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Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Major League Draft, Rounds 7-9

Before we dive back into the analysis, a few reminders about the context of the league, as it’s not a straight-forward format. It is a 20-team 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 25 minor league spots (which were all already filled). We were given strict instructions that if you drafted a player already on someone’s minor league roster, we would not be going back to reverse picks, so it would just be considered a party foul and we’d move on. All in all, it’s a very deep league with an active lineup that skews a little towards pitching and deep minor league rosters (500 total prospects will be rostered). Oh, and by the way, I’m the Minnesota Twins.

So here is a review of rounds 7-9 of the draft. I’m going to use the same format as my write up of the minor league side of the draft – looking 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 the preparation for your own dynasty league draft.

Round: 7
(121) Boston Red Sox – Addison Reed RP
(122) Arizona Diamondbacks – Brett Anderson SP
(123) New York Mets – Hunter Pence RF
(124) Milwaukee Brewers – Andrelton Simmons SS
(125) Baltimore Orioles – Mark Teixeira 1B
(126) Pittsburgh Pirates – Rafael Soriano RP
(127) San Diego Padres – Jimmy Rollins SS
(128) Los Angeles Angels – Jonathan Papelbon RP
(129) Washington Nationals – Jarrod Parker SP
** (130) Minnesota Twins – C.J. Wilson SP
(131) Chicago Cubs – Jeff Samardzija SP
(132) Detroit Tigers – Jim Johnson RP
(133) Houston Astros – Ian Kennedy SP
(134) Cincinnati Reds – Tim Lincecum SP
(135) Oakland Athletics – Carl Crawford LF
(136) San Fransisco Giants – David Freese 3B
(137) Seattle Mariners – Alcides Escobar SS
(138) Toronto BlueJays – Tim Hudson SP
(139) Colorado Rockies – Fernando Rodney RP
(140) Texas Rangers – Joe Nathan RP

My selection: And with the seventh pick, I finally started adding to the other side of the column – though I would have probably held off if Jimmy Rollins had made it to my pick. I believe that the C.J. Wilson from the first half of last season is more of the real C.J. Wilson, rather than the one who stunk it up in the second half. He’ll never control the walks all that well, but it’s in a great environment for success and had his elbow cleaned up after the season. [Other considerations: Homer Bailey, Jake Peavy]

Best picks of the round: Brett Anderson (7.2), Jimmy Rollins (7.7)
Worst picks of the round: Andrelton Simmons (7.4), Jim Johnson (7.12)

Anderson has been a huge injury risk so far in his career, but he’s still young and is better on a per-inning basis than any other pitcher still left on the board. Rollins should not have gone outside the top 100, even with his advanced age, and for him to still be on the board at 147 overall is both surprising and great value for the Padres. Simmons is going to be a very valuable major leaguer, but it’s mostly because of his stellar defense – he’s just not that talented with the bat and doesn’t have the speed to make up for it in fantasy. The Jim Johnson pick could have easily been any of the closers taken in this round. It’s still way too early to take a closer in a dynasty league – especially for a non-elite guy, and Johnson certainly qualifies as non-elite.

Round: 8
(141) Texas Rangers – Dan Uggla 2B
(142) Colorado Rockies – Pedro Alvarez 3B
(143) Toronto BlueJays – Ryan Howard 1B
(144) Seattle Mariners – Josh Reddick RF
(145) San Fransisco Giants – Michael Morse LF
(146) Oakland Athletics – Victor Martinez C
(147) Cincinnati Reds – Carlos Gomez CF
(148) Houston Astros – Rickie Weeks 2B
(149) Detroit Tigers – Jonathan Lucroy C
(150) Chicago Cubs – Dustin Ackley 2B
** (151) Minnesota Twins – Homer Bailey SP
(152) Washington Nationals – Adam LaRoche 1B
(153) Los Angeles Angels – Doug Fister SP
(154) San Diego Padres – Mariano Rivera RP
(155) Pittsburgh Pirates – Chase Utley 2B
(156) Baltimore Orioles – Josh Rutledge SS
(157) Milwaukee Brewers – Starling Marte LF
(158) New York Mets – Jeremy Hellickson SP
(159) Arizona Diamondbacks – Chris Davis 1B
(160) Boston Red Sox – Wade Miley SP

My selection: Last year was a big step forward for Homer Bailey, and I think there’s a pretty decent chance that he takes another step forward in 2013. But even if he doesn’t, he improved as the year went on and is finally starting to fulfill some of the promise from when he was a top-10 prospect. I was surprised to see both of the other guys I was looking at with my previous pick staring right back at me for this pick, but Bailey makes for a solid #2 in this format. Now I just need a few more similarly solid pitchers to make up for the fact that I don’t have an “ace”. [Other considerations: Jake Peavy, Jeremy Hellickson]

Best picks of the round: Starling Marte (8.17), Jeremy Hellickson (8.18)
Worst picks of the round: Mariano Rivera (8.14), Josh Rutledge (8.16)

Marte gets overlooked because there’s already a better version of him in Pittsburgh by the name of Andrew McCutchen, but he’s a great value at this point in the draft. He can hit for some power, has speed and puts the ball in play a lot. Hellickson is a controversial guy, as he is someone who stat-heads have trouble figuring out, but he’s got very good stuff and has the ability to limit damage by being better with men on base. If he figures the rest out, he could take a huge step forward. Rivera will be fine in 2013, and probably very good, but he’s retiring at the end of the season and there are still plenty of closers who will be pitching in 2014 left on the board. I have made it pretty clear that I’m not a Josh Rutledge fan – I think his insane lack of plate discipline will catch up with him and he’ll end up back in Colorado Springs at some point this summer. Prove me wrong, Josh.

Round: 9
(161) Boston Red Sox – Brandon Belt 1B
(162) Arizona Diamondbacks – Emilio Bonifacio CF
(163) New York Mets – Neil Walker 2B
(164) Milwaukee Brewers – Kyle Seager 3B
(165) Baltimore Orioles – Tommy Milone SP
(166) Pittsburgh Pirates – Anibal Sanchez SP
(167) San Diego Padres – J.J. Putz RP
(168) Los Angeles Angels – Joel Hanrahan RP
(169) Washington Nationals – Nelson Cruz RF
** (170) Minnesota Twins – Jake Peavy SP
(171) Chicago Cubs – Jean Segura SS
(172) Detroit Tigers – Todd Frazier 3B
(173) Houston Astros – Andre Ethier RF
(174) Cincinnati Reds – Sergio Romo RP
(175) Oakland Athletics – Howard Kendrick 2B
(176) San Fransisco Giants – A.J. Pierzynski C
(177) Seattle Mariners – Matt Harrison SP
(178) Toronto BlueJays – John Axford RP
(179) Colorado Rockies – Carlos Beltran RF
(180) Texas Rangers – J.J. Hardy SS

My selection: And just like that, my #3 SP is in hand. Jake Peavy returned to the stage in a big way in 2012 and all signs are that his recent injury trends are as behind him as any other 30-something year old starting pitcher. It’s not the greatest park for him to be pitching in, especially when compared to PETCO, but he controlled the HRs pretty well on the South Side last year, and I expect that to continue. His underlying skills are still just as good (or better) than they’ve ever been. [Other considerations: Jean Segura, Carlos Beltran]

Best picks of the round: Neil Walker (9.3), Carlos Beltran (9.19)
Worst picks of the round: Brandon Belt (9.1), Emilio Bonifacio (9.2)

Walker in a 20-team league is much more valuable than in a standard format – especially with the extra categories. In fact, if I didn’t already have Pedroia in hand, I would likely have grabbed Walker in round 7 or 8. Beltran may be fighting father time, but he’s still a top-30 OF right now, and no one else on the board is. Brandon Belt might become worthy of this selection, but more realistically, he won’t be. With Morneau, Corey Hart and Yonder Alonso all still available, this felt like a reach. The Bonifacio selection is another great opportunity to remind you that steals-only players are very devalued in a format where there are more than five categories. Bonifacio should have lots of eligibility, but it’s unlikely to matter in a league like this.

To find out which other pitchers I added to my staff, you’re just going to have to wait until the next episode – which will run later this week.

Follow me on Twitter at @dynastyguru.

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The Dynasty Guru

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