Fantasy baseball spring preview: Minor league draft
In my long-standing keeper league, we decided to do a two-round, offline snake draft that would include any players who were still considered minor leaguers (no foreign players, college players or high school kids). In order to prevent tanking for these coveted draft slots, the winner of the loser bracket gets the top pick (now, even if you miss the playoffs, you still have something to play for) then draft order is determined by regular season standings. However, you are not rewarded for tanking the regular season, so the draft order looks something like this.
Bracket loser winner
This year, the team that finished seventh also happen to be the bracket champion.
This draft list will not include the names Bryce Harper, Mike Trout or Matt Moore, or as I like to refer to them as the Jeremy Lins of fantasy baseball. These three guys were already owned going forward. I had Jesus Montero, but decided against keeping him. I like Montero, but I already have a fairly stacked team and did not have room to keep him. Now, let’s break down this draft.
First Round (my pick is in bold)
1. Maggie’s Minions — Devin Mesoraco
2. Catlettsburg Wildcats — Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
3. Master Batting Skeletons — Jesus Montero, DH/C, Mariners
4. The Boston Bastards — Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
5. Slick-o-matic — Shelby Miller, SP, Cardinals
6. NY Dynasty — Travis d’Arnaud, C, Bluejays
7. No Idea What I am Doing — Addison Reed, RP, White Sox
8. The Nasty Boys 5$ — Trevor Bauer, SP, Diamondbacks
9. Rolen’s Wrath — Gerrit Cole, SP, Pirates
10. KY Horseman — Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
11. Choke it n’ Stroke it — Bubba Starling, OF, Royals
12. Box town Opossum — Fransico Lindor, SS, Indians
Now, if you know much about the guys on this list (which, if you are still reading, I am assuming you do) you are probably wondering: “What the hell? Mesoraco with the number-one overall pick?” Yeah, I don’t love the pick either, but my league has a lot of die-hard Reds fans among our ranks. I personally was not a fan of any of the top three picks, but those teams were on the cusp of reaching the playoffs last season. If they pan out, they will have immediate results, whereas the rest of us may have to wait for next season. I do like Montero; nonetheless, there are better long-term prospects than him on the board.
My favorite pick was definitely the KY Horseman getting Profar with the 10th pick. He could very well be the best player in this entire draft. My least favorite pick was Reed going so early. I do not like to waste picks on closers, especially in a draft with some very talented prospects.
My pick was a pure homer pick, just like the Mesoraco pick. I have been watching Bauer pitch for a long time, and he is a pitcher I think could be very special. I hated to pass on Profar, but I already had my shortstop of the future (Starlin Castro) so I was able to go after Bauer.
Second Round (my pick is in bold)
1. Box town Opossum — Wil Meyers, OF, Royals
2. Choke it n’ Stroke it — Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds
3. KY Horseman — Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta
4. Rolen’s Wrath — Nolan Arendo, 3B, Rockies
5. The Nasty Boys — Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
6. No Idea What I am Doing — Dylan Bundy, SP, Orioles
7. NY Dynasty — Martin Perez, SP, Rangers
8. Slick-o-matic — Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays
9. The Boston Bastards — Arodys Vizcaino, SP, Braves
10. Master Batting Skeletons — Jacob Turner, SP, Tigers
11. Catlettsburg Wildcats — Jameson Taillon, SP, Pirates
12. Maggie’s Minions — Manny Banuelos, SP, Yankees
In this round, everyone pretty much went Rock-Chalk with their draft picks. Master Batting Skeletons as well as Maggie’s Minions leaned on guys who could see playing time, where as the better teams in the draft went for pure upside potential.
My favorite pick was KY Horsemen’s pick, Teheran. He killed the draft, in my opinion, and if Teheran makes the rotation this season and pans out, he could be looking at a championship this year (cause you care so much about who wins my league). I really did not have a least-favorite in this round. Dylan Bundy was probably my least-favorite because of the team and the division.
I ended up with Rendon. I was really hoping I could grab one of the top-tier outfielders the Royals had, but they were gone. Then, I had my heart set on Arendo, but he was taken right before my pick. I like Rendon’s upside, but I do not like to gamble with players who seem to be injury prone. If he does not pan out, I can always cut him and try again next season.