Dynasty draft season has begun. With the MLB season on hold and looking like an old couple fighting, we may go a while before seeing US baseball (let’s go KBO). The ripple effect falls to us fantasy players as we are unable to have a traditional fantasy season.
A group of my buddies and I have been playing fantasy baseball for about 10 years together, we have had a lot of people drop off and add in but these are the core members. We decided this was the year to trial a baseball dynasty draft league with Fantrax. Here are my takeaways from the first dynasty draft of the season.
Three Dynasty Draft Takeaways
#1 Second overall conundrum
Juan Soto has been a fan favorite in our league in non-dynasty so I was not surprised to see him go in the top slot, and for good reason. I was surprised this offseason that when comparing his career averages to Mickey Mantle, there’s a real comparison to be made (calm down Yankee fans). Still not to his prime, and with no major injuries, he is a safe bet to continue to produce at a HOF level.
The second slot to me is where things start to have fork in the road vibes. Tatis was the pick that was made, leaving Vlad Jr. available for me at #3. Both of these players have great upside, but Tatis to me is the more likely player to regress over time due to position demands and his athleticism declining as he ages. Vlad profiles as one of those Jim Thome guys who my 3-year-old will draft on her video games 10-15 years from now.
#2 position depth
I noticed some trends in positions in dynasty drafts that do not hold true in re-draft. Second base has very little at the top compared to other positions. In re-draft, Semien and Merrifield are sure-fire top 20 players. In our draft, Semien was the first second baseman off the board at 24 overall. Although a consistent player over the course of the last 3 seasons, Semien is 31 and is at risk of dropping in the order as his youthful lineup around him continues to develop. Merrifield who was taken as the third 2B off the board is 33 and should eventually decline in steals, his most dominant fantasy contribution.
While the top is thin, the position depth is good towards the middle, the 4-8 off the board were Jonathan India, jazz Chisholm, Brandon Lowe, and Altuve. I would let the position come to me if I was drafting again, as I ended up with Merrifield but could’ve waited a few rounds and still done okay at the position.
Injuries are always what I’d like to talk about first and couldn’t go an article without mentioning them. In the top ten are two players who injuries can impact the season. Jacob Degrom has slowly made his way onto my untouchable list in the top 10 because of his consistent injury issues. He was diagnosed with UCL issues last season and has a history of lat and back issues. I plan to do a further in depth article on his injury later but these all point to mechanical issues, and at age 33, him correcting them fast is a risk I’m not taking in any format outside the top 20 picks. Other injuries of concern are Ronald Acuna and Shane Bieber, who I already have pieces out on if you want more detail and see why I selected Acuna but was hesitant on Bieber.
Overall my first dynasty draft of the season proved valuable. I’m excited to see how my team does whenever we finally have a season. I hope this helps you in your dynasty drafts this season.
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