I was recently invited to participate in the inaugural Pro Fantasy Baseball Championship league. Over the weekend we conducted our snake draft. The league encompasses writers/managers from 12 different Fantasy Baseball sites. The league is a standard 5x5 daily roto league. It consists of C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 4OF, 2Util, 4SP, 2RP, 2P, 7BN, 2DL. The day before the draft I was emailed the draft order where I was slotted 11th, then when I entered the draft room I was pleasantly surprised to see I was now 4th. Not sure what happened and I didn't question the change...just a small fist pump.
Going into the draft, I had four strategies I wanted to implement. Draft top line NL SP to contend for ERA, use my Closer strategy to win the Saves category, fill my OF with speed guys, and don't miss out on a top tier 1B. I stuck to my pre-draft strategy and feel I did very well by the end of the draft. Here is my team.
In round 9 I wanted to start stocking up on RP. I had both Paplebon and Putz qued. When it came time to choose I went with the closer that had no competition breathing down his back. Putz it was. The rest of this round saw Mark Reynolds go before Michael Young and Aramis Ramirez. Then Paplebon was selected.
Time to implement my speedy OF. The next two picks brought me Gardner followed by Pierre. A slam dunk for 100+ SB from only two guys. Still hoping Gardner moves ahead of Jeter as the Yankees lead-off man, if so bonus Runs for me. I was seeing all the RP slipping away in these two rounds. Six more fell off the board. Starting to think I may not get the majority of closers like I hoped.
Round 12, back to the closer strategy. I plucked Cordero off the closer tree…now have 2 Closers but crave more. I saw more managers looking for speed and SP with high K value this round.
Had more Closers qued for this round but also had Ortiz on my radar. Saw my top qued closer (John Axford) go just before my pick. I hadn’t thought about my Utility spots much and liked Ortiz’ numbers staring at me. Also figured I could get at least 1 more Closer to just be completive in Saves. After long thought I welcomed Big Papi and his 30HR on board to a Utility spot. Two more closers gone and Daniel Hudson was selected too…good value here for Hudson going to Roto Experts’ team.
Round 14 opened with Franklin slipping through my fingers and a couple of players coming off injuries and down years (Quentin, Beckman, and Beltran). I went away from my Closer strategy and filled another need. I took Neil Walker and his flexibility (2B, 3B, MI, CI) he fits nicely into my 2B. He will bat 2nd or 3rd for the Bucs and has some pop. If he can get me 15 SB I have the poor man’s Utley.
Popped another cold one and decided it was now or never to go back collecting Closers like all the coins in my pocket ß great movie reference. Pickings were getting slim but I like Hanrahan’s K/9 ratio. That’s 3 closers but I want more. Saw middle reliever in Chapman go before me…I did a golf clap to amuse myself. Keep picking middle relievers boys before you round out your roster.
Round 16 started with 6 straight Pitcher coming off the board…3SP and 3RP. I saw Venters get selected before my pick. I heard where Venters even admitted Kimbrel would be the closer not him. I thanked the room for leaving me Kimbrel. So I guess I now have 3 ½ closers.
Not real happy with my next pick. Wanted to round out my OF with some power and was running low on time. Wells or Soriano…Soriano or Wells. Have no real reason why I went with Soriano other than I am a Cubs fan…I suggest you do not become a Homer when drafting. Draft with your head and not your heart.
As ambivalent as I was with my Soriano pick, I was thrilled with my next pick. I picked up a 100+ R guy batting leadoff with 30SB speed. Hello Austin Jackson welcome to my last Utility spot. I am still thrilled with this pick 3 days later. Yeah...I got him in round 18!!