This is a 20-team dynasty league. We have 25 man rosters, 22 keepers, and a 15 man minor league system. Roster cut downs were made prior to the MiLB draft, and the MLB portion of the draft is held after the MiLB draft. Not everyone's minor league rosters are stocked but of the 300 available minor league roster spots, I would guess over 200 of them are filled. Our rosters use only three outfield spots, not five, but are restricted by LF/CF/RF positions, not the generic OF. This puts extra value on centerfielders who can produce and also changes team needs a substantial amount.
Foreign imports (Ryu, Fujikawa et al.) are eligible to be picked in our draft. The other rules are standard; the players must be rookie eligible by MLB standards with the exception of service time, meaning fewer than 130 at-bats for hitters and fewer than 50 innings pitched for pitchers.
Lastly, this is not a snaking draft. In a league this deep, we gear the draft toward replenishing the weaker teams as much as possible. Each team has three picks in the three rounds and trading of MiLB draft picks is not allowed*, so keeping track of each teams haul should be relatively easy. With all that said, let's get to the picks.
Just tremendous value at the top of the third round here. Heredia is young and has present stuff with the opportunity for me. I'm not of the mind that he's a future ace but I think #2 starter is within his reach. I'd take him over every pitcher taken in the second round (Kyle Crick, Roberto Osuna, Michael Wacha, Clayton Blackburn) save for maybe Crick. He was an early 2nd round value in my book which makes this a great value pick at the top of the third round.
The third round can be a bit odd in terms of value. It's our final round in the draft and so picks will vacillate between those still looking for BPA, those looking at personal favorites they otherwise wouldn't pick, those looking for pure probability and those looking at high ceiling lottery tickets. Beras probably falls into three of the four categories for Team 2. I didn't speak with him about his pick, but this is a reasonable selection at this point in the draft. There's very little floor here, but the upside could justify that he's worth this pick, and perhaps the owner just really likes Beras. It's hard for me to knock this pick as there is just so much we don't know about Beras. He could be amazing from the get go or a slow riser or nothing at all. I don't fault someone for spending a last round pick on finding out.
If Beras qualified for three of the four categories I listed above, Heaney occupies the fourth. Generally it's not my cup of tea, as I like to go for someone a bit more interesting to me or with a bit more upside (I took Yordano Ventura in the last round last year) but I understand the incentive behind getting anything out of your last pick. Heaney surely qualifies under that regard as he's a fairly safe prospect. Some would argue he satisfies the BPA category as well given that he was Baseball America's #43 prospect heading into 2013. I'm not a fan of Heaney in particular, so the pick does little for me here but I understand the strategy.
After seeing potentially the best player on the board fall into his lap in the first round, Team 4's next two picks leave me wanting more. Sardinas is an under the radar guy in most circles and I think was a 3rd round value. I feel about Stratton how I feel about Heaney, so while the value isn't bad, it leaves me a bit uninspired. The only thing that could make me regret my current feelings is knowing how good the Giants are at developing starting pitching. Still though, Stratton will be 22 for the upcoming 2013 season and has yet to pitch above the Short Season level. It's hard to really hold that against him but we also can't give him credit for being a quick mover until he actually, y'know, moves quickly.
This pick was out of left field. I've mentioned before that Team 5 and I are often of a like mind during these drafts and I certainly loved his picks in rounds 1 & 2. Wood however was a stunner. The 2nd round pick by the Braves; Wood has a good fastball from the left side (89-94 MPH) and uses it to set up his change up, which is an average pitch. Unfortunately, he has no breaking ball to speak of as his slider can't even be called average. Additionally, there's more risk with Wood as he's already had Tommy John surgery in his career and uses an odd delivery that involves a backwards hop off his lead leg. It's likely the Braves will work with him on his delivery. The early returns (SSS warning) were encouraging for Wood as he performed well in Lo-A, but I can't imagine this is anything but a "favorite" pick as I doubt Wood was on anyone else's board. We'll see if he can explode onto the scene after a good 2013.
Team 6 - Lance McCullers, Jr. - Houston Astros
First Round Pick: Aaron Sanchez
Second Round Pick: Trevor Story
Holy crap do I love this pick. Holy crap do I love this draft. Get me a sittin' chair and a lemon water because I do declare I have the vapors. McCullers perfectly straddles the line between risk and reward in a late round pick and frankly, I would have understood if he was popped somewhere in the second round. If McCullers makes it as a starter, this is a steal of a pick as his stuff is electric enough to go in the first round. While there are questions whether he will do that, he would be an elite closer option if he does get shifted to the bullpen meaning this pick could still recoup value even if he does "fail". I'm no advocate of drafting minor league relievers but I am optimistic that McCullers can make the changes required for him to start - at least in the short term - and he could see a relative value boost because of that.
I loved the first pick of this team's draft as you read in the opener of this series. Since then? Not impressed. Hedges seemed like a reach and Stefan Romero, while impressive statistically, doesn't hold up for me under scrutiny. His hit tool is above-average and he's got solid pop, so what's not to like? At 6'3/225 lbs, he's unlikely to last at second base and the profile just isn't nearly as good at third. If he does end up at the hot corner, it seems his upside might be Kyle Seager. There's certainly nothing wrong with drafting a future Kyle Seager but prospects rarely reach their ceilings so I'm concerned at what he will be if he falls short of that. Romero is the type of player I see as a waiver wire add in a league like ours. Definitely worth taking a shot on, not a big enough ceiling to take that shot with a draft pick.
Probably going to award best overall draft superlatives to two teams because I won't be able to decide between Team 6 and Team 8. Just gobs and gobs of value between all these picks. I considered Webster for my last round pick last year and am a bit surprised he made it to the third round in this draft. I have concerns over whether he's built to start, but he certainly has the stuff to do it. There have been reports of him tiring out over longer stints. That might just be a question of adding strength/weight or just getting stretched out to go longer into games. But 48 picks into a prospect draft is more than good enough value to take a shot on him sticking as a starter. If he does, he'll be a number three with a good number of strikeouts but more walks than you'll want.
As discussed previously, Team 9 and I just take different approaches to our drafts. I don't think Head is a bad pick. More that it appeared to me that it was accepted that Head profiled solidly if he could stick at third but it was almost a certainty that he wouldn't and that the bat wasn't special enough to profile at first. On top of that, despite his phenomenal start to 2012, Double-A appeared to expose his Hi-A performance as perhaps a product of it's environment (Cal League). That said, it's not unreasonable to be 21 and struggle in your first exposure to Double-A. Head will start back there to begin 2013 and see if he can hit his way into our hearts.
This pick was a shock to me mainly because it means that Bret didn't end up with his baseball boyfriend Candelario. I think this is a good pick here because he would have been taken otherwise and he has a chance to explode onto the scene in 2013. I'm not as optimistic on Candelario as others, but I'm not down on him either. Switch hitting third baseman with an all-fields approach and an eye at the plate don't come around every day. Candelario doesn't project to have premium pop in his bat, but he won't need it to have value if everything else goes as planned. If he has to move off third base his value takes a significant hit, but I'm optimistic that he can stick there.
Stick around for the last 10 picks of the draft and a look back at what how everyone did next week.