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The Minor League Free Agent Draft (or MLFAD) is an annual Effectively Wild competition where the objective is to choose the best roster of minor league free agents.

The MLFAD has proven to be a very competitive event, with hosts sometimes secretly conducting large amounts of research and data collection in the days before the draft. It is also one of the key factors in the elevation of Willians Astudillo to the status of unofficial podcast mascot, as he was a pick in the 2018 edition of the draft.

Overview[]

As suggested by the name, eligible players for this draft are minor league free agents, those who have more than 6 years of minor league service time and are not on a 40-man roster. The pool of players is obtained from Matt Eddy's annual list of minor league free agents on Baseball America. It's mostly players you've never heard of, although there are often surprisingly prominent players you have heard of, and some players who were big-leaguers eight years ago that you had forgotten about.

Each player earns a point for each major league plate appearance (for position players) or batter faced (for pitchers) during the following season. Player performance is not considered. All that matters is playing time, although better performance is certainly correlated with playing time.

Since the draft takes place at the end of the calendar year, several weeks after the list of minor league free agents is generated, many players are eligible for the draft despite no longer being free agents. The sweet spot is to find a strong player on a terrible team.

Starting in 2021, a "control group" of randomly-selected players is added to the mix. The control group does terribly, which at least demonstrates that there is some skill to this exercise.

Summary[]

Year Sam Ben Jeff Meg Guest
2014 353 93
2015 560 629
2016 303 898
2017 707 375
2018 1,240 591 203
2019 586 548 1,640
2020 488 94 177
2021 1,311 569
2022 TBD TBD TBD
TOTAL 4,327 4,539 1,843 746
AVG* 721 648 922 569
RECORD 4/7 3/8 1/2 0/2 0/0

*The 2020 results are excluded from the average due to shortened season. Point totals for the 2019 draft have not been adjusted for the draft going 11 rounds instead of the traditional 10.

2014 Season[]

Round Ben's Picks PA/TBF Sam's Picks PA/TBF
1 Yamacio Navarro 0 Shawn Camp 15
2 Fernando Martinez 0 Matt LaPorta 0
3 Reid Brignac 91 Aaron Laffey 0
4 Travis Blackley 0 Ben Francisco 0
5 Alex Liddi 0 Ross Wolf 0
6 Jonathan Albaladejo 0 Jonathan Sanchez 0
7 Cory Wade 0 Ezequiel Carrera 76
8 Quintin Berry 2 Tommy Layne 76
9 Bill Bray 0 Steven Tolleson 189
10 Mark Rogers 0 Ed Easley 0
TOTAL 93 353
  • WINNER: Sam Miller

2015 Season[]

Round Ben's Picks PA/TBF Sam's Picks PA/TBF
1 John Axford 250 Radhames Liz 106
2 Joe Savery 0 Chris Volstad 7
3 Deibinson Romero 0 Rafael Betancourt 175
4 Jonathan Herrera 132 Nick Noonan 24
5 Clayton Richard 181 Caleb Gindl 0
6 Jonathan Galvez 0 Pat Venditte 119
7 Cord Phelps 0 Rene Garcia 0
8 Scott Sizemore 0 Brandon Allen 0
9 Mike Baxter 66 David Aardsma 129
10 Buck Britton 0 Sebastian Valle 0
TOTAL 629 560
  • WINNER: Ben Lindbergh

2016 Season[]

Round Ben's Picks PA/TBF Sam's Picks PA/TBF
1 Emilio Bonifacio 43 Dayan Viciedo 0
2 Hak-Ju Lee 0 Pete Kozma 0
3 Rafael Ortega 202 Jim Henderson 155
4 Andury Acevedo 0 Casey Kotchman 0
5 Jio Mier 0 Jarrett Grube 0
6 Buddy Baumann 40 Jeff Beliveau 0
7 Cesar Vargas 154 Clay Rapada 0
8 Trey Haley 0 Dayan Diaz 36
9 Blake Wood 330 Anthony Recker 112
10 Ji-man Choi 129 Jean Machi 0
TOTAL 898 303
  • WINNER: Ben Lindbergh

2017 Season[]

Round Sam's Picks PA/TBF Ben's Picks PA/TBF
1 Jacob Turner 170 Lisalverto Bonilla 172
2 Craig Stammen 329 Ryan LaMarre 8
3 Maikel Cleto 0 Orlando Calixte 55
4 Brett Oberholtzer 0 Michael Choice 0
5 Tim Fereowicz 14 Michael McKenry 0
6 Jaff Decker 62 J.B. Shuck 0
7 Lane Adams 122 Ben Rowen 0
8 T.J. House 10 Cesar Ramos 0
9 Cory Burns 0 Cesar Valdez 140
10 Hernan Iribarren 0 Kraig Sitton 0
TOTAL 707 375
  • WINNER: Sam Miller

2018 Season[]

Round Sam's Picks PA/TBF Jeff's Picks PA/TBF Ben's Picks PA/TBF
1 Rafael Ortega 143 Dario Alvarez 0 Scott Barlow 65
2 Ryan Carpenter 107 Anthony Gose 0 Mark Montgomery 0
3 Chris Carter 0 Kris Medlen 25 Michael Kelly 0
4 Colten Brewer 49 Dustin Ackley 0 Ronny Rodriguez 206
5 Richard Rodriguez 279 Perci Garner 0 Jumbo Diaz 0
6 Wade LeBlanc 662 Casey Lawrence 106 Willians Astudillo 97
7 Cristhian Adames 0 Mike Kickham 0 Kevin Comer 0
8 Dylan Unsworth 0 Brooks Pounders 72 John Andreoli 67
9 Erik Johnson 0 Forrest Snow 0 Christian Lopes 0
10 Evan Grills 0 Matt Purke 0 Curt Casali 156
TOTAL 1240 203 591
  • WINNER: Sam Miller

2019 Season[]

Round Sam's Picks PA/TBF Jeff's Picks PA/TBF Ben's Picks PA/TBF
1 Dylan Moore 292 R.J. Alaniz 72 Terrance Gore 58
2 Kyle Ryan 263 Harold Ramirez 446 Kiernan Lovegrove 0
3 Zach McAllister 0 Luke Bard 199 Deven Marrero 5
4 Ryan Court 25 Brandon Brennan 95 Kelby Tomlinson 0
5 Hunter Cervenka 0 Erik Johnson 0 Jake Petricka 36
6 Vidal Nuno 0 Asher Wojciechowski 362 Kyle Zimmer 102
7 John Lamb 0 Rookie Davis 52 Jon Berti 287
8 Dilson Herrera 0 Ariel Hernandez 0 Rymer Liriano 0
9 Deolis Guerra 6 Jairo Diaz 245 Mason Williams 34
10 Clint Coulter 0 Allen Craig 0 Ryan Lamarre 26
11 Ryan Merritt 0 Josh Lucas 69 Santiago Casilla 0
TOTAL 586 1640 548
  • WINNER: Jeff Sullivan

2020 Season[]

Round Meg's Picks PA/TBF Sam's Picks PA/TBF Ben's Picks PA/TBF
1 Patrick Wisdom 2 Kyle Finnigan 107 Jose Mujica 23
2 Shao-Ching Chiang 0 Matt Harvey 65 Alexander Guillen 0
3 Jimmy Yacabonis 13 Socrates Brito 0 Brady Lail 71
4 Erik Kratz 39 Caleb Thielbar 82 Max Moroff 0
5 Aaron Northcraft 0 Phillip Evans 45 Gosuke Katoh 0
6 Pedro Payano 0 Daniel Coulombe 13 Jamie Schultz 0
7 Matt Szczur 0 Ryan Cordell 8 Kohl Stewart 0
8 Greg Holland 112 Jose Marmolejos 115 Eric Stamets 0
9 Sicnarf Loopstock 0 Tyler Heineman 53 Mickey Jannis 0
10 Ryan Lavarnway 11 Ryan Merritt 0 Rosell Herrera 0
TOTAL 177 488 94
  • WINNER: Sam Miller

2021 Season[]

Round Ben PA/TBF Meg PA/TBF
1 Mike Foltynewicz 586 Jason Vosler 82
2 Sam McWilliams 0 Sam Clay 214
3 Pedro Strop 10 Joe Gatto 0
4 Dwight Smith 0 Tyler Heineman 0
5 Luis Avilan 0 Michael Ynoa 0
6 Nabil Crismatt 351 Anthony Gose 24
7 Alexander Guillen 0 Connor Joe 211
8 Scott Schebler 34 Michael Hermosillo 38
9 Rafael Ortega 330 Gerson Bautista 0
10 Tzu-Wei Lin 0 Yunior Marte 0
TOTAL 1311 569
  • WINNER: Ben Lindbergh


2022 Season[]

Round Ben C PA/TBF Meg PA/TBF Ben L PA/TBF
1 José Iglesias Brett Sullivan Joshua Fuentes
2 Maikel Franco Nick Plummer Mark Leiter Jr.
3 Shed Long Christin Stewart Matt Shoemaker
4 Ty Blach Jhonny Pereda Magneuris Sierra
5 Anthony Bemboom Dalton Kelly Johneshwy Fargas
6 Kyle Macgowin Jake Newberry Jake Bauers
7 Zack Erwin Ryan Castellani Yolmer Sánchez
8 Jon Duplantier Dylan Thomas Alex Blandino
9 Christian Bethancourt Hobie Harris Tyler White
10 Richard Ureña Jeison Guzmán Braden Bishop
TOTAL TBD TBD TBD
  • WINNER: TBD
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