John’s Drafts

ATBL 2020 Strat Rookie Draft for my Goldenrod team

I have a team that lost a 6 game series in the semi-finals and was picking 14th in the draft.  I have a good team with Soto, Betts, Realmuto, Chapman, Polanco, Wong, Blackmon, Voit and Verlander.  Here’s how I drafted in this 18 team league (32 man roster, no additional percent for at-bats or innings).  To be eligible for the draft, the 2019 stat of 30 innings or 40 at-bats is the requirement, so some uncarded players are eligible and some carded players are not.  Before the draft, I made a list of what my needs were (do we all do that?) and it was as follows:

500 innings, a backup catcher, a lefty first baseman, a closer and in what now seems like a similar scene from the movie Draft Day, a note for my last pick that said, “Terrance Gore, no matter what”.  I was just like the Sonny Weaver in the way that he was hoping that no one else drafted his guy, Vontae Mack for him and for me it was Gore.

First round, pick 14- I was in need of innings and I got the guy that I wanted in Frankie Montas.  Soroka and Paddack went earlier and I was glad that they did since I wanted Montas’ card on what I view as a playoff team.  I wouldn’t have been able to pass up on Paddack or Soroka.  I do believe that Montas has an excellent future, a better card now and this made it easier to use my first round pick for a pitcher.

An added note is that I seem to draft players that had cards before and don’t seem too focused on drafting true rookies.

Second round, pick 32- I didn’t need position players and John Means had a card that was just too good to pass up.  In the playoffs, I’ll get 16 innings out of him and he’d put me half way to my goal of 500 innings.  I believe that he’s a bit of a risky pick for the future but aren’t most pitchers?

Third round, pick 50 – I needed a backup catcher, I have Realmuto and I couldn’t pass up on Roberto Perez.  He’s the perfect fit to platoon with Realmuto since he hits LHPing, they’re both c-1(-4)’s and now I don’t mind pinch hitting for either one of them.  For the future, Perez only has to hit LHPing in 2020 for this to be a good pick, the defense is a given.  On the plus side, I do like to steal and now I’ve taken both of the -4 catcher arms off of the board.

Fourth round, pick 68 – I wasn’t just trying to fill out my list of needs and I had a lot of good players to choose from before I settled on Dominic Smith with the Mets.  He fills the need of a LHB and he had made good progress in 2019.  My dh is Jonathan Villar and Smith might actually be an upgrade for me at dh.  I liked the article that I read how he was working on his running in the off season with the expectation of playing in the outfield in 2020.

Fifth round, pick 86 – I know I need pitching so I took Willie Calhoun, a Strat dh.  I know he can’t play defense and I can live with that, if he hits.  He was the best player available and I liked him for the future.  This was before the fractured jaw and I still believe he was the best pick at the time.

Sixth round, pick 104 – I took closer Archie Bradley.  There were better cards available but none with a better chance to be great in 2020.  If Bradley has a great 2020 season, I can trade him for a great 2019 reliever from another team that’s dropping out of the playoff picture.  Bradley had a fantastic second half in 2019 after the D’Backs made him the closer, and that’s the main reason that I drafted him.  He does have a pretty good background and a highly valued pitcher who can still live up to those high expectations.

Seventh round, pick 122 – I knew that I’d hate myself in the morning but I had to take David Freese.  He’s a weapon and that’s quite an upgrade at the dh spot.  It seems like even more of a crazy selection when I say that I have Luke Voit, Yandy Diaz and Edwin Encarnacion on the team also.  Don’t they all do the same thing?  I’m smiling as I read this so I know I made the right pick.

Eighth round, pick 140 – I’m still in need of innings so I grabbed Cole Hamels with 142 innings.  It gave me the freedom to draft some low inning pitchers later.  I also felt that if the Braves could give him $18M for 2020 that he just might have some gas left in the tank.  He wouldn’t make my playoff roster but he’ll help to get me through the season.

Ninth round, pick 158 – I couldn’t wait any longer to draft Terrance Gore.  If someone else had been crazy enough to draft him, I would have been very disappointed.  All of the pitchers that I was looking at for this pick were just filler guys for me and Gore was a player that I had to have.  There were only 7 A bunters in the regular set.  Jon Jay and Richie Martin won’t play in this league so that left just 5 A bunters.  Gore made it 6!  With Gore and Wong, I have two of the 6 A bunters in my league.  Gore is the only base stealer to have a 16 as his secondary number.  *(17-16).  On top of that, his lead chance is 2-12!  That is a weapon for a 9th inning rally for a manager like me, who likes to steal third and home.  With 51 at-bats, and over a 50 in on-base vs LHPing, he becomes a multi-tasking weapon to have on the bench.  Maybe I took him earlier just to shock the league and to shake up the Flory draft list a little.

Tenth round, pick 176 – I took Ranger Suarez as the 3rd lefty in the pen to go with Means and Newcomb.  I like Ranger since he’s tough on LHBs.

Eleventh round, pick 194 – I took Chris Martin to be my third option at closer with Carlos Martinez and Archie Bradley.  I liked Martin since he barely walks any batters.

I was very happy with my draft.  I still have some weakness in the bullpen but I’ll address that as the season goes on.  My 2020 pitching rotation is Verlander, Marquez, Montas, Glasnow and Boyd.  I also have Hamels, Means, Newcomb and Velasquez to cover starting spots.

I’m going to keep track of Gore and report back at the end of the year.  I’ll bet he’s got more than 80 combined steals and sac bunts by the end of the regular season.  For those who have played against me, they’ll tell you that I love using the guys like Billy Hamilton, Jarrod Dyson and Rajai Davis, and especially when they have a 16 as their secondary stealing number.

MMDA 2020 Rookie Draft for my Goldenrod team

The main goal that I had for my team was to rebuild the offense.  In this 20 team league (40 man roster, 10% additional AB and IP) I just couldn’t score runs last year and it was painful.  I needed some more good innings like everyone, but this isn’t a playoff team so I was going to focus on the offense.  In this league we can only draft carded players.

First round, pick 6:  I was picking 6th and I took Eloy Jimenez over Peter Alonso.  I know, it sounds risky to pass up the 50+ home run guy and take Jimenez.  I looked at it from the point of view of which of those guys was going to worth more to me next year.  I feel like Jimenez will hit for a high average and will be more like a Vladimir Guerrero type of hitter.  Having Anthony Rizzo on the team made Alonso a dh and I have a few guys to cover that spot.

Second round, pick 26:  Luis Arraez is a hitting machine and I had needs at 2b and 3b.  It was a no-brainer for me at this point of the draft to him here.  He reminds me of Tony Gwynn without the speed and defense.

Third round, pick 46:  Hunter Dozier was available and I jumped at the chance to draft him.  He’ll take over at 3b for my team and allow me to use Arraez at 2b.  I like the fact that Dozier will probably play rf, 3b and 1b again in 2020.

Fourth round, pick 66:  Nick Solak.  Do you see a trend here for offense at all costs?  I really do care about the defense but I have some good defensive players on the team already.  I feel like Solak will be a regular for the Rangers and he’ll be able to play multiple positions.

Fifth round, pick 86:  Anthony Santander.  I was in need of a left-handed power hitter and Santander will get a chance to start for the Orioles after hitting 20 home runs in his first chance at a full time position.  He tailed off badly in September, batting just .155, and that was due to an injury that he was hiding since he didn’t want to come out of the line-up.

Sixth round, pick 106:  Sam Hilliard.  Another lefty power bat and he’s got speed.  I couldn’t resist a lefty power hitter in Colorado.  If he comes close to his 2019 numbers, he’ll be a fun guy to have in Strat.

Seventh round, pick 126:  I went with Jose Suarez since he had 80 innings, was a future starting pitcher for the Angels and I could use him now vs LHBs.  He was impressive in the Southern League and he may just need a little more time at AAA to get his confidence back.

Eighth round, pick 146:  I finally took a good reliever card by taking Jarlin Garcia of the Marlins.  He’s got a nice card and he’s now with the Giants where a chance of scenery may do him good.  He should take over the spot that was vacated by Will Smith.

Ninth round, pick 162:  I traded Jon Lester for the pick and took Kyle Crick.  His card is terrible but the Pirates bullpen is in transition so he could end up being the main setup guy again.  I’m hoping that he can return to his 2018 form.

Ninth round, pick 166:  Jandel Gustave seemed like a good gamble for the Giants bullpen that lost Moronta for 2020.

Tenth round, pick 186:  Cody Stashak seemed like another good gamble for my last pick since he only walked 1 batter in 25 innings in 2019 with the Twins.

This is not a playoff team.  It’s a team that I can have some fun with since there are just enough good players here to survive a face to face series.  I have Morton, Clevinger and Taylor Rogers.  The rest of the pitching is suspect so I’m playing in a SI 2-12, HR 2-12 Ball Park where the LHBs won’t get much help.  It will help my guys like Dakota Hudson, Shane Greene and Jordan Lyles.  The line-up is T. Anderson-dh, Jansen-c, Rizzo-1b, Arraez-2b, Newman-ss, Dozier-3b, Jimenez-lf, Laureano-cf, and Braun-rf.  It’s a tough league to rebuild a team in.

That’s my two teams.  I hope your drafts go as well as mine did.