TDGX Experts League Draft: Rounds 7-9
In the conclusion of the TDGX write up for rounds 4-6, I discussed a plan to shift gears and add a number of veterans expected to produce immediately. I lied. A pair of 23-year old pitchers piqued my interest and proved impossible to pass up. Then, my attention shifted to the outfield where a former tool shed top prospect was waiting to be scooped by team ROTOscouting.
Round 7, Pick 137: Zack Wheeler, SP, New York Mets
Did other owners forget about the about the former top prospect turned rookie standout? After all, organization mate Noah Syndergaard went off the board three slots in front of Wheeler. Zack Wheeler certainly wasn’t perfect in 2013. At 4.14 walks per nine innings, a key to his success will be to bring the walk rate down. If Wheeler can replicate a stellar August before wearing down late in the season (8.68 K/9 and 2.65 BB/9), his profile will rise quickly.
In TDGX, Wheeler becomes a strong fantasy four behind Jose Fernandez, Gerrit Cole and a veteran pitcher to be discussed when reviewing rounds 10-12. As a prospect, Wheeler’s mechanics made him an injury risk, but he’s smoothed them out with New York. Consistency should come with experience. If TDGX is any indication of a perceived drop in value, Zack Wheeler is a player to target in fantasy baseball leagues. He was ranked 70th overall on ESPN’s keeper league rankings.
Round 8, Pick 144: Trevor Rosenthal, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals Trevor Rosenthal was on my TDGX radar in round six, but Kenley Jansen and Greg Holland were both on the board. Between taking Addison Russell and Zack Wheeler, Jansen came off the board, but Holland was still available when Rosenthal was scooped.
Rosenthal has long been a personal favorite since a scout raved about him as a better pitcher than Mariners Taijuan Walker in 2011. Since then, he’s been a member of every fantasy baseball team I’ve owned.
At 23, Rosenthal was my second ranked relief pitcher in TDGX behind Craig Kimbrel. On ESPN’s keeper rankings, Rosenthal sits at 71. The former starting pitcher screams durability and he’ll close for a strong Cardinals team. 40-plus saves is the low water mark for the right-hander this season.
Round 9, Pick 177: Dexter Fowler, OF, Houston Astros
Dexter Fowler was the final outfielder selected in round nine. Adam Eaton, Brett Gardner, Kole Calhoun, Avisail Garcia and Khris Davis were all taken before Fowler became a member of team ROTOscouting. Fowler also went unranked on ESPN’s top-250 keepers list.
Earlier in the afternoon, I added more than 50 players to my queue before heading out for the evening. Dexter Fowler was number one on the list. Has Fowler had a disappointing career to date? Yes, but he still managed 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases during an injury shortened 2013 season. Having missed 43 games, Fowler would have been a 15 home run, 25 stolen base contributor. I’m a sucker for that kind of production.
Of course his career home/away splits are concerning (.880 OPS at home versus .694 OPS away), but trusting the Astros to turn lemons to lemonade is easy to do considering they’ve added players like Matt Dominguez and Chris Carter for pennies on the dollar in recent years. Not only do the Astros draft and develop well, but they’ve been very active in the market making smaller moves to net former top prospects and first round picks.
TDGX Day Four Strategy
Admittedly, I’m writing this after making the selections in question. Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up discussion of rounds 10-12 with the selection of a second outfielder, starting pitcher and catcher of the future. After that, I’ll be back every seven picks with quick updates on players selected. Eight pieces covering all things TDGX draft seems like plenty.
3 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /
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