Reality Fantasy Baseball Update: Rule 4 Draft Results
In a mad dash to opening day, the Reality Fantasy Baseball Rule 4 Draft began a week after the conclusion of the international free agent phase. Having signed 19 IFA’s, we were left with six spots to fill on the 80-man roster. With about 10-million in cash reserves and four of the top-66 picks, Team ROTOscouting looked to round out its roster with future Major Leaguers ready to surface as franchise player Mike Trout becomes expensive.
It’s never a good idea to draft for need above talent, but adding 19 international players under the age of 18 forced our hand. Plus, the addition of eight shortstops, five outfielders and five pitchers didn’t help fill needs at the corner infield spots.
For the record, our Reality Fantasy Baseball team includes Evan Longoria at third base through 2016. The great Jeff Bianchi serves as our primary backup at the hot corner with Ryan Roberts on the roster as a minor league free agent. At first base, Adam LaRoche is a free agent after this season and Adam Lind can be kept for two more seasons as an arbitration eligible player. Dig deeper and we have no Reality Fantasy Baseball prospects at either corner infield position.
The rules of the draft are simple. Any unowned player is eligible. So while 2013 MLB draft picks were targeted most often, a number of unowned prospect who showed up on Baseball America top-30 lists were also selected. In this draft, Red Sox top-100 prospect Mookie Betts was the best prospect not owned by another team.
Bonus is determined by averaging the Reality Fantasy Baseball slot value and the actual MLB signing bonus. The first five rounds were completed via conference call with subsequent rounds through email. One wrinkle added by Tory Hernandez (which I was a big fan of) was to request owners submit a pick via email and allow the commish to sort it out. A fantasy baseball email thread with hundreds of responses is the worst thing ever.
Team ROTOscouting’s Reality Fantasy Baseball Selections
Round 1, Pick 22: D.J. Peterson, 3B/1B, Seattle Mariners ($2,279,500)
Interestingly enough, Ben Flajole and I debated Jagielo or Peterson with this selection. We chose the Mariners prospect for two reasons. First, he dominated the competition after signing and projects to move quickly through the system. Next, his settling in a first or third base doesn’t really matter considering our organizational needs. Safeco saps right-handed power, but he’s still worth the selection. If Peterson is ready to take over first base by 2016, adding a minimum salaried player at a position where big money is spent will help offset Trout’s first year arbitration bump. Plus, it’s always fun to scout one of “your guys” and I’ll see him in the Southern League at some point.
Round 2, Pick 42: Eric Jagielo, 3B, New York Yankees ($1,533,200)
Jagielo was solid, but unspectacular in his Staten Island debut. For selfish reasons, an assignment to Charleston would allow me to scout the third baseman in person. A second safe, college corner infielder, Team ROTOscouting hopes this draft sets us up at the corners for years to come. Word of Jagielo’s improved defense and ability to remain at third base is a positive. Not only do we need a third baseman of the future, but defense counts in Reality Fantasy Baseball’s scoring system. It pays to draft complete players and not focus on 5×5 performers.
Round 3, Pick 50: Tyler Danish, RHP, Chicago White Sox ($1,000,900)
At pick 49, Brewers Devin Williams, a player we coveted came off the board. Left without a pick, Ben decided select one expensive Danish. Knowing little about the right-handed pitcher, seeing his 28/5 strikeout-to-walk rate in 30-innings pitched was comforting. A promotion to full season Kannapolis was an even better sign. Projected to begin 2014 in the South Atlantic League, Danish will present an opportunity to scout our top-three picks this season.
Round 4, Pick 66: Nick Martinez, RHP, Texas Rangers ($390,800)
Ben pushed forward with this pick in an attempt to save money while providing Team ROTOscouting with an arm capable of reaching MLB quickly. Admittedly, I tried to find things to not like about this pick due to Michael Lorenzen and Dustin Peterson being available with this pick. However, credit Ben for identifying a player who’s likely to provide an excellent return on investment. Having scouted Allen Webster a handful of times, seeing his rapid improvement as a former shortstop turned pitcher has me excited about owning Martinez, a former shortstop himself. Plus, the Rangers are as good at scouting and developing talent as any organization in the game.
Round 5, Pick 137: Jordan Paroubeck, OF, San Diego Padres ($492,000)
After three safe picks, the goal was to select the best tools available. Paroubeck, a switch hitting outfielder with speed and power fit the bill. Plus, there’s nothing wrong in drafting a prospect whose hitting coach is Barry Bonds. Knowing little about him other than the blurb on the MLB.com Draft Tracker, watching Paroubeck’s video was enlightening. Bonds may have had the most compact swing in the history of baseball. His ability to stay inside the ball led to a swing with no holes. In watching Paroubeck, one can see a prospect trying to replicate that swing.
Round 6, Pick 155: Ryan Eades, RHP, Minnesota Twins ($779,500 est.)
At this time this is published, the selection of Eades has not been confirmed. However, his combination of signing bonus, prior labrum surgery and struggles in the Appalachian League leave us confident he’ll be our final pick of the draft. In need of pitchers with the ability to move quickly, Eades is worth the risk considering the Martinez selection left us under budget. Rumored as a first round talent, the risk-versus-reward of Eades is too much to pass up 155 picks in. As a former LSU pitcher, he has faced strong competition his entire college career and I’m comfortable betting on SEC arms to succeed. Plus, a RFB draft slot this late brings Eades’ bonus number down considerably, helping make an even stronger case.
With our 80-man roster at capacity, it’s time to gear up for the Reality Fantasy Baseball season starting in late April. The season begins late, allowing for teams to accumulate games played to use during off days. This way, every start from a team’s best players count towards win/loss totals.
26 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /
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