bit of a project. If you’re willing to wait, I think an investment in him will be well worth it, especially before other people in your league catch on. His stats were pretty good this year in A(Short) and A(Full), but nothing crazy with a slash line of .280/.368/.462. He’s still one of the more talked about prospects in the game, and he has some time to catch up to some of the other prospects listed in this article as he is, again, only 18.
Nolan Gorman, 3B
Nolan Gorman, who is currently 19 years old, is yet another big prospect. He resides in the Cardinals’ farm system, currently playing for the Palm Beach Cardinals in A(Adv). He’s put up a nice slash line this year at .248/.327/.443, and is bound to be joining the Cardinals either in the 2020 season or 2021. He’s a bit of an investment, but a solid 3B down the line is certainly worth waiting for in my opinion.
Wander Franco, SS
If there’s anyone on this list who may already be rostered in your league, it’s Wander Franco. He’s been hyped up to the max this year, posing a crazy slash line of .332/.403/.520 in A(Full) and A(Adv). Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Rays are famous for keeping their prospects down for a very long time, so it could be a while until the 18-year-old sees the majors. That being said, he’s an incredible investment and if he is not taken in your league, grab him now.
MacKenzie Gore, SP
Gore is a 20-year old starting pitcher who currently resides in the Padres’ farm system. In A(Adv) and AA this year, he’s thrown a total of 99.1 innings allowing an average of just .166 and posting a WHIP of 0.84. If he continues to do that as he climbs the ranks of the minors, I simply don’t see how the Padres could keep him down much longer.
Dustin May, SP
May has spent most of this season in the minors, but was recently called up by the Dodgers and has made some starts in August. He’s currently 1-2 with an ERA of 4.26, but based on his performance in the minors, I still think he can turn things around. He’s currently just 21 years old, so he has time to continue to improve. Looking at other pitchers the Dodgers house, I have no reason to believe they won’t coach May in the best way possible.