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 25 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 (500 total prospects will be rostered, as the draft was expanded to 25 rounds). Oh, and by the way, I’m the Minnesota Twins.
As opposed to doing a full round review at this point in the draft and going through the best picks that other teams made (we’re far, far too deep to draw much from that anymore), I’m just going to go into my picks and why I made them. Hopefully this helps with either your valuations of these prospects or the preparation for your own dynasty league draft. But admittedly, your draft would have to be pretty crazy deep in order for you to start considering some of the guys I took in the final rounds here.
Round 17 – Rio Ruiz (3B, Houston)
The Astros liked Ruiz enough to go way over slot for him in the 4th round of the 2012 draft ($1.85mm) – in fact, Jeff Luhnow referred to Ruiz as a first-round talent when speaking about his draft philosophy. As one of the younger players available in the draft, Ruiz hit .271/.361/.412 in the GCL before getting a taste of the Appy League towards the end of the season. He’s certainly a high risk guy, but if he hits, he could be an offensive third baseman who can help in batting average and the power categories.
Round 18 – C.J. Edwards (SP, Texas)
It’s not too often you see people getting excited about a 48th round pick, but C.J. Edwards turned some heads in the AZL and Northwest League this year. His combined stat line of a 1.48 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 85 K in 67 innings will do that to a prospect – and it landed him as the 8th best prospect on Baseball America’s Northwest League list. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling in the world (he’d likely top out as a #3), but I’m paying attention regardless.
Round 19 – Rob Brantly (C, Miami)
This was a fall back pick, in that Brantly is a reasonable end-game starter in a 20-team league this year. He shouldn’t have any competition for the job in Miami and he acquitted himself well in his major league stint at the end of 2012 (.290/.372/.460 with 3 HR in 100 AB). Over a full season, he could hit .275 with 8-10 HR and reasonable counting stats for a catcher – which gives me a nice fall back plan if I don’t like the values of catchers in the major league draft.
Round 20 – Jordan Swagerty (SP, St Louis)
Swagerty was a borderline top-100 prospect after an extremely successful 2011 season, but after undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2012, he’s become a bit of a forgotten man. How quickly we forget that the former ASU closer was being stretched out as a starter with great results (1.83 ERA and 89-23 K/BB rate across Low-A, High-A and Double-A). If he picks up where he left off in 2013, he’ll be a great value.
Round 21 – Cody Asche (3B, Philadelphia)
I had thought about grabbing Asche for the last couple of rounds, but strategically, there were other guys I chose instead. I have an abundance of 3B prospects and Asche isn’t a high-upside guy, but he’s similar to Brantly in that I like his chances to have value in a league this deep. Between High-A and Double-A, the 22-year old hit .324/.369/.513 with 12 HR and 11 SB in 518 AB — and followed that with a .781 OPS in the Arizona Fall League. He’s got a great shot to be the first homegrown Phillies 3B in over a decade.
Round 22 – Kevin Pillar (OF, Toronto)
This was a pick similar to the Dawel Lugo one in Round 16. With many Jays fans in the league, Pillar could be quite valuable if the 2011 32nd round pick just continues along the same road he did in 2012, where he hit .323/.374/.439 with 6 HR and 51 SB between Low-A and High-A. He started that in the AFL, hitting .371/.409/.435 with 8 SB in 62 AB. And yes, that’s a lot of steals.
Round 23 – Ravel Santana (OF, New York AL)
Santana was a big-time target of mine last year, as a potential power/speed combo OF who could make a large impression upon graduating from complex league ball. Unfortunately, whether it was due to the ankle injury which ended his 2011 season or just being exploited against higher-level competition, he just never got on track in 2012. But in Round 23, I’m certainly willing to take a shot that he’ll bounce back.
Round 24 – Luis Mateo (SP, New York NL)
Let’s talk about the good with Mateo first. The Mets prospect had an incredible 85-9 K/BB rate in the New York-Penn League to go along with his 2.45 ERA in 73 1/3 IP. All of this after he put up a similar 80-5 K/BB rate in 63 IP in the Dominican Summer League in 2011. So why was Mateo still available at this point in the draft? The simple answer is that he’s 22-years old. He originally signed back in 2008, but after issues with his elbow and his date of birth (he conveniently took two years off his age), he finally ended up in the Mets organization last year. 2013 will be a big year for him since he’s yet to succeed in an age-appropriate environment yet, but he could be a big sleeper.
Round 25 – Manuel Margot (OF, Boston)
My philosophy with these last few picks was to get as much upside as possible, and Margot is so far down the food chain, he’s never actually played a game in the United States. Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $800k in 2011, Margot was a difference maker in the Dominican Summer League, hitting .285/.382/.423 with 4 HR, 33 SB and a 25-36 K/BB rate in 260 AB. Could he be the next short-season breakout star in 2013? Maybe.
And for the previous posts on this draft: