TDGX Experts League Draft: Rounds 1-3
The Dynasty Guru Experts League draft (TDGX) sped through its first three rounds yesterday with team ROTOscouting selecting 1-17, 2-24 and 3-57. With the second pick of day two (4-64), the young core of this team will be set by mid-morning. In general, my strategy entering drafts is to secure talent up the middle early and worry about the rest later. Of course that was blown to hell early on. Ultimately, I opted for the best combination of talent and youth, choosing to ignore position scarcity.
Round 1, Pick 17: Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
Ranked 28th in the ESPN top-250, Fernandez wound up being the second pitcher taken behind Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, the seventh overall pick. At 21, the right-hander has top flight stuff, a durable frame and rookie numbers to fawn over. Of course the same was said about Matt Harvey entering 2013 before Tommy John Surgery. Drafting a pitcher in the first round of the TDGX draft is risky, but I’m resigned to the fact all pitchers eventually break, so just pick the best player and move on. Based on age and future production, I’m convinced Fernandez was the best available value in TDGX.
Additionally, my 5×5 auction strategy has always been to go big on one elite arm and then shop the dollar store later on. Dollar values aren’t a factor, but the idea is the same. With Fernandez, I’ll be free to scoop bats in the middle rounds while other teams are jockeying for mid tier arms of similar value.
Round 2, Pick 24: Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals
My first round pick came down to Fernandez/Hosmer, so I was thrilled when he slipped to my second round pick in TDGX. Ranked 10th on ESPN’s list, Hosmer has the ability to hit .300 with 25 home runs, 10 steals with 100 runs and runs batted in through his prime. Yes, thoughts of James Loney crossed my mind just before making this pick, but Hosmer’s power spiked last season. It also helps that Tory Hernandez, ROTOscouting contributor and industry insider, expects the 24-year old to develop into the best first baseman in baseball.
Even though it’s a dynasty league draft and Hosmer can be kept until he retires, or for as long as the league exists, running a dollar value calculator based on 2013 values helped with the decision. First, a developing Hosmer was worth $23.70 last season, ranking him 32nd amongst position players. Jason Werth ranked 20th ($26.40) with a .320 batting average including 25 home runs and 10 stolen bases. He also surpassed 80 runs scored and runs batted in. Werth’s 2013 is awfully similar to the level of production I’m expecting from Hosmer on a yearly basis in TDGX. I’m a big fan of using dollar value calculators when it comes to analyzing levels of production, not just individual players.
Round 3, Pick 57: Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Pedro Alvarez has been the butt of many jokes over the past few years. In the Ottoneu Experts League, I’ve ridden that lack of respect to $900 in winnings. For that, the third baseman holds a special place in my heart. Ranked 33rd per ESPN, the reality is Alvarez was a steal this late in the draft. No, he won’t hit for average, steal bases, or score runs in bunches, but 35 home runs and 100 RBI leaves Alvarez a top-30 position player at 27.
In recent years, dollar values have shifted from speed to power. No longer is Michael Bourn the undervalued asset. In today’s game, low batting average, high power players are the new market inefficiency. The only catch is one can’t afford to keep too many players with this profile. With that said, another owner will profit from adding Mark Trumbo later on.
TDGX Day Two Strategy
27 is the magic number when it comes to age and dynasty league drafts. The combination of talent and youth allows a team to remain competitive for years. In the TDGX draft, other owners probably expect my strategy to include drafting a bunch of prospects given my background. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, I would have popped Byron Buxton in round two had he been available, but he was the only prospect I’d consider drafting before securing a strong core of young players who have already been productive at the Major League level.
I’m expecting day two of the TDGX draft to be pitching heavy after many teams avoided arms early. My one concern is a run on shortstops or catchers which will force me to join in, or punt both positions entirely in the hope of grabbing a grizzled veteran in the later rounds. For the record, only bad things come from being involved in a run on players at any one position. If possible, avoid it at all costs.
27 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman / 1
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