I mentioned at the end of the previous post that we were finally at the end of “Stage 1” once the initial trades/free agent moves were completed. Well, Stage 2 starts right now – and to be perfectly honest, it’s much less romantic and spastic than Stage 1. However, it’s just as important. What we have set to accomplish up until this point is building up the team’s assets from a more general perspective, and now we have to get a little more specific. We have to determine what we’re going to need between now and the beginning of our time horizon in order to be a contending team.
The first step of this is to recreate the exercise we did in Step 3 of this series and re-examine the team at the time horizon of contention after the initial roster moves have been made. To refresh your memory, we’re going to look at a full active roster and bench, plus any potential top-50 prospects (read: future trade chips). Here’s my best case scenario roster, coupled with a descriptor based on expected performance in that season versus the average 16-team league starter (weak, average, strong, elite):
C – Matt Wieters (strong)
1B – Albert Pujols (elite)
2B – Chase Utley (average)
SS – Yunel Escobar (weak)
3B – Kevin Youkilis (average)
OF – Oscar Taveras (strong), Alex Rios (strong), Jayson Werth (average)
Util – Travis d’Arnaud (average), Yonder Alonso (average)
P – Brandon Morrow (strong), Lance Lynn (strong), Brett Anderson (strong), Danny Duffy (average), Casey Kelly (average), Ryan Madson (average), David Robertson (average)
BN – Jemile Weeks (average), Jedd Gyorko (average), Brett Jackson (average), Matt Davidson (weak), Zach Britton (average), Carlos Martinez (average), John Lamb (weak), Kyle Gibson (weak)
Potential Top 50 Prospects – George Springer, Blake Swihart, Alen Hanson, Jose Campos, Taylor Guerrieri, Aaron Sanchez
The biggest difference between this list and the previous one is the most obvious – I’ve gone from one potential top-50 prospect to six. Plus, I’ve done that while also improving the number of “strong” players from four to six and decreasing the number of “weak” players from six to four. But this is only the quantitative view of what’s in front of me; let’s take a look from a qualitative perspective.
The most glaring weakness that this team has positionally is SS, as Escobar is a pretty uninspiring option at the major league level and I don’t have anyone at the position that can overtake him before then. Beyond that, I’m not particularly strong at 2B, 3B or OF – but at least I have options there. Upper-level prospects like Oscar Taveras, Jedd Gyorko, Brett Jackson and Matt Davidson combined with current fort-holders like Utley, Youkilis, Jemile Weeks, Rios and Werth should provide me with enough options to piece together decent performance from those spots.
On the pitching side, I definitely have a higher quantity of potential contributing arms after my initial flurry of moves. But, the only problem with predicting pitching is that you can’t – you just have to get as much talent as you can and hope for the best, both from a development and health perspective. In my case, I have my five pitchers currently recovering from Tommy John surgery as of the end of June and Zach Britton who is a bit of a wild card after missing the first three months of this season with a shoulder injury.
But in the end, all I’m trying to figure out from this stage of the rebuild process is if there are particular areas I need to focus on positionally. Fortunately for me, it’s a points league and I don’t have to think about category positioning. When dealing with rotisserie leagues, Phase 2 is the beginning of the time when you should start thinking about how balanced you are across categories – you shouldn’t worry about it before then. It’s obvious by now that I’m probably going to need to deal for a shortstop. I’m also likely to need a few more pitchers. But on the bright side, I have good catching depth, which I will be looking to leverage in order to build up the rest of my roster. Outside of those two specific need areas, I’m just going to be on the lookout for the best available players as we move into the next step: acquiring my secondary targets.
Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster, Part 1: Setting the Table
Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster, Part 2: Establishing Your Time Horizon
Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster, Part 3: The Evaluation Stage
Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster, Part 4: The Opening Trades
Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster, Part 4a: Wait at Your Own Peril
Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster, Part 5: The Free Agents