The TDGX Draft has been alternately slowly creeping and gallantly galloping along, and as I write this I’ve just made my 26th selection of the draft. You can read a more in-depth look at my first five selections here, and I’ll post my roster construction as it exists presently at the bottom of this piece. Here’s some briefer commentary on the picks I’ve made since that top 5 and how I see my squad shaping up.
6.112 Everth Cabrera, SS SDG
Cabrera was far and away the best SS option on my draft board here, and I was excited to be able to snap him up. His speed and stolen base efficiency is second only to what we assume is to come out of Billy Hamilton, and he was in the midst of a tremendous breakout before the suspension came down last year. He’s always shown an impressive ability to take walks despite poor power, and if he can couple a double-digit walk rate with the .280 AVG he was on pace for last year he’s a guy that can steal 60+ bases in a full season. At 27 I like what I’ve got here for the next 4 years, and between him and Braun I can launch a “Bash Brothers” redux marketing campaign: the Biogenesis Brothers. The kids will love it.
We’ve been flying through this Dynasty Guru Experts League draft. Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #TDGX, or just check back here for recaps from myself and other writers. It’s been a lot of fun and there have been a number of different strategies employed. My co-owner Paul and I decided we wanted to go as young as possible without sacrificing any big values that fell to us as the draft unfolded. Some of those values came in the form of bounce-back candidates that we chose to bet on. We also made a decision not to draft pitching or prospects too early. Through the first half of the draft (400 picks) we’re very happy with our team. As we head into the deep, uncharted waters of rounds 21-40, we’ll probably have to get more creative and a little less picky! I guess you could look at it as no big deal, since half of our team will be cut heading into 2015 anyway. More on that here. Enough chatter, let’s get to the breakdown…
1.1 Mike Trout
2.40 Jason Heyward
3.41 Starlin Castro
The only question surrounding Trout at this point is whether the 15-keeper price we paid for the rights to him will do us more harm than good. We’ll have to wait to find out. Price aside, he’s the best player in baseball and at 22 has no blemishes to make us think twice about drafting him #1 overall. Heyward and Castro are both looking to come back from bad years in 2013. Both are also young, talented baseball players that we are willing to invest in. Machado went one pick before us, and he would have been our choice over Castro had he fallen. We discussed taking Profar instead of Castro as well, but we felt that Castro’s position as well as his (slightly) longer MLB track record made him a more comfortable pick for us. More on the Castro pick here.
Last week I took you through my thought process of selecting Jason Kipnis and Xander Bogaerts with the 19th and 22nd picks respectively, in the TDGX draft. While we’ve gotten about halfway through the draft at this point, I thought I’d break my selections down into more digestible bites, and take you through round 3-5 for Team Joldstein Goldstein.
At this point I was still recovering from actually taking Bogaerts in round two, as I wasn’t at all sure that I made the correct decision. I had been eyeing another top prospect in speedster Billy Hamilton as a potential fourth round selection to pair with a solid MLB contributor that I could take in the third round. I wasn’t at all sure who that was yet, of course. I had been coveting Matt Kemp with my third selection, as my Dodgers biases have led me to believe he can still put in some first round value seasons while he’s in his prime.
For the TDGX, providence (and a small accounting error) brought Andy Barnes and I together to co-manage a franchise in the league. The devious, entertaining bidding system gave us the 16th pick. And G-talk has given us a 16-man nucleus on which we continue to build.
To be honest, we didn’t do a lot of strategizing ahead of time save for making our lists, but quickly found ourselves on the same page looking for value; prioritizing some predictability; favouring younger players where we could, but not necessarily chasing prospects; and, hoping to build balance across all positions. It wasn’t necessarily intentional from the outset, but our team looks more like a “win now” team than a “win in 2016” team. If you’ve read some of the other recaps it won’t be a surprise that as the draft got underway plans changed for many teams. We were no exception. For example, we noticed that between the prospects and older veterans going off the board, some mid-20s guys who we think have growth potential were available to us and grabbed a number of them.
While there are lots of picks left to go and any number of chances for missteps, here are our first week’s worth of picks with some thoughts.
As you surely know by now, 20 of us are currently drafting teams in The Dynasty Guru Experts League. The festivities can be followed on Twitter at #TDGX. So in lieu of talking about my team today, which I will get to in due time, I reached out with ten specific questions to ten specific owners–getting them to talk about things that have helped shape the first five rounds of the draft. Whether it’s strategy or particular picks, there was no shortage of things that I wanted to know from the first 100 picks, and the answers did not disappoint. Thank you to all of the owners who provided the insight below.
1) Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau, Bloomberg Sports & MLB AM
Q: Did you guys set out with the strategy of taking all very young players up top and would it have been different if you had not picked at the #2 spot? Did you have particular players in mind for each of those picks? When do you think your team can reasonably be contenders?
As you know by now, the illustrious team of writers here at The Dynasty Guru put together a complete set of rankings for players at every position. If you haven’t seen them yet you should definitely check them out HERE! These rankings were built especially for use in dynasty leagues. Of course player values in dynasty leagues are dramatically different than in re-draft leagues but all the lists on other fantasy baseball sites were made for yearly leagues. We created our dynasty rankings as consensus lists compiling the opinions of all the TDG writers into the ultimate ranking system for dynasty leagues anywhere on the Net.
Since the lists were created on a consensus basis, sometimes each of us on the panel may disagree with the collective mind. I strongly believe our rankings are the best to be found anywhere, but that doesn’t mean I agree with the ranking of every single player. This article is the second of a series where I highlight a few examples of starting pitchers who I believe are more valuable than their rank. The first article was about Danny Salazar, read it HERE.
I swear I didn’t mean to do this. No one heads into a dynasty league draft aiming to own half of the Phillies’ infield.
I, like my league mates, began the TDGX draft with a plan to draft a balanced team filled with young, productive major leaguers, high-upside minor leaguers and veterans who I could grab as bargains. I had planned to draft the ideal dynasty league team – young, flexible and balanced with upside and probability.
But then Robinson Cano was still there when I picked at 15 overall, and while sexy youngsters like Jose Fernandez and Xander Bogaerts were on the board, I couldn’t resist Cano’s immediate impact. Then on the turn, I eyed Justin Upton and Wil Myers, but I just couldn’t say no to David Wright. Fast-forward to my third pick, and I passed on Billy Hamilton and Gerrit Cole for the criminally underrated Hunter Pence. In round four, I had my eyes on Dom Brown and Jordan Zimmermann, but holy balls Justin Verlander was still around. How was I supposed to say no to that value? Continue reading →