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. With that in mind, here's the results from the second of our five round minor league draft.
Story hit 18 home runs in a depressed home run environment in Asheville last year at Low-A, and he profiles as a potential 20 home run bat who can provide a decent batting average and some speed as well. Oh, and he's widely expected to stick at shortstop, which could turn him into a top 5 player at the position when he reaches the Majors.
Pick 2.2 - Albert Almora, OF, CHC
Previous Pick: None by owner (trade)
This one was my pick, and I really like Almora to be a solid across the board producer. His calling card is his defense right now, as he is expected to stay in center field in the long term. He doesn't necessarily have the ceiling that some of the other players drafted so far do, but his floor is expected to be higher than most despite being a high school draftee.
Hawkins has a full set of tools, and is known for his power potential. He advanced all the way to High-A before the end of the season despite being a high school draftee. Hawkins has a very high ceiling, but I personally consider him to be very risky as well, as there are questions about his hit tool long term.
Sanchez was the only of Toronto's three big pitching prospects that wasn't traded this offseason, and he has the highest ceiling of the lot of them. He'll likely be sent to High-A to start the season, and it should be interesting to see how the Blue Jays use him now that it is just him. He spent most of last season splitting games with one of the other starters, where he would start and go 5 or relieve and go 4 innings.
Stratton was the top draft pick of the Giants in last year's draft, and I was a bit surprised to see him go ahead of another top pitching prospect in the GIants' system in Kyle Crick. Stratton profiles as a mid-rotation starting pitcher, with the upside of a bit more. He could move quickly through the Giants' system, but is expected to start the season with High-A San Jose.
Wacha has been getting a ton of press during Spring Training as he has continued his excellent performance from the end of last season. I wrote up an in-depth review of Wacha last week, which you can find here.
Biddle had a very good year at High-A this season, notching 151 strikeouts in 142 innings pitched. I'm personally not a huge fan of Biddle, as the control problems (66 walks in Low-A in 2011, 54 in High-A in 2012) do not bode well given that he is still at a low level. There is some upside here given that he's a lefty and has a great frame for a pitcher, but there were a number of starting pitchers I wanted there more.
Gibson is coming into the season after missing nearly all of last year due to Tommy John surgery, and is being kept on a 130 inning pitched limit to help ease him back into the grind. His performance out in the Arizona Fall League gave hope that his repertoire may have actually improved after having the surgery, and he could be in Minnesota's rotation by the end of the season.
This team followed up the Arcia pick with back to back picks of Puig and Crick. I love the potential upside of Puig here, as he has shown flashes of both power and speed in his brief playing time so far, and it wouldn't surprise me if he was a top 25 prospect this time next year.
I wrote about Heaney a few weeks ago, and you can find my thoughts about him here.
Austin emerged this year after hitting .322 with 17 home runs and 23 stolen bases across four levels of the minor leagues. He reached AA by the end of the season, turning 21 after the season had ended. He is set up nicely to take over in right field from Ichiro when his contract expires after the 2014 season.
Stephenson started his season this year in short-season ball, but finished up with the Reds' Low-A affiliate. He had been one of the players I had been hoping to still have available with my next pick, as he could potentially be a #2 starter in the Majors. He's still a long way away, as he'll likely return to Low-A for the start of the season. This pick was later traded as a part of a package that would acquire Felix Hernandez.
Pick 2.14 - Stryker Trahan, C, ARI
Previous Pick: Albert Almora
My next pick, it remains to be seen whether or not Trahan can stay behind the plate, but his bat should play in a corner outfield spot as well if he can't.
Another toolsy outfielder, Williams had a great year in 2012, showcasing power, speed, and a high batting average between Low-A and High-A. The key for him is how healthy he can stay, as he has never played more than 91 games in a season as a professional.
Pick 2.16 - Clayton Blackburn, SP, SF
Previous Pick: Slade Heathcott
Another selection that was made well after the draft window, I like Blackburn here as his floor is very high, although it comes with a low ceiling. He should end up as a back of the rotation starting pitcher, which should have a nice value in San Francisco and given the size of our league.
Overall, we still saw a lot of high upside players available, but as this round progressed we saw a number of players who fell through the cracks for one reason or another last year taken. At this point in the draft, the talent still hasn't really diminished too much, but a large number of most top 100 lists have been taken between the five rounds last year and the two so far this season.