TDGX Experts League Draft: Rounds 10-12
12 rounds in and the picking are becoming slim in the TDGX Experts League. As the player pool thins, more targets are being sniped by other owners who aren’t making many mistakes. A pick here or there raises an eyebrow every so often, but one could look at any of the 20 owner queues and the names would be 85% identical. The equivalent of day four of this draft found me reaching for players to fill holes instead of targeting the top player available. And while I’m relatively happy with the three picks, it’s the first day team ROTOscouting felt the positional pinch in TDGX after taking seven corner infielders and pitchers in the first nine rounds.
Round 10, Pick 184: Colby Rasmus, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
In the recap for rounds 7-9, I mentioned adding 50-plus players to the queue before heading into Atlanta for the evening. Many picks came and went before the TDGX pick reminder hit my phone. Dexter Fowler, my top target, was already secured. To my delight, Rasmus entered the fold too as the second ranked player behind Fowler.
Colby Rasmus is far from perfect, but his combination of age (27) and pedigree (former 1st round pick) was worth the flyer. Plus the Blue Jays outfielder was coming off stellar .276/.338/.501 season. Yes, the .356 BABIP played a role in that, but every projection system still expects Rasmus to be an above average offensive performer.
Shane Victorino and Joc Pederson came off the board later in the round which is interesting. Rasmus is younger, but not as productive as Victorino while Pederson is younger than Rasmus, but has yet to make his MLB debut. With a five year age gap separating each player, it’s great insight into the value of age-versus-performance in a format like TDGX.
Round 11, Pick 217: Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto is coming off an injury-plagued 2013 after accumulating 200 innings pitched for the first time a previous year. Is this coincidence? I hope so given Cueto was a 4.5 win pitcher with a heavier workload. Just 28, it seems as if the Reds pitcher has been around forever. And while he comes to team ROTOscouting with some associated risk, a pitcher in my sweet spot for success (More than seven K/9, less than three BB/9 and a 50 percent GB%) was impossible to pass up.
On the depth chart, Cueto becomes a strong fantasy three behind Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole. Plus, his low ERA/WHIP ways will offset expected growing pains from Zack Wheeler. He serves as a fine consolation prize considering Hisashi Iwakuma was our top pitcher queued entering the round. Additionally, coveted prospects including Maikel Franco and Chris Owings came off the board in round 11 too. In the end, the bulk of team ROTOscouting’s points will come from the pitching side of things. If the arms perform as expected and the offense finishes middle of the pack, this team will be competitive.
Round 12, Pick 224: Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners
Given Twins Yosmil Pinto is still on the board at the end of round 18 and Devon Mesoraco lasted until the 17th, Zunino is the first pick I regret making. In TDGX, the ability to pencil a catcher into the starting lineup for the next decade has considerable value, but Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. came off the board at the end of round 12. Given only two of five outfield spots were filled when this pick was made, it was the wrong call.
Regardless, Zunino would have gone much higher a year earlier. and I can’t complain about buying low. In 2014, projection systems which take playing time into account expect a batting average of .230-.237, 14 home runs and 51-53 runs batted in from the soon-to-be 23-year old. With improvement, a prime of .260 with 20-25 home runs is not out of the question. considering Matt Wieters came off the board round eight, pick eight, Zunino will add considerable value with production and experience.
TDGX Preview: Rounds 13-19
Are you ready for some prospects? Pick 19 will be made sometime today, but half of our picks in rounds 13-18 have been prospects who slipped through the cracks. In drafts like TDGX, targeting specific prospects is a losing play. Instead, keep a queue full of them and select those who can’t be passed over any longer. With this strategy, you’ll be adding value with every prospect pick — even if those selected are not a personal favorite.
5 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman / 1
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