We are entering the second season of the Fake Teams Dynasty League in 2013, and with that of course came our five-round minor league draft. First, some details about our league:
Setup: 16 team head-to-head (categories) mixed league - $120 salary cap
Categories: R, HR, RBI, AVG, SB, BB, OBP, W, SV, HLD, K, ERA, WHIP, QS
Eligible players: Any player who has signed a contract with a Major League organization, has not been drafted in previous years, and has not made their debut in the Majors.
Other notes: All players drafted in the minor league draft are assigned a $1 for 6 year contract. This contract does not count against the cap or start until they are called up by the owner, which must be done before the player reaches 250 AB or 100 IP in the Majors. For example, a player called up by his owner in the 2014 season would be under contract through the 2019 season, regardless of whether they were drafted in 2012 or 2013.
There are a few other things of note to be aware of with this draft. First, we have cycled through a large number of owners within the first year, so while I will likely discuss other players within their system, bear in mind that there are new owners for a lot of them, which likely means a change in strategy. Secondly, there were a few owners that were replaced during the draft (or after the draft), so some of the picks were completed well after their turn had passed. As a result, the players available when they were able to make their selection were different than if they had taken the pick in turn. Finally, draft picks are tradable in our league, but it does not tend to happen very much.
Pick 1.1 - Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
You can't really go wrong with the top pick in the draft as the top pick in a fantasy draft, and Correa has the potential to be a truly special fantasy player. He is widely expected to stay at shortstop in the long-term, and could be a middle of the order hitter for the Astros and an elite talent for fantasy purposes as well.
Pick 1.2 - Jose Fernandez, SP, MIA
Fernandez oozes makeup all over the place, but has also shown the potential to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher. We saw him in the Futures Game last season as he touched 100 with his fastball, and also profiles to have two additional above average pitches. A potential fantasy ace, Fernandez could reach the Majors by the end of the season potentially.
Pick 1.3 - Mike Zunino, C, SEA
Another fast mover, Zunino reached AA last season after being drafted #3 overall by the Mariners. He has a very high probability of being a top 5 fantasy catcher once he establishes himself despite playing half his games at Safeco Field, as he could provide 20 home runs potentially at a position without many solid options.
Pick 1.4 - Byron Buxton, OF, MIN
A true five-tool talent, Buxton's performance after being drafted last year left some sour on what he could be. Use that to your advantage, as Buxton has the potential to be a fantasy monster. When he reaches the Majors, he could be a five-category contributor (in our case, a seven-category contributor), but remains a long way from the Majors.
Pick 1.5 - Kyle Zimmer, SP, KCR
This was a bit of a surprise pick to me, as I preferred a couple of other pitching draftees at the time, but Zimmer isn't really that much of a reach here. Zimmer should move quickly through the Royals system, and seems most likely to debut during the 2014 season.
Pick 1.6 - Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT
Polanco had a breakout season in 2012, as he showed both power (16 HR, 26 doubles) and speed (40 of 55 SB attempts) in Low-A. I personally want to see him repeat this performance in 2013 before I buy in completely, but he has the potential to be a fantasy monster that can stay in center field long-term.
Pick 1.7 - Jorge Soler, OF, CHC
Soler had not signed prior to our draft last year, and as a result was not eligible to be picked. Soler is known for his power potential, which is among the best in the minors. He hit well last year, albeit in a small sample size, and will likely return to Low-A for the start of 2013.
Pick 1.8 - Addison Russell, SS, OAK
I think I've made pretty clear my feelings about Addison Russell at this point, and was really hoping he would make it to me down at the back end of the draft. Russell reached Low-A by the end of last year, and will likely return there to start the 2013 season.
Pick 1.9 - Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN
Arcia had a great year between High-A and AA, and could very well be in Minnesota as the starting right fielder before the end of the season. He profiles as a high batting average, solid power corner outfielder.
Pick 1.10 - Henry Owens, SP, BOS
This was one of the teams that picked much later than their original time slot, but I like the pick here given that. Owens had a boatload of strikeouts in Low-A last year, and while there are concerns about what he could be, I like the upside he could potentially provide.
Pick 1.11 - Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B, SD
Gyorko looks like he could very well be the frontrunner for the second base job in San Diego after a hot start and an injury to Logan Forsythe (plantar fascitis). Gyorko could potentially be a top 10 second baseman if he wins the starting job, who will also qualify at third in all leagues as well.
Pick 1.12 - Brian Goodwin, OF, WAS
A personal favorite of Bret's (which isn't a surprise given it was his selection), Goodwin has the potential to be a 20 homer, 20 stolen base outfielder with a solid batting average. He's considered the long-term answer in center field for the Nationals, and will be given time to develop with the Denard Span trade.
Pick 1.13 - Alen Hanson, SS, PIT
Hanson was probably one of the two best remaining shortstop prospects at this point in the draft, and while it remains to be seen whether Hanson can stick at shortstop or will be forced to move to second base, he should be a solid contributor at either position.
Pick 1.14 - David Dahl, OF, COL
This was actually my pick, which I then proceeded to trade for a second round pick. Yeah, I don't know what I was doing either. Dahl had a monster debut playing in the Pioneer league, and I am personally looking forward to seeing whether he can repeat that level of performance in full season ball.
Pick 1.15 - Kevin Gausman, SP, BAL
I wrote about Gausman a bit on Monday, and I'm wishing I had drafted him here instead. He showed excellent command of all his pitches in his outing on Saturday, and profiles as a top of the rotation starter. Gausman could be in the Majors by season's end, and should be an anchor for fantasy rotations as soon as next season.
Pick 1.16 - Slade Heathcott, OF, NYY
Heathcott was another pick that was taken substantially later than the draft window for the pick, but Heathcott was a nice high upside pick here. He has yet to play a full season, but hit .307 with 5 home runs and 17 stolen bases in just 60 games at HIgh-A in 2012, and could be a high level producer if he can stay healthy.
Overall, not a lot of surprises here in the first round, as a large portion of the top 25 talent and even the top 50 talent still in the minors was taken in last year's draft. As a result, seven of the sixteen picks were 2012 draft picks. My review of round 2 will be up on Friday.