TDGX2- Draft Pick Analysis
The following is a review of the first 2 rounds of The Dynasty Guru Experts League (Volume II) initial draft. This is a 20 team, 5×5 league that utilizes OPS and SV+HLD instead of AVG and SV. We thought it might be good to put our money where our mouth is and have a league that can serve as a sort of avatar for our readers’ most common set-up (even if 20 teams is a little deep).
This is, obviously, a dynasty league. So in order to effectively and fairly determine draft order, we dusted off the Invisible Hand method. The TL;DR version is that our guys bid a certain number of keepers in order to secure specific draft slots. For example, Brady Childs has the first overall pick, but he has to cut 29 (!) guys from his roster next offseason.
Without further ado, let’s hear from the league for their invisible hand strategy and their picks for rounds 1 and 2.
1.1-Mike Trout – Brady Childs
- IH Strategy: I wildly overshot the market [Ed. note- the next highest bid was 18]. I..uhh….. I’m never gonna ever bid in the invisible hand again because I don’t trust myself.
- Pick Analysis:
He’s got it all
My heart my soul my wishes
All of my love my hugs my kisses
Everything that means anything at all
All my life I been hopin’
I could give someone such devotion
Every sweet memory I can recall
He’s got it all
At a severe disadvantage, the only way for me to have a shot at contending long-term is to draft a team of young, high ceiling assets that are close to the Majors. In other words, the most valuable and difficult players to find in baseball. Mike Trout is an optimal start. He’s still young, great at everything, and should age well barring catastrophic injury. It’s the only decision I could make at 1.1.
1.2 Bryce Harper – Dr. Mike Tanner
- IH Strategy- While I was tempted to bid zero and draft a very young team using the method our colleague Tom Trudeau suggests, I suspected that in a group of dynasty writers prospects would be more highly valued than in other leagues. I wanted to start my roster with an elite hitter, preferably one of Trout, Harper, or Correa. In another expert draft I recently reviewed, 18 keepers took the #1 pick, so I bid 15 hoping that would be enough to secure a top 3 bid. It turns out my gamble paid off and secured my rights to Bryce Harper at #2 overall.
- Pick Analysis- For me, this pick boiled down to Harper or Correa. In the end, Harper’s elite OBP, potential 40/100/100 seasons made the decision easy.
1.3 Jose Altuve – Ian Hudson
- IH Strategy: I knew that I wanted one of the top 3 picks, though in hindsight I probably could have expanded that to the top 5 picks. I bid about the same for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Given that this is a 20 team league, there will be plenty of guys who will 1) have value in our league, and 2) will be expendable at this time next year. I’m fine tossing the likes of Danny Valencia and Kyle Gibson back if it means I can anchor my infield for the foreseeable future. Apologies to Danny Valencia and Kyle Gibson, by the way- I’ll probably draft you both.
- Pick Analysis: Everyone in the first few picks is the total package- it’s just a question of what’s strongest. For Altuve, it’s speed and average, 2 of our 5 scoring categories (and speed is becoming even more scarce). Throw in the fact that he’s 27, fun to root for, and that it’s harder to find a middle infielder that I love after 40 guys go off the board than it is to find an outfielder, it’s an easy pick. It was between him and Correa, and in the end the tie-breaker was that I find Altuve more fun, post-World Series victory wedding proposals notwithstanding.
1.4 Trea Turner – Keaton O. DeRocher
- IH Strategy: I felt like the first three picks were going to be expensive and predetermined, with Trout, Altuve and Harper in some order. I wanted to shoot for the 4-6 range so my pick was “made” for me and that range would be cheaper to nab. Thankfully, it worked out and I had my pick of the top young SS at 1.4.
- Pick Analysis: I was debating here between Turner and Correa but ultimately went with Turner for the speed. Speed can be at a premium (especially in a 20 team 5×5), and it is much easier to find power elsewhere. He is a 5-category contributor and still only 24. On top of being super fun to own and contributing in a premium category, he also locks up a premium position in SS.
1.5 Carlos Correa – Jesse Roche
- IH Strategy: With 40 keeper slots and a supplemental draft each offseason, including new draftees and free agents, it makes little sense not to bid keeper slots for a preferential draft position. The league rosters a maximum of 300 prospects and, year-to-year, numerous draftees are among the top 300. In addition, with only 500 active players, there will be quality free agents available. With that in mind, and perceiving a drop in value after pick 10 without gains in the second round from a superior draft position, I submitted aggressive bids for each pick within the top 10. I initially thought my substantial bid of 18 on pick 1 would seal the deal. I was very wrong. Brady blew everything up. Ultimately, I am pleased with pick 5 and pleasantly surprised Correa fell to me.
- Pick Analysis: Third on my draft board, Correa plays a premium position (especially in a 20-team league), is just 23 years old, and is already an elite fantasy performer. With on-base ability (11% BB%), power (.235 ISO), and some speed (~10 SBs), Correa is a stud. He also hits in the middle of a potent lineup with the likes of George Springer, Alex Bregman, AND Jose Altuve batting ahead of him for the foreseeable future. With shortstop locked up, I can now focus on deeper positions moving forward.
1.6 Fransisco Lindor – Kazuto Yamazaki
- IH Strategy: I figured I’d want to cut up to 15 players after the first season. While it would be great to have Mike Trout, and I did make a bid for the 1-1 spot, I’m not comfortable with picking first (or last) in deep, slow dynasty snake drafts. So I arbitrarily weighed each pick, and am very happy with the results.
- Pick Analysis: with Correa gone, I had to choose one of the two “inferior” guys on my SS board. Lindor and Corey Seager are dead equal in my books. The deciding factors were Lindor’s speed versus Seager’s on-base ability, and better likelihood to stay at the position for longer.
1.7 Nolan Arrenado – Patrick Magnus
- IH Strategy: I’ve played in a league using this method before, and thus felt fairly confident about my bid. Looking at my roster, I knew that I wouldn’t want to throw away any of my position players. Young bats are essential in a league this deep. Basically, I figured I’m fine throwing back most of my RPs and bench if needed. The guys in the top tier of players are similar in talent to my eye, and I wasn’t anxious to blow up my team for the purpose of acquiring Mike Trout (Sorry Brady Childs). Covered positions one through ten with a bid of eight, and figured I’d land one. It worked. Now let’s see if I’m any good at drafting.
- Pick Analysis: Short and sweet- I wanted someone who destroys baseballs in Colarado. Nolan Arenado does that.
1.8 Kris Bryant – Jonathan Merkel
- IH Strategy: Wanting to make a good-faith effort on Trout, but not having any idea pick 1 would go for, I bid ten on pick 1. After that, I put 5 on 7th, and 4 on 8th-12th. I got lucky and ended up with pick 8. I thought these picks might get underbid by the room, and was fortunate that I was right. Mostly, I didn’t want to be drafting at the back of the pack in a 20 team draft.
- Pick Analysis: I feel lucky he was still available as he was one of the top 6 players on my board. I like Bryant because last season was a ‘down year’ for him and he still hit 30 home runs and scored over 110 runs. I think the RBIs will return and he’ll be a great to MVP caliber player for a long while. Glad to have him, and glad he was available at 8.
1.9 Manny Machado – Nick Doran
- IH Strategy: I didn’t want to go wild in an attempt to snare the top pick or even a top three pick, so I bid three keepers on slots 4-12 to make sure I didn’t get stuck at the end of the draft. I figure I will want to drop a few guys before next year’s draft anyway. I don’t like picking at the turn in a draft because of the long gap between picks. I think it causes people to reach for guys they really want because they know the guy will definitely be gone by the time their next pick rolls around.
- Pick Analysis: I briefly considered Mookie Betts and Corey Seager here, but at the end of the day it was Machado for me. It’s not often you can get a player with all three of the most desirable traits you want in a dynasty league: A track record of elite performance, youth and upside, and premium position eligibility. Machado checks all those boxes. He has multiple seasons with 30-plus home runs along with good slash rates and run production. He can even swipe some bags. He is still just 25 years old (younger than hotshot rookie Aaron Judge) and hasn’t yet reached his prime seasons. He is a third baseman and will likely regain shortstop eligibility if/when he is traded or switches teams in free agency.
1.10 Mookie Betts – Tom Werner
- IH Strategy: I really like having picks in the middle of snake drafts and see 11 players I liked for the first round. I’m also a cheapskate and plan on having a strong top-to-bottom team, so I didn’t want to give away too many keepers. Bet light on the early picks just in case, then bet one keeper through pick ten. Why not 11? My brain slipped. Got lucky to get pick 10. In retrospect, I’d bet stronger on those 5-11 picks to ensure my positioning there.
- Pick Analysis: After Lindor was selected with 1.6, I was sizing up one of the big three 3B left on the market. Go figure Arenado, Bryant, and Machado run 7-8-9. I won’t complain about landing Mookie at pick 10, as I love the value here. 2017’s ‘down year’ was BABIP-induced, as he raised his BB and hard contact rates while maintaining elite K%. Entering his age-25 season, I’m looking at 25/25 with solid OBP production for years.
1.11 Freddie Freeman – EJ Fagan
- IH Strategy: I ordered a quick ranking of dynasty players into tiers: Mike Trout on his own at #1, a tier ending at #6 overall and a tier ending at #11 overall. I bid a healthy amount at the end of each tier, winning with 6 keeper spots at #11. I had the third tier ending at Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman.
- Pick Analysis: Freeman is about to enter his Age-28 season. He hit .307/.403/.586 in his career-best season last year, backed up by a great 18.5% strikeout rate and .403 xwOBA. Atlanta’s lineup is sneaky good next year, and Freeman will be right in the middle of it. I also considered Goldschmidt, who has a similar hitting profile, but with 15-20 steals. I think Goldschmidt is a better pick in redraft leagues, but I can’t expect a first baseman to steal many bases on the far side of 30. Goldschmidt’s xwOBA was essentially identical at .397, but in a better ballpark. I also considered Aaron Judge, especially given an OBP league rather than BA. but opted for the safer pick in Freeman. I didn’t consider much in the way of positional scarcity with the first pick given that this is a 20-team league with a two UT slots, and 1st base is relatively shallow after the first 10 or so.
1.12 Cody Bellinger – Ryne Alber
- IH Strategy: This was my first time drafting with the invisible hand, so rather than be overly aggressive, I chose to sit back and hope I landed a pick that would nab me Cody Bellinger or Aaron Judge; sure enough, BOTH were still available. Needless to say, my strategy (or lack thereof) paid off.
- Pick Analysis: Bellinger is the total package for me, as he is young and without any real weaknesses in his game. It came down to Bellinger versus Judge for me, and there were fewer causes for concern in Bellinger’s profile, such that I felt it was a fairly easy decision to roll with the 22 year-old with my first pick
1.13 Paul Goldschmidt – Joseph Pytleski
- IH Strategy: I made a lackluster effort at picks 2–6 but really wasn’t expecting to land any of those. I actually appreciate the randomness of draft order and was content to let the chips fall where they may, hoping to get somewhere around the second half of the draft order without being in the very back. I knew with a bunch of prospect hounds and dynasty lovers, there would be someone who would fall to me because when you turn 30 somehow magic suck dust makes you forget how to play baseball.
- Pick Analysis: I knew I was going “old” on this pick because there was just too much value and age bias in the room. Fine. Give me the guy who’s had an OBP under .400 once the past five seasons (.396). Give me the guy who still has perennial 30/15 seasons for the next 3-4 years. Then, even despite the speed decline, he’ll be able to contribute massive amounts of OBP and copious amounts of HR in his home park. I’ll take it. Other considerations here were one of the top 4 SP on the board.
1.14 Aaron Judge – Mitch Bannon
- IH Strategy: I was basing my bidding off of the player tier I was targeting. My initial targets were the likes of Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, and Paul Goldschmidt (likely in that order). I decided to bid a handful of keepers on the 7th, 8th and 9th draft positions, which would have certainly penciled me in for one of the previously mentioned players. Unfortunately, I misjudged the keeper slots needed to win those positions. Looking back, I would have likely bid up to 10 on each of those positions, but hindsight can’t help me now.
- Pick Analysis: Aaron Judge. As much as it pains me to do it as a Jays fan, I will be building the future of this team around Aaron Judge. Banking on a .400 OBP, 40HR/~100RBIs&Rs, Judge was the obvious pick for me in this format. I would have probably gone Goldschmidt had he fallen one more spot, but otherwise had targeted Lindor/Judge/Bellinger/Clayton Kershaw in that order from the beginning. Although the 2nd half scares me slightly, this type of talent was hard to turn down this late in the first round
1.15 Corey Seager – Eddie Grella
- IH Strategy: I will admit: I underestimated the market. I was looking to get one of the top 7 picks in the draft, as I saw a clear tier of guys that were much better in my opinion than the next tier of players. However, I was (overly) cautious with my allotment of keepers and decided to bid 5 keepers on slots 2-7 and 7 keepers on slot 1. I knew I wouldn’t have a good shot at getting the first couple picks, but I expected one of my bids to win a slot. In the end, however, I didn’t care too much about where I picked (as evidenced by my low bids), and I was content with having the 15th pick.
- Pick Analysis: I was pleasantly surprised that Seager was still available when my pick came around. He’s entering his age-24 season with two full years of MLB success under his belt and will produce in the heart of the Dodgers lineup for years to come. While his numbers last season were not as strong as his rookie season (possibly due to injury), I believe he will bounce back and continue to produce at high levels of OBP and counting stats in the potent Dodgers lineup. Plus, he still has plenty of room to increase his HR totals.
1.16 Clayton Kershaw – Ben Diamond & Adam Lawler
(something special for these picks- a little back-and-forth between the co-owners based on who championed the pick)
- IH Strategy: :shrugie emoji:
In a 20 team league, I’ll get value anywhere I draft, so I didn’t bid anything. It should be noted that I put in my bids before Adam joined the #squad, so this decision is all mine.
- Pick Analysis:
- Ben, why on Earth did you select a pitcher with a bad back? When in 2018 does he become the 3rd best MLB pitcher? (Adam Lawler)
- Adam, I’m glad you’re on board with the picks made before you were adopted into our beautiful family of a team. Kershaw might have a bad back, but he’s the rare hurler to avoid any significant arm injuries and has a clean bill of health right now. A fantasy player can’t ask for much more, because every pitcher is an injury risk until they become an injured player. Sure, there’s a case to be made for one of Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, or Corey Kluber being the better dynasty asset, but the Best Pitcher on Earth is going to stay The Best Pitcher on Earth, at least for a little while. Save for Sale, he’s the youngest player in that group at just 29, and he’s shown unparalleled consistency and ELITEness. He’s on a great team in a great situation, and he’ll continue to be great. I could dive into the numbers, but… I’ll leave it at this: Kershaw had a 2.31 ERA last season, and his career ERA only fell by 0.01. He’s that good. (Ben Diamond)
1.17 Giancarlo Stanton – Patrick Brennan
- IH Strategy: I decided not to make a huge run at a high pick in this draft, and with this being my first time using the Invisible Hand I just decided to play it safe, bidding zero.
- Pick Analysis: Projected an absurdly high 55 home runs, I am expecting dongs for days.
1.18 Jose Ramirez – Jake Devereaux
- IH Strategy: Having never taken part in Invisible Hand before, my research began by reviewing the TDGX post about IH from the first draft. After looking at the bids from that first attempt here at TDG I placed my bets accordingly. I made sure not to over-commit myself, but made an attempt at the first spot by betting 12 keeper spots. I then bet only 5 for the second spot, 4 for the third spot, and just 3 for the fourth spot. I placed bids of 2 keepers for spots 5 and 6 and bid of 1 for spots 7 and 8. Overall, I didn’t care too much about achieving a high draft spot. I always feel like drafting close to the end of a round in a snake draft is an advantage because it allows me to execute a strategy more effectively. I ended up at the 18th spot out of 20 and am completely happy with my position. Next time I do this I may not even place any bids; you can win a draft from anywhere.
- Pick Analysis: While it’s never an easy task picking at the end of the round I often prefer it to the pressure of picking at the front. It allows me to clearly see where value has presented itself and to act accordingly. I strongly considered going for the next best outfielder or first baseman at this spot, with the top options at third and short off the board. I decided that there was the biggest value gap remaining at second base, which is why I selected Ramirez. Ramirez provides everything a fantasy team needs across all five categories while qualifying at 2B, 3B and OF, thereby giving me the flexibility going forward to fill in around him where value presents itself. At just 25, he should be well within his prime for years to come. Also, picking at 18 allows me to pick early in round two where I feel I can get one of the first baseman or outfielders I was considering.
1.19 Alex Bregman – Bret Sayer
- IH Strategy: You’d think as the person who created the bidding system, I’d have a better idea of what the “right” amount to bid on any of these spots would be. You’d be wrong. My guesses are just as fun as everyone else’s, which makes trying to figure out what other people are going to do just about impossible. Generally, I broke the first group of players into tiers (the first tier went three deep and the second went eight deep) and then bid backwards from there—the thought being that if I deemed eight players to be worthy of throwing back some keepers on the back-end, it wouldn’t really matter which one I got and the additional bump on the back-end in the second round would be worth any offset. In the end, I missed all of my bids because the other owners got far more aggressive than I did, but I also had an ace left under my sleeve. I knew if I ended up with a pick in the back of the first round, I’d still be very likely to get one particularly player who is close to that elite group, but not quite recognized as such.
- Pick Analysis: This is your last offseason without the rest of your league admiring Bregman for the elite fantasy contributor he is. I’d have taken him likely as early as ninth off the board, and to get him at the 19th spot is really exciting. Bregman will turn 24 right around Opening Day and demonstrated during the second half of the season just how important of a cog in the Astros’ high-powered lineup he can be. After the All-Star Break, he hit .315 with 11 homers and 9 steals, and that sort of .300/20/20 realistic potential makes him extraordinarily valuable even without taking into account the fistfuls of counting stats he’ll rack up batting between George Springer and Jose Altuve.
1.20 Ronald Acuna – Jim Melichar
- IH Strategy: I had no idea how this draft was going to play out or what wagering and losing keepers was even going to mean, so I bid nothing at all and wasn’t upset to pick 20/21.
- Pick Analysis: Because Acuna. The upside here is greater than everything approximately 30yrs old on the board.
2.1 Yoan Moncada – Jim
- Pick Analysis: Risky as hell, but I’m going to click the “I Believe” button on Moncada and gobble up all his tasty stats now and in the future. His floor looks like bad Odor, and his ceiling looks higher than good Odor. He hits the ball really hard and is already physically mature.
2.2 Gary Sanchez – Bret
- Pick Analysis- Honestly, I was hoping Moncada would fall here, but Sanchez is the absolute class of his position—a position that is just frankly a jumbled mess after him (unless you’re really bullish on Willson Contreras). The prospect of not having to worry about catcher until Sanchez is well into his 30s is a wonderful thing, and having a backstop who hits well enough that his eligibility isn’t what is keeping him in your lineup is a rare find these days. If you’re in a league that rosters more than 15 catchers (which this is), Sanchez and his four-category thunder is an easy top-20 pick.
2.3 Anthony Rizzo – Jake
- Pick Analysis: Holy crap! I thought about taking Rizzo with 1.18 and I got to take him here in the second round! At just 28 years old I had Rizzo rated as my #2 overall at the first base position. Sure, Joey Votto is the better bet for now, but he’s more than six years older than Rizzo. Between Rizzo and Jose Ramirez, whom I had ranked #2 at the second base position, I now have an enviable and predictable young core to build my team around.
2.4 Andrew Benintendi – Jake
- Pick Analysis: It came down to two Red Sox with this one, Devers being the other. He’ll give my team a little bit of everything. Home runs, RBIs, Runs, SB, OBP. Still only 23.
2.5 George Springer – Ben & Adam
- Pick Analysis:
- George Chelston Springer III sounds like someone who belongs on the John’s Hopkins lacrosse team. Yet for some reason you found him to be worthy of a second round pick. Does his year-over-year decrease in stolen base totals worry you at all? Does he need to repeatedly put up 30+ dingers and a .280 average a year to merit second round value? If so, how much longer should we expect that as he enters his age 28 season?_ (Adam Lawler)
- I’ll admit that the 30 home run club doesn’t mean what it used to: 37 players joined last season. But how many managed a .280+ batting average and sub-20% strikeout rate? Just five. In case you aren’t following, Springer belongs to both groups. He might be 28, but I think there’s plenty of upside left. The former top prospect might not have the same speed as his canine brethren, the Springer Spaniel, but something tells me his days of 10+ steals aren’t done–it’s more of a question of strategy than speed. Last season was Springer’s best year yet, and with a falling strikeout rate and rising power, it’s hard not to be optimistic that 2018 will again be a career season. He has a skillset that should age well, and the best is yet to come from a player who was already an easy OF1 in 2017. Oh, and that park and lineup doesn’t hurt. All I’m saying is that we’ll need a player or two with playoff experience. (Ben Diamond)
2.6 Chris Sale – Eddie
- Pick Analysis: I didn’t want to or plan on taking a pitcher in the first two rounds, but sometimes you just have to take what’s given to you. At the 26th pick, I’m more than happy to welcome him and his many strikeouts to my team.
2.7 Charlie Blackmon – Mitch
- Pick Analysis: I really debated taking a younger infielder here or an unnamed OBP machine with a little more age. But it came down to being able to get 30 HR/10-15 SB and near triple digit R and RBIs once again. It’s tough to commit to 2 OF this early but I love Charles and have for many seasons. I am mostly targeting players age 24-29 but had to make an exception for Chuck Nazty.
2.8 Corey Kluber – Joseph
- Pick Analysis: The idea to begin the draft was to try and nab a top 4 SP “ace,” regardless of age. Passing in the first round was difficult, so when there were still two left at my pick I had to jump (though I was really jonesin’ for Chris Sale until he got sniped two picks before). Kluber’s underlying skills all came together last season to create 60′ 6″ of brilliance: Career low BB%, career high K%, bump in FpK and swinging K%. All of this came without sacrificing HR rate and keeping velocity intact. Four straight seasons of 200+ IP mitigate age concerns at this point, so there’s reason to believe there’s still plenty in the tank moving forward.
2.9 Byron Buxton – Ryne
- Pick Analysis: want to build a young core, and I think Buxton could end up being either an extreme reach or a fairly nice steal depending on which version of him shows up next season. He is still only 24 and has time to keep working through the kinks.
2.10 Anthony Rendon – EJ
- Pick Analysis: For this pick, I was looking for a strong hitter with plenty of prime years of major league production left. Rendon is entering his age-28 season, coming off a career year, .301/.403/.533, 100 RBIs 81 Runs. He brought his strikeout rate all the way below his excellent walk rate. Statcast suggests he has some regression coming in the batting line, but I’m hoping that a better lineup position (Rendon batted 5th and 6th for most of the season and he could bat 4th in 2018) and his great home ballpark for a right-handed hitter will make up for the regression. I’ve now got two high-OBP, low-SB starters at the corners; next pick I will have to look for pitching or speed to balance out the roster.
2.11: Vlad Guerrero Jr – Tom
- Pick Analysis: This was a tough call, but I went with my #1 prospect for OBP leagues over a few strong options. Elite plate discipline (14.4 BB%, 11.8 K% in 2017) lays an excellent foundation for his plus hit, double plus power tools to develop. Hitting .323/.425/.485 with 28 doubles, 13 HR and 8 SB at age-18 across A/A+ levels just doesn’t happen. Does he stay at 3B? Do I care? At 3B, Vlad Jr could be Rendon with more power or Arenado with more walks. At 1B, he’s still an elite bat.
2.12 Rhys Hoskins – Nick
- Pick Analysis: He’s the complete package minus speed. He’s got youth. He’s got light-tower power. He’s got a high walk rate and therefore a high OBP. He has a short track record in the majors but he destroyed baseballs for 50 games despite an unlucky BABIP. He demolished every level of the minor leagues.
2.13 Brian Dozier – Merkel
- Pick Analysis: I was really hoping Hoskins would fall to me, but Nick sniped him the pick before me. I liked Hoskins because he was a young bat who will probably put up years of great production. Everyone else left over was great, but much older. I considered Donaldson, Votto, MadBum, Syndergaard, and Severino with this pick, but ultimately took Dozier who I think will play at a very high level for at least a few more years.
2.14 Domingo Santana – Paytrick
- Pick Analysis: So, Santana is one of my many BAEs. I feel super great getting him at this spot, assuming he remains in Miller Park. There’s a strong possibility that I look back in anger if he’s moved to another ball park. He’s 24 years old, has consistently shown a strong-eye at the plate, and provided both double digit power and speed. He struck out almost 30% of the time in 2017, which is gross, but that was compensated with a 12% and a 70% contact rate. That .270 average may be a slight fluke, but it’s an OBP league
2.15 Shohei Ohtani – Kaz
- Pick Analysis: I wanted another bat or a TORP here, so went ahead and got both.
2.16 Rafael Devers – Keaton (From Jesse)
- Pick Analysis: Traded up from 2.17 to 2.16 (2.16 and 5.5 for 2.17 and 4.17) to grab my guy Rafael Devers. Devers is only 21 and more than held his own in his first cup of coffee. His ceiling is super high and he’s a bat I wanted in my lineup even if he ends up at 1B long term. Short-term I have myself an uber-talented young 3B to lock down the corner. I just flat out love the kid so I had to make a move to secure him.
2.17 Noah Syndergaard Jesse (From Keaton)
- Pick Analysis: I am loathe to draft starting pitching early in dynasty drafts due to greater injury risk and lesser impact. However, Thor and his thunderous 98 mph heat WITH command and control fell into my lap. Still just 25 years old, Thor can be a fantasy god now and for a long time to come.
2.18 Luis Severino – Ian
- Pick Analysis: This was a hard pick with Max Scherzer on the board, but youth has been at an extreme premium already and I was more confident he would make it back to me than the 23-year-old fireballer. In the words of Keaton O. DeRocher “at 20 he had a really good year, at 21 he had a very very bad year, then last year at 22 he had a stellar year.” Stellar is correct- nearly 200 innings of sub 3 ERA ball with 230 punch outs. I’m betting that he’s figured out sustained performance (at least partly on the back of the increased change-up usage and effectiveness) and like his new run support.
2.19 Joey Votto – Mike
- Pick Analysis: Given my strategy with the IH, I will be left with 15 less keepers, so my having an aging player or two was a distinct possibility. I did not anticipate that in an OBP league Joey Votto would make it to pick 39 and secure my 1B for the next few years. Couldn’t be happier to land a guy I have ranked as my #3 Hitter in a non-dynasty OBP leagues. I considered SP here, but I have accepted that Ian Hudson, and most of the rest of my colleagues, will be snipping me all draft. I literally had over half of the 2nd round queued up in the order they were selected.
2.20 Victor Robles – Brady
- Pick Analysis: With 11 keepers I’m going to need as much upside as I can get, and after Trout, it gets difficult. I not only have to hope that certain players fall to me, but that I judge the field correctly and prioritize my targets in the correct order, as everyone in this league has done their research and formulated their own opinions on players. Between my picks, Ronald Acuna, Yoan Moncada, Byron Buxton, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Rafael Devers come off the board. Having back to back picks allows me to not have to worry about being sniped, to an extent, which is a bit of a relief. I decided on Robles for my 2nd pick. Robles only played 37 games in AA (slashing .324/.394/.489) before debuting as a Nationals’ September call up, so he’s likely to begin the year in AAA. If things go according to plan, the soonest he’ll realistically be up is June. The Nationals can survive with an outfield of Adam Eaton/Michael Taylor/Bryce Harper, so there’s no rush on their end.