2012 Fantasy Prospect DraftPosted: March 5, 2012
If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware of a dynasty league prospect draft that I won’t shut up about. Well after this post, maybe I finally will.
Last year, I joined my first dynasty league. It is a 12-team, 6×6 league with R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG and OPS for hitters and W, K, HLD, SV, WHIP and ERA for pitchers. Each team has an MLB roster of 30: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, 1 UTIL, 10 P, 7 Bench. In addition to that, each team has a prospect roster of 12. These players must have fewer than 150 MLB at-bats or 100 innings pitched and must have been originally been acquired through draft or trade. Finally, all players can be kept for the eternity of their career with no restrictions or consequences.
Someone else already had my team for a year, so the major league roster was already in place. There were a few studs like Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Brian McCann and David Ortiz, but the team was just not good enough overall to truly compete for a championship. So, I decided to go prospecting. The trades I made will be discussed below, but I gave away a lot of top quality in order to have an extremely solid group of prospects for the future.
I knew that the quality of prospects available in the 2012 draft would be much higher than possibly ever, so I wanted to get as many of them as I could. A majority of the top prospects in 2011 were gone (Bryce Harper, Matt Moore, etc.) but all of the players in the 2011 Rule 4 draft were available, along with some breakout guys.
Without further ado, I present to you my 2012 Dynasty League Prospect Draft:
Acquired Pick: The order of the prospect draft is determined by the reverse order of the standings. Well, I took last place in 2011, so I got the first pick.
Choices: Anthony Rendon, Yu Darvish, Bubba Starling
Thought Process: I’m trying to build an amazing group of 18-24 year-olds, so the 25 year-old Darvish was immediately eliminated. I also wanted to get a position player with the first pick since I already have some top-flight young pitching, so the elite pitching prospects would have to wait. I knew that I would most likely only be able to get one of Rendon or Starling and preferred 3B over OF and the possible injury risk over extremely raw but extremely exciting tools.
The Pick: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
Acquired Pick: I traded Tim Lincecum at the deadline last year. He is a young, elite pitcher and the team who acquired him won the championship, but I felt like the return was worth it. In addition to this pick, I received Mike Moustakas and Matt Moore.
Choices: Gerrit Cole, Dylan Bundy, Taijuan Walker
Thought Process: If Starling was available here, I would have picked him and taken a pitcher with the next pick. He went at number four though, so I had to choose between one of these three. I liked Cole and Bundy by a comfortable margin over the much more raw Walker, so it came down to those two. Eventually, with Cole in the NL Central and Bundy in the AL East in Baltimore, I knew what to do. The Orioles’ inability to develop young pitching also factored into the decision. If this were real baseball, I might have gone the other way, but with fantasy I had to take Cole.
The Pick: Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Acquired Pick: Since I already had Devin Mesoraco, Travis d’Arnaud and Gary Sanchez, I wanted to maximize my return for Brian McCann and traded him away last year while he was still a huge fantasy asset (I’m assuming he won’t be as good once my team is actually competitive). I traded McCann, Wilson Ramos (who I added from the waiver wire last year simply as a trade chip), Matt Thornton and my fifth round pick for Justin Smoak, John Buck (placeholder for Mesoraco), Drew Storen, this pick and the 20th overall pick.
Choices: Christian Yelich, Gary Brown, Xander Bogaerts
Thought Process: I knew I would get two of these three players, since I also owned the 10th pick. I decided I would be most sad if I missed on Bogaerts, so I went with him first. I realize he is most likely a third baseman or outfielder long-term, but he has a huge ceiling and I have time to wait for him to reach it.
The Pick: Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
Acquired Pick: While shopping some of my other players around the league, I found a team that was looking for solid starting pitching. I had Ricky Romero available and decided he was more valuable to the other team than he was to me. In order to make my roster work, I had to also include Jake Odorizzi. The final trade was Romero and Odorizzi for Arodys Vizcaino, this pick and a second round prospect pick next year.
Choices: Christian Yelich, Gary Brown
Thought Process: This was another difficult decision, similar to the Cole/Bundy one. I wanted both players, but figured I would only get one of them. Eventually, Yelich’s higher power upside won out, since I felt it would help me more in the future than Brown’s elite speed. This is the pick I had the most second thoughts about, but I had to eventually make a decision and hope that the other guy would be available for my next pick.
The Pick: Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins
Acquired Pick: This was the second pick I received for finishing in last place the previous season.
Choices: Michael Choice, Jake Marisnick, Josh Bell
Thought Process: Brown got picked immediately after my last pick, so he wasn’t an option here. I knew I would get two of these three players, I just had to prioritize them. Choice is a slugger, Marisnick is more of a 20/20 guy and Bell is very raw but has a ceiling that is a mixture of the two. I decided that I could really use a big home-run, RBI guy more than an all-around help-me-in-every-category guy. Bell was a little too raw for me at this pick and I figured he would still be available next time, while the other two might not be.
The Pick: Michael Choice, OF, Oakland Athletics
Acquired Pick: Before last season, I put Alex Gordon up on the trade block. I thought he was a complete bust and wanted to see if anyone still believed in him. I gave away Gordon and received a 4th round pick last year that I used on Carlos Martinez and this pick. Gordon turned in a very good fantasy performance last year, so trading him away was a poor decision. I could have got much more for him now.
Choices: Josh Bell, Jake Marisnick
Thought Process: Both players left from the last pick were available here (and the owner of pick 2.2 told me he would have taken Choice) so I went with the player with the higher ceiling. He may have been available later in the draft, but I really didn’t want to miss on him since I didn’t pick for another five turns.
The Pick: Josh Bell, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Acquired Pick: This was the second pick I received in the McCann trade.
Choices: George Springer
Thought Process: Ouch. Marisnick, Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor were on my list here, but they were taken in one fell swoop with the 16th, 17th and 18th picks. I ranked them as Marisnick, Springer, Baez, Lindor. I didn’t imagine Marisnick would be available, but did think Baez would fall to me at my last pick. That left only one real option for me here.
The Pick: George Springer, OF, Houston Astros
Acquired Pick: Last season I traded David Ortiz away at the deadline to the same team that acquired Lincecum. Ortiz is still very good, but he’ll be long gone by the time I’m contending. I gave Ortiz and received Doug Fister (who I immediately dropped for Henderson Alvarez), Simon Castro and this pick. I don’t like the trade a ton, but there was no market for him at all, mostly because he is only a DH.
Choices: Oscar Taveras, Cheslor Cuthbert, Starling Marte
Thought Process: Marte was the first to go because I’m worried he won’t ever take a walk. Cuthbert was next because he seemed to be a tick below Taveras prospect-wise. Rymer Liriano was my first choice here, but he was taken with pick 2.9.
The Pick: Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
I was really looking forward to this draft and I am pleased with how it turned out. I missed on a few players that I wanted – Bubba Starling, Gary Brown, Jake Marisnick, Javier Baez and Rymer Liriano – but the talent pool was so deep that I was able to replace those players with other high-quality ones. I intentionally only drafted one pitcher for two reasons: the first is TINSTAAP- pitching prospects are much more likely to bust. The second reason is that there were only a select few pitchers I really wanted and they were all gone rather quickly.
The current state of my outfield is fairly weak as it consists of B.J. Upton, Brett Gardner, Matt Joyce, Travis Snider and Howie Kendrick. This draft will hopefully allow me to replenish that and have a solid set of outfielders for years to come.
List of players age 25 and under on my team:
*Matt Moore (2)
*Manny Machado (8)
*Gerrit Cole (9)
*Devin Mesoraco (13)
*Anthony Rendon (15)
*Jacob Turner (16)
*Travis d’Arnaud (19)
*Manny Banuelos (22)
*Carlos Martinez (26)
*Arodys Vizcaino (32)
*Christian Yelich (33)
*Xander Bogaerts (42)
*Michael Choice (46)
*Gary Sanchez (50)
*Oscar Taveras (51)
*George Springer (60)
*Josh Bell (61)
*Simon Castro (NR)
(*Rookie-eligible) (Consensus Prospect Ranking)