Sunday, June 1, 2014

2104 Astros Shadow System

The Shadow Draft has always been a great way to make me think about the draft and how it affects the entire franchise. I enjoy every aspect of baseball, from the business side and financials to the strategy of the game to the human-interest stories. It is all a part of the game. That is a large part of why I do a shadow draft. I read about players, get familiar with them and it gives me a reason to follow them through the minors up to the majors hopefully.

I also use it to test my skills, think outside the box and try to learn more about the game. The main reason I use the Astros dates back to 2010. The Astros were about to start their rebuild. They were about to cut ties with faces of the franchise, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman and were likely to get very little other than saving money. Now I didn’t take into account the exact financials of the club, as they were cash strapped, I used a fictional world in which this money could be used to add to the existing MLB Draft budget of the club. This would give them a pile of money to spend over the next couple years before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement would be agreed upon and at this point it seemed as if limiting draft spending was a key piece to this. This was an opening and a place to gain competitive advantage for a team that needed a boost to get back to where it could be. Now I didn’t see this as unrealistic considering the Astros are in, I believe, the fourth biggest market nationally and have had success in the past. They had a nice, fairly new ballpark. It seemed to me that all they needed was a winner.


Getting impact talent in free agency seemed to be getting tougher and tougher and it has only increased since then. The best way to acquire impact talent was the draft. Players that slide due to signability were of no concern to me, as I would meet their number and add them to the farm system. A player like Austin Wilson who had first round potential and wanted top ten compensation to put off his Stanford education scared most off. It would not have bothered me. I had millions that I saved in moving my former stars to use to acquire my future. Like I said earlier, most thought this was unrealistic and silly. I disagreed then and I still do now. It would have shook the powers that be in MLB and I’m sure I would have lost some favor with them but I believed this would work and would help me jumpstart the rebuilding of a franchise.

The Shadow Astros began in with the 2010 draft. That was where the idea was born at least. I had posted top 100 prospect lists back to 2008, so, since then, I have also added the highest rated player available at each pick in 2008 and 2009 to my shadow system as well. I wiped the slate clean and inherited no one from the actual Astros. No minor leaguers, no major leaguers.

2008
1
Justin Smoak
1B
4Yr
University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
1s
Tim Melville
RHP
HS
Wentzville Holt HS (Wentzville, MO)
2
Brett Hunter
RHP
4Yr
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
3
Sonny Gray
RHP
HS
Smyrna HS (Smyrna, TN)
3s
Daniel Webb
RHP
HS
Heath HS (West Paducah, KY)
4
Colby Shreve
RHP
JC
College of Southern Nevada (Henderson, NV)
5
Robbie Grossman
OF
HS
Cy-Fair HS (Cypress, TX)
6
Isaac Galloway
OF
HS
Los Osos HS (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)
7
Michael Palazzone
RHP
HS
Lassiter HS (Marietta, GA)
8
Matt Lollis
RHP
HS
Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif.
9
Daniel Marrs
RHP
HS
James River HS (Midlothian, VA)

2009
1
Kyle Gibson
RHP
4Yr
University of Missouri Columbia (Columbia, MO)
2
Max Stassi
C
HS
Yuba City HS (Yuba City, CA)
3
Austin Maddox
C
HS
Eagle's View Academy (Jacksonville, FL)
4
Ryan Jackson
SS
4Yr
University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
5
Jorge Reyes
RHP
4Yr
Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
6
Madison Younginer
RHP
HS
Mauldin HS (Mauldin, SC)
7
Kendal Volz
RHP
4Yr
Baylor University (Waco, TX)
8
Jonathan Singleton
1B
HS
Millikan HS (Long Beach, CA)
9
A.J. Griffin
RHP
4Yr
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
10
Scooter Gennett
SS
HS
Sarasota HS (Sarasota, FL)

2010
1
Josh Sale
RF
HS
Bishop Blanchet HS (Seattle, WA)
1
Nick Castellanos
3B
HS
Archbishop McCarthy HS (Southwest Ranches, FL)
1s
A.J. Cole
RHP
HS
Oviedo HS (Oviedo, FL)
2
Stetson Allie
RHP
HS
St. Edward HS (Lakewood, OH)
3
Garin Cecchini
SS
HS
Alfred M. Barbe HS (Lake Charles, LA)
4
Kevin Gausman
RHP
HS
Grandview HS (Aurora, CO)
5
Drew Cisco
RHP
HS
Wando HS (Mount Pleasant, SC)
6
Chris Hernandez
LHP
4Yr
University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
7
Austin Wilson
RF
HS
Harvard-Westlake HS (Los Angeles, CA)
8
Kris Bryant
3B
HS
Bonanza HS (Las Vegas, NV)
9
DeAndre Smelter
RHP
HS
Tattnall Square Academy (Macon, GA)
10
Jared Lakind
1B
HS
Cypress Woods HS (Cypress, TX)
11
Jacoby Jones
SS
HS
Richton HS (Richton, MS)
12
Mike Ojala
RHP
4Yr
Rice University (Houston, TX)
13
Michael Palazzone
RHP
4Yr
University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
14
Evan Rutckyj
LHP
HS
St. Joseph's Catholic HS (St. Thomas, ON)
15
Kevin Patterson
1B
4Yr
Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
16
Daniel Renken
RHP
4Yr
California State University Fullerton (Fullerton, CA)
17
Zach Alvord
2B
HS
South Forsyth HS (Cumming, GA)
18
Kevin Jordan
CF
HS
Northside HS (Columbus, GA)
19
Rock Shoulders
C
HS
Brandon HS (Brandon, FL)
20
Dale Carey
CF
HS
Wheeler HS (Marietta, GA)
21
Brian Ragira
CF
HS
James W. Martin HS (Arlington, TX)
22
Krey Bratsen
CF
HS
Bryan HS (Bryan, TX)
23
Alex Sogard
LHP
4Yr
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)
24
Trae Davis
RHP
HS
Mexia HS (Mexia, TX)
25
Kirby Bellow
LHP
HS
Nederland HS (Nederland, TX)
26
Mark Payton
CF
HS
St. Rita HS (Chicago, IL)
27
Rolando Botello
RHP
HS
Jay HS (San Antonio, TX)
28
Kyle Necke
RHP
4Yr
University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA)
29
Forrest Snow
RHP
4Yr
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
30
Brett Bruening
RHP
4Yr
Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
31
Casey Upperman
RHP
JC
Yavapai College (Prescott, AZ)
32
Danny Barnes
RHP
4Yr
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
33
Matt Roberts
C
HS
Graham HS (Graham, NC)
34
Dean Kiekhefer
LHP
4Yr
University of Louisville (Louisville, KY)
35
Cody Martin
RHP
4Yr
Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)
36
Ethan Stewart
LHP
JC
New Mexico Junior College (Hobbs, NM)
37
Andrew Smith
RHP
HS
Roswell HS (Roswell, GA)
38
Seth Maness
RHP
4Yr
East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
39
Thomas Pecoraro
RHP
HS
Half Hallow Hills West HS (Dix Hills, NY)
40
Daniel Child
RHP
HS
Jesuit HS (Carmichael, CA)
41
Trevor Teykl
RHP
HS
Kempner HS (Sugar Land, TX)
42
Lonnie Kauppila
SS
HS
Burbank HS (Burbank, CA)
43
Jonathon Crawford
RHP
HS
Okeechobee HS (Okeechobee, FL)
44
Clayton Crum
RHP
HS
Klein HS (Klein, TX)
45
Chris Triplett
SS
HS
Sandy Creek HS (Tyrone, GA)
46
Alex Schmarzo
RHP
4Yr
St. Mary's College of California (Moraga, CA)
47
Kelly Norris-Jones
C
HS
Lambrick Park SS (Victoria, BC)
48
Matt Rice
C
4Yr
Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY)
49
Trey Griffin
OF
HS
Martin Luther King, Jr. HS(Stockbridge, GA)
50
Rudy Acosta
RHP
HS
Mount Miguel HS (Spring Valley, CA)

2010 International Signings
Martin Peguero
Danry Vasquez
Vicmal De La Cruz
Yoel Araujo


2011
1
Sonny Gray
RHP
4Yr
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
2
Daniel Norris
LHP
HS
Science Hill HS (Johnson City, TN)
3
Josh Osich
LHP
4Yr
Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
4
Derek Fisher
CF
HS
Cedar Crest HS (Lebanon, PA)
5
Curt Casali
C
4Yr
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
6
Jake Cave
CF
HS
Kecoughtan HS (Hampton, VA)
7
Kyle Winkler
RHP
4Yr
Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
8
Joshua Tobias
SS
HS
Southeast Guilford HS (Greensboro, NC)
9
Dillon Maples
RHP
HS
Pinecrest HS (Southern Pines, NC)
10
Amir Garrett
LHP
HS
Henderson International School (Henderson, NV)
11
Matthew Dean
3B
HS
The Colony HS (The Colony, TX)
12
Jacquese Carson
CF
HS
Lake City HS (Lake City, SC)
13
Phillip Evans
SS
HS
La Costa Canyon HS (Carlsbad, CA)
14
Ricky Jacquez
RHP
HS
Franklin HS (El Paso, TX)
15
Dominic Jose
CF
HS
Boca Raton Community HS (Boca Raton, FL)
16
Preston Tucker
1B
4Yr
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
17
Austin Slater
SS
HS
The Bolles School (Jacksonville, FL)
18
Brett Mooneyham
LHP
4Yr
Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
19
Austin Urban
RHP
JC
Des Moines Area Community College (Boone, IA)
20
Carson Baranik
RHP
HS
Parkway HS (Bossier City, LA)
21
Dylan Davis
RHP
HS
Not Drafted
22
Andrew Murray
C
HS
Westfield HS (Westfield, NJ)
23
Nicholas Burdi
RHP
HS
Downers Grove South HS (Downers Grove, IL)
24
Pat Connaughton
RHP
HS
St. John's Preparatory School (Danvers, MA)
25
Eric Arce
1B
HS
0
26
Kyle Robinson
1B
4Yr
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
27
Brandon Sedell
OF
HS
Not Drafted
28
Dakota Freese
RHP
HS
Washington HS (Cedar Rapids, IA)
29
Geno Escalante
C
HS
Not Drafted
30
Grayson Greiner
C
HS
Not Drafted
31
Philip Pfeifer
LHP
HS
Farragut HS (Knoxville, TN)
32
Kash Kalkowski
3B
4Yr
University of Nebraska at Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)
33
Tyler Rahmatulla
2B
4Yr
University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
34
Adrian Morales
3B
4Yr
University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
35
Joe Loftus
OF
4Yr
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
36
John Coy
1B
4Yr
Wichita State University (Wichita, KS)
37
Willie Argo
CF
4Yr
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
38
Tyler Hanover
SS
4Yr
Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
39
Zac Elgie
1B
Not Drafted
40
Khiry Cooper
OF
4Yr
Not Drafted
41
Spenser Linney
LHP
HS
Head-Royce HS (Oakland, CA)
42
Rouric Bridgewater
1B
HS
Not Drafted
43
Drake Roberts
2B
HS
Brenham HS (Brenham, TX)
44
Chase Williamson
SS
HS
Not Drafted
45
Jay Baum
SS
HS
Not Drafted
46
player already taken
47
Blake Burrell
RHP
HS
Not Drafted
48
Drew Stiles
OF
HS
Not Drafted
49
Max Homick
1B
HS
Not Drafted
50
Daniel Mengden
RHP
HS
Not Drafted
  

2011 International Signings
Raul Adalberto Mondesi
Hersin Martinez
Luis Enrique Acosta
Manuel Margot
Mauricio Silva
Iosif Bernal
Mitchell Martes


When the CBA was agreed upon, I agreed to follow the rules but I didn’t change up my drafting style. The best way to maximize my money allowed was to take high end talent that slid and try to get overslot deals after the 10th round with savings in the early rounds. Considering I can’t just make up what each of these guys would need to sign, I only used real signing bonuses and left money on the table in each of 2012 and 2013 although I did have some late round success in 2013 with Brentz, Tellez and Lanphere to name a few.


2012
1
Carlos Correa
SS
HS
Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (Gurabo, PR)
1s
Lance McCullers
RHP
HS
Jesuit HS (Tampa, FL)
2
Mitch Brown
RHP
HS
Century HS (Rochester, MN)
3
Rio Ruiz
3B
HS
Bishop Amat Memorial HS (La Puente, CA)
4
Christian Walker
1B
4Yr
University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
5
Ross Stripling
RHP
4Yr
Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)
6
Taylor Dugas
CF
4Yr
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
7
Tomas Nido
C
HS
Orangewood Christian HS (Maitland, FL)
8
Kevin Ross
SS
HS
Niles West HS (Skokie, IL)
9
Daniel Poma
OF
4Yr
Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY)
10
Hunter Virant
LHP
HS
Adolfo Camarillo HS (Camarillo, CA)
11
Trey Williams
SS
HS
Valencia HS (Valencia, CA)
12
Alex Bregman
2B
HS
Albuquerque Academy (Albuquerque, NM)
13
Clate Schmidt
RHP
HS
Allatoona HS (Acworth, GA)
14
Rhett Wiseman
CF
HS
Buckingham Browne & Nichols HS (Cambridge, MA)
15
Dylan LaVelle
3B
HS
Lake Stevens HS (Lake Stevens, WA)
16
James Kaprielian
RHP
HS
Beckman HS (Irvine, CA)
17
Charles Moorman
C
HS
El Capitan HS (Lakeside, CA)
18
Jharel Cotton
RHP
4Yr
East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
19
Connor Harrell
CF
4Yr
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
20
Chase Mullins
LHP
HS
Bourbon County HS (Paris, KY)
21
Tyler Hollstegge
RHP
4Yr
University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Greensboro, NC)
22
Skye Bolt
CF
HS
Holy Innocents HS (Atlanta, GA)
23
C.J. Hinojosa
SS
HS
Klein Collins HS (Spring, TX)
24
David Thompson
OF
HS
Westminster Christian (Miami, FL)
25
Creede Simpson
2B
4Yr
Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
26
Mitchell Traver
RHP
HS
Houston Christian HS (Houston, TX)
27
Cody Poteet
RHP
HS
Christian HS (El Cajon, CA)
28
Brandon Lopez
SS
HS
American Heritage HS (Plantation, FL)
29
Ryan Garvey
RF
JC
Riverside Community College (Riverside, CA)
30
Xavier Turner
3B
HS
Sandusky HS (Sandusky, OH)
31
Eric Hanhold
RHP
HS
East Lake HS (Palm Harbor, FL)
32
James Marvel
RHP
HS
Campolindo HS (Moraga, CA)
33
Braden Bishop
CF
HS
St. Francis HS (Mountain View, CA)
34
Sean McLaughlin
RHP
HS
Northview HS (Johns Creek, GA)
35
Drew Jackson
SS
HS
Miramonte HS (Orinda, CA)
36
Dansby Swanson
SS
HS
Marietta HS (Marietta, GA)
37
Kurt Schluter
RHP
4Yr
Stetson University (DeLand, FL)
38
Grayson Long
RHP
HS
Barbers Hill HS (Mont Belvieu, TX)
39
player already taken
40
Taylor Kaczmarek
RHP
JC
South Mountain Community College (Phoenix, AZ)


2012 International
Amaurys Minier
Frandy Delarosa
Wendell Rijo
Luis Barrera


2013
1
Clint Frazier
3B
HS
Loganville HS (Loganville, GA)
2
Justin Williams
SS
HS
Terrebonne HS (Houma, LA)
3
Jon Denney
C
HS
Yukon HS (Yukon, OK)
4
Dylan Covey
RHP
4Yr
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
5
Bobby Wahl
RHP
4Yr
University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS)
6
Casey Shane
RHP
HS
Centennial HS (Frisco, TX)
7
Dustin Driver
RHP
HS
Wenatchee HS (Wenatchee, WA)
8
Terry McClure
CF
HS
Riverwood HS (Sandy Springs, GA)
9
Patrick Biondi
CF
4Yr
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
10
Malik Collymore
SS
HS
Port Credit SS (Mississauga, ON)
11
Jake Brentz
LF
HS
Parkway South HS (Manchester, MO)
12
Joey Martarano
3B
HS
Fruitland HS (Fruitland, ID)
13
Jordan Sheffield
RHP
HS
Tullahoma HS (Tullahoma, TN)
14
Nick Buckner
CF
HS
North Shore HS (Harris, TX)
15
Eugene Escalante
C
4Yr
Mount Olive College (Mount Olive, NC)
16
Elvin Soto
C
4Yr
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
17
Joseph Monge
RF
HS
Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (Florida, PR)
18
Daniel Child
RHP
4Yr
Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
19
Blake Hennessey
SS
HS
Arlington Country Day School (Jacksonville, FL)
20
Jackson Lamb
RHP
HS
Bedford HS (Temperance, MI)
21
Lucas Lanphere
RHP
HS
Citrus Valley HS (Redlands, CA)
22
Ryan Boldt
CF
HS
Red Wing HS (Red Wing, MN)
23
Tyler Alexander
LHP
HS
Carroll HS (Southlake, TX)
24
Brett Morales
RHP
HS
King HS (Tampa, FL)
25
Ricky Jacquez
RHP
JC
Central Arizona College (Coolidge, AZ)
26
Cal Quantrill
RHP
HS
Trinity College School (Port Hope, ON)
27
Zack Collins
C
HS
American Heritage HS (Plantation, FL)
28
Nick Zammarelli
3B
HS
Lincoln HS (Lincoln, RI)
29
Logan Shore
RHP
HS
Coon Rapids HS (Coon Rapids, MN)
30
Rowdy Tellez
1B
HS
Elk Grove HS (Elk Grove, CA)
31
A.J. Bogucki
RHP
HS
Boyertown HS (Boyertown, PA)
32
Michael Shawaryn
RHP
HS
Gloucester Catholic HS (Gloucester City, NJ)
33
Octavio Rodriguez
LHP
HS
Franklin HS (El Paso, TX)
34
A.J. Kubala
1B
HS
Arlington Country Day School (Jacksonville, FL)
35
A.J. Puk
LHP
HS
Washington HS (Cedar Rapids, IA)
36
Andy McGuire
SS
HS
James Madison HS (Vienna, VA)
37
Alex Blackford
RHP
4Yr
Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
38
Javi Salas
RHP
4Yr
University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
39
Ty Afenir
SS
4Yr
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
40
Taylor Johnson
2B
4Yr
St. Edward's University (Austin, TX)


2013 International Signings
Gleyber Torres
Rafael Devers
Erick Julio
Luis Asuncion
Yimmelvyn Alonzo
Callan Pearce

At this point, I have essentially full minor league rosters and making progress towards a full MLB team. I combed the waiver wires this offseason, looked at released players and I could fill all the holes with replacement level minor leaguers like Matt McBride, Ezequiel Carerea, Joe Benson, Jim Negrych and others like them.

To fill the holes, I would have to pay close to $5-6 million/WAR in free agency but it’s do-able. I think this team would be a mid-70’s win team if I would have spent  around $70 million on players like Chris Young, A.J. Pierzynski, Joba Chamberlain and Corey Hart.

Doing this over the winter and putting together a full team proved to me you can fill holes quite easily in the AA-Major league level as long as you watch the transactions and are aggressive in free agency. The core will be provided by my farm system and other players that can help can be added as the team gets closer to contention. I would bet that in a couple years, the core of the team will be provided very cheaply with the team competing with a 65-70 million dollar payroll.

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