Back in May during Memorial Day Jake, @GatorSosa, who writes @SupdogSports and covers the Rays for @Prospects1500, and an all-around great guy, decided to do a dynasty mock to see how values have changed and have some fun. As a 50 round slow draft it took about a month to finish. Jake built a group of stellar analysts who you should definitely be following/reading if you aren’t. Here’s the group (in randomly generated draft order):
- Lucas Biery
- Corbin Young
- Mags and I
- Eric Cross
- Chris Clegg
- Jake Deveraux
- Michael Waterloo
- Ben Wilson
- Jorge Montanez
- James Anderson
Since – as always – when drafting or being in a league the first thing you need to do is know the rules – here were the settings for the league:
Roto league, 5×5
50 man rosters
22 active slots: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI 5 OF, 1 UT, 9 P
What?! Your league is not using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.
Before we dive into the mock – let’s discuss some approaches. In my last article, I talked about some ways to think about co-managing – which I did with Mags in this draft – but there are also some important things to think about no matter what.
When entering into a dynasty draft I, generally, am far more likely to go for a win-now/soon team – something that Mags and I agreed on for this draft. While it can be fun to build a “tricycle” team, most win-now teams, even if you draft a few guys who likely only have a couple of years left, can build you a winning team. If you are smart with where you sprinkle in prospects and feel confident in your (or your co-drafters) ability to pick some good late prospects, you can really take this approach and build a perennial contender (depending on league depth/trading/good adds/etc).
There is also a year 2-3 approach, where you can build a mainly win-now team, but really lean on the prospects a year or two away and run from there. Shelly Verougstraete, DevJake, and I discussed this on Commissioner’s Office.
So, with that background – you can find the whole draft here.
My Approach to the Draft
First, I’ll comment some on what I noticed in the draft. You can find more on this shortly on the Commissioner’s Office pod after I talk with Jake about it this weekend. After that, we’ll look at some players who weren’t your biggest movers in terms of draft spot now vs. preseason because they were already near the top, but as has been noted elsewhere ad nauseam – 1 draft spot is not the same thing high in a draft as later in a draft.
So, in the first round, you saw the expected big 3 go with Soto, Acuña Jr., and Tatis. Then the next pick is generally where things have been in flux, and it would seem completely defensible to go any number of directions there. Mags and I had that pick and we bounced around a few names, of course including the great Mike Trout. However, we ultimately settled on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
As we’ll explore more in a little bit, I compared the draft positions of this draft to where the players went in 6 of the roto leagues I run that had start-up drafts this offseason with identical/similar settings. Of players drafted in the first round, Vlad was the second biggest riser when compared to others. He was drafted 19 spots higher than the average pick in the drafts where his max was 25.
This really was not that hard of a decision for Mags and me when Vlad has been showing all the promise and reason he had as a top prospect and the 22-year-old looks primed to continue this for a very long time. His statcast, to borrow a phrase from DMendy, would make a bull angry (though fun fact – bulls are color blind):
The first round filed out with the names you would generally expect – with Shohei Ohtani and his MVP season (and the only reason I wouldn’t put Vlad as the favorite), with Shohei at 7th overall to Chris Clegg. This is a daily league (though we weren’t using Fantrax setting where all hitting and pitching stats count no matter what), so Chris would, in this mock league, get to use the fullness of Ohtani’s dominance however he wants. Moreover, Ohtani jumped up 78.3 spots more than his average in the drafts, with a max of 118 in those drafts.
But before we look at some other big risers – and for maybe some that are less obvious than Ohtani and Vlad look at the why, and some more about how the draft ended and teams looked
First – Lucas Biery was the main team that went prospect-heavy. After opening with Soto, he loaded up his farm with Julio Rodriguez (Wander Franco went 19th overall and Jarred Kelenic 26th (to Clegg right before Eric would’ve taken his beloved Jarred)). Then Lucas continued with CJ Abrams, Gleyber Torres (who dropped 24.67 spots compared to preseason), then continued with Noelvi Marte, Alex Verdugo, Franmil Reyes, Triston Casas, Nick Gonzales, and Michael Harris to round out his top 10, taking 7 more prospects in his next 10 picks. Finally – since I’m assuming he’ just is going TINSTAAPP, he filled out his rotation with a bunch of mediocre late players
Some of the other teams that I liked (well, other than our own):
As per usual – GatorSosa had a very strong build. Starting with Tatis and then filling out his offense and his pitching with some other bats like J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yelich, Austin Meadows, and a still depressed value Jo Adell, and starting his rotation with a top 3 of Walker Buehler, Yu Darvish, and Kyle Hendricks
Roto_Nino opened with Kyle Tucker, Wander Franco, Trent Grisham, Andrew Vaughn, and Alex Kirilloff before taking a number of prospects, including Jesus Luzardo, Riley Greene, Jasson Dominguez, and Jordan Groshans – ultimately building a future-oriented squad with some very high upside prospects
@TBDubbs11 built a win now and future team – taking Jazz Chilsolm Jr. in the third as Jazz jumped 167 spots from his average pre-season ADP. His rotation is not my favorite, starting with Ian Anderson, John Means, and Josh Hader, but as prospects come up it is a good team going forward.
I won’t break down all of the teams here, but as per usual DevJake drafted a great squad, DMendy has a nice Shane Bieber, Lucas Gioltio, Sandy Alcantara front 3, Eric Cross pounded the prospect drum as well, while MattyDubbz drafted a strong contender for right now, and RealJRAnderson also went prospect heavy with a rotation fit for the Olympic baseball team from some country that doesn’t play baseball but these people’s ancestors lived there 800 years ago.
Take a look at the rosters yourself and drop in the comments whose teams you like/dislike and what your favorite strategy was/is!
Many of the biggest changes were players who, in many of the preseason leagues were not drafted at all, even in the 30 teamers that drafted 9000 players. There were 6 of those:
Sam Long, Spencer Strider, Peyton Battenfield, Anthony Bender, Cole Irvin, Tylor Megill, Korry Howell, Jake Brentz, and Samad Taylor.
Long is a (currently injured) starter for the Giants who has pretty mediocre. Strider is a 22 year old Braves prospect out of Clemson. Battenfield is a starter in the Rays system, Bender the rookie reliever for the Marlins who has a sub 1 ERA on the season. Irvin has been starting for the A’s this year and has been a good and serviceable starter (isn’t it amazing how guys like this didn’t get drafted in 9000 player drafts just months ago???). Megill likewise has been a solid starter (in limited duty) for the Mets. Howell is a Brewers SS prospect, Brentz has thrown in 41 games for the Roayls in relief to the tune of a 2.75 ERA, and Samad Taylor is a 2b in the Blue Jays system who has been crushing the ball in AA to a .303/393/567 triple slash with 12 homers, 17 steals, and a 157 WRC+.
Some of the other big risers are Jake Eder, Brayan Bello, Adolis Garcia (no duh), and Jon Gray.
Some of the others who jumped (you can see the whole table here):
Tyler Naquin, Odubel Herrera, Vladimir Gutierrez, Yermin Mercedes, James Kaprielian, Akil Baddoo, Josh Rojas, Michael Harris, Carlos Rodon, Taylor Widener, Zach McKinstry, Alek Manoah, Logan Webb, and Justin Mason, er, Cedric Mullins.
If you go through the spreadsheet and even just those names above, you’ll notice that it’s a number of the same guys who have jumped into relevance in any/all of your leagues, even redraft leagues. Mercedes, Naquin, Herrera, Gutierrez, Kaprielian, Baddoo, Mag’s beloved Josh Rojas, Rodon, Widener, McKinstry, Manoah, Webb, and Mullins have all jumped up in every setting and format. The others here are prospects who, as we’ve gotten to watch the game again and see prospects for the first time since 2019 have made big impressions. I would certainly make sure, as Eric and Chris drop some more prospect analysis next week – to take a look at these guys and see why they jumped up these boards the way they did!
We’ll be back next week to break down some more on the draft in light of the new rankings that Eric and Chris will be dropping next week, and be sure to listen to the Commissioner’s office as the next two episodes will be more breaking down of this draft with GatorSosa and Mags!
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