New Dynasty League Draft Part VI: Slow Drafting during a Pandemic-Rounds 8 and 9
Hello out there in Dynasty fantasy baseball land! 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, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here and Part V here.
Going forward, I’m not going to address every pick per team, but once per post as team building becomes clearer every two picks (we will also see our rankings here at The Dynasty Guru deviate more from the overall pick number) as teams focus on filling spots. Read on to see how rounds eight and nine improved our teams, some draft position fun.
But first, 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
Few notes: In parentheses is the ranking from our March Top 500 Dynasty list. Round 8 is first, Round 9 choice second. The team drafting team’s prior picks are in italics.
My team picks at the end of this round, so I have some time to wait and hope as I target a hitter and pitcher at the turn. There will also be a couple of brief interludes I wrote during the live draft. Here’s my team so far: Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rendon, Adalberto Mondesi, Patrick Corbin, George Springer, Jorge Soler.
The First pick of the Eight round was CJ Abrams (121), and was further detailed in Part V. Abrams has some big-time upside but fits this team as a valuable trade piece. Already drafted: Jacob deGrom, Nolan Arenado, Mike Clevinger, Jose Altuve, Tim Anderson, Jose Berrios, Royce Lewis.
Pick 114 Marcell Ozuna (109), Pick 143 Lance McCullers Jr. (271) This team is going to hit home runs and RBI by the bunches. McCullers was taken much earlier than we have him ranked; at this point, he isn’t a top ten round pick in a yearly league, so the relative value of Ozuna is wiped out by the over draft of McCullers. So it goes. Already drafted: Trevor Story, Walker Buehler, Matt Olson, Manny Machado, Max Muncy, Ramon Laureano, Franmil Reyes.
Pick 115 Aroldis Chapman (157), Pick 142 Liam Hendriks (184) Did not need both closers as neither offers the youth of Osuna (who was picked last round), though with saves being worth double what holds are top closers have a bit more value. Already drafted: Pete Alonso, Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Luis Castillo, JT Realmuto, Charlie Blackmon, Whit Merrifield.
Pick 116 Adley Rutschman (100), Pick 141 Luis Severino (173) Solid selections, though I am down on catching prospects (as a lot of you out there are) while Severino is young enough to regain his former status. Good fits for this team. Already drafted: Wander Franco, Yordan Alvarez, Victor Robles, Mike Soroka, Julio Rodriguez, Julio Urias, Cavan Biggio.
Pick 117 Jonathan Villar (72), Pick 140 Kristian Robinson (104) Both great values going off our top 500 list; now I see this team is going vet – prospect – vet – prospect in their drafting strategy. We shall see if it pays off. Already drafted: Gerrit Cole, Jose Ramirez, Javier Baez, MacKenzie Gore, Nate Pearson, Andrew Vaughn, Casey Mize.
Pick 118 Max Kelper (84), Pick 139 Spencer Howard (195) Cannot figure out why Kepler drops so much except that people do not believe he can repeat last season. The 36 home runs in 134 games were easily a career-high and that may not be repeated, but high 20s and 90 RBI and 90 Runs works in that lineup. With Whitley, Manning, May, and Puk all going in this round before him this team drafted its top pitching prospect in the Phillies’ Howard. Already drafted: Alex Bregman, Bryce Harper, Ketel Marte, Lucas Giolito, Anthony Rizzo, Frankie Montas, Nicholas Castellanos.
Pick 119 Marco Luciano (102), Pick 138 Dinelson Lamet (250) This team was looking like a monster but quickly slipping with these picks. Luciano is trade bait as he is not close to the bigs while Limet was a big reach by our (and my) rankings. Already drafted: Rafael Devers, Ozzie Albies, Xander Bogaerts, Dylan Carlson, Gary Sanchez, Oscar Mercado.
Pick 120 Mike Moustakas (153), Pick 137 Mitch Keller (163) Was hoping Keller would drop based on his horrendous 2019 season and Moose would drop based on his age and new team but alas no. This team probably could have had two better players and still taken these guys in the two rounds following. Already drafted: Francisco Lindor, Gleybar Torres, Chris Paddack, Tyler Glasnow, Carlos Correa, Jasson Dominguez.
Pick 121 Bobby Witt Jr. (155), Pick 136 Joey Bart (225) At a loss at how these two young guys fit with this team. If everyone is taking prospects to trade, who is going to trade for them? Already drafted: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Luis Robert, Keston Hiura, Jesus Luzardo, Jeff McNeil, Rhys Hoskins, Kirby Yates.
Pick 122 Nick Madrigal (133), Pick 135 Zack Wheeler (146) By going off our rankings their positive and negative nets to zero, so that is math. Wheeler is a fine #3 starter but pitching overkill. Madrigal and Adell both could be up if the 2020 season gets underway, and if not are very close. Already drafted: Mookie Betts, Bo Bichette, Jo Adell, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Chapman, Max Fried, Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.
Brief interlude #1: Next two picks are five away. Still going with best available, as you can see many others are trying to grab their top prospect (s) at this point in the draft. Goldschmidt, Darvish, Abreu, Eduardo Rodriguez, Miguel Sano, Zack Grienke are all guys I am considering at this point. We will see how many get taken before my pick. Have to say though, the prospect itch is calling me. Manning, Puk, or Whitley?
Pick 123 Nick Senzel (98), Pick 134 Forrest Whitley (126) Great value on Senzel, as a consensus top ten prospect for 2017-2019, he finally got the call to the bigs in 2019, and did…ok. Some prospect fatigue I assume and now there are too many DJs and not enough mics in the Reds outfield added to him sinking. Also I like Whitley a lot as he was in the mix for my pick coming up. Team 2022 continues collecting. Already drafted: Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Kris Bryant, Kyle Tucker, Jarred Kelenic, Michael Kopech.
Pick 124 Marcus Semien (115), Pick 133 Paul Goldschmidt (96) Finishing third in the American League MVP race and leading the league with 747 plate appearances, Semien put those to full use, with a .285 Batting average and 33 home runs. At age 28, he is not exactly on the downside of his career. But he goes about where we thought. Shortstop is mighty deep this year, yessir. Goldschmidt is entering his age-32 season and his second in St. Louis. Maybe the toasted ravioli and Provel cheese [Ew- Ed.] finally agrees with him and this team scores a value. Both picks fill some lineup holes on this veteran squad. Already drafted: Christian Yelich, Shane Bieber, Aaron Judge, Justin Verlander, Starling Marte, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew Benintendi.
Pick 125 Eduardo Rodriguez (136), Pick 132 Tommy Edman (144) Both guys are drafted right about where we ranked them back in March and really, since there is no baseball, how much has changed, except the injured should be healthy, but in Dynasty rankings, those are figured in. Already drafted: Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Corey Seager, Aaron Nola, Josh Hader, Eugenio Suarez, Giancarlo Stanton.
Brief Interlude #2: One of my targets gone, drat! Still enough left for them to make it to me though, phew. I am feeling good taking Darvish as a late-career resurgence is in the works. Puk also is under consideration. In a short season both should be good and we know Puk is younger and pitches in a better park. Goldschmidt, Abreu, and Sano are the top three by my rankings left but further research has me going with Sano, if available.
Pick 126 Sixto Sanchez (221), Pick 131 Matt Manning (114) Adding two young and upcoming starters that could be up sooner rather than later. Should have picked one or the other and taken another good hitter, like a first baseman perhaps. Already drafted: Mike Trout, Jack Flaherty, JD Martinez, Joey Gallo, DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Bauer, Roberto Osuna.
Pick 127 Carter Kieboom (101), Pick 130 Dustin May (135) Surprised he lasted so long, and goes to show how much a small, bad, sample can influence drafters. No matter how many times we talk about how subpar Trout was in his first call-up, everybody forgets that very few guys come storming out the gate in their first taste of the big leagues. Same feeling on Guerrero, Senzel, Keller, etc. May is another one of the group of young stud arms. I need to get me one. These picks inject some more youthful spirit into this team, which is shaping up nicely to compete in the near future. Already drafted: Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux, Austin Meadows, Brandon Woodruff, Zac Gallen, Michael Conforto, Eddie Rosario.
Now it’s my picks!
Pick 128 Miguel Sano (125), Pick 129 AJ Puk (112) This is the last year for Sano’s third base eligibility as he moves across the diamond to accommodate Josh Donaldson. It is easy to see 100+ RBI and 30+ home runs in this improved Twins lineup. At age 27 he could naturally replace Freddie Freeman when the time comes to move Freeman. Choosing Puk over Darvish will not determine whether I win or lose; we here at the Dynasty Guru have Puk at 112 and Darvish at 140 so Puk is the clear choice, ceteris paribus. But all things are not equal as I am drafting a Dynasty League team looking to win the league immediately. The uncertainty of the beginning of the 2020 season makes me feel that in this case, I can go youth (Puk is 25, so not as young as many of the other stud pitching prospects). Already drafted: Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rendon, Adalberto Mondesi, Patrick Corbin, George Springer, Jorge Soler.
Favorite Draft Slot:
It was lucky to get to pick first overall, but in general, I prefer to pick at the turn or ideally, in the few picks around it. In Dynasties starting this year and next the top five or six guys are all great to build around and getting the higher pick in the second round is a bonus. In this draft, 30 players are drafted before I pick again, so having to think about who will be available in 30 picks gets tougher and tougher the farther we go, and the further rankings diverge from team needs when drafting. Picking at the turn, combined with adding proven 30-year-old vets in rounds two and three in Freeman and Rendon, all contributed to going after the best vets to win this upcoming season.
The hardest part of picking at the turn is the inevitable closer runs. There are only so many closers, but a couple tiers can get emptied quickly in between my upcoming picks. There is less of a worry of that in this league as holds are counted as well (at half the rate of saves, but still). That is why I recommend making your lists, making tiers of your players by position, and when you see positions beginning to thin out in the higher tiers, then it is time to move. I only saw three veteran first baseman I would want on my team in Sano, Goldschmidt, and Abreu and that scarcity led me to draft Sano. Besides the top picks, does anyone out there like picking at the end rather than the middle, or any other spot when snake drafting? Let us know in the comments!