New Dynasty League Draft Part IX: Slow Drafting during a Pandemic-Post Draft Tips and Tricks
This series started off back in March, when 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. Admittedly I did not make it to breaking down all sixty-five rounds but a nine-post series is not too shabby either. 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. Now it is time to look at a few post-draft moves and provide some thoughts I believed before the draft, some that were reinforced during the draft, and others that became new tools for the drafting toolbox. Take what you can use and leave the rest.
Here is the starting lineup, as currently constructed (Full Roster and Draft Results here):
C Danny Jansen
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Luis Urias
3B Anthony Rendon
SS Adalberto Mondesi
OF Ronald Acuna Jr. Jorge Soler, George Springer, Alex Verdugo
UT Miguel Sano, Teoscar Hernandez
SP Griffin Canning, Patrick Corbin, Yu Darvish, Corey Kluber, Miles Mikolas, Caleb Smith
RP Roberto Osuna, Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Kintzler, Wade Davis
P Josh James, AJ Puk, John Means, Kwang Hyun Kim
Post Draft Moves
We allowed trades during the draft, but I could not work one out. Here was one trade but it was vetoed: an interesting way to start the league. Here is the trade and what I wrote at the time:
Team A receives: Colton Welker (taken with pick 4 in round 34) + upcoming pick 13 in round 35 + 2021 Third Round Pick
Team B receives: 2021 First Round Pick + Justin Smoak + Ryan Braun
Immediately the cry was collusion and that commissioner–who is the only one who can do so–should veto. He took in opinions from managers, and by my count, it was six against and one for (not counting the two teams involved, and the rest of league did not vote). Collusion was dismissed which was good, and there was reasoning given by both parties. Team A went with veterans for their first 30 picks (which filled their MLB roster) and thus could only take Minor Leaguers to fill out their remaining 35 slots. Team A wanted to take some more pitchers and thus wanted to move the vets. Team B just happened to be the beneficiary of Team A’s situation.
Admittedly I was the one against. The trade is poor for Team A but understandable in their situation. There was an argument made that the 2021 First alone wasn’t worth it, and while that very well may be, the pick would have been toward the end of the round, as Team A should make the playoffs. So not as valuable as, say, a top-five pick. Last reason I am not against it? Both owners paid the entry fee, so they should be able to manage their team as they see fit. I do not want them managing my team, so why should I manage theirs.
Team A also learned that first-round picks are more valuable than he thought. Better to let everyone know your first-round pick is on the block, before trading it for a middling prospect. While I would have let it go through, the commissioner in this league did not. What would you have done?
My team made a few trades as well. One was trivial; Kody Hoese for Shane McClanahan. I was actually sniped for McClanahan and took Hoese later that round, and had them ranked about the same. I also have a lot more minor league hitters than pitchers while also feeling Hoese has the harder road to the majors through the stacked Dodgers hitting system. A big trade brought my team Roberto Osuna + 2021 fourth-round pick for Nico Hoerner + Spencer Turnbull + 2021 second. With the category of Saves x 2 + Holds, and K/BB elite closers are valuable and Osuna is the best one by many rankings. Nico was going to be the team’s starting second baseman, though will now be replaced by Luis Urias, which may have happened anyway. I also was able to add Danny Duffy and Colin McHugh as replacements for Turnbull.
What I learned on my Covid-19 vacation, or, tips and tricks to enjoy (and win) your dynasty league draft:
My dad taught me to end every writing piece with a section on what I took from it and that is important to do (though oddly he was not into baseball; that was my grandfather). Here goes:
On League Setup:
- Collect payment Before drafting. Our commissioner said at the outset: The draft will start after everyone pays. It took two days. I took over a team in a new dynasty league this past week that drafted earlier this season; payment was not collected before the draft, and a few owners dropped out.
- Set up a league channel. Whether on slack, GroupMe, group text, whatever, set up a way that owners can easily communicate.
- Have a league bylaws document. It is easy to create a Google Sheet and share; it also adds legitimacy to the league, especially when rule changes are proposed.
- Understand the statistics and league setup. If it is a brand-new league, ask for feedback on categories from owners. It keeps people interested if their voice is heard.
- Encourage a slow draft. This draft had an eight-hour clock to start; which was lowered to four halfway through. It took about two weeks to complete (which allowed me the time to write this but also allows time to determine the next pick without feeling rushed). If there is time before the season starts, why not take the time to enjoy the draft. I will say it made those two weeks at the beginning of the pandemic much more tolerable and it has been excellent to connect with a good group of baseball fans, all in the same boat.
Tips, Tricks, and Lists:
- Make your own rankings list. You can start with our rankings here, and there are others out there as well; some websites will combine multiple rankings. I encourage you to tweak them to make them yours.
- Make a separate list of prospects. I used one that had rankings from about a dozen different websites, and then I took the average ranking and the number of lists a prospect appeared upon to make my final prospect rankings. That also encourages attaining more knowledge of prospects I was not familiar with pre-draft. When each team needs to draft 35 prospects (that is 560 total) the longer the list, the better your team will do.
- Have a drafting plan. My plan was to not draft any guys without MLB experience until round 20; to not focus on closers and take middle relievers toward the end of the draft. Draft vets when the value presented itself (which happened almost right off the bat in round 2 & 3). This was my plan, based on the league set-up, the number of teams, and the categories. Then, watch which way the wind blows during the draft. This can be as common as starting or being cognizant of a closer run, or noting that starting pitchers are all going earlier in your rankings and adjusting in draft accordingly; the same can be said about MiLB players.
- When in doubt and picking prospects? Choose the shortstop, as they are typically the most athletic player on a team, and furthermore if they do not stick at shortstop they usually will find another spot on the diamond to play, as opposed to a first baseman, who is probably not going to pick up another position. (To reinforce that idea my team is currently rostering 13 minor league shortstops).
- Prospects go all over during drafts, and the lower the prospect is ranked the greater the discrepancy. For example, in this draft Angels prospect D’Shawn Knowles was picked in round 28, while in a FYPD I joined a couple weeks later he was taken in the 47th round (very similar league set-ups). Obviously, someone in the first league had Knowles way higher on their list than anyone did in the subsequent league. I take this as to try not to be tied to any one prospect, and if you are, zero in on the point in the draft when the rankings for prospects start to diverge greatly (by utilizing and consolidating many prospect lists).
It has been a fun ride through nine parts of writing about a first-year dynasty draft but now I am ready to get back to analysis and looking at statistics. Thank you for coming along, and I hope you have enjoyed it!