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“Alluhring Strategy” Real Deal Dynasty Primer: Dissecting the Debuts

The Good, the (Not) Bad and the (not as) Ugly (as the stat line suggests)

What a Spring for dynasty owners!!! Usually we have to wait much longer into the season for top prospects to make their debuts due to service time and arbitration concerns. Redraft and keeper leagues are taking noticed too with five Top 65 overall prospects ( are debuting over the course of one full week. Should I drop that vet that is struggling? Should I drop another prospect I have stashed for one of these guys? Dynasty league owners are trying to move these guys before they bomb for a king’s ransom. Regardless of what style, scoring or format you play, it is worth paying attention to how these guys fare. At the time this article was sent to the editor, Aaron Blair, Blake Snell and Jose Berrios had pitched with the anticipation of Sean Manaea and Michael Fulmer debuting Friday night (4/29/16).

What do we make out of these initial starts? How does our evaluation of strategy change based on these results?


Blake Snell (TB) “The Good”

Apr. 23 @NYY 5.0 2 1 1 0 1 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 1.80 0.60


Perhaps it’s because he knew it was only a spot start. Perhaps the #12 overall prospect ( has the stuff that translates immediately to the Majors. Regardless, his performance should have given the Rays pause before the optioned him back down to AAA the next day.

1st inning was a little rough as his command wasn’t there. This is the

I'll be back!!!

I’ll be back!!!

one area that he was still working on in AAA. He was able to limit the damage to one run scored. He really settled in during the 2nd Inning as he strikes out the side in order. A ground ball single and wild pitch had the Yankees threatening again in the 3rd, but Snell works out of the jam and sets them down in order in the 4th. He was a Brad Miller error away from breezing through the 5th. All in all he looked excellent over 90 pitches in his debut. There was some command issues at the beginning but once he established his slider, he get 23 looking strikes as the Yankees were just locked up on his breaking balls. From what I could see, there were only two well hit balls (Both by Teixeira: single in 1st and line out in the 4th).

This was about as dominant a debut as you will see by a 23 year-old prospect. This is not a player that spent years in foreign pro leagues. The Rays will let him continue to pitch in AAA to keep him on his normal pitching schedule and to protect his service time. He is also working on command of his slider. I would expect to see him again in May when the Rays need a 5th Starter and it lines up with his day to pitch. He has potential to have several opportunities this season, but they may be scattered through the season.

It might be tough to keep him rostered in redraft leagues so there might be a waiver battle in many leagues when word of an imminent recall. He is definitely worth a deep roster stash or keeper pick. He could be a Top 30 SP next season. His price tag just got bigger in dynasty leagues.


Aaron Blair (ATL) “the (Not) Bad”

Apr. 24 NYM 5.3 6 3 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 L 0 0 0 5.06 1.50


It’s a little unfair when you have your MLB debut against Jacob deGrom. You go into the game knowing you have to be nearly perfect or your team has no chance.

He didn’t pitch “bad,” but he wasn’t that good either. The 1st inning imgres-1could have gotten away from him if he didn’t get a Duda Strikeout/Cabrera Caught-Stealing Double Play. Otherwise, he might not have gotten out of the 1st inning. He let the lead-off guy reach in each of the first three innings but worked three double-plays throughout the game that limited the damage.

Ultimately, he was good enough to stay in the rotation for now. Unless he struggles, there is no reason to think he won’t remain in the rotation for the season. I don’t think his 10.42 K/9 will translate at the Major League level, but I expect his command to improve as he gets settled in and he should be a solid contributor going forward.

Consider streaming Blair in redraft leagues, but should only be counted on for regular starts in larger format leagues with 16+ teams that require minimum starts are innings.


Jose Berrios (MIN) “the (not as) Ugly (as the stat line suggests)

Apr. 27 Cle 4.0 6 5 5 0 2 5 1 0 0 L 0 0 0 11.25 2.00


Ok the final stat line looks ugly. This is not an indication of his stuff. He was up and down throughout the game. Nick Pollack from Pitcher’s List wrote an extensive breakdown on Berrios’ performance. I encourage everyone to read this fantastic analysis. This debut may have had the biggest hype of any rookie this season to date. Unfortunately, it left us wanting more.

That’s put things in perspective. He was called up on a cold night in imagesMinnesota and he had to suffer through a delay to start the game. This could have affected his nerves a bit and he never really settled in. He flashed nasty stuff, but ultimately the command wasn’t there as he went too deep in counts driving up his pitch count. He is tentatively scheduled to get his next start against the struggling Astros on Tuesday, May, 3rd in Houston. I would expect to see a crisper game from him since weather shouldn’t be a factor. The strikeout-prone Astros should be a welcome sight for Berrios to show off his nasty curve ball. He may touch double digit Ks if he keeps his pitch count down.

He has over 450 career innings in the minors so he is very polished. Plus fastball and curve with above-average changeup all expect to translate to the Majors. If you can find someone that panics from the rough debut, go get him! If someone dropped him, go get him! I expect him to be the Twins’ best pitcher by the end of the season. There is no reason to believe he won’t stay in the rotation as long as he contributes. His next start will be key in this path, but I expect it to be much improved. Bottom line, Berrios should be rostered in every league regardless of size or format.


Imminent Impact

  1. Kenta Maeda (LAD) SP – First 4 starts of his MLB career = 0.36 ERA, 0.868 WHIP and 23:5 K/BB ratio. Clear #1 on this list.
  2. Nomar Mazara (TEX) RF – Excellent plate discipline, .345/.415/.491 slash line keeps him as top everyday impact rookie hitters so far. It may be tough for Choo to get his job back when healthy.
  3. Aledmys Diaz (STL) SS – Supposedly “part of the plan” to hold down the fort until Peralta returns from injury. Leads the majors in all slash line ratios and OPS .468/.500/.823/1.323. Puzzling they still sit him occasionally due to defense.
  4. Steven Matz (NYM) SP – Gradually getting those numbers respectful after the brutal start. 2nd straight quality start and now 18:4 K:BB ratio. He’s is who we thought he was.
  5. Trevor Story (COL) SS – Now only batting .241 for the season with league leading 34 Ks (37.0%). Still #5 on account of league leading 9 HRs (tied), but hope you sold high on Story while you could.
  6. Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL) OF – 28 year-old Rookie, still doing damage. I reluctantly add him to the Power Rankings on the strength of .310/.344/.690 slash line and 1.033 OPS. I am a hypocrite if I omit him from the list and put Meada #1.
  7. Corey Seager (LAD) SS – The numbers are a sexy as we expected, but 93 plate appearances with a low 12.9% K rate and a .264 BABIP gives me hope that he is prime to break out any day.
  8. Tyler White (HOU) 1B/3B – White has really cooled off as most of the Astros lineup. The pitchers have made adjustments for him. He’s a smart of hitter that he will figure out what adjustments he needs to make to be productive. If not, A.J. Reed is looming.
  9. Byung-ho Park (MIN) DH – Power numbers make him worth plugging in (5 HRs and .328 ISO). 30.8% K rate and poor OBP (.308) limits his ceiling.
  10. Joey Rickard (BAL) LF – Seems like a better real-life player than fantasy contributor. Just hanging on to fantasy relevance.
  11. Seung-hwan Oh (STL) RP – Top Rookie (33 years-old) reliever. Not a dynasty stash but all leagues can use a RP that sports 1.50 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, and 14.3 K/9.
  12. Tony Zych (SEA) RP – Closer stuff now pitching in the late innings (7th/8th). High BB rate (17.0%) only major red flag. Should jump Benoit and Cishek at some point this Summer.


Call-up Conjecture

Impact Prospects On the Cuspimages-1



  1. Sean Manaea (OAK) SP – ETA: April 29th – He is set to be called up to debut Friday night at Houston. High K potential, but may only be up for a few starts to protect service time.
  2. Michael Fulmer (DET) SP – ETA: April 19th“Prize” of Cespedes trade with Mets, Fulmer has been OK during his career in minors. He has been called up to debut at home vs. Minnesota. His 4 pitch mix will be on display and has legit chance to stick in rotation everyone not named Jordan Zimmerman has struggled.
  3. Blake Snell (TB) SP – ETA: MAY – Excellent debut + injuries = Another spot start likely in early May
  4. A.J. Reed (HOU) 1B – ETA: June – If the Astros continue to slide, he may be up before the Super Two threshold. They need a spark in Houston and he may be the one to do it.
  5. Tim Anderson (CWS) SS – ETA: June – As long as the White Sox keeping winning, they may wait. Jimmy Rollins not doing enough to hold him back much longer.
  6. Tyler Glasnow (PIT) SP – ETA: June-July – They can manage his innings in the minors, but he should be the #3 Starter in Pittsburgh before the trade deadline.
  7. Joey Gallo (TEX) 3B – ETA: July – Should be up this Summer to fill in for an injury (Beltre/Fielder) or to audition for the trade deadline.
  8. Josh Bell (PIT) 1B- ETA: July-August – Power starting to develop. Ready to contribute now, but no clear playing time barring injury.
  9. Trea Turner (WAS) SS – ETA: August – Service time is the ONLY thing blocking his path to Washington.
  10. Lucas Giolito (WAS) SP – ETA: August – Late Summer arrival will protect his innings and perhaps drop him into a playoff run in Washington.



Bryan Luhrs

Major League Fantasy Sports
Writer & Contributor
Real Deal Dynasty Sports
Owner, League Developer & Executive Commissioner



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Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly: Join Lou Landers and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 28th, 2016 from 8-10pm EST for episode #11 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly. We will discuss player positions and help prepare you for the coming draft season. This will run every Thursday as a live broadcast that will take live callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Our Thursday night show will do some weekly recaps, player updates, and preview the coming week end games.

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Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts on Sunday May 1st, 2016 from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. We are a live call in radio show so we encourage callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Every week we will do a quick recap of Fr-Sat games, and a forecast of Monday through Thursday’s games.

Our guests this week are Mark Rush and Jesse Ellison. Jesse is a good child hood friend mine, fantasy baseball fan, and is the owner of Ellison Baseball Instruction which he founded in 2011. I encourage everyone to check out his organization. Mark is the Professor of politics and law at Washington & Lee University, an author, writer, and a frequent guest on National Public Radio as well as the Arabian News Network. Mark was part of the writing staff at Ron Shandler’s old site Since Ron shut that project down Mark has joined our writing staff here at, and does some editing.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I work to earn a living, but I live for every precious moment I can spend with my family and a passion for sports.

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