Recently I reviewed the results of the first few rounds of a new dynasty league prospect draft. The review continues today with a quick look at some key selections in rounds 7 – 9.
This draft should help you “discover” a few names to keep an eye on going forward. If you have specific questions about players or the thought process of why they were selected, fire away in the comments section, as I’ve asked each owner in the league to be on standby to provide feedback as we review the rounds.
Before I review my own thoughts on the draft, you should know this Ottoneu league uses the “FanGraphs Points” scoring system based on linear weights, so offense is heavily slanted towards wOBA skills (and speed is almost a non-factor). We also somewhat arbitrarily removed the Top 12 overall offensive prospects to save them for the standard 40-man auction next spring. Otherwise, any minor league player without one (1) MLB PA or IP is eligible to be drafted. You can read more about the custom rules of this dynasty league here, and follow along with the draft here.
Many of the prospects below are also featured on the 2018 Top 100 Fantasy Prospects list.
|7.1||MILE HIGH CLUB||Wander Javier||SS||MIN|
|7.2||SPRINGER TRAINING||Brent Rooker||OF||MIN|
|7.3||SONNY GRAY REAL ESTATE||Shed Long||2B||CIN|
|7.4||THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH||Andres Gimenez||SS||NYM|
|7.5||ORLEANS PANTS FACTORY||Bryan Reynolds||OF||SFG|
|7.6||BLACK LOTUS||Chris Shaw||1B||SFG|
|7.7||LUCKY STRIKES||Austin Riley||3B||ATL|
|7.8||WAR HORSE||Fernando Romero||RHP||MIN|
|7.9||RUBBER DUCKIES||Daz Cameron||OF||DET|
|7.10||OVERWHELMING UNDERDOGS||Ian Anderson||RHP||ATL|
|7.11||THE MARINE LAYER||Keibert Ruiz||C||LAD|
|7.12||SNEEZE BALL||Sam Carlson||RHP||SEA|
|8.1||SNEEZE BALL||Heliot Ramos||OF||SFG|
|8.2||THE MARINE LAYER||Marcus Wilson||OF||ARI|
|8.3||OVERWHELMING UNDERDOGS||DJ Peters||OF||LAD|
|8.4||RUBBER DUCKIES||Chance Adams||RHP||NYY|
|8.5||WAR HORSE||Hunter Harvey||RHP||BAL|
|8.6||LUCKY STRIKES||Joey Wentz||LHP||ATL|
|8.7||BLACK LOTUS||Matt Thaiss||1B||LAA|
|8.8||ORLEANS PANTS FACTORY||Yu-Cheng Chang||SS||CLE|
|8.9||THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH||Ryan Helsley||RHP||STL|
|8.10||SONNY GRAY REAL ESTATE||Daniel Johnson||OF||WAS|
|8.11||SPRINGER TRAINING||Will Benson||OF||CLE|
|8.12||MILE HIGH CLUB||Jorge Ona||OF||SD|
|9.1||MILE HIGH CLUB||James Kaprielian||RHP||OAK|
|9.2||SPRINGER TRAINING||David Peterson||LHP||NYM|
|9.3||SONNY GRAY REAL ESTATE||Cristian Pache||OF||ATL|
|9.4||THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH||Isaac Paredes||SS||DET|
|9.5||ORLEANS PANTS FACTORY||Josh Ockimey||1B||BOS|
|9.6||BLACK LOTUS||Max Schrock||2B||OAK|
|9.7||LUCKY STRIKES||Ryan Vilade||SS||COL|
|9.8||WAR HORSE||Alex Kirilloff||OF||MIN|
|9.9||RUBBER DUCKIES||Mauricio Dubon||SS||MIL|
|9.10||OVERWHELMING UNDERDOGS||Anderson Espinoza||RHP||SD|
|9.11||THE MARINE LAYER||Bobby Dalbec||3B||BOS|
|9.12||SNEEZE BALL||Jose Albertos||RHP||CHC|
Draft Review: Rounds 7 – 9
Round 7 Best value: Brent Rooker
Brent Rooker (7.2)
Even though the Twins got bounced in NY in the Wild Card game, the future looks bright, as their farm system appears very solid. Rooker, a college standout at Mississippi State, was drafted 35th overall last year and managed to destroy rookie ball to the tune of a .413 wOBA (including 7 HR in just 22 games). Rooker is a tall, powerful RHH outfielder with solid 50 grades across the board on most scouting reports, and the fact that he continued his barrage even after getting bumped to A+ (.415 wOBA in 40 games) bodes well for 2018. Continued success could land him a half step away from Minnesota before the end of next season. Rooker will play all of 2018 at the age of 23.
Andres Gimenez (7.4)
Nearing the halfway point in our 180 player draft, it’s time to let scouting reports do more of the talking. Gimenez landed at #75 on Eric Longenhagen’s summer Top 100, and reports on his hit tool (and approach), speed, arm, and fielding ability all appear positively above average when you dig deeper into the teenage Venezuelan’s skills. Gimenez looks like a strong bet to stick at SS long term, and despite a lot of other issues, the Mets do have a solid track record when it comes to developing young shortstops. However, as is the question with many young middle infield prospects, how will the power play? In 399 PA this year in A ball (age 18), Gimenez hit four home runs and finished with an ISO of just 0.084, so the short answer is it didn’t, at least not yet. Patience is a virtue with any young player with these other above average skills, so there’s enough to like about Gimenez here to make him a high upside pick in the 7th round.
Chris Shaw (7.6)
Shaw is interesting: he shows up as the Giants’ #2 overall prospect via MLB, but he feels very unknown up to this point otherwise (just 5% Ottoneu ownership despite finishing the season strong at AAA). As a 6’4” LHH outfielder with power and patience, Shaw should be on more radars, but it’s a good bet his age (almost 24), park, and rising strikeout rate (29.4%) have scared off most potential fantasy suitors up to this point. Shaw is a safe gamble here to play at least some role next year in San Francisco, and if he make strides with his approach (he managed a strong 0.69 BB/K rate in AA), he could carve out a nice career as a 4th outfielder, or maybe a bit more.
— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) October 13, 2017
Austin Riley (7.7)
Riley was on my board for several rounds and I finally scooped him up in the 7th based on one key factor: his age. My perception of the 6’3” ATL 3B is that he has ridden the wave of prospect hype for some time now, cresting probably a year ago because of blossoming power, while most recently sliding back down rankings due to questions about his bat speed, his ability to stick at 3B, and (more likely) the sheer depth of Atlanta’s farm system. Not all of the questions surrounding Riley have been answered (though there are reports of significantly improved defense this year), but that’s ok, because he’s not only been young for every level (he finished AA this year at age 20), he’s also shown an ability to improve after slow starts, which is an underrated skill that isn’t always captured in the scouting reports. Case in point: Riley hit just .252/.310/.408 in A+ this season but found a new gear when the Braves pushed him (somewhat surprisingly) to AA, finishing with a .408 wOBA in 48 games. The offensive bar is very high these days at the hot corner, but Riley’s developmental gains encouraged me to pull the trigger on him here in the 7th before someone else could grab him.
Keibert Ruiz (7.11)
One of my favorite selections in this round, Ruiz is starting to make noise as one of the best young offensive catchers in the minors. The switch hitting backstop makes excellent contact (just 14.4% K% rate in A+ at age 18), and most reports suggest at least double-digit home run power is likely to develop long term. Ruiz is also noted for his advanced ability behind the plate, so there are the makings of at least an average starting catcher here, if not more. Catchers are always difficult to evaluate in fantasy because of their extra long developmental paths, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Keibert is the best of the bunch by this time next year.
Round 8 Best value: Joey Wentz
Heliot Ramos (8.1)
Drafted by SFG in the first round (19th overall) earlier this year, few prospects had a better offensive debut than the recently turned 18 year old outfield Ramos. While a strikeout rate north of 30% (31.8%) would normally be a red flag, Ramos rocked a .500 BABIP in 35 games to slash .348/.404/.645, which included six home runs and ten stolen bases. Evaluators see above average speed to go along with above average raw power in Ramos’ bat, so there is exciting potential here, though still very far off. Ramos (and his BABIP skills) will continue to be on helium watch as he enters the higher levels next year, so go ahead and add him to your watch list now.
DJ Peters (8.3)
Peters is a physical beast (6’6”, 225) in the OF, and I was hoping the 21 year old’s 27 HR this year would fall to me a bit later in this draft. His massive RHH raw power comes with the requisite contact concerns (32.2% K% in A+), but reports suggest he’s very athletic for his size, and his strong arm should keep him in the outfield for at least the foreseeable future. In a league like ours that rewards patience (10.9% BB%) and power, I like Peters more than most and will be keeping a close eye on him in 2018. Note the Jayson Werth comparisons.
Chance Adams (8.4)
Ranked as the Yankees’ second or third best prospect by most reports, it’s somewhat surprising that Adams lasted until the 8th round in this very deep draft. While I can’t speak for other owners, I chose to stay away from Adams (I had him targeted for another round or two later) mainly because of his poor K/BB ratios (2.40 in 115 AAA innings), which don’t usually bode well for a smooth entry into MLB. That said, Adams has had consistent success at every level with above average strikeout rates, and the fact that he will debut in early 2018 makes him a bit more valuable. Like most young rookie hurlers, I think 2018 will bring a lot of ups and downs for Adams in the AL East.
Joey Wentz (8.6)
I’m a big fan of big lefties with big stuff, so Wentz checked all the boxes for me and I was thrilled to land him here in the 8th. For the next several years there will be an interesting debate about which of the many Atlanta pitching prospects is the best, but Wentz is my bet despite landing behind Wright, Gohara, Allard, Anderson, and Soroka on recent lists. Because of his large frame (6’5”), Wentz pitches with a great downhill plane, and his 10.39 K/9 (age 19) over 130 innings this year supports the well above average repertoire (potentially two plus pitches now) that may develop even further if he continues to grow into his body. His command is projected to be above average, too. The Braves are so rich in pitching that some of these guys are destined to work out, and Wentz has as good a chance as any to be effective.
Round 9 Best value: Anderson Espinoza
James Kaprielian (9.1)
Kaprielian (6’4, 200) was traded from NYY to OAK in the package that landed Sonny Gray. Many of the scouting reports are glowing about the big right-hander’s stuff but, like so many pitchers, the future really depends on whether he can
stay get healthy, especially after going under the knife earlier this season. Kaprielian offers as much upside as many of the pitchers selected well ahead of him in this draft, but it will be another season or so before we can tell if he gets back on track.
Cristian Pache (9.3)
Pache was a sleeper prospect breakout pick on many reviews to begin 2017. He combines plus-plus speed with the kind of instincts that almost guarantee he will stay in center. More importantly, he shows a good but aggressive knack for contact, and many scouts see future average power as he develops because of his size (6’2”). He hasn’t shown much pop yet, so the fantasy jury is still out on his ultimate upside, but there’s a very good chance Pache has a career as an average regular once he reaches Atlanta in two or three seasons (age 18). If Pache ends up an Ender Inciarte clone, the Braves will be thrilled.
Ryan Vilade (9.7)
Intrigued by his position (low probability SS), spacious future ballpark (Coors), and a sizzling start to his career (.422 wOBA in 33 games), Vilade was a guy I was prepared to reach for during the entire draft and was very happy to land here in the 9th round. The 18 year old second rounder out of Oklahoma showed great patience out of the gate in 2017, walking 27 times in 33 games (0.87 BB/K) to go with a .188 ISO. It’s probably still a bit too early to expect to see Vilade creeping up Top 10 organizational lists but if he continues to demonstrate the same strong right handed power and mature approach he showed in 2017, he’ll be a name you’ll want to be too early on rather than too late. Marc Hulet had a nice recent writeup on Vilade here.
Anderson Espinoza (9.10)
Despite Tommy John surgery in late July, Espinoza’s upside is so immense that he still settled in at #30 on Longerhagen’s mid-season Top 100 prospect list. The “stuff” is elite (potentially three plus-plus pitches in the fastball, change, and curveball), so with the “if healthy” caveat acknowledged, this could turn out to be one of the better steals of the draft a couple of seasons from now. This is an arm worth waiting on.
Trey is a 20 year fantasy veteran and a five time Ottoneu champion, including the 2015 winner of the Ottoneu Champions League. He currently administers the Ottoneu community, a network of ~1,200 fantasy baseball and football fans talking trash daily. More resources here: http://community.ottoneu.com