Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice for Beginners Part 3

This last piece will conclude my draft results. I'm a fantasy baseball rookie and I'm sure many of you can relate to my thoughts. I realize draft results are old news at this point but I'm able to look at this team after the fact and see where I need to make improvements. So just to summarize the first ten rounds, I had filled out my individual outfield spots with Cargo in Left, McCutchen in Center, Choo in Right, along with A-Rod at Third, Cano at Second, and V-Mart behind the dish. Bruce was my 4th OF, and my pitching staff had Carpenter and Liriano starting with Rivera closing.

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I was satisfied with my pitching so far, so I was probably looking for offense again with at least one of my next two picks, and beyond that, I was starting to look for “my guys.”

The closer run began in Round 10, and all I could do during that long turn was look over my charts, and see what the best values were. I may have reached slightly for 3B Pablo Sandoval here as my Utility player, but again, shallow position and a player I liked a lot...I was willing to stretch.

Then...then the doppelganger struck again. I thought I'd grab CL Jonathan Papelbon with my 12th pick, but low and behold, Adam struck again with his second closer just one pick before my next selection, and shame on me, I did not have a backup plan in place.

With a bit of a rush to get my pick in, I chose CL Francisco Rodriguez. I wasn't sure about him, he actually was below Axford on my charts, but I figured I could try waiting and maybe grab the Ax with my next pick. Even though I wasn't crazy about Rodriguez, I thought that a Rivera/K-Rod/Axford trio would be solid enough in my bullpen...until Axford got picked three selections later.

After calling Adam a...let me get this right...a “dirty rotten pudgy-faced applejohn”, and reminding myself that he is going to torture me the rest of the draft, AND that Brewers will go higher than usual throughout the draft, I settled down and watched the long turn through Rounds 12 and 13.

That part of the draft didn't bring too many frustrations. Billy Butler got selected, as did Ted Lilly and Vlad, but there wasn't too much to get frustrated about. With my 13th pick, I opted for Hiroki Kuroda as my third Starting Pitcher. I could've had Jonathan Sanchez or Wandy Rodriguez, but I opted for Kuroda. I don't know why other than I think he'll be halfway decent.

Adam followed that pick with Grady Sizemore, which completely confused me. I won't touch the guy. Literally. I might get polio or leprosy or something for all I know.

Round 14, I took my DH, figuring that I REALLY didn't like anyone after David Ortiz. I think he'll have an okay year, not as bad as last season, but not an astronomical one either. I really wanted Vlad, but I think he got picked a bit high in our draft.

Again, at this point, no SS available that I had much interest in, although I was considering Rafael Furcal a bit. I didn't have a 5th OF yet, and my pitching staff needed some filling out. A number of closers were flying through this long turn including Joe Nathan, Francisco Cordero, and Brad Lidge. So, with my 15th pick, I took CL Ryan Franklin entirely too early. I actually wanted to select Furcal because I'd have a SS, but I was certain the other two guys on the short turn of the draft wouldn't take a SS. So, I took Franklin instead. I have him ranked higher than most, I still think he'll be pretty good overall, and I don't mind him at all with Rivera and K-Rod. Sure enough, Furcal was available with my next pick, so he went in the 16th. I did miss out on Manny though, but I figured I'd survive the loss somehow. I would suffer in the “Crazy Antics” category...

We were getting down to the last 8 picks of the draft, and by this point, we were all basically looking for value picks at positions and pitching. Most people's lineups were basically set, save for a position or two. I STILL didn't have a 1B or my 5th OF. So what did I do in the 17th? I took another Shortstop. Oh yeah. I didn't trust these guys at all by this point to leave Escobar on the board past my pick, so in my paranoid state, I took him. Adam once again baffled me with his next pick of Jason Bay.

In Round 18, I was a little surprised to see Mitch Moreland on the board, so I went ahead and took him. I wanted pitching, but that was a good looking player in a good offensive lineup, so what the hey, might as well. I would've considered him later, but again, it was a long time before my next pick.

A few good players feel into the 18th and 19th rounds, such as 3B Ian Stewart, 3B Mark Reynolds, an 2B Brian Roberts. I didn't need another 3B, and tempting as Roberts was, with Cano on my roster, I didn't feel I needed to get Roberts, even though I like him quite a bit this year.

The picks got a little more scattered here, going more by who someone really wanted to get rather than who was tops on the “Best Available” board ESPN offered us. I was as guilty as anyone by reaching for SP Jordan Zimmerman here. I really like him. I probably could have waited another round, possibly two, but by this point, I'd allowed myself to get so paranoid that Adam would take my guy that I was considering never leaving my living room again, letting my fingernails grow long, and keeping my urine in jars.

I took Ricky Nolasco in the 20th after missing out on four players I didn't want anyway. I felt that it might somehow justify the Zimmerman pick. I'm not big on Nolasco,but he was the top pitcher on my board, and he might get me a decent number of Ks.

I had very little wiggle room for my final 4 picks; I wanted to get C/DH Jorge Posada, no question. I needed my 5th OF, one more Closer, and maybe one more pitcher of some sort. My targets for those last three spots were Ryan Ludwick (really undervalued on ESPN if you ask me, but then again, what do I know?), Gio Gonzalez as the extra pitcher, and any guy with two arms and two legs at Closer.

So, I deviated...I took SP Edinson Volquez in the 21st because I felt I couldn't possibly pass on him. That did mean I had to pass on Gio because I wasn't allowed to draft a 7th SP at this point, but I thought that with a trade, I might be able to make room for him. Adam picked SP Josh Beckett and 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka with his next picks, which reaffirmed that we do think alike. I followed with Jorge Posada in the 22nd Round. I would've taken him in the 21st out of fear that Adam would read my mind, but I thought Volquez was actually more likely to get snagged.

My last two picks were CL Jake McGee and RF Ryan Ludwick.

So what do you think? Congratulations if you read all of these results by the way! I'd love to hear your feedback. I did make one move since this draft; after Jose Contreras was named the closer for Philly, I dropped McGee and picked up Contreras. Other than that, I've left everyone in place.

How was it for a first draft? I'll put a rundown of the scoring system, if you want to know, but I would love to get a little feedback.

Batting – Home Runs, Hitting for Cycle= 4; Hits, RBIs, Walks, Stolen Bases, Runs, Total Bases = 1; Ks = -1

Pitching – IP = 3; Wins, Shutouts = 10; Saves = 5; Ks = 1; Hits allowed, Walks issued = -1; Earned Runs = -2; Losses = -5

David Bobke

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