Monday, March 24, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Draft - Catch the Fever

The Sidler and I co-own a fantasy baseball team and our draft was tonight. What better way to kick off baseball season than a running diary of our draft together.

We will be communicating over yahoo messenger, while drafting with a group of people in the Milwaukee area on a community chat. Actually, Stevens Point to be specific, home of Point Special beer, Terry Porter, and Grandslam's ex-girlfriend.

We've finished 5th, 1st, and 2nd in our three years together in this league and plan to dominate once again. There are 10 teams in the league, and we pick ninth. Lineup is C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, OF, Middle-Infielder, Corner-Infielder, Utility, and 9 pitchers. Hoping to grab Jimmy Rollins, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, or Albert Pujols at 9. Two of that group at 9th and 12th would be great. Somehow Pujols is slipping in drafts due to injury concerns, despite being in the top 9 of MVP voting all seven years of his career - he'd be a steal. Some other sleepers we like: Nick Swisher, Alex Gordon, Howie Kendrick, Billy Butler, Nick Markakis, Lastings Milledge, Dontrelle Willis, Dustin McGowan, Micah Owings, BJ Upton, Geovany Soto, Adam Jones, and Rickie Weeks.

6:02 - ARod goes first. Big surprise. Way to think outside the box.

6:04 - Followed by Hanley Ramirez, David Wright (who we had last year), Jose Reyes, and Jimmy Rollins. That's a lot of shortstops.

6:05 - By the way, easiest money ever is tonights NIT game, with Cal +8 at Ohio State.

6:06 - Next Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holliday, and Chase Utley leading up to our pick. Do we go Santana or Pujols? We decide to go with Johan. Never had him as a Twin, but now we get him in the NL. He could very well go ahead with a sub 2.5 era and a WHIP under 1 in the NL.

6:10 - Pretty happy with the turn, as we end up picking Albert Pujols to go with Santana. Domination has begun.

6:13 - Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder go in the next couple of picks, which is no surprise with a Brewer-centric group. Expect all kinds of crazy Brewers to go way earlier than they should. Also, we're not going anywhere near any Twins other than maybe Delmon Young.

6:15 - Brandon Phillips goes, and I'm not really even sure who he is. I mean, I know he's a second basemen for the Reds, and he's good, but I've never even seen an at bat. He could be black, white, or chinese for all I know. Stupid national league.

6:17 - Jake Peavy goes at the turn, ending our dream of a Santana/Peavy top of the rotation. Luckily, he pairs Peavy with Alfonso Soriano, the first official crappy pick of the draft.

6:20 - CC Sabathia goes. Too bad his arm is going to fall off this year. You heard it here first.

6:30 - On our swing we grab Ichiro and Brian Roberts to get some speed, after getting sniped at the last minute on BJ Upton. I was all fired up too. Watch, Upton is going 30/30 this year, and we just effing missed him and took Roberts in a panic. At least we got Ichiro for the third straight year. Average, runs, and steals, year after year. Almost went with Mags, but Sidler dismissed him due to his "faggy hair." I'd have to agree, but instead we take Brian Gayberts.

6:37 - Bobby Abreu goes right after our pick. We used to have a man-crush on Fatbreu back when he was good. Now he sucks, and is officially the worst pick of the draft thus far.

6:39 - Josh Beckett gets picked, except that he got all fat and lazy this offseason. See picture above, I'm predicting health issues for him.

6:51 - Four picks away and we're hoping to get Troy Tulowitzki and Nick Swisher, just so we can get all the cool names to offset Brian Gayberts.

7:00 - Tulowitzki gets snapped up right before our pick, continuing a disturbing trend that really better not continue. We go with his buddy Garret Atkins, despite the fact that Sidler, "hates all rockies." Also pull an audible on the Swisher ick after we realize he's actually not good in fantasy terms. Decide to start a run instead, going with Papelboner, the first closer taken. Despite missing out on Upton and Tulowitzki, which really stings, I think we've still managed to pull ourselves together and look ok so far.

7:16 - We've officially reached the first "I hate everybody available" portion of the draft. Names being tossed around: Adam Dunn, Delmon Young, Russel Martin, Orlando Cabrera, Scott Kazmir.

7:19 - Have officially locked onto Russel Martin as the pick. Meaning he's likely to be taken right before us.

7:21 - Sidler suggests Chris Young (the outfielder) who hit all of .237 next year. Sidler's next suggestion: Nick Punto, I'm guessing. It's clear I'm the brains here.

7:25 - We manage to get Martin, our #1 catcher in the league. Yes, above the baby Jesus. After debating between Doc Halladay and Scott Kazmir, we go with Kaz, figuring between him and Santana, that's a ton of strikeouts. Of course, he'll probably get hurt and Halladay will blow up. We also miss out on Sidler's guy Adam Dunn. He's likely crying right now.

7:33 - And there goes Tori Hunter. Enjoy his .255/.304/.400 with 18 homeruns this year.

7:51 - In case you're wondering, there is no bench in this league, but if somebody is on the DL you can put them on our league's DL. Which is why we're going to take Curtis Granderson very late in the draft, and immediately move him to the DL and stash him for later in the season. It's moves like this that make me the Billy Beane of fantasy baseball.

7:57 - Chipper Jones goes right before us, and might end up being a steal for the dude who took him, if he stays healthy (doubtful). We grab Swisher, who we almost took four rounds ago, realizing he's the best power option right now, and follow him up with Takashi Saito, the Dodgers underrated closer. Torre knows how to use closers, and Saito should have an excellent year, if he's stays healthy.

8:04 - Granderson plan no longer valid, as someone who didn't know he was hurt grabs him. Next pick is Delmon Young who I have been wanting to draft for several picks but was assured "he'll still be there next time." I will now have to kill the Sidler.

8:11 - At about 2 picks every half hour, at this pace, with 11 picks left, we'll be done around 11pm. These things take forever.

8:22 - Francisco Liriano just went. Ballsy move, especially considering it sounds like he's going to start the year in the minors. For our picks, we go with OF Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, a guy I was hoping the Twins would get in some kind of Santana trade, and SP Tim Lincecum of the Giants. Might have grabbed Kemp a little early, but we've lost out on everybody and made our move. Assuming he gets full playing time and lives up to his potential, he could be a monster. Lincecum gives us another strikeout machine, and a funny name. Plus, if there's any kind of offense in San Francisco, he could have a very nice season.

8:36 - Mauer finally goes in the thirteenth round. I'm not big Mauer guy, but I thought it was getting ridiculous. We were considering grabbing him for utility, but as Sidler pointed out, if he's in the 2-spot with Gomez and Everett the two guys in front of him, he'll have about 18 rbi this year.

8:38 - My favorite closer of all-time, Trevor Hoffman, goes. If you want to know what makes him so awesome, watch this - with sound on:

It's far away, but it's the only video I could find with decent sound quality. Hells Bells is just a killer song to run out to.

8:44 - Still needing a shortstop, we grab Orlando Cabrera. Getting a SS late who can possibly give you 20 steals and a .300 average is a good deal at this point. As an added bonus, we can watch him shred the Twins over and over again. With our other pick, realizing closers are getting taken rapidly (Kerry Wood just went for Pete's sake) we grab Chad Cordero, the last closer we feel comfortable with. Giving us three save guys (Cordero, Saito, and Papelbon) and a good chance to finish high in the saves category.

8:54 - Someone I have never, ever heard of just got taken for the first time in some outfielder named Michael Bourn from the Astros. I have no idea who that is.

8:58 - Jeff Kent still plays baseball?

9:13 - We go with Todd Helton, to give us a little more power and Sidler's been hyperventilating over him for the past several rounds, and Ted Lilly. I'm not really a big Lilly guy, but I'm getting too bored and too tired to argue at this point. Helton is an excellent pick at this point. An upside of .300 with 20 hrs, 100+ runs and 80+ rbi is nice this late.

9:31 - Needing power, went with the biggest bat left available by far in Pat Burrell. He's boring, but you can pretty much pencil in a .260 average with 30 homers and 90 rbi, and we need homers and rbi. Follow that up with SS Jhonny Peralta, the best power option in the middle infield, with 20 homerun potential.

9:35 - Jon Lester before Clay Buchholz? What am I missing here?

9:38 - Apparently Buchholz has had a tough spring and will likely start the season in AAA. So that's why then.

9:49 - Scott Baker gets grabbed in the third to last round. We are currently debating if we should grab either Bonser or Slowey in the final round, just to have a Twin. We'd be passing on a guy like Jeff Francis or Matt Garza.

9:54 - Second to last turn to pick, we go with Derek Lowe and Billy Butler. Lowe is a good pickup this late to add to the rotation, especially since we're loaded on strikeouts and won't get hurt by his low K/9 rate. Butler is a pick on potential, and Sidler and I are both in love with how this guy can rake. Awesome late round pick as he has a chance to explode in full time duty this year.

10:08 - Just over four hours later, and we finally get to make our last pick, a guy we really wanted in Matt Garza. So no actual Twins, but Garza and Santana. Sweet.

Ended up with a pretty good squad. Or strength is pitching, as it seems to be every year, but our hitting should be solid. A lot of good hitters, with only Pujols a star, unless Kemp or Butler break out this year. Basically a solid hitting team all around, with nothing spectacular in the group, although they should score a good amount of runs and be in the top five of every category.

Pitching looks great, both the rotation and the pen. A rotation of Johan, Kazmir, Lincecum, Lilly, Lowe, and Garza looks like a great mix. Johan and Kazmir could be stars. Lilly and Lowe are veterans who aren't going to set the world on fire, but should be consistently above average, and Lincecum and Garza are young fireballers who have the potential to take a leap to the next level. All together, this group should strike out a ton of guys at the very least. The bullpen of Saito, Cordero, and Papelboner gives us three top 15 closers.

All in all, we're gonna win.


The Sidler said...

Remember when I called Jose Reyes a "fancier Rivas" the draft before his breakout year? That might go down as my worst prediction ever.

WWWWWW said...

I believe that would be the first of your numerous errors in "scouting" judgement.

Anonymous said...

I'd say you have more in common with Billy Bean than you do with Billy Beane.

You should make sure everyone on your team has had an updated tetanus shot, one never knows what Helton is capable of.

joe said...

Nice Kazmir pick - he'll start the year on the DL.

WWWWWW said...

A risk we were willing to take.