New Dynasty League Draft Part II: Slow Drafting during a Pandemic – Round 2
The title gives it away as the slow draft continues. Find Part I, The First Round, here.
As this new league slowly came together, we were able to hash out certain league features before the draft. Major debates before the draft were the categories, payouts, playoff teams, and draft types. The most debate occured on the final pitcher category. We chose K/BB, as that category doesn’t weigh toward RPs or SPs heavily, though there were a few dissenting voices. Agreeing, or at least voting, on categories (and all important league issues) is a great way to make all owners feel invested in the future of the league. A fun quirk of this league (and many leagues) is a theme, and for this league it is Minor League teams, past and present. I grew up near the Kane County Cougars, so I went that way with my team name.
There was also vote on having a separate minor and major league draft. I am of the opinion that there should be one draft, though I can understand the argument of keeping them separate, as getting the last pick in the MLB draft leads to the first pick in MiLB draft, so at least there’s some payoff for picking last (though picking last in the first round isn’t the end of the world and a winning team can easily be made from that pick, but that’s for another article). One draft allows those who want to go prospect heavy to do so much easier for them. As those looking to compete are not going to be looking for top prospects until much later (if at all). I voted against it, as did a majority of the league. Though something to consider for Dynasty Leagues of 10-teams or fewer. Now on to the draft recap!
For ease here is the league setup:
Categories: Hitters: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS Pitchers: K, K/BB, ERA, WHIP, W+QS, SVx2+H
Rosters: MLB: Starters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 4 OF, 2 UTIL, 9 SP; 10 Bench; 35 Minor League Roster
I have pick one in a new 16 team Dynasty League draft. Since it’s a slow draft, and I have a lot of time on my hands. I drafted Ronald Acuna Jr. with the first overall pick and now my next two picks are at the turn at the end of the second round/beginning of the third round. I have to wait and watch talented guys get taken, just waiting for my turn to nab two. Let’s get to the Second Round!
Pick 17 (Round 2: pick 1): Nolan Arenado (15*). The possibility of him being traded out of Colorado, along with being 29-years-old, makes him no longer exciting. As long as he’s in Colorado for the next few seasons he will continue to provide elite production. So I like this pick.
*Number in parenthesis are rankings from our March 2020 Dynasty Rankings.
Pick 18: Walker Buehler (27). Our third ranked Dynasty pitcher is the third pitcher off the board here and while a wee early, league scoring categories skews toward elite SP on good teams.
Pick 19: Pete Alonso (25). The best first baseman for OPS Dynasty leagues after Bellinger and a cornerstone for any Dynasty team, on this team he is paired with Trea Turner to provide thunder and lightning. This year you can definitely wait on first base as Olson, Hoskins, Bell, Rizzo and Goldschmidt are all around for the next few rounds and I value them similarly enough.
Pick 20 Yordan Alvarez (17). Hopefully he qualifies at OF in your league but as a UTIL-only player it can be tough to build around. Houston was saying in Spring Training that Alvarez would get opportunities to play outfield, so that is a plus. He is paired with Wander Franco so he is on this team for his ceiling.
Pick 21 Jose Ramirez (18). While never showing much power through his minor league and first full big-league season, the past three seasons of minimum 23 home runs and .224 ISO shows power can come from virtually nowhere. Personally I would have chosen Harper to pair with Gerrit Cole but entering his age 27 season Ramirez is works here.
Pick 22 Bryce Harper (16). I do not understand the Harper dislike, insofar as not owning him in fantasy. In my personal rankings he is in the top ten. His floor is last season, he is in his prime, and the team around him is much improved. Draft him with confidence. He is paired with Bregman here as a great foundation to a dynasty team.
Pick 23 Ozzie Albies (24). Second base and catcher are the two positions I have punted most often in snake drafts, historically, over the past twenty years of playing. I find second base especially full of upside guys later and typically a good source of steals if nothing else, year in, year out. So I had all three of the next guys a little lower than most. Paired with Devers on this team.
Pick 24 Gleybar Torres (30). The second baseman run ramps up. Torres and Lindor form a solid middle infield, ready to compete this season.
Pick 25 Keston Hiura (33). Definitely a divisive pick in the draft room, the first major one thus far. By our rankings a minor reach, but within the realm. More than likely Hiura would not have made it back to this team; he joins Guerrero on a team built for the (near) future.
Pick 26 Bo Bichette (29). In line with what we here at the Dynasty Guru had him ranked. As I look at it, we have been within three picks most of this draft (the recent 2B run notwithstanding). This team adds Bo to the already taken Mookie Betts to provide both steals and homers.
Pick 27 Eloy Jimenez (31). This team is looking scary good for 2022; partnering Eloy with Tatis Jr. and truth be told so are the White Sox in real life. Imagine if they still had Tatis Jr. and hadn’t trade him for James Shields, on the downside of his career. Oof.
Pick 28 Shane Bieber (32). Our fourth ranked Dynasty pitcher is the fourth pitcher off the board here. Notching a theme? I do not love pitchers, or more specifically, pitching, for fantasy baseball. If I had my way, we would have no pitching, and if we did, we would draft whole teams for pitching. So I draft the Braves and Rays, for instance, and each week I can start one. MLB.com years ago used a setup like this, and I loved it. But I digress; I defer to our Dynasty Guru lists primarily for pitching, and it’s gone as we expected in this draft so far.
Pick 29 Shohei Ohtani (37). This league is hosted on Fantrax, so Ohtani is one player that swings both ways as a hitter and pitcher. A little early for the two-way phenom and not a guy I would take in the second round of a 16-team league, though he could pay huge dividends seasons down the road.
Pick 30 Jack Flaherty (34). Drafted by the team with Trout, I was prepared to take Flaherty, so had to readjust. With the knowledge that Acuna Jr. can be paired with just about anybody and since my plan is to compete this season, age is less of a worry. I am looking at top tier hitters, specifically Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rendon, Xander Bogaerts, Jose Altuve, Yoan Moncada, Javier Baez. Due to league setup, top SPs are also very valuable. Verlander, Scherzer, Castillo, Strasburg, Corbin, Giolito, Nola, Snell, Paddack will all most likely not make it back to me. Maybe one, if I’m lucky. At this point, adding two stud hitters may be too much to pass up.
Pick 31 Gavin Lux (56) The biggest reach thus far. Lux has the shine as a top three prospect coming into the season; power is his calling card, coming off a 26-home run season between Double A and Triple A in 2019, and adding two home runs in the bigs. I am not as big a fan as many are, so rest assured I would not have taken him, but this team didn’t know that. Later learned that owner is a Dodger fan as his team also drafted Bellinger with the second overall pick.
Pick 32 Anthony Rendon (19)
Pick 33 Freddie Freeman (20)
Trust the rankings! I went back and forth for a bit on the aforementioned guys, but in the end went with the highest floor production. Both dropped in the draft as you can see. Positives are are both guys are only 30-years-old, have excellent teams around them for counting stats, and furthermore declines do not typically start at 30. Note that 30 isn’t the age to fear, it’s truly 33…for some guys. For other it is well earlier and others even later. Acuna Jr. will supply the same plus steals and for a team wanting to win now the foundation is rock solid.
What do you think of the picks so far, and do you like the idea of pairing Acuna Jr. with Rendon and Freeman, or would you have gone another way (Boegarts, Baez, Altuve or Moncada)? Let me know in the comments!