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TDGX Draft Recap – Round One

If you’re a regular here, you surely know about TDGX, the 20-team dynasty league started in 2014 that counts several of the industry’s brightest dynasty minds among its participants. To my great pleasure, Bret invited me to take over one of three vacated teams, with the other two going to J.J. Jansons and George Bissell, who you probably know from around here too. As the new kids on the block, the three of us will be bringing back a regular column covering transactions in the league.
To get started, we asked each member of the league to give us some brief thoughts about the players they took or thought process they employed in our recently completed draft. The draft is five rounds long, and while the most appealing pieces are prospects who entered professional baseball through the draft or IFA last year, there’s some roster filling and scooping up of the few risers that slipped through the cracks during the 2015 regular season too. We’ll cover the first round today and hope to roll out the remainder before the regular season kicks off, which is thankfully just a short time away.

1.1 – Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox
With the first overall pick gifted to me by the previous owner Mike the top choice was simple. Adding Yoan Moncada to a strong young core of Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Maikel Franco, and Jorge Soler leaves us looking to compete for years to come. (Ralph Lifshitz, Razzball)
1.2 – Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies
(Jeff Zimmerman, FanGraphs)
1.3 –  Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox
At pick 1.3 Craig and I were deciding between Andrew Benintendi and Dansby Swanson. Alex Bregman drew some consideration, too. Ultimately we felt as though Benintendi had the best chance of being an impactful fantasy bat in the shortest amount of time and become Kyle Schwarber 2.0 (he was our pick at 1.4 a year ago). He may lack Swanson’s floor, but Benintendi’s mix of draft pedigree, insane production and athleticism dating back to his days destroying NCAA baseballs has been special. If we had a hole at short, Swanson probably would have been the pick. (Tom Trudeau, MLB.com)
1.4 – Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves
My pre-draft strategy for the fourth overall pick was simply to take whoever fell to me between Benintendi and Dansby’s hair, presuming that Moncada and Rodgers would go in the first two selections, which was proven to be true. Selecting Dansby gives me flexibility to pursue a future deal, as I expect him to be ready in time for the Braves new ballpark to open in 2017, which should free up one of Tulo, Semien or Dansby himself to be dealt for other needs (outfield help). Most of the time, you have to feel good about getting the number one overall selection in the June draft with the fourth pick and I was certainly happy to select Dansby (and his high floor) in this case. (J.J. Jansons, Baseball Prospectus/The Dynasty Guru)
1.5 – Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros
We were just looking to add as much talent as we could out of our #5 spot, and if we were able to add a middle infielder, all the better. We had Moncada/Rodgers/Swanson/Bregman in our top four, so when Benintendi went at #3, we knew one would drop to us. We like the advanced, college-seasoned bat here who should move quickly. Obviously middle infield in Houston is pretty set, so we’ll root for an MLB trade. (Brent Hershey, BaseballHQ)
1.6 – Kenta Maeda, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
This league has quickly gotten top-heavy, with just a couple teams having a real chance at the TDGX title at the end of the year. I had hoped to rebuild a poor squad in just two or three years; however, I thought the league would pull everyone to the middle, rather than polarize the squads. I was wrong. That leaves me in a tough spot for the 2016 season. My squad is improving, but not enough to compete in any meaningful way. I needed some big-league pieces to round out my roster. Although my first-round pick, Kenta Maeda, doesn’t have premium upside, he may slot in as a #3 or #4 starter immediately. (J.P. Breen, Baseball Prospectus)
1.7 – Eddy Julio Martinez, OF, Chicago Cubs
I took EJM over Happ, a decision I regretted less than five minutes later when Bret traded up 50 spots to acquire the player I passed on. Clearly, I made the wrong call, but we’ll see. (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus, The Dynasty Guru)
1.8 – Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs
I’d like to say that this was an isolated incident, but then I’d be a liar. I am a habitual trader during drafts—moving up and down like an elevator with vertigo. Because of my third-place finish last year, I had the 18th pick in this year’s draft, and that’s just way too long to wait when there are players I like on the board. Wilson held the 8th pick and we started discussions prior to the draft, as I knew he was looking for stable saves and I had 3.5 closers (Andrew Miller being the half). When I saw that Happ (my sixth-overall prospect in this draft) dropped to his spot, talks got much more serious. In the end I gave him my third rounder and Jonathan Papelbon for this pick and Charlie Morton. (The fabled Red Sox homer wouldn’t part with he who has great stuff.) I like Happ’s potential to stick at second in the long-run and be a five-category contributor who is heavy on the average and good enough everywhere else. (Bret Sayre, Baseball Prospectus/The Dynasty Guru)
1.9 – Hector Olivera, 3B/OF, Atlanta Braves
 Drafting ninth overall, I knew that I would have a shot at landing one of the top prospects or big league contributors on this year’s board. When Benintendi went third, I thought there was an outside chance that Bregman or Happ might fall into my lap – especially the latter, at least until Bret traded up and took him eighth overall, like a jerk. My fallback option heading into the draft, Olivera became my best option with those young hitters off the board. Overall, I’m pleased to have added a middle-of-the-order hitter to my squad, and that 3B/OF eligibility gives me some flexibility as well. (Mike Rosenbaum, MLB Pipeline)
1.10, Dillon Tate, RHP, Texas Rangers
I was really hoping to bolster my group of prospects with a high-upside/close to major-league ready bat, but all of the really appealing ones (at least to me) were gone by the time I picked at ten. That was disappointing, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to take 2015 first-rounder Dillon Tate at that point. I’m obviously hoping he makes it as a starter, but a dominant closer would still be a pretty decent outcome in this league. I now have a surplus of prospect starters, with Julio Urias and Jose Berrios among them. I might end up trading one of them as the season moves along. (D.J. Short, Rotoworld)
1.11 – Willson Contreras, C, Chicago Cubs
The thing about my team is that it was bad and not good. After really going for broke in year one of #TDGX and winding up with a fifth-place finish, I didn’t rebuild fast enough and found myself in no man’s and last year, winding up in 11th with a really old core. I took a bazillion steps to rectify that this offseason, trading away guys like Hunter Pence, Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Ervin Santana and Joe Mauer and completely reloading my farm system with close-to-the-majors guys and post-prospects like Michael Taylor, Jacob Lamb and Tyler Skaggs. I’m missing upper-echelon young talent but I have a ton of young depth now, as well as a few core pieces like Robinson Cano, Carlos Gonzalez and Ben Revere. I think I’ll reasonably be able to compete in 2018 after bottoming out this year, and a two-year rebuild is very much my plan. (Ben Carsley, Baseball Prospectus)
1.12 – Carson Fulmer, RHP, Chicago White Sox
1.20 – Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers
I had the 12th and 20th picks in Round 1 and went for pitching prospects with both selections. Having traded off Jake Arrieta and Zack Greinke in the past year, starting pitching is a distinct weakness, so I targeted Carson Fulmer and Josh Hader. Of all of the available pitching prospects, I see Fulmer as having the greatest long-term potential, and he could be a starter for me as soon as 2017. Hader felt much riskier, given his very recent rise, concerns around his mechanics and ambiguity around his future role. I have to admit that I’m looking a little more towards this season than the long-term future, and there is an opportunity for Hader to crack the Brewers’ rotation sometime this year. I am hopeful that I’ll get to have it both ways with Hader — getting someone who can help me this season and can continue on the trajectory set in his 2015 breakout season. (Al Melchior, CBS Sports)
1.13 – Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
(Chris Mitchell, RotoExperts)

1.14 – Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

I wasn’t in a great spot as I didn’t see Alvarez as dramatically different than a bunch of the names around him, and I offered the pick up as part of a package for a shortstop which I desperately needed (more on that later), to no avail. I considered nabbing Jonathan Villar here but gambled that he might make it to my next pick (j/k, I didn’t pick in the second round). I took Alvarez because I think he offers the most potential of the names I was considering such as Trent Clark and Cornelius Randolph, among others.  (Craig Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus)

 

1.15 – Trent Clark, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

I wanted the best bat remaining and Clark fit the bill. He was also the 15th pick of the 2015 MLB draft out of high school. Clark is a step below the elite hitters of the class (Rodgers, Swanson, Benintendi, Bregman) but has some star potential. He has yet to show much power in games but he has a big frame and should hit more home runs as time goes by. He played well after being drafted, posting high wRC+ scores in Rookie ball at the age of 18 against mostly older players. Clark also doesn’t have the shortstop eligibility of the guys drafted ahead of him, but you can’t have it all when you get the 15th pick of the FYPD. I have Clark as the #72 overall fantasy prospect right now based on his talent, draft pedigree and pro stats at a young age. He is obviously a guy we will have to be patient with because he won’t see the majors for at least a few years. My TDGX team is getting a little long in the tooth (a lot actually) so I chose to go with a prospect in the first round instead of a MLB player who could help me now. There were no good MLB bats available, although there were some closers. It is time to replenish my minor league roster after depleting it with some trades the last couple years. (Nick Doran, The Dynasty Guru)

 

1.16 – Hyun Soo Kim, OF Baltimore Orioles

We had moved our first round pick last season in the Grienke deal, so we were coming into the draft this year planning to sit back and see who would fall to us with our 2nd round pick at pick 40. There was a possibility to move into an early spot in the draft, and we had put an offer (Santiago Casilla) to get the 8th pick where we were targeting Park and Kim who we felt would help us this season. We were scooped by the The Dynasty Guru himself, so we decided to sit back. Park kept falling. Kim kept falling. At pick 16 we decided to make a move. We traded our second round pick this year and our first next year for what ended up being Hyun Soo Kim. We were split on which player to take. Park would come later. (Ian Kahn)

 

1.17 – Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves
There are really only two things I think about when taking my first rounder in this league. Get a high-upside prospect from last year’s draft or the international free agent class, and make sure said prospect is someone who probably won’t be there for me with my next pick. Leading up to my pick I was deciding between Trent Clark, Austin Riley, Byung-Ho Park and Josh Hader. With Clark off the board, I opted to go with Riley for a few reasons: I really believe he has 30-plus homer pop. I think he’ll be the most valuable trade chip of the three at the All-Star break. I am not sure Park as the bat speed to handle elite velocity. And I thought Hader might be there with my next pick (I was wrong about this). I’m trying to win the league this year, but I think passing on high-upside prospects in the first round of this league’s draft can shorten a team’s competitive window, and I want to have a sustainable, competitive team for years to come. (James Anderson, Rotowire)
1.18 – Cornelius Randolph, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

This was the less interesting of my two first-rounders, but not because of the player. Randolph, like Happ, is a hit-tool based prospect with defensive questions—but it’s not like I have a type or anything. Twenty-homer power could come down the road, especially in Philadelphia, and hopefully he can keep the outfield eligibility. It was a tough call between him and Yusniel Diaz, who ended up going 10 picks later in the exact draft spot I gave up to trade for Alex Cobb the night of the keeper deadline. That’s the draft. (Bret Sayre, Baseball Prospectus/The Dynasty Guru)

 

1.19 – Byung Ho Park, 1B/DH, Minnesota Twins

At 1.19 we selected Byung Ho Park, who we were surprised to see was still available given his opportunity, power potential and gaudy Steamer projections. We promptly flipped him, Hunter Strickland and Brandon McCarthy for Max Kepler, but it’s unusual to find an MLB ready, in-prime player with upside this late in a draft. (Tom Trudeau, MLB.com)

 

Tom Trudeau and Craig Glaser grabbed Park at 19. Tom made clear that we could get Park in a deal for Max Kepler. After a typically challenging negotiation, we traded Kepler and our 5th rounder (#100) for Byung Ho Park, Hunter Strickland (handcuff for our Casilla), and Brandon McCarthy who would hold one of our DL spots, and hopefully provide depth in the second half.All of this happened on the day that Park went 0-3 with 3 k’s in his first Spring Training appearance, and before Kim began his epic collapse in Oriole Land. (Ian Kahn)

 

Traded Picks:

I have an old core, and I’m at or near the top of this squad’s win curve in a league this deep, so I knew going into this draft that I’d need to consolidate resources around immediate value – likely at a painful cost of long-term growth. And I did just that. I spun the eighth overall pick to The Commissioner (along with fringe keeper and spare part Charlie Morton) for Jonathan Papelbon and the rights to a third round pick (which I didn’t have previously and used to draft Bryce Denton, one of my favorite power bats from last year’s class). Could I have hustled a slightly better closer if I’d grabbed Ian Happ or Kyle Tucker or somebody and tried to spin him? Maybe. But I desperately needed some stable early Saves to get out of the gate competitively, and Papelbon will provide those. (Wilson Karaman, Baseball Prospectus)

 

J.J., George, and I  held a redispersal draft consisting of the players from the three vacated teams we inherited. That draft was solid enough to build a decent team but really lacked for depth. When I went on the clock at 16, there were a handful of players I liked but nobody that stood out above the rest. I shopped the pick and when the opportunity arose to slide back from 16 to 40 and add a 2017 first rounder, I hopped. The difference between 16 and 40 is obviously substantial and the additional selection in next year’s draft doesn’t help me address my current depth issues, but it goes give me another chip. If I can’t move that pick in trade to help me bolster my 2016 squad, I’m happy to use it next winter. (Greg Wellemeyer, Baseball Prospectus/The Dynasty Guru)

The Author

Greg Wellemeyer

Greg Wellemeyer

3 Comments

  1. Alex
    March 17, 2016 at 10:45 am — Reply

    Here’s the first round of my 20 team amateur draft this year:

    1.1 Wolfpack – Brendan Rodgers SS Colorado
    1.2 Mentor Cane – Dansby Sawnson SS Atlanta
    1.3 Creamy Goo – Andrew Benintendi-OF-BOS
    1.4 The Sonny Boys – Alex Bregman-SS-HOU
    1.5 NextLevelFantasy – Dillon Tate, p, TEX
    1.6 Homer at the Bat – Ian Happ OF Chicago Cubs
    1.7 Seoul Bears – Byung Ho Park 1B- Minnesota Twins
    1.8 Wolfpack – Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros
    1.9 Blood On The Tracks – Kevin Newman MI Pirates
    1.10 Wolfpack – Trent Clark OF Milwaukee Brewers
    1.11 CubSox – Cornelius Randolph OF Philadelphia Phillies
    1.12 Slugger’s Paradise – Kenta Maeda RHP Los Angeles Dodgers
    1.13 Sherm – Tyler Stephenson C Reds
    1.14 Rowsdower’s Lumber Emporium – Daz Cameron – OF – Astros
    1.15 Unmitigated Disaster – Kolby Allard SP ATL
    1.16 Mentor Cane – Desmond Lindsay OF NYM
    1.17 Homer At the Bat – Brady Aiken LHP Cleveland Indians
    1.18 Confederacy of Dunces – Garrett Whitley – OF – TAM
    1.19 Homer at the Bat – Eddy Julio Martinez, OF, Chicago Cubs
    1.20 Cuban P – Carson Fulmer, P – Chi AL

    What do you think?

  2. Marcus
    March 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    Terrific draft recap – love this series and love hearing the reasoning. Cannot wait for details on round #2!

  3. March 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm — Reply

    Awesome recap! Cannot wait to read about round #2.

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