February 28, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks (12) poses for photo day in the rec room at the Detroit Tigers headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Shortly before the beginning of the season, I successfully completed my 50 round satellite draft. The tiring process began last Winter and while I did make several mistakes I found it to be a challenging and educational exercise. My issue with dynasty drafting has always been the over emphasis on prospects. My objective is to find a balance between current production and potential impact. I set myself up with age appropriate tiers (article forthcoming) and adjust my p.o.a. according to draft trends. While my typical dynasty blueprint may not have been completely transferable for a draft of this magnitude, I admit my offense is much stronger than my pitching, I feel I acquired enough notable prospects to be a player in the trade market once other teams start to fall. I'll be competitive though I don't project to be the best team. I believe I got excellent value with Ortiz and Beltran, and the Dylan Bundy selection may be my best in terms of minor leaguers. I've stock piled enough talent though that I should be a playoff contending team for the forseeable future.
Brandon Jacobs- The former two-sport star showed why Boston was so high on him, that is, high enough to hand out a $750,000 bonus after the '09 draft, a dollar figure that represents his ability more than his round selection (10th). Jacobs had a successful season at Low-A Greenville last year, batting .303 while slugging 17 home runs and stealing 30 bases. He showed the ability to be a run producer, though there are questions regarding his pitch recognition and propensity for strike outs. Sox officials would like to see him be more patient at the plate, laying off breaking balls outside the zone would surely cut down on his number of K's. Jacobs is said to have plus power potential, and the former Auburn running back recruit should see his speed increase as well, once he develops a frame that resembles more of a baseball body. He's a work in progress, still very raw, but if he reaches his potential he could be a 20-20 guy at the major league level. His 2011 performance earned him recognition from most prospect gurus, none more so than Kevin Goldstein who ranked him 46th in his top 101 prospect list.
Other Players Considered: Jon Jay, Levi Michaels, Josh Sale
Junior Lake- My selection of Lake centered a lot around this scouting report provided by Mike Newman at Fangraphs. Lake was a hot name in prospect circles this past Winter, after he hit a combined .279 with 33 extra-base hits while stealing 38 bases. If you follow KG on twitter I'm sure you noticed that there were more questions about him than any other prospect. Lake is worth the gamble at this juncture of the draft. My focus on minor leaguers was ceiling more than floor, and if you read Newman's piece you'll see that the potential is worth the flyer. I read that based on athletic ability alone his ceiling is higher than Starlin Castro's and while neither is a lock to stay at SS long term, if Lake could fulfill the "poor man's BJ Upton" comp and stick as a middle-infielder then he easily becomes a valuable fantasy commodity.
Other Players Considered: Jorge Alfaro, Chris Reed, Tyler Greene
Joba Chamberlain- My decision to punt on relief pitcher's with a guaranteed role lead to my selection of Chamberlain. I knew that he was coming back from surgery but saw enough prior to believe he could be a second half contributor. My roster doesn't boast one legitimate closer so the selection of Joba is me hoping he can be a source of cheap saves, someway, somehow. With my last 10 selections I'm less worried about mistakes, in a league with rosters this deep the final 10 are less important. Also I subscribe to the old adage of never paying for saves so the plan is to be active on the waiver one closers start falling. A perfect strategy? No, but could I reap the same rewards as an owner that selects closers and selects them early? Certainly, and that's where the fun comes in.
Other Players Considered: James Loney, Henry Owens, Andy Oliver
Enny Romero- Truth be told, I don't know much about Romero but a high ceiling arm in the Tampa organization seems like a good bet in the long term. The Rays have had the most recent success developing pitchers so any arm that grades as a B- (based on John Sickels of Minor League Ball) seems like a worthwhile selection. My preference would have been to choose Henry Owens of the Boston Red Sox, a pitcher who I am more familiar with. Unfortunately he went two picks prior which lead me to Romero.
Other Players Considered: Taylor Lindsey, Joe Blanton
Aaron Sanchez- Graded a B- by John Sickels, Sanchez is a high upside arm years away from contributing. Toronto has one of, if not the best farm systems when talking high ceiling pitching and Sanchez is a member of that discussion. Keith Law thinks enough of him to rate him as the #96 prospect in his top 100, and while basing selections solely on prospect rankings is an imperfect strategy, one I normally wouldn't implement, my knowledge of available players is pretty thin at this stage. I'm simply going for the highest potential and wishing on a star, which is what we're all doing when there is a lack of significant data.
Other Players Considered: Joc Pederson, Sean Coyle
Sean Coyle- I'm completely guilty of BoSox bias here, but taking Coyle makes a lot of sense for my minors system. He hit 14 home runs and stole 20 bases last year at Greenville and the reports on his transition to second base have been promising. Project Prospect ranked him 100 in their list and while it may be early to start pegging him as a potential successor to Dustin Pedroia, having a second baseman with his power and speed potential is an asset worth having. His bat is more advanced than his defense so he's still years away.
Other Players Considered: None
C -Wilson Ramos
U -David Ortiz
C -Jonathan Lucroy
C -Gary Sanchez