Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft (Picks 51-60)

As hard as it is to believe, we’ve finally reached the conclusion of our look into an offseason MiLB draft of a man whose MLB Power Rankings on FOX elicit comparisons to that of a drunken, dart throwing chimp, Mr. Craig Goldstein. This was certainly an entertaining draft (for the writer at a minimum) to take a look at for the unique rules (no minor league player adds done in-season) and the questionable draft strategies employed by more than a few teams. Hopefully you were able to learn a few things from this draft that can be used in future MiLB drafts:

Part One detailed why taking Roberto Baldoquin over Nomar Mazara (and Jose Peraza) is generally a horrible idea
Part Two featured virtually all top-100 dynasty prospects being snatched off the board, and again, why you don’t take Roberto Baldoquin ahead of even more top-100 dynasty prospects
Part Three discussed how taking highly touted Rockies pitching prospects early in dynasty drafts is a horrible historical proposition but keeps getting repeated on an almost yearly basis
Part Four was highlighted by a underrated SS prospect and underrated CF prospect being taken
Part Five saw multiple future options to replace Didi Gregorius taken, a low bar to clear undoubtedly

With Part Six, we take a look at multiple Astros pitchers and an intriguing young Braves SS:
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Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft (Picks 41-50)

We’ve reached the penultimate installment breaking down an offseason minor league dynasty draft of a man who will soon be issuing a sandwich power ranking column that will draw the ire of just as many Facebookers as his normal MLB Power Rankings on Fox does, Craig Goldstein. Hopefully the players drafted are of interest to you in your league, and this information can be used as a resource for your future drafts. Part one featured the rundown of the rules, particularly of note that no in-season adds of minor leaguers are allowed in this league, which certainly makes for a more entertaining offseason draft:
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Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft (Picks 31-40)

We’ve reached part four of our recap of an offseason minor league dynasty draft of a man who bathes in prosciutto, Craig Goldstein. We’re also aware that it is no longer the offseason, but hopefully the players drafted are of interest to you in your league. Part one featured the rundown of the rules, particularly of note that no in-season adds of minor leaguers are allowed in this league, which certainly makes for a more challenging/entertaining offseason draft and leads to players being available like:

31. Los Angeles Angels  – Willy Adames (SS, Tampa Bay Rays)

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Stocking Your Scout Team: Starting Pitcher

I love evaluating pitchers and could find a reason to write about any number of prospects but I’m limiting myself to a pair.  Let’s get right down to business so we can all get back to our last couple drafts in the run up to Opening Day.

Clayton Blackburn, San Francisco Giants

If I told you there was a prospect with nearly 400 innings of age-appropriate track record that included a career 9.20 strikeouts per nine innings, 1.73 walks per nine, a 2.98 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and an eventual home in a pitcher’s park with an organization known for developing pitching, you’d probably assume that prospect is highly coveted.  Yet, here we are with Clayton Blackburn, who finds himself universally behind Kyle Crick, Keury Mella, and Tyler Beede on San Francisco’s prospect rankings and also trailing Adalberto Mejia, Ty Blach, Steven Okert, and/or Luis Ysla, depending on which scout you ask.

To be fair, Blackburn’s positive attributes are mundane: he pounds the zone with above-average command and control, has clean mechanics, repeats his delivery, knows how to sequence his four-pitch mix, and has the build to profile as mid-rotation innings eater. Excited yet?

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2015 NPB Prospect Rankings, Nos. 6-15

Here I continue counting up my rankings further more. If you missed last week, here are top 5.

6) Yoshio Itoi, OF, Orix Buffaloes (Age 33)

I have no doubt that he has all the tools that would play well at the MLB level: raw power that stands out among Japanese hitters, bat-to-ball skill (he’s never had an average below .300 in 6 full seasons), speed that makes him a threat on the basepaths (has stolen at least 22 bases in each of the past 6 years) and gives him a wide range in right field ,and a cannon for an arm. He also has an advanced approach at the plate, as his career BB% stands at 10.8. With that skill set, he could be a 10-20 outfielder with a 270-280 average in MLB. The problem is that the sands of time for him are running low.

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2015 NPB Prospect Rankings, Nos. 1-5

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. We’re just over a couple of weeks away from the new season. And better yet, NPB opening day is a mere 5 days away.

Here at TDG, I ranked 30 NPB players to watch for for the coming season. The rankings are based on 1) their potential MLB upsides and age, and 2) how far away from/ how likely to be producing at the MLB level. Generally, NPB pitchers have better shots at being significant contributors than batters. In fact, there have been only 2 Japanese position players with a career bWAR of 10.0 or better, compared to 8 pitches cleared that threshold. Consequently, the list is loaded with pitchers.

Without further ado, I’m kicking off the rankings with five right-handed hurlers.

1) Kenta Maeda, RHP, Hiroshima Carp (Age 26)

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Kyle Schwarber and the Value of Catching Prospects

Much has been made about the fact that Chicago Cubs 2014 first round draft pick Kyle Schwarber might not stick behind the plate and could ultimately be moved to outfield full time. How is this going to affect the slugger’s fantasy value? Should we move him down the rankings if he is not a catcher? Is it better for us as fantasy team owners for Schwarber to remain a catcher or move to the outfield? Let’s keep in mind that there have been a lot of players who were catchers as amateurs who “failed” to remain at catcher through their minor league years. Bryce Harper, Pablo Sandoval, Joey Votto, Dale Murphy, Craig Biggio and many others began their careers as catchers and went on to stardom at other positions. The bottom line is that if a guy can hit it doesn’t matter too much what position he plays. Positional scarcity should not be a major issue when ranking prospects.

We have all heard the case for positional scarcity and how it affects a player’s fantasy value. If you have two players who both have the exact same statistics, the one who plays the rarer position is a lot more valuable. Clearly, catcher is a scarce position and there are only a small handful of legitimate hitters who wear the mask. If you are starting Buster Posey or Jonathan Lucroy at catcher then you will have a large advantage over teams starting Jason Castro or Miguel Montero.

Just How Scarce are They?

That is all true without question, but in terms of fantasy baseball that is often overblown. Continue reading