Reviewing my body of work for Major League Fantasy Sports, six of my seven articles have focused on Minor League Baseball outfielders. Not a problem whatsoever considering my arguably semi-obsessive/compulsive tracking of MLB Prospects, far beyond a team’s Top 30.
The great news for everyone with my writing about Shortstops this week is that I won’t heap more praise on Ronald Acuña. Although, I can share that in my MLFS 16-team draft last Thursday, March 22, I GOT HIM! Yes, I “reached,” drafting Acuña in the 6th Round (91st Overall). I had to! (Corey immediately reminded me that this is a Redraft League. I know.) But with Acuña’s sterling Spring Training performance and knowing that in mid-April he will be called up (barring a massively unforeseen circumstance), he had been shooting up ADP charts. (When I started my MiLB research three weeks ago, his ADP average was 133.0 with an NFBC-high of 114. In my draft last week, he was #102. I was not going to lose out again, so I drafted him a round too early.) OR NOT.
I asked a friend if he felt drafting Acuña in the first round at #6 Overall would have been excessive. His retort came in less than 1.1 seconds and was less than 100% nice, but was more than 1000% accurate. Of course it was. I do know this (truly) and would never encourage you (or me) to draft him that early. But even in this 16-team Redraft League, his talent will help me win weeks and hopefully, the whole enchilada. (But did you know that Acuña is ranked #13 (thirteen!) overall per Dynasty League Guru’s Top 500?)
Speaking of drafting, I am in a total of four active leagues:
- 30-team Dynasty (Full MLB System | No draft | H2H) [founded January 2018]
- 14-team Dynasty (25-man Roster | Lite Farm System | Auction draft | H2H) [founded March 2017]
- 16-team Annual Redraft (26-man Roster | Snake draft | H2H) [joined February 2018]
- 15-team Dynasty (25 Keepers | 40-man Roster | Snake Draft to fill out roster | Roto) [joined Sunday on a whim]
Please don’t misinterpret the newness of these leagues for a lack of experience. I am old, lol, with my fantasy gaming experiences dating back to the mid-1990s and the days of Sandbox (which now re-directs to RotoWorld? That was interesting). But as you know, leagues come … and then they go. But with the above 16-team League (have an opening in the 30-teamer, by the way) and my recent MLFS Mock Draft, I have a couple recent experiences to draw upon to share my personal Shortstop Musings. (And I really hope we do play out the Mock Draft league. No transactions [except to replace an injured player] and no trades … it’s my only Roto league. I’m curious how it will end!)
Check that. It was my only Roto league until I joined the 4th league late last week, drafting Sunday. More below.
16-team Annual Redraft League
Having the 6th overall pick, 3B Nolan Arenado (Rockies) fell to me. I was debating between SS Trea Turner (Nationals) and Arenado. I had drafted Turner in the Mock Draft and having never owned Arenado, gambled on the slugger. His consistent power, production, and presence in that lethal Rockies’ lineup is what ultimately swung my selection to Arenado. Understanding that 3B is deeper than SS, I had several SS targets that would keep me happy.
I ultimately landed SS Didi Gregorius (Yankees) in Round 7 (#102 Overall) – and couldn’t have been happier. Gregorius is coming off of a career year in 2017 with 25 HRs, 87 RBI, and a 0.287 AVG. Yes, I’d love him to get on-base a bit more (0.318), but he does not strikeout much (12.30%) and his on-base numbers are improving, even if ever-so-slightly (up 0.014 from 2016 to 2017, but it’s improvement, darn it!). I will gladly take this with his increased power, not to mention he also missed nearly a month last season. (Can you say 30 bombs?)
But this league also has Infield (INF) and Utility (UT) positions, so I was looking for a backup SS in the later rounds. I had my sights set on a personal favorite, Amed Rosario (Mets). Talk about needing to cut back on the strikeouts … just wow! (Rosario struckout 49 times in 170 plate appearances – with only 3 BB – in his cup of coffee last season. Where is my wide-eyeballed emoji when I need it?!) But the kid is young and I am a firm believer in his ceiling and I strongly suspect that he will get there.
In the 19th Round, I drafted my backup catcher, Jonathan Lucroy (Athletics), hoping he can return to the glory years of his Brewers’ production. In the 20th Round, I selected RP Yusmeiro Petit (Athletics) because I only had three RPs at that point and they were flying off the board. (By the way, have you seen his 2017 plus 2018 Spring number? Just sayin’.) With the 326th pick (Round 21), I selected Trevor WIlliams (Pirates). Williams was my 6th starter and I probably could have had him in the 23rd or 24th round. But being a Pirates’ fan, I’ve watched him evolve into a really solid pitcher, especially down the stretch to close out 2017.
And then Rosario was gone. Just as Bilal sniped Acuña in the Mock Draft, he struck again, taking Rosario in the 22nd Round, six picks before I was going to draft the SS. My own fault, really. Looking back, I am about 100% certain I would rather have Rosario over Williams, knowing I would have been able to find a 6th starter in rounds 22-26. I was probably jaded a little by having Rosario in each of my Dynasty Leagues and already having Gregorius, so I was drafting need more than luxury.
12-team MLFS Mock Draft
First, yes, let’s play this out! (If I haven’t already said that.)
Second, Trea Turner, seriously?! In 2016, I drafted Turner in a Keeper Auction Draft for $7 (would have been cheaper, but some joker was being cute.) Anyway, I was a believer then and all the kid has done is proven since is that he has game. That and attending a Nationals’ game in Washington on September 6, 2016. Watching Turner smack two home runs (including the game winner) had me jumping up and down like I was 12. What is difficult to believe is that in 24 short months, Turner has gone from a $7 auction win to a #5 top selection.
Full disclosure on Turner: I did trade him last year, after he got hurt, because I knew I was leaving that league. I ended up landing some guys named Manny Machado (Orioles) and Lance McCullers, Jr. (Astros) for Turner. Not a bad return in a league for which I no longer held any interest. I was looking to win in my final year and healthy bodies were the ticket.
Perhaps I should have reviewed this draft before participating in the Snake Draft on March 22. In Round 22, I successfully drafted my backup SS for the Mock Draft: Amed Rosario.
Thus, the only team I have that doesn’t have Rosario is that 16-teamer. I need to reach out to Bilal, until …
15-team Creme de la Creme Snake Draft
While trolling a message board looking for warm bodies to fill a couple of spaces in two of my leagues (psst: they’re still open), I stumbled upon this league. Insanerp (also known as Rob) is the commissioner who was looking for one more GM, draft on Sunday, March 25th. A couple of questions and I was in.
The league is in its 4th season and so I already had my 25 keepers. (Ewww.)
And I had missed my opportunities to trade up/ down/ etc. … so I was stuck.
Drafting 10th in the odd rounds and 6th in the even, I finally may have have a 2018 experience worth fretting over.
Looking over my roster, we had a plethora of needs: RP, LF, CF, RF, OF, (yes all FOUR), and 3B. When you’re picking in the 26th round, even with only 15 teams, there are not unlimited depths of talent from which to pick. But there is some value to be had.
I missed Tyler Chatwood (Cubs) in Round 26 [he is going to be huge this year] and thus led off with Jeimer Candelario (Tigers) because I’m a believer. I didn’t own him in any other league until yesterday’s Free Agent acquisition in the 14-team league, so I figured I would just keep adding leagues until I got him. (Kidding. Sort of.)
Several other rosters are loaded with MiLB talent and when it started disappearing in this draft, I reacted, ultimately drafting Luis Urias (Padres, SS/2B, 27th), Kyle Wright (Braves, RHP, 32nd), Shed Long (Reds, 2B, 34th), and Danny Jansen (Blue Jays, C, 38th). Not a bad slate of prospects who are close (Jansen, Wright) and maybe not as close (Urias, Long).
But drafting on ESPN’s platform and setting up my Queue … OY VEY! Drafted Justin Wilson (Cubs) in the 29th Round when my screen lagged for that one moment. I clicked Queue *right* as it became my turn to draft and the Queue button magically transformed into Draft. Ah, well, it’s a good thing I believe Wilson will have a bounce-back season. Not sure it will be worthy of his draft position, but one can hope.
Regardless, this should be an interested league. A couple teams are already so loaded it’s criminal, but aside from my MLFS Redraft league, this will likely be the most challenging competition. GAME ON!
The topic for today’s article was to be Buyer’s Remorse (missed opportunities or some derivation thereof) and my positional assignment was Shortstop. As detailed above, I can thankfully report to you that I am fortunate enough to not have any Buyer’s Remorse at this position, hence the detailed musings about so many other Draft Day foibles and adventures. Now we just need to play ’em out and see just how well we all drafted. GOOD LUCK, ALL!
Next week we will dive back into the Minor League ranks as we begin to evaluate pitchers, bringing a couple pitchers to you each week that are either on the cusp of promotion or have done something noteworthy and thus you need to know who they are. Stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and John Gozzi live on Sunday March 25th, 2018 from [7:30]-9pm EST for episode #109 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This is our kick off show for the new 2018 fantasy baseball season. We will discuss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Our guest this week is Coach Andy Macuga. Andy is the Head Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. in the San Diego area. He has been an owner in our leagues for 6+ years, and also contributes to our football shows as well. He is also the Head Football Coach for Borrego Springs.