Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice for Beginners Part 2

In my last article, I let you into my mind during the opening round of my first Fantasy Baseball draft. In Part 2, I will bring you through Rounds 5 through 10.

At this point, I'm ecstatic about my team. Cano, Cargo, A-Rod, and McCutchen. Did I mention the Fantasy Baseball Express app yet?

Snake-style draft, so we're starting with Owner 7 (not his real name), picking right after my McCutchen pick, aka, back to sitting and waiting and watching guys I like getting picked off.

7: 2B Dan Uggla
6: RF Justin Upton
5: 2B Ian Kinsler
4: RF Jayson Werth
3: 1B Ryan Howard
2: RF Jason Heyward
1: 2B Chase Utley – Yeah, none of us said anything, but I'm sure he'll regret this pick soon enough.
1: SP Ubaldo Jimenez
2: 3B Adrian Beltre
3: 2B Rickie Weeks
4: SP Justin Verlander – I NEVER get him in drafts! With his value, I seriously would've thought about taking him if he's fallen to me. Keeping in mind, I probably do need to address pitching a little earlier than in your average draft.

Since I'm interrupting anyway, I'm at the point where I have to think about my next pick. My top three are Dunn, Choo, and Ichiro...which sounds like the beginning of a joke to me...or a law firm...or both.

5: C Brian McCann -Good, my top three are available.
6: RF Hunter Pence
7: 1B Adam Dunn – That pick hurt. If I'd gotten him, I'd be ready to declare this draft a complete and utter success. I could draft a duck as my Shortstop and I'd still be happy. Alas, I missed out on this power hitter.

My pick wound up being RF Shin-Soo Choo. Another combo guy, similar to Cargo, but a few less homers and stolen bases projected. Not a guy I had very high on my list, but none of the next few guys are very high on my list. I actually like Jacoby Ellsbury, but Choo was a value here. Fifth round combo threat...can't pass that up. I know I have to grab power where I can get it, and Choo ain't a bad one. Maybe not the best one, but not a bad one.

9: SP Tommy Hanson – This is Adam drafting another guy I like, but taking him earlier than I would've, not that this is a bad place to take him.
10: 2B Brandon Phillips
10: C Buster Posey
9: 1B Justin Morneau – Another pick that makes me think that maybe Adam and I don't think alike after all.

After my last pick, I knew I should start looking at pitching. I had Chris Carpenter as my best available, followed by Hamels, Cain, Oswalt, and Gallardo. Knowing that there are still plenty of guys I like there, I opt to go for more offense. Any one of those guys in the 7th would be fine by me. Carpenter was the only guy I had listed as a “top-tier” for me, largely because of the value. I think he'll have another solid season, and I'd be happy to take him if he falls much further.

When in doubt, take offense, and that was my plan. My best available guy was C Victor Martinez. I was surprised to see him in Round 6, and again, I like Jacoby Ellsbury, and he would've been a nice selection here as my fourth OF, but I knew there were plenty of OFs that I'd like later on. I decided to stick with my list and address Catcher, although it's a little earlier than I might have liked.

The next picks went as follows:
7: SP Dan Haren
6: RP Brian Wilson
5: SP Yovani Gallardo
4: CF Alex Rios
3: RF Ichiro Suzuki
2: SS Jose Reyes
1: SS Derek Jeter

Somewhere around this point, I was about to throw in the towel on Shortstops and try for Escobar later in the draft. I like taking chances (probably too much), but if Rollins were available, I'd probably snag him. Of course, the pitchers came into play as well. Carpenter, Hamels, and Cain were on the board, and any of them would be good picks.

1: RF Andre Ethier
2: CF B.J. Upton
3: SP Cole Hamels
4: SS Jimmy Rollins
5: SP Matt Cain

Again, looking over my top available players, I figured Carpenter was my guy...if he were still there. Ellsbury went to owner 6 with the next pick, so I just missed out on him. Granderson went next, which left my top pitcher available for me. So with my 7th Round pick, I gladly welcomed Chris Carpenter.

I figured that my next pick would be my first closer. Get him, and I can wait a little longer on a second closer I thought. But unfortunately for me, I failed to remember who was drafting in the 9 spot. Adam, who is at times, my drafting doppelganger. He took my top overall closer Heath Bell. That had me a little frustrated, but luckily for me, I did have a backup player that jumped out at me before long. I took RF Jay Bruce with my 8th overall pick. Projected for 31 HRs by (yeah, I know, not the ideal source), he's a much lesser strikeout risk than Mike Stanton, whom I might have otherwise picked here.

This meant passing up Elvis Andrus, my last hope for a solid SS (in theory) and 3B Michael Young, who was slipping in our draft. I'll forgo the other draft results since, at this point, I was looking to fill holes more than I was looking to stick with a specific value chart (not that I was ignoring that chart, mind you).

Players that went before my next pick included Roy Oswalt, Andrus, Young, Nick Swisher, and Aubrey Huff. All guys I would have considered, but alas, didn't have a chance at. With picks 9 and 10, I figured I should look at pitching very hard. I had 7 offensive players I was pretty confident in, and the pitching I wanted was starting to dwindle, so I figured it was time to grab my guys. In Round 9, I took SP Francisco Liriano, and with my 10th pick, I chose CL Mariano Rivera. I liked Neftali Feliz, but not more than Rivera, and it was just as well since Feliz went during the short turn between my picks anyway.

Ten rounds in, and I'm looking over my team again...

Positives: I've got a great Outfield. Cargo, McCutchen, Choo, Bruce. That is not bad. Cano and A-Rod are covering two of the shallower positions in the draft, so I'm great there as well.

Negatives: I do not have a Shortstop. The top Shortstops available would have been reaches at this point as far as I'm concerned, so I'm not very upset about that either. I have no First Baseman, which is a bit problematic for me. I don't like the guys available very much (but if one drops far enough, I'll take my chances), and I may end up drafting a couple of young guys late in the draft and hoping one sticks.

I'll wrap up the draft in my next piece, and I'll take you through the tougher spots in my draft, the picks I could hardly prepare for...

David Bobke

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