For a couple nights this week, I drafted prospects with prospectors. Or against prospectors? Both, I suppose. Appreciated the invite from Scott White at CBS, who allowed me to come back and defend my crown from last year’s prospect mocks. That’s a joke. Not a funny one, sorry to say. Nobody wins a mock draft, let alone a prospect mock.
Except me, this time, when I absolutely housed this thing.
But I was happy to be back.
Our Tuesday night rotisserie draft for dynasty leagues went a little something like this:
1) Chris Towers: SS Wander Franco
2) Ralph Lifshitz: OF Jarred Kelenic
3) Chris Clegg: SS Marco Luciano
4) Phil Ponebshek: 3B Spencer Torkelson
5) Nick Mimikos: C Adley Rutschman
6) The Welsh: OF Julio Rodriguez
7) Frank Stampfl: LHP MacKenzie Gore
8) Ray Butler: OF Kristian Robinson
9) The Itch: OF Randy Arozarena
10) Nick Ritrivi: SS Bobby Witt
11) Eric Cross: SS CJ Abrams
12) Scott White: 1B Andrew Vaughn
First thing’s first, I goofed. My top 100 is simmering, and Randy Arozarena is elbowing through the noise safely inside the top five, but I should’ve tested the room to see if anyone would take him on the turn. I’m betting no, allowing me to land CJ Abrams and Arozarena rather than just one of my top three players at the moment. I rectified this error on Thursday night’s draft, landing Abrams first and Arozarena second to verify the terrible mistake I’d made here.
Nice value on Abrams if your start-up goes like this. Seems pretty high for Gore at the moment.
13) SW: RHP Ian Anderson
14) EC: OF Dylan Carlson
15) NR: OF Jasson Dominguez
16) Itch: OF Corbin Carroll
17) RB: SS Royce Lewis
18) FS: SS Austin Martin
19) TW: OF Alex Kirilloff
20) NM: OF Cristian Pache
21) PP: RHP Sixto Sanchez
22) CC: 1B Triston Casas
23) RL: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
24) CT: RHP Michael Kopech
Triston Casas has been flying up lists due in part to an anchoring fallacy with Vaughn and Torkelson, as far as I can tell. No offense to Casas, who’s an excellent corner bat prospect, but he doesn’t have the hit tool, track record, floor or resale value of the other two.
I might’ve taken Dominguez if he’d made it to 16, but he’s the only guy in this group I’d even consider over Carroll, whose topside (something like .300/.400/.500, 20 HR, 40 SB) would make him a perennial fixture in the first round of 5×5 leagues.
I suppose you could say something similar in a power/speed sense about Ray Butler’s pick of Royce Lewis, but only if you ignore how difficult it’s been for him to make contact.
25) Chris Towers: RHP Nate Pearson
26) Ralph Lifshitz: OF Riley Greene
27) Chris Clegg: SS Noelvi Marte
28) Phil Ponebshek: 2B Vidal Brujan
29) Nick Mimikos: RHP Logan Gilbert
30) The Welsh: SS Nick Gonzales
31) Frank Stampfl: RHP Matt Manning
32) Ray Butler: OF Brennen Davis
33) The Itch: OF Hedbert Perez
34) Nick Ritrivi: OF Zac Veen
35) Eric Cross: 3B Jordan Groshans
36) Scott White: 2B Nick Madrigal
Is this group better than round 2 on the whole?
If you swap out the bottom two here for the top two in round four, I think it is.
We’re splitting hairs between prospects 13-24 and 25-36, but I found it interesting nonetheless. I’m sure my brain is simply stuck on Kopech, Casas, Pache, Lewis and Martin, who I just wouldn’t take near the top 25. Probably wouldn’t take Anderson either given how many speed+hit+power types are left on the board.
Groshans is a borderline top 100 guy for me popped by Cross at 35. He’s played 73 total games in 2.5 seasons since being drafted in 2018.
37) SW: SS Jeter Downs
38) EC: OF Trevor Larnach
39) NR: OF Alek Thomas
40) Itch: OF Luis Matos
41) RB: RHP Casey Mize
42) FS: 3B Nolan Jones
43) TW: 2B Ha-Seong Kim
44) NM: LHP Asa Lacy
45) PP: 3B Nolan Gorman
46) CC: OF Brandon Marsh
47) RL: OF JJ Bleday
48) CT: C Joey Bart
So here we find Luis Matos and 11 players I’m unlikely to own. I like Downs and Larnach enough, but Larnach loses some appeal in a start-up roto setting, where I want to make sure I have enough speed to potentially sell before I start targeting three-category power types. I do think Larnach can hold his own in batting average, but he’s unlikely to help a whole lot there.
I’ve been appreciating Rich Wilson’s work for a long time, but man it’s tough to hear him keep calling Lacy “Acey.” He’s convinced himself Acey is Lacy’s given name at this point. Acey Lacy. Dude says it like nine times an episode in between comparing every other prospect to Bo Bichette, which is basically the only time I’d ever take a pitcher this high in a roto dynasty: he hits like Bo Bichette and his given name is Acey.
If you’re considering drafting Joey Bart inside the top fifty, give yourself a quick flick on the tip of your nose, or some other equally sensitive area that can snap you out of whatever madness makes this kind of thing happen. It’s a 12-team league. His carrying tool at this point is probably defense.
49) Chris Towers: LHP Tarik Skubal
50) Ralph Lifshitz: RHP Max Meyer
51) Chris Clegg: RHP Luis Patino
52) Phil Ponebshek: RHP Forrest Whitley
53) Nick Mimikos: OF Hunter Bishop
54) The Welsh: OF Erick Pena
55) Frank Stampfl: OF Drew Waters
56) Ray Butler: RHP Grayson Rodriguez
57) The Itch: OF Leody Taveras
58) Nick Ritrivi: RHP Spencer Howard
59) Eric Cross: OF Garrett Mitchell
60) Scott White: RHP Triston McKenzie
The moment after my fifth round click, I thought I’d screwed up and cheated here. At first glance, Leody checks in just 11 ticks under the typical prospect requirements with 119 MLB at bats. But next moment, I remembered CBS is using MLB’s wonky rookie eligibility rules and scrambled to decipher his call-up date: July 24, well before the August 14 cutoff. Then I saw he was only up for a day, so he’s still under the service time limbo stick, I think. Who the hell really knows at this point though.
Should perhaps note that this draft is chaos. We are not looking at a list of prospects, of course. It’s just the regular draft room. And it’s finicky as hell. Like ten clicks minimum to queue one player. So if anyone makes an odd selection or two in the service of jumping in half-prepped to help Scott, a very nice human in my experience, that’s totally understandable in my book.
Spencer Howard won’t make my top 100. Arm fatigue, lost velocity, lack of upper minors experience, and a tricky home park in a heated division all work against him.
61) Scott White: OF Ryan Mountcastle
62) Eric Cross: RHP Emerson Hancock
63) Nick Ritrivi:OF Austin Hendrick
64) The Itch: RHP George Kirby
65) Ray Butler: OF Taylor Trammell
66) Frank Stampfl: 2B Jazz Chisholm
67) The Welsh: OF George Valera
68) Nick Mimikos: 3B Josh Jung
69) Phil Ponebshek: RHP Hans Crouse
70) Chris Clegg: RHP Edward Cabrera
71) Ralph Lifshitz: SS Tyler Freeman
72) Chris Towers: SS Oneil Cruz
As much as I like Kirby, I might’ve dropped the ball here in missing Freeman and Cruz. I do think Kirby has more trade value today given the moves I’ve seen for him this winter, and even if you’re not selling him, he’s got as enticing a floor/topside combination as any pitching prospect. Still, he’s an uncomfortable click for me here. I’d probably put him on the market immediately if this league were running for real, just to see what sorts of young veteran bats he might bring back.
Trammell’s not a top 100 player for me. In my opinion, he thrived on being more physically developed than his same-age peers in the lower minors and hasn’t developed premium baseball skill, especially in the batter’s box. No idea how he earns playing time in that loaded outfield. Could be on his fourth organization in three years if Seattle makes a similar judgment and can get decent value in return.
I have no idea what’s going on with Hans Crouse here. Texas hasn’t produced a fantasy relevant pitcher since the weirdness that was CJ Wilson coming out of relief and Colby Lewis coming back from Japan. Like Ted Lasso says, I’m curious and trying to keep an open mind, but this is a back-end 2nd round pick out of high school in 2017 who struck out 7.8 batters per nine in A ball in 2019, allowing a 4.41 ERA and across 87.2 innings after starting five games at the level to close 2018. Maybe he added like five miles per hour at the training site or something.
73) Chris Towers: 2B Xavier Edwards
74) Ralph Lifshitz: LHP DL Hall
75) Chris Clegg: 2B Aaron Bracho
76) Phil Ponebshek: LHP Daniel Lynch
77) Nick Mimikos: RHP Hunter Greene
78) The Welsh: SS Cristian Hernandez
79) Frank Stampfl: OF Heliot Ramos
80) Ray Butler: SS Jose Garcia
81) The Itch: OF Gilberto Jimenez
82) Nick Ritrivi: LHP Matthew Liberatore
83) Eric Cross: LHP Nick Lodolo
84) Scott White: SS Orelvis Martinez
Scott with a great get this late. Good chance Orelivs Martinez is a fairly consensus top 25 type by the end of 2021.
I ranked Gilberto 41st on my first top 100 in October of 2019. Psyched to get him here after reading and hearing glowing reports about his power progress at the sties this season.
Solid gambles for The Welsh in the international class. He’ll snag Wilman Diaz in round 9, too. I was playing a kind of wait-and-see with all the players who weren’t in the database. I always struggle with that extra aspect of CBS strategy. I jumped into a CBS dynasty a couple years ago mid April because some dude quit two weeks into the season and wound up holding filler/fake player avatars for Wander Franco, Kristian Robinson, Luis Matos and more because these guys I wanted were not in the player pool. Commish required that you pick your player up when CBS added his actual avatar to the pool, so the league knew these create-a-player, hold-a-spot assets were only partially real. Someone else did snag Wander when he came into the database and was nice enough to send him my way. I didn’t know I would’ve forfeited my rights by not adding him during the first faab run I could’ve. Figured I was just supposed to notice it when I noticed it. Wild setup. Wound up requesting (clicking the box to get) an email for every player-pool update. I liked the anticipation of opening one. Wild league in general. Two dudes quit after I joined because I got ripped off sending Taillon, Kingery and something else I can’t recall for Fernando Tatis then ripped off even worse when I sent Yu Darvish for then-A-leaguer Juan Soto. To be fair, I made a lot of aggressive trades, they were all future-focused, and they didn’t all go my way. I can see why they were frustrated.
I won the league my second season. My first full season.
The league dissolved as it was happening.
Real bummer. I learned a lot. Some trades are not worth the turmoil they’ll cause. Or maybe they are hell I dunno.
Like, he thought I was ripping the Haniger owner off so badly, he quit the league.
Haniger had been bad that season. Then the testicle thing happened.
I miss that team.
Sorry, where were we?
Ah, that’s right! The Ocho!
85) Scott White: SS Carlos Colmenarez
86) Eric Cross: OF Heston Kjerstad
87) Nick Ritrivi:SS Ronny Mauricio
88) The Itch: LHP Brailyn Marquez
89) Ray Butler: LHP AJ Puk
90) Frank Stampfl: SS Robert Puason
91) The Welsh: LHP Garrett Crochet
92) Nick Mimikos: RHP Daniel Espino
93) Phil Ponebshek: SS Geraldo Perdomo
94) Chris Clegg: OF Jarren Duran
95) Ralph Lifshitz: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson
96) Chris Towers: LHP Trevor Rogers
Kjerstad is the pick of the round, I suspect, by this time next year. Probably goes higher if he’s in the database.
Marquez makes two pitchers for team Itch, both who fell a fair bit below what I perceive to be their market value, and both with fantasy star topside.
I don’t much like Mauricio, but 87 in a start-up would represent solid value.
Similar thoughts on Puason and Duran. Not my favorite dudes to this point, but I’m intrigued by Duran’s swing change, and Puason’s physical gifts will always warrant our attention.
Crochet could be a monster here. Might take him over Marquez if the rounds were live.
97) Chris Towers: C Sam Huff
98) Ralph Lifshitz: OF Josh Lowe
99) Chris Clegg: RHP Clarke Schmidt
100) Phil Ponebshek: RHP JB Bukauskas
101) Nick Mimikos: OF Jordyn Adams
102) The Welsh: SS Wilman Diaz
103) Frank Stampfl: RHP Josiah Gray
104) Ray Butler: 1B Lewin Diaz
105) The Itch: OF Heriberto Hernandez
106) Nick Ritrivi: OF Robert Hassell
107) Eric Cross: SS Ed Howard
108) Scott White: C Luis Campusano
Bukauskas is a head-scratcher for me. Getting late in the draft, it’s a mock so no big whoop, but I’m gonna have to get curious like Lasso on that one because it came out of left field for me.
I like most of these picks, though I’m not real into Schmidt. Fine value here anyway.
109) Scott White: 3B Jonathan India
110) Eric Cross: OF Hudson Head
111) Nick Ritrivi:1B Seth Beer
112) The Itch: C Francisco Alvarez
113) Ray Butler: OF Jesus Sanchez
114) Frank Stampfl: RHP Deivi Garcia
115) The Welsh: RHP Mick Abel
116) Nick Mimikos: OF Travis Swaggerty
117) Phil Ponebshek: SS Greg Jones
118) Chris Clegg: 1B Michael Toglia
119) Ralph Lifshitz: SS Gunnar Henderson
120) Chris Towers: 1B Bobby Dalbec
Alvarez is easily the best player from this group. Not bragging. Again, it’s a mock, nobody cares, but it’s odd to me that he lasted this long. I know I said I don’t want your catching prospects, but this guy is elite.
Head gets an interesting new lease on life in Pittsburgh. In theory, he could race to the big leagues. In practice, he might not have enough structural help to make that happen.
I like Greg Jones. Doesn’t have to be a great hitter to be a great roto player. Plenty of speed, power and plate discipline to float the profile.
Toglia feels like a sharp pick on the cusp of a possible firesale and full rebuild. Gotta unclog the system to bring some flow back to the body.
This felt weird, as an article. Hope it worked for you!
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.