Monday, March 10, 2008

[Feature] Fantasy Baseball Draft

I wish I could make some of you understand how fun fantasy drafts are. Drafting is like dressing up for the Oscars. You have to make sure you have the right dress/suit, the shoes must match, accessories are a must, etc... I missed my draft last year and because of an error in the pre-draft ranking I picked Bret Myers in Round 1. That's like having your assistant giving you sweats and a tank top and telling you to walk down the red carpet. Sadly enough I finished last but this year I vowed not to let that happen again.

*Pick number in parentheses

Round 1: Here We Go!
Fantasy draft starts and I have the second pick. The first pick is a no brainer. A-Rod(1) gets taken faster than a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk. This season there are a couple of choices for number 2. Albert Pujols(7) worries me a bit. Although he's still put up monster numbers, he's had nagging injuries the past couple of years. Jose Reyes(6) is also a popular choice but his struggles in the second half of last season were enough to deter me. The real choice was between David Wright(3) or Hanley Ramirez(2). I picked Hanley reasoning that it is harder to find quality at shortstop than at thirdbase. I'm looking forward to seeing .315Avg 30HRs 100+ Run and RBIs and 45SBs. Hanley Ramirez. My black dress.

Round 2-5: A Queezy Feeling
This is usually where I feel somewhat uncomfortable in the draft and this year was no different. My second round pick was Brandon Phillips(23). Ehh... Hopefully he's good for another 30HR/30SB season. He plays in the bandbox that is the Great American Ballpark that I'm not too worried. My third round pick was a panic move. Aramis Ramirez(26). Within 5 seconds of hitting the draft button I heard my brain saying "WTF, mate!" I could have taken Carlos Lee (27), Manny Ramirez(28), Victor Martinez (29), Jonathan Papelbon(36). I got Aramis in the 5th round last year. I was blinded by the dwindling pool of thirbasemen. Miguel Cabrera(5) and Ryan Braun (17) had also been taken. I should have waited for Garret Atkins(59). My fourth rounder was Carlos Zambrano(47). I'm hoping he can rebound from last year. He finished the second half strong and I'm hoping he can carry that into the rest of this season. Besides as you will see I love taking risks with my starting pitching as you will see soon enough and Carlos Zambrano gives me some security Fifth round, Joe Mauer (50). I'm really happy taking Mauer here. I'm seeing .320avg 90 Runs 20HRs and 90RBIs this season.

Round 6-10: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulette!
These are my favorite rounds. In the 6th round I got Felix Hernandez(71). Roy Halladay(62), Chris Young(63), and John Smoltz(64) were taken earlier in the round and this year I think Hernandez will have the better season. Not only will he continue to develop but Erik Bedard's( 24) arrival lowers the pressure on Hernandez. Round 7 and I still don't have a first basemen or and outfielder. In the 7th I take Carlos Pena(74). Pena had a monster season last year, hitting 46 HRs. This was a tough choice because I really like San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez(96). If I knew Gonzalez was still going to be available later on I would have waited. I really doubt Pena will repeat his breakout season but I hope he's a late bloomer ala David Ortiz(19) and proves me wrong. Eight round pick was Franisco Liriano (95). Liriano is coming off Tommy John surgery and didn't pitch at all last year but the kid's got electric stuff. He's good enough to be the AL Cy Young if he stays healthy. My 9th and 10th round picks addressed my OF need with Garry Sheffield(98) and Andruw Jones(119). Garry Sheffield will be hitting between Miguel Cabrera(5) and Maglio Ordonez(35) so he can expect to see a lot of fastball down the middle of the plate. Andruw Jones is coming off the worst year of his career but don't expect that to repeat itself. Jones will bring 35HRs and 100+ RBIs to an improved Dodgers lineup.

Round 11-15: Fill In the Blank
These rounds fill some holes in my team. I didn't have a relief pitcher so I drafted Eric Gagne(143) in the 12th round. Gagne was really good in Texas as the closer but was atrocious in Boston as the setup man. I think going to Milwaukee is a good move for Gagne. The Brewers have a good team and he'll have plenty of save opportunities. I'm concerned about Aramis Ramirez's health and Carlos Pena's consistency so I drafted Alex Gordon(167) in the 14th round and James Loney(170) in the 15th round. Alex Gordon is hyped to be the second coming of George Brett. If he is, I've pulled off the coup of the draft. Both Gordon and Loney are young players with only one season of Major League experience. Considering they're both being used primarily as backups I'm willing to take the chance on their talent. My other picks were Matt Cain(122) in the 11th round and Phil Hughes(146) in the 13th round. I had to pick Hughes. 12 rounds had passed and I hadn't picked a Yankee.

Round 16-21: Finally
There's not much to say about these rounds. Everyone begins to roll the dice after conformity dominates the first 15 rounds. My favorite pick is Rich Harden(194) who I seem to pick every year. Folks, Rich Harden is just as good as Johan Santana(4)...if he stays healthy(I say this a lot). I also picked Henry Owens(215) because I believe he will be the closer for the Marlins sooner than later. Michael Cuddyer(191) will start as my third outfielder but hopefully won't continue to be. The rest of the choices are meaningless and will be cut by April 10.

I'm content with my draft but I definitely could have done better. Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, hearts were broken. Mothers. Don't let your sons draft Bret Myers.


Anonymous said...

Some days I'm a little jealous/amazed by how much people know about baseball players.

Most of the time, though, I'm not sure I could care less. I've never even heard of Mr. Ramirez.

Good luck this season anyway!

Julia Park said...

Yowza. Baseball is like a foreign language to me :(

Very good, informative article..makes me want to take your advice and join a Fantasy Baseball League, too :D

Jen said...

So I don't quite share your baseball passion, but, I do enjoy fantasy leagues!

Here are some non-sports, Hollywood related ones: (You run a fake movie studio, you can buy movies before their release and see how well your studio does based on real box office figures) (Same principle as above, except you run a TV network, and you buy TV shows and see how well your network does based on real life ratings)