#TDGX Recap – Team Goldstein – Rounds 6-12
As we continue our trek through the #TDGX draft, I’ll try to pick up the pace a bit, this time covering six picks. I know it will take a while to go through it in this type of detail, given that I only get one post a week to discuss it, but I think it’s worthwhile looking at strategy and the available options in the moment.
Round 6 – Pick 102 – Jon Lucroy, C, MIL
I had missed out on Brian McCann who I had previously been targeting and while catcher is deeper than you think, depth doesn’t necessarily imply quality. The options are all the same at some point but they’re not particularly good. Lucroy is good, and beyond that he has a couple advantages over some of the remaining catchers. The first: he plays a lot. 147 games last year and while not all of them were at catcher, I will receive the benefit of his games at 1B from my catcher spot. The second: he steals bases. Not a lot, but he had nine in 2013 and that’s enough to give him some extra value. He can hit for average and he’s got decent pop, though 20 home runs is likely a pipe dream, playing in Miller Park, one can at least hope.
The only other name I was truly eyeing at this point was Cole Hamels. While he had been dinged up with the sore shoulder, sore shoulders and arms are common at this time of year so I wasn’t very worried. There was no reason he should have been around at pick 102 in a dynasty draft, but the heavy bent on prospects afforded me the opportunity. Yet I passed as others did, taking what I deemed a position of scarcity (in quality), as I had already acquired one pitcher and thought I could assemble a staff of depth if not premium quality later on in the draft.
Round 7 – Pick 139 – Carlos Beltran, OF, NYY
If it’s not clear, I’m targeting players who are in New York. Yes, they’re older (especially Beltran) but that park is a bandbox and while Beltran has a reputation for fragility, he’s played enough games to make him worth a second round pick. His well of speed all but dried up last season, but even without the effort on the basepaths, his ability to hit for power and a solid average was a good get at this point in the draft. I think he’ll be a quality player for at least two of the three seasons he signed for in New York, with my only hesitation being that he might start off on a down note in the cold springs of the Northeast compared to those of St. Louis.
The picks surrounding Beltran were: Arcia, Brad Miller, Wheeler, Giolito, BELTRAN, Walker, Austin Jackson, etc. I had been targeting Beltran as a possibility for my 8th round pick with an eye towards Oswaldo Arcia, but of course Ben sniped me on that one. It might be early for Arcia but as I’ve noted in my previous articles, an emphasis was placed on a relatively shallow outfield pool in this draft and it needed to be addressed early on or possibly not at all. Beltran gave me my third outfielder in the first seven rounds (Choo, Cespedes).
Round 8 – Pick 142 – Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SFG
This might have been a stretch but if so it was more the size of a slimmed down Panda than the one of yesteryear. In reality, I was looking to take Nick Castellanos only to realize all at once that he had been popped 20 picks earlier. Alas, I still wanted to address a position that was quickly losing impact talent. This means that I was letting the draft play me a bit, but as with Cespedes at the time I think I found a talent who could be vastly underrated. Twice in his career Sandoval has topped 20 home runs and twice he’s OPSed over 900. If he is that player again (and I have an inkling he may be) then I have a coup of a pick at 142. There’s obvious downside to the pick as well, as he might be the player he was in 2013, which means I reached for a third baseman similar to about 12 others still remaining.
Still, I wanted to make picks that could win me this league. Sandoval has not only shown the ability to hit for average and power – he’s shown the ability to do it at the same time. He’s not old and he appears motivated. I don’t think it’s naïve to buy into his abilities to outproduce this draft position though it is by no means guaranteed.
Round 9 – Pick 179 – Chris Archer, SP, TB
At this point my boyfriend Yordano Ventura was off the board and a moderate run of pitchers was under way. With top prospects like Ventura, Appel, Walker, Gausman, and Syndergaard gone, I opted for a young pitcher who had already pitched well at the major league level for extended innings. Archer might not have the ceiling of any of the aforementioned prospects – at least not until he develops his changeup – but he showed what he could do in an extended (though still limited) appearance last year.
His strikeout rate wasn’t great (a tidge under league average) but he limited free passes which helped mitigate the damage. I believe Archer can improve on his strikeouts as long as he develops his changeup, giving hitters a third pitch to think about as his fastball and slider combination is very legitimate. With the surrounding picks being Jon Singleton, Khris Davis, Dexter Fowler, Victor Martinez, Jeff Samardzija and Asdrubal Cabrera, I felt very good about my Archer selection. I think he’s a little more inspiring than some of the more established options and a little less risky than the prospects.
Round 10 – Pick 182 – Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, OAK
With Shark and ACab going after Archer, the guy I was targeting came back to me. Brandon Moss is as uninspiring or moreso than the names listed surrounding the previous pick, but he brought two qualities to the table that I was looking for. Power and position eligibility. I had yet to pick a first baseman and as you might be able to tell, things were getting tight with guys like Jon Singleton already gone. If I planned on contending this year (and I do), I had to get someone with a little now value. Moss will struggle against left handed pitching, but he brings two 30 home run seasons with him and if I acquired a serviceable 1B later on in the draft I could always swap him to the outfield, which as you know, is scarce. That kind of flexibility made him an attractive option at this stage in the game, even if he doesn’t have the pizazz of some of the names that went after him (Robert Stephenson, Jon Gray, etc).
Round 11 – Pick 219 – Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS, CHC
Ok, I’ll admit it up front. I had prospect envy. I took Bogaerts in the second round but he’s barely a prospect at this point, as he’s expected to begin the season in the majors and (if I’m lucky) produce immediately. Alcantara has long been one of my favorite guys, as I’ve touted his adaptability while he moved on up the Cubs chain. He added all the elements to his game that I like to see, with his stolen bases, home runs, doubles, and walks all increasing while holding his batting average steady. He did slide down the defensive spectrum when Javier Baez arrived in Double-A but second base isn’t exactly a mainstay of explosive talent, so that’s not a big concern.
The Cubs organization loves Alcantara and I think he could be ready as soon as this season, though I don’t think that means he produces near his peak in the immediate future. That peak could include 25+ stolen bases and surprising power (12+ HR) for a smaller guy. I might be even more optimistic than the numbers I just listed, hence my reach here.
Round 12 – Pick 222 – Michael Choice, OF, TEX
Have I mentioned outfield is thin? The player pool continued to dwindle and I decided to go for another one of the players I seem to be higher on than most. I was still smarting from not getting Oswaldo Arcia and I didn’t want to get burned again. Choice definitely has his flaws, and is unlikely to contribute much to the batting average category, but at the same time has hit for a solid average all the way up the chain. He’s got a chance to start the year at the major league level and could at least be a platoon bat right away. He might never be more than a platoon bat, which is the huge downside to this pick – but I think he becomes an everyday player and while his power was big enough to play at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum, it should play up even more in Texas.