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MLB Bonus Baby League Draft – Halfway Point

It’s the halfway point of the MLB Bonus Baby Dynasty League draft, so I’m going to take a look at some interesting trends and results of how our 30 owners have developed their drafts. You’ve got all the lists from the first five rounds in posts below, so follow along with the picks.

First 15

I found no surprises in picks 1 to 3, as I expected a Strasburg-Harper-Ackley combo. Some might put Ackley over Harper (myself included), but Harper’s a very defensible pick if you believe in his upside and the idea that he’ll always be a catcher. This is a fantasy league after all. After that, I was mildly surprised to see the current favorite for the #1 overall pick in 2011, Gerrit Cole, go fourth overall. There’s a lot of solid names that would be up for that spot, and with Jameson Taillon’s helium this summer, I expected his name to be in that spot. However, I favor Cole as well, so I’m not one to criticize. With the 5th pick, I thought Aaron Crow was a bit of an overdraft. While he’s got an advanced repertoire, he’s already 23 as of a little over a week ago, and there’s still the well-documented concerns over his delivery. I’d put him down in the mid-first round, but still solidly in the first. Taillon and Ranaudo were solid picks at 6 and 7, while Tate is a little high for my taste. Hobgood at #9 was a shocker, as I wondered if he’d be picked in the first round at all, though he was a likely late first-rounder to me. Rendon at #10 was a pleasant surprise, as I see the owners are looking into the future. Rendon could be a special player, and the A’s might have gotten a steal. Three of the next four picks were prep arms from the 2009 draft, and that was no surprise. With Christian Colon mixed in there, that’s a solid set of picks. Tanner Scheppers rounded out the top half of the round, and I was surprised by that, too, as people seem to have forgotten his injury question marks in favor of his strong Fall League performance. His shoulder is still not to be trusted.

Second 15

Surprises in this half of the round started with Mike Leake and Bobby Borchering going as high as they did. Statisticians fell in love with Leake this past spring, and while he’s a solid prospect, he’s not an elite arm. I expected him to fall to the late part of the round, where he was on my list, but he’s the type of guy that gets overdrafted for the high floor. Borchering was a bit of a question mark for me, especially after his little pro debut hiccup, considering he went 16th overall in the 2009 draft, but only two spots later when adding other classes. He’s got a good ceiling, but you have to believe he’ll always stick at third base to pick him that high. Shelby Miller was a solid pick to Atlanta, though Kyle Gibson was strange. He’s still got the question marks about his arm, and he wasn’t a #1 type of guy before then, so I wonder where he’ll go from here. He’s probably in Anthony Ranaudo’s class in terms of true potential, but with injury question marks, he was down a round from there on my board. I was thrilled to get A.J. Cole so far down the draft a pick later. I still don’t think it’s a sure thing that Taillon is the better prospect, and there’s a lot to the argument that Cole’s projectability wins out over Taillon’s maxed out frame. I’d still take Taillon over Cole personally, but getting a potential #1 starter at #21 overall was rewarding. Jiovanni Mier was a solid pick right behind me, and when I picked for the Nationals at #23, I was happy to get a projectable college arm with #1 potential. The rest of the picks up to #28 were solid picks. I thought the pick of Reymond Fuentes at #28 was strange, simply because I don’t see a lot of skills that will ever turn into fantasy points for him. Our categories are OBP, SLG, XBH, K, and SB, and Fuentes may only be plus in one or two of those categories. That’s not what I would want from my top pick, but the speed is undeniable, so a strategy involving stolen bases may be in order from Boston. The Angels had the last two picks of the round, and while the Brentz pick was very solid, the Gyorko pick was most interesting, as he’s not even a set in stone first-rounder for the 2010 draft. He doesn’t have a solid position yet, so you have to believe in his plus bat to think he’ll be a plus fantasy contributor. There’s some hope in that, but not a ton.

Second Round

Spending less time on all the individual picks, I’ll just give my opinion on some notable things. The first thing that stuck out to me was Yasmani Grandal going #32 to Pittsburgh, mainly because I don’t think he’ll hit. Ever. I probably jumped too early on Miguel Sano at #35, but I had sneaking suspicions he’d be gone before I picked again, and I’d like to risk a little on the upside that might be there. Pretty much all the picks through #40 were solid to great, and owners were getting great value from those spots. Matt Harvey going #41 to the Blue Jays was strange, and I wonder if that owner just wasn’t aware of how far down Harvey’s gone over the past year plus. The Blue Jays’ owner then has left the league, so I’ll never know. We saw a couple more 2011 prospects in this round, starting with Matt Purke at the top, but more notably with Sonny Gray and Christian Lopes, two names I was interested in, but didn’t want to pick so early. They could pay off big-time, or they could fizzle, but the gamble is on big upside for both. I liked the vast majority of picks in this round, though the picks of Daniel Fields and David Renfroe were a little early for my taste, but could pay off with the big athleticism they both bring to the table. I was happy once again to have a great arm fall to me late in the round with Chad Jenkins, and I was surprised that the likes of Alex Wimmers, Stetson Allie, and Eric Arnett were all picked before Jenkins, a guy who was deservedly the 20th pick in the 2009 draft. All in all, this round was full of upside and notable names, and they’ll almost all be great prospects in the long-run.

Third Round

The third round was where things started bucking a little. Names that should have gone earlier started falling precipitously, and usually for no reason. While not picking until the 21st pick of the round, I was able to land Tim Wheeler, a legitimate first-round bat from the 2009 draft, while I also added a high-ceiling 2010 prep bat in Josh Sale 8 picks later. Pitching was taken heavily at the beginning of the round, and some of the names were quite interesting. The Tigers took a chance on Jack Armstrong from Vanderbilt, a 2011 prospect that didn’t even look legitimate until his season on the Cape this summer. Supplemental first-rounders were going off the board right and left, with Rex Brothers leading the round, followed by Tyler Skaggs, Aaron Miller, Brad Boxberger, Matt Davidson, and Kentrail Davis. All were solid picks, as were guys like Marc Krauss, Andy Oliver, Chris Dwyer, and Luke Bailey. Surprising first-round names to be called this late were Brett Jackson, Randal Grichuk, and Nick Franklin, in addition to my choice of Tim Wheeler. All c0me with question marks, but Jackson and Grichuk both had outstanding debuts, and I expected them to go off the board earlier. I thought Rich Poythress, Kyle Blair, and Brian Ragira were overdrafted in the middle of the round, as they all have notable flaws. I was hoping Von Rosenberg would fall to me, but I’m happier with Wheeler than I would have been with him. Dylan Covey could turn out to be the steal of the draft at #83 to the Giants, as his strong fall has really turned some heads. The last few picks of the round mixed upside with safety, and they’re all solid names to follow.

Fourth Round

I went into the fourth round knowing I had a bounty of picks with a large number of excellent names to choose from. The early names, with the exception of Victor Sanchez, were all solid and on my short list, but weren’t in the top six names for me. Murphy will turn out to be an excellent prospect if he sticks at catcher, as his bat is excellent for a catcher’s. There were a few names that I was shocked to see in this round, starting with B.A. Vollmuth to the A’s at #104. Vollmuth was a part-time player most of last year at Southern Miss, and he’s still not going to be drafted until 2011. He’s a good prospect, but not a top one to me. Follow that with Preston Tucker in the next pick, and I’m confused. A.J. Morris was the last confusing name to me, as he might simply be a reliever for the Nationals, and he was overworked to the extreme with Kansas State in the spring. The rest of the names were all solid, but we started to see a general gap in the players’ ceiling compared to their floor in this round, as teams were starting to shoot for guys that are less than sure things, myself included. A large number of players were either 2010 or 2011 guys or 2009 prep names, all of which carry enormous risk. Teams were essentially filling in with high-ceiling names here, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a number of them traded off to hedge that risk when the draft is done.

Fifth Round

This round was just completed, and it’s most notable for the departure from the pure risk zone of the fourth round, along with the run on international signings late in the round. Instead of risky names, this round saw the likes of Jeff Kobernus, Daniel Renken, Kent Matthes, Josh Phegley, Derek McCallum, and Billy Bullock, all safe names to choose from. Owners, sensing that they had too much risk in their draft portfolios, were starting to draft for need here, and I don’t blame them. Forecasting out a year or two can be difficult and risky, and picking a large number of solid 2009 prospects can pay dividends in a short amount of time. The best names for this round were probably Cam Bedrosian, Kyle Heckathorn, Garrett Richards, Jeff Malm, Chad Bettis, and Tyler Holt. All should be very good prospects shortly, though all come with major question marks of their own. Wild picks for the round included Michael Choice, Trey Griffin, and Zach Cone, though the international signings could easily be included as well. Gary Sanchez, Wagner Mateo, Max Kepler, and Guillermo Pimentel all went in a range of six picks to end the round, so more international names might be coming to start off the sixth round. Cameron Coffey was actually the first sixth-round name to those that are interested.

Team Draft Lists

Here’s a quick look at some teams with excellent drafts:

Oakland A’s
1. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2011
2. Jared Mitchell, OF, Chicago White Sox, 2009
3. Andy Oliver, LHP, Detroit Tigers, 2009
4. Luke Bailey, C, Tampa Bay Rays, 2009
5. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS (CO), 2010
6. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia, 2011
7. B.A. Vollmuth, SS, Southern Miss, 2011
8. Sammy Solis, LHP, San Diego, 2010
9. Zach Cone, OF, Georgia, 2011
10. Justin Grimm, RHP, Georgia, 2010

Cincinnati Reds
1. Jacob Turner, RHP, Detroit Tigers, 2009
2. Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt, 2011
3. Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS (FL), 2010
4. Many Machado, SS, Brito HS (FL), 2010
5. Rich Poythress, 1B, Seattle Mariners, 2009
6. Brett Eibner, OF, Arkansas, 2010
7. Sam Dyson, RHP, South Carolina, 2010
8. Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA, 2011
9. Kent Matthes, OF, Colorado Rockies, 2009
10. Tyler Holt, OF, Florida State, 2010

Texas Rangers
1. A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS (FL), 2010
2. Miguel Sano, SS, Minnesota Twins, 2009
3. Chad Jenkins, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, 2009
4. Tim Wheeler, OF, Colorado Rockies, 2009
5. Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA), 2010
6. J.R. Murphy, C, New York Yankees, 2009
7. Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech, 2010
8. Travis Harrison, 3B, Tustin HS (CA), 2011
9. Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas, 2011
10. DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tattnall Square Academy (GA), 2010
11. Rob Brantly, C, UC Riverside, 2010
12. Ian Krol, LHP, Oakland Athletics, 2009
13. Wagner Mateo, OF, No Team, 2009

Baltimore Orioles
1. Dustin Ackley, OF, Seattle Mariners, 2009
2. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL), 2010
3. Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL), 2010
4. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Los Angeles Angels, 2009
5. Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas, 2010
6. Cameron Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta HS (GA), 2010

Detroit Tigers
1. Bobby Borchering, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2009
2. Jack Armstrong, RHP, Vanderbilt, 2011
3. Brian Ragira, OF, Martin HS (TX), 2010
4. Victor Sanchez, 3B, San Diego, 2010
5. Josh Osich, LHP, Oregon State, 2010
6. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Cook County HS (GA), 2010
7. Jeff Malm, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays, 2009

Chicago White Sox
1. Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton, 2010
2. Slade Heathcott, OF, New York Yankees, 2009
3. Brett Jackson, OF, Chicago Cubs, 2009
4. D.J. LeMahieu, SS, Chicago Cubs, 2009

Minnesota Twins
1. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins, 2009
2. Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State, 2010
3. Max Stassi, C, Oakland Athletics, 2009
4. Marc Krauss, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2009
5. Kentrail Davis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers, 2009
6. Keyvius Sampson, RHP, San Diego Padres, 2009
7. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies, 2009
8. Derek McCallum, 2B, Minnesota Twins, 2009

Florida Marlins
1. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Texas Rangers, 2009
2. James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky, 2010
3. Aaron Miller, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2009
4. Robert Stock, C, St. Louis Cardinals, 2009
5. Chad Bettis, RHP, Texas Tech, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals
1. Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas, 2010
2. Eric Arnett, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers, 2009
3. Tommy Joseph, C, San Francisco Giants, 2009
4. Todd Glaesmann, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, 2009
5. Tanner Bushue, RHP, Houston Astros, 2009

San Francisco Giants
1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington Nationals, 2009
2. Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edwards HS (OH), 2010
3. Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS (CA), 2010

 

Who has the best draft so far? 

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November 19, 2009 - Posted by | Dynasty League

6 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the praise, Andy. There is definitely a bit of speculation involved in the Vollmuth and Cone selections, but I felt like I had enough picks to take the risk.

    I think the future HS draftees are one of the most risky groups. If they happen to go to college, they won’t even get into an MLB system until 2013. I’ve been staying away unless someone slipped far enough down that I couldn’t ignore him anymore (Kevin Gausman).

    Comment by jar75 (Oakland A's) | November 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. Don’t understand the excitement over the Reds draft. Gray has all sorts of question marks, from his size to his secondary offerings and Poythress will end up beign a possible regular, but certainly not a first division standout.

    The Marlins are another team that doesn’t have any balance to their choices. 4/5 pitchers, and Stock will probably end up there as well after he discovers he can’t hit enough to be anything more than an MLB backup. That is problematic to me, especially considering both Bettis and Paxton are two years away from getting good experience under their belts.

    I do think that Orioles have had a good draft to this point. As a position player, Castellanos is as good as they come, and Skaggs was a good choice both by the Angels as his drafting team and by the Orioles in your league.

    All in all, looks like a solid group of guys who know their stuff, but love the projectables more than the guys who have already been drafted.

    Another question I have is why did you elect to stretch the draft out to 2011? Was it to gain a competitive advantage, or otherwise?

    Comment by Hal | November 19, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hal, admittedly I have no clue what I’m doing. However, I’m pleased with the picks that I’ve had to this point, considering players left on the board when it was my turn and my draft strategy. I’ve been trying to draft high upside guys with some high-floor college players in the middle.

    Poythress was a reach in the third round, but I’d just taken fliers on Yordy Cabrera and Manny Machado in the second round. I think you’re right, I believe that Poythress will at best a fringe All-Star candidate on a second division team but I also believe that at worst, he’s going to be a top eighteen first baseman hitting for average and enough power to be compelling. If that truly is his floor, I’d say that’s decent value for a team’s fifth pick in the draft.

    Given that the Red’s system has quantity but not quality in the upper minors, then a huge gap until you get to the low minors, I felt that I needed to draft a smattering of lower-risk players who filled in that AA level gap.

    Again, though, I am out of my league with this group of owners. It’s been fun nevertheless.

    Comment by Chris (Reds GM) | November 19, 2009 | Reply

  4. I like the Reds’ draft. Turner is big time prospect. Yordy and Machado should both sign (barring a mediocre senior season). I like the Eibner and Matthes picks a lot. Trevor Bauer went a little bit higher than I expected, but I do like him.

    I’m interested to see how Sonny Gray does in the rotation.

    Comment by jar75 (Oakland A's) | November 19, 2009 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the kind words.

    I haven’t needed to agonize a lot in this draft over my choices. From the beginning, I felt that the class was heavy on premium arms, and short on hitting. Getting Ackley in the first, however, made my strategy pretty easy to handle. I was a bit shocked to see Colon go so early in the first, as he was my main target for my first pick in the second round, but Castellanos is a bat I’m very high on and wanted very much. After that, I felt strongly that the time had come to pick up arms, and I like the balance I was able to attain. I was able to focus on high ceiling arms mostly because of the depth of pitching in the Orioles’ system already, and was pleased to pick up Bedrosian where I did – I’m clearly, however, higher on him than most. I’m a little uncomfortable having my only college arm be Workman, but I felt that with the way our draft was going the college ranks had been picked thin a bit early.

    I think my most recent pick of Vinicio is more of a risk, but I have a dearth of middle infield prospects in my system, and the strong reports on his defense makes me think that he’s as good of a bet for a 16 year old to make the majors someday as anyone. I’m also looking at his potential future trade value; as such a young shortstop, he’s likely to have a ton of helium if he does anything at all, and to remain a decently rated prospect for a couple of seasons even if he doesn’t perform due to his youth.

    I’m a believer in Gray too; just didn’t expect him to be off the board so early. Vanderbilt pitchers rarely leave without at least one quality secondary pitch.

    Comment by James F (O's) | November 19, 2009 | Reply

  6. There was a reason i traded most of my picks. I’d rather get already proven commodities over players who may never pass A ball, if that far.

    Comment by Cwhit (Dodgers) | December 3, 2009 | Reply


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