Dynasty Dispatch

Three Up and Three Down

by Shelly Verougstraete
Updated On: August 16, 2022, 9:45 am ET

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The MLB trade deadline can drastically change a player's future outlook, either for the better or for the worst. A player could move to a new organization that is better at developing players or move out of a situation where they were blocked. Now that the dust has settled, let's take a look at some players whose stock has risen or fallen more from a dynasty league standpoint.

 

Three Up

J.D. Davis, 3B, Giants

In a peculiar trade, the San Francisco Giants sent Darin Ruf to the New York Mets for J.D. Davis. From the Mets side, Ruf is a perfect complement to everyone's favorite big, beefy, baseball boy, Daniel Vogelbach. Vogelbach smashes righties and Ruf destroys southpaws. Put them together and you have the “perfect” player. However, with the move to the other side of the country, Davis has fallen into a wealth of playing time. Davis has played in six out of eleven games since the move, even with veteran Evan Longoria returning from the injured list. Longoria has not played third base since returning and Flores has been bouncing around the infield and giving Davis a few days off against some right-handers. To me, it appears that the Giants are auditioning Davis to be their full-time third baseman next year. The Giants have a $13 million club option with the 36-year-old veteran and it seems unfathomable the team will exercise that option. Davis's batted ball metrics have always been enticing. The 29-year-old has consistently had an above league average Barrel/BBE and 14% Barrel/BBE is double the league average of 7%. To give you a bit of context, Davis is in between Julio Rodriguez and Christian Walker with a minimum of 100 pitches. If Davis gets the role of full-time starter in San Francisco, he could easily surpass his career high in homers of 22.

 

Luis Castillo, RHP, Mariners

Castillo's season had a rocky beginning but it could be clear skies the rest of the way. The Mariners got the party started when they traded for Luis Castillo. Going back to Cincy were shortstop prospects Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, starter Levi Stoudt, and reliever Andrew Moore in this blockbuster deal. The 29-year-old right-hander finally leaves Great American Ballpark, affectionately known as Great American Small Park, and moves to the pitcher friendly stadium in the Pacific Northwest. However, it is not only the change in home venues that has me putting out trade offers to other fantasy managers. This year, the Reds were 26th in MLB in outs above average (OAA) and that was a three spot improvement over 2021. The Reds have had a tough time locking in their left side of the infield and actually attempted to use Eugenio Suárez as a shortstop last year. The Mariners on the other hand have the 11th best defense in the league with a 7 OAA. Castillo is not a free agent until the 2024 season and the price tag is very high but one I would be willing to pay if I was in my contention window.

 

Nick Frasso, RHP, Dodgers

In a move to add depth to their rotation the Blue Jays traded 23-year-old Nick Frasso and Moises Brito and to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mitch White and Alex De Jesus. I was beginning to move Frasso up my prospect list prior to the trade, and now he is headed to one of the best teams in baseball for developing players? Perfection. Frasso was drafted in the fourth-round in 2020 and was limited to five innings as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery last year. The Blue Jays assigned him to Low-A and he quickly made the jump to High-A. He had an impressive .74 ERA in 36 ⅔ innings with 57/10 K/BB ratio. Frasso is very tall (6'5”) and saw his fastball velocity jump up to sit in the mid-nineties. He has a decent changeup but his slider is his wipeout pitch. The biggest question with Frasso is whether he can throw a starter's workload. He has yet to throw more than 60 innings in a season, college and professional ball. That being said, if he ends up in the bullpen, Frasso has the makings of a high-leverage, back of the bullpen type.

 

Quick Hits on Players Moving Teams on the Upswing:

Spencer Steer, 3B, Reds - With the Twins, Steer was blocked by Jose Miranda and Gio Urshela but now that he is with the Reds, he should easily take over next season.

Robert Gasser, LHP, Brewers - Moving from an organization that has not been successful in developing to pitchers, the Padres to one that has shown the ability to take pitchers with different deliveries, pitch shapes, and other attributes and turned them into solid or better than solid pitchers, the Brewers. 

Tyler Mahle, RHP, Twins - Mahle has always had trouble with the long ball and was borderline unrosterable when he was pitching in his old home ballpark in Cincinnati. With the move to the Twins, he can be relied on for every start.

Logan O'Hoppe, C, Angels - O'Hoppe is a solid offensive catcher who was blocked in Philadelphia by JT Realmuto but with the move to the Angels he, like Steer is on track to be an everyday starter next season.

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Three Down

Robert Hassell III/James Wood, OF, Nationals

As someone who lives in Virginia, this one pains me. While I am not a Nationals fan, I have many family members who are. While I think the Nationals did great in this trade, getting two major league ready players in CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore, and three intriguing prospects in Robert Hassell III, James Wood, and Jarlin Susana, I am moving all of these players down in my dynasty rankings. It has nothing specifically to do with the players but more to do with the Nationals player development. Quick question. Who was the last player the Nationals “developed”? I will put a caveat here and say that Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rendon were not “developed”. The Nationals lucked into two easy number one selections with Strasburg and Harper. Rendon should have been a number one pick if he wasn't injured in his last year at Rice. Soto was a win for the international scouts but very lucky. The Angels were able to snag Mike Trout in the draft but, like the Nationals, haven't been able to put anything around him, Shohei Ohtani aside. Going back to the Nationals, outside of maybe Ryan Zimmerman, I cannot think of a single player that is a development win. Trading for two ready-made MLB players is great but adding Hassell III and Wood should diminish their dynasty value. Wood is a 19-year-old giant that has otherworldly power but has displayed swing and miss during his time with the Padres. Hassell III is on the other side of the coin and can put the bat on the ball but with only an 18% Hard Hit percentage are we looking at another Victor Robles 2.0? If I had these prospects on my minor league bench, I'd be looking to sell high.

 

Frankie Montas, RHP, Yankees

The Yankees had an interesting deadline. After missing out on the Luis Castillo sweepstakes, they snagged the second-best pitcher on the market in Frankie Montas. Strangely, they swapped left-hander Jordan Montgomery for Cardinals (injured) center fielder Harrison Bader. I honestly did not get that late move. As for Montas, he moves from the cavernous A's Stadium to Yankee Stadium and that awful short porch According to Statcast, Montas would have given up two more homers if he was pitching in Yankee Stadium as opposed to the A's Stadium. I will admit that this Statcast data is not predictive but descriptive. That being said, being a Yankee is tough. Sadly, the fan base can be vicious and if you perform under their expectations, watch out. I am not picking on Yankees fans here and as a Red Sox fan, sadly, the majority of my ‘brethren' are the same way. Heading back to Montas, while I loved him when he was with Oakland, I would be actively listening to offers if other fantasy managers were calling.

 

Quick Hits on Players Moving Teams on the Downswing:

Jordan Groshans, 3B, Marlins - Groshan's stock has fallen as much as his power output this year. He now moves to Miami, which has not shown the ability to develop hitters and a cavernous home ballpark.

Mitch White, RHP, Blue Jays - I've always been intrigued with White and was hoping for a Gonsolin-esque rise at some point but if the Dodgers can't "fix" you, can anyone?

Shelly Verougstraete

Shelly Verougstraete (@shellyv_643) is a baseball writer at NBC Sports EDGE. She has also written for Pitcher List and The Dynasty Guru.