While the specific day may vary from league to league, you can mark down April 2001 as the first explosion of dynasty leagues in fantasy baseball. It was then that a relatively unknown, 21-year old third baseman named Albert Pujols was handed the starting job in St. Louis and forever changed the way fantasy baseball owners looked at rookies. That year, Pujols slashed .329/.403/.610 and mashed 37 home runs with 112 runs scored and 130 RBI. While those who didn’t own him dismissed the find as luck, not one of them would leave a rookie stone unturned the following season. The draft prep for the 2002 fantasy season went deeper than any mainstream league had ever gone.

Since then, we’ve seen some amazing ballplayers make their big-league debuts with the fantasy community right there pointing at each one and claiming credit for discovering the next big thing. From Hanley Ramírez and Justin Verlander to Mike Trout and Jacob deGrom , fantasy owners were ahead of the curve as they...