Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Interesting Email Question About Snake Draft Frustrations

The Email:
Ok, so I’m trying to use your Snake Draft Approach For Experienced Players. I like the thought, but there is one slight problem I’ve experienced. I took the 8th spot in the draft. So 1st round came, got Matt Holliday for power/sb, next round, took Brandon Phillips, next round, took Justin Morneau, next round came and it was either power – Adam Dunn, or SP – Brandon Webb or Erik Bedard. I took the power with Dunn. So by the time it came back around to me, I missed the top SP run, as well as the top RP run. So at my 5th pick, I had the option of Dan Haren (best SP available) or Carlos Pena, and I took Pena. None of the top closers were left, etc. Then in round 6, Scott Kazmir, Aaron Harang were gone, as well as Takashi Saito, so I ended up taking Chone Figgins. So I got a ton of power, some close to 100 bags, but absolutely no closers and no good pitchers. So what approach do you take when you miss those SP and RP runs, decide to wait on pitching and load up on good bats, or do you still take best available at the SP, RP, SP at 4-6? I know every draft is different and you never know what’s gonna happen, but I completely got screwed. Even if I took Webb instead of Dunn, I’d still only have Webb as my only SP. Thoughts?

Fantasy Man's Response:
You ever hear of the LIMA Plan??? Go to my draft guide when you get a chance and look at the tool labeled A Lima Plan For You. The LIMA plan basically says you use $200 of the $260 you'd have in an auction draft for Hitters, $60 for Pitchers. I took it a step further and translated that into a snake draft. So maybe the first 10 picks, you draft hitters. What makes this strategy do-able is that pitching is insanely deep this year. ...

Now, in every draft I have done this year, these are the worst pitchers(meaning, the last) I have drafted.... Kevin, Slowey, Jon Lester, Tom Gorzelanny, Adam Wainwright, Barry Zito, Andy Pettitte, Ian Kennedy, Zack Greinke, Chris Capuano.... my #7, 8, 9 pitchers on my starting active rosters consistently contain these guys. What do they all have in common?? They all have upside, young (except Pettitte), and havent peaked in their careers yet.

Point is, you can go all hitters in the first 10 rounds, take 3 SP's of Cain, Rich Hill, Gallardo (out at least 4 weeks), Lincecum, Joba, Billingsley, Shields, Wang, Burnett in the next three rounds and in 14/15 take the last two RP's on the board... maybe Brian Wilson, Brandon Lyons, Troy Percival, Todd Jones, George Sherrill, Eric Gagne, Kevin Gregg, etc.... so there is some potential there. You can also grab and stash Rafael Betancourt late who might eventually take over for Joe Borowski. In the end, rounds 11-22 of a 12 team draft could potentially look like this......

11 - Matt Cain
12 - Rich Hill
13 - Chad Billingsley
14 - Kevin Gregg
15 - Brandon Lyons
16 - Hitter
17 - Hitter
18 - Jon Lester
19 - Barry Zito
20 - Randy Johnson
21 - Rafael Betancourt
22 - Hitter
23 - Hitter

Turns out, you could have a decent pitching staff with monster upside. Then you fill those hitters spots with upside with guys like Casey Kotchman, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Felipe Lopez, Aaron Hill, Chris Duncan, and maybe a couple of catchers with upside.....Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit, Kurt Zuzuki, John Buck, Yadier Molina, etc.

So don't get down when a draft gets out of hand like that. Pitching is so deep that youcan literally recover from anything later in teh draft if you make the right upside picks...


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