Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: Feeling the Draft

by Lawr Michaels, on June 11, 2013 @ 13:25:00 PDT


With the June draft still in clear sight of our collective rearview mirror, it is important to remember that while it is fun to anticipate the next big thing, successful top prospects -- particularly those who are drafted out of college -- still spend on or two years in the minors before getting a chance at the majors.

San Francisco Giants C Buster Posey
Posey: rarity among standouts

And, even then, as witnessed by Baltimore's Kevin Gausman, who was selected fourth overall last year, and did advance, but has struggled at the top of the ladder.

That does not mean I don't think Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick, is not a good bet, for he has a couple of things going for him that I like. First, he was also drafted in the top 10 last year (by the Pirates) but opted instead for another year at Stanford (I like Stanford pitchers, so that is the second reason I like Appel).

But, let's go back over the past five drafts, to 2008, and see just how many of the 50 players selected since have made it to The Show, and with what success.

2008: A pretty good year for the top 10, with eight of the players now in the majors. Ironically, No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham is one of the two who has not climbed higher than Triple-A (Florida catcher Kyle Skipworth is the other), among a class that featured Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer, Pedro Alvarez, Aaron Crow, Brian Matusz, Gordon Beckham, and Yonder Alonso. However, even out of that cluster only Posey is a sure thing freeze in a keeper league at this point.

2009: Six of the Top 10, led by Stephen Strasburg at No. 1, have established themselves as major leaguers, though No. 2 selection Dustin Ackley does not seem able to cut the mustard. Mike Minor, Mike Leake, Justin Turner and Drew Storen are the other big leaguers of the group, with Donavan Tate and Zack Wheeler being close, but no cigar just yet.

2010: Three big names stick out of the 2010 draft: No. 1 pick Bryce Harper, No. 3 selection Manny Machado, and the No. 7 choice, of the Mets, Matt Harvey. Michael Choice and Drew Pomeranz, from the same draft, also have made it to the majors, however with obvious less-than-stellar success. Meaning five players, like Christian Colon and Delino DeShields Jr., are still struggling with making the jump.

2011: The Nationals' promotion of Anthony Rendon this past week brings the total to three of the 2011 top 10 draftees to have made the highest level of baseball (Dylan Bundy and Trevor Bauer being the other two), and top pick Gerrit Cole will make it four on Tuesday. However, No. 2 pick Danny Hultzen (who has had injury issues) is still trying to figure it out. But, the likes of Archie Bradley (No. 7) and Corey Spangenberg (No. 10) are still working it out as well. It is worth noting, too that the Marlins' Jose Fernandez was the No. 14 selection that year.

2012: Only one player picked among the first 10 last year, the previously discussed Mr. Gausman, has made it to the majors.

That means that among the collective top 49 players (remember, Appel was drafted twice) taken over the last half-decade, six -- Posey, Strasburg, Minor, Harper, Machado and Harvey -- are serious long-term keepers in leagues allowing freezes of players.

On the cusp are Leake, Hosmer, Alonso and Alvarez, and a lot of players on the list are still unproven.

This means 12% of those 49 players have proved to be worth the investment.

So, approach selecting this year's class with enthusiasm, but make sure all your baseballs are not collected in one mitt.

You can get the Mastersball Top 250 Prospects as part of our Platinum package, with more information at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package. Mastersball Platinum is the edge that supported four of the top five finishers in the NFBC in 2012. You can get the same insights and analysis that helped Dave Potts with the $100,000 grand prize last year by subscribing to Mastersball at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package.

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About Lawr Michaels,

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for as a statistician. Fantasy Baseball

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