A lot can happen in a year.
June 3rd, 2012 was the day I took over the roster which became the focus of my Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster series, and now that June 3rd is upon us again, it seemed like a natural time to take a look at how the team is doing. As you may remember, the time horizon for my team is 2014, and I was pretty active in setting up my roster to look like a team I would actually own. In fact, of the 50 players (25 majors, 25 minors) on the team when I took it over, only 14 remain today. And that’s pretty extensive turnover for an owner like myself who tends to shy away enormo-trades and tries to stick with his guys, rather than go after each new flavor of the week.
Right now, the team is sitting at 3-6 through nine weeks, so it’s pretty clear that my horizon is not moving up. Hopefully with some of the reinforcements I’ll get during the second half, it will keep me on schedule for next year. For a refresher on the league settings, check out the first of my RDLR (no, that doesn’t stand for Rubby De La Rosa here) posts back from August 2012. The important information is that it’s a 16-team H2H points league. But now, I’m just going to run through the team and see how things have changed (hopefully for the better):
Starting Lineup – Hitters
|C||Matt Wieters||Matt Wieters|
|1B||Albert Pujols||Albert Pujols|
|2B||Chase Utley||Chase Utley|
|SS||Yunel Escobar||Starlin Castro|
|3B||Chris Davis||Jedd Gyorko|
|OF||Alex Rios||Alex Rios|
|OF||Jayson Werth||Jayson Werth|
|OF||Yonder Alonso||Yasiel Puig|
|Util||Aubrey Huff||Yonder Alonso|
|Util||Eric Young Jr||Matt Joyce|
As with any rebuilding project prior to its time horizon, the starting lineup doesn’t look that much different, yet. Wieters, Pujols, Utley, Rios, Werth and Alonso are all holdovers from the original roster. Starlin Castro was my biggest addition on the offensive side of the equation during my first year, and even with him struggling a bit, he is a huge upgrade over Yunel Escobar. Gyorko and Puig are part of the first wave of my minor league system bearing fruit, and there’s a lot more on the way. I’m sad not to have Chris Davis anymore, but I traded him in the middle of last season, and got a package including Oscar Taveras in return, so I’m really not all that sad.
Starting Lineup – Pitchers
|P||Lance Lynn||Lance Lynn|
|P||Brandon Morrow||Brandon Morrow|
|P||Derek Holland||Shelby Miller|
|P||Jeremy Hellickson||Dan Haren|
|P||Travis Wood||Travis Wood|
|P||Jonathan Broxton||Jason Hammel|
|P||J.J. Putz||David Robertson|
At this point, you’re probably wondering when all the large scale changes are coming, but as with any shorter-term rebuilding project, the idea is not to completely disassemble the major league squad, as there is still plenty of value to be had by keeping your choice pieces and building around then. For me, those pieces were Lance Lynn and Brandon Morrow (well, and Travis Wood I guess, but no one wanted him). The big addition here is Shelby Miller, who has settled in nicely as my 1b to Lance Lynn’s 1a. Morrow has been a big disappointment, but since this year doesn’t matter, I’ll just hope he gets healthy and contributes in 2014.
|BN/DL||Kevin Youkilis||Cameron Maybin|
|BN/DL||Jeff Francoeur||Colby Rasmus|
|BN/DL||Chris Johnson||Yasmani Grandal|
|BN/DL||Chris Marrero||Cody Allen|
|BN/DL||Zach Britton||Brett Anderson|
|BN/DL||Danny Duffy||Danny Duffy|
|BN/DL||Carlos Carrasco||Ryan Madson|
|BN/DL||Jemile Weeks||Joakim Soria|
These are my major leaguers who occupy either my bench or my disabled list spots. I am currently using some of my bench spots on spill-over prospects, but there are a lot of names here who have serious upside and can help more than just another prospect. The two Padres (Grandal, Maybin) could both become trade chips towards the deadline if they have a strong June/July. Brett Anderson and Danny Duffy are both lefties with upside, though each comes with their own special brand of risk. And then there’s a group of potential 2014 closers in Madson, Soria and Allen–who all should at least have a decent shot of accruing saves. This is where you can really start to see the depth that I’ve built over the last year, as this was not a strong suit of the team I inherited.
Minor League Hitters
|ML Bats||George Springer||Oscar Taveras|
|ML Bats||Yasmani Grandal||George Springer|
|ML Bats||Matt Davidson||Brian Goodwin|
|ML Bats||Brett Jackson||Gregory Polanco|
|ML Bats||Ryan Kalish||Alen Hanson|
|ML Bats||Julio Borbon||Eddie Rosario|
|ML Bats||Michael Taylor (OAK)||David Dahl|
|ML Bats||Edinson Rincon||Dan Vogelbach|
|ML Bats||Max Stassi||Dorssys Paulino|
|ML Bats||Zack Cox||Raul A. Mondesi|
|ML Bats||Jiovanni Mier||Blake Swihart|
|ML Bats||Donovan Tate||Matt Davidson|
|ML Bats||(empty)||Rougned Odor|
|ML Bats||(empty)||Lewis Brinson|
|ML Bats||(empty)||Jorge Alfaro|
|ML Bats||(empty)||Jeimer Candelario|
This is where my biggest impact can be felt. As I went over in detail during the series, the entire minor league system of this team was in disrepair–and I’ve bulked it up a lot. A lot of the names are ones you’d expect to see: guys like Taveras, Goodwin, Polanco, Vogelbach, Paulino and Mondesi that I’ve been high on became some of my biggest targets in either free agency, trades or the draft. When I took over this team, there were four minor league bats who might even potentially crack my lineup one day. Now, I think I have 12-13 who realistically can. Taveras and Springer should make up that next wave of guys to impact the major league side of the roster, and my collection of high-upside A-ball talent will give me a lot of trade leverage this off-season.
Minor League Pitchers
|ML Arms||Kyle Gibson||Carlos Martinez|
|ML Arms||John Lamb||Casey Kelly|
|ML Arms||Dellin Betances||Taylor Guerrieri|
|ML Arms||Chris Dwyer||Aaron Sanchez|
|ML Arms||Luke Jackson||Noah Syndergaard|
|ML Arms||Ethan Martin||Kyle Gibson|
|ML Arms||Adys Portillo||Kyle Crick|
|ML Arms||Brett Oberholtzer||Clayton Blackburn|
|ML Arms||Christian Friedrich||Blake Snell|
|ML Arms||Philippe Aumont||John Lamb|
|ML Arms||Carlos Perez (ATL)||Lance McCullers Jr|
|ML Arms||Stetson Allie||Jose Ramirez|
|ML Arms||(empty)||Victor Sanchez|
I really like Kyle Gibson, but if he’s the best minor league pitcher you have, something’s gone a bit wrong. And yes, my third best pitching prospect was Yankee flame out Dellin Betances. Now I’m stocked with high-upside arms like Martinez, Sanchez, Guerrieri and more–along with having those close to the majors guys who will contribute within the next 12 months. Gibson, Martinez and Kelly should all contribute in 2014.
The key to staying on track for 2014 will be the development of what I called the “first wave of prospects” earlier. And that’s the things which is most likely to set a team back. If I’m not getting contributions from that group of high-upside and close prospects (Taveras, Puig, Martinez, Springer), it’s going to be tough to be as competitive as I want to be next season. But a ton can happen in a very short period of time, just look at Shelby Miller (who I traded for at the deadline last year, when he still had a 6 ERA at Triple-A). More updates on this team will be coming, as interesting things start to happen.
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