In just 24 hours MLB draft madness will be upon us. While it certainly has the least amount of fanfare among the four major sports, I find it to be by far the most fascinating. In Football and Basketball so much of the focus is immediate, mostly due to the older nature of prospects, particularly in football. This relies heavily on opportunity and fit with a team’s style and system. The NHL in many ways sits in the middle between the other two sports and baseball. But baseball, that’s a whole different story. In baseball it’s all about projection and development. Even the most MLB ready player spends a year plus in the minors developing. The other end of the spectrum is prep players that can marinate in the lower levels for 3-4 years. It’s an animal unto itself. So today I give you the final installment of my pre-draft posts. You can check the other two here and here. I’m going to begin with a quick mock, and follow that up with some general notes and thoughts. Let’s make this interactive, as more information matriculates, and the draft rumors circulate feel free to post what you’re hearing in the comments.

 

1. Phillies: A.J. Puk, LHP | Florida
2. Reds: Nick Senzel, 3B | Tennessee
3. Braves: Kyle Lewis, OF | Mercer
4. Rockies: Jason Groome, LHP | Barnegat HS (NJ)
5. Brewers: Delvin Perez, SS | International Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)
6. Athletics: Mickey Moniak, OF | La Costa Canyon HS (Cali)
7. Marlins: Braxton Garrett, LHP | Florence HS (Ala)
8. Padres: Riley Pint, RHP | St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Kan)
9. Tigers: Matt Manning, RHP | Sheldon HS (Cali)
10. White Sox: Corey Ray, OF | Louisville
11. Mariners: Justin Dunn, RHP | Boston College
12. Red Sox: Dakota Hudson, RHP | Mississippi State
13. Rays: Josh Lowe, 3B | Pope HS (GA)
14. Indians: Blake Rutherford, OF | Chaminade HS, (Cali)
15. Twins: Alex Kirilloff, OF | Plum HS (Penn)
16. Angels: Nolan Jones, 3B | Holy Ghost Prep (Penn)
17. Astros: Zack Collins, C | Miami
18. Yankees: Ian Anderson, RHP | Shenendehowa HS (NY)
19. Mets: Will Craig, 3B | Wake Forrest
20. Dodgers: Jordan Sheffield, RHP: Vanderbilt
21. Blue Jays: Cal Quantrill, RHP Stanford
22. Pirates: T.J. Zeuch, RHP Pittsburgh
23. Cardinals: Gavin Lux, SS Indian Trail Academy (WI)
24. Padres: Forrest Whitley, RHP San Antonio (TX)
25. Padres: Matt Thaiss, C Virginia
26. White Sox: Cody Sedlock, RHP Illinois
27. Orioles: Zack Burdi, RHP Louisville
28. Nationals: Drew Mendoza, 3B Lake Minneola HS (FLA)
29. Nationals: Bryan Reynolds, OF Vanderbilt
30. Rangers: Will Benson, OF Atlanta (GA)
31. Mets: Taylor Trammell, OF Mount Paran Christian School (GA)
32. Dodgers: Eric Lauer, LHP Kent State
33. Cardinals: Robert Tyler, RHP Georgia
34. Cardinals: Logan Shore, RHP Florida

 

  • The top three is pretty much set at Puk, Senzel, and Lewis. There’s some chance that Lewis and Senzel flip-flop spots, but I’m pretty confident Senzel goes two. Of the three Lewis is my favorite in terms of future fantasy value. The knock on him is the competition he faced at Mercer. Does it matter if he dominated said competition winning consecutive player of the year awards and competing for a triple crown? He’s a local Georgia product and the Braves have a long and storied history with local products.
  • The Rockies are the biggest question mark to me in the top ten. From a fantasy perspective, which is like a think tank in cosplay clothing, the Rockies have the ability to boost a hitter’s stock or kill a pitcher’s. I have a feeling they keep going arm and grab the potentially highest upside prospect in the draft in Jason Groome. The organization is stocked with hitters, but still lacks impact arms. They love lefties with big potential, so I think they go that direction. The other player they’ve been linked to is California High School player Mickey Moniak.
  • This draft is chock full of good prep arms, among them my favorite is Braxton Garrett. His performance at the NHSI was legendary. He also posses one of the better breaking balls in the draft. He has an advanced approach for a prep player, and brings a boatload of intangibles. He’s the son of a coach and a true gamer. If he drops outside of the top ten, highly unlikely, he could be the steal of the draft.
  • With Moniak, Rutherford, Jones, and Kirilloff there are a ton of good prep hitters this year. Factor in Gavin Lux, Will Benson, Taylor Trammell, Drew Mendoza, and all the prep arms, and you might say this first round is high school heavy. It’s like a pool party at R. Kelly’s studio apartment!!!
  • Many have stated that Puerto Rican shortstop Delvin Perez could have the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. He’s not getting past Milwaukee at fifth IMO. Everyone meet J.B.’s new binkie! Interesting side note, Perez is the first Puerto Rican to go in the first round since Carlos Correa. Heady company Delvin.
  • I really like Logan Shore as a back of the first round sleeper. I have him going to the Cardinals at 34, and think that’s a best case scenario for player and team. He’s been Florida’s Friday night starter (college ace) over A.J. Puk for a couple of years, and is very much a polished pitcher to Puk’s stuff and project-ability. The Cardinals love guys like that, and he’s exactly the kind of player they could develop. I actually have them doubling up on polished college arms at the end of the first round with Shore and Robert Tyler from Georgia.
  • The Red Sox selection of Dakota Hudson is a bit of a hope of mine. As both a Red Sox fan and advocate of Dakota Hudson I really hope this happens. They need pitching in their system, particularly someone who can move quickly through it. The Sox farm as good as it is, is short on safer arms. I think Hudson has big league starter written all over him.
  • From 13-18 I have a serious prep run going, with only Miami catcher Zack Collins mixed in at 17. All those picks seem to make sense but I doubt it plays out like that, but my research kept leading me back there.
  • Collins is an interesting player and he could go anywhere from pick 10-20. He’s a college catcher with little chance of sticking at the position. My guess is he moves to first full time within a year. Whoever takes him will at least kick the tires on him catching, because the possibility of an offensive catcher is something no team will deny.
  • Justin Dunn, who I briefly touched on in my Sunday post has to be the biggest climber up draft boards this season. He started out as Boston College’s closer, but big upside, and a four pitch repertoire pushed him into the rotation, where he shined, leading the Eagles into the College World Series. In a draft without a ton of certainty from the college pitchers available, Dunn seems like one of the riskier options for teams.
  • Zack Burdi is an interesting prospect, he could project as a future star pen arm or could be converted to a starter. He’s a flamethrower with a 100 MPH fastball and is also the younger brother of Twins farmhand Nick Burdi.
  • The award for the least signable prep player goes to, Drew Mendoza. It’s said that $3 million might not be enough to get him to scrap his commitment to FSU.
  • Cal Quantrill, son of former dog shizz pitcher Paul, has the greatest variation of draft position. he could go as early as 8th overall to the Padres, or potentially could drop to them at 24. Though the latter scenario is unlikely.

 

Follow me on Twitter @ralphlifshitzbb

 

  1. Pops says:
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    Moniak to the Phillies at one. Puk hasnt shown enough to warrant the top pick.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Pops: Yeah I’ll believe when I see it. I don’t understand Moniak at one. If you go bat go Lewis. The report is the Phillies have 6 names on their short list, Puk is the only pitcher. There’s a reason for that, they’re going Puk.

      • Pops says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: If they can get Moniak under slot and then go after a big talent with their second pick it could absolutely happen.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Pops: It could happen, I mean they could take Groome first. I just don’t trust the late rumor coming from Mayo. If Jim Callis backs it up I’m on board. It’s the Phillies they aren’t broke, and I don’t understand Moniak over Lewis.

    • OJ Simpson says:
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      @Pops: On the money ke

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @OJ Simpson: Haha yup, it became obvious later in the day it went. This draft has flipped a ton even in 24 hours.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Pops: Nice call!!!

      • Pops says:
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        @malamoney: Thanks! As a Phillies fan I’m very pleased. Lewis still on the board. His draft stock has tumbled, and who knows what’s going to happen with Jason Groome.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Pops: Yup I was wrong about almost every pick Ha!

  2. Bogaerts Turner Overdrive says:
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    Delvin Perez’s talent too good despite failed drug test? Heard it was an undisclosed PED. Brewers fan here, just hoping for the best.

    • Bogaerts Turner Overdrive says:
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      @Bogaerts Turner Overdrive: and a little off topic but any catchers other than contreras that could come up this year and make fantasy impact?

      Thanks Ralph. Great post.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bogaerts Turner Overdrive: It’s tough because a positive test for Adderall didn’t drop Jon Gray a few years back. It all depends. I think he’s still goes in the first, but unfortunately this news broke at 6 pm after the post was written and I didn’t hear about it till this morning. I’d probably suspect he slips into the 20’s and someone takes a chance on him. Don’t be shocked if this means Pint, Garrett, and Gavin Lux jump a few picks.

    • Clint says:
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      @Bogaerts Turner Overdrive:
      As a Brewers fan myself, I’m not sure what to think re Perez now. I thought it was a good grab before the test failure but now I’m not so sure. I guess I’ll follow my mantra of the last year, close my eyes, & nod my head saying #instearnswetrust with whatever they choose.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Clint: I doubt he goes that early my guess is he falls to late first round and someone with multiple picks like the Padres or Cards takes him.

  3. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Great stuff Ralph. Which one of these players do think makes it to the majors first? Total gut call here…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @malamoney: If Lewis goes to the Braves I’m going with him. I love the way the bat profiles.

  4. James says:
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    Who are the top stash prospects for Super 2 Deadline?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James: Now it’s Turner, Snell, Glasnow, Reed, Arcia, and Bregman.

  5. JoeG414 says:
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    Joe Musgrove or Jose De Leon or both ?
    Who make a bigger impact this year: 6X6 Mixed daily roto non keeper.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      I’d go Musgrove, De Leon’s injuries worry me.

  6. Josh-NYC says:
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    Ralph!

    The man who knows the prospects. I hear there are rumors that Singleton may get the call over Reed. What do you think about Bregman? I have a feeling he can be a first round pick for years to come. I was thinking that he’d get the call soon, but Valbuena started to fog the mirror. What are your thoughts on Bregman vs Reed? When do you think their ETAs are, and what kind of impact do you see these guys having? I know Reed’s been slumping. I own Reed right now, but would you stash Bregman as well? Or too early. If you think his call-up is prominent, I’d definitely want to stash him sooner than later since I am running low in the Faab department. Thanks!

    • Josh-NYC says:
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      I also know that Bregman has hit a mini slump. Just wondering your thoughts.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Josh-NYC: I wrote about Singleton getting the call over Reed last Sunday. I think the contract the Stros gave him a few years back will force their hand. He’s been getting on base and hitting homers the average is just bad. Reed was good after coming off the ML DL, and up until last weekend and he went back into a slump.

      Both Reed and Bregman are stars in the making. Bregman has the higher ceiling.

  7. J-FOH says:
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    Buddy Reed and Bobby Dalbec sure have taken a dive in the past three months. There could really be some upside bats in the second round if your mock is any indication of what’s going to happen.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @J-FOH: Yup and we were talking Puckett who’s another 2nd rounder who could blow up this summer.

      How about Kyle Funkhouser’s stock drop? He’s off some people’s top 100. Blue Bloods dodged a bullet.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: maybe. It’s always hard to evaluate these kids when they are still just kids. Maybe funk how serious caught his girlfriend blowing some guy and it threw him off. I know it’s lame but look at guys like piazza and pujols. You never know.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @J-FOH: so are you saying the funk a tear should start some cycles? #Steroids

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: not sure but I think funk a tier should be a new tier

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @J-FOH: But it’s Tear because he’s sad….

  8. James T Kirk says:
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    I agree that Lewis seems to be the best in terms of future fantasy value. Overall, this draft seems to be weak in terms of big time potential compared to recent drafts.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: That’s spot on Captain! It’s uncertain I feel because of all the preps. The thing is we never know how good a class is until 5 years after. Even then it’s kind of early. This one, if it goes well, will take more time than usual to evaluate.

  9. Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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    12 teamer h2h with OBP over AVG, total bases and hits added. losses added for pitchers. redraft.

    C hundley
    1B rizzo
    2B walker
    SS villar
    3B frazier
    OF (3) mookie, heyward, hanram
    util (2) ortiz, duvall
    BN upton, segura, turner
    DL leonys, swihart (likely don’t need him when he comes back, holt will probably be back by then, but catchers get hurt all the time, and have DL room for now)
    SP carrasco/salazar/duffy/smyly/shoemaker/chen/wisler/nola/walker/gausman/porcello
    RP dyson/casilla/allen/osuna
    NA reyes
    with the utter travesty that is the WAS management with turner (3/4 and a BB and can’t get a 2nd day of at bats eh, that espinosa D better really be as good as alien simmons over there) am i better off holding turner in active slot or dropping him and holding alex reyes? my pitching hasn’t been that good for a while. only 1 NA slot

    2. also, with that lineup trade n.walker for shark? an owner was looking for a power hitting MI. other things from that opp’s roster that are worth trading for would be k.davis/cargo 1/harper/cespedes but i doubt he moves me most of those for n.walker

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: I think you should hold Turner for another week.

      As for the Walker trade, make the deal, use Segura, and add Shark. You have Turner waiting in the wings. I still maintain he’ll be up sooner rather than later.

      BTW turner went 3/3 with a walk. He’s a career 1.000 batter! I think a lot of people are down playing him. He’s a dynamic player at the top of the lineup. Those guys are at their best when they are young. First four years then they wear down. He’s got great contact ability, he mixes with lots of speed and some pop. He has a .842 OPS in the minors with 70+ steals. He’s not going to hit 20 homers but he could score 100 runs a season and steal 30+ bases.

      • Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: i know, i’m saying WAS’s usage to keep espinosa in lineup is the travesty, i’m not down on turner himself. why even start him once if he goes 3/3 with BB first day up, and then not even get him one AT BAT for next 2 days. why even let him play at all in those 3 games, makes no sense.

        • Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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          @Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: so the worry being that he comes up, and doesn’t play nearly at all, which is what Grey appears to think (based on guys he’s telling people to add over him, just a week or so after saying “add turner”)

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: I haven’t been up on Grey’s comments the last few days. I still think he forces his way onto the roster and into the lineup.

  10. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    lately i’ve seen you’ve moved arcia down quite a bit from preseason, i’m guessing this is just other guys hitting well in minors?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Well, he’s still top 10. I might have moved other guys ahead of him in immediate value (I.e. Snell)

  11. Josh-NYC says:
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    So position eligibility aside Reed or bregman for this year

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Josh-NYC: Reed

  12. Rendell Locke says:
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    I’d love to see the Tribe land Rutherford there Rowf. I hope you’re right!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Rendell Locke: Yeah I’ve been hearing Zack Collins too. I kind of like all the prep hitters I have going between 13-16.

  13. nightpandas says:
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    You know what you got to do Ralphie, burn em, burn em all…

    What are your thoughts on Contreras? See him making an impact this year? Got an offer of him and Eaton for Trayce and Dozier (both bench bats). Could keep him as one of my 11 or flip him later on for stretch drive help

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @nightpandas: Oh O’Reilly! I like the Contreras and Eaton side in that. You lose some power, but as you said bench bats. Is it OBP?

  14. Duffy says:
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    David Paulino vs Tyler Jay? ‘5×5 dyno

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Duffy: Hmmm, I think Jay is a little safer. It’s very close, splitting hairs really.

  15. Bryan says:
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    News from Astros GM that Reed will be up soon. Is this a bit rushed considering he’s again slumping? I’d be afraid of killing his confidence if he can’t cut it early against big league pitching.

    Also, where do you see Bregman’s ceiling? His newfound power change it at all? That bb/k ratio is yummy.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bryan: I think they need to try all the options at first. Maybe Reed gets hot, who knows. I don’t think a bad stint will crush him.

      I think Bregman could be a legit middle of the order bat, that’s his ceiling. The approach works and the power looks real.

  16. Dave says:
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    Ralph…. quick question….eta for Moncada and Benintendi?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: Probably a couple games on September, and then early next year for Benintendi and then late 2017 for Moncada the earliest.

  17. thorbs says:
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    Great writeup – as a Toronto boy I’d be interested to see what you think of Zeuch. 6’7 with a plus FB, CB, SL and a shitty changeup…could be promising!

    Off-topic – been offered Tanaka/A-Gon or Tanaka/Molina for Cody Reed and Ian Happ in a 2-catcher dynasty league (I’ve just lost Swihart for what might be the season). Team is below:

    C: Castillo/Hermann
    1B/3B:CI: Votto/Arenado/Frazier
    2B/SS/MI: Odor/Story/Kinsler
    OF: Trout, Betts, Bryant, Ozuna, Beltran
    UTIL: Pujols/Carter
    Bench: Conforto, Pillar, Andrus
    INJ: Swihart
    SP: Greinke, Kluber, Keuchel, Duffy, Liriano, Andriese, Guerra, Nelson, Sabathia
    RP: Chapman, Miller, Britton, Neris, Jeffress
    INJ: Felix, Rubby DLR, Montas
    Minors: Reed, Robles, Verdugo, Happ, Tapia, Wall, Bader, Olson

    The bats are sweet and I don’t like giving up Reed/Happ, but it’s not great playing matchups with everyone except Greinke/Kluber, and Liriano is unstartable at this point.

    To replace Reed/ Happ, I could pick up 2 of M Chapman, T Clark, D Cameron, T Murphy, Randolph, McKinney, Eflin, Burrow, Allard, M Duffy, Dozier, Goodwin, Guerrero Jr, Mancini or Voth and have Odor/Story/Kinsler at MI currently as well.

    Thoughts?

  18. goodfold2 says:
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    looks like STL nabbed 2 guys you liked, and quite lower than you thought in both too.

  19. We're Out Of Room says:
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    Whats going on Ralph. Curious as to your take on the Braves draft approach? I’m a die-hard Braves guy, have been since the awful 80’s lol. I was surprised they passed on Lewis, and then even more surprised they went P all 3 times in the 1st but I do like the arms they acquired. And I know that they are suppose to be big players in the international draft this year, but those guys aren’t contributing until probably 2020, so do you like their approach, or do you think they’ll regret this bat-less rebuild?

    Lastly, although this is a draft thread, I need some prospect insight, if you’d be so kind. I ended up adding Anderson today to fill my need at SS, fingers crossed he can handle MLB pitching, he definitely has the wheels and the inside track to the everyday gig now. But I’m curious as to whether I should be looking to stash Bregman instead, perhaps at the cost of Anderson or say Leoyns Martin. Same question applies to stashing AJ Reed. MY league info and current roster is as follows(appreciate your time in advance):

    ESPN 12 team HTH 5×5 with OBP and QS daily moves and 4 keepers per season

    C Posey
    1B Cabrera
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B Seager
    SS A. Russell
    OF Stanton
    OF Springer
    OF Polanco
    UTIL OF Burns
    UTIL OFL.Martin
    Bench SS T.Anderson
    DL Sano
    DL Pollock

    SP Salazar
    SP Gausman
    RP Kimbrel
    RP Melancon
    P T. Walker
    P Odorizzi
    P C.Rodon
    P Pomeranz
    Bench SP Corbin
    Bench SP Kennedy
    Bench Shoemaker
    Bench RP McGee

  20. Another Dan says:
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    Ralph,

    Not sure if you still read this.

    In my 10 team roto 6×6 (OBP and Hitsnot AVG) which I took over a few weeks ago, we have between 9 and 18 keepers this year. There are only 9 active batter spots. We have 5 NA spots. I had Tim Anderson so have had to promote him.

    I need to replace him. I want to replace him with a 1B as my 1B options are average (Myers, Belt).

    I picked up Josh Bell, was Singleton a better idea ?

    Another Dan

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