Dynasty Baseball Deep League Targets: Luke Raley & Braxton Ashcraft

by Alex Welch
Dynasty Baseball Deep League Targets

It's time to dive into some potential must-adds for dynasty players in larger leagues. This is Dynasty Baseball Deep League Targets, including Luke Raley and Braxton Ashcraft.

We're about two months into the regular season, and it's clear the jump to MLB is not the easiest path for young hitters. Jackson Holliday and Wyatt Langford struggled before getting optioned and injured respectively, Jackson Chourio is batting .219, and Kyle Manzardo currently has a 17 wRC+ in 10 games.

Now is a good time to do a heat check on some of these hitters. I'm sure no one is selling Holliday for cheap just because he had a 50% strikeout rate in 36 plate appearances with the Orioles, but maybe it buys you a very slight discount. It's worth asking.

As for our discussion for deeper leagues, here I'll look at five players who are available to add in plenty of leagues today.

For news and information on other players, check out our MLB Player News Tracker.

Dynasty Baseball Deep League Targets: Luke Raley & Braxton Ashcraft

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Luke Raley, 1B/OF, Seattle Mariners

Raley is on fire in May. In 36 plate appearances, he's slashing .375/.444/.688 with 3 HR, 8 RBI, and 2 SB.

We saw some of this spark last season with the Rays. Although he wasn't a full-time player, he still managed 19 HR and 14 SB in 118 games in 2023.

He's a huge boost to the Mariners offense right now, and they're getting him in the lineup more often lately. His average EV and barrel rate are surprisingly down a good bit from last season, so that's something to monitor.

But Raley is only rostered in 29% of Fantrax leagues and 11% of Yahoo! leagues.

Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

At some point, the Pirates are going to start running out of rotation spots for all these pitching gems they dig up. Ashcraft has endured a tough road up to this point, but he’s looking like another big arm for Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-5 righty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2021 after the COVID season, and that’s also after a previous surgery to clean up a shoulder issue. Finally healthy and going deeper into starts, Ashcraft is coming off a dominant 7 IP performance where he recorded 10 strikeouts with 20 whiffs.

The overall numbers aren't exactly eyepopping this season, but his FIP is better than his ERA, and his minuscule 3.8% walk rate is worth investing in. That pinpoint control with some dominant stuff and a fastball that’s now reaching up to 97 mph could lead to a big move up prospect rankings.

More of the dynasty community is starting to take note, but Ashcraft is still only rostered in 8% of Fantrax leagues.

Bryan Hudson, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers

We could be witnessing the emergence of the next dominant reliever for the Brewers. Hudson’s Statcast page looks bright red right now as he continues to stand out in 2024.

Hudson has multiple strikeouts in each of his last six relief appearances and three holds in that span.

He ranks in the top 5% in MLB in XBA, K%, and xERA. The lefty’s sweeper is leaving batters looking silly while generating a 38.5% whiff rate.

Holds leagues will want to grab Hudson right away, and even if you’re still stuck on saves alone, he could move into a bigger role in the future.

Jeral Perez, INF, Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s always good to trust in the Dodgers development system. Perez could be the next fast riser among their prospects.

The 19-year-old is crushing Single-A pitching right now. Through 31 games, Perez is batting .313 with 5 HR, 19 RBI, and 4 SB. His 168 wRC+ is the highest of his career. Perez is one of only five teenagers in the minor leagues with five homers this season.

The plate approach continues to stand out. Perez maintains a strikeout rate around 22% and a walk rate above 18%, which is consistent with last year's performance. It's impressive what he's doing at such a young age.

More leagues are slowly rostering Perez, but now is the time to add him if he’s available.

Kevin McGonigle, SS, Detroit Tigers

Max Clark received far more attention as the Tigers first pick last season at No. 3 overall, but their following selection is making some noise as well. McGonigle is a bat-first infielder who continues to improve at the plate.

He missed a couple of weeks to start the year with a hamstring injury, but since then he’s been hot. In 15 games at Single-A, McGonigle is batting .321 with a homer and five steals. He’s also walked as many times as he’s struck out.

McGonigle has a knack for getting on base. He’s only failed to reach base in one of those 15 games so far this season. The power leaves a bit to be desired, but the hit tool is there, and he looks like a multi-position player who will chip in for every category.

Be sure to check out the rest of the in-season F6P Fantasy Baseball content.

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