Anatomy of a Keeper League: Minor League Draft

Now that we got the Major League Draft out of the way, I’m going to show my preparation for the minor league draft.

If you read my stuff on a regular basis, I’m pretty well versed in Minor League Baseball; I’ve ranking over 300 players per team and 100 in general. I feel I have a pretty good knowledge of the minors.

With our MiLB roster expanding to 15 spots, I felt I could get a guy at each position (including 3 outfielders). I decided to spend the other 7 spots on pitchers – 5 starter and 2 relievers.

I had 4 minor league keepers: Derek Holland, Eric Hosmer, Jesus Montero, and Jarrod Parker. That’s 2 starters, first base, and catcher locked up.

Round 1
With the first overall pick, I have no question as to who to take – Stephen Strasburg. I traded up for this reason. With the Nationals starting him in Double A, I shouldn’t have to use him this year either.

1. Short Bus All Stars – Stephen Strasburg
2. Team HC – Desmond Jennings
3. Team H – Martin Perez
4. Team H – Dustin Ackley
5. Team B – Starlin Castro
6. Team H – Aroldis Chapman
7. Bizkits – Miguel Sano
8. Team OWS – Chris Carter
9. Team VSB – Ryan Westmoreland
10. Team 25A – Domonic Brown

All solid picks. Chad is being a homer here; there was much better talent available. Westmoreland was taken before his brain surgery, which makes that pick unfortunate.

Round 2
I gave up my second round pick for the first overall pick; still worth it.

1. Team 25A – Kyle Drabek
2. Team VSB – Casey Crosby
3. Team OWS – Casey Kelly
4. Bizkits – Tyler Matzek
5. Team H – Michael Taylor
6. Team B – Brett Lawrie
7. Team SC – Christian Friedrich
8. Team H – Jenrry Mejia
9. Team HC – Jaff Decker
10. Bizkits – Kyle Gibson

For those keeping track at home, Chad has 2 homer picks in his first 3; it’s also the last. I would have gone for Taylor here, but he would have been gone by my pick. I probably would have taken my third round pick here (pick 8).

Round 3
I took Shelby Miller here; call me a homer, but he was one of the higher upside picks in the 2009 MLB Draft. There have been a few Rick Porcello comparisons, although I don’t see it past the high upside high schoolers.

1. Team C – Derek Norris
2. Team HC – Drew Storen
3. Short Bus All Stars – Shelby Miller
4. Team SC – Josh Bell
5. Team B – Mike Montgomery
6. Team H – Matt Moore
7. Bizkits – Alex Liddi
8. Team OWS – Mike Leake
9. Team VSB – Dee Gordon
10. Team 25A – Lonnie Chisenhall

Another solid round; I’m not high on Liddi, but there are worse picks that could have been made. Leake was a great pick and is pitching in the majors; he’s also the Reds most productive pitcher right now. Had I kept my second round pick, I’d have pick Jacob Turner right here.

Round 4
At the end of the round, I felt Wilmer Flores had the most value, even if he moves to third base. He’s got a lot of up side and could be a good trade chip later on; I view a majority of my minor leaguers in this fashion, unless they are close to contributing.

1. Team 25A – Simon Castro
2. Team VSB – Jacob Turner
3. Team OWS – Donovan Tate
4. Bizkits – Scott Sizemore
5. Team SC – Jiovanni Mier
6. Team B – Jason Castro
7. Team SC – Tyler Flowers
8. Short Bus All Stars – Wilmer Flores
9. Team HC – Michael Saunders
10. Team C – Manny Banuelos

Another solid round. Mier went high, but it could look like a good pick in a couple of years. Castro and Flowers are both good catching prospects. I think Banuelos will be a find.

Round 5
This is the point where teams start dropping off because of their keepers. I found another gem here that’s close to being ready. When the Reds decide on a position for him, Todd Frazier is going to be a pretty good player.

1. Team C – Tyson Gillies
2. Team HC – Grant Green
3. Short Bus All Stars – Todd Frazier
4. Team SC – Alex White
5. Team B – Aaron Crow
6. Bizkits – Brett Jackson
7. Team OWS – David Freese
8. Team VSB – James Darnell
9. Team 25A – Arodys Vizcaino

I was high on Vizcaino and was hoping he’d drop one more round. Nothing out of the ordinary here. We’re going to start getting some reaches soon and I’ll start taking a few chances on some players.

Round 6
Here’s one of those chances; Allen Craig of the Cardinals. He’s hit at every level and getting his feet wet in the majors this year. He’ll have to be traded from the Cardinals to get full value though.

1. Team 25A – Chris Withrow
2. Team VSB – Daniel Hudson
3. Team OWS – Brad Lincoln
4. Bizkits – Bobby Borchering
5. Team B – Zach Stewart
6. Team SC – Aaron Miller
7. Short Bus All Stars – Allen Craig
8. Team HC – Zach Britton
9. Team C – Randy Ruiz

Ruiz is a weak pick, but so is Craig compared to some of the others. Worse case scenario is dropping him next year. Britton doesn’t have much upside either. The pick of the round goes to Chad with Borchering.

Round 7
Here I go with Hector Rondon, who is one of the highest ranked guys left. He’s a great prospect and I think he’ll look like a steal in the next year.

1. Team HC – Mike Minor
2. Short Bus All Stars – Hector Rondon
3. Team SC – Jared Mitchell
4. Team B – Carlos Triunfels
5. Bizkits – Zach Braddock
6. Team OWS – Ruben Tejada
7. Team VSB – Jordan Lyles
8. Team 25A – Tanner Scheppers

Triunfels was the first of 2 guys drafted that were non-keepers. I’m not high on the pick, but it could look good if he can rebound. Braddock and Lyles are weak picks in my opinion too.

Round 8
Here’s where I take Daniel Schlereth, who I looked at during the Major League draft. It was good holding off since he didn’t make the team out of spring training. He’ll be up this season but I don’t think he’ll hit the stat levels to have to be activated.

1. Team OWS – Hank Conger
2. Team SC – Nick Weglarz
3. Short Bus All Stars – Daniel Schlereth
4. Team HC – Daryl Jones
5. Team C – Zach McAllister

Conger was the other re-draft; he was a non-keeper from my team since I traded for Montero. DJ looks like a strong pick if he can rebound. McAllister has little upside, so this pick isn’t the greatest.

Round 9
Down to 3 teams picking. I had 2 spots for outfielders and 1 for a reliever; had better options been available, I would have taken them. I stuck with the plan and took Chris Heisley from the Reds.

1. Short Bus All Stars – Chris Heisley
2. Team SC – Wilson Ramos
3. Team OWS – Zach Wheeler

For 3 teams, this was an incredibly solid round. My pick was probably the worst one. I should have taken Wheeler, but was focused on Heisley.

Round 10
Here’s where I took my other thought from the Major League draft: Jess Todd. Todd could be a closer if Chris Perez falters. He’s got a low ceiling, but has fantasy value.

1. Team OWS – Trevor Reckling
2. Team SC – Andrew Lambo
3. Short Bus All Stars – Jess Todd

Same as last round, another solid round with my team in last. Reckling is a great player for this late into a draft. Lambo can be a solid pick if he rebounds.

Round 11
Second to last round and only 2 teams left. I take Gorkys Hernandez, who has the tools but hasn’t put them together yet. At worse, I’ll have an additional pick next year. Best case scenario is a solid sleeper.

1. Short Bus All Stars – Gorkys Hernandez
2. Team OWS – Tony Abreu

Abreu was an attractive pick until the D’backs picked up Kelly Johnson. When you figure you’re this late into a minor league draft, you’ll see more chances being taken.

Round 12
I have the lone pick here. I go with Cuban Jose Iglesias. His bat is weak at this time, but he’s got plenty of time to develop.

1. Short Bus All Stars – Jose Iglesias

With that, I have a minor league roster that looks like…
C – Jesus Montero
1B – Eric Hosmer
2B – Todd Frazier
3B – Wilmer Flores
SS – Jose Iglesias
OF – Allen Craig, Chris Heisley, Gorkys Hernandez
SP – Derek Holland, Shelby Miller, Jarrod Parker, Hector Rondon, Stephen Strasburg
RP – Daniel Schlereth, Jess Todd

A solid roster, but a little underwhelming. At the time of the draft, I was happy, but as time has gone on, the appeal of some of these players has disappeared.

Next time, we’ll look at roster management, unless you readers have Fantasy Questions. One thing I’d like to do is field some questions and help others play fantasy baseball. Trade scenarios, waiver pick ups, who to start, etc…

One last thing – who would you rather have in a keeper league: Tim Lincecum or Stephen Strasburg? Why? Answer in the comments.

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