TDGX Experts League Draft: Rounds 27-33
The TDGX Experts League draft is winding down. After this recap, only one more remains for readers to
enjoyloathe. Yes, recapping 40 rounds of an extremely deep draft is excessive, but this breakdown should serve two purposes;
- Blurbs on 40 players you may or may not be targeting in dynasty drafts.
- A definitive strategy guide to building a deep dynasty league franchise primed for long term success.
Hopefully, readers are finding these pieces informative. Maybe my pseudo apology for the overkill is due to my having a draft hangover after 35 rounds and nearly 700 draft picks.
Round 27, Pick 537: Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres
Yes, Austin Hedges is a defense first catcher whose bat may or may not develop. He’s also ranked as the top catching prospect in baseball and top-30 overall. What other owners poo-poo, I celebrate. With Mike Zunino and Hedges in the fold, my roster includes two true catchers who’ll man the position at the MLB level for a decade or more barring career altering injury. And if Hedges develops into a .260 hitter with 15-home runs, he’ll be a solid play at catcher, or in a utility spot of a TDGX league with 14 positional starters and 20 teams.
Having two, long term assets at catcher means I can ignore the position for years to come and not miss a beat, targeting players at other positions instead of feeling forced to fill holes. In searching Hedges on the site, I discussed this exact scenario back in spring training 2013.
Round 28, Pick 544: Kelvin Herrera, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Did any readers notice Herrera’s second half last season? It was briefly discussed during an earlier piece about Greg Holland and why the Royals should consider dealing its closer at peak value. Herrera posted a 1.58 FIP including 12.03 K/9 against 1.76 BB/9. Those are the peripherals of an elite closer. Plus, Luke Hochevar‘s Tommy John surgery moves Herrera into a more valuable bullpen role.
In 5×5, I expect Herrera to be a three category force (ERA, WHIP, K). In deep dynasty leagues, it’s vital to have impact relievers with big peripherals. Too many owners draft a closer or two early and then ignore relief pitching until the final rounds. Those crummy relievers negate the added value of shut down closers by driving up the combined ERA/WHIP of the bullpen, while bringing strikeout rates down. Load the bullpen. Reap the rewards.
Round 29, Pick 577: Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Miami Marlins
Projection systems are unified in their general dislike for Adeiny Hechavarria’s offensive potential. That’s fine. If he chips in 4-6 home runs and 11-14 steals as expected, I’ll be happy. Just 24, I’m not sure why he stuck around this long.
Alcides Escobar, who’s projected for 4-5 home runs, 19-26 stolen bases and a marginally higher batting average, was drafted in round 12, pick 232. Is Escobar better than Hechavarria in a vacuum? Obviously, but drafts like this are about gaining added value with each pick. In terms of value, selecting Hechavarria 355 picks after Escobar came off the board makes for a healthy and talented roster.
Round 30, Pick 584: Reymond Fuentes, OF, San Diego Padres
Falling back on a player I’ve scouted in person, Reymond Fuentes impacts games with is speed and defense. Entering 2013, his prospect star had faded. Nobody expected him to combine for a .330/.413/.448 line in Double-A and Triple-A. He also chipped in 35 steals in 46 attempts. Fuentes’ debut was miserable, but an injury to Cameron Maybin leaves him as arguably the only true center fielder on the 40-man roster.
Full season projections have Fuentes batting .237-.243 with five home runs and 24-28 stolen bases. In comparison, Billy Hamilton (Taken 58th overall) is projected to hit .233-.264 with 2-6 home runs and 56-68 steals. Like Hechavarria/Escobar, I’d rather have Hamilton over Fuentes in a vacuum. But when Fuentes is selected more than 500 picks after Hamilton in the TDGX draft, I can’t help but think his return on investment will be huge.
Round 31, Pick 617: Chad Billingsley, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley was once one of the better young arms in the National League. Unfortunately, a career walk rate of 3.76 BB/9 made it impossible for the Dodgers right-hander to ever be the star he was once projected to be. Before succumbing to Tommy John surgery in 2013, Billingsley posted the lowest walk rates of his career in 2012. My hope is he’ll return to that form and be a quality starter for years to come.
Before selecting Billingsley, Cardinals Jaime Garcia came off the board. This was perplexing considering shoulder injuries are generally much worse than elbows. Plus, Billingsley is expected back as early as May. Turning 30 this season, he joins Erick Aybar as the oldest players on team ROTOscouting. Thankfully, veteran leadership is not a 5×5 category.
Round 32, Pick 624: Robbie Ray, LHP, Detroit Tigers
Ranking on major top-100 lists, Ray being available this late in the TDGX draft was a surprise — especially after having success in Double-A. The plan with this pick was to begin rounding out the bench with position players, but the upside of Ray was too much to pass on. Besides, a bench full of top-100 pitching prospect will always be more valuable in trade than Joe Schmo bench guy.
Round 33, Pick 657: Enny Romero, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
See the Ray blurb above. Romero isn’t perfect, but the left-hander pitches in an organization known for maxing out the ceiling of its pitching prospects. He may wind up in the pen given Romero’s command issues, but that’s fine. Closers are gold in deep 5×5 formats and the 23-year old can pump 94 MPH from the left side for days.
TDGX Preview: Round 34-40
At the time this piece is posted, the TDGX draft will be in the middle of round 35. With 10 prospects and a full starting staff, it’s time to round out the bench with players with just enough oomph to keep active roster spots warm for the wave of Double-A talent entering the fray in 2015. Will team ROTOscouting finally break down and select a player older than 30 in TDGX? I’ll do my best to avoid it, but the best position players left are admittedly long in the tooth.
12 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /