Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life is Just a Fantasy: The Draft – Rounds 9 through 16

Continuing the analysis of my fantasy draft…


1. Bobby Abreu
2. Carlos Lee
3. Nick Markakis
4. Curtis Granderson
5. Torii Hunter
6. Wandy Rodríguez
7. Bengie Molina
8. Brian Fuentes
9. Huston Street
10. Andrew McCutchen

So here we were in round nine and I STILL didn’t have an outfielder. While I have a pretty strong and well balanced infield, starting to draft an outfield this late meant I had missed out on all of the studs and would be looking for consistancy more than anything else. And of course, six of the eight picks between my last pick (Shortstop Jason Bartlett) were outfielders. Abreu, Lee and Markasis were all on my radar, so with them all gone I went with the most consistant guy I saw left on the board in Hunter. Hunter’s numbers are usually very balanced and he even steals a little to help out in my absence of huge speed numbers. You’ll notice that two more closers went in the round bringing the total of closers drafted to ten and we haven’t even started round 10 yet. Unreal. My fear that I will be forced to break my own rule starts to manifest. Curious thing.. Bengie Molina went in this round with Matt Weiters and Jorge Posada still on the board. I know Molina’s 19 home runs looked tasty, but he doesn’t do much of anything else well. I was suprised to see him go before the younger and much more versital Weiters or the overall better hitter and in the much better lineup Posada. Not a move I would have made.


1. Nelson Cruz
2. Matt Wieters
3. Shane Victorino
4. Joakim Soria
5. A.J. Burnett
6. Carlos Mármol
7. Dan Uggla
8. Raúl Ibañez
9. Rick Porcello
10. Tommy Hanson

The 10th round starts and another closer is taken. This along with the selection of AJ Burnett (one of the two guys I was planning on taking in this round) throws me off and I make the first of two straight mistakes. I finally let the ridiculous run on closers (11 closers drafted in the top 94 players selected is plain ludicrous… just to give you an idea of why this is bugging me… guess how many closers made in to be ranked inside the ESPN top 100? Only six. The Yahoo top 100? Only five. Brian Fuentes, who was picked 88th overall has an average ranking of 170 overall in the ESPN/Yahoo player rankings. Yes, I know I’m bitching. Tough, it’s my blog, deal with it.) get to me and I break my own “No closers before the 12th round” rule and grab Marmol. As soon as I make the pick I instantly regret it. By the way, Tommy Hanson goes with the last pick of the round. An interesting pick. I had Hanson earmarked, but decided to grab him only around the 13th round or later. Waiting for young potential stud pitchers to develop into steady MLB proven guys has hurt me a lot in the past (re: Homer Bailey and Anthony Reyes for example) so while I did like him, I wasn’t going to go too early on him.


1. Andrew Bailey
2. Jake Peavy
3. Jorge Posada
4. Josh Hamilton
5. Michael Bourn
6. Miguel Tejada
7. Hunter Pence
8. Ryan Franklin
9. John Lackey
10. Jered Weaver

I’m still unhappy with myself as this round starts. Seeing yet ANOTHER closer go with the first pick of the 11th round (the first of two that will go here) makes me pretty much throw up my hands and give up on the position for now. Jake Peavy goes (a pretty good pick there in my opinion) and he was one of the four guys I had earmarked at this point so I’m thinking I’m good when suddenly I realize something… I’m in the 11th round and I have only two guys on the team who have stolen more than 20 bases and one of them (Utley) isn’t exactly a big time steal threat. I then make a move that not only went against my draft strategy, but made me screw up the chance to get the player I REALLY wanted in this round and decide to take some big risks later in the draft (as you will see). Seeing 2009 NL steals champ Michael Bourn still available and feeling like I need that one “speed stud” on my roster I grab him. Even two days later I’m wondering how good (or bad) of a move it was. Bourn learned how to get on base last year and actually hit a decent .285. His 140 strikeouts is 40 more than any one else on my roster but I hope his 61 steals can rise to about 70 this year. If nothing else it means I should be in good shape with SBs, as long as Bourn doesn’t regress back into the guy who can’t get on base. In any case, my REAL desire for that round (the round before actually) was John Lackey, who I think will have a great year with the Red Sox. So what happens? Lackey goes before the round is out. Now I’m REALLY pissed at myself.


1. Stephen Drew
2. José Valverde
3. Nate McLouth
4. Chad Billingsley
5. Michael Cuddyer
6. Carlos Beltrán
7. Clayton Kershaw
8. Alfonso Soriano
9. Lance Berkman
10. Asdrubal Cabrera

With Lackey gone, only one guy is left on my desire list for this round and it’s Chad Billingsley. Of course, he goes with the 4th pick in this round and I suddenly am at a loss. I quickly consider Denard Span to start to round out my unspectacular outfield and I also take a glance at Alfonzo Soriano who was basically a nightmare last season. I decide to don’t trust Soriano, and while Span is a nice little player there are a few other guys still available with the same basic numbers I can get a round or two later. I think about Carlos Zambrano, James Sheilds and Ricky Nolasco and while I like them all, I think I can get one of those three in the next round and then I decide to do something risky. Looking at my outfield I think about how much better I would be with one high round outfielder in it, and make the first of two huge risks of my draft. I grab Carlos Beltran. If healthy, Beltran would have been an early 2nd rounder. He is expected to miss about the first 4 weeks of the season so of course he comes with risk. Getting this sort of talent in the 12th round is a steal, but ONLY if Beltran is back by early May and plays like Beltran for most of the season. If he does, the move was brilliant… if not… well odds are I could have gotten him in the 15th round instead of the 12th and the risk would have been less. However to make sure I got him I needed to take the chance of getting him three or four rounds too early. This move brings about another one that I start to plan in my head for a little later in the draft which will be my second big risk. I’m not the only one with a little risk taking as Lance Berkman, who is also hurt at the moment, goes right after.


1. Denard Span
2. Marco Scutaro
3. Carlos Zambrano
4. Ricky Nolasco
5. James Shields
6. Jason Kubel
7. Adam Jones
8. Rafael Soriano
9. Roy Oswalt
10. Alexei Ramírez

I’m determined to get one more potental stud pitcher here and I decide I want Nolasco the most. So of course both him and Zambrano are gone before I make my pick. I’m not unhappy with James Shields, I just would have preferred to get someone in the NL. I make a quick list of my potential 14th round picks and decide if Adam Jones is still there I’m going his way. Of course, Jones goes two picks after I take Shields. I momentarly wonder if I should have taken Roy Oswalt over Shields but don’t worry about it too much.


1. Kurt Suzuki
2. Ryan Ludwick
3. Aroldis Chapman
4. Trevor Hoffman
5. Scott Baker
6. Johnny Damon
7. David Ortiz
8. Chipper Jones
9. Russell Martin
10. Miguel Montero

Looking to shore up my outfield I decide to grab Johnny Damon. While I don;t expect him to repeat this 2009 numbers I think he’ll do well enough to fit into my team philosphy of good on base, lower strike out contact hitters. Plus I think he’ll run a little more with the Tigers and expand his 12 SBs into a possible 17 to 20. I briefly consider Chipper Jones for a UTL or INF spot, but Jones’ health issues and the need to get consistancy into my outfield keeps me from doing it. Russell Martin, another injured player (who also had a lousy 2009) goes in this round and I realize that particular team manager also took Jose Reyes back in the 6th round so he’s taking a few risks. Two rounds from now I’ll join him.


1. Max Scherzer
2. David Aardsma
3. Mark DeRosa
4. Mike Napoli
5. Chad Qualls
6. Vernon Wells
7. Jhonny Peralta
8. Howie Kendrick
9. Jason Heyward
10. José López

Not too much in this round. Some curious choices by people here including one of my sleepers in Jason Heyward going. I wanted to grab him in the same way I wanted Tommy Hanson, but like Hanson I feel he went too early. I wouldn’t have touched Hayward before the 20th round. There’s not even a guarantee he starts the year in the majors. I grab another closer at this point since there and few left. I know the guy I want to take in the next round will be there. In fact I doubt anyone else had even though of him yet, but I was going to grab him before anyone else could start to think his way.


1. Brad Lidge
2. Rafael Furcal
3. Jair Jurrjens
4. Jorge De La Rosa
5. Ryan Dempster
6. Brandon Webb
7. Jorge Cantú
8. Bobby Jenks
9. Stephen Strasburg
10. Matt Garza

Brad Lidge goes with the first pick of this round and I instantly regret not grabbing him instead of Qualls in the previous round. I had totally forgotten about Lidge. If he’s healthy he’ll get a lot of save oppertunites. I briefly consider grabbing Jair Jurrjens instead of my risky pick but he goes before my chance anyway, so I take the plunge and grab Brandon Webb. If healthy, Webb immediately becomes my best pitcher and is on the same level as Santana and Sabathia. Webb is being stated as healthy but hasn’t done much of anything in spring training yet and will likely start the year on the DL but is supposed to miss only his first 2 or 3 starts. Webb would have been a late 2nd round or early 3rd rounder. Getting him in the 16th round was a major steal. Yes, as with Beltran, there is risk involved here also. However the oppertunity to get this much talent in this late of a round was too good to pass up. I think he would have been gone to some one by the 18th round at the latest so my one or two round earlier wasn’t too terrible a risk. If Webb amd Beltran are both healthy and performing to spec by may, then I’m going to be a great shape. If not, well… hey… sometimes you have to take some big risks to get some big rewards.

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