Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda: Rodon, Betts, Cron and Closers

Last week, I reviewed my NFBC Draft Champions League results. I think some of my speculative saves (Joel Peralta early on; Adam Ottavino later on) could come to fruition, and I am pretty bullish on the depth of my rotation. I have a sundry of sleepers that could provide supplemental value: Daniel Norris, Randall Delgado, Jaime Garcia, Rafael Montero, Trevor Cahill and Robbie Erlin.

With that said, some of the feedback was helpful. I agree that based on my closing situation (among other things), I can’t possibly compete for the grand prize unless I get very lucky. I also do not have enough sure-thing starters to punt saves altogether to at least ensure a league win.

I don’t agree with a lack of depth on offense. I have CI/OF flexibility and a sundry of power (Justin Smoak, Travis Snider) and speed (Billy Burns, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor) on the bench. My second catching slot is in question, but Caleb Joseph could provide some surprise value until Matt Wieters returns. I like Andrew Susac, but I need to hope for a Buster Posey or Brandon Belt injury.

Here is my team as is:

C: Mike Zunino; Caleb Joseph; Peter O’brien; Andrew Susac; Kevin Plawecki

1B: Matt Adams; Justin Smoak

2B: Jason Kipnis

3B: Ryan Zimmerman

SS: Wilmer Flores; Jose Ramirez; Francisco Lindor

CI: Josh Harrison; Jake Lamb, Justin Smoak; Jesus Aguilar; Garin Cechhini

MI: Rougned Odor; Rob Refsnyder; Matt Reynolds

OF: Mike Trout; George Springer; Starling Marte; J.D. Martinez; Khris Davis; Travis Snider; Billy Burns; Domingo Santana

U: Kris Bryant

P: Zack Greinke; Carlos Carrasco; Jenrry Mejia; Homer Bailey; Drew Hutchinson; Henderson Alvarez; Kyle Lohse; Shane Greene; Adam Ottavino; Daniel Norris; Randall Delgado; Pedro Strop; Jaime Garcia; Rafael Montero; Shawn Kelley; Chi Chi Gonzalez, Chris Hatcher; Trevor Cahill; Aaron Barrett; Steve Delabar; Robbie Erlin

Despite the passion and zeal from some of the responses, I don’t have many regrets,  but those that I do have were exacerbated:

  • Jason Kipnis: Back issues has limited his playing time this spring. His 15HR/25SB potential provided me with great counting-stats balance through four rounds with Trout, Springer and Marte. In hindsight, I should have over-drafted a closer at this time. Aroldis Chapman actually went uber-early in round three. Craig Kimbrel and Greg Holland went in round four. If one of these three dropped, I would have pounced, but they didn’t, and I still could have drafted Mark Melancon. I would then be up a closer and still have speed displacement on my bench including MI options with projected playing time (Jose Ramirez; Francisco Lindor; perhaps even Matt Reynolds if Daniel Murphy misses time early-on).
  • Josh Harrison: The hitter analytics matrix mentioned in my last post backed up Harrison’s xBABIPw/homers, and I appreciate his position flexibility and possibly need him until Kris Bryant gets called up if Justin Smoak doesn’t start strong, but I would have liked Travis d’Arnaud in this draft position. I thought there was a small chance he would come back to me at the end of 12, but the entire catcher tier flew off in the 11th and 12th starting off with d’Arnaud and followed by Russell Martin, Yasmani Grandal, Wilin Rosario, Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris. Homers were diminishing so I pounced on the 25HR potential of Mike Zunino at 13.1, but it would have been nice to pair him with d’Arnaud, whom I think can be a top 5 catcher.
  • Diamondbacks: My biggest regrets were Peter O’brien and Jake Lamb back-to-back on my round 2o/21 turn. In hindsight, I should have went with another closer (or soon-to-be closer), Joakim Soria and I was too comfortable with Matt Adams and Ryan Zimmerman at 1B. I could have went with C.J. Cron over Jake Lamb. Ugh. The D-backs have a 3B-OF roster crunch and C.J. Cron has looked great this spring, currently batting .412 and could land 500 Plate Appearances with Josh Hamilton out. This might surprise you, but Cron could have a top-20 contact rate and top-15 HR/FB ratio for first baseman next year – basically Adam LaRoche with more BA potential and in his prime power years.

Lastly, I regret not drafting Mookie Betts (7.12) and Carlos Rodon (24.12). Both are killing it this spring. Betts’ contact rates and on-base skills with speed made him a sure thing, but I preferred Carlos Carrasco and J.D. Martinez. I still might slightly since I have enough speed. If I went Melancon over Kipnis, I would have went Betts over J.D.

Carlos Rodon‘s Fastball and Slider is legitimate. He has a 19:3 SO/BB ratio in 12.1 IP so far this spring and he’s already the 4th best starter on the White Sox who will be missing Chris Sale once through the rotation. He doesn’t have Chris Sale’s initial Changeup, but the velocity-slider combination will ensure strikeouts.

I would have been uber happy with this woulda-coulda-shoulda team:

C: Travis d’Arnaud; Mike Zunino; Caleb Joseph; Andrew Susac

1B: Matt Adams

2B: Rougned Odor

3B: Ryan Zimmerman

SS: Wilmer Flores

CI: Kris Bryant

MI: Jose Ramirez; Francisco Lindor; Matt Reynolds

OF: Mike Trout; George Springer; Starling Marte; Mookie Betts; Khris Davis

U: Travis Snider; Justin Smoak; Billy Burns

P: Zack Greinke; Mark Melancon, Carlos Carrasco; Jenrry Mejia; Homer Bailey; Drew Hutchinson; Henderson Alvarez; Kyle Lohse; Joakim Soria; Carlos Rodon; Shane Greene; Adam Ottavino; Daniel Norris; Randall Delgado; Pedro Strop; Jaime Garcia; Rafael Montero; Shawn Kelley; Chi Chi Gonzalez, Chris Hatcher; Trevor Cahill; Aaron Barrett; Steve Delabar; Robbie Erlin.

We hoped you liked reading Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda: Rodon, Betts, Cron and Closers by Daniel Schwartz!

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Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter

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buctober 2015
buctober 2015

Outside your pitching which you of course mentioned, i like your team, especially the outfield. I think Marte will have a huge year and even get some MVP votes thrown his way.

The thing i wanted to ask you is what is your thoughts on the type of year Odor will have? Personally im struggling with ranking him and my other options of Utley and gyorko