Last week I covered the first half of the first round of a 20-team dynasty league’s minor league draft. To check that out, click here, and within that link is a link to a previous iteration of this exercise that full explains the league settings/structure. From there it’s just links within links until it becomes a fractal.
11. Boston - Austin Meadows (OF PIT)
The leagues preference for hitters over pitchers is starting to show through here, as Meadows gets popped before some other top arms. I’ve been less critical of Meadows than some others, especially in a fantasy context where his left field destination won’t hurt him as much, but even so, taking him ahead of arms like Stroman or Stewart was a bit of a surprise. In the end the result is a potential five category contributor, who is likely several years away.
12. St. Louis - Kohl Stewart (SP MIN)
It didn’t take long to see those arms I spoke of go, as Stewart was immediately selected, and I can’t imagine it took much time to make this choice. He’s got some of the highest upside left on the board with the only true negatives being the inherent risk in pitchers and the distance away from the majors. As a two-sport player Stewart isn’t especially polished but could have four average or better pitches.
13. Pittsburgh - Julio Urias (SP LAD)
Yet another top arm. As much hype as Urias got in the offseason, it’s not hard to see why he was selected so highly, though I admit I would have opted for Stroman ahead of him. That’s about the only quibble to make here though, as Urias’ combination of present stuff and polish make him a candidate to arrive in the majors quickly, despite his tender age.
14. NY Mets - Marcus Stroman (SP TOR)
And just like that, the elite pitching options have been exhausted. Stroman is already in the majors at this point (albeit in a relief role) and was a strong selection for just that reason. He has front of the rotation upside with added value for immediacy. While he has size working against him, an extra few homers shouldn’t ding his ability to contribute too much.
15. Miami - DJ Peterson (3B SEA)
I don’t love this selection but I get it. Peterson is pretty safe as far as prospects go, with a decent chance to stay at first, plus power and the chance for an average or better hit tool. At the same time, “merely” plus power that’s anticipated to play in Safeco is a concern for me, and not maxing out the hit tool is going to make the power play down. If he’s not a third baseman this becomes all sorts of risky, and I’m not as confident as others that he sticks at the hot corner. That said, bats that move quickly aren’t around beyond Peterson, so it all depends on what you’re looking for.
16. LA Dodgers - Raimel Tapia (OF COL) (me)
I’ll admit to having drank the Kool-Aid here. This was one of the few times I’ve been unsure about what I wanted in this draft, especially considering it was the first round. My team is built for immediate success and my farm system has become relatively thin on upside as I’ve traded it away for “now” pieces, so I went with the big upside pick in Tapia, figuring I’d have plenty of time to let him develop. In reality, I’ve already traded him as part of a package that landed me Anibal Sanchez, who was set to provide a shot in the arm to my injured pitching staff (Sanchez then immediately got hurt).
17. NY Yankees - Phillip Ervin (OF Cin)
Ervin was somewhat undersold in the offseason and has started off 2014 with a cold streak. That’s not going to help his stock from stat watchers, but the scouting reports on him have remained positive despite the poor production. It’s an open question whether Ervin will stick in centerfield but that’s less relevant for most fantasy leagues. He’s a potential 20/20 guy and as a college product, might be challenged a bit more than your standard draft pick. While the overall ceiling isn’t massive, I think this is great value for a late first round fantasy selection.
18. Minnesota - Dominic Smith (1B NYM)
Before you (or I) go HAM on this pick, we should note that it was part of a trade. Rules dictate that trading of MiLB picks are not allowed, but if you can get someone to pick the guy you want and then trade them to you, that’s fine. That’s what happened here as Smith was immediately moved for Chris Owings, which is working out SWELL for the guy who got Owings and well Smith is hitting .245/.318/.296 in Low-A right now. Yes, that’s small sample size, but man that’s bad.
19. Texas - Sean Manaea (SP KC)
This looks like a prescient pick right now, but back in January, before he was throwing well in Low-A, there was a lot more risk involved. Credit to this owner though for taking a guy who carried significant risk thanks to a poor senior season that featured multiple injuries. The Royals were willing to show faith that Manaea would bounce back, as did this owner. He might never again be the guy who was up to 98 MPH on the Cape, but he doesn’t have to be to make this selection look good.
20. Kansas City - Nick Williams (OF TEX)
This was one of the other players I considered when selecting Tapia, as I’ve been on Williams for quite a while. He’s got preternatural bat-to-ball ability and can get down the line in a hurry. His defense is suspect as his routes are bad and his arm plays below average, though the speed does help with his range. He should hit even if he doesn’t walk much, and his ability to barrel the ball should help his power play up a bit.