Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 7-9

The Context –

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 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 very deep league with an active lineup that skews a little towards pitching and deep minor league rosters (400 total prospects will be rostered). Oh, and by the way, I’m the Minnesota Twins.

So here is a review of rounds four through six of the draft. 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 Seven –

7.1     Texas Rangers: Marcell Ozuna (OF, Miami)
7.2     Colorado Rockies: Brad Miller (SS, Seattle)
7.3     Toronto Blue Jays: Sonny Gray (SP, Oakland)
7.4     Seattle Mariners: Ronald Guzman (OF, Texas)
7.5     San Francisco Giants: Alex Dickerson (OF, Pittsburgh)
7.6     Oakland Athletics: Aaron Hicks (OF, Minnesota)
7.7     Cincinnati Reds: Joc Pederson (OF, Los Angeles NL)
7.8     Houston Astros: Stefen Romero (3B, Seattle)
7.9     Detroit Tigers: Victor Sanchez (SP, Seattle)
7.10  Chicago Cubs: Arodys Vizcaino (RP, Chicago NL)
7.11  *Minnesota Twins: Dorssys Paulino (SS, Cleveland)*
7.12  Washington Nationals: Cory Spangenberg (2B, San Diego)
7.13  Los Angeles Angels: Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York NL)
7.14  San Diego Padres: Bruce Rondon (RP, Detroit)
7.15  Pittsburgh Pirates: Michael Wacha (SP, St. Louis)
7.16  Baltimore Orioles: Jairo Beras (OF, Texas)
7.17  Milwaukee Brewers: Luis Sardinas (SS, Texas)
7.18  New York Mets: Brett Jackson (OF, Chicago NL)
7.19  Arizona Diamondbacks: Kyle Gibson (SP, Minnesota)
7.20  Boston Red Sox: Christian Bethancourt (C, Atlanta)

My selection: Whether I could have waited any longer to take Dorssys Paulino is up for debate, but I did not want to take that chance. One of the breakout stars of rookie ball, Paulino scorched the AZL to the tune of a .355/.404/.610 line with 6 HR, 9 SB and 26 total XBH. This earned him a promotion to the NY-Penn League, where he held his own (.271/.306/.407) as a 17-year old. He is likely to shift to 3B long-term, but the bat has the upside to play anywhere. 2013 will be a big year for him, as he could draw a full-season assignment in his age-18 season, like Francisco Lindor in 2012. [Other considerations: none in particular, really wanted Paulino]

Best picks of the round: Arodys Vizcaino (7.10), Kyle Gibson (7.19)
Worst picks of the round: Luis Sardinas (7.17), Christian Bethancourt (7.20)

Vizcaino has been largely forgotten about due to Tommy John surgery, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t go back to being the electric arm he was before surgery. Especially in a league that counts holds, Vizcaino should be a top-flight reliever if the whole starter thing doesn’t work out. Gibson has been dealing in the AFL, and has a decent shot to break camp with the Twins in 2013. Sardinas is a good prospect, but more for his glove than his bat – he’s at best a speed bet, and he’s unlikely to hold much fantasy value. Bethancourt is kind of the same thing, except he’s known for his exceptional arm behind the plate. Unfortunately, % of runners thrown out is not a category in this league, and his bat has regressed to the point where even his defense may not be able to get him a full-time catching job.

Round Eight –

8.1     Boston Red Sox: Mikie Mahtook (OF, Tampa Bay)
8.2     Arizona Diamondbacks: Jorge Bonifacio (OF, Kansas City)
8.3     New York Mets: Gavin Cecchini (SS, New York NL)
8.4     Milwaukee Brewers: Rougned Odor (2B, Texas)
8.5     Baltimore Orioles: Sean Nolin (SP, Toronto)
8.6     Pittsburgh Pirates: Domingo Santana (OF, Houston)
8.7     San Diego Padres: Stephen Pryor (RP, Seattle)
8.8     Los Angeles Angels: Logan Schafer (OF, Milwaukee)
8.9     Washington Nationals: Clint Coulter (C, Milwaukee)
8.10  *Minnesota Twins: John Lamb (SP, Kansas City)*
8.11  Chicago Cubs: Blake Snell (SP, Tampa Bay)
8.12  Detroit Tigers: Tyrell Jenkins (SP, St. Louis)
8.13  Houston Astros: Nick Ahmed (SS, Atlanta)
8.14  Cincinnati Reds: Roberto Osuna (SP, Toronto)
8.15  Oakland Athletics: Trayce Thompson (OF, Chicago AL)
8.16  San Francisco Giants: Luis Jimenez (3B, Los Angeles AL)
8.17  Seattle Mariners: Gustavo Cabrera (OF, San Francisco)
8.18  Toronto Blue Jays: Daniel Norris (SP, Toronto)
8.19  Colorado Rockies: Allen Webster (SP, Boston)
8.20  Texas Rangers: Tim Wheeler (OF, Colorado)

My selection: This point marks the beginning of my run of recently injured pitchers. Lamb needed Tommy John back in June of 2011 and came back this summer to throw 13 IP between the Arizona and Pioneer Leagues. He looked tentative and his stuff was inconsistent, but I’m banking on a near full recovery in the end for Lamb, who once upon a time was a potential #2 starter for the Royals. 2013 will be a big year for him, but there aren’t too many guys on the board with his combination of proximity and upside. [Other considerations: Lewis Brinson, Allen Webster]

Best value picks: Jorge Bonifacio (8.2), Allen Webster (8.19)
Best upside picks: Domingo Santana (8.6), Tyrell Jenkins (8.12)

I’m switching up the format from here on out, since after the first 150 picks of a draft like this, there really are no bad picks anymore – so instead, I’m going to break the picks I like out by most value and most upside. Bonifacio and Webster were likely the only two no brainer top-100 prospects left at this point. I had actually forgotten that Bonifacio was still available (though I likely would have taken Paulino over him anyway). Webster is also a name that gets overlooked, but shouldn’t be. He could contribute in 2013. Domingo Santana is a pure upside play – he could hit 40 HR at the major league level or he could never make it past AA. Jenkins is the same thing from the pitching side, as he has the raw tools to pitch near the top of a rotation.

Round Nine –

9.1     Texas Rangers: Tanner Scheppers (RP, Texas)
9.2     Colorado Rockies: Dante Bichette Jr (3B, New York AL)
9.3     Toronto Blue Jays: Brad Peacock (SP, Oakland)
9.4     Seattle Mariners: Carter Capps (RP, Seattle)
9.5     San Francisco Giants: Kyle McPherson (SP, Pittsburgh)
9.6     Oakland Athletics: Victor Roache (OF, Milwaukee)
9.7     Cincinnati Reds: Matt Smoral (SP, Toronto)
9.8     Houston Astros: Will Swanner (C, Colorado)
9.9     Detroit Tigers: Lewis Brinson (OF, Texas)
9.10  Chicago Cubs: Jace Peterson (SS, San Diego)
9.11  *Minnesota Twins: Joe Ross (SP, San Diego)*
9.12  Washington Nationals: Tyler Anderson (SP, Colorado)
9.13  Los Angeles Angels: Marcus Stroman (RP, Toronto)
9.14  San Diego Padres: Brett Bochy (RP, San Francisco)
9.15  Pittsburgh Pirates: Nick Maronde (SP, Los Angeles AL)
9.16  Baltimore Orioles: Adam Walker (1B, Minnesota)
9.17  Milwaukee Brewers: Tommy Joseph (C, Philadelphia)
9.18  New York Mets: Mike Montgomery (SP, Kansas City)
9.19  Arizona Diamondbacks: DJ Davis (OF, Toronto)
9.20  Boston Red Sox: Reese Havens (2B, New York NL)

My selection: Ross fell off a lot of radars this year by only pitching 54 2/3 IP in 2012. Injury issues aside, it’s tough to find another pitcher available who has the type of upside that Ross has. He was one of the standout players from fall instructs last year and it’s certainly worth it at this point to see if he can put his raw stuff into performance as he moves further into full-season ball. [Other considerations: Cheslor Cuthbert, Stryker Trahan]

Best value picks: Will Swanner (9.8), Tommy Joseph (9.17)
Best upside picks: Lewis Brinson (9.9), Marcus Stroman (9.13)

Swanner is a catcher in name only, but he has a bat that makes him very appealing regardless. He needs to show he can make more contact as he moves up the chain, but the specter of him in Coors Field is mighty appealing. Tommy Joseph is not the prospect he was a year ago, but he’s still going to be a major leaguer – it’s just a matter of what kind. Brinson has absolute off-the-charts tools and was less raw than expected upon entering complex league play. He could be the next Matt Kemp or he could strike out in 40% of his Double-A at bats and stall out. It’s tough for a Blue Jays prospect to be undervalued in this draft, as (like I’ve mentioned before) many of the owners are Canadian, but Stroman still has dynamic late-inning upside and he may even get there in 2013. There’s just as much to like about him now as when he was drafted.

To be continued with rounds 10-12 next week, where I draft another injured pitcher, sandwiched by two hitters who were both born in the United States but managed to avoid being subject to the draft.

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