TDGX Experts League Draft: Rounds 4-6
Day two of the TDGX fantasy baseball draft saw ROTOscouting select three more players including Pirates phenom Gerrit Cole (23), Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (24) and Athletics shortstop prospect Addison Russell (20). Through the first six rounds, the team’s elder statesman is Pedro Alvarez at 27. The youth movement caused Ben Carsley (Follow Ben) to tweet;
Of course this was after throwing a barb at him for selecting “Old” Joe Mauer (30), but I digress.
Round 4, Pick 64: Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
As Gerrit Cole was developing in the minor leagues, I spoke to a handful of scouts who had seen the right-hander pitch. While praise for Cole’s stuff was universal, so were the concerns about his fastball command. In Triple-A, it appeared as if more advanced hitters were figuring Cole out. Then, a promotion to Pittsburgh saw his strikeout totals rise while posting a stellar BB/9 of 2.15. His performance exceeded expectations — even as the former top pick of the 2011 draft.
In ESPN’s top-250 dynasty league prospects, Cole ranked 44th. Barring injury, he and Jose Fernandez will anchor my rotation for years to come. Other pitchers taken later in the fourth round of the TDGX fantasy baseball draft included Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke. Needless to say I paid a premium for the 23-year old’s extra years of production.
Round 5, Pick 97: Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Anthony Rizzo and I have a love/hate relationship in fantasy baseball. Expected to be a force for my Ottoneu Experts League team, he was dealt for Pirates Starling Marte a couple of months into the 2013 season. The 65th ranked keeper on ESPN’s list, I couldn’t pass on the combination of youth/production — even though two of my first three picks were corner infielders (Eric Hosmer and Pedro Alvarez).
In TDGX, the hope is Rizzo continues to mature and his .258 BABIP will normalize, resulting in better production. ZIPS projections have Rizzo belting 27 home runs this season while pushing 100 RBI this season. Just 24, is it fair for me to expect a Rizzo hitting .275 with 30 HR, 80 R, 100 RBI and 5 SB through his prime? I don’t think so, but @MaineSkin (Follow @MaineSkin) provides cause for some concern.
Round 6, Pick 104: Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics
An hour before making this pick, fellow owner J.D. Sussman and I were discussing how early Astros prospect Carlos Correa came off the board (Round 4, Pick 78). Then, the round 5/6 turn saw an owner select Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco. Without a middle infielder and with the Andrelton Simmons‘ of the world already selected in, I knew both Addison Russell and Francisco Lindor wouldn’t make it back to my seventh round pick.
Over the winter, I wrote a buy or sell piece about Addison Russell and put out an APB to acquire him ASAP. While writing the prospects section of the Lindy’s Fantasy Baseball annual, Russell struck me as the only player with the ability and potential opportunity to make a Jose Fernandez-like jump to MLB stardom. It was the right time for me to follow my own advice.
Russell was a glaring omission on ESPN’s top-250 keeper-league rankings when Franciso Lindor was ranked 145th. In a 5×5 format, the 20-year old Russell should develop into a .285 hitter with 20 home runs, 10-15 stolen bases and 80-plus runs and RBI. Yes please! That’s elite shortstop production if Russell develops as planned.
TDGX Day Three Stategy
After two days of drafting the core of team ROTOscouting for years to come, today’s emphasis will be the players of today. If team ROTOscouting is going to compete for the TDGX crown in year one, then veterans are needed to provide a boost — especially on offense. I’m pleased with the first six picks, but definitely not blind to the fact a handful of teams loaded up on 30-plus stars. To finish in the top-6 overall, I’ll need to close the present production gap.
28 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?