TDGX Experts League Draft: Rounds 13-19
With 20 teams and 40 rounds, the TDGX Experts League draft is the deepest 5×5 fantasy baseball league I’ve ever been a part of. 250-plus picks in, the expectation was a player pool full of roster filler. To my surprise, young talent with upside remained plentiful and team ROTOscouting was able to draft talented minor leaguers and add to an explosive pitching staff after filling holes up the middle.
Round 13, Pick 257: Alex Guerrero, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Alex Guerrero is a polarizing prospect, but was literally the last quality second baseman available in TDGX with age on his side. Having drafted a number of pitchers early, I found myself scrambling to fill positions before the talent pool dried up. If Guerrero fulfills his ZIPS projection of .259 with 18 home runs, I’ll be thrilled. Unfortunately, that projection is based on 665 plate appearances. I’ll just ignore that part.
Round 14, Pick 264: Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels
Having drafted Addison Russell earlier in the TDGX fantasy baseball draft, Derek Jeter would have been an acceptable stop gap at the shortstop position in 2014. team ROTOscouting doesn’t draft old guys though, so Erick Aybar was selected. Unfortunately, the 30-year old who hit 10 home runs and stole 30 bases in 2011 saw his production plummet in 2013 (six home runs, 12 stolen bases). If Aybar achieves his ZIPS projection of eight home runs and 18 stolen bases, he’ll prove better than expected.
Round 15, Pick 297: Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs
A developing trend in TDGX is for prospects considered to be better in real life than fantasy baseball to slip through the cracks. Albert Almora is a prime example of this. The Cubs outfielder is a consensus top-10 outfield prospect, top-50 overall prospect and former high first round pick. With five outfielders and two utility spots to fill for years to come, Almora is a welcome addition as a potential .300 hitter with moderate speed and power.
Round 16, Pick 304: Neftali Feliz, RHP, Texas Rangers
Other owners shied away from the 25-year old Feliz due to his spring training struggles, but TDGX is a marathon, not a sprint. Feliz has age and a strong track record of success on his side. My hope is the doom and gloom pieces linking his velocity issues to Tommy John recovery wind up being knee jerk overreactions. If Feliz’ velocity comes back when his mechanics smooth out, the right-hander will prove to be a steal.
Round 17, Pick 337: Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Durability concerns caused other owners to shy away from the Blue Jays 21-year old flame thrower. Having never seen Sanchez in person, I’m forced to rely on information from scouting contacts who universally praise his electric stuff. Having never thrown more than 90-innings, Sanchez may be forced to the bullpen at some point. In TDGX, a transition to closer of the future is the best possible outcome given how valuable saves are in a 20-team, 5×5 format.
Round 18, Pick 344: Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres starter Tyson Ross excelled in 2013. Entering his age-27 season, the right-hander posted near elite strikeout and ground ball rates. If Ross brings his walk rate under three BB/9 and accumulates 180-plus innings pitched, he’ll provide a phenomenal return on investment. Plus Ross’ success wasn’t due to PETCO Park. yes, the ERA was 2.03 at home versus 4.02 on the road, but his xFIP splits were nearly identical (3.36 away versus 3.52 home).
Round 19, Pick 377: Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have rushed Jonathan Schoop through the system, causing his numbers to be depressed at every level. Offensively, Schoop needs time in Triple-A to refine his offensive approach, but the bat speed and pop from an up the middle position leaves plenty to dream on. Plus, the second base job in Baltimore is Schoop’s as soon as he proves ready as Ryan Flaherty and Jemile Weeks are little more than late-20’s placeholders.
TDGX Pick Preview: Rounds 20-26
With five outfield and two utility spots, selecting just two outfielders through the first 19 rounds has become a real issue in terms of TDGX roster construction. The next seven rounds address those concerns in a big way as six of the picks are outfield eligible. Additionally age continued to be a deciding factor as all seven selections are 25 or younger as opposed to grizzled veterans who may be better in the near term.
10 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /
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