TDGX Draft Recap: Rounds 1-20

We’ve been flying through this Dynasty Guru Experts League draft. Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #TDGX, or just check back here for recaps from myself and other writers. It’s been a lot of fun and there have been a number of different strategies employed. My co-owner Paul and I decided we wanted to go as young as possible without sacrificing any big values that fell to us as the draft unfolded. Some of those values came in the form of bounce-back candidates that we chose to bet on. We also made a decision not to draft pitching or prospects too early. Through the first half of the draft (400 picks) we’re very happy with our team. As we head into the deep, uncharted waters of rounds 21-40, we’ll probably have to get more creative and a little less picky! I guess you could look at it as no big deal, since half of our team will be cut heading into 2015 anyway. More on that here. Enough chatter, let’s get to the breakdown…

1.1 Mike Trout

2.40 Jason Heyward

3.41 Starlin Castro

The only question surrounding Trout at this point is whether the 15-keeper price we paid for the rights to him will do us more harm than good. We’ll have to wait to find out. Price aside, he’s the best player in baseball and at 22 has no blemishes to make us think twice about drafting him #1 overall. Heyward and Castro are both looking to come back from bad years in 2013. Both are also young, talented baseball players that we are willing to invest in. Machado went one pick before us, and he would have been our choice over Castro had he fallen. We discussed taking Profar instead of Castro as well, but we felt that Castro’s position as well as his (slightly) longer MLB track record made him a more comfortable pick for us. More on the Castro pick here.

4.80 Albert Pujols

5.81 Anthony Rendon

6.120 Nolan Arenado

7.121 Archie Bradley

We were really pleased to land all four of these players. Pujols is older, but at pick 80 he was a value we could not pass up. In fact, I think he’s being undervalued even in redraft leagues this season. Rendon and Arenado fit more into our plan to go for young hitters that are already major leaguers. Rendon will have more value if he stays at second base for us, but his bat will play even if he moves to third. Arenado is a player we think will eventually blossom into a 25-homer guy and it’s hard to pass up talented young hitters who call Coors their home. His defense should keep him at the hot corner as well. Bradley is our first pitcher off the board. While he’s technically a prospect, we think he’ll be up soon and contributing to our major league roster. He’s also the best pitching prospect in baseball in our opinion.

8.160 Yordano Ventura

9.161 Andrew Cashner

10.200 Martin Perez

11.201 Travis d’Arnaud

We took two more pitchers before the pool of young hurlers got too thin. Cashner may end up being our oldest arm at 27 years old. He’s got great velocity and pitches in a pitcher’s park. The injury shadow follows him around, but pitching injuries are more a matter of ‘when’ than ‘if’ anyway. Speaking of velocity…Yordano Ventura. Love the youth, the arm, and the fact that he may crack the rotation straight out of spring training. Despite pitching in hitter-friendly Arlington, we felt that Perez was another solid young arm to invest in . He’s got a nice fastball/change already, and he’s introduced a cutter. If he can get some of the secondary pitches going, his K-rates should rise. Perez was a good value for us considering his lofty prospect status not too long ago. D’Arnaud was another value play. We weren’t planning on taking a catcher this early, but his upside was too good to pass up here.

12.240 Mike Moustakas

13.241 David Dahl

14.280 Ike Davis

15.281 J.P. Crawford

More bounce-backs? Why certainly. Moose is either going to pull things together or end up in a platoon. Maybe both! Either way, we felt his bat and his youth (25) were worth the 240th pick. Even our prospects fit the bounce-back mold. Carsley wasn’t a fan of our Dahl pick, and for good reason. After a lost 2013, his talent seems to have fallen through the cracks. He won’t help us in the immediate future, but were are more than happy to stash him away on our farm. Lord only knows what to make of Ike Davis, but we were willing to roll the dice on him with news of a hidden oblique injury last year that might have contributed to his issues. He worked on simplifying his swing as well. He’s still on 27 and he’s got 30-homer upside. That’s hard to find at pick 280. Paul and I are both Phillies fans, and so we chose to go with J.P. Crawford with another prospect pick. We considered Raul Adalberto Mondesi here, but you can’t have everyone. Carl Crawford’s cousin is just starting his career, but he has the defensive tools to stick at short and could eventually be help in all five roto categories. You’ll see us load up on shortstop prospects in this draft. Here’s why.

16. 320 Dominic Smith

17.321 A.J. Pollock

18.360 Lorenzo Cain

19.361 Rosell Herrera

20.400 Jacob Turner

We’re getting into deeper waters at this point. Smith was an easy choice given the lack of depth in the pool of first base prospects. Pollock and Cain are both young enough to keep around if they produce, both have upside, and more importantly both have starting jobs. Finding guys who weren’t in some sort of platoon here wasn’t exactly easy. Herrera is a perfect marriage of our love for Colorado hitters and shortstop prospects. After Nate Eovaldi came off the board, we decided not to wait any longer to take our next pitcher in Jacob Turner. There weren’t many major league arms as young as him left to draft, and we liked both his talent and his home park for our starting rotation.

More to come…

Mike’s on Twitter @643ball

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6 comments on “TDGX Draft Recap: Rounds 1-20

  1. thebaber says:

    I’m interested in your decision to take so many guys still a few years away, considering you have to throw back so many keepers at the end of the year. You chose guys like JP Crawford, Dahl, Smith and Herrera over guys who could flesh out your team now. I can imagine one of those guys getting injured or putting up crummy numbers in the minors and suddenly you’re considering cutting them at the end of the year to reach your keeper limit.

    You’ve mentioned your philosophy is to focus on youth+upside. To me that makes it seem difficult to know when you’re playing for, since you will start 2015 at a depth disadvantage. How have you adjusted your strategy after you got into the draft a bit more and considered the implications of cutting so many players at the end of the year? Clearly you made a choice to stay young, but was this an easy choice and there was never any question, or did you seriously consider taking someone like Uehara or Haren instead of the young prospects who won’t see any 2014 playing time?

    • Mike Buttil says:

      Thanks Baber! We’re not looking at any one specific year (2014, 2015) but just trying to build the best team we can in this initial draft. We felt guys like Smith and Dahl were great values where we got them.

      It was an easy choice to stay young as we’d rather have guys like these than players who can help us in the next two years but might have less value over the long haul. I think the major league roster we’ve built will be good enough to compete in the near future, but we’ve also landed some younger pieces and prospects in the middle rounds that we’re excited about keeping. Paul and I will worry about the cuts when we get there. Right now it’s just about assembling the best talent we can, regardless of age/level (like any other draft).

      Side note on strategy in general, we probably wouldn’t cut a prospect just because of an injury or bad year in the minors. Thanks for reading. Great comment :)

  2. Mat says:

    Speaking of Starlin, which side you like better in win-now dynasty?

    Starlin/M Almonte

    OR

    Taillon, Villar, T Story

  3. […] values while keeping our team young as often as possible. You can find a recap of our fist 20 picks here. It was in these later rounds that we had to flesh out our starting roster before the player pool […]

  4. […] can find the breakdowns of our first thirty picks here and here. In the last ten rounds my partner Paul and I continued to look for the best players […]

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