Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Draft 2017

We held our draft yesterday in our keeper league and I went in planning to spend most of my time in the bargain bin. Yet in typical fashion the majority of the other owners had dismantled their teams and had much bigger bankrolls available. We have a $300 cap and I had $63 available to fill 14 spots.

Last season I finished in fourth as once again my pitching collapsed to drop me out of second in the last month. Most of my core offense remains intact and I didn't have to worry about that in the draft. Plus I kept the part of the pitching staff I still had at good prices in relation to their talent and potential.

Going into the draft my core team was C.J. Cron at first, Jose Altuve at second, Alex Bregman at third, Carlos Correa at short, Jacob Realmuto at catcher, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Trea Turner, Randall Grichuk and Hunter Renfroe in the outfield, Kyle Seager for CI, Dee Gordon for MI, and Michael Taylor, Delino DeShields Jr and Mitch Haniger available for flex. My big prize last year was Clayton Kershaw and I retained him for one more season to be the foundation of my staff. Also still had Danny Duffy Michael Fulmer, Robbie Ray, Ivan Nova, Sean Manaea, Robert Gsellman, Clay Buchholz, Matt Cain, Joe Musgrove and Edwin Diaz to build around.

The broad stroke goals of the draft was to add catcher, outfield and pitching depth. If the opportunity presented itself I would make a major upgrade at first base such as Paul Goldschmidt or go after one of the upper tier pitchers to compliment Kershaw. Otherwise I would be looking for barginas and that was something I was used to. My top prospect target would be Gleyber Torres and I planned on making an attempt while I still had the funds.

The theme of the first round was pitching along with a couple top catchers and power bats. Madison Bumgarner went first for $36 followed by Paul Goldschmidt ($36), Buster Posey ($26), Corey Kluber ($32). Aroldis Chapman ($20), Craig Kimbrel ($14), Josh Donaldson ($25), Ian Kennedy ($10), Giancarlo Stanton ($25), Salvador Preez ($16), Stephen Strasburg ($22) and Jake Arrieta ($29). The first round dimmed my hopes of getting another elite pitcher and set the course for the rest of the draft.

The first player I picked up was Tony Watson for $13 in the third round. The Pirates closer grabbed that role after Mark Melancon was traded and Watson had all his 15 saves after the All Star break. He should get plenty of chances as the Pirates should be competitive in the NL Central.

My second player was Austin Hedges for $5 in the fourth round. The Padres catcher has young legs and showed the ability to hit for average and pop in the minors. He is given the keys to drive the team from behind the plate but needs to master MLB pitching when he has a bat.

The next player I took was Dexter Fowler for $7 in our eighth round. The swtich hitting outfielder will be leading off for a Cardinals team that should be one of the top two in the NL Central. He may find himself a regular in my lineup.

In the ninth round someone threw out the name Eric Thames and I land him for $6. He will be the Brewers first baseman after three years in Korea. Some compare the level of play there to Double A but he dominated for all three seasons. How he plays will determine whether he is depth behind Cron or replaces him in my lineup, I had a few words about his signing in December.

The 10th round signalled the unofficial start of the speed rounds since no one had deep pockets resulting in quicker bid resolutions. Only two players from that point on went for double digits: Brad Miller ($11) and Greg Bird ($13). I picked up two players in the 10th:

Eugenio Suarez was the first player I picked up in the 10th for $2. The Reds third baseman traded pop for a better average after the 2016 all star break. If  he can find a happy medium between the two over the whole season while taking advantage of playing in Cincy he could be regular 20/20 guy.

James McCann was my second 10th rounder who I threw out and later netted for $3.The Tigers catcher had trouble getting initial traction in 2016 after stating the season on the DL with ankle issues. Performance will determine whether it is him or Hedges teaming with Realmuto each week as my two catchers.

The next handfull of rounds were spent concentrating on pitching depth. I landed Mike Foltynewicz for $1 in the 12th, Chad Kuhl for $1 in the 13th, Kendall Graveman for $3 in the 14th and Kyle Barraclough for $5 in the 15th. I had drafted Graveman in our previous two drafts for $1 and think its only a matter of time before he really break out.

I had also picked up a couple prospects others had thrown out: Willy Adames for $4 in the 13th and Gleyber Torres for $8 in the 15th. Adames is a shortstop in the Rays organization who hit .274 with 11 HR and 13 SB at Double A while only 20. Torres was one of the package of prospects that went to the Yankees from the Cubs for Aroldis Chapman. The future Yankees shortstop later won the Arizona Fall League MVP for 2016 at 19. That was why he was at the top of my prospect list.

With my final two picks I took J.D. Davis in the 16th round for $1 and Dylan Cozens in the 17th round for $1. I watched last season as Astros third base prospect Davis dominated in Double A earning the Texas League Player of the Week four times. In similar fashion Phillies outfield prospect Cozens also dominated Double A earning the Eastern League MVP while batting .276 with 40 HR and 21 SB.

The fun of the draft is now behind us. All that is left is to see how these players perform over the next six months. I can't wait for the first pitch.

No comments:

Post a Comment