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Looking Back: A two year review of a Covid Dynasty Draft: Part II

Two seasons ago, when Covid-19 sent many of us to work-from-home, home from school, unemployment, and worse, I joined a 16-team Dynasty League start-up, and detailed it in a Nine-Part (Dang, I can’t believe I wrote that much back then) series. The league is still up and going strong, and one of the members is now a writer on the Dynasty Guru with me, Andrew Jurewicz, and both of us will give our takes on the draft results, two years on.

Dynasty teams are made in the first ten rounds; Andrew and I reviewed the first five rounds in Part I, and now we will look at rounds six through ten. These exercises are fun to write, as well as can help when assessing current dynasty drafts as well; there are always lessons to be learned. This league is 6×6, with categories for Hitters: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS and Pitchers: K, K/BB, ERA, WHIP, W+QS, SVx2+H; Rosters: Starters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 4 OF, 2 UTIL, 9 SP; 10 Bench. 65 total players. Let us jump right in for the round six results:

Round 6 (original post found here):

  1. Jose Berrios
  2. Ramon Laureano
  3. Charlie Blackmon
  4. Julio Urias
  5. Andrew Vaughn
  6. Frankie Montas
  7. Gary Sanchez
  8. Carlos Correa
  9. Rhys Hoskins
  10. Max Fried
  11. Jarred Kelenic
  12. Clayton Kershaw
  13. Eugenio Suarez
  14. Trevor Bauer (Andrew)
  15. Michael Conforto
  16. George Springer (Phil)

Phil’s take:

Best Value: Carlos Correa

Worst Pick: Charlie Blackmon

Correa and Springer both suffered from the fallout of the Astros trash-can cheating scandal and dropped well below our rankings back then (Corrrea was 38th and Springer was 47th). I was hoping for them both with my pick being the last of the round and was rewarded with Springer. He still will produce in the stacked Blue Jays lineup for the next couple of seasons, though injuries are an issue with him.

There is more competition for worst pick in the round. Blackmon had 32 home runs with 198 Runs + RBI in 2019, so was a fine value here; however, 2020 and 2021 have been terrible, and he should end his tour in Colorado after the 2022 season. If the Rockies were smart, he would be a part-time player, but expect him to get a full season of at-bats. Eugenio Suarez also really fell off but his 31 home runs in 2021 still helped those playing in head-to-head leagues, and he will be a regular for the Reds again in 2022. Gary Sanchez also has not met the hype of his early career; though 20 home runs and 110ish Runs+ RBI plays at catcher in all but the shallowest of leagues.

One last point here: the pitchers taken in this round show that the opportunity to add good starting pitching is there later; better to go higher floor hitters in the first few rounds at least (I will champion this idea until I retire from fantasy baseball).

Andrew’s take:

Best Value: Carlos Correa

Worst Pick(s): Charlie Blackmon and Gary Sanchez

A quick glace at the names that went in this round and Correa easily stands out as my pick for best value. Overall, he’s rebounded nicely from the scandal and at 27 is primed to be a major contributor to the team that signs him and those who own in fantasy baseball. Phil was spot on with his assessment of my pick two years ago as when I selected Bauer it was time for me to find a second starting pitcher. The results were great while Bauer had it going and would be in the best value conversation if he wasn’t in the situation he finds himself in today. I struggled labeling Charlie Blackmon as a worst pick; his 2020 returned a ton of value and his 2021 was serviceable though I understand how the age vs. pick 83rd overall in a start up dynasty can put a hamper on things. I also think it’s pretty fair to say investing a sixth round pick in Sanchez at the catcher position wouldn’t live up to expectations.

Round 7 (original post found here):

  1. Jorge Soler (Phil)
  2. Eddie Rosario
  3. Roberto Osuna (Andrew)
  4. Giancarlo Stanton
  5. Andrew Benintendi
  6. Michael Kopech
  7. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  8. Kirby Yates
  9. Jasson Dominguez
  10. Oscar Mercado
  11. Nick Castellanos
  12. Casey Mize
  13. Cavan Biggio
  14. Whit Merrifield
  15. Franmil Reyes
  16. Royce Lewis

Phil’s take:

Best Value: Whit Merrifield

Worst Pick: Oscar Mercado

I was so in on Jorge Soler, and he was the 75th overall Dynasty value at the time based on our rankings here at The Dynasty Guru, but Soler had a career year in 2019 and that looks to be the peak of his injury-filled career. A bounce back is possible as he is only 29, which is why I do not give myself the worst pick in the round (and Oscar Mercado has been downright awful). Castellanos and Merrifield have been great for their fantasy managers for two seasons now; age may soon catch up with Merrifield but I think he has one more good season at least. Castellanos should continue to produce big numbers for the next few. Benintendi had a nice 2021 and regained some fantasy value; it was at its nadir in 2020 and still he was taken in the first seven rounds.

Prospecting has become a bit tougher, especially in regards to the young pitchers. Mize and Kopech still have time to be great; but now it has been two seasons waiting in vain and the same can be said about Lewis and Dominguez. Osuna has not returned to the major leagues after a domestic violence incident limited his 2020 to four games; I actually traded Andrew for him before the season opened; sending Nico Hoerner, Spencer Turnbull and a 2nd round pick for Osuna and a 4th round pick; it has not worked out well for either, but I was definitely on the losing end. You win some, you lose some (when trading), but you live, you live to fight another day.

Andrew’s take:

Best Value: Franmil Reyes

Worst Pick(s): Roberto Osuna and Kirby Yates

Osuna and Yates have thrown a combined 156 pitches since the start of 2020. Yikes! While Mercado has struggled I cannot overlook two relief pitchers taken in the seventh round with almost absolutely no return. While the trade with Phil hasn’t exactly produced the most encouraging results to date Hoerner is still 24 years old and is the lead candidate for the Cubbies starting shortstop job so perhaps he can turn in a quality season soon. Bonus points for Turnbull tossing a no hitter against the Mariners!

I love the Reyes pick here for best value. He’s finally shined in his role with Cleveland having a productive 2021 season knocking in 30 home runs over 115 games posting barrel% and Max EV in the top 6%. Repeatable 30 home run power plus a ceiling for more. Though primarily a designated hitter, he would also qualify for an outfield spot so you’re not stuck using as a utility hitter only (depending on position eligibility for your league).

Round 8 (original post found here):

  1. CJ Abrams
  2. Marcell Ozuna
  3. Aroldis Chapman
  4. Adley Rutschman
  5. Jonathan Villar
  6. Max Kepler
  7. Marco Luciano
  8. Mike Moustakas
  9. Bobby Witt Jr.
  10. Nick Madrigal
  11. Nick Senzel
  12. Marcus Semien
  13. Eduardo Rodriguez
  14. Sixto Sanchez (Andrew)
  15. Carter Kieboom
  16. Miguel Sano (Phil)

Phil’s take:

Best Value: Marcus Semien

Worst Pick: Nick Senzel

This round really shows how rough looking back, even two year later, can change so much. Semien had a big 2019, but no one believed (including us here, as he was ranked 115th overall). Three current top five prospects were taken in this round in Witt Jr., Rutschman, and Luciano; none have paid off yet, but they should soon. Though Abrams was taken before all three, and while a nasty injury has stalled his career, his value is definitely down, the same with Sixto. The high-highs and low-lows of prospecting on full display.

I drafted Sano thinking he would be a solid backup at first and third base and he proved me right; providing home runs, runs and RBI but a terrible batting average. He may not be a starter in Minnesota much longer, but he still is only 28. Moustakas was right there with Senzel for worst pick; Senzel has been hurt and the Reds have apparently given up on him. Moustakas has been ineffective and hurt. Kieboom has youth on his side and a starting job; but another subpar season and he may be relegated to bench duty.

Andrew’s take:

Best Value: Marcus Semien

Worst Pick(s): Nick Senzel and Mike Moustakas

At this point in the draft my team is comprised of establish veterans so I felt that it was time to use a couple picks on prospect talent. The target was Rutschman and then Witt Jr who both went earlier before me in the round. I’m aware many fade Rutschman simply because he’s a catcher though I think its a different situation with him. The Orioles got him in for 28 starts at first base between AA/AAA during the 2021 season signaling that they want to limit the wear while keeping his premium bat in the everyday lineup. You can count on eligibility at first base sooner rather than later. Witt Jr. doesn’t need much further of an explanation as his stock is even higher now! Sanchez was the pick as he has the making of a front line ace and I really like Marlins pitching prospects overall. If you’re offered a buy low opportunity for Sanchez coming off shoulder surgery its something that you might want to look at considering he’s only 23.

Best value goes to Semien. Many didn’t believe; he bet on himself and it paid off big time. Reds players are going to share my worst pick as both Senzel and Moustakas are fading fast with Keiboom right at their heels.

Round 9 (original post found here):

  1. AJ Puk (Phil)
  2. Dustin May
  3. Matt Manning (Andrew)
  4. Tommy Edman
  5. Paul Goldschmidt
  6. Forrest Whitley
  7. Zack Wheeler
  8. Joey Bart
  9. Mitch Keller
  10. Dinelson Lamet
  11. Spencer Howard
  12. Kristian Robinson
  13. Luis Severino
  14. Liam Hendriks
  15. Lance McCullers Jr.
  16. Jose Abreu

Phil’s take:

Best Value: Paul Goldschmidt and Jose Abreu

Worst Pick: Tie: all the Pitching Prospects

Both veteran first basemen were great picks in this round; providing big boosts to their teams’ offenses and cornerstones for the 2020-2022 seasons, at minimum. Hard to argue with value like that. Hendriks and Wheeler also have been great, showing that veteran pitching is still available, and Severino and McCullers Jr. have only been slowed by injuries, not ineffectiveness.

Ugh, AJ Puk. I got caught up in wanting a high upside young pitcher, and had Puk pegged as the best of the remaining. But he was a bad choice, however Manning, Whitley, May, Keller, and Howard continue to prove the point that taking young starters is a fool’s errand, and better left to later rounds, where the risk is much more minimal. How much better would I have felt taking Wheeler, McCullers or Hendriks? A lot, I tell you. Luckily for me, I pulled off a trade to get Mr. Wheeler in September of 2020, sending Puk, and prospects Geraldo Perdomo and Ronaldo Hernandez for him, in one of my more successful trades. The trade worked because I was going for a playoff win the manager of the other team was playing for next year. If in contention, these kinds of moves can backfire, but are the risks needed to try and win that championship.

Andrew’s take:

Best Value: Paul Goldschmidt

Worst Pick: Mitch Keller

It is almost splitting hairs trying to choose who is the better value pick between Abreu and Goldschmidt, however, I’m going to side with Goldy on this one even though they are similar in age. While still a productive bat, I get the sense that Abreu is approaching a decline over the next few years (or happens to become Nelson Cruz 2.0) while Goldschmidt being the better athlete will hold higher value over the same period of time. Goldschmidt actually stole twelve bases in 2021 without getting thrown out which is a nice bonus on top of 31 home runs.

Looking to double down on prospects I went with Matt Manning this round. Out of all the pitching prospects taken in this round I believe that he and May have held their value the best. Manning is the youngest of the group turning 24 before the start of the 2022 season. I liked that he went five plus inning for eleven of eighteen starts in 2021 which I think is extremely valuable development for young pitcher to find a way to get batters out. May was very good from what we saw before getting shut down and a good bet to return form at 24. Keller really doesn’t have it figured out in Pittsburgh; by choosing him I am also campaigning to get him outta there so he can have a successful career somewhere else…it’s the Pittsburgh way!

Round 10 (original post found here):

  1. Brad Hand
  2. James Paxton
  3. Taylor Rogers
  4. Willie Calhoun
  5. Kyle Schwarber
  6. Amed Rosario
  7. Sonny Gray
  8. Willson Contreras
  9. Jorge Polanco
  10. JD Davis
  11. Noah Syndergaard
  12. Zack Greinke
  13. Robby Ray
  14. Josh Donaldson (Andrew)
  15. Will Smith
  16. Yu Darvish (Phil)

Phil’s take:

Best Value: Will Smith

Worst Pick: Willie Calhoun

The best pick after 2020 would have been Darvish, after 2021 would be Ray. Since Smith is now a top three catcher in fantasyland, he splits the difference and is the best future value. Smith was taken by our Dodgers fan, who took Bellinger with the second overall pick; if you are going to draft as a homer, best to pick one of the top teams’ year-in, year-out with a killer farm system (though later this backfired on him, when post draft I moved prospect Kody Hoese for Shane McClanahan, both taken in round 30).

I debated between Calhoun and Davis for worst pick. Davis had a big 2019 in his age-26 season, then a subpar 2020 and an injury-marred 2021, and not being a good defender limits his future upside, but at least he has had one good season. We are still waiting on Calhoun to have his, and with the multitude of available options in the Rangers outfield, he will have less opportunity as he is a poor defender as well.

Andrew’s take:

Best Value: Will Smith

Worst Pick: Willie Calhoun

It’s gotta be Smith here for best value with a great outlook for the future. I also like the return on investment Darvish has brought Phil over the past two seasons as he was looking to compete immediately. Calhoun’s window is closing fast in Texas he needs to make the most of whatever opportunity he can get as soon as possible. As for my Donaldson pick, I thought it was time to get back to getting some established vets and needed an infielder so he was an obvious choice. During the 2021 season there was an opportunity to move Donaldson and have less injury risk; Coby Mayo was the return who has since been rising as a prospect for the Orioles.

We will be back next week to wrap this series up in a nice three-part bow just in time for Christmas; we will go over our favorite picks the remaining rounds, as well as provide our best advice for Dynasty drafting. See you then!

The Author

Phil Barrington

Phil Barrington

Fantasy player since 1999, specializing in OPS leagues. Accountant by day, fantasy writer by night. Spreadsheets are life. Currently living in Spain, follow my travels at https://waypastcool.org/times-in-spain-2021/

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