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Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 13-16

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 13-16 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: 13
(241) Boston Red Sox – Justin Maxwell CF
(242) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Dee Gordon SS
(243) New York Mets – Everth Cabrera SS
(244) Milwaukee Brewers – Yonder Alonso 1B
(245) Baltimore Orioles – Jason Grilli RP
(246) Pittsburgh Pirates – Alfonso Soriano LF
(247) San Diego Padres – Coco Crisp CF
(248) Los Angeles Angels – Kevin Youkilis 3B
(249) Washington Nationals  – Derek Jeter SS
** (250) Minnesota Twins – Glen Perkins RP
(251) Chicago Cubs – Devin Mesoraco C
(252) Detroit Tigers – Jason Hammel SP
(253) Houston Astros – Alex Cobb SP
(254) Cincinnati Reds – James McDonald SP
(255) Oakland Athletics – Stephen Drew SS
(256) San Fransisco Giants – Chris Carpenter SP
(257) Seattle Mariners – Cameron Maybin CF
(258) Toronto BlueJays – J.P. Arencibia C
(259) Colorado  Rockies – Edwin Jackson SP
(260) Texas Rangers – Ricky Romero SP

My selection: And this gives me my second closer – albeit, my first healthy one. Perkins is extremely underrated, and it’s likely for a couple of different reasons. One, the Minnesota native is not a flamethrower. Two, he plays for the fantasy purgatory that is the Twins. Three, he’s a left-hander, and there are biases against lefty closers. But remove all of those things from the equation and take a look at what he did last year once he became the closer: from June 20th (the day of his first save) to the end of the season, Perkins had a 2.16 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 16 saves in 18 opportunities and a 42-4 K/BB rate in 41 2/3 innings. [Other considerations: Alex Cobb, Edwin Jackson]

Best picks of the round: Derek Jeter (13.9), Edwin Jackson (13.19)
Worst picks of the round: Dee Gordon (13.2), Chris Carpenter (13.16)

Say what you want about the guy, but underrate Derek Jeter at your own peril. He’s got a good chance to be a top-10 shortstop again in 2013, even at 38 years old. Edwin Jackson may not have the upside that we all once thought he would have when he reached the major leagues as a teenager, but he’s a very steady option who is great in a deep league like this. I’m sure you’re all bored of me talking about how little attention you should pay to a steals-only player in a 7×7 format, but if you’re going to take one, at least let it be one who has a job. Dee Gordon might be the starting SS for the Dodgers at some point this year, but I’m not holding my breath. Chris Carpenter has likely thrown his last major league piece, and either someone got caught on auto-draft or they’re not paying attention to the news.

Round: 14
(261) Texas Rangers – Chris Young CF
(262) Colorado  Rockies – Michael Cuddyer RF
(263) Toronto BlueJays – Tom Wilhelmsen RP
(264) Seattle Mariners – Cory Luebke SP
(265) San Fransisco Giants – A.J. Burnett SP
(266) Oakland Athletics – Jed Lowrie SS
(267) Cincinnati Reds – Sergio Santos RP
(268) Houston Astros – Drew Storen RP
(269) Detroit Tigers – Sean Marshall RP
(270) Chicago Cubs – Jonny Venters RP
** (271) Minnesota Twins – Josh Beckett SP
(272) Washington Nationals  – Ryan Dempster SP
(273) Los Angeles Angels – Kyle Lohse SP
(274) San Diego Padres – Ichiro Suzuki RF
(275) Pittsburgh Pirates – Yunel Escobar SS
(276) Baltimore Orioles – Denard Span CF
(277) Milwaukee Brewers – Steve Cishek RP
(278) New York Mets – Drew Stubbs CF
(279) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Jayson Werth RF
(280) Boston Red Sox – Clay Buchholz SP

My selection: Honestly, I wasn’t anticipating going back to SP again this soon, but I couldn’t pass up on the outrageous value that Beckett provided at this spot in the draft. He was a tough guy to own in Boston, but things should be much smoother for him in LA with that ballpark and the lack of pressure that goes along with being a #3 behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke (if he’s healthy). He’s spoken at length this spring about having to finally adjust his pitching style because that mid-90’s velocity isn’t coming back, and he could be very successful in the NL West if he really takes that to heart. [Other considerations: Jayson Werth, Brandon League]

Best picks of the round: A.J. Burnett (14.5), Jayson Werth (14.19)
Worst picks of the round: Sean Marshall (14.9), Drew Stubbs (14.18)

Burnett is a guy who people seem to have very little faith in to repeat what he did in 2012, but he can. The underlying numbers were there in New York, and they took the expected tick up when he arrived at a pitcher’s park in the NL Central. Having Russell Martin behind the dish will be very helpful for him as well in the upcoming season. I was strongly considering Jayson Werth even though I had absolutely no place to put him in my lineup – that’s how great the value was down here. He should bounce back in power, and could be a huge asset if he can keep some of the strides he made with his strikeout rate in 2012. Sean Marshall is serviceable as a holds guy, but if Chapman is the closer, Marshall isn’t even the 8th inning option – and with closers still on the board, this made very little sense. Drew Stubbs would have been a great pick another 5-6 rounds later, but over Jayson Werth and a number of the OF that went after him, you’re relying on almost a full bounce back to his peak to get value here.

Round: 15
(281) Boston Red Sox – Jason Vargas SP
(282) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Hyun-Jin Ryu SP
(283) New York Mets – Michael Pineda SP
(284) Milwaukee Brewers – Wei-Yin Chen SP
(285) Baltimore Orioles – Ross Detwiler SP
(286) Pittsburgh Pirates – Ernesto Frieri RP
(287) San Diego Padres – Lance Berkman 1B
(288) Los Angeles Angels – Casey Janssen RP
(289) Washington Nationals  – Wandy Rodriguez SP
** (290) Minnesota Twins – Brandon League RP
(291) Chicago Cubs – Chad Billingsley SP
(292) Detroit Tigers – Hiroyuki Nakajima SS
(293) Houston Astros – Shaun Marcum SP
(294) Cincinnati Reds – Hisashi Iwakuma SP
(295) Oakland Athletics – Michael Young 1B
(296) San Fransisco Giants – Kyuji Fujikawa RP
(297) Seattle Mariners – Daniel Murphy 2B
(298) Toronto BlueJays – Carlos Marmol RP
(299) Colorado  Rockies – Mark Buehrle SP
(300) Texas Rangers – Rick Porcello SP

My selection: And now I have three closers. The question all pre-season has been when will Kenley Jansen take over for Brandon League as the closer in LA, but the better question is, why should we expect that to happen? The Dodgers, and Don Mattingly in particular, believe that League is a good fit for the role, and he showed it down the stretch. After he took over as closer when Jansen was sidelined with the cardiac arrhythmia, League converted all 6 save opportunities and had a 0.49 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 16 K in 18 1/3 innings. He can keep this job. [Other considerations: Shaun Marcum, Alex Avila]

Best picks of the round: Shaun Marcum (15.13), Rick Porcello (15.20)
Worst picks of the round: Michael Pineda (15.3), Mark Buehrle (15.19)

There’s one thing Shaun Marcum does, and that’s put up numbers when he’s healthy. Unfortunately, he’s just not healthy often enough for him to be a top-50 starter. Rick Porcello has been very impressive this spring, and is still just 24 years old. He makes for a very nice upside play at this point in the draft. Michael Pineda is still expected to be sidelined until at least the All-Star Break with his shoulder injury which has kept him out since the end of the 2011 season. Shoulder injuries are serious, and major shoulder injuries are career-threatening. He could bounce back from this, but counting on it with a bunch of pretty decent options left on the table is a risk I wouldn’t be willing to take. Buehrle is going from a friendly environment in the NL East to an unfriendly one in the AL East – and for those who argue that he pitched in an unfriendly environment for years in Chicago, that’s true, but he’s not the same pitcher he was back then. This could get ugly in Toronto.

Round: 16
(301) Texas Rangers – Chris Johnson 3B
(302) Colorado  Rockies – Bruce Rondon RP
(303) Toronto BlueJays – Mitch Moreland 1B
(304) Seattle Mariners – Andrew Cashner RP
(305) San Fransisco Giants – Chris Capuano SP
(306) Oakland Athletics – Alex Avila C
(307) Cincinnati Reds – Cody Ross RF
(308) Houston Astros – Brandon Moss 1B
(309) Detroit Tigers – David Hernandez RP
(310) Chicago Cubs – Matt Carpenter 1B
** (311) Minnesota Twins – Chris Tillman SP
(312) Washington Nationals  – Ivan Nova SP
(313) Los Angeles Angels – Brian Wilson RP
(314) San Diego Padres – Carlos Ruiz C
(315) Pittsburgh Pirates – Mike Fiers SP
(316) Baltimore Orioles – Wilson Ramos C
(317) Milwaukee Brewers – Jacob Turner SP
(318) New York Mets – Mike Adams RP
(319) Arizona  Diamondbacks – Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
(320) Boston Red Sox – Wade Davis RP

My selection: Given that he’s a 24 year old who had an ERA below 3.00 last season, I was pretty surprised Tillman was still around at this point. I wrote a blind comparison between him and Mike Minor back in January, which highlighted a bunch of reasons why I like Tillman. However, the most important thing about Tillman’s 2012 season was his nearly 3 MPH jump in fastball velocity. He’s not a below 3.00 ERA pitcher going forward, but even in that division/ballpark, Tillman has the talent to be a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher with a good number of strikeouts, and plenty of upside on top of that if he takes another step forward. [Other considerations: Wilson Ramos, Ryan Doumit]

Best picks of the round: Andrew Cashner (16.4), Alex Avila (16.6)
Worst picks of the round: Chris Johnson (16.1), Brian Wilson (16.13)

Andrew Cashner is the perfect type of player to take a risk on at this point in the draft. The upside is undeniable if he can stay healthy, but even if he can’t, I like his chances of carving out a pretty dominating career in relief. Alex Avila was someone who I was eyeing to fill my still open catcher void, but waited a little too long on him. He has the potential to bounce back from a very disappointing 2013 season. I know 3B is not deep, but Chris Johnson looks like he’s going to be on the shallow end of a platoon this year in Atlanta. Brian Wilson is a very solid 25th round flier, but in the 16th, he’s a wasted pick. He’ll probably latch on somewhere this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw some save opportunities wherever that is, but it’s not anything you can bank on.

At this point in the draft, my pitching has caught up with my hitting and the team feels more balanced. The only issue still remaining is that I am still without a catcher or a shortstop – which, you know, I’ll need to actually field a starting lineup. Of course, it’s getting late and I’m running a fever, so naturally I took pitchers with my next three picks. Those pitchers, and my eventual starting shortstop will be revealed in the next installment of this series..

The Author

The Dynasty Guru

The Dynasty Guru

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