Dynasty leagues -- the best ones, anyway -- allow for deep enough farm systems that it pays to go beyond the usual top-100 lists and unearth your own hidden gems.
Or, failing that, you can just read this article.
Now, I understand that if you're a dedicated enough Dynasty manager or a certified prospect sleuth, some of the players depicted here may have crossed your radar at some point or another. Every "no-name" has to have someone who's heard of him. Otherwise, he wouldn't be where he is. But if your prospect research, like most people's, is limited to rank lists and leaderboards, then these quiet producers may have slipped by you.
An offseason audit of the minor-league season might shed more light on them by moving them up said rank lists, so now, late in 2023, is a good time to make a play for 2-3 who sound interesting to you. I've sorted them roughly by my own preference, but it's fair to say I appreciate them all on some level.
Drew Thorpe, SP, Yankees
A+/AA: 14-2, 2.53 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 135 1/3 IP, 38 BB, 177 K
The left-hander most lauded for his changeup seemed like he might just be beating up on inferior competition early in the year, but then the dominance continued after his move up to Double-A. He has recorded double-digit strikeouts six times and, in an oddity for a minor-league pitcher, has gone seven innings or more seven times.
Lazaro Montes, OF, Mariners
Rookie/A-: .295 BA (220 AB), 12 HR, .998 OPS, 52 BB, 68 K
With a build and history similar to Yordan Alvarez (right down to working with the same trainer in the Dominican Republic upon leaving Cuba), Montes' production, albeit at the lowest levels, makes for an almost too-convenient comparison. The strikeouts have so far been less of an issue for the 18-year-old than some feared.
Chase Petty, SP, Reds
A+/AA: 0-2, 1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 64 IP, 14 BB, 62 K
Petty actually did get some buzz for his 102 mph fastball when he was drafted, but it quickly died down when the Twins turned him into a sinkerballer. Well, look at him now, practically untouchable with a ground-ball rate approaching 60 percent while still generating strikeouts at a decent clip.
Zach Dezenzo, 3B, Astros
A+/AA: .307 BA (322 AB), 15 HR, 22 SB, .916 OPS, 39 BB, 94 K
After beginning the year batting .407 at High-A, Dezenzo's numbers came down to earth with his move up to Double-A, but one thing that didn't change were his best-in-the-system exit velocities. And lately, he's begun to deliver the power befitting both them and his 6-foot-4 frame.
Sterlin Thompson, 3B, Rockies
A+/AA: .303 BA (323 AB), 12 HR, 17 SB, .885 OPS, 35 BB, 65 K
Thompson is hit over power right now, with a swing that's built for line drives and a mindset of poking the ball the opposite way, but he's put up pretty good power numbers in spite of it. If he adds a little more strength to his 6-foot-4 body and a little more loft to his swing, imagine what he could do playing half his games at Coors Field.
Thomas Saggese, 2B, Cardinals
AA: .316 BA (488 AB), 24 HR, 10 SB, .929 OPS, 49 BB, 130 K
Saggese is one of those prospects who simply produces in a way that defies all the measurables, sort of like Davis Schneider. He found another gear in mid-June, batting .348 with 19 homers and a 1.068 OPS in his past 71 games, and it was obviously enough for the Cardinals to target him in the Jordan Montgomery deal.
AAA: .292 BA (438 AB), 23 HR, .941 OPS, 101 BB, 128 K
Malloy doesn't have a lot of raw power, which is often how prospects go overlooked these days, but what he has is functional, capable of sending balls out to his pull side. What stands out for him most, though, is the superlative walk rate, which has him reaching base at better than a .400 clip (.432, in fact) for a second straight year.
Xavier Isaac, 1B, Rays
A-/A+: .279 BA (344 AB), 16 HR, 10 SB, .882 OPS, 60 BB, 86 K
A 19-year-old who's already confined to first base generally does not a prospect make, but the Rays, who are no dumimies, were willing to expend their first-round pick on Isaac last year. Power is his standout tool, but he's demonstrated such discipline at the lower levels that it's not hard to envision him becoming a true No. 3-type hitter.
A+/AA: .272 BA (379 AB), 30 HR, .923 OPS, 31 BB, 146 K
Can a Golden Spikes Award winner be a no-name? He can if he wasn't drafted especially high. Statcast has taught us that players who hit the ball exceptionally hard can overcome bloated strikeout rates, and Melendez may be the ultimate test case for that theory. So far, so good.
Justice Bigbie, OF, Tigers
A+/AA: .354 BA (376 AB), 17 HR, .969 OPS, 37 BB, 61 K
Bigbie lives to drive the ball the other way, which has so far worked out splendidly for him but could present a problem at bigger major-league venues like Comerica Park. Josh Jung is one such hitter who learned to overcome that issue, though, and even if Bigbie doesn't do the same, the tradeoff may simply be a higher batting average.
Graham Pauley, 3B, Padres
A-/A+/AA: .309 BA (447 AB), 21 HR, 22 SB, .928 OPS, 57 BB, 86 K
An optimal launch angle and pull rate have led to more power than expected for the 13th-rounder, and the surprises continue with a stolen base total to compete with the home runs. Pauley's left-handedness and disciplined approach will earn him more benefit of the doubt as he moves into the upper levels.
Ben Rice, C, Yankees
A-/A+/AA: .324 BA (238 AB), 18 HR, 1.054 OPS, 38 BB, 55 K
Rice may not be a no-name to Yankee die-hards who have nothing to do but obsess over the farm system right now, but suffice it to say he was on nobody's radar until a 10-homer August changed the thinking on his offensive potential. The batting average has been high throughout, which is curious for a player who hits so many towering fly balls, and Rice will need to sustain that outlier production given his noodle arm.
Christian Scott, SP, Mets
A-/A+/AA: 5-4, 2.71 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 83 IP, 12 BB, 99 K
Primarily a reliever in college, Scott has gotten a chance to start for the Mets, and it couldn't have possibly gone any better than it has, his fastball/slider combo yielding a 17 percent swinging-strike rate across three levels. Between that and his superlative control (as evidenced by his 69 percent strike rate), he may not need a third pitch, though the changeup has showed some promise.
Chayce McDermott, SP, Orioles
AA/AAA: 8-8, 3.16 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 114 IP, 64 BB, 145 K
McDermott has a full arsenal of swing-and-miss pitches, highlighted by a fastball with the vertical profile so coveted in the modern game, and it's made him near unhittable in his first full year with the Orioles, as evidenced by his 11.4 K/9 compared to 5.3 H/9. The problem is his 5.1 BB/9, but seeing as his brother Sean played in the NBA, McDermott has the athleticism to achieve better consistency with his delivery.
Yordanny Monegro, SP, Red Sox
Rookie/A-/A+: 6-2, 1.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 60 2/3 IP, 22 BB, 88 K
Part of what makes Monegro's breakthrough so impressive is that the 20-year-old is still growing into his 6-foot-4 body and may yet add another couple ticks to his fastball. Even while using it primarily just to set up his picture-perfect curveball, he has completely baffled A-ball htiters.
Troy Johnston, 1B, Marlins
AA/AAA: .313 BA (450 AB), 25 HR, 20 SB, .979 OPS, 55 BB, 95 K
You can understand why Johnston has remained stuck in the minors through age 26. His exit velocity readings are downright pitiful. But his production alone has earned him a major-league look, and if the Marlins don't give it to him down the stretch this year, another team likely will as a Rule-5 pick next year.