Monday, March 3, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Draft 1

I was supposed to have my first fantasy baseball draft of the year on Sunday, but I go distracted watching MacGyver (seriously, that is an amazing show. That stuff probably wouldn't work in real life very often but it was very cool to see and hear explained. I assumed this was true, but no to the extent that it merited mentioning but apparently in some countries, a Swiss Army is sometimes referred to as a "MacGyver knife" and duct-tape as "MacGyver tape") and didn't realize. By the time I remembered (about when Axminster makes his first appearance on-screen. That character was a horrible bad-guy. He looked ridiculous, and didn't seem to be a terribly good assassin.) the draft was over. I was prepared for the worst, but I have to say that I am very pleased with the team that was auto-picked for me. I would have made a few choices differently, especially in the last few rounds, but I think it should be alright. Let's take a look.

C: Victor Martinez (Round 3) - I miss the days when I took V-Mart near the end of the draft. Not a bad pick here either, as I already have some average and speed, so getting the best power hitting C is nice. Maybe extra time at first will allow him to play more games.
Projected: .303, 78 R, 21 HR, 97 RBI, 0 SB
1B: Adrian Gonzalez (Round 9) - It looks like the computer decided it likes Kevin Towers' trade with the Rangers too (what a horrible deal for Texas - they gave up Gonzalez, Young, and Termell Sledge for Adam Eaton, who pitched poorly and got hurt, and Akinori Otsuka, who pitched pretty well and got hurt). He's a first baseman that I was going to keep an eye on anyway, and considering what was left at the position, it's not a bad pick here. If th power does continue to go up then this will be pretty good.
Projected: .282, 88 R, 28 HR, 95 RBI, 1 SB
2B: Chase Utley (Round 1 #8) - I don't love the pick here as second base position scarcity isn't a huge issue for me. Still, getting the consensus #1 guy at a position, let alone a guy who can provide 1B / OF type numbers from 2B, isn't bad. I probably would have taken Jimmy Rollins here, though.
Projected: .304, 109 R, 28 HR, 104 RBI, 11 SB
3B: Ryan Braun (Round 2) - I'm a huge fan of the Hebrew Hammer (though, apparently, he isn't really Jewish). The average is going to go down, but I really need the power, having not gotten a big-time 1B. The eventual OF eligibility is a nice bonus. Nice value, considering he is commonly going in the first round.
Projected: .304, 105 R, 38 HR, 106 RBI, 17 SB
SS: Carlos Guillen (Round 5) - Definitely not what I would have done here. Guillen is the type of player that I would never pick, even though he is underrated in real baseball. He's a bit injury prone, and I don't think the move to 1B is going to do much for his knees. I would have taken a #1 starter here if I hadn't before.
Projected: .300, 84 R, 18 HR, 82 RBI, 11 SB
OF: Nick Markakis (Round 6) - This is what kept me from being too mad I missed the draft. Awesome; just awesome. He was one of the top 40 by the end of last year. I just have no words for how lucky I feel that the computer actually picked him. It's like it knew I was an O's fan.
Projected: .295, 92 R, 23 HR, 97 RBI, 12 SB and I personally think the HR and RBI numbers will be higher.
OF: Shane Victorino (Round 10) - I was hoping that the Flyin' Hawaiian would have a bit of a power spike, but it appears that isn't in the cards. Hopefully the steals will be up again, and the runs should be there.
Projected: .280, 76 R, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 24 SB
OF: Jermaine Dye (Round 11) - I'm not high on the Pale Hose, but I really needed some power and Dye should provide it. If he gets a bit lucky this year (he was unlucky with batting average in '07) then this should be good value. Maybe having some guys with solid OBPs in the line-up will help the RBI numbers even more.
Projected: .272, 79 R, 31 HR, 91 RBI, 4 SB
B: Brian Roberts (Round 4) - This was an awful pick for me, as I already had a 2B. In this spot I would have much rather picked a #1 starter or gotten some more power (Hafner or Dunn). Hopefully I can get value from him in a trade, or I can keep him in my utility spot for some R and SB.
Projected: .285, 96 R, 12 HR, 63 RBI, 37 SB
B: Kevin Youkilis(Round 17) - The Greek God of Walks. He'll probably never live down that nickname. He's another guy who's more valuable in real baseball. I don't really need him for anything, but he provides some roster flexibility with the multiple positions. Who knows, maybe he'll bat 2nd and score 120 runs.
Projected: .279, 87 R, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 4 SB
B: Orlando Hudson (Round 18) - Why? Why another 2B? What could I possibly need him for? I shouldn't even bother trading him, as as soon as I get rid of Roberts no one will need the O-Dog. Lost out on Jeremy Hermida, Justin Upton, Evan Longoria, Gil Meche, and Joey Votto.
Projected: .288, 76 R, 12 HR, 66 RBI, 9 SB
B: Gary Matthews Jr. (Round 19) - Sarge Jr. Never would I ever pick him (because I don't like him, and probably neither do the Angels at $10 million a year), especially with the crowded and dysfunctional OF situation in Anaheim. (Note: That was unintentional. They do still play in Anaheim though.)
Projected: .268, 77 R, 15 HR, 66 RBI, 12 SB
B: Adam LaRoche (Round 20) - Very little in that line-up to work with. Does provide some power off the bench.
Projected: .274, 73 R, 25 HR, 86 RBI, 1 SB

SP: Chris Young (Round 8) - No way do I take Young here. He isn't a #1 and so isn't worthy of this pick. I would have taken another outfielder (Nick Swisher) or Tim Lincecum here. Lincecum probably isn't going to provide much more value than Young, but I like him more (bad reasoning, I know, but still).
Projected: 3.48 ERA, 12 W, 0 SV, 164 K, 1.19 WHIP
SP: Jeff Francis (Round 13) - I wouldn't have picked Francis, as I think his K-rate is going to go down from last year and his hit and walk rates will go up. Ian Snell would have been much preferable.
Projected: 4.32 ERA, 14 W, 0 SV, 145 K, 1.37 WHIP
RP: Fransisco Rodriguez (Round 7) - I never pick K-Rod; the injury risk is just too scary for me. Still, he is one of the top closers in baseball and is pitching for a contract. I tend to go against the usual (advanced) strategies and pick a type-flight closer or two, to go along with the typical scouring for saves on the waiver wire (which is what I (hopefully) did). If he's healthy, he'll rack up some quality numbers.
Projected: 2.65 ERA, 4 W, 42 SV, 93 K, 1.19 WHIP
RP: Jeremy Guthrie (Round 16) - Boo! I am not a believer in Guthrie having another season like he did last year. I'll probably drop him as soon as I find someone else (and it looks like I'm going to need some Ks).
Matt Garza, Josh Hamilton and Pat Burrell would all have been better (along with any number of other players).
Projected: 4.47 ERA, 8 W, 0 SV, 108 K, 1.39 WHIP
P: AJ Burnett (Round 12) - When he's healthy he's so good (especially against the Orioles, it seems) and maybe playing for a contract will help keep him on the field.
Projected: 3.71 ERA, 11 W, 0SV, 163 K, 1.25 WHIP
P: Phil Hughes (Round 14) - I like Hughes, but not this much. The rates will be good, but I don't think he is going to pitch enough innings to be a legit #3 pitcher here. Maybe the Yanks push him to 180 innings or so.
Projected: 4.10 ERA, 10 W, 0 SV, 116 K, 1.31 WHIP
P: Joe Blanton (Round 15) - Blanton, as long as he stays in OAK, should be a good pick this year. The Hardball Times did a thing about quality starts that indicated that Blanton is a break-out candidate in '08.
Projected: 4.07 ERA, 14 W, 0 SV, 123 K, 1.31 WHIP
P: Ubaldo Jimenez (Round 21) - Not bad for a flyer in the last round. I don't think he'll do much for me and is going to get cut as soon as I need someone else. Maybe I can package him with Hudson?
Projected: 4.90 ERA, 9 W, 0 SV, 117 K, 1.52 WHIP

Line-Up Totals: about .292, 807 R, 210 HR, 786 RBI, 117 SB
Need for competitive team: about .295, 820 R, 210 HR, 795 RBI, 120 SB

Wow, that's pretty darn good. I'm surprised by the home run totals - I would have thought that giving the utility spot to Brian Roberts would have hurt me there, but I guess that's what happens when you have power up the middle (C, 2B, SS) and Ryan Braun at third. I think this offense could be very solid, and if I can pick up a player or two from the waiver wire then I'll be set. Batting average is fluky so that could go either way: otherwise, good job on the starting nine computer. The bench will require some work (I'll need a SS and C, and maybe OF).

Main Pitching Totals: about 3.82 ERA, 65 W, 42 SV, 804 K, 1.24 WHIP
Need for competitive team: about 3.70 ERA, 75 W, 110 SV, 1000 K, 1.25 WHIP

I definitely needed some more saves so I waived Sarge Jr. in favor of Texas closer CJ Wilson and Adam LaRoche for the O's predicted stopper, George Sherrill. In retrospect I should have dropped Hudson or Jimenez instead of LaRoche, but it should be fine. The ERA is going to be tight - the lack of a real #1 starter hurts a little here, as well as the Ks - but streaming in a few top relief pitchers should help out. Wins are always a crap-shoot, but it looks to be OK, and the WHIP is pretty good - the pitchers all have pretty good control. If I can find one guy for Ks (Daniel Cabrera?) and then pick up a Greg Maddux type for some wins and WHIP (and maybe a little lucky ERA help) I should be good. It's definitely not like last year (Bedard + Sabathia + Rich Hill + Ben Sheets - I also had Chris Carpenter, who got hurt. That is some sick pitching. Or another team had Bedard + Hill + Peavy + Lincecum. Awesome. Or, less awesome but still really good: Haren + Webb (It's like I saw the trade coming) + Vazquez + Matsuzaka) but I think it'll keep me up there. I like to have a strong pitching staff. Hopefully the second (and third, and fourth) tier guys do well.

I have another one tonight that I'll be there for. A posting about it will be up soon (tomorrow?).

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