The April supplemental is likely to be your “oops” draft. It’s too early in the season for too much to have gone wrong or for many players to have broken out, but you may have intentionally or accidentally left your team thin at key positions. We’re here to help by breaking down some of the most likely April draft targets, and figuring out if and how they can fit on your team.

American League

Joey Rickard (owned in 22% of AL-only leagues)
Rickard earns the dubious distinction of being the most likely candidate to be drafted with the first pick of most supplemental drafts. He’s useful as a short-side platoon candidate, even if we wouldn’t get that tattoo just yet.

Nick Tropeano (33% owned)
Tropeano, as with Rickard, is likely to be a popular early draft choice, but it comes with a caveat. Tyler Skaggsimminent return to the rotation puts Tropeano’s immediate major-league future in jeopardy. That said, Tropeano has serious keeper potential, and the Angels rotation is likely to keep affording in-season opportunities.

Christian Vazquez (26% owned)
A loud and insistent drumbeat from the Boston media conglomerate and within the organization resulted in Vazquez’s recall this week to serve as the likely regular catcher. Even before the season, we were higher on Vazquez than we were on his young counterpart Blake Swihart, as Vazquez at least had a signature skill as an elite defensive player. His bat is likely to leave him just shy of keeper status, but he’ll provide you with a few hundred at-bats from the catcher position, which can make for a valuable trade chit at minimum.

Bryan Holaday (20% owned)
As with Vazquez, Holaday has recently come into regular playing time, and is thus useful both to your team and in emergencies. His value as a regular exists only until Robinson Chirinos returns or until Jon Daniels decides to repair this long-term positional scar once-and-for-all, but he can replace some lost catcher innings in the early season for the right team.

Daniel Nava (49% owned)
It seems that many Scoresheet owners were rightfully gun-shy that the Angels would actually let their outfield degrade to the point where Nava was receiving regular at-bats. But here we are, and we like Nava for his ability to potentially provide his brand of plate patience off the bench from the left side as a primary pinch-hitter.

Ricky Nolasco (9% owned)
Nolasco isn’t the biggest problem on the Twins right now, which means that he’s doing well enough not to be the first player released or otherwise exiled. Enjoy your 100 below average starting innings as they protect you from the gaping maw of Triple-A Pitcher.

National League

Tommy La Stella (23% owned)
As Kyle Schwarber’s playing time is sadly distributed throughout the Cubs organization, La Stella is likely to be a beneficiary. Even as a part time player, he’s worth rostering as a primary pinch-hitter, or even as your regular batter versus righties until his playing time runs out.

Jeremy Hazelbaker (3% owned)
We guess you’ve now heard of him. Sometimes, early season irrational exuberance leads to an extra hundred plate appearances that you wouldn’t have expected, even if the player himself will prove himself unworthy in the long run. Hazelbaker has long had some enticing power/speed skills as he skittered around the minors, even if this is likely to be a relatively brief moment in the sun.

Ross Stripling (7% owned)
Stripling has also significantly raised his Q rating since the March draft, meaning that he’s almost certain to go early. Yes, the partial no-hitter was a stone fluke, but Stripling was shaping up to be an enticing upper-minors performance pick before he went down to the Zipper a couple of years ago. The return of any of Los Angeles’ flotilla of disabled starting pitchers will send Stripling packing, but even as an up-and-down player, he’s useful on a team willing to roll the dice on quality innings.

Jabari Blash (20% owned)
Blash is the quintessential Scoresheet pick. He has an obvious skillset that involves hitting for power and crushing lefties. Moreover, his Rule 5 status makes him more likely than most similar players to last the season in the minor leagues. Anyone looking for a lefty-munching pinch-hitter or platoon partner should have him high on your radar.

Cristhian Adames (20% owned)

Adames is undoubtedly the most noteworthy Rockies shortstop in the early season. Can’t think of anyone else. More seriously, while the Rox are obviously ready to build a shrine to their newly minted starting shortstop, they also took a shine to their longtime utility prospect this spring as well. Although there’s no easy path to playing time for Adames, his Coorsflated bat and likelihood of moving around the diamond will make him a versatile draft pick.


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How does Scoresheet handle the platoon splits for Pat Venditte?
Hey there! Scoresheet lists Pat Venditte as a lefthanded pitcher. Therefore, since pitchers have universal platoon splits and splits vary by batter, he'd be treated as a standard lefty reliever in this universe.

One could argue, perhaps, that this is entirely backwards, and that as sites such as BP have demonstrated, pitchers are far more likely to have unique platoon splits than batters, but my doctors have ruled that I can only have one long-winded rant on the Scoresheet Talk forum per week.

Thanks for asking!
With the ongoing discussion you all have for being in or out of competing in a given year, does it change how you treat the supplemental picks if you know your window is in the future?
Yes, then you pick Greg Bird first :-)
But what if it's NL-only, do you take Lance Lynn or something?
We're definitely all about the Lance Lynn lifestyle!

There are a few options that you can take with your picks. 1) Try to trade them for 2017 value: either prospects if you have room, or late draft picks. Usually that's impossible. 2) Draft a potential future keeper. Hence our Greg Bird fetish, or Lance Lynn, or Brandon McCarthy, or similar. Not every team can do this, but terrible teams sometimes have trouble finding 13 solid keepers, so it's a worthwhile gambit. 3) Draft minor leaguers. Duh. Do so until you are full up on worthwhile keepers. 4) Find the best major league assets you can. This requires drafting like a competitive team would, either taking relievers or looking for players who can provide valuable at bats at hard-to-fill positions, specifically shortstop and catcher. If teams run into trouble, you can then ransom them off midseason for future picks.
I'm starting to think the last option might be best because, despite my preseason intentions, I have something like nine or ten top-50 prospects already and my team's been hit pretty hard by injury (Schwarber, Heaney, Romo, etc). I'm invested in fair play, after all, so even though call-ups are bound to happen at some point, too many appearances by AAA-whomever could throw off competitive balance if I leave it be for another month.
With the number of Catchers down (or out) and the ongoing difficulty in filling the catching position, seems that you could have done the whole show on potential catching PAs. Even a .550 OPS bad catcher will add a run every 10 games or so over AAA by my noodling-math. Adding a bad C to replace Brayan Pena will likely help more than a short-side bat, as boring as it is. (Says the grumpy guy with that solid Chirinos-Swihard tandem.)
Ian, if you're ever in Denver, dinner's on me. deGrom has been an important part of my rotation in NL All Stars since I drafted him.
Would Salty's hot streak put him on the AL list if you were
drafting this week? His ownership must be below 50%.