Dynasty Grinders Deep Dive Minor League Draft / Waiver Wire Pickups

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I thought I would do a deep dive into Dynasty Grinders Minor League Draft for our new friends that have joined the league this year. The minor league draft can be a crap shoot, especially the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds. I’m not a big fan in obtaining later round picks in the draft. Usually they are just thrown ins to make the trade look better, you will see with the deep dive. 

 

The main reason TBD and HLR can acquire players like Glasnow and Castillo is because they are professional prospectors. I do think Glasnow and Castillo trades were a little lite going the other way considering the ages and salaries of both player.  I will guarantee you that TBD and HLR will restock quickly but it will get harder if everyone Grinds as hard as they do. The league will be going to 40 prospects this year, that’s 640 prospects. In 2023 the league will reach 50 prospects, that’s 800 players, that’s a lot of prospects and probably a lot of streaming of prospects.  

 

I used the Senior Squids Prospect Spreadsheet as my reference, the spreadsheet probably not as good as Hustle Media but you try to learn from the best, right? Dynasty Grinders has been around since 2016. The first year we drafted ten prospects each, good information can be gleaned  from the draft but not in the later rounds because we were  only drafting 160 players. I concentrated 2017 and 2018 drafts where the draft pooled increased 240 and 320 players respectively.  

 

A couple items: MLB/DM (DM = difference makers, Tatis types) category are drafted players that have made their MLB debut, don’t be fool with the category, just because the player fulfilled their dream making the majors doesn’t mean that are valuable fantasy assets. Can you say Daniel Gosset? 

 

Finally, the prospect ranking 1-10, 11-50, 51-100, 101-200,  200 and up.  I also went to the Dynasty Grinders Fantrax pages and to see who was picked up  off the waiver wire during the last four years. For the new owners this is where you need to grind and fine that hidden jewel and as you will see there were some crazy good players that were never drafted and plucked off the waiver wire.  

 

2016 Draft

Busts: 

1-7  Lewis Brinson, didn’t he just get traded for the 10th time last week? 

1-11 AJ Reed

2-6  Jose De Leon, yea I traded for him. 

 

Bam: 

1-1 Yoan Moncada 

1-4 Tyler Glasnow

1-13 Blake Snell

 

Wow, I drafted him that late, okay then. 

5.3 Jack Flaherty 

8.1 Matt Chapman

9.5 Walker Buehler, now this is a crazy one, he was drafted in 2016 and dropped and redrafted in the second round in 2017. Great grinding by TBD. 

12.3 Sandy Alcantra, yea I traded for him and  traded him away too. Yea another stupid trade. 

Wow Waiver Wire Pickups

Hunter Dozier, Royals, he was picked up and dropped a few times, including me. 

Juan Soto, Nationals, nice job Long Ball

Max Muncy Dodgers, first Dusty and he dropped him and of course HLR picked him up. HLR is huge Dodger fan. If you don’t know the fantasy owners favorite teams your missing out. I’m a sucker for the Mariners and I will pay a high price for JRod. 

Cristian Pache, Braves, another Longball pickup

Mitch Keller, Pirates, another TBD pickup

 

2017 Draft

Busts: 

Honestly the whole 1st rounds sucked!

1-1 Kevin Maitan, yea #1 player, I believe we was the best player on the board before the draft but I think he got his money and got fat and lazy. Most prospect web sites don’t have him ranked anymore. Hey, Boobs you have a 1st overall pick on your team. 

1-3 Cory Ray

1-4 Blake Rutherford

1-5 Mickey Moniak

1-6 Delvin Perez

1-7 Jason Groom

I could go on……. 

Bam: 

2-4 Walker Buehler, nice pick up TBD

2-11 Luis Castillo

3-6 Fernando Tatis,  HLR unfortunately traded him for a bag of balls. 

Wow I drafted him that late, okay then. 

4-1 Jesus Luzardo

5-16 Dinelson Lamet, HLR, yep the last player taken and yea he traded him too. 

Wow Waiver Wire Pickups

Shane Bieber, Indians, yep you read that right, the best pitcher in the league was never drafted. What does that tell the new owners? You need to grind. 

Ronald Acuna, Braves, 8.86 ppg.  Long Ball  hits the jackpot again, Acuna and Soto are the corner stone of his team. 

 

MLB/DM 1-10 11-50 51-100 101-200 200 and Up
2017 1 Round 10/0 0 0 0 0 6
2 Round 7/2 1 1 1 0 6
3 Round 9/1 1 1 0 0 5
4 Round 8/1 0 0 0 0 7
5 Round 6 0 0 0 0 10

 

  • Difference Makers: Buehler, Castillo, Luzardo and Tatis. 

 

2018 Draft

It’s probably a little early to write about Bust, Bams and Wows  but…….

Busts: 

1-7 Brendan McKay, Rays, shoulder surgery in Aug 2020, drafting pitching is always risky. 

1-8 Kyle Wright, Braves, yep that was me, 

1-11 Alex Faedo Tigers, another pitcher with arm issues too

Bam: 

1.1 Luis Robert, White Sox, Roberts made it to the  show pretty quick

2.9 Wander Franco, 1# prospect in the league, however he biceps and shoulder issues, at least he’s not a pitcher. 

Wow I drafted him that late, okay then.

5-2 Vidal Brujan, Rays, Top 50 prospect

5-10 Sean Murphy, A’s, made it to the show and is a top ten catcher, I believe catchers are the hardest position to fill because they usually can’t hit. 

3-13 Will Smith, another productive catcher and he might be the best catcher in 2021

Waiver Wire Pickups

Bobby Dalbac impressive first year with 7.11 PPG, dropped by Longball, TBD picked him up and traded him to Organized Chaos.  

Gavin Lux top 50 prospect who made his debut in 2020

Cavin Biggo with a 6.24 PPG  and of course I had him on my team at one time. 

Spencer Howard, Top 50 prospect, yep I finally got a good waiver pick up. 

 

MLB/DM 1-10 11-50 51-100 101-200 200 and Up
2018 1 Round 7/1 1 1 1 2 4
2 Round 5 1 2 8
3 Round 7/1 1 1 7
4 Round 3 2 1 1 9
5 Round 4 1 11

 Difference Makers: Luis Robert and Will Smith

 

2019 Draft

Again probably a little early to write about Bust, Bams and Wows. 

Busts: 

1-2 Jonathen India, Reds, is TBD actually human? India’s stock has fell since being drafted as he”s dropped out of the many of the  top 200 prospects list but it is TBD and India is still young. 

1-11 Victor Victor Mesa, Marlins,  Mesa is out on most experts top 300 prospects list 

Bam: 

3-3 Noelvi Marte,  Mariners  Top 25 prospect but it’s still early

Wow I drafted him that late, okay then.

5-10 Dylan Carlson Cardinals, nice pick up by the Beach Bums, top ten prospect, however struggle in the short MLB season. 

Waiver Wire Pickups

Mitch Garver, Twins, but is he for real? A 29 year old catcher with 7.2 PPG in 2019 but Ryan Jeffers might have taken his place as the starting catcher?  

Gio Urshela , Yankees, picked up by Ferns than dropped and picked by TBD and traded to Marshall Plan. Urshela scored 6 PPG in 2020. 

I didn’t find any other good pick ups except a bunch of relief pitchers claims by HLR, in 2019 HLR had 542 waiver claims which I think is a Dynasty Grinders record.  

 

Observations 

Prospects are the key to success in any dynasty league and especially in Dynasty Grinders. If you don’t grind prospects don’t expect to win a championships anytime soon.  Prospects and the waiver wire is where you need to grind. 

First round picks are huge, especially the top 5 or 6 picks. In our league 80% of the first round picks make the major leagues, second rounders 60% and third rounders 40%. I’m not fan of obtaining 4th and 5th rounders in trades, they are like candy corn and are only good for about five minutes. As you can see only a hand full of 4th and 5th rounders hit. You would be better off grinding the waiver wire.  

Remember when you obtain a first rounder from one of the top teams it’s really an early 2nd rounder and how many 2nd rounders hit, maybe 60%. There has been some good second rounders that hit like Buehler and Castillo who were just traded.  

Drafting pitchers is always a risk for two reasons, injuries and will the pitcher become a bullpen arm. Additionally drafting high school / international players are also a risk because of their age and their development (Maitan). HLR has been very successful in that department, I’m wondering if he would be willing to share his secret sauce, probably not.   

The waiver wire is where you can make up some ground but it takes a lot of grinding. Long Ball is the king by picking up Acuna and Soto.  HLR is the king of roster claims with a record of 542 claims in 2019, however make sure you watch your FAAB budget. Additionally,  watch the prospect experts in the league, sometimes they drop prospects they don’t have room for but you might. 

Finally, there is plenty of free prospects web sites to visit. A few sites have a pay wall but worth the $5 a month price.  If any of you like podcasts there are plenty out there that are both informational and entertaining.

Trade: Long Ball to LF | Marshall Law

Marshall Law trades away
SP Dinelson Lamet ($5; cost controlled)
RF Misael Urbina (prospect)
1B Pavin Smith (prospect)

Long Ball to LF trades away
SP Aaron Nola ($38)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

On the surface this trade looks lopsided. Aaron Nola is just 26-years-old, Steamer projects him as a top-15 overall pitcher in 2020, and he has consecutive 1,000+ point seasons on his resume. He checks every box as a top Dynasty Grinders asset (more on this in a moment). On the other side, there are two blah prospects and a spring training hype guy coming off Tommy John surgery who still carries a fair amount of reliever risk. This looks to be in favor of Marshall Law.

I do think it’s key to note the $33 savings here. This trade got Long Ball under $500 and that savings likely buys him at least another year of Kenta Maeda ($30), Michael Brantley ($29), or one of his higher priced pieces like Josh Donaldson ($77) or Zack Greinke ($67) that he’s been shopping. Those guys don’t show up in the Trade Accepted email, but they were no doubt a factor. My guess is, since Long Ball had listed all those guys on his trade block, there was zero interest across the board (because players that have salaries have cooties), so he ultimately sold whichever guy actually brought something back and that happened to be Nola. I’d argue the only “something” in this deal is Lamet, as the two prospects seem fairly disinteresting to me. Urbina is fine and has some long-term upside, Smith seems boring as a 1B-only with only 50 grade power. Whatever. It continuously blows my mind that upper tier players are traded in this league for churn-able prospects. Long Ball couldn’t get Vidal Brujan? Jazz Chisholm? As a rule of thumb, if a sub-$40 1,000 point player is traded, the prospects involved should really be guys Jordan has heard of before. Also, I probably would’ve rather just cut Maeda or Greinke or Brantley and kept Nola and missed out on Lamet. But the sum of Lamet plus whichever one of those guys would’ve been cut is probably close enough to Nola’s 2020 production to at least make the logical leap here.

I guess I’m mainly confused as to why a package headlined by Lamet and filled out by two prospects outside the top-250 was really the high offer.

Given Nola’s age, cost, and resume, he should’ve been coveted by literally every team, even the perpetual tankers. He was on the block publicly, so it’s not like his availability wasn’t known. I personally did not inquire on Nola, mainly because I’m sitting at $500 in keepers and The Bundle™ has ruined my mobility (weird how those rule changes that were met with such disgust ultimately did my team no favors), but I even sort of regret it now seeing this price. I could’ve probably afforded to punt a hitter to make room if push came to shove. If Long Ball waited until after auction, I would’ve probably thrown any prospects and picks he wanted at Nola and that terrifying $38 salary. Oh well.

How many other teams sat on the sidelines here? I guess people assumed the price would be too high and the mere thought of trading relevant prospects is unfathomable, but Urbina and Smith seem like fringe prospects at best right now. TBD and HLR will no doubt pick up far superior prospects for free throughout the season. Marshall will easily pick up better or comparable prospects to replace these guys himself. Even if Lamet meets his recent hype, Nola’s still likely to outscore him in 2020 and even teams like Senior Squids and We Talk Fantasy Sports and Who’s Your Haddy, who don’t intend to compete in the next half decade, should have been lining up here and could have probably beat this offer quite handily. You’re not getting a better asset than Nola at auction, so if that’s your game plan, good luck trying. If you were clinging to legitimate prospects out of fear of adding a whopping $38 in salary, well… whoops. And if you were out on Nola because you’re punting 2020, I guess I’m confused what the game plan is for 2021+ when you have no established good players in place when your prospects theoretically start getting promoted. The Bundle™ made Aaron Nola available for a low price and still no one with salary room took advantage? Hmm…

Overall, I like this deal for Marshall Law. If Lamet pans out, it probably buys Long Ball an extra player this year and next, maybe one more beyond that. For now I’ll gladly take the Nola side though.

Trade: Evil Otters | Marshall Law

Evil Otters trades away
Ureña, José ($5+)
Diaz, Yusniel (ML)
Brujan, Vidal (ML)

Marshall Law trades away
Cabrera, Miguel ($51+)

Jordan’s Thoughts: Miguel Cabrera is that old guy who seems to continue to be good. Last year he had a bad year. Injuries are painful. STEAMER projects him to be over 900 points again and I think that makes his price at $51 more then fair. Miggy’s ceiling seems potentially high to me as well.

Jose Urena was pretty good last year, scoring 846 points. STEAMER does expect some what of a step back, I’m not sure that’s warrented or not. Either way following Hustle’s rule of any starter under $10 being valuable. That’s an asset. Both Diaz and Brujan are prospects that on first glance of a fangraphs search both look pretty good. Brujan in A+ league last year looks really talented. 55 steals last year, but also has power and plate patience.

Marshall Law clearly rebuilding and the pieces he got back for Miguel Cabrera seem pretty great. I wouldn’t be surprised that the market for Miggy is pretty low and he got a decent haul. For the Evil Otters, you’re still getting a future Hall of Famer coming off an injury plagued year. Have to like the deal for both teams. I know that declaring a winner will make me look stupid in three years when I look back, so I’ll go ahead and do it now…. Evil Otters will regret trading Vidal Brujan (hi future Jordan!)

Andrew’s Thoughts: Here’s a fun fact: while playing injured last year, Miguel Cabrera put up a .360 wOBA and a 128 WRC+. All the Statcast and xStats stuff looked good too. I know he’s old, big-bodied, and brittle. I know that $53 pre-greed is a pretty sizeable cost. But as long as he’s on the field and playing, he’s still a damn good hitter and if you have any intention of winning, well, you need damn good hitters and I don’t really think you can twiddle your thumbs all off-season and hope you win one or two at auction.

I like that Marshall Law, who is rebuilding, was able to get two top-100 prospects and a serviceable, cheap pitcher back for him. And more than that, I like that the Evil Otters paid that price. Miggy is exactly the type of player that I felt would be hastily given away for practically nothing rather than a viable package, so I’m just happy to see this deal at all.

This seems like a win-win deal to me.