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Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 4-6

The Context –

I signed up for a newly-formed 20-team dynasty league so that I could write about building a roster the old-fashioned way (as opposed to the series on my rebuilding project). It is a 7×7 H2H league that uses all of the standard 5×5 categories, plus OPS/Total Bases for hitters and Quality Starts/Holds for pitchers. The active rosters are one player per position (OF are broken out by LF/CF/RF) plus a Utility player on offense, and nine pitchers (2 SP, 2 RP, 5 P). On top of that, there are 7 reserve spots, 3 DL spots and 20 minor league spots. So, all in all, it’s a very deep league with an active lineup that skews a little towards pitching and deep minor league rosters (400 total prospects will be rostered). Oh, and by the way, I’m the Minnesota Twins.

So here is a review of rounds four through six of the draft. I’m going to look at who I picked and why (along with others I was considering) and who the best/worst picks of the round were (mine excluded). Hopefully this helps with either your valuations of these prospects or the preparation for your own dynasty league draft.

Round Four –

4.1     Boston Red Sox: Kaleb Cowart (3B, Los Angeles AL)
4.2     Arizona Diamondbacks: Robert Stephenson (SP, Cincinnati)
4.3     New York Mets: Trevor Story (SS, Colorado)
4.4     Milwaukee Brewers: Matt Davidson (3B, Arizona)
4.5     Baltimore Orioles: Joey Gallo (3B, Texas)
4.6     Pittsburgh Pirates: Eddie Rosario (2B/OF, Minnesota)
4.7     San Diego Padres: Adam Eaton (OF, Arizona)
4.8     Los Angeles Angels: Jackie Bradley Jr (OF, Boston)
4.9     Washington Nationals: James Paxton (SP, Seattle)
4.10  *Minnesota Twins: Max Fried (SP, San Diego)*
4.11  Chicago Cubs: Jesse Biddle (SP, Philadelphia)
4.12  Detroit Tigers: Tony Cingriani (SP, Cincinnati)
4.13  Houston Astros: Matt Adams (1B, St. Louis)
4.14  Cincinnati Reds: Noah Syndergaard (SP, Toronto)
4.15  Oakland Athletics: Austin Hedges (C, San Diego)
4.16  San Francisco Giants: Gregory Polanco (OF, Pittsburgh)
4.17  Seattle Mariners: Albert Almora (OF, Chicago NL)
4.18  Toronto Blue Jays: Mason Williams (OF, New York AL)
4.19  Colorado Rockies: Kevin Gausman (SP, Baltimore)
4.20  Texas Rangers: Grant Green (OF, Oakland)

My selection: One of my favorite fantasy prospects out of the 2012 draft, Fried is a lefty with above-average velocity and the makings of two potentially above-average secondary pitches, led by an advanced curveball for a prep pitcher. He may not have true top-of-the-rotation upside from a scouting perspective, but pitching in San Diego will give him #1 fantasy starter upside. [Other considerations: Albert Almora, Kyle Zimmer]

Best picks of the round: Kaleb Cowart (4.1), Albert Almora (4.17)
Worst picks of the round: Joey Gallo (4.5), Matt Adams (4.13),

Cowart is a legit top-50 prospect with burgeoning power and a consistently improving approach at the plate. Almora has tools and will move fast for a high school hitter. If Fried was gone, Almora would have been my choice. Joey Gallo has buckets and buckets of raw power, but don’t worry too much about the video game power numbers he put up in the AZL – those records used to belong to Wladimir Balentein. He’s currently raking…in the NPB. Matt Adams had a shot to claim the Cards 1B job, but couldn’t do it. With no openings on the major league level and Oscar Taveras ahead of him, he may need a change of scenery to get anything more than a cup of coffee.

Round Five –

5.1     Texas Rangers: Chad Bettis (SP, Colorado)
5.2     Colorado Rockies: David Dahl (OF, Colorado)
5.3     Toronto Blue Jays: Josh Bell (OF, Pittsburgh)
5.4     Seattle Mariners: Luis Heredia (SP, Pittsburgh)
5.5     San Francisco Giants: Kyle Zimmer (SP, Kansas City)
5.6     Oakland Athletics: Zach Lee (SP, Los Angeles NL)
5.7     Cincinnati Reds: Oswaldo Arcia (OF, Minnesota)
5.8     Houston Astros: Matthew Skole (3B, Washington)
5.9     Detroit Tigers: Robbie Erlin (SP, San Diego)
5.10  Chicago Cubs: Taylor Guerrieri (SP, Tampa Bay)
5.11  *Minnesota Twins: Blake Swihart (C, Boston)*
5.12  Washington Nationals: Jarred Cosart (SP, Houston)
5.13  Los Angeles Angels: Chris Withrow (SP, Los Angeles NL)
5.14  San Diego Padres: Hunter Morris (1B, Milwaukee)
5.15  Pittsburgh Pirates: Lucas Giolito (SP, Washington)
5.16  Baltimore Orioles: Sean Doolittle (RP, Oakland)
5.17  Milwaukee Brewers: Michael Choice (OF, Oakland)
5.18  New York Mets: Leonys Martin (OF, Texas)
5.19  Arizona Diamondbacks: Gary Brown (OF, San Francisco)
5.20  Boston Red Sox: Justin Nicolino (OF, Toronto)

My selection: Swihart is a pure upside play at catcher, and one of my favorite ones at that. He struggled badly in April at Low-A Greenville, but responded by putting up an OPS of at least .737 in each of the next four months. With one of the sweetest swings in the minors and loud offensive tools for a catcher, Swihart is one of my picks to breakout in 2013. [Other considerations: Wily Peralta, Trevor Rosenthal]

Best picks of the round: Kyle Zimmer (5.5), Oswaldo Arcia (5.7)
Worst picks of the round: Chad Bettis (5.1), Matthew Skole (5.8)

Zimmer gets tucked slightly behind Fried as far as fantasy value goes among pitchers in the 2012 draft, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. He will move fast and has as much upside as any arm in that system. Arcia improved his plate discipline a lot and could legitimately hit in the middle of the order for the Twins in 2014. I was very bummed when he came off the board (I would have taken him over Swihart). Bettis was a wasted pick – he missed the whole season with a shoulder issue and pitches in Colorado. Skole put up big numbers in Low-A (where he was old for the level), but really looks to be a Quad-A hitter. Next year will be a big test for him, as he’ll need to rake in Double-A to be taken seriously as a prospect.

Round Six –

6.1     Boston Red Sox: Cody Buckel (SP, Texas)
6.2     Arizona Diamondbacks: Clayton Blackburn (SP, San Francisco)
6.3     New York Mets: Jeurys Familia (RP, New York NL)
6.4     Milwaukee Brewers: Wilmer Flores (3B, New York NL)
6.5     Baltimore Orioles: Trevor Rosenthal (SP, St. Louis)
6.6     Pittsburgh Pirates: Courtney Hawkins (OF, Chicago AL)
6.7     San Diego Padres: Jonathan Schoop (2B, Baltimore)
6.8     Los Angeles Angels: Chris Stratton (SP, San Francisco)
6.9     Washington Nationals: Martin Perez (SP, Texas)
6.10  *Minnesota Twins: Wily Peralta (SP, Milwaukee)*
6.11  Chicago Cubs: Richie Shaffer (3B, Tampa Bay)
6.12  Detroit Tigers: Corey Seager (3B, Los Angeles NL)
6.13  Houston Astros: Trevor May (SP, Philadelphia)
6.14  Cincinnati Reds: Yordano Ventura (SP, Kansas City)
6.15  Oakland Athletics: Miles Head (1B, Oakland)
6.16  San Francisco Giants: Joe Panik (SS, San Francisco)
6.17  Seattle Mariners: Kyle Crick (SP, San Francisco)
6.18  Toronto Blue Jays: Brandon Jacobs (OF, Boston)
6.19  Colorado Rockies: Kyle Parker (OF, Colorado)
6.20  Texas Rangers: Daniel Corcino (SP, Cincinnati)

My selection: I kept going back and forth between Swihart and Peralta in the fifth round, so I was very excited that Peralta was still available here. I can’t figure out why he’s so underrated, as he gets strikeouts, keeps the ball on the ground and is major league ready. Sure, he walks too many hitters, but if he didn’t, he’d be a top-20 prospect. I expect him to claim one of the rotation spots in Milwaukee out of Spring Training. [Other considerations: Dorssys Paulino, Kyle Crick]

Best picks of the round: Trevor Rosenthal (6.5), Kyle Crick (6.17)
Worst picks of the round: Jeurys Familia (6.3), Miles Head (6.15)

The 2012 playoffs have been Trevor Rosenthal’s coming out party, but he’s still got a good chance to be a solid 2/3 starter. If not, he’ll settle in as a potentially dominant bullpen arm. Crick may not have put up numbers quite as gaudy as his rotation-mate Clay Blackburn, but he’s got higher upside. And in case you haven’t noticed, the Giants have a pretty good track record of developing pitchers. Familia is a reliever, and he’s no guarantee to be a good one – his control issues can be pretty overwhelming, as was on display during his 10 IP audition this September. Can you tell I’m not a believer in Miles Head? He went from a 1.149 OPS in the Cal League to a .741 OPS in the Texas League – and the Texas League isn’t a bad place to hit. He has his work cut out for him to convince me he’s not a Cal League wonder.

I’ll be back with more of this series next week. [HINT: My next two draft picks are on opposite sides of the spectrum. One is a hitter who is not well known now, but is a potential 2013 breakout star. The other is a pitcher who is a former top-100 prospect who has seen his status fall due to injury.] Stay tuned…

Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 1-3

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The Dynasty Guru

The Dynasty Guru

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