Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 1-3

As I mentioned last week, in my Plan for the Off-Season post, I signed up for a newly-formed 20-team dynasty league so that I could write about building a roster the old-fashioned way (as opposed to the series on my rebuilding project). It’s been a couple of years since I drafted a dynasty league team from scratch, and participating in this draft has been a welcome challenge. So before I delve into what has happened so far, I want to lay out the details of this particular league for context.

It is a 7×7 H2H league that uses all of the standard 5×5 categories, plus OPS/Total Bases for hitters and Quality Starts/Holds for pitchers. The active rosters are one player per position (OF are broken out by LF/CF/RF) plus a Utility player on offense, and nine pitchers (2 SP, 2 RP, 5 P). On top of that, there are 7 reserve spots, 3 DL spots and 20 minor league spots. So, all in all, it’s a deep league with an active lineup that skews a little towards pitching and very deep minor league rosters (400 total prospects will be rostered). The league is starting off with the a 20-round minor league draft for any rookie eligible players (130 AB, 50 IP), and will have the major league draft later in the off-season. Oh, and by the way, I’m the Minnesota Twins.

As far as my philosophy goes with a draft like this, I went into it wanting my first couple of picks to be players who are advanced enough have a reduced risk of flaming out. Just like it’s tough to contend when your first or second round pick in a redraft league flops or gets hurt, it’s a sizable set back if one of your top prospects busts. Of course it’s not quite the same, since minor leaguers are much less predictable, but it’s something you want to avoid. For that reason, I was hoping to get good value on a couple of hitters to start the draft, as they have more predictive value than their pitching brethren. On top of that, I’d probably try to be less of an upside whore since the league is so deep.

So here is a review of the minor league draft’s first three rounds. I’m going to look at who I picked and why (along with others I was considering) and who the best/worst picks of the round were (mine excluded). Hopefully this helps with either your valuations of these prospects or the preparation for your own dynasty league draft.

Round One –

1.1     Texas Rangers: Wil Myers (OF, Kansas City)
1.2     Colorado Rockies: Jurickson Profar (SS, Texas)
1.3     Toronto Blue Jays: Travis d’Arnaud (C, Toronto)
1.4     Seattle Mariners: Dylan Bundy (SP, Baltimore)
1.5     San Francisco Giants: Oscar Taveras (OF, St. Louis)
1.6     Oakland Athletics: Gerrit Cole (SP, Pittsburgh)
1.7     Cincinnati Reds: Trevor Bauer (SP, Arizona)
1.8     Houston Astros: Shelby Miller (SP, St. Louis)
1.9     Detroit Tigers: Billy Hamilton (OF, Cincinnati)
1.10  Chicago Cubs: Mike Olt (3B, Texas)
1.11 *Minnesota Twins: Xander Bogaerts (SS, Boston)
1.12  Washington Nationals: Miguel Sano (3B, Minnesota)
1.13  Los Angeles Angels: Tyler Skaggs (SP, Arizona)
1.14  San Diego Padres: Christian Yelich (OF, Miami)
1.15  Pittsburgh Pirates: Taijuan Walker (SP, Seattle)
1.16  Baltimore Orioles: Dan Vogelbach (1B, Chicago NL)
1.17  Milwaukee Brewers: Zack Wheeler (SP, New York NL)
1.18  New York Mets: Danny Hultzen (SP, Seattle)
1.19  Arizona Diamondbacks: Anthony Rendon (3B, Washington)
1.20  Boston Red Sox: Jose Fernandez (SP, Miami)

My selection: Bogaerts was one of the guys I had my eye on from the moment I got my draft slot. I knew the big guys wouldn’t fall to me, and I wanted a high-upside offensive player at a premium position – so while Bogaerts is still unlikely to stay at SS, it’s more likely than it was a year ago. Plus, it’s not like 3B is super deep anyway. [Other considerations: Taijuan Walker, Javier Baez]

Best picks of the round: Taijuan Walker (1.15), Oscar Taveras (1.5)
Worst picks of the round: Dan Vogelbach (1.16), Travis d’Arnaud (1.3)

I’m sure some of it is hesitation based on his stat line from 2012, but Walker has more upside than any pitcher not named Bundy. That hesitation shouldn’t cause him to drop below the likes of Yelich, Sano and Skaggs. Taveras is a monster and he’s my #2 prospect behind Profar. The Vogelbach selection is indefensible – he’s not even a lock to be a top-100 prospect, let alone a top-20 one. And as much as I like d’Arnaud, I thought this was too high for him because of both the injury risk and the difficulty of progressing from top prospect to star at the catcher position. Plus, with almost half of the owners in this league being Canadian, I’m not surprised someone jumped early at the Jays top prospect.

Round Two –

2.1     Boston Red Sox: Carlos Correa (SS, Houston)
2.2     Arizona Diamondbacks: Bubba Starling (OF, Kansas City)
2.3     New York Mets: Jameson Taillon (SP, Pittsburgh)
2.4     Milwaukee Brewers: Byron Buxton (OF, Minnesota)
2.5     Baltimore Orioles: Mike Zunino (C, Seattle)
2.6     Pittsburgh Pirates: Javier Baez (SS, Chicago NL)
2.7     San Diego Padres: Nolan Arenado (3B, Colorado)
2.8     Los Angeles Angels: Manny Banuelos (SP, New York AL)
2.9     Washington Nationals: Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland)
2.10  *Minnesota Twins: Nick Castellanos (3B/OF, Detroit)
2.11  Chicago Cubs: Jonathan Singleton (1B, Houston)
2.12  Detroit Tigers: Gary Sanchez (C, New York AL)
2.13  Houston Astros: Matt Barnes (SP, Boston)
2.14  Cincinnati Reds: Aaron Sanchez (SP, Toronto)
2.15  Oakland Athletics: Alen Hanson (SS, Pittsburgh)
2.16  San Francisco Giants: George Springer (OF, Houston)
2.17  Seattle Mariners: Carlos Martinez (SP, St. Louis)
2.18  Toronto Blue Jays: A.J. Cole (SP, Oakland)
2.19  Colorado Rockies: Archie Bradley (SP, Arizona)
2.20  Texas Rangers: Dan Straily (SP, Oakland)

My selection: I was pretty surprised when Castellanos fell to me with the #30 overall pick, as I think he’s locked in as a top-20 prospect and he’s likely to see the majors in 2013. Sure, his value goes down slightly if he moves to the OF, but the guy can flat out hit. Scouts generally think he’ll either hit for high average or above-average power, just not both at the same time – and I’ll take either. [Other considerations: Jonathan Singleton, Carlos Martinez]

Best picks of the round: Javier Baez (2.6), Carlos Martinez (2.17)
Worst picks of the round: Manny Banuelos (2.8), A.J. Cole (2.18)

As you can probably tell from the fact that Baez was under consideration for my first round pick, grabbing him at #26 is a bargain. He’s going to be a stud. Also, you know about my love for Carlos Martinez – and in a league which counts both saves and holds, I see no reason for him not to hold serious value. Banuelos just underwent Tommy John surgery and has been frustratingly inconsistent even when healthy. I like A.J. Cole a lot as an arm strength bet, but this is way too early in the draft for those types of bets, especially ahead of guys like Archie Bradley and Julio Teheran.

Round Three –

3.1     Texas Rangers: Darin Ruf (1B/OF, Philadelphia)
3.2     Colorado Rockies: Julio Teheran (SP, Atlanta)
3.3     Toronto Blue Jays: C.J. Cron (1B, Los Angeles AL)
3.4     Seattle Mariners: Jake Marisnick (OF, Toronto)
3.5     San Francisco Giants: Alex Meyer (SP, Washington)
3.6     Oakland Athletics: Jorge Soler (OF, Chicago NL)
3.7     Cincinnati Reds: Brian Goodwin (OF, Washington)
3.8     Houston Astros: Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles NL)
3.9     Detroit Tigers: Rymer Liriano (OF, San Diego)
3.10  Chicago Cubs: Tyler Austin (OF, New York AL)
3.11  *Minnesota Twins: Casey Kelly (SP, San Diego)
3.12  Washington Nationals: Kolten Wong (2B, St. Louis)
3.13  Los Angeles Angels: Nick Franklin (2B/SS, Seattle)
3.14  San Diego Padres: Jedd Gyorko (3B, San Diego)
3.15  Pittsburgh Pirates: Chris Archer (SP, Tampa Bay)
3.16  Baltimore Orioles: Delino DeShields Jr (2B, Houston)
3.17  Milwaukee Brewers: Hak-Ju Lee (SS, Tampa Bay)
3.18  New York Mets: Jake Odorizzi (SP, Kansas City)
3.19  Arizona Diamondbacks: Addison Russell (SS, Oakland)
3.20  Boston Red Sox: Bryce Brentz (OF, Boston)

My selection: This should come as a surprise to no one. If you’ve read my stuff, you know I’m the driver of the Casey Kelly bandwagon. He becomes especially valuable in a league this deep, as his fantasy floor is especially high due to his proximity to the majors, repertoire and home ballpark. If you saw how valuable Clayton Richard was this year just from pitching in San Diego, you can get an idea of how excited I am for Kelly, who actually has above-average stuff. [Other considerations: Chris Archer, Kaleb Cowart]

Best picks of the round: Jorge Soler (3.6), Tyler Austin (3.10)
Worst picks of the round: Darin Ruf (3.1),  C.J. Cron (3.3)

I was really hoping either Soler or Austin would fall to me, but it was not meant to be. Both are high-upside OF who could be legitimate top-10 prospects next year if they continue their development. Friends don’t let friends draft Darin Ruf. He may be a great story, but he’s unlikely to ever be a fantasy contributor, even in a league this deep. Cron put up huge numbers in the California League this year, but they were just that, numbers in the California League. He still has negative defensive value and right-right 1B types have a long road to major league value.

I’ll be back with more of this series once rounds 4-6 of this draft have been completed. [HINT: I’ve already made my R4 pick, and it’s someone who I really like and haven’t talked about on the site yet.]

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One comment on “Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 1-3

  1. Bob says:

    Looking back at this the pick of Fernandez this low is… umm.. WEAK

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