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Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Minor League Draft, Rounds 17-20

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 17-20 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: 17
(321) Boston Red Sox – A.J. Griffin SP
(322) Arizona Diamondbacks – Joaquin Benoit RP
(323) New York Mets – Clayton Richard SP
(324) Milwaukee Brewers – Justin Masterson SP
(325) Baltimore Orioles – Ryan Doumit C
(326) Pittsburgh Pirates – Luke Gregerson RP
(327) San Diego Padres – Bud Norris SP
(328) Los Angeles Angels – Jose Veras RP
(329) Washington Nationals – Ricky Nolasco SP
** (330) Minnesota Twins – Jeff Niemann SP
(331) Chicago Cubs – Neftali Feliz SP
(332) Detroit Tigers – Vance Worley SP
(333) Houston Astros – Frank Francisco RP
(334) Cincinnati Reds – Felix Doubront SP
(335) Oakland Athletics – Johan Santana SP
(336) San Fransisco Giants – Jon Jay CF
(337) Seattle Mariners – Drew Smyly SP
(338) Toronto BlueJays – Jose Quintana SP
(339) Colorado Rockies – Scott Downs RP
(340) Texas Rangers – Mark Reynolds 1B

My selection: I’m not going to lie, I really wanted Doumit here, and it’s likely a mistake that I took Tillman (as much as I like him) over the catcher in Round 16. The drop off from Doumit to everyone else is big enough that I’m looking at just saying screw it and rolling into the season with Rob Brantly as my guy, as I already have him from the minor league draft. I will consistently get suckered into believing in Jeff Niemann, and there are plenty of reasons for that. The underlying stats are impressive, he gets ground balls, he’s a very tall pitcher and they tend to develop later than non-very tall pitchers. Unfortunately, the entire package comes with the undeniable fear that his shoulder is going to fall off – which is why he’s still available here in Round 17. Well, that and his uncertain rotation spot. [Other considerations:
Jon Jay, Zach Britton]

Best picks of the round: Ryan Doumit (17.5), Johan Santana (17.15)
Worst picks of the round: Frank Francisco (17.13), Jose Quintana (17.18)

I won’t spend any more time talking about Doumit, other than to say that he was a top-10 catcher last year and can do the same thing again this year. I’ll get over this regret eventually. Johan Santana might be toast, but if he’s not, he showed in the first half of last year that he can still hold a lot of value. [Editor’s note: he’s toast.] He’s a great flier at this point. Sticking in Queens, Frank Francisco is a terrible pitcher and he’s unlikely to get the closer’s job back – and unlike other non-closer RPs who have been taken in the last few rounds, Francisco isn’t even good enough to be a decent holds option. Jose Quintana is just a soft-tossing fringe starter and nothing good will come out of owning him.

Round: 18
(341) Texas Rangers – Ryan Ludwick LF
(342) Colorado Rockies – Mark Ellis 2B
(343) Toronto BlueJays – Andy Dirks LF
(344) Seattle Mariners – David Murphy LF
(345) San Fransisco Giants – Jose Valverde RP
(346) Oakland Athletics – Will Venable RF
(347) Cincinnati Reds – Lucas Harrell SP
(348) Houston Astros – Alex Rodriguez 3B
(349) Detroit Tigers – Jeff Keppinger 3B
(350) Chicago Cubs – Randall Delgado SP
** (351) Minnesota Twins – Zach Britton SP
(352) Washington Nationals – Ryan Cook RP
(353) Los Angeles Angels – Bartolo Colon SP
(354) San Diego Padres – Juan Pierre LF
(355) Pittsburgh Pirates – Drew Pomeranz SP
(356) Baltimore Orioles – Joe Kelly SP
(357) Milwaukee Brewers – Erasmo Ramirez SP
(358) New York Mets – Andrew Bailey RP
(359) Arizona Diamondbacks – Chris Carter 1B
(360) Boston Red Sox – Gavin Floyd SP

My selection: Zach Britton is a guy I’ve always been high on, and refuse to give up on, even though it seems that the Orioles may be getting closer to doing so themselves. His stuff has such great movement that it’s both a blessing and a curse – since he hasn’t had the easiest time controlling it. I still think there’s upside for Britton to be a #2/3 starter down the road, even if he starts this season in the minors. And if he doesn’t, he’ll still be my fantasy kryptonite for another couple of seasons. [Other considerations:
Chris Carter, Erasmo Ramirez]

Best picks of the round: Erasmo Ramirez (18.17), Chris Carter (18.19)
Worst picks of the round: Jose Valverde (18.5), Bartolo Colon (18.13)

Erasmo Ramirez is a name that a lot more people are going to know at the end of the 2013 season than they do now, and the Brewers are getting out ahead of the curve on this one. He may not start the season in the rotation, but he’ll be there before long. Chris Carter is one of the last players left on the board who could hit 30 HR this year, and in future years – it just may come with a .220 average, but that’s less important in a 7×7 anyway. Jose Valverde is a slightly better pick than Brian Wilson, but it’s still a waste at this point in the draft. And Bartolo Colon is an optimistic choice with so many players still left on the board who aren’t Bartolo Colon.

Round: 19
(361) Boston Red Sox – Miguel Gonzalez SP
(362) Arizona Diamondbacks – Andy Pettitte SP
(363) New York Mets – Eric O’Flaherty RP
(364) Milwaukee Brewers – Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
(365) Baltimore Orioles – Nate Eovaldi SP
(366) Pittsburgh Pirates – Adam Lind 1B
(367) San Diego Padres – Matt Dominguez 3B
(368) Los Angeles Angels – Jared Burton RP
(369) Washington Nationals – Michael Brantley CF
** (370) Minnesota Twins – Jake McGee RP
(371) Chicago Cubs – Lucas Duda RF
(372) Detroit Tigers – Brett Myers SP
(373) Houston Astros – Paul Maholm SP
(374) Cincinnati Reds – Jemile Weeks 2B
(375) Oakland Athletics – Carlos Pena 1B
(376) San Fransisco Giants – Eduardo Nunez SS
(377) Seattle Mariners – Domonic Brown RF
(378) Toronto BlueJays – Ubaldo Jimenez SP
(379) Colorado Rockies – Edinson Volquez SP
(380) Texas Rangers – Koji Uehara RP

My selection: I wasn’t kidding when I said that you could wait on holds and still come up with some very good options, and Jake McGee is one of the guys I was excited to get at this point. He was dominant in the Rays bullpen last season to the tune of a 1.95 ERA and 73 K in 55 1/3 innings, and is capable of being a potentially elite holds play as a LHP who can also get righties out. And if Fernando Rodney turns into a pumpkin, you never know what might happen. [Other considerations:
Domonic Brown, Chris Iannetta]

Best picks of the round: Adam Lind (19.6), Domonic Brown (19.17)
Worst picks of the round: Jemile Weeks (19.14), Ubaldo Jimenez (19.18)

I was shocked, seeing as though this is a league through and through with Blue Jays fans (which you might remember from the minor league draft), that Adam Lind lasted this long. Sure, he might be terrible and play himself out of a job, but he also has some really good performances on his resume and could once again re-establish himself as a solid 1B option. Domonic Brown is a name a lot of people roll their eyes about, but he’s been re-tooling his swing again this spring, and the results have been very positive. He’s clearly worth a spin here. Jemile Weeks falls prey to the same comments that Dee Gordon got earlier, except Weeks has less upside and less of a shot at playing time. I’m close to throwing in the towel on him. And Ubaldo Jimenez is done being fantasy relevant. Seriously, don’t even bother.

Round: 20
(381) Texas Rangers – Michael Saunders CF
(382) Colorado Rockies – Jake Westbrook SP
(383) Toronto BlueJays – Jeff Francoeur RF
(384) Seattle Mariners – Henderson Alvarez SP
(385) San Fransisco Giants – Rajai Davis LF
(386) Oakland Athletics – Russell Martin C
(387) Cincinnati Reds – Darren Oliver RP
(388) Houston Astros – Justin Ruggiano CF
(389) Detroit Tigers – Colby Lewis SP
(390) Chicago Cubs – Chris Iannetta C
** (391) Minnesota Twins – Tyler Greene 2B
(392) Washington Nationals – Darwin Barney 2B
(393) Los Angeles Angels – Chris Nelson 3B
(394) San Diego Padres – John Mayberry Jr. LF
(395) Pittsburgh Pirates – Anthony Gose RF
(396) Baltimore Orioles – Delmon Young LF
(397) Milwaukee Brewers – Dillon Gee SP
(398) New York Mets – Joe Saunders SP
(399) Arizona Diamondbacks – John Danks SP
(400) Boston Red Sox – Jhoulys Chacin SP

My selection: I was so close to getting my catcher (Chris Iannetta went one pick before me), so instead I had to settle for my shortstop. Tyler Greene is admittedly a total flier, but at least he’s got some upside and should hit in a pretty good spot in that lineup. Fortunately for me, and it’s not a coincidence, the hole my team has at shortstop will be filled soon by the best prospect on my minor league roster, Xander Bogaerts. Of course, since the draft, Greene has been cut by the Astros. [Other considerations: Tyler Colvin, Derek
Norris]

Best picks of the round: Michael Saunders (20.1), Chris Iannetta (20.10)
Worst picks of the round: Jake Westbrook (20.2), Jeff Franceour (20.3)

Michael Saunders had the quietest near 20-20 season last season, hitting 19 homers and stealing 21 bases. He could potentially do this again, just not with an average much higher than his .247 mark from last season. Chris Iannetta is going to do something good one of these years, and I was hoping to own him for that reason. The pickings are ultra slim at this point at catcher, and he was one of the best of the bunch. Jake Westbrook is a replacement level pitcher in this type of league, and for him to be taken ahead of guys like Dillon Gee and Francisco Liriano, among others, just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He could be out of the rotation by the All-Star Break. And Franceour is the offensive version of Ubaldo Jimenez – the only difference is that you can use so many more starting pitchers than outfielders. Unless your league counts “veteran leadership” as a category, stay away.

Twenty rounds down, five to go. Only one installment left, and so many questions left to answer. Will he draft a catcher? Who are some of the guys he likes to have holds value that are available towards the end of drafts like this? Who will be the CF he drafts in order to play for the first two weeks of the season while Shin-Soo Choo gets his eligibility? All of these questions and more will be answered.

Follow me on Twitter at @dynastyguru.

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The Dynasty Guru

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