The Rookie Team

Originally, I was going to do a 25 and younger team, but I have switched this to my all-rookie team. Now, I made up my own rules for a “rookie” I am considering my rookies as any hitters with less than 162 game experience in their career and any pitchers with less than 30 starts or any relieve pitcher with less than 75 innings. This seconds as the perfect dynasty league target. Each position will have my main guy, and a secondary guy to look at.

Catcher

  1. Wilson Contreras
  2. Gary Sanchez

Catcher is a tough position, it comes down to Wilson Contreras and Gary Sanchez for me. Both are 24 and have less than 75 games played in their major league career so far. The jury is still out on both of these guys. I personally like Contreras more because he can play multiple positions. They both stuck out around 24% of the time last season. Sanchez had elite power numbers last season but, I am worried about him maintaining those power numbers. I don’t think you can go wrong with either guy.

1st Base

  1. Tommy Joesph
  2. Josh Bell

Joseph is an up and coming power bat, he is 25 and playing for a young Phillies team last year he put up elite power numbers a .505 slugging percentage and a .246 ISO. In his 350 plate appearances, he hit 21 home runs. If he can get his average up at all, he is going to be an excellent player.

2nd Base

  1. Jose Peraza
  2. Yoan Moncada

Peraza finally has the door opened for him with Cincinnati, now that Phillips is gone. He has the chance to be the everyday second baseman and the lead-off hitter. He has elite speed. He played in 72 games last season and was still able to steal 21 bases. Over a whole season, he is a 50+ SB guy. He is a better option than Billy Hamilton, will hit for a higher average and on-base percentage.

3rd Base

  1. Alex Bregman
  2. Ryon Healy

Bregman needs to work on his plate discipline a little more in his second season. But he offers good contact, power, and on-base potential. I like both of the options here at 3rd base. I am really high on Healy and his career potential.

Shortstop

  1. Trea Turner
  2. Dansby Swanson

Trea Turner is probably the greatest baseball player to ever play. He has only played 100 games, and I am ready to put him in the Hall of Fame.

Dansby broke in the MLB last season, he played 38 games he hit .302. He won’t be a great power guy, but he has a good walk rate, at 9% last season and a high BABIP at .391. Hopefully, he hits first or second with Freddie Freeman behind him. He hasn’t run much in his pro career. But, he should be able to give you 10-15 HR with 75 R and RBI.

Left Field

  1. Kyle Schwarber
  2. Andrew Benintendi

Caught me off guard, but Schwarber has only played 71 career games. By my definition (even though may not be correct) Schwarber is still a rookie.We all watched him in the World Series, showing he could miss a whole season and still contribute. I am excited to see him and his first full year as a Cub. I would like to see him catch more, with Contreras playing LF.

Center Field

  1. Byron Buxton
  2. Manuel Margot

Buxton is my bounce back candidate for the season. After struggling his first two go-arounds with the Twins. He is a high BABIP and a decent ISO guy hopefully he can build off his good September numbers.

Right Field

  1. Nomar Mazara
  2. Max Kepler

Mazara is only 21 years old and was very impressive in his first year season with the Rangers. I am hoping to see him take another step forward, he went for 20 HR 64 RBI and 59 R last season. He struggles against LHP in both average and power if he can bring his average up a little against lefties he will be a good OF option. Hopefully, he can avoid the dreaded platoon.

Starting Pitcher

  1. Julio Urias
  2. Tyler Glasnow
  3. Michael Fulmer
  4. Jameson Taillon
  5. Robert Gsellman

Fulmer impressed last season and earned himself Rookie of the Year. He threw 159 innings last season going 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. All very good numbers for a rookie, I see him as the number two guy in the rotation this season behind Verlander. I expect another 150-175 inning season from Fulmer this season if healthy. I don’t anticipate him going much more than that.

I am really hoping Gsellman makes the opening day roster with the Mets, Gsellman has pitched very well so far this spring in his 12 innings. He is number 5 in the Mets farm system. In his limited time with the Mets last season he was 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He is going to be one of those guys with a flyer late in drafts.

Closer

  1. Edwin Diaz
  2. Andrew Triggs

Diaz will be the full-time closer going into the 2017 season, after taking over the job from Cishek in the second half. He went 18-21 in save opportunities last year, as full-time closer 30-40 saves shouldn’t be a problem for him especially with the team he plays for. He has a 97 MPH fastball and an elite K/9 at 15.33.

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