Digging For Diamonds: Low Minors Hot Corner Options To Watch

Self-evaluation is of monumental importance to improving as a dynasty league owner. You should always be evaluating your process and making sure that you’re making quality decisions that balance the short and long-term health of your team. Recently, one area that I’ve been trying to improve upon is my overvaluation of non-elite prospects that are far away from contributing at the big league level that I ‘like’ and have on my team. It’s hard for many dynasty league owners to part with prospects that they ‘like’ or ‘have a good feeling about’ but in reality, most non-elite prospects should be viewed strictly as trade chips to help improve your big league roster. The other important part of understanding how to make deals involving these non-elite prospects is that you must have a proper understanding of replacement level in your league. In other words, if I trade ‘3B prospect X’ in a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trade to improve my big league squad, what 3B prospect is available for me to add to replace him, if I need to replenish the third base prospect inventory on my team.

An example that I want to use is a player that I own on many teams, Rockies third baseman prospect Ryan McMahon, currently at Low-A Modesto. I happen to think that Ryan McMahon is going to be a good major league hitter, but he is far from a sure thing, and should be treated accordingly.
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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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Strategy Session: Avoid Over-Investing in Prospects

Prospects are a vital commodity in dynasty leagues. If you want a team that is built for the long haul you will need to continually refresh your team with an influx of new talent. One obvious way to do this is to cultivate a crop of minor leaguers. You sow a field full of blue chip prospects then wait for them to ripen so you can harvest a bounty of young stars. This sounds great in theory but it should not be the primary way you build your team. It feels very satisfying when your prized elite prospect graduates to the major leagues and becomes a star who leads your team to the championship. In reality though this rarely happens. If you are relying on prospects to carry the future of your team you are in trouble.

Prospecting should be an ancillary part of building your team, not the primary part. Prospects are way too unreliable to bet your team’s future on them. We all love prospects. In fact, the allure of finding the ‘Next Big Thing” is often the reason why so many of us gravitated to dynasty leagues in the first place. Continue reading

Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft Picks 1-10

For the last two years, Craig Goldstein – the internet’s leading authority on Clayton Kershaw’s facial hair, has reviewed his annual minor league draft from a 20 team dynasty league. Craig touched on the specifics of this league in the first installment, which notably includes that there are 300 minor league slots available (fifteen per team) and that the OF positions are not generic, they have to be filled LF/CF/RF. Also of note is that in this league there are no pickups of minor leaguers allowed in-season, leading to some enticing prospects being available that usually are not in a league of this size during a ‘normal’ minor league draft. However, prospects that are called up to the big leagues like Rusney Castillo are eligible to be picked up, so he does not appear below. This league’s draft was three rounds, and we’ll be recapping each ten picks in a separate post. The 2013 top ten featured some curious decisions at the time (Mike Zunino over Byron Buxton) that already look horrific and the 2014 draft featured two Rockies pitchers drafted in the top ten, believed to be the first (and most likely last) occurrence in the history of any fantasy baseball draft. Needless to say, a few things happen in this league that might not in yours, but hopefully you’re able to glean some useful information out of this exercise. This year’s draft included a Cuban being picked seventh overall, but probably not one that you’re thinking of:

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Three Dynasty Lessons I Should’ve Learned Sooner

The 2014 season is three-quarters over and my favorite team is bad and most of my fantasy teams are middling or bad, so I’ve already started to think about my ranking process for 2015 and beyond.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t given any thought to my intro-writing process, so you’re stuck with this.

1) At a certain point, proximity outweighs upside

Lesson No. 1 I’m going to take into my off-season rankings has a lot to do with the age-old debate of upside vs. proximity. Historically, when push comes to shove, I’ve given the nod to upside. The more deep leagues I play in, though, the more tempting investing in players close to the majors becomes.

I began the year, as did many others, with players like Lucas Giolito, Clint Frazier and Jorge Alfaro ranked quite highly on my personal Top 150 dynasty prospects list. And if you understand what these players can become at their peaks, it’s not hard to see why.

But as I watch the likes of Marcus Stroman and Yordano Ventura and Chris Owings and George Springer and Kolten Wong come up and produce meaningfully for contenders this year, I become increasingly less patient with high-upside, pie-in-the-sky type players. Continue reading

TDGX Recap – First Six Rounds From Pick #20

Since all of our draft slot bids failed to land we ended up at the mercy of the randomizer. The randomizer was not kind to us as it quietly doled out pick #20 in the for the TDG draft. While we realized we wouldn’t land one of the top 8 guys we were interested in pick #20 meant that we would have time to fully survey the landscape of the draft and make two picks at the turn. And as you will see it also pushed us into the decision that we would go very young with our team, grabbing prospects early with preference for those closer to the majors. Figuring if we didn’t have a top ten player leaving this draft perhaps we’d have one next year or in 2015.

In fact we even considered taking the combination of Buxton/Bogaerts with picks 20 and 21 to really fuel our youthy, prospecty fire. But after some discussion we decided that we didn’t want to completely punt 2014 and settled on Jason Kipnis as our main target, we liked the position, the age, the potential for 20-20 over the next 3-4 years and believed in his BA from 2013.

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