July Dynasty All-Stars

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We have made it through another month of the baseball season and contending teams have one more day to add to their rosters for their postseason run. Does anyone else hear “It's the Final Countdown” by Europe or is that just me? 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 July Dynasty All-Stars!

Hitting All-Stars

Austin Riley, 3B, Braves

.423/.459/.885 21 R, 25 RBI, 11 HR

The third base position is filled with top-tier talent and Riley has solidified himself in the top four. After a hot couple of weeks right after he was called up by the Braves in 2019, Riley was a major disappointment. He slashed .239/.301/.415 with eight homers over 206 plate appearances in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. During the winter of 2021, Riley worked with a hitting coach that helped improve his posture as well as pitch recognition. He was more patient at the plate and learned to wait for pitches he could drive. He hit .303/.367/.531 with 33 homers and helped lead the Braves to a World Series title. Austin Riley and Rafael Devers are both 25 years old and could take over as the Top 2 third basemen in Dynasty Baseball very soon. UPDATE: The Braves must have hacked my Google Doc account as they announced on Monday that they have signed Austin Riley to a 10-year contract, which was the largest contract in franchise history. Atlanta now has long-term deals with Acuna Jr., Albies, Olson, and Riley and has locked up their core for the long-term.

Corey Seager, SS, Rangers

.318/.394/.647 15 R, 19 RBI, 8 HR

Seager busted out of a pretty lackluster June in a big way. The 28-year-old had himself a month and it could have been even better if he didn't miss the last three days of July with a lower leg contusion. Seager is surprisingly young and has always hit well. The only thing keeping him from living up to his potential has been the injury bug. The contusion doesn't sound overly serious and he should return to the Rangers lineup soon. The Rangers are starting to come around offensively. Adolís Garcia, Nathaniel Lowe, and Marcus Semien all had huge months. Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith have been serviceable and Josh Jung has begun to play in Complex League games in Arizona. The Rangers could be a force in the American League West by next year and Seager will be right in the middle of the action.

Marcus Semien, 2B, Rangers

.268/.331/.500, 17 R, 17 RBI, 6 HR, 7 SB

We all knew that Semien wasn't going to replicate smacking 45 balls out of the park, but we expected more than a .199/.266/.274 batting line with one homer and one steal through the end of May. Since then Semien is hitting .277/.331/.509 with 13 homers and 13 steals and he capped it off with a monster July. Semien is different from his Ranger teammate, Corey Seager, in that he always plays. The last time Semien was out of the lineup was May 12, when he was practically unplayable. Semien is on the other side of 30 now, but if you are in a win-now mode in your league, you might want to put a trade offer to your league mate.

Pitching All-Stars

Brady Singer, RHP, Royals

30 ⅔ IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 42/11 K/BB

11.3 Swinging Strike%, 32.9 CSW

Don't look now but Brady Singer closed out the month with two double-digit strikeout games. What is even more impressive is that it was against the Rays at home and the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. Singer is predominantly a two-pitch pitcher but he has begun to incorporate his changeup more. His changeup usage is up to 9%, which is much more than his 4% last year. I am hoping this is sustainable but I remain skeptical. The Royals' pitching development has been…how can I say…downright awful. That being said, he is still young (25-year-old) and pitches in the AL Central, which has been a pretty easy place to pitch the last few seasons.

José Berríos, RHP, Blue Jays

36 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 47/7 K/BB

10.6 Swinging Strike%, 30.8 CSW

It has been a rough first season north of the border for José Berríos but he finished with a strong July. I've considered the 28-year-old a roller coaster pitcher. He goes up, he goes down, but at the end of the day, you end up at an even level. While Berrios hasn't pitched well this season, the bullpen has done him no favors. He is second in the league in bequeathed runners scored (BQS) with nine. Ian Anderson's 11 BQS leads the league and only took the lead from Berrios with a disastrous month of July.

Triston McKenzie, RHP, Guardians

33 ⅔ IP, 1.34 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 33/9 K/BB

11.0 Swinging Strike%, 26.8 CSW

McKenzie finished off an impressive July with a four-run outing against the Red Sox but don't be discouraged. In the four previous games, McKenzie had a 0.34 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and a 27/8 K/BB ratio, and averaged 6 ⅔ innings per game. McKenzie is long and lanky and seeing him pitch this well late into the season is very encouraging. McKenzie has begun to utilize his wipeout slider more this month, which has helped him keep the ball in the yard. While he doesn't get as many swings and misses as other top pitchers, Cleveland's tendency to leave their starters in the game makes him a great number 2 or 3 starting pitcher in leagues that have wins as a category.

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Hitting Prospect of the Month

Alexander Canario, OF, Cubs

.354/.500/1.300 18 R, 16 RBI, 7 HR, 5 SB

Canario had been enjoying a hot season even before July and is quickly moving up fantasy prospect lists. Canario was the higher-ranked prospect in the Kris Bryant trade last year with the Giants, even with his poor performance at Low-A. The Cubs believed in him and assigned him to High-A after the deal. He began this season in High-A but after hitting .281/.360/.584 with seven homers and three swipes, the Cubs bumped him up to Double-A, where he has performed even better. Canario has lightning-quick wrists which translates into super quick bat speed and profiles as a corner outfielder. While the swipes are nice to see, I don't think it will be part of his game as he begins to fill out his 6'1” frame. If he continues at his current pace, Canario could be playing in the friendly confines of Wigley by this time next season.

Other hitting prospects of note:

Vaughn Grissom (SS, Braves) - .407/.491/1.106 4 HR, 8 SB

Endy Rodriguez (C, Pirates) - .373/.489/1.262 8 HR, 1 SB

Brett Baty (3B, Mets) - .365/.435/1.123 8 HR, 1 SB

David Hamilton (ss, Red Sox) .241/.364/.750 3 HR, 21 SB

Pitching Prospect of the Month

Ben Brown, LHP, Phillies

23 IP, 1.57 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 35/2 K/BB

Brown was a 33rd-round pick in 2017 out of high school and spent most of 2018 and 2019 injured. He has taken a massive step forward this year during his time in High-A Jersey Shore. The 6'6”, 210 lb lefty has dominated the competition and only walked two batters during the month of July. Brown has a mid-nineties fastball, mid-eighties curveball, and high-eighties slider and was promoted to Double-A at the end of July. I'm not surprised that the Phillies are moving him up the ranks quickly due to his lengthy injury history and that might ultimately cap his ceiling. If you are willing to take a chance on a pitching prospect that was relatively unknown before this year, Brown is your guy.

Other pitching prospects of note:

JJ Goss (RHP, Rays) 26 IP, 1.73 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 30/4 K/BB

Cade Cavalli (RHP, Nationals) 15 ⅔ IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 16/3 K/BB

Darius Vines (RHP, Braves) 30 2/3 IP, 1.17 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 32/9 K/BB

Movin' On Up

Triple-A to MLB:

JJ Bleday (OF, Marlins)

Double-A to Triple-A

Corbin Carroll (OF, Diamondbacks), Francisco Álvarez (C, Mets), Spencer Horwitz (1B, TOR) Matt Wallner (OF, Twins), Taj Bradley (RHP, Rays), Freddy Tarnok (RHP, Braves)

High-A to Double-A

Elly De La Cruz (SS, Reds), Aaron Zavala (OF, Rangers), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (3B, Twins), Everson Pereira (OF, Yankees), Austin Wells (C, Yankees), Vaughn Grissom (SS, Braves), Oscar Colas (OF, White Sox), Mason Montgomery (LHP, Rays), Prelander Berroa (RHP, Mariners), DJ Herz (LHP, Cubs), Tanner Bibee (RHP, Guardians), Yosver Zulueta (RHP, Blue Jays)

Low-A to High-A

Jordan Lawlar (SS, Diamondbacks), Jackson Chourio (OF, Brewers), Alex Ramirez (OF, Mets), Jasson Dominguez (OF, Yankees), Deyvision De Los Santos (3B, Diamondbacks), Heston Kjerstad (OF, Orioles), Jeremy De La Rosa (OF, Nationals), Chase Petty (RHP, Reds)

Complex to Low-A

Yiddi Cappe (SS, Marlins), Gabriel Gonzalez (OF, Mariners), Misael Urbina (OF, Twins) Bubba Chandler (RHP/SS, Pirates)