Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Fake Teams Dynasty League held its' second minor league draft recently. What can we learn from the results of a 16-team minor league draft? Let's take a look at the fourth round of the draft.
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 third of our five round minor league draft.
A new wrinkle at this point in the draft: New owners who joined and took over teams which were in the bottom half of the standings received compensation draft picks, with places 9 through 12 potentially having an additional pick at the end of the 4th round. Three teams received these picks this year, and they are at the end of this post as well.
Ruiz was a player who fell in the draft on the basis of concerns surrounding a blood clot he suffered during his senior season. As a result, he fell to the fourth round of the draft, and still received first round money in spite of that. He is expected to be a solid contributor at 3B, and be able to stick at the position long term.
The report on Osuna starts with the fact that he already has a very mature approach despite pitching at age 17 stateside this year. However, the knock on him is that there isn't much more room for projection already, which could leave his ceiling as a #3 starter.
Cron is expected to be a middle of the order power bat in the long term, but I have such a hard time drafting first base prospects, especially when some of the other players mentioned later are still available. He will likely go to AA to start the 2013 season, where he may get the greatest test he has had so far in terms of offensive environment.
Sigh. Paulino isn't expected to stay at shortstop long term, in part due to Francisco Lindor's presence, but also in terms of his defense. Expected to move to second base, Paulino will go to full season ball for the start of 2013, and could rocket up top prospects lists with a good season this year.
Gilmartin is likely ready for a Major League job, but with Atlanta's rotation still full he likely won't get the shot in 2013. He's another high floor, low ceiling type, which works alright in a 16-team league.
Ah, the dream. We have been hearing about Heredia for what feels like forever, and yet he is still just 18 years old this season. He's considered to have true ace upside, but it remains to be seen when that will be allowed to manifest itself. Hopefully the Pirates will give him a full season assignment this year, and we can really see what he can do.
Santana has the potential to be a top power hitter, but there are questions surrounding his approach (read: 148 strikeouts in 119 games). His home/road splits were fairly even despite playing in a ridiculous hitters' environment in the California League. It's a lot about projection at this point, as Santana's tools have not actualized to the level that they might, but he has a prototypical corner outfield profile.
The Twins' second first round pick last year, Berrios was very impressive in the WBC this year for Puerto Rico. He was impressive in his two short-season assignments last year, striking out 49 and walking just 4 in 30 innings pitched, and could be another player that jumps up top prospect lists in 2013.
Pick 4.9 - Carlos Sanchez, 2B/3B, CHW
Previous Picks: Oswaldo Arcia, Yasiel Puig, Kyle Crick, Alex Meyer, Luis Heredia
Sanchez is a bit of a safe pick for an owner who has gone for some extremely high risk players in previous rounds. Sanchez reached AAA last year for the White Sox, and split time between 2B, 3B and SS at his three stops. He only played 30 games at AA last year and 11 at AAA, so I'm not entirely sure yet if he will return to AA or AAA to start the 2013 season.
The book on Roache points to awesome power potential, but there are questions about how he'll perform after breaking his wrist in late February last year. The Brewers still took a shot on him in the first round, as he was expected to be a first rounder before the injury. I'll be very interested to see what he can do this season, and wonder if he might move quickly if he does well.
Gattis is a bit of an unusual prospect, as he didn't take up baseball again until age 22, and is already age 26 this year. He has had a monster spring this year (.357/378/.619, 2 HR), and is a distinct possibility to make the team as a backup catcher/outfielder.
Ventura reached AA on the back of his fastball which has been clocked as high as 102 at times. He started the Futures Game for the World team last year, and there are questions about whether or not he should stay in the rotation long-term. If he doesn't, he will still have value as a high-leverage reliever who could potentially close long-term.
Odor spent the 2012 season with the Rangers' Low-A affiliate, hitting 10 home runs and stealing 19 bases in 109 games. It's always hard when you are dealing with prospects that have already been moved to 2B, although it sounds like Odor could handle shortstop if needed. His tools point to a player that could be above-average for fantasy purposes at his position in the long-term, which could be a few years away.
With these two picks, I went in a couple of different directions with pitching. I like Sanchez after he pitched very well in the college-heavy Northwest League as a 17-year old, as he provided a solid rate of strikeouts while also getting a large number of groundballs. With the other pick, Webster is a pitcher that was included in the trade with the Dodgers, and has shown a similar profile. Webster does need to work on his control some, as he posted walk rates over 4 per 9 innings last year.
I wrote up a profile of Hensley recently, which you can find here.
Supplemental Pick 4.A - J.R. Graham, SP, ATL
Previous Picks: Kyle Zimmer, Chris Stratton, Deven Marrero, Sean Gilmartin
Graham was a college draftee by the Braves from last year's draft, and is expected to move quickly toward the Majors. The reports on him point toward a pitcher with a mid-rotation ceiling, although there have been reports of him reaching 100 mph in short bursts this spring.
Nicolino was the other main prospect included in the blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, and he is considered to have the lowest ceiling of the three Blue Jays prospects. Another high floor type, Nicolino could reach the Majors potentially by the end of this season, as a back-end of the rotation starting pitcher.
Supplemental Pick 4.C - Jorge Alfaro, C, TEX
Previous Picks: Jorge Soler, Jesse Biddle, Domingo Santana
#TheLegend continues to live on, as Alfaro has the tools to be a fantasy monster behind the plate. He has some plate discipline issues to work on (16 BB/84 K), but the upside is such that he could be a top 5 fantasy catcher. He'll likely head to High-A to start the season.