Welcome to the midseason edition of my triannual Dynasty 300 rankings!
Now, you might be wondering why we're providing an update to these rankings when no baseball to speak of has been played in the three months since my last edition. Well, things have changed somewhat in the meantime. We've had another MLB draft (albeit a shortened one of just five rounds), along with a few more happenings on the injury front and no (official) word yet on a 2020 season. Here's a quick rundown of the kinds of changes to expect:
The 2020 draftees: They're included, though few, as is traditional, made the top-300 overall cut. You'll find premium prospects such as Spencer Torkelson and Austin Martin within that group, but additional, interesting youngsters like Max Meyer, Emerson Hancock and Heston Kjerstad also made the positional ranking cuts.
Tommy John surgery pitchers: While I adjusted my preseason Dynasty 300 rankings following the news that Luis Severino, Chris Sale and Noah Syndergaard were set to have said operation, I've adjusted them all again based upon my current expectations for their recoveries. More importantly, pitchers who had the surgery in the more distant past have inched up the rankings, since they're now three months closer to returning. This group includes Michael Kopech, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jameson Taillon.
Older players: As discussed on a recent edition of the Fantasy Focus Baseball podcast, I'm slightly concerned about older players' ability to pick up where they left off once baseball resumes -- at least until I can see them in resumed spring training. Additionally, three months' time takes us that much closer to these players' retirement. This group includes Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion and Charlie Morton.
Personal preferences: In a few cases, the additional three months' research has given me a different perspective on the values of a few players. Aaron Judge, who has had significant trouble avoiding injury, is a prime example.
The rankings formula
The Dynasty 300 uses the following player valuation formula:
2020 performance: 10%.
2021 performance: 20%.
2022 performance: 20%.
2023 performance: 20%.
2024 performance: 20%.
2025 performance and beyond: 10%.
The rationale behind these weights is to provide a long-term projection of player values, in order to help fantasy managers in dynasty/keeper leagues either drafting fresh, weighing trades or making keeper decisions. For those in re-draft/single-year leagues, my rankings for 2020 alone can be found here: Tristan's Top 300. This page, however, is for fantasy managers who need to forecast deep into the future.
Note that since we don't yet have a firm read on the start date or length of a possible 2020 season, I've added 2025 and beyond as an additional weight to the formula. This edition is more future-leaning than many of the ones that preceded it.
Other factors influence these values, beyond simply your league's scoring system. Here are some of the other things to consider:
Number of keepers: How many players can you keep each year, and must every team keep the same number?
Player pricing: Is your league a draft or auction format, and do you price players by draft round, for a dollar amount, or is price not part of the keeper equation?
Contract factors: Are there limits on the number of years you can keep a player and/or are there guaranteed contracts, and is there price inflation?
Farm teams: Does your league include minor league/farm team slots and how are these players factored into the keeper system?
Team competitiveness: Are you a contender, rebuilder or something in between?
Note: "Elig. Pos." is the player's eligible position(s) in an ESPN league entering 2020. Position eligibility is determined based upon a minimum of 20 games, otherwise the position the player appeared at most, in 2019. Players' projected future positions -- 2021 and beyond -- are considered in the ranking. Players' listed ages are as of July 1, 2020.
Players' peak rankings in past keeper lists ("Prv. Peak") are also provided: These lists have been published semiannually since 2010 and triannually since 2014, with preseason ("Pre-"), midseason ("Mid") and end-of-season ("End") designated to differentiate the times of the years in question. For example, Yu Darvish is listed with a peak of 18 in "Pre 14," meaning that his best all-time rank was 18th, in the 2014 preseason list. A "--" means that the player has never before made the cut.