Last week, I went through the first ten picks of my TDGX draft. This week, I’ll talk about the rest. I’m still amazed how quickly we finished this draft–it was finished in under three weeks, which worked out to over two rounds per day! So rather than spread this out over a longer period of time, let’s take a look at the finished product.
After the first ten rounds unfolded the way they did, my plan was to wait a bit on prospects and focus on getting some steals in the short-term–and that’s exactly what I did. Picks 11-18 were all major leaguers to fill out my starting lineup, and by the time that stretch was complete, I only had a catcher, middle infield, outfield and utility spot to fill.
Pick 11.211 – Norichika Aoki, OF, Kansas City Royals (Rank: 217)
Pick 12.230 – Michael Bourn, OF, Cleveland Indians (Rank: 291)
These were my speed plays. I had Aoki ranked towards the top of my available players anyway, but they should both combine for around 50 steals in 2014, which should go a long way towards a run at contention. Hitting at the top of their respective lineups doesn’t hurt either, as they could both challenge for 90 runs, given a full season of health. As of right now, I just to hope Bourn doesn’t miss much time to start the year as depth is very hard to come by in a league this size.
Pick 13.251 – R.A. Dickey, SP, Toronto Blue Jays (Rank: 176)
Pick 14.270 – C.J. Wilson, SP, Los Angeles Angels (Rank: 169)
To have these two guys as my number three and four starters in a 20-team league is great–after all, I have them both inside my top-60 (including prospects). They should both be good for a lot of innings and strong win potential (Wilson because he’s on a good team and Dickey because he goes super deep into games). The shelf life may not be terribly long on either, but judging by all of the elbows that have blown out in younger pitchers over the last two weeks, worrying about shelf life of pitching is overrated.
Pick 15.291 – Adam Lind, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays (Rank: 309)
A potential .280 hitter with 25 homers this late in the draft? Sure. Lind only logged 100 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, and if that number either stays the same, or decreases, he should be able to maintain a relatively strong batting average–though he’ll likely never hit .300 again.
Pick 16. 310 – Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Philadelphia Phillies (Rank: 254)
I was not happy about this pick, but I needed a closer and he was the best one available. I’ve seen the reports about his velocity coming back a bit this spring, which would be a good thing for his fantasy value, but even without it, I can’t see him losing this job.
Pick 17.331 – Josh Johnson, SP, San Diego Padres (Rank: 199)
Risk, risk and more risk. But on the other hand, reward, reward and more reward. As a fifth starter, I can take the chance on him staying healthy and returning to form in San Diego. My optimism is up, don’t let me down, JJ.
Pick 18.350 – John Axford, RP, Cleveland Indians (Rank: NR)
And a second closer. Out of necessity. I hope the stories that Axford is “fixed” are true.
Pick 19.371 – Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox (Rank: 318)
Like you thought I wouldn’t end up with him. After taking 10 major leaguers in a row, it was time to have a little fun and nab a high-upside prospect. Anderson carries 20-20 potential and could pair that with an above-average hit tool.
Pick 20.390 – Ryan Ludwick, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Rank: 392)
Back to boring. Ludwick has a job (at least for now) and he plays in a strong home park. That’s a good combination in a league this size.
Pick 21.411 – Brian Goodwin, OF, Washington Nationals (Rank: 341)
Pick 22.430 – Max Fried, SP, San Diego Padres (Rank: 229)
More prospects. Goodwin and Fried were great values at this point, as people tend to be spooked by Goodwin’s lack of minor league production and Fried’s arm injury scare (it’s nothing, I hope). This is just proof that you can wait on prospects in initial dynasty drafts and not come away with anything resembling a barren farm team.
Pick 23.451 – Trevor Cahill, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Rank: 265)
Pick 24.470 – Jesus Montero, C, Seattle Mariners (Rank: 240)
I’m pairing both Cahill and Montero together because they are post-hype guys who have seen their careers take a wrong turn (or two). Both of them were top-20 prospects at one point and they still possess the tools to translate that into major league success. Of course, the fact that they were available here speaks to the likelihood of it, but a small chance is better than no chance.
Pick 25.491 – Grady Sizemore, OF, Boston Red Sox (Rank: NR)
You know you want to believe.
Pick 26.510 – Edwin Jackson, SP, Chicago Cubs (Rank: 294)
Pick 27.531 – Casey Kelly, SP, San Diego Padres (Rank: 429)
Pick 28.550 – Derek Norris, C, Oakland Athletics (Rank: 270)
If you’ve read me for a while now, these three picks should be just about the least surprising things ever. My shock at the complete disregard everyone has for Edwin Jackson continues–he’s way too good of a pitcher to be available at this spot in the draft. I legitimately considered him up to five rounds earlier, but I knew I’d be able to wait since the hate has gone waaaaaay too far. Kelly carries more value in a deep league, as he doesn’t carry high-end ceiling, but he should be a strong #4 starter in a good pitchers’ park for a while. And then there’s Norris, my starting catcher. I’m still fully on board with him as a strong power source for the next 3-5 years–the Athletics just need to let him get out there and put up the numbers he’s capable of. It looks like that’s going to happen this season.
Pick 29.571 – Alex Gonzalez, SP, Texas Rangers (Rank: 388)
The best remaining prospect on my board at the time, Gonzalez is helped out by the fact that he should have a relatively short stint in the majors for a 2013 draft pick. In fact, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if he saw some time in Texas this year.
Pick 30.590 – Jason Motte, RP, St Louis Cardinals (Rank: 475)
He’ll have a closing job for 2015, as he’ll be a free agent after this year. Plus, with Carlos Martinez looking more and more likely to move to the rotation, Motte should be a nice handcuff for Trevor Rosenthal.
Pick 31.611 – Chris Heisey, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Rank: NR)
Ryan Ludwick insurance.
Pick 32.630 – D.J. Davis, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Rank: NR)
If you’re going to gamble on a low-probability prospect, might as well be a guy with 80 speed and potential 50 power.
Pick 33.651 – Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Rank: 468)
Derek Norris insurance.
Pick 34.670 – Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants (Rank: NR)
And finally, my starting lineup is full! Crawford should be good enough to trot out there for the whole season, and who knows, maybe he gets transformed into a 20 home run hitter by magic age-27 potion. At least he’ll hold onto the job.
Pick 35.691 – Jason Hammel, SP, Chicago Cubs (Rank: NR)
Trevor Cahill insurance.
Pick 36.710 – Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Rank: NR)
Pick 37.731 – Josh Hart, OF, Baltimore Orioles (Rank: NR)
Another couple of players who are forever away, but could take big jumps in 2014 towards becoming Top 100 prospects. Devers has a great swing and very impressive bat speed (I’m a dedicated bat speed whore), and he should make his U.S. debut this summer in rookie ball. Hart is a high-makeup, plus-speed potential lead-off hitter, who could may get a taste of full season ball sooner rather than later.
Pick 38.750 – Brandon Maurer, SP, Seattle Mariners (Rank: NR)
Don’t forget about Maurer, who was a borderline Top 100 prospect heading into 2013 before having a forgettable season. He still has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter if he can work through his back problems and his HR tendencies (giving up 16 homers in 90 innings is tough to do when you pitch over 52 of those innings in Safeco).
Pick 39.771 – Chris Taylor, SS, Seattle Mariners (Rank: NR)
A low-upside prospect selection, Taylor is behind a glut of other middle infield options in Seattle, but he’s hit .316/.411/.449 since being taken in the fifth round of the 2012 draft and he’s already accumulated 300 plate appearances at Double-A.
Pick 40.790 – Brian Matusz, RP, Baltimore Orioles (Rank: NR)
I’ve been pretty vocal about my distaste for Tommy Hunter in the closer role, and while there are plenty of options for Buck Showalter, Matusz is one I like to speculate on because I expect solid performance out of him even if he never sees a save situation. If Hunter’s platoon splits cause this to be a committee, look for Matusz to lock down 5-8 saves when the match-up dictates.
So in all, here’s what the team looks like (starting lineup and all):
C – Derek Norris
1B – Adam Lind
2B – Neil Walker
SS – Hanley Ramirez
3B – Ryan Zimmerman
CI – Aramis Ramirez
MI – Brandon Crawford
OF – Justin Upton
OF – Matt HollidayOF – Norichika Aoki
OF – Michael Bourn
OF – Ryan Ludwick
DH – David Ortiz
DH – Grady Sizemore
SP – Felix Hernandez
SP – Cole Hamels
SP – R.A. Dickey
SP – C.J. Wilson
SP – Josh Johnson
SP – Trevor Cahill
SP – Edwin Jackson
RP – Jonathan Papelbon
RP – John Axford
BN – Carlos Ruiz
BN – Chris Heisey
BN – Jesus Montero
BN – Jason Motte
BN – Jason Hammel
BN – Brandon Maurer
BN – Brian Matusz
Minors — Clint Frazier, Tim Anderson, Brian Goodwin, D.J. Davis, Rafael Devers, Josh Hart, Chris Taylor, Max Fried, Alex Gonzalez, Casey Kelly
I think this is a competitive team in years 1-3 with enough minor league talent to supplement the roster either through graduations or trades. What do you think?
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