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August Dynasty All-Stars

Alex Bregman

Alex Bregman

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

We are into the final month of the season and the final week of the minor league season. Can you believe it? It seemed like only yesterday we were wondering if the season was even going to start. With the end of the month, I thought it would be a good idea to reward some players who had huge months and then discuss where they rank from a dynasty perspective. So without further ado, here are your August Dynasty All-Stars!

Hitting All-Stars

Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros

.362/.452/.681 27 R, 22 RBI, 7 HR, 1 SB

The crop of top tier third basemen got just a bit deeper after the month Alex Bregman had in August. He struggled the first couple months of the season, which was to be expected after returning from wrist surgery over the winter. Bregman was hitting .242/.350/.423 through July but after finding his mechanics again, he looked like the 2019 version of himself.

While he does not hit the ball as hard as other players, Bregman’s swing is tailor made for Minute Maid Park and the short left field porch. He is not going anywhere anytime soon, as Bregman signed an extension that will keep him in Houston until 2024. His patient approach at the plate makes him elite in OBP leagues and as of this post he has walks than strikeouts this year. If you face a tough decision in the winter in keeper leagues, make sure to add Bregman to your list of keepers because he is a stud.

Randy Arozarena, OF, Rays

.327/.421/.602 15 R, 23 RBI, 6 HR, 7 SB

After starting the season white-hot, Randy Arozarena fell into a summer swoon and slashed .247/.318/.433 between June and July. Even if he wasn’t setting the world on fire, he helped keep fantasy managers in the hunt for a title with 13 stolen bases over the same time period. So what has changed? Well, outside of a bit of luck with balls in play, Arozarena began to put the ball in the air more. During June and July, he was putting the ball on the ground 52 percent of the time. Once he flipped the calendar to August, he added a bit more loft and only smacked into the infield dirt 45 percent of the time. He was also just a crazy on the base paths as he added another seven swipes in the month. He is .264/.331/.448 with 18 homers and 27 steals and looks like a sure bet to up back-to-back 20/20 seasons.

Lars Nootbaar, OF, Cardinals

.284/.421/.558 22 R, 15 RBI, 5 HR, 3 SB

Not only does Lars Nootbaar have one of the best names in baseball, he was also one of the best players in August. With a white-hot August, the 24-year-old has solidified his spot at the top of one of the better offenses in baseball. Nootbaar has your ‘typical’ Cardinals story. He was drafted in the eighth round and after preforming well through some aggressive assignments in the minors, he debuted last year and held his own. He spent some time in the Arizona Fall League as well as Driveline. At Driveline, he worked on changing his swing to add more power. He began the season in Triple-A and it appeared that he was going to be stuck there as the Cardinals’ were regularly playing Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader, and Tyler O’Neil. Things have a way of working out and Nootbaar started playing regularly once Bader and O’Neil spent time on the injured list. While he has posted high walk totals throughout his time in the minor leagues, his 23/17 K/BB was one of better K/BB ratios in the month of August. Nootbaar is who we all thought Dylan Carlson was going to be.

Pitching All-Stars

Zac Gallen, RHP, Diamondbacks

40.0 IP, 0.68 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 44/10 K/BB, 5 wins

11.0% swinging strike, 31 CSW

Zac Gallen has one of the best month of the season in August. While he might not have the light-out stuff like deGrom, he gets the job done. He has thrown 41 ⅓ consecutive scoreless innings which is the second longest in Diamondback history behind only Brandon Webb‘s 42 inning streak in 2007.

Gallen has started to incorporate his knuckle curve more this season and the usage is back to where it was when he entered the league in 2019. Not only is the usage up but he is also throwing the knuckle curve harder. Batters have always had trouble with the curve and are hitting .175/.195/.254 with an eye-popping 61 GB%. When batters only make contact on the pitch 67 percent of the time, it is usually gobbled up by the Diamondbacks impressive infield defense. With Arizona calling up some of the top prospects, they could be a threat to make it to the playoffs next season, and their ace will lead the way.

Framber Valdez, LHP, Astros

35.1 IP, 2.04 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 33/11 K/BB, 5 wins

11.0% swinging strike, 32 CSW

Framber Valdez is on a streak of his own. He has thrown 22 consecutive quality starts in a row which is the most for a southpaw in major league history.

Even if you league has moved away from quality starts, Valdez has shown that he is as reliable as they come. Valdez reminds me of Tony Gonsolin, in that the talent has always been there, the command has held him back in the past. Both him and Gonsolin (prior to his injury), have managed to command their stuff well enough this season to remain in the AL CY Young discussion. Like Gallen, Valdez has elite groundball rates and an above-average defense to help him out. He has blown past his career high in innings, and we are only at the beginning of September. The Astros are surely going to be playing late into October so it will be interesting to see if he starts to lose a bit of command down the stretch.

Andrés Muñoz, RHP, Mariners

12.1 IP, 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 25/5 K/BB, 2 saves

25% swinging strike, 42 CSW

We might be looking at the Mariners closer of the future. Muñoz arrived in Seattle in the Austin Nola trade after undergoing Tommy John surgery. This year, relievers with at least 50 innings thrown, Edwin Díaz leads all relievers with a 24% swinging strikeout rate. Muñoz is second with 21 percent rate.

While it remains to be seen if the Mariners will anoint him as closer going into next season as Paul Sewald has done nothing that would cause him to lose the job. However, I’ll bank on Muñoz and his elite closer upside any day.

Hitting Prospect of the Month

Hunter Goodman, C, Rockies

.354/.388/.735 25 R, 27 RBI, 10 HR

Hunter Goodman is having one of the best season in all of the minor leagues. A fourth-round draft pick back by the Rockies in 2021 has split the year between Low-A and High-A and is hitting .301/.361/.591 with 34 homers and 102 RBI between both levels. The 22-year-old is known more for his monumental power and walloped 21 long balls during his final year at Memphis. He will most likely shift from behind the plate as his defense is quite poor and the Rockies have a much better defender in Drew Romo in their system. That being said, if Goodman can keep the strikeouts at bay, his power would easily play in the bigger ballparks in the National League West.

Others prospects of note:

Endy Rodriguez, C, Pirates - .376/.454/.776, 21 R, 22 RBI, 8 HR, 1 SB

A.J. Vukovich, OF, Diamondbacks - .294/.333/.578, 20 R, 22 RBI, 7 HR, 11 SB

Oselvis Basabe, SS, Rays - .446/.495/.630, 20 R, 16 RBI, 0 HR, 8 SB

Edgar Quero, C, Angels - .348/.479/.0696 20 R, 25 RBI, 6 HR, 2 SB

Pitching Prospect of the Month

Emmet Sheehan, RHP, Dodgers

25 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 42/5 K/BB

Sheehan spent three years at Boston College and was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft and wouldn’t you know it, he saw a velocity bump after being drafted by the Dodgers. How do they keep doing this? David Laurila of FanGraphs had an excellent interview with the young right hander which is a must-read. While in college, Sheehan was limited due to injuries and with his pitch mix, there is a chance Sheehan ends up as a lights-out reliever but these are the types of guys you take a chance on in those deep dynasty leagues.

Other pitchers of note:

Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies - 26.1 IP, 0.68 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 34/3 K/BB

Tanner Bibee, RHP, Guardians - 34 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 37/7 K/BB

Louie Varland, RHP, Twins - 27.1 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 30/5 K/BB

Movin’ On Up

Double-A to Triple-A

Joseph Ortiz (SS, Orioles), Brayan Rocchio (SS, Guardians), Jordan Díaz (3B, Athletics), George Valera (OF, Guardians), Joey Wiemer (OF, Brewers), Sal Frelick (OF, Brewers), Colton Cowser (OF, Orioles), Alexander Canario (OF, Cubs), Simeon Woods Richardson (RHP, Twins), Bobby Miller (RHP, Dodgers), Gavin Stone (RHP, Dodgers), Levi Stoudt (RHP, Reds), Louie Varland (RHP, Twins), Brandon Pfaadt (RHP, Diamondbacks), Robert Gasser (LHP, Brewers)

High-A to Double-A

Endy Rodriguez (C, Pirates), Kyle Manzardo (1B, Rays),Tyler Soderstrom (1B, Athletics) Niko Kavadas (1B, Red Sox), Aaron Sabato (1B, Twins), Angel Martinez (2B, Guardians), Kyren Paris (SS, Angels), Jordan Lawlar (SS, Diamondbacks), Colson Montgomery (SS, White Sox), Zach Neto (SS, Angels), Bryan Ramos (3B, White Sox), Casey Schmitt (3B, Giants), Vaun Brown (OF, Giants), Robert Hassell II (OF, Nationals), Joshua Mears (OF, Padres), Zac Veen (OF, Rockies), Antoine Kelly (LHP, Rangers), Dax Fulton (LHP, Marlins), Ricky Tiedemann (RHP, Blue Jays), Ben Brown (RHP, Cubs), Ty Madden (RHP, Tigers), Norge Vera (RHP, White Sox), Nick Frasso (RHP, Dodgers), Landen Roupp (RHP, Giants) Andrew Painter (RHP, Phillies), Mick Abel (RHP, Phillies), Joe Boyle (RHP, Reds)

Low-A to High-A

Jeferson Quero (C, Brewers), Blaze Jordan (1B, Red Sox), Hao Yu Lee (2B, PHI), Marcelo Mayer (SS, Red Sox), Gabriel Martinez (OF, Mariners), Jud Fabian (OF, Orioles), Wikelman Gonzalez (OF, Red Sox), Grant McCray (OF, Giants), Steve Hajjar (LHP, Reds), Will Dion (LHP, Guardians), Bryan Woo (RHP, Mariners), Dahian Santos (RHP, Blue Jays), Jackson Jobe (RHP, Tigers)

Complex to Low-A

Kevin Parada (C, Mets), Daniel Susac (C, Athletics), Dalton Rushing (C, Dodgers), Termarr Johnson (2B, Pirates) Manuel Beltre (SS, Blue Jays), Mikey Romero (SS, Red Sox), Justin Crawford (OF, Phillies), Jackson Holliday (SS, Orioles), Jacob Berry (3B, Marlins), Dylan Beavers (OF, Orioles), Brooks Lee (SS, Twins), Junior Caminero (3B, Rays), Gavin Cross (OF, Royals), Spencer Jones (OF, Yankees), Samuel Zavala (OF, Padres), Carson Whisenhunt (LHP, Giants), Jarlin Susana (RHP, Nationals), Nick Bitsko (RHP, Rays), Jaden Hill (RHP, Rockies)