March 21, 2017
My First Draft of 2017
Last night, I had my first draft or auction of the season. It’s my second season in the league, which is a fairly casual one with friends, a lot of whom are more inclined towards fantasy football than fantasy baseball. Here are some other league settings for background:
My major league and MLE keepers:
Fairly important positional eligibility note: the commissioner noted before the freeze date that players who did not play 20 games at any position during the prior season were eligible at the positions(s) where they played 20 or more times during the season before the previous season. This means Kyle Schwarber is eligible at catcher on Opening Day, unlike most leagues with 20-game positional requirements. I was pretty happy about this ruling.
My minor league keepers (can stay in minors indefinitely until promoted to starting lineup):
No great shakes, but not terrible. I went into the draft strongly suspecting that by the end of the draft, several minor leaguers better than Jose Berrios would be available, allowing me to drop Berrios for them. I still like him, though, just not necessarily in a league like this.
I’m not going to list every pick by every team over the course of the draft, but the first three rounds could be instructive for your upcoming drafts, so here’s what happened:
Justin Verlander was the best player remaining by a fairly wide margin and my pitching keepers weren’t especially deep, so he was an easy pick, especially with QS being a category. The fact that QS is a category also factored heavily into my selection of Danny Duffy. In addition to being the best SP on the board when I selected him, Duffy is RP-eligible, which gives him extra value positionally compared to leagues with undifferentiated pitcher spots. Getting more strikeouts and more QS from a RP spot is a big help in this league. Adrian Beltre was a fairly easy selection, too, as he was one of the best bats available at the time and the best 3B available by a fairly wide margin.
With add/drops happening only once a month, having backups on your roster for as many spots as possible matters a lot. I have backups or ways to fill every position in the event of injury at every position except catcher. In addition to guys I drafted, I have a backup SS available in my minor league system in Tim Anderson and a few backup outfielders available via the same avenue in Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and David Dahl. I’d have to promote each of these four players to the majors and start their MLE clocks, but that’s OK.
I went with the two highest ranked minor leaguers on my sheet with my last two picks, Gleyber Torres and Amed Rosario. After the draft was over, I also did what I had planned on doing and dropped Jose Berrios for a minor leaguer. I went with Francisco Mejia, who might have been a slight reach based on most industry prospect rankings. I think I’m higher on him than most people.
Overall, I’m happy with this team. If I’m in contention, I have plenty of MLEs and minor leaguers to trade for short-term help. If I’m not in contention, I have a good base for next year already and a lot of big chips to cash in for draft picks, MLEs and/or minor leaguers. Let’s start the season already and see what happens.