Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster: One Year Later

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

6/3/12 6/3/13
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

6/3/12 6/3/13
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.

Bench/Disabled List

6/3/12 6/3/13
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

6/3/12 6/3/13
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

6/3/12 6/3/13
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.

Follow me on Twitter at @dynastyguru.

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4 comments on “Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster: One Year Later

  1. Jason N. says:

    My timeline for that league is 20-never, lol.

    • Jason N. says:

      Also, you really believe in Lynn huh? I bought him kind of high last year and then he puttered out, but if he can limit walks, he could be a steal. I’ve been trying to include him in trades for an upgrade, but recommend holding?

  2. Tony says:

    It will be interesting how Puig and Springer do for your team next year as both will likely be full time starters then. Springer seems to me the one with the most upside, but one that overal might be more likely to be a mediocre MLB player as well. Either way a guy that is hitting 16HR and 16SB in the first two months of the minors is a worthy risk.

  3. Tony says:

    Have you guys been keeping an eye on Scott Van Slyke? After rocking AAA in April, he got promoted up in May. I thought he would spend a month up here hitting .210 with maybe 2-3 homers, unable to duplicate his AAA hitting at the higher level. He seemed like a career AAA from what I saw of him in 2012.

    In 60 plate appearances at the major league level in 2013 he is hitting .255 with 6 HR and 5 doubles. He started watching more of his at-bats and his plate discipline is remarkably improved vs. last year. He strikeouts are a bit high, but it seems he is not swinging at less close pitches and needs to adjust a bit more to big league pitching.

    Def. potential to be a solid power-outfielder for fantasy, and I could see the Dodgers moving him for a prospect.

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