New Dynasty League Draft Part VIII: Slow Drafting during a Pandemic-End of the Draft
We are entering the home stretch of the breakdown of a new, head-to-head, 16-team, Dynasty league draft that I joined at the end of March. As of today there is still the possibility of a 2020 season, albeit shortened. Many of you out there are in leagues where decisions will be made on how to proceed; whatever is chosen the sample size of a 2020 season may not be as helpful, so hopefully this be a reference for 2021 first year dynasty drafts as well. A sliver of a silver lining is the delay to the beginning of the 2020 season has allowed more time to write this series. You can find Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here, Part VI here, and Part VII here.
This is the commentary I made during the rest of the draft and as such, it is written in present tense (with the past tense to follow in italics). To view the full draft results, click here.
Always important to know the league set-up:
Categories: Hitters: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS Pitchers: K, K/BB, ERA, WHIP, W+QS, SVx2+H
Rosters: 65 total: MLB: Starters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 4 OF, 2 UTIL, 9 SP; 10 Bench; 35 Minor League Roster
The team through round 13:
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Nico Hoerner
3B: Anthony Rendon
SS: Adalberto Mondesi
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr, George Springer, Jorge Soler, Alex Verdugo
UTIL: Miguel Sano
SP: Patrick Corbin, AJ Puk, Yu Darvish, Corey Kluber
Going into round 14, I need to fill my starting Catcher and second Utility spots, as well as add RPs and SPs. At Catcher I will usually punt for a long time, and as Danny Jansen, Sean Murphy, Jorge Alfaro, Christian Vazquez, and Carson Kelly are all still available, I continue to wait. Using our Top 500 list, here are the best available position players: Puig, Nate Lowe, Vidal Brujan, George Valera, Eduardo Escobar, Justin Turner, Luis Urias.
Brujan and Valera are too far from the majors, I have gone over reasons to pass on Puig previously and Turner I do not have faith in, so it is between Escobar or Urias. The shine on Urias has obviously faded but he is still a solid prospect, which is why the Brewers acquired him. Escobar had a career year last year, and at age 31 I do not feel like paying for it. Moving on the available pitchers: Pitchers: Carlos Carrasco, Lance Lynn, and Ian Anderson.
Carrasco is my target, as he is simply too good a value in this round to pass up. I am sure I will get sniped for him. Lynn is underrated insofar as most are going to overlook him. So I feel I can wait on him another go-round. I also need to consider a closer, although there is still a large group out there. Kimbrel is my first choice, as I lean into last season being a write off due to a late start with a team influx; his contract and talent should keep him in the closer role for seasons to come.
Quick aside: Before my pick, at pick 219, the 11th choice of the 14th round, was Noelvi Marte of the Mariners. Not the first 18-year-old selected and definitely not the last, there was definite derision in the group chat over this pick.
Marte is a fine prospect who I’ve seen ranked anywhere from 28th to 94th overall. Some really like him, I do not see him as a better prospect than 25 or so guys still available. So it is a reach, just as most of the prospects drafted thus far have been, leaving more vets for me to win with. Let people draft how they want to as your goal is to get the most value for your picks. If you are taking top 100 prospects before established veterans, you better have a strategy that shows you are getting the best value.
Back to my team, and Carrasco of course goes five picks before mine. So I switch it up, and aim for my first closer. I feel confident about going with Kimbrel. Also looking at Josh James, who was climbing up draft boards as he appeared to earn a spot in Houston’s rotation. James is quite low on our list, but that was before it looked like he could be in the starting rotation. Even if he’s not, he will still help week-to-week bringing Ks and Holds at minimum. Craig Kimbrel and Josh James are the picks for rounds 14 and 15.
Four picks from mine here in round 16 and right now my queue is: Luis Urias, Caleb Smith, Joe Musgrove, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Taylor Trammell, Shogo, Hector Neris. The idea of adding one of those two pitchers entices me as does adding one of the prospects, either of whom is close to the majors. I stick with my queue and take Luis Urias and Caleb Smith in rounds 16 and 17.
Musgrove gets sniped four spots before mine in round 18, so while Hayes was still on the board, I pass on him for another pitcher, Griffin Canning, and Willy Adames, who I have had my eyes on for a while. A great defensive shortstop with power and while the other guys in Tampa may be interchangeable, he is their every day starting shortstop.
As the Draft enters Round 20, the time between picks is going up slightly, but not like it will when we hit round 40. Five picks from my next two at the turn, it may be time for me to jump into the prospect pool. Options are Ke’Bryan Hayes, Heliot Ramos, Ronny Maurcio, Brandon Marsh, Xavier Edwards, Josh Jung, Dalton Varsho, and George Kirby among others. There are still too many. Another reason I will pass on prospects this round is that I will have to draft 35, and it is going to get deep. I already drafted AJ Puk and Nico Hoerner, who saw time in the bigs last season and should begin with the big club, but still maintain rookie status and so I can keep them in the minors.
If I am taking prospects now, I want guys that are closer: Marsh, Hayes and Kirby, all appeal to me much more than the teenagers. On the third-hand, youth is king, usually, so drafting them gives me good trade chips to go after those teams that split their rosters 50/50 if they start the season poorly, they may shift to prospecting.
Closers are becoming scarce, and is it time to grab a second? The remaining options are Colome, Bradley, Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon, and Joe Jimenez. Bradley is good enough here, as is Colome. Melancon will sit around for a while most likely, though Will Smith was taken with pick 315 (or 11 in Round 20). After going through the list there are a great many starting pitchers available, and while I debated even longer about the necessity of the remaining closers, none were worth the cost now. Shogo and Hayes I have been eyeing for too long. Shogo batting leadoff will work for the next couple of seasons and Hayes should be up soon, ready to replace Rendon when the time comes, or a trade chip for later. So Ke’Bryan Hayes and Shogo Akiyama it is.
In round 22 I went with the Cardinals Korean import Kwang Hyun Kim, who should slot into a starter’s role when the season resumes, followed by Ronny Mauricio in round 23. One of the prospects that can make a big jump in the rankings to top five due to size and tools, he either is a trade piece or is the foundation for the next contending window. Either way the value was too good as the draft is now 1/3 over. In round 24 the pick was Anthony Santander, followed by another upside shortstop, Geraldo Perdomo in 25, who I took for many of the same reasons as the Mauricio pick.
Here in round 26/27, The major prospecting has gotten underway. My prospect list was nearing the end of the consensus top 100 list, with Aaron Bracho, Alex Manoah, Jordyn Adams, Bobby Dalbec, and Seth Beer the best available. More than likely at best one of those will make it back. Recently choosing Mauricio and Perdomo were both about prospect upside so a choice like Bracho, Adams or Manoah would be suitable. Dalbec and Beer should/will be up sooner, which is why, of this group, Dalbec is where I am leaning. However, as an older prospect, he may make it back to me.
We also need to look at the big league pitchers: Spencer Turnbull, Dakota Hudson, John Means, Miles Mikolas. Of those, Means should make it back, Hudson is a poor choice in a league using K/BB, and Turnbull I like but not enough to take here; Mikolas was injured and thought to be out until late April, at this point he should be considered healed. Although it appears to be a recurring injury, the value is good enough. Lastly, Teoscar Hernandez is still out there and I cannot understand why, he will get to 25+ home runs and add counting stats hitting in a good Jays lineup. So while I have six outfielders as of now, adding a seventh is going to happen. Miles Mikolas and Teoscar Hernandez are the picks and while the rest of the league drafts young guys, I will hold out that one of the aforementioned makes it back to me. We shall see.
John Means and Spencer Turnbull made it back in rounds 28 and 29; for catcher, I was able to snag Danny Jansen in round 38, and that completed the starting lineup. As this has gone on far too long, you can review the other picks, and my roster as of this post date, here. Come back next week for the post-draft moves, and things learned that you can use in your future dynasty drafts!