Dispersal Draft divvies up dynamic diamond dynamos

These new managers drafted like they knew what they were doing.

All three of the new entrants to the I-75 League — Ryan Renbarger, Jason Renbarger and Jeff Richards — have something to look forward to for the 2016 season as they skillfully picked apart the vacated franchises of Chatfield, Hickory and Wisconsin on Jan. 2 in the 2015-16 Dispersal Draft.

Ryan’s Dyersville Treblemakers landed Diamondbacks centerfielder A.J. Pollock with the first overall pick, the first of six outfielders the club would secure. Jason’s New New York Hypnotoads went for Mets fireballer Jacob deGrom with the second pick, the first step in winning the battle for best starting pitching staff. Jeff’s West Atlanta Crush snagged White Sox strikeout artist Chris Sale with the third pick, but then went on a mission to land the best available defensive players in the pool.

When it was all said and done in less than an hour, the three clubs crystalized into distinctive units that appeared to take shape as the result of specific strategies.

The clubs chose 18 players off the collective rosters of the Choo-Choos, Nuts and Warhawks, as well as a draft position vacated by those franchises. West Atlanta jumped on the Nuts’ position with the 16th overall pick in the sixth round, and the Hypnotoads followed suit immediately with the Warhawks’ position. That left Dyersville stuck with Chatfield’s last-pick-in-every-round position.

Nineteen players were chosen from Wisconsin’s roster; 18 from Hickory and 17 from Chatfield.  Each of the three clubs landed four solid starting pitchers, which puts them in a better position than some of the league’s 12 legacy teams. Here are some other notes about how things shook out:

Dyersville — Chose 10 position players and 8 pitchers. More than the other two teams, paid a little more attention to ‘prospect’ type players, with selections of Javier Baez, Dalton Pompey, Gregory Polanco and Aaron Sanchez. Snagged Jose Fernandez (64 innings) as its first starting pitcher, another indication it may be looking more at 2017 than 2016. Relief stud Dellin Bettances (131 Ks in 84 IP), one of four relievers drafted by the Treblemakers, will keep them in many games. Still need a first baseman.

New New York — After landing deGrom in the first round, the Hypnotoads doubled down on ace starters by selecting Indians stud Carlos Carrasco in round two. Then, lo and behold, slugging beast Nelson Cruz (44 homers) was still available when the club’s third round turn came up, and the ‘Toads proceeded to load up on burly men, including Jose Abreu (fourth round, 30 homers), Ryan Braun (25 homers) and Shin-Soo Choo (22 homers). Justin Verlander and Scott Kazmir round out a solid starting foursome, and Andrelton Simmons and Dustin Pedroia will provide solid defense up the middle. Still need a catcher. Chose 11 position players and 7 pitchers. Lineup is very RH-heavy.

West Atlanta — After grabbing a pitching staff ace in Sale, Jeff’s club focused on solid position players, taking 13 of those and just five pitchers (four starters and only one reliever). The Crush will sport 1s at first base (Eric Hosmer), second base (Joe Panik) and third base (Evan Longoria) and 2s at every outfield position. Tony Watson is the only reliever so far, and West Atlanta was the odd man out on the shortstop derby, settling for Jordy Mercer, Brock Holt and Jedd Gyorko. But, with Hickory’s draft position (9, 17, 32, 37, etc.), the Crush are in the best position of the three clubs to fill in around the edges.

Surprise of the draft? May have been 26-year-old Rockies star outfielder Corey Dickerson, with a career batting average of .299 and career OPS of .879, lasting until the 49th pick (Dyersville), due to his 224-AB limit and 4 rating, presumably.

Best player not drafted? No glaring omissions here. I guess you’d have to say Jhonny Peralta had the best year, with 17 HRs and a .745 OPS for a shortstop, but he is a 4 at that position.


One Response

  1. Holy alliteration, Batman!

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