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Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Major League Draft, Rounds 10-12

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 10-12 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: 10
(181) Texas Rangers – Derek Holland SP
(182) Colorado  Rockies – Rafael Betancourt RP
(183) Toronto BlueJays – Jason Kubel LF
(184) Seattle Mariners – Angel Pagan CF
(185) San Fransisco Giants – Jurickson Profar 2B (Party Foul)
(186) Oakland Athletics – Matt Garza SP
(187) Cincinnati Reds – Omar Infante 2B
(188) Houston Astros – Colby Rasmus CF
(189) Detroit Tigers – Brandon McCarthy SP
(190) Chicago Cubs – Carlos Quentin LF
** (191) Minnesota Twins – Mike Minor SP
(192) Washington Nationals  – Tommy Hanson SP
(193) Los Angeles Angels – Shane Victorino CF
(194) San Diego Padres – Hiroki Kuroda SP
(195) Pittsburgh Pirates – Marco Estrada SP
(196) Baltimore Orioles – Danny Espinosa 2B
(197) Milwaukee Brewers – Greg Holland RP
(198) New York Mets – Huston Street RP
(199) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Brandon Beachy SP
(200) Boston Red Sox – Zack Cozart SS

My selection: At this point, I’m just racking up the starters – but this one is my youngest one yet. I’m not a huge Mike Minor breakout advocate like a lot of others are on the interwebs, but I think he can be very solid in a league this size that counts QS. He will likely always give up too many homers to be a top-20 type pitcher, but if he can take the best pieces of his performances over the last few seasons, he can settle into the top-30 range. And that OF defense, which could be one of the best in baseball, will only help Minor as a big fly ball guy. [Other considerations: Nick Swisher, Yasmani Grandal]

Best picks of the round: Hiroki Kuroda (10.14), Brandon Beachy (10.19)
Worst picks of the round: Rafael Betancourt (10.2), Tommy Hanson (10.12)

There is nobody projected to be as good immediately as Kuroda at this point in the draft – he just seems to keep going despite the aging process. The offense may be slightly down in New York, especially in the first part of the season, but he should provide very nice return here. Beachy was on my short list, but make sure you keep your expectations realistic for him. He likely won’t be back until around the All-Star Break, and even when he returns, I’m not expecting him to be the Brandon Beachy we’ve come to expect. That will be in 2014. Betancourt going before Holland, Street and other closers who are both better and younger than him was a surprise – he’s not even a lock to keep the job the whole season. And you don’t need me telling you what I think about Tommy Hanson any more than I already have. He wasn’t on my draft list at all.

Round: 11
(201) Boston Red Sox – Lorenzo Cain CF
(202) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Daniel Hudson SP
(203) New York Mets – Justin Morneau 1B
(204) Milwaukee Brewers – Yasmani Grandal C
(205) Baltimore Orioles – Jaime Garcia SP
(206) Pittsburgh Pirates – Brian McCann C
(207) San Diego Padres – Torii Hunter RF
(208) Los Angeles Angels – Erick Aybar SS
(209) Washington Nationals  – Alexei Ramirez SS
** (210) Minnesota Twins – Nick Swisher RF
(211) Chicago Cubs – David Robertson RP
(212) Detroit Tigers – Alexi Ogando SP
(213) Houston Astros – Trevor Cahill SP
(214) Cincinnati Reds – Kendrys Morales 1B
(215) Oakland Athletics – Ryan Vogelsong SP
(216) San Fransisco Giants – Corey Hart 1B
(217) Seattle Mariners – Kenley Jansen RP
(218) Toronto BlueJays – Gordon Beckham 2B
(219) Colorado  Rockies – Dexter Fowler CF
(220) Texas Rangers – Garrett Jones 1B

My selection: My utility spot should now be taken care of with another underrated hitter – especially with the type of team I’m putting together. Swisher is a top-200 player, even with the minor leaguers included, so to go outside the top-200 with MLs excluded in this draft was a surprise. His number should not suffer from going to Cleveland, as he never really took full advantage of that short porch in New York. This now leaves C and SS as my only open offensive spots, but I’ll have to deal with them later – I have a pitching staff to attend to. [Other considerations: Nick Markakis, Ryan Madson]

Best picks of the round: Lorenzo Cain (11.1), Trevor Cahill (11.13)
Worst picks of the round: Daniel Hudson (11.2), Torii Hunter (11.7)

It wasn’t easy finding two picks I really liked in Round 10, but this round was easy – there were at least five picks that I thought were shrewd acquisitions at this point in the draft. I’m a Lorenzo Cain believer, and given good health, I think he’s finally going to show what he can do in 2013. Trevor Cahill is a ground ball machine who made great improvements in 2012, and looks ready to at least take another small step forward this season. I’m still not sure why people got and continue to remain excited about Daniel Hudson. He pitched above the level of his stuff when he was healthy, and he’ll miss pretty much the whole 2012 season. He should be well below Brandon Beachy and Cory Luebke (who wouldn’t even go until Round 14) on the board. Torii Hunter was very good last year, but it screamed BABIP-fueled season and his secondary stats have been in decline for years now. If I thought he would be very good in 2013, this wouldn’t matter, but unfortunately, it does.

Round: 12
(221) Texas Rangers – Jonathan Broxton RP
(222) Colorado  Rockies – Tyler Clippard RP
(223) Toronto BlueJays – Jhonny Peralta SS
(224) Seattle Mariners – Vinnie Pestano RP
(225) San Fransisco Giants – Adam Dunn 1B
(226) Oakland Athletics – Logan Morrison LF
(227) Cincinnati Reds – Trevor Plouffe 3B
(228) Houston Astros – Dayan Viciedo LF
(229) Detroit Tigers – Matt Joyce RF
(230) Chicago Cubs – Dan Straily SP (Party Foul)
** (231) Minnesota Twins – Ryan Madson RP
(232) Washington Nationals  – Chris Perez RP
(233) Los Angeles Angels – Alejandro De Aza CF
(234) San Diego Padres – Grant Balfour RP
(235) Pittsburgh Pirates – Norichika Aoki RF
(236) Baltimore Orioles – Nick Markakis RF
(237) Milwaukee Brewers – Phil Hughes SP
(238) New York Mets – Pedro Strop RP
(239) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Bobby Parnell RP
(240) Boston Red Sox – Kelly Johnson 2B

My selection: If you read my Dynasty League Rankings for relief pitchers, you will know that I consider Madson to be a top-10 RP in this format. I know he’s scared some owners off by not being without setbacks in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, but having setbacks is the norm – and nothing about his spring has been unusual for recoverees. I still expect him to be closing for the Angels by the end of May and be a very good closer the remainder of the season. [Other considerations: Derek Jeter, Glen Perkins]

Best picks of the round: Norichika Aoki (12.15), Nick Markakis (12.16)
Worst picks of the round: Tyler Clippard (12.2), Pedro Strop (12.18)

Aoki may derive a lot of his value from speed, but he’s far from an empty steals guy. He quietly put up a huge amount of fantasy value last season, and I like his chances of doing it again. The Markakis pick might have been the best one of the entire draft. It was very, very close between Swisher and him when I picked in Round 11, and for him to last another 25 picks was pretty shocking. At this point, he doesn’t need to become the player we all thought he could have been five years ago – he just needs to continue doing what he’s doing. Anything on top of that is gravy. With Clippard and Strop, it’s all about opportunity cost. Both are likely to be very solid relievers, but neither (especially Clippard) are likely to get a shot at closing, and holds guys are always available later on in drafts. Don’t reach for non-elite holds guys – it’s like reaching for a defense in a fantasy football draft.

We’re going to pick up the pace a little from here on out, and go four rounds at a time for the next two write-ups. In the next four rounds, I took four more pitchers. Who are they? You’ll just have to wait to find out..

Follow me on Twitter at @dynastyguru.

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