MLB: First NFBC Draft of 2023

MLB: First NFBC Draft of 2023

Last night I had a great time participating in a seven-round NFBC draft on Zoom with some of the best players around. We will reconvene for a slow draft in November to draft the final 43 rounds of this 50-round draft-and-hold league. Rob DiPietro, the 2020 NFBC Draft Champions overall winner, put the league together.

I know this is what you came for — here are the draft results (I'm Team 11):

Here was my pre-draft board (a rough set of rankings that I put together):

 123456789101112131415
1 ->Trea TurnerRonald AcunaJose RamirezJuan SotoJulio RodriguezAaron JudgeMookie BettsBryce HarperShohei OhtaniFreddie FreemanVladimir GuerreroManny MachadoYordan AlvarezAustin RileyRafael Devers
2 <-Aaron NolaBrandon WoodruffLuis CastilloNolan ArenadoFrancisco LindorKyle TuckerDylan CeaseMax ScherzerJustin VerlanderPaul GoldschmidtPete AlonsoGerrit ColeSandy AlcantaraShane McClanahanCorbin Burnes
3 ->Zack WheelerShane BieberBobby WittBo BichetteMichael HarrisEdwin DiazEmmanuel ClaseAdley RutschmanWill SmithJacob deGromJulio UriasAlek ManoahOzzie AlbiesMatt OlsonJ.T. Realmuto
4 <-Robbie RayMarcus SemienJose AltuveCorey SeagerDansby SwansonCarlos RodonTony GonsolinZac GallenLogan WebbJoe MusgroveMax FriedByron BuxtonLuis RobertJazz ChisholmMike Trout
5 ->Spencer StriderTeoscar HernandezJordan RomanoRyan PresslyRyan HelsleyLiam HendriksFramber ValdezYu DarvishKevin

Last night I had a great time participating in a seven-round NFBC draft on Zoom with some of the best players around. We will reconvene for a slow draft in November to draft the final 43 rounds of this 50-round draft-and-hold league. Rob DiPietro, the 2020 NFBC Draft Champions overall winner, put the league together.

I know this is what you came for — here are the draft results (I'm Team 11):

Here was my pre-draft board (a rough set of rankings that I put together):

 123456789101112131415
1 ->Trea TurnerRonald AcunaJose RamirezJuan SotoJulio RodriguezAaron JudgeMookie BettsBryce HarperShohei OhtaniFreddie FreemanVladimir GuerreroManny MachadoYordan AlvarezAustin RileyRafael Devers
2 <-Aaron NolaBrandon WoodruffLuis CastilloNolan ArenadoFrancisco LindorKyle TuckerDylan CeaseMax ScherzerJustin VerlanderPaul GoldschmidtPete AlonsoGerrit ColeSandy AlcantaraShane McClanahanCorbin Burnes
3 ->Zack WheelerShane BieberBobby WittBo BichetteMichael HarrisEdwin DiazEmmanuel ClaseAdley RutschmanWill SmithJacob deGromJulio UriasAlek ManoahOzzie AlbiesMatt OlsonJ.T. Realmuto
4 <-Robbie RayMarcus SemienJose AltuveCorey SeagerDansby SwansonCarlos RodonTony GonsolinZac GallenLogan WebbJoe MusgroveMax FriedByron BuxtonLuis RobertJazz ChisholmMike Trout
5 ->Spencer StriderTeoscar HernandezJordan RomanoRyan PresslyRyan HelsleyLiam HendriksFramber ValdezYu DarvishKevin GausmanStarling MarteXander BogaertsEloy JimenezAndres GimenezDaulton VarshoCorbin Carroll
6 <-Felix BautistaGeorge SpringerJeremy PenaWander FrancoTrevor StoryTommy EdmanFreddy PeraltaAlex BregmanTim AndersonJosh HaderNestor CortesWillson ContrerasAlejandro KirkRandy ArozarenaAdolis Garcia
7 ->Jorge LopezCamilo DovalSalvador PerezWilliam ContrerasC.J. CronBryan ReynoldsKyle SchwarberMatt ChapmanCedric MullinsJose AbreuChris BassittBlake SnellClayton KershawGeorge KirbyLuis Severino

For my rankings, I essentially deconstructed my dynasty rankings from last week, which I put plenty of research into, and adjusted for obvious dynasty vs. redraft factors. When draft season arrives, I will be drafting off a sheet that only contains ~40% of the player pool, as I will eliminate the players I am not interested in while loading up on the players I'm really high on. However, for the purposes of this exercise, I tried to include everyone I thought reasonably warranted consideration (although I think I subconsciously omitted Fernando Tatis).

Ryan Venancio, who was drafting next to me out of the 12th spot, helped me preview the draft on Wednesday's podcast:

I said on the podcast that I expected to start off with two hitters and I hoped to get Luis Castillo in the third round. As things turned out, one of my top-17 hitters (Paul Goldschmidt) was still available in the third round, and I loved the idea of getting a top tier first baseman and top tier third baseman, so I grabbed Goldschmidt and was still able to get Castillo in the fourth round. 

I noted to Ryan on the podcast that I wanted Corbin Carroll and wasn't sure where he'd go in this sharp draft room. As it turns out, my buddy Brian Slack, who is a great player, grabbed him one pick ahead of me in the fifth round. I wasn't going to grab Carroll until the sixth round at the earliest, not because I didn't think he should go higher, but because I wanted to see if I could wait that long for him. I expect Carroll to be going in the 40-60 range come Main Event drafts in late March 2023, so that fifth-round selection should age quite well. 

In the end, I accomplished my general goal of establishing a very strong, low-risk offensive base, but I did not accomplish my rough goal of getting two starters and a closer. William Contreras and Camilo Doval are my tentative targets in the eighth round for when things start back up in November, and I certainly expect to grab two closers within my first four picks or so when we resume. I'm a little light on speed, but I think I have about 35 steals on hand (15 from Harper, 10 from Machado, six or seven from Goldschmidt, a couple apiece from Adley and Seager) if everyone stays relatively healthy. My biggest regret from 2022 was leaving drafts with a little too much speed, so this was a natural adjustment, I just hope I didn't swing too far the other way.

Some notes:

  • I love what Ryan Rufe did in general. I was really torn between Verlander and Goldschmidt in the third. Michael Harris will be a target for me all draft season, and I expect him to go in the middle of the third round on average. Rufe also got probably the most "I wanted that guy" remarks of the whole draft when he took Andres Gimenez in the sixth. I'm very interested in grabbing Gimenez in this general range (fifth or sixth round), but I could see the price moving up even higher by draft season.
  • Ronald Acuna at 1.6 and Juan Soto at 1.10 were massive values, in my opinion. I could see Acuna being the clear No. 2 guy per ADP after Trea Turner this year.
  • I haven't interacted much with Jason Duponte, but he had me cracking up all draft long. I know Rob is going to be converting the Zoom recording into a podcast, so I'd recommend checking that out in the coming days.
  • Everyone seemed to think Bo Bichette in the third was one of the steals of the draft. Steve Weimer is one of the sharpest players in the world, and I thought the pick was solid, but I didn't think it was quite the steal that everyone else did. Perhaps I'll come back around by the time I do more drafts. 
  • 12 closers and nine catchers went in the first 105 picks, and I think there's a decent case that William Contreras, Camilo Doval, Jorge Lopez and Scott Barlow could have gone in this range as well. I'm particularly interested to see where Ryan Helsley and Felix Bautista's average draft position ends up, as they have elite skills and a limited track record of closing. Will the public catch up to how good the younger Contreras is, or will he be a value all draft season?
  • Nobody took Tony Gonsolin (fourth among all SPs in earned auction dollars in 2022) or Adolis Garcia (15th among all hitters in earned auction dollars in 2022). This is a sharp room, so take that for what you will.

Let me know in the comments what you thought of the draft!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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