Fantasy Baseball Brings Me Back

I’ve been watching, reading up, and thinking about baseball for a month now. But leave it to fantasy baseball to get me writing. My league’s draft was today. Its my second year in this league, and it uses a very idiosyncratic scoring system (14 offensive categories, 12 for pitching). Last year, I was cursed–grabbing bust after bust: Pablo Sandoval, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, Chone Figgins, and Kendry “Wait, I heard something crack” Morales were all members of my opening day roster. Needless to say, I wanted another shot at greatness. Here’s how today went:

..And a Bag of Chips Draft Results:

  1. (6) Hanley Ramírez (Fla – SS): Yes sir.
  2. (11) Robinson Canó (NYY – 2B): I hate this guy. But I got the two consensus best players at the two thinnest positions in baseball. I’ll deal with hating him.
  3. (22) Jon Lester (Bos – SP): Last year, I drafted over-valued pitching. This year I drafted two position players to one pitcher for the first dozen rounds to be sure that I had a more hitting-oriented team. I missed out on the Freak by a few picks, but I’m happy to have Lester.
  4. (27) Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B): Contract year. Ahem, CONTRACT YEAR.
  5. (38) Nelson Cruz (Tex – OF): I read a post on fangraphs the other day that showed how, when healthy, Cruz is actually a slightly better player than Josh Hamilton. The big question is whether he can stay healthy. He’s the only monster strike-out machine I drafted, so I figure my team’s strong contact rate can absorb his ridiculous k/9 rate.
  6. (43) Justin Verlander (Det – SP): I think Verlander is an underrated pitcher, I’m happy to have him eating up innings for me
  7. (54) Pablo Sandoval (SF – 1B,3B): Last year I drafted a fat panda in the second round. This year, a thin panda in the 7th round. And, as an arbitration eligible player, he’s essentially playing in a contract year, hey o, CONTRACT YEAR.
  8. (59) Jacoby Ellsbury (Bos – OF): Evidence that I draft in a league full of Rays and Yankees fans–I got Ellsbury in round 8. I thought, when I passed on him for Cruz, he’d be gone. He ended up lasting three more rounds. This spring showed he is healthy, and Francona plans on having him lead off against righties. Sweet. And, oh yes, as an arbitration eligible player, he’s in what amounts to a CONTRACT YEAR.
  9. (70) Yovani Gallardo (Mil – SP): In his breakout year, he put up over 200 k’s in 185 innings. Hopefully, his star is still one the rise. If so, then I grabbed a Cy Young caliber starter in round 9.
  10. (75) John Jaso (TB – C): My biggest dice roll. I let catcher grind down, and I had a choice between Jaso and Soto. Jaso’s walk rate (quite high) and k rate (ridiculously low) were right on pace with his minor league numbers last season; rumor around Tampa is that he’ll either lead off or hit second. That’s a bunch of walks, singles, and runs out of my catcher. Fingers crossed against a sophomore slump.
  11. (86) Joakim Soria (KC – RP): If a closer gets his saves in Kansas City, and no one cares, then is he really the best closer in the game? Yup.
  12. (91) Francisco Rodríguez (NYM – RP): Sure, this guy is an overpaid ********. But he set career bests last year in k/9 and bb/9 rates. He’ll likely be the Mets closer until right up to the trade deadline, and he’s in a (wait for it) CONTRACT YEAR.
  13. (102)Aubrey Huff (SF – 1B,OF): There’s risk here–its unsure where he’ll play, and he’s always been a bit inconsistent year to year. I feel like he’s an ok pick in round 13, especially since I have two questionable outfielders in terms of injury (Cruz, Ellsbury).
  14. (107) Andrew Bailey (Oak – RP): Another risky pick–but the injury concerns have been diffused, and this guy figures to be one of the best closers in baseball. Still, this one might come back to haunt me.
  15. (118) Brett Gardner (NYY – OF): Probably a testament to how much Yankee fans dislike this guy–I was able to grab him in round 15. It also testifies to how stupid Yankee fans are, since he’s a OBP machine with plus speed and will score a bunch of runs in that lineup.
  16. (123) Brian Fuentes (Oak – RP): This is something of a wasted insurance pick. If Bailey flames out, then I have Oakland’s other closer. If he doesn’t, then I have two great set-up men (see Bard below).
  17. (134) Daniel Bard (Bos – RP): This is Papelbon’s last year in Boston, and Bard is the closer of the future. Period. If Papelbon continues to struggle as he did last year and at times this spring, then Bard will take over the roll before the all-star break. Even if he doesn’t, I get the best set-up man in baseball and his ridonkulous k/p and whip.
  18. (139) Brett Anderson (Oak – SP): If healthy, a great pitcher. If not, a wasted pick.
  19. (150) Michael Cuddyer (Min – 1B,3B,OF): I wanted some versatility–particularly someone who could cover Sandoval at third and my injury prone outfield. Of course, I need Cuddyer to get healthy too.
  20. (155) Torii Hunter (LAA – OF): Given his production, I was pretty surprised to see him still available. He could easily replace Huff as a starter in my outfield.
  21. (166) Chone Figgins (Sea – 2B): Last year I took Figgins in the 7th round and cursed him the rest of the year. This season, I took him in the 21st round and will have no qualms cutting him, and his 2nd/3rd base stolen bases, if he puts up a sub 650 OPS May.
  22. (171) Marco Scutaro (Bos – 2B,SS): Scutaro played through some pretty grueling injuries last season and managed to put up a great BB-K ratio. I don’t know how secure his playing time will be in 2011–and so a cut might be in order. But I figure he gives solid depth, and, if he does play, has a great chance to score piles of runs in a potent Red Sox offense.

One comment

  1. raysrenegade

    Lester actually finally stepped in front of Beckett for the Opening Day nod….Might be a good indicator he has made enough progress for the Red Sox to lean on him.
    Verlander is a innings and K monster. I missed out on King Felix, I had him for the last 3 years in a row ( we did not have keepers).
    Jaso is actually not a big a roll as you think. He is valued high by Rays Mgr Maddon as a lead-off guy who can get on base. His power might even show up a bit more in 2011 as he is leaning a bit more back at the plate.
    I have always been a Brett Anderson fan. He can turn it on like no one else when he is in that groove, but his injury history makes some shy away from him.
    Actually a pretty good draft for you…..I wish you the best, with a few great trades to just solidify that line-up into concrete.

    Rays Renegade

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