The baseball season kicked off Godzilla style in Japan with heralded rookie Yoenis Cespedes and newcomer Dustin Ackley bashing HRs, and heavyweight pitchers Felix Hernandez and Bartolo Colon (extra extra extra heavy!) throwin’ fire. If a game that pits Oakland vs. Seattle can be so thrilling then we know we’re in for a fun year!
Along with the baseball fun comes Fantasy sports. I’m sure most of you have drafted your teams (I have as well) but whether you have or haven’t makes no difference- you’ll want to pay close attention to the players I drafted and make a move for them. Here’s how my draft went down:
I’m in a 10 team daily 10×10 roto with H2H. This sounds complicated but here’s the scoop- ESPN keeps track of ten hitting (Hits, Runs, HR, XBH, RBI, Ks, Runs Created, SB, BA & OPS) and ten pitching (IP, ER, Ks, QS, W, L, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, SV/H) and we face another team and try to win as many categories as possible. While there is no win or loss, the total amount of categories won by the end of the regular season will determine whether you make the playoffs or not.
We also were able to hold two keepers, so I kept Albert Pujols and Justin Verlander. I found out I was slotted 9th and we always run a snake draft. This meant that I was basically drafting Pujols #9 and Verlander #11 overall. I then proceeded to trade Verlander for a 3rd rounder (#28) and an 8th rounder (#72). I was thinking I could get two pitchers that would put up comparable stats to Verlander 2012. So let’s get into the picks:
Round 3 (#28)- this was one of the picks I traded to get and while I normally mocked to get Jeff Weaver here, both he and King Felix were gone as there was a huge run on pitchers. But I was able to grab Adrian Beltre here to grab one of the top 3Bs where there isn’t a lot of depth.
Round 3 (#29)- I wanted a top OF but someone already took Josh Hamilton, so I grabbed Michael Bourn. I knew I could fill up on HRs later in the draft but a guy who hits .290 and steals 60 bases is almost impossible to find. Plus anytime you here others groan when you make your pick you have to celebrate!
Round 4 (#31)- I knew I needed a pitcher and I thought about reaching for Cole Hamels, but I love Zach Greinke. He already has a Cy Young and was the hottest pitcher in the 2nd half of 2011. It was a reach but I knew he wouldn’t be there at my next spot.
Round 5 (#49)- I love taking an SS here because you drop off a cliff after the first few. I went with Jimmy Rollins. His combo of power and speed are great, plus he has to make up for the fact Utley and Howard are hurt. I also like Starlin Castro but he was taken.
Round 6 (#51)- I grabbed Jay Bruce right away. I was shocked 4th round talent made it down this far. He came in lighter and stronger, which means an improvement on last year’s 35 HRs is possible and I look for him to slightly improve his BA and Ks.
Round 7 (#69)- I always mock CJ Wilson here and think he’s in for a great season, but I couldn’t believe Dan Uggla fell this far! Dude hit 35 HRs last year, was the hottest hitter in MLB’s 2nd half and I picked him up on waivers last summer. I love and hate this pick- tell you why at the end.
Round 8 (#71)- Madison Bumgarner was an easy pick here, as I had the luxury of drafting another OF because I had next pick! He’ll put up low ERA and WHIP along with high IP, QS and K/BB. I’m thinking he’s the ace of the Giants by year’s end.
Round 8 (#72)- I like this guy, think he’ll put up great #s and would’ve been gone by my next pick: Shin-Soo Choo. He fought with a DUI, bad shoulder and depression last season and will put that all behind him to go back to his yearly output of .300 BA, 25 HRs, 20+ SBs. Plus he makes a great 3rd OF!
Round 9 (#89)- With Wainwright long gone I knew I needed a pitcher and Mat Latos is touted as the ace of the Reds. Not a hard choice. His #s might be affected by Great American Ballpark but he has better hitters behind him too.
Round 10 (#91)- I normally like taking Cuddyer as my 1B/3B here, but he was gone. It seems like all I had to do this draft is wait for players to fall to me- Aramis Ramirez was an easy pick this low. Taking Prince’s place at the heart of the Brewer order should put him around .290 with 30 HRs. Great value.
Round 11 (#109)- I liked to take Josh Johnson with this pick but I was playing against some smart customers. So I went with Tommy Hanson. If those two can keep themselves on the mound, their numbers should be close.
Round 12 (#111)- I saw this guy still hanging around and couldn’t pull the trigger on him, but if you can get Jason Werth this late, you gotta go for it. High Ks, but 20/20 and bounce-back potential. I like to take Posey or Mauer here, but they were gone and I had a backup strategy.
Round 13 (#129)- I always reach for this guy and he’s gonna make me look good- Melky Cabrera. A huge year in 2011 and with him being the main man in SF, he should come close to duplicating the numbers. My OF was set, plus I heard a lot of groans again!
Round 14 (#131)- I saw a lot of teams that still needed a 2B and wasn’t about to be trumped out of my 2012 Steal of the Draft pick- Jemile Weeks. I had him for the last month of 2011 and he was great. I’m thinking at least .290 BA with 30-40 SBs and double digit HR potential. I plug him right into my 2B/SS spot. Some groaning was heard here as well.
Round 15 (#149)- Tim Hudson is out for April but should be strong for 2012 with always steady numbers. Hard to pass up this late.
Round 16 (#151)- Jaime Garcia has been improving yearly and even though he breaks down in the 2nd half, I think he’ll have the stamina to stay strong after two full years in the majors. And he’s a great pick here.
Round 17 (#169)- I made it this far without a Catcher and it could wait some more. At least until Jesus Montero gains eligibility! If he hits like everyone thinks he will, his numbers will rival catchers taken 10 rounds earlier.
Round 18 (#171)- I kept looking for pitching depth and found another sleeper in Clay Buchholz. His 2010 numbers were amazing, he was down with injuries in 2011, so I smell bounce-back. If not, I wasted a round 18 pick…
Round 19 (#189)- I was looking for my DH and I love Kendrys Morales for, yes I’m saying it again, a bounce-back! If he puts numbers close to his last full season (.306, 34 HRs, 108 RBIs) he is an amazing bargain.
Round 20 (#191)- While everyone was striking early for relievers who might gain them 30-40 saves, I was biding my time before taking a reliever who might gain me 40 holds (and in this league it doesn’t matter!). I went for the best setup man in the biz, Tyler Clippard.
Round 21 (#209)- I had a huge, key, late pick in my draft coming here and I can’t believe I waited so long for him and he was still here! Brett Myers will be closing games for the hapless Astros, but he has SP eligibility. I can have him plugged into any SP spot who has the day off and get Saves/Holds from him along with my other two RPs. Genius!
Round 22 (#211)- I knew I needed a Catcher while Montero gains eligibility so I took Wilson Ramos. He’s looking more like a platoon candidate with Jesus Flores, so I later dropped him for Kurt Suzuki.
Round 23 (#229)- I wanted to grab another reliever who had great numbers and Holds/Saves potential, so I picked Kenley Jansen. I immediately dropped him after the draft for Francisco Liriano, who I’d been keeping my eye on.
Round 24 (#231)- Wanting more reliever depth, I took Sergio Santos. I loved him on the White Sox last year and he should put up amazing #s in Toronto (as long as he holds off Coco).
Those are the picks, now here’s a great move to pick up the fish that got away. I said that I wanted CJ Wilson, so I offered Francisco Liriano (who was a waiver pickup anyway), Jaime Garcia (Round 16) and Jason Werth (Round 12) for CJ Wilson and Adam Jones. I basically moved up in draft spots for the SP and OF for a waiver pickup, though I think a healthy Liriano could kill it. But try not to dwell on it! I have amazing OF and SP depth and have top 5 players at just about every other position.
Let me know how your draft went or if you like my picks. Go Fantasy!