New Dynasty League Draft Part III: Slow Drafting during a Pandemic-Rounds 3 and 4
Hope everyone is being safe and staying healthy out there. I joined a new Dynasty league in late March with 16 teams, and 65 roster spots (30 majors, 35 minors) and decided to write about it in real-time. So you will be reading some of my decisions/conundrums/snipes that were happening during the draft. Find Part I here and Part II here. Since I want to cover two rounds this post, let us jump right in!
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
Two notes: In parentheses is the ranking from our March Top 500 Dynasty list. If I do not mention the team in question’s prior picks, they are following in italics.
Pick 34 Austin Meadows (39) Fits nicely with Bellinger and Lux. Meadows should be patrolling the outfield in Pittsburgh; the trade that sent him and Glasnow to Tampa for Archer is possibly more painful than the one back in 2003 that sent Aramis Ramirez and a still-usable Kenny Lofton to the Cubs for a bunch of nothing. If Meadows can have a career near Ramirez it will be.
Pick 35 J.D. Martinez (42) Trout and Martinez are a top pairing in the OF along with a frontline starter in Jack Flaherty. A team ready to compete in 2020.
Pick 36 Corey Seager (76) The biggest reach compared to our rankings here at The Dynasty Guru. There are many other SS better than Seager available at this point: Baez, Bogaerts, Mondesi, Correa, Machado would all have been better choices. Already drafted: Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani.
Pick 37 Aaron Judge (28) Much bigger fan of Judge in real life than fantasy. Though the extended layoff means he should have more than enough time to heal from a cracked rib he suffered in 2019. Hopefully. On this team, he complements Yelich and Bieber well enough to compete year one.
Pick 38 Yoan Moncada (35) A wee bit surprised he did not go earlier. Shown continual improvement every season and has the prospect pedigree. He was Wander before Wander. Joins Tatis Jr and Eloy on this upside team.
Pick 39 Jo Adell (40) While top prospects in Dynasty leagues usually go higher than their rank guys though Adell goes about where we thought he would. He does not fit with a win-now team as much, though he is close. Already drafted: Mookie Betts, Bo Bichette.
Pick 40 Luis Robert (45) I went back and forth on how I felt about this pick, and how it fits this team. Definitely in line with our Dynasty Rank, however, in my own rankings, Robert is about 20 spots lower. Only 113 games above Single A+ ball, all in 2019, with some out of this world stats in 47 games at Triple-A that saw him jump up prospect lists into the top five. It is possible he is ready but also be prepared if he needs some more time at Triple-A. Robert, Vladito, and Hiura make up a team playing for 2022.
Pick 41 Chris Paddack (48) There is a bit of derision on Paddack across fantasyland and I can see both sides. On the good side, he is already in the majors pitching in one of the best pitcher’s parks on a team with major upside; the down is that he only has two great pitches (for now), had an unsustainable .243 BABIP, and threw just 140 innings in 2019. The fun is that he dresses like a hoss boss. In this league, he goes before Clevinger, Luis Castillo, Snell, Strasburg, Scherzer, and others as you will see as you read on. Already drafted: Francisco Lindor, Gleybar Torres.
Pick 42 Xander Bogaerts (23) There was a time when Bogaerts was overrated and now it feels he is underrated, as this is the best value selection thus far. Great floor on a good team for years to come. Already drafted: Rafael Devers, Ozzie Albies.
Pick 43 Ketel Marte (71) This is not as big of a reach compared to Seager, as Ketel was underrated in our rankings compared to my own. Coming off his best season, only 26-years-old, many happy returns await his owners. Already drafted: Alex Bregman, Bryce Harper.
Pick 44 Javier Baez (26) Great value here as most of the Baez disdain comes from the fact that his reputation is one of a hacker. Does not matter to me in the slightest, as he is an elite hitter, regardless of his “hacking.” Should continue to be a top hitter for the next few seasons until the bat speed inevitably slows down, as age eventually catches up to us all. Already drafted: Gerrit Cole, Jose Ramirez.
Pick 45 Victor Robles (129) While still young at 23, drafting him here assumes he has already made it. Robles is not there yet, but he is close; are the 17 home runs he hit last year most likely inflated due to the juiced ball? Yes. Are the 28 steals a floor for him going forward. Also Yes. That .255 average will not do, but if he can improve it (which is very possible as his K% in the majors was much higher than his minors) this pick may look much better by next season. Already drafted: Wander Franco, Yordan Alvarez.
Pick 46 Max Scherzer (59) Really fell off a cliff in terms of where he gets drafted, though guys over 35 usually do. Dollars to donuts Max has a few more SP2 seasons left in him. This team wants to win now. Already drafted: Pete Alonso, Trea Turner.
Pick 47 Matt Olson (54) Even though I already have Freddie Freeman, I would have taken Olson too, that is how big a fan I am. My personal number three first baseman in OPS leagues; his power has been there since the beginning and it never wavered at any of his minor league stops. Already drafted: Trevor Story, Walker Buehler.
Pick 48 Mike Clevinger (44) Injury worries likely contributed to his being taken about where we have him ranked methinks. He should be healthy if and when the season starts if you listen to him. A top starter to build a dynasty staff around though I really, really do not like taking pitchers with two of one’s top three Dynasty picks. Already drafted: Jacob deGrom, Nolan Arenado.
Pick 49 Jose Altuve (41) Dropped a bit due to the cheating most likely. If there is value the Astros are worth taking this year. Already drafted: Jacob deGrom, Nolan Arenado, Mike Clevinger.
Pick 50 Manny Machado (52) Big fan of guys who have the talent and are coming off subpar seasons. Machado is still only 27-years-old, entering his prime, with a lineup that continues to improve around him. Look for big things in 2020 and beyond, though Kris Bryant was the better choice on a team that already had Story. Already drafted: Trevor Story, Walker Buehle, Matt Olson.
Pick 50 Luis Castillo (63) Some people think he is an ace, others in that second tier, as that is where you find him ranked on our site. I lean toward ace, so see good value here. Started a pitcher run as nine out of the next ten picks were pitchers. Halfway through the run I officially became worried about getting a top one. Already drafted: Pete Alonso, Trea Turner, Max Scherzer.
Pick 51 Mike Soroka (69) Another reach pick especially with better SPs on the board, as you will very immediately see. Already drafted: Wander Franco, Yordan Alvarez, Victor Robles.
Pick 52 MacKenzie Gore (79) Best minor league SP is more valuable as a trade chip in the near term, at least that is why I hope this team drafted him, as their previous picks point to win-now mode. Already drafted: Gerrit Cole, Jose Ramirez, Javier Baez.
Pick 53 Lucas Giolito (80) Was hoping for Giolito as my ace as I totally buy into his improvement/living up to his potential. Now I am targeting Mondesi and one of Snell, Nola, Strasburg, or Corbin as my top SP at the turn. Already drafted: Bregman, Harper, Ketel Marte.
Pick 54 Blake Snell (43) Dropped a bit due to injury concerns and one great season coming before an injury-plagued, ineffective one. His elbow was bothering him in early spring but by the time baseball was suspended he was confident in starting the season without issue. An injury risk in any case, not as drastic as with his teammate Glasnow, who was picked immediately after. Already drafted: Rafael Devers, Ozzie Albies, Xander Bogaerts.
Pick 56 Tyler Glasnow (74). Talent-wise just as good as any of the pitchers taken in this round but he just cannot seem to stay healthy. The SP run continues as I sweat it out, eight picks away. Unlike this team, not every team needs another SP before the end of the fourth round, right? Already drafted: Francisco Lindor, Gleybar Torres, Chris Paddack.
Pick 57 Jesus Luzardo (103). Luzardo has #1 starter potential, as soon as this year and he is going to a team playing for the future, so fits like a glove. This team does not need closers or over age-thirty vets. We will see how it plays out. Already drafted: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Keston Hiura, Luis Robert.
Pick 58 Stephen Strasburg (46) Strasburg just had to make a few more picks and I would have run to draft him and furthermore would have drafted him before any of the previous seven starters taken. Name fatigue, injury reputation, and age (he’s only 31) combined to have him go later in this draft. Not sure what direction this team is heading in, and that is not good. Already drafted: Mookie Betts, Bo Bichette, Jo Adell.
Pick 59 Kris Bryant (36) For him to drop so far is a testament to overhype as his career year coincided with winning the MVP and the Cubs winning the World Series which vaulted him to national stardom. Bryant is still a quality player who should have gone sooner but I am sure the owner that drafted him will not complain. Already drafted: Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada.
Pick 60 Justin Verlander (66) Not surprised he went so late as he’s 37 years old (not that 37 is old for this world mind you). The team that drafted him already had Bieber, so this pick did not make a whole lot of sense. Already drafted: Christian Yelich, Shane Bieber, Aaron Judge.
Pick 61 Aaron Nola (61) Look at that Nola was drafted exactly as we ranked him. Though for my team, another SP gone. I had to message the board “Just leave me one top SP, ok?” Already drafted: Juan Soto, Ohtani, Corey Seager.
Pick 62 Joey Gallo (60) Love me some Crazy Joe, especially in a league that uses OPS. Surprised he did not go sooner but anytime a guy is injured the prior season it affects his value the next, regardless of the injury. Gallo was injured twice, an oblique injury in June, and then a hamate hand injury in late July. Should be healthy when play resumes, is only 26, and had a .986 OPS last season. Draft with confidence. Already drafted: Mike Trout, Jack Flaherty, JD Martinez.
Pick 63 Brandon Woodruff (90) Taken almost 30 picks higher than we have him ranked, Woodruff is gaining helium across fantasyland. While almost all of the SPs I was considering with my fourth-round pick are gone only a few are left and I have a choice to make. Already drafted: Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux, Austin Meadows.
Pick 64 Adalberto Mondesi (58) In my personal rankings I have Mondesi much higher, so I was ecstatic to get him with this pick. Guys that can win the steals category weekly by themselves are a rare and to be treasured, right now we have Turner, Mondesi, Mallex (if he can actually get on base enough), and maybe Villar (just because he should have a ton of opportunities). Already drafted: Ronald Acuna, Anthony Rendon, Freddie Freeman.
Pick 65 starts round five. Who should I choose? There are some current or future ace pitchers (Gallen, Corbin, Berrios, Kershaw, Bauer) and a bunch of stud hitters left (Chapman, Bell, Rizzo, Muncy, Stanton, Correa, Suarez, Springer, Conforto, Soler). My team so far: Acuna, Freeman, Rendon, Mondesi. Which way do you go?