Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft Picks 1-10
For the last two years, Craig Goldstein – the internet’s leading authority on Clayton Kershaw’s facial hair, has reviewed his annual minor league draft from a 20 team dynasty league. Craig touched on the specifics of this league in the first installment, which notably includes that there are 300 minor league slots available (fifteen per team) and that the OF positions are not generic, they have to be filled LF/CF/RF. Also of note is that in this league there are no pickups of minor leaguers allowed in-season, leading to some enticing prospects being available that usually are not in a league of this size during a ‘normal’ minor league draft. However, prospects that are called up to the big leagues like Rusney Castillo are eligible to be picked up, so he does not appear below. This league’s draft was three rounds, and we’ll be recapping each ten picks in a separate post. The 2013 top ten featured some curious decisions at the time (Mike Zunino over Byron Buxton) that already look horrific and the 2014 draft featured two Rockies pitchers drafted in the top ten, believed to be the first (and most likely last) occurrence in the history of any fantasy baseball draft. Needless to say, a few things happen in this league that might not in yours, but hopefully you’re able to glean some useful information out of this exercise. This year’s draft included a Cuban being picked seventh overall, but probably not one that you’re thinking of:
1. Baltimore – Yoan Moncada (IF, Boston Red Sox)
Hard to argue with this selection. This draft was before Moncada officially signed with the Red Sox, but his team shouldn’t (and didn’t) affect the valuation of the prospect. Moncada has been pretty universally viewed as a top ten overall prospect since signing and Bret had him as the eighth ranked prospect on his Dynasty 101 rankings at Baseball Prospectus. If Moncada is available to be drafted in your league, which in many leagues he is not, he should be viewed as the clear cut number one overall pick in a draft that didn’t have one until he became an option.
2. Chicago – Yasmany Tomas (3B/LF, Arizona Diamondbacks)
3. Cincinnati – Carlos Rodon (SP, Chicago White Sox)
4. Houston – Kyle Schwarber (C/LF, Chicago Cubs)
These three are grouped together because in a league where Moncada is available and Rusney Castillo is not, these are viewed as the best three available players, with Tomas ranking at 136 on Bret’s top 500, Rodon ranking at 159 and Schwarber coming in at 191. The order that they are drafted in your league is largely based upon roster construction. You can make an argument for Rodon if you need pitching that’s almost big league ready, just as you make the case for Schwarber if you think he can actually catch or Tomas if you think he’s a 3B long term. Rarely should the needs of your major league roster be a factor in determining your first round minor league draft pick, but in the case of these three it’s appropriate due each prospect not needing to spend much (or any at all) time in the minors.
5. Tampa Bay – Tyler Kolek (SP, Miami Marlins)
Taking Kolek at number five would indicate that this owner is not afraid of the risks associated with taking a high school pitcher who by all accounts is far away from the big leagues and not likely to contribute anytime soon. Kolek is a huge upside play who joined an organization that has cultivated other high school power arms successfully and is not afraid to bring them to the big leagues earlier than expected (Jose Fernandez), so perhaps that’s what happens with Kolek, but in a draft with the available player pool that this league has, taking Kolek this early is not something that many dynasty owners would be comfortable doing.
6. Colorado – Alex Jackson (RF, Seattle Mariners)
Moving from behind the plate may accelerate Jackson’s timeline to the big leagues, but that move combined with being drafted by the Mariners probably didn’t help him move up dynasty draft boards and there will be more pressure on his bat moving to an outfield corner in Safeco Field. However, Jackson could end up being the best hitter of his draft class and getting that sixth overall could turn out to be quite a value.
7. San Diego – Roberto Baldoquin (SS/2B, Los Angeles Angels)
This is an awful pick on so many levels. Here at TDG, we talk about finding value wherever you can and taking Baldoquin this high borders on insanity from a value standpoint. That’s the issue here, not so much the evaluation of Baldoquin himself, who is largely an unknown quantity at this point, and was not a part of the Angels big league Spring Traning roster. Baldoquin was ranked 26th on Bret’s list of dynasty signees so in a normal draft a strong case could be made that the San Diego owner could have taken him with his second round selection. Taking him with so much talent on the board available is the problem, especially ahead of the next six players selected behind him. The Angels could have Baldoquin take over SS from Erick Aybar when his contract expires at the end of the 2016 season, or he could take over 2B in 2015 if nobody emerges, but one of those things almost has to happen to make this pick defensible, and even then I’m not sure that it is.
8. NY Mets – Nomar Mazara (RF, Texas Rangers)
9. Atlanta – Aaron Judge (RF, New York Yankees)
10. LA Dodgers – Jake Thompson (SP, Texas Rangers)
Three picks, three players that probably aren’t available to be drafted in your league, but here’s the thing – if they are available to be drafted, you jump all over them. All three are in the Dynasty 101, Mazara at number 20, Judge at 46 and Thompson at 47. These three illustrate the importance of combing through the entirety of players available to be drafted in your league. I’m continually amazed at the number of times that I’m in a draft and a player gets picked and another owner pipes in with ‘damn, wish I would have know he was available.’ That is a sentence uttered (or typed) by somebody who continually loses at dynasty baseball. It shouldn’t be a secret as to who is available in your league to be drafted. Do your homework. A case could be made to take Mazara as high as second in this draft if you love him as much as George Bissell and others do, but even if you don’t, there is bound to be somebody in your league that will give you more in a trade for him the second the draft is over than the immortal Roberto Baldoquin, I know that I certainly would.