#TDGX Recap — Team Kantecki’s Second Ten
With the #TDGX draft officially in the books, today I march on with picks from Rounds 11-20. My selections were all still healthy by the time I completed Round 20, so I was still riding the high of stealing my boy and No. 2 starter, Kris Medlen, two rounds earlier. As you’ll soon see, two out of my next 10 picks are surrounded by trade rumors as we enter the tail end of spring training, so there’s no telling how I’ll feel by the time you finish reading this post. In case you missed it, you can read about my first ten picks here.
11.203 – Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
After drafting Carlos Correa in Round 4, I needed a shortstop to fill the void in 2014. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the other options available, which included 35-year-old Jimmy Rollins and shortstop-in-decline Erick Aybar. Maybe I could have waited and drafted Alcides Escobar instead, who was selected in the following round, but I’ve been down that road before. A 6+ hit tool potential in the middle of the Arizona infield is something I couldn’t pass up; Owings is capable of going 15/20 and he’s ready right now. He might not start the year as the Diamondbacks’ everyday shortstop, but I fully expect the 22-year-old to finish the season there (barring a trade).
12.238 – Nick Swisher, OF, Cleveland Indians
Swisher was a
broing boring pick, I’ll admit, but one I’d make again. The mayor of Brohio is 33 and only hit .246 in 2013, but damn is he consistent. Swish has smacked 20-plus home runs in nine straight seasons to go along with a career .255 BA. What I’m hoping for is a slight rebound in the power numbers, as shoulder problems helped lead to his lowest Isolated Power (.177) and second-lowest home run total (22) in his ten-year career. The added versatility Swisher offers at first base will also provide me with a backup plan should Matt Adams fall into a platoon scenario in St. Louis. Score one for the bromies.
13.243 – Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
After committing myself to Carlos Martinez in Round 10, I doubled down on Stroman in Round 13. As Baseball Prospectus’ No. 1 prospect in Toronto’s system, the 5-foot-9 right-hander recorded a 3.30 ERA with 129 strikeouts and 27 walks across 111 2/3 innings in Double-A New Hampshire in 2013. I don’t think he’ll break camp with the big-league team, but he’s one injury away from forcing the issue. I really believe he’s a starter long term, hence my pick in Round 13.
14.278 – Matt Garza, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
At this point in the draft, my rotation consisted of NL Easters’ Stephen Strasburg and Kris Medlen, so I was feeling pretty good about my selection of Garza, who I thought represented fantastic value in Round 14. So what if he’s a jerk on and off the field? The 30-year-old is an undervalued source of strikeouts, punching out 197 batters as recently as 2011. The last two seasons have been a real struggle in the health department, but would the Brewers have given him a four-year commitment if the medicals weren’t clean? (Don’t answer that.) Now that Medlen is done for the season (sigh), I desperately need Garza to complete a full season with zero Twitter distractions.
15.283 – Alejandro De Aza, OF, Chicago White Sox
The White Sox outfield is fluid, consisting of De Aza, Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton and Dayan Viciedo. Not counting Alex Rios (now in Texas), De Aza has been the team’s most productive outfielder over the past two seasons, collecting 26 home runs and 46 steals. Last year, he hit 17 home runs (up from nine in 2012) and recorded his second consecutive 20-steal season, while scoring a team-high 84 runs. Rumors have Chicago shopping De Aza and Viciedo, so for my sake it better be the latter. You might say I already regret this pick — we all make mistakes.
16.318 – Torii Hunter, OF, Detroit Tigers
In retrospect, selecting Hunter 35 picks after De Aza was a much better move on my part, as Hunter is guaranteed an everyday job in a loaded Tigers’ offense. As my fourth outfielder, I think Hunter was one of my better picks. Yes, he’s 38, but my “win-now” limbo dance needed an impact bat for 2014 only. I think Hunter can put up another 15 home runs and 140 R+RBI.
17.323 – Jim Henderson, RP, Milwaukee Brewers
I missed the inevitable closer run because it started on the opposite end of the 20-team draft, which left me with veterans’ Jonathan Papelbon and Huston Street as considerations for my first reliever. I think the end is near for Papelbon, and Street is a banana peel away from riding the gurney into retirement. Henderson, 30, isn’t a spring chicken, but he finally earned his keep in 2013, striking out better than 30 percent of batters and helping Brewers fans forget about the erratic John Axford. He’s still throwing gas at 95 and I don’t think there’s a legit threat to steal his job in Milwaukee.
18.358 – D.J. Peterson, 3B, Seattle Mariners
Seattle’s first-round draft choice in 2013, Peterson could one day lead all third basemen in hitting — but first, he’ll have to stick at the hot corner. Some are convinced that he will move across the diamond, which would put a serious dent in his value. The uncertainty surrounding Peterson is probably why he fell to me in Round 18; I’m certain he would have gone higher if there were no doubts about his glove (maybe three or four rounds higher). There’s also Safeco, which makes the task of hitting for power that much more difficult for a right-handed bat. Yes, there are question marks here, but, if he stays at third, he’ll be a steal this late in the draft.
19.363 – Dan Straily, SP, Oakland Athletics
Maybe my favorite pick of the draft, I almost missed Straily altogether in CBS’ player universe. His major-league debut was an eye-opener for me, as the right-hander struck out 11 Astros in his first career start. THE ASTROS! With injuries to Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, the Athletics will depend on the 25-year-old to be even better in 2014. I don’t have to tell you how much of an advantage it is to pitch your home games in Oakland. With an 11.1 percent swinging strike rate in 2013, I expect to see a significant increase to his modest 7.33 Ks-per-nine. He’s one of my favorite sleepers heading into 2014. And I almost forgot about him! Queue your players folks.
20.398 – Logan Morrison, 1B, Seattle Mariners
Adding to my collection of universally hated players by Tweeps everywhere, I drafted Morrison thinking he’d be the healthier of two evils (Corey Hart). Morrison is only 26 and I haven’t completely given up on this post-hype sleeper. I think his power will play anywhere; it’s just a matter of games played. He’ll likely qualify in the outfield at some point, so, like Swisher, there’s some extra flexibility built in. Who knows? Maybe he starts a Swisher-like career starting in 2014. Swish has to pass the bro torch eventually.
Alex Kantecki also writes at Fake Teams. You can poke him on Twitter at @rotodealer.