Thursday, March 18, 2010

Life is Just a Fantasy: The Draft – Rounds 17 through 24

And without further adu, the last installment of my draft analysis.

Once you start getting to the late rounds, people figure things are more of a crap shoot. It’s easy to almost dismiss the last few rounds and figure “I can always just do a drop/add from the waiver wire.” I look at the late rounds as a place to experiment a little and take some risks.


1. Gordon Beckham
2. Jeff Francoeur
3. Mark Buehrle
4. Elvis Andrus
5. Billy Butler
6. Barry Zito
7. Todd Helton
8. Scott Kazmir
9. Julio Borbón
10. Carlos Peña

With my main positions filled at this point, I’m looking for an everyday bat for the INF and UTL positions as welll as another outfield bat since I have some uncertainty there. Rounds 17-20 are pretty important rounds because most guys you get early are going to give you numbers… but it’s the smart drafting in the late rounds (as well as the risk takers who’s risks pan out) that help win fantasy championships. Francoeur looks very happy in New York and looks primed for a decent season, but the lack of walks and higher strikeouts keep me away. Carlos Pena is somehow still on the board and I’m so tempted… his HR and RBI numbers are fantastic and I start wondering if I should make Pena the new Adam Dunn. Upon second thought I really don’t like the idea of the .227 average and 163 strike outs shreding my draft stategy and figure Billy Butler’s more level numbers fit my team better. He had 18 less home runs than Pena but only 7 less RBI, hit 74 points higher in average (.301 to .227) and struck out 60 less times. I’ll give up the extra 18 to 20 HRs for that type on consistancy across the board. Pena goes in the round anyway and is a good pick for the 17th round, as is Mark Buehrle, who had a nice season last year.


1. Matt Capps
2. Paul Konerko
3. Nyjer Morgan
4. Edwin Jackson
5. Magglio Ordóñez
6. Chris Coghlan
7. John Danks
8. Frank Francisco
9. Cody Ross
10. Ben Sheets

Looking to grab a sleeper in this round, I grabbed 2009 Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, who led the major leagues in average (.373) and hits (113) after the all-star break last year. While I do worry about a sophomore slump, I think he’s worth the risk in this round. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of power (only 9 HRs in 504 at bats) but his high average and low strike out total (only 77 in that same 504 at bats) fits right in with my strategy. As soon as I make the pick I realize I had forgotten about Ben Sheets. After the risk I took with Brandon Webb in the 16th round, it weas better for me to have waited on another high risk/high reward pitcher but I promise myself that I will grab Sheets if he’s there in the next round as I wanted him VERY badly. However he goes with the last pick of the round.


1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Gavin Floyd
3. Tim Hudson
4. Juan Pierre
5. Billy Wagner
6. Álex Ríos
7. Brad Hawpe
8. Carlos González
9. Scott Feldman
10. David Price

With Sheets gone, I look to round out my bullpen and I’m pleased to see Billy Wagner still there. Wagner looked very good last year with the Mets and Red Sox and if he’s going to be healthy I see 30-35 saves in his future this year as the Braves, with a very good pitching staff, should contend. In fact, I would say I got a better value with Wagner in round 19 then the manager who drafted Valverde in the 12th round. It was curious to see Juan Pierre go in this round as he’s not assurred to be a starter for the White Sox.


1. Jay Bruce
2. Casey McGehee
3. Plácido Polanco
4. Leo Núñez
5. Felipe López
6. Brett Anderson
7. Neftali Feliz
8. James Loney
9. Kevin Correia
10. Corey Hart

This looks like a nicely done round by a lot of the managers. Some light risks and sleeper potential go in this round. I’m very happy to grab one of my sleeper hopefuls in Brett Anderson. Anderson has been a very highly touted prospect and had a decent 2009 for a not so great A’s team. He was very solid in the 2nd half and I think a 13-9, 175 K, 3.85 ERA, 1.22 WHIP season is not out of the question and he will be a nice lower end starter for me. Some very good picks go in this round like Polanco, who will be hitting in a great Phillies lineup; McGehee, who looks like he’s developing into a solid player and Hart, who I expect to bounce back from a lousy 2009.


1. J.J. Putz
2. Rickie Weeks
3. Orlando Hudson
4. Hiroki Kuroda
5. Carlos Quentin
6. A.J. Pierzynski
7. Carlos Ruiz
8. Ted Lilly
9. Joel Piñeiro
10. Derek Lowe

Another round where managers get some good value. Putz goes with the first pick of the round which makes little sense to me as he’s not a closer and we do not have holds in this league as a stat. I grab Quentin because of his potential and I hope he’ll be injury free and be able to return closer to his 2008 number where he was an MVP candidate. Joel Pinerio goes in this round showing that despite a solid 2009, no one has much faith he’ll repeat that success.


1. Juan Rivera
2. Troy Glaus
3. Geovany Soto
4. Joe Blanton
5. Scott Rolen
6. Ryan Doumit
7. Mike Lowell
8. Yunel Escobar
9. Ian Stewart
10. Yadier Molina

We’re in the home stretch and I set my sights on a back-up catcher in this round and since Geovany Soto is still available I want him thinking his horrible 2009 will be much improved upon. He goes before I can get him so I grab Ryan Doumit instead. Nice value as he really is a top ten catcher and he’s actually my back up. I’m in good shape for the position even with an injury. I like the Mike Lowell pick here because I think Lowell will be traded and get a starting role somewhere and put up decent numbers for a 22nd round pick. I also like the Escobar pick as he should have enough good numbers to have been worth a pick back in the 17th to 18th round.


1. Kevin Slowey
2. Nolan Reimold
3. Bronson Arroyo
4. Rod Barajas
5. Rajai Davis
6. Randy Wolf
7. Kazuo Matsui
8. Ricky Romero
9. Erik Bedard
10. Johnny Cueto

I’m pretty happy to get A’s young outfielder Rajai Davis here as he’s got excellent speed (41 SBS on only 390 at bats) and a good average (.305). He projects as a starter and had a solid 2nd half. He becomes my other speed demon with Bourn. Over a 575 at bat season he should be able to steal 55 bases or so. I like the Arroyo, Matsui and Bedard picks here. All are worth a flyer this late and could bring about some nice numbers for such a low end pick.


1. Adrián Béltre
2. J.A. Happ
3. Clint Barmes
4. Francisco Liriano
5. Brad Penny
6. Hideki Matsui
7. Orlando Cabrera
8. Jason Marquis
9. Randy Wells
10. Mark Teahen

Some VERY good picks in this round. I like the Beltre, Liriano, Penny and Marquis picks here. In fact, getting Marquis in this round is outstanding. He should have gone back by the 18th round. I grab Matsui for one main reason. His numbers last year were very good and he’s projected to play some outfield. In this league I only need 5 games started in the OF and he becomes eligable to list as an outfielder. His 28 HRs and 90 RBI with a decent average and decent strike out totals make him a nice last round pick.

So my team looks like this (We start a full infield, four outfielders, a infield spot and a utility spot for hitter, then 3 SP, 2 RP and 3 P open slots for pitchers at one given time):

Catcher: Brian McCann
1st Base: Miguel Cabrara
2nd Base: Chase Utley
Shortstop: Jason Bartlett
3rd Base: Aramis Ramirez
Infield: Billy Butler
Outfield: Torii Hunter
Outfield: Michael Bourn
Outfield: Johnny Damon
Outfield: Chris Coghan
Utility: Carlos Quentin
Bench: Carlos Beltran
Bench: Hideki Matsui
Bench: Rajai Davis
Bench: Ryan Doumit

Starting Pitcher: Dan Haren
Starting Pitcher: Chris Carpenter
Starting Pitcher: Jon Lester
Relief Pitcher: Carlos Marmol
Relief Pitcher: Chad Qualls
Pitcher: James Sheilds
Pitcher: Brett Anderson
Pitcher: Billy Wagner
Bench: Brandon Webb

Basically it comes to this… I have a solid and well balanced team. My two big risks in Beltran and Webb could either hold back my team as wasted picks or could thrust me towards the top if both do what i think they will both do, and that is be healthy and produce by mid-May throught the rest of the season. I do lament blowing it with some of the guys I really wanted (ie: Lackey) but overall I’m happy with the team. Keeping a close eye on the waiver wire and grabbing those “out of nowhere” players that always crop up every season will be key to stay as competitive as possible.

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