Walking the Walk- Draft Recap

Posted: March 14, 2012 in Fantasy Baseball

My keepers going into this 18-team points league were Eric Hosmer, Ben Zobrist, Justin Verlander, and Tim Lincecum.

So the first pick of the first round is actually #73.
73. Jeremy Hellickson, 74. Michael Bourn, 75. Josh Hamilton, 76. Mike Napoli, 77. Elvis Andrus, 78. Chris Carpenter, 79. Matt Wieters, 80. Ubaldo Jimenez, 81. Paul Konerko, 82. BJ Upton, 83. Jimmy Rollins, 84. Buster Posey, 85. Lance Berkman, 86. Michael Morse, 87. Carl Crawford, 88. Adam Jones, 89. Desmond Jennings, 90. Michael Pineda

Comments: Unlike the last few years in this league, pitching went early. Thankfully, I had two aces as keepers, so I didn’t need to take pitching for a while. Now, I had traded away my second round pick in a deal last year so this pick would be my last for a while, and I strongly considered Posey before deciding on Upton. I had hoped Posey would still be around in the third round, but in a points league, Upton’s low batting average isn’t a killer, and his 30/40 upside is huge. Also, this league separates LF, CF and RF, and center always ends up shallow.

91. Jordan Zimmerman, 92. Michael Young, 93. Daniel Hudson,  94. Kevin Youkilis, 95. Alexei Ramirez, 96. Asdrubal Cabrera, 97. Corey Hart, 98. Shin-Soo Choo, 99. Jayson Werth, 100. Craig Kimbrel, 101. Joe Mauer, 102, Carlos Beltran, 103. Jonathan Papelbon, 104. Brandon Beachy, 105. Michael Cuddyer, 106. Mariano Rivera, 107. Howard Kendrick, 108. Chris Young

Comments: I had hoped Mauer or Youkilis would be around for my next pick, but they went here. Also, the Kimbrel pick started an early run on closers. I was perfectly happy waiting on them.

109. David Ortiz, 110. Miguel Montero, 111. Bryce Harper, 112. Chase Utley, 113. Matt Garza, 114. Ichiro Suzuki, 115. Dee Gordon, 116. Billy Butler, 117. Drew Storen, 118. JJ Hardy, 119. Brett Gardner, 120. Tim Hudson, 121. Gio Gonzalez, 122. Andre Ethier, 123. Max Scherzer, 124. Ervin Santana, 125. Jhonny Peralta, 126. Yoenis Cespedes

Comments: Bryce Harper at 111 was… interesting. If he makes the team out of spring training it will pay off big. But I had two picks here and wanted to fill infield slots. I had Zobrist at 2B already, but he’s outfield eligible and Utley still could be top-5 at his position, so I liked the value. I planned to take Dee Gordon with the other pick, but he went just before me, so I went with the shortstop who led everyone at his position for most home runs, JJ Hardy.

127. Shelby Miller, 128. Shaun Marcum, 129. Freddie Freeman, 130. Anibal Sanchez, 131. Doug Fister, 132. Nick Markakis, 133. Logan Morrison, 134. Neil Walker, 135. Mark Reynolds, 136. John Axford, 137. Colby Lewis, 138. Adam Lind, 139. Cameron Maybin, 140. Dustin Ackley, 141. Jason Kipnis, 142. Ryan Roberts, 143. Paul Goldschmidt, 144. Jaime Garcia

Comments: I needed a third baseman and this came down to Ryan Roberts or Mark Reynolds. In a category league, I’d go for Roberts, but in a points league, I went with the 40-HR threat.

145. Derek Jeter, 146. Martin Prado, 147. Danny Espinosa, 148. Justin Masterson, 149. Drew Stubbs, 150. Carlos Lee, 151. Nick Swisher, 152. Melky Cabrera, 153. Ryan Madsen, 154. Cory Luebke, 155. Gaby Sanchez, 156. Erick Aybar, 157. Hiroki Kuroda, 158. Brandon Morrow, 159. Marco Scutaro, 160. Alex Avila, 161. Jair Jurrjens, 162. Johan Santana

Comments: Another round without a pick, but I was disappointed to see Brandon Morrow and Drew Stubbs both go. I had planned to take my first starting pitcher in the next round and Morrow’s 200 strikeouts were in my sights, but when he went, I altered my plans a bit.

163. Francisco Liriano, 164. Neftali Feliz, 165. Kelly Johnson, 166. Yadier Molina, 167. Wandy Rodriguez, 168. Brandon McCarthy, 169. Heath Bell, 170. Torii Hunter, 171. Brian Wilson, 172. Coco Crisp, 173. Jesus Montero, 174. Josh Willingham, 175. Jemile Weeks, 176. Alex Rios, 177. Mike Moustakas, 178. Ike Davis, 179. Rafael Betancourt, 180. Jason Kubel

Comments: Both of these picks were purely for value. Closers were flying off the board, and I was surprised to get Wilson so late, but I think he’s healthy and have great confidence in him as a top closer. And Montero was not even on my board, but at #173, I couldn’t resist. I expect him to be in the catcher spot by late-April, and no one in baseball questions the bat. If he does get catcher eligibility, this pick was a bargain.

181. Joel Hanrahan, 182. Bud Norris, 183. Jose Valverde, 184. Colby Rasmus, 185. Stephen Drew, 186. Emilio Bonifacio, 187. Mike Minor, 188. Daniel Murphy, 189. Johnny Cueto, 190. Aaron Hill, 191. Angel Pagan, 192. Ryan Howard, 193. Jeff Francoeur, 194. Yunel Escobar, 195. Carlos Pena, 196. JJ Putz, 197. Scott Baker, 198. Alfonso Soriano

Comments: I didn’t have a pick this round, but Rasmus was just about the only player taken in this round who I was remotely interested in. I think he has some great upside this year, but no one else here was likely to end up on my team anyway. Howard might end up being a brilliant pick at #192, but that remains to be seen.

199. JP Arencibia, 200. Lucas Duda, 201. Ted Lilly, 202. Carlos Marmol, 203. Chase Headley, 204. Michael Brantley, 205. Gordon Beckham, 206. Clay Buchholz, 207. Derek Holland, 208. Jason Motte, 209. Jhoulys Chacin, 210. Jordan Walden, 211. Andrew Bailey, 212. Brandon League, 213. Delmon Young, 214. Cliff Pennington, 215. Joakim Soria, 216. Austin Jackson

Comments: I’m going to level with you and say I tried to draft Jordan Walden here but my computer froze, and Holland was in my queue so he got taken instead. I was locked in on Buchholz and he went one pick before me, which was irritating. Buchholz is one of the bargains of the draft. That being said, Holland has upside, and I needed a starting pitcher, so it could have been worse. The five closers that went in the second half of the round should all be good enough, but I’d take Walden over Soria, Bailey and Motte (in that order.)

217. Daniel Bard, 218. Huston Street, 219. Carlos Quentin, 220. Dexter Fowler, 221. Ryan Dempster, 222. Adam Dunn, 223. Edwin Jackson, 224. Jason Bay, 226. Wilson Ramos, 227. David Freese, 228. Vance Worley, 229. Roy Oswalt, 230. Drew Pomeranz, 231. Kyle Farnsworth, 232. Edwin Encarnacion, 233. Brandon Belt, 234. Sergio Santos

Comments: I had no pick in this round, but Dunn, Ramos, Worley, Farnsworth, Belt and Santos were all on my list of targets for the next round so it was unfortunate they all went in rapid succession.

235. Eric Bedard, 236. John Danks, 237. Kendrys Morales, 238. Frank Francisco, 239. Joe Nathan, 240. Gavin Floyd, 241. Trevor Cahill, 242. Kurt Suzuki, 243. Chris Sale, 244. Matt Joyce, 245. Tyler Clippard, 246. Grant Balfour, 247. Mark Trumbo, 248. Jose Altuve, 249. Peter Bourjos, 250. James Loney, 251. Ricky Nolasco, 252. Allan Craig.

Comments: Sale is the kind of guy I warn my readers away from because he is usually drafted way too early. But at this spot, I felt the upside was worth the pick. And two spots later, Clippard was a pick based on this league’s scoring. He often goes more than one inning, and strikes out a lot of guys. With all of my favorite closers gone, Clippard was a low-risk, high reward kind of guy, who vultures tons of wins due to his longevity. Jim Johnson and Johnny Venters were considered.

253. Jim Johnson, 254. Jonathan Sanchez, 255. Brennan Boesch, 256. Johnny Venters, 257. Javy Guerra, 258. Chad Billingsley, 259. Mark Buehrle, 260. Matt Capps, 261. Lonnie Chisenhall, 262. Geovany Soto, 263. Chris Perez, 264. JD Martinez, 265. Brandon Allen, 266. Mitch Moreland, 267. Jose Tabata, 268. Kenley Jansen, 269. Mat Gamel, 270. Vernon Wells

Comments: I needed a corner outfielder, and I think Boesch has some power upside, along with regular at bats, which are no sure thing at this stage in the draft. I had to draft Soto at #262 because Montero won’t be catcher eligible off the bat so I needed a catcher and Soto is far underrated at this spot. Meanwhile, Jansen, Gamel and Tabata were on my options for next round, snatched away. I think Jansen gets 20 saves with excellent K/9. Gamel has good upside if he earns full time at bats.

271. Justin Morneau, 272. John Mayberry Jr., 273. Yonder Alonso, 274. Mike Leake, 275. Salvador Perez, 276. Denard Span, 277. Sergio Romo, 278. Carl Pavano, 279. Jon Niese, 280. Mike Carp, 281. Koji Uehara, 282. Brent Morel, 283. Russell Martin, 284. Matt Thornton, 285. Aroldis Chapman, 286. Randy Wolf, 287. Ian Desmond, 288. Chris Iannetta

Comments: Morneau jumps out as a tremendous value here if he stays healthy. And Mayberry Jr. is very interesting. I needed another starting pitcher and Niese’s 2011 peripherals lean towards an improvement in 2012, even if he doesn’t get many wins. I almost went with Aroldis Chapman here, but having Chris Sale made me nervous to take another reliever transfer.

289. David Robertson, 290. Homer Bailey, 291. Nyjer Morgan, 292. Alejandro de Aza, 293. Josh Reddick, 294. Henderson Alvarez, 295. Brett Myers, 296. Lorenzo Cain, 297. Chipper Jones, 298. Addison Reed, 299. Jon Jay, 300. Francisco Cordero, 301. Omar Infante, 302. Brian Roberts, 303. Sean Rodriguez, 304. Jake Peavy, 305. Ivan Nova, 306. Grady Sizemore

Comments: I’ve spoken about Reed multiple times. I think he will tally 20-30 saves and over 10 K/9. I have no faith in Thornton to hold the White Sox closer job beyond May. Nova could be a great pick at #305.

307. Rafael Furcal, 308. Phil Hughes, 309. Zack Cozart, 310. Luke Hochevar, 311. Travis Snider, 312. Justin Smoak, 313. Ben Revere, 314. Mike Adams, 315. Mike Trout, 316. Jason Bartlett, 317. Carlos Ruiz, 318. Ryan Raburn, 319. Raul Ibanez, 320. Edinson Volquez, 321. Jed Lowrie, 322. Bobby Abreu, 323. Alexi Ogando, 324. Wade Davis

Comments: First of all, Hughes, Ogando and Volquez might all be supreme value picks there. There was an early run on part-timers, which led to my drafting Trout over Raul Ibanez. I’m banking on the Angels waking up and realizing there’s no way they have three outfielders on the roster better than Trout right now. Wells and Trumbo have no business taking at bats from him. That being said, in hindsight, I probably wish I’d gone with Ibanez or Lowrie. The other side of the coin, is that this league pays a premium for newly recalled phenoms, so if Trout does start in Triple-A, then when he comes up, I can likely trade him for more than he’s worth.

(Round 19 [including four keeper rounds] of 24, in case you’re keeping track)

325. Joaquin Benoit, 326. Alcides Escobar, 327. Matt Harrison, 328. RA Dickey, 329. Chris Davis, 330. Johnny Glavotella, 331. Chris Helsey, 332. Rick Porcello, 333. Johnny Damon, 334. Will Venable, 335. Vinnie Pestano, 336. Ryan Vogelsong, 337. Alex Gonzalez, 338. Marlon Byrd, 339. Cody Ross, 340. Hisashi Iwakuma, 341. Pedro Alvarez, 342. Trevor Bauer

Venable was a spot filler and is easily dropped if something better becomes available. That being said, he has power, speed and a full time job, which is more than most being taken here. I considered Byrd and Ross before choosing Venable. On another note, both Matt Harrison and Rick Porcello could outperform their draft slots and Pedro Alvarez would have been my next pick if he’d stuck around.

343. Bryan LaHair, 344. Ian Stewart, 345. Bartolo Colon, 346. David Dejesus, 347. Ryan Ludwick, 348. David Hernandez, 349. Josh Collmenter, 350. Aubrey Huff, 351. Jacob Turner, 352. Jonathan Lucroy, 353. Seth Smith, 354. Fernando Salas, 355. Danny Valencia, 356. Sean Marshall, 357. Rafael Soriano, 358. Vladimir Guerrero, 359. Derrek Lee

Comments: I was poised to take Huff, who I think will have a very useful season for fantasy owners, but he was snatched away, so I went with Turner for the upside. If he isn’t in the rotation by June 1, I can easily drop or deal him for some return, and if he makes the rotation then he presents excellent value at this spot.

360. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 361. John Buck, 362. Francisco Rodriguez, 363. Brad Peacock, 364. Felipe Paulino, 365. Brian Fuentes, 366. Casey Kotchman, 367. AJ Pierzynski, 368. Julio Teheran, 369. Andres Torres, 370. Jimmy Pareres, 371. Ryan Doumit, 372. Ty Wigginton, 373. Todd Helton, 374. Joel Peralta, 375. Carlos Zambrano, 376. Nolan Arenado

Comments: Teheran is like Trout, a very unusual pick for my normal strategy. As a matter of fact, I had my finger over the mouse on Zambrano but at this point, I figured I’d swing for the fences. There’s always another decent starter on waivers, so I will see if Teheran looks close to a rotation spot. He is a future ace after all. And if not, then I can replace him, probably deal him, easily.

377. Antonio Bastardo, 378. Adam LaRoche, 379. Bradley Boxberger, 380. Chris Capuano, 381. Jarrod Parker, 382. Alfredo Aceves, 383. Javier Vazquez, 384. Scott Downs, 385. Devin Mesoraco, 386. Orlando Hudson, 387. Barry Zito, 388. Eric Thames, 389. Mark Melancon, 390. Ramon Hernandez, 391. Hector Noesi

Comments: In this league, catching gets shallow real quick, so despite having Montero and Soto, I grabbed Mesoraco here because he’s a powerful catcher who might platoon early on, but will have the full time job by summer time. There will be a demand for catchers and I think I can get a pretty penny either for him or Soto once Montero is catcher-eligible.

392. Takashi Saito, 393. Luke Gregerson, 394. Dayan Viciedo, 395. AJ Burnett, 396. Aaron Crow, 397. Jesus Guzman, 398. Jerry Sands, 399. Ruben Tejada, 400. Yuniesky Betancourt, 401. Kyle Lohse, 402. Wei-Yin Chen, 403. Philip Humber, 404. Miguel Olivo, 405. Tyler Greene, 406. Jonathan Broxton

Comments: At this point, most of the guys drafted here are expendable and will be added and dropped, so while some shoot for “get something out of them” I like to go for upside. Jerry Sands will be given every chance to earn the everyday corner outfield job in LA, and has power and raw skills to be productive.

407. Brad Lidge, 408. Fautino De Los Santos, 409. Eduardo Nunez, 410. Jason Vargas, 411. Danny Hultzen, 412. Jesse Crain, 413. Darren Oliver, 414, Eric O’Flaherty, 415. Brian Matusz, 416. Tsuyoshi Wada, 417. Edward Mujica, 418. Tyler Pastornicky, 419. Alex Presley, 420. Ryan Lavarnway

Comments: This was all upside taking a guy who, until last year, was expected to be an ace. Considering it is the absolute last round, and early spring reports say his velocity is back to pre-2011 ranges, it’s worth the #415 pick.

So… that’s the draft. And my lineup looks like this…

C- Geovany Soto
1B- Eric Hosmer
2B- Ben Zobrist (also RF elig)
3B-  Mark Reynolds (1B)
SS- JJ Hardy
LF- Brennan Boesch (RF)
CF. BJ Upton
RF- Will Venable
OF- Jerry Sands (LF, RF)
UTIL- Chase Utley (2B)
UTIL- Jesus Montero (soon to be C hopefully)
Bench- Mike Trout (CF), Devin Mesoraco (C)

SP- Tim Lincecum, Justin Verlander, Derek Holland, Jon Niese
RP- Brian Wilson, Chris Sale, Tyler Clippard, Addison Reed
Bench- Jacob Turner, Julio Teheran, Brian Matusz

I’m satisfied. If Montero gets catcher eligibility early on, then I will gain a lot of flexibility. I can put Utley at 2B and move Zobrist to the outfield, so that adds a lot more options as well. If Turner and Teheran somehow both earn rotations spots out of spring, this will look great. It will also bear watching how Sale and Matusz come out early on. But this team has loads of upside, with perhaps more risk than my teams usually have. But I’m okay with that for now. I’m deep at shallow spots of second base and catcher, so I have pieces to deal later if need be.

And that’s how it looks. I’ll be posting every single week to let you know how my team has done for that week, and to show I’m following my own advice.

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