The other day a Razzball reader, Tim L., contacted me about mocking his fantasy baseball keeper league.
I just wanted to say I’m a huge fan of your site. I think you do a fantastic job and have great analysis (as well as it being very funny). The reason I’m writing you is that my 10 team long time keeper league is looking for a celebrity expert to mock the first 2 rounds of our 2009 draft. It’s a typical 5 X 5 Roto and all the information (keepers, roster sizes, innings limit) is neatly organized. We wouldn’t be expecting a write up on each pick, just the picks. We have been together as a group a long time and everyone is excited about some expert analysis during this long off season. My league is well aware of your site and are regular visitors. I understand you are a busy guy but perhaps you would have some time in the next few months. If you would, please let me know. Our group would be thrilled.
Look what asking nice and the appropriate flattery will get you… Actually, Rudy and I discussed whether or not to go ahead with this. As gracious as Tim L. is, I’m not trying to alienate all of our other readers just because some dooode said I was “very funny.” No, the clincher was when he said I was a “celebrity expert.” Now that’s appropriate flattery. Also, I felt the rest of youse might be able to take something away from this exercise. If you think this is stewpid like kewpid bizzlenitch then scroll down, I’m sure there’s some other fantasy baseball nonsense to entertain you.
Tim L.’s Final 2008 league standings were:
2008 FINAL STANDINGS
1. Axles 75.5
2. Blazin Ballz 73.5
3. Zak Dream Team 60.0
4. Bombadils 57.0
5. Explosive Renteria 54.5
6. Levitra Nights 54.0
7. Canuckaroos 53.5
8. Wildhack Old Sox 50.0
9. D Town Troubadours 50.0
10. Norfolk Shipriders 22.0
So a big belated congrats to Axles, way to stay on top of those Blazin Ballz. I tell you the standings because as Cypress Hill once said, “How do you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where ya been? Understand where I’m comin’ from?” We do, B-Real. We do. I also tell you this so you know who’s fantasy deficient cough Shipriders cough and might have the least to work with for 2009. Then we also have a long list of keepers; these teams keep 16 players a piece, so you can imagine there’s not many players to be drafted. (For the mathematically challenged, the first pick is a bit like pick #161.) The top ranked hitter is Chipper Jones. So, it’s not exactly the cream of the crop, but it’s not the cream of the crap either. Tim L. asked me to mock the first 2 rounds of this keeper league draft without commentary. I’m doing the first round with commentary:
1st pick overall — JJ Hardy by Explosive Renteria (cute). Their team has one of the strongest offensives (Wright, Utley, Victorino, McCann, Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon Phillips and Furcal) and a very decent staff (Beckett, Haren, Lester, Jar-Jar Jurrjens and potentially Morrow). Since this team is dealing with Utley’s injury and Furcal’s penchant for pulling a Kotchman, Hardy’s the choice. It’ll give them a strong UT and a very solid MI backup for when Phillips fills in for Utley in the beginning of the season or if/when Furcal goes down. This team is my preseason choice for 1st in 2009 as long as they pick up some speed later in the draft.
2nd and 3rd picks — Javier Vazquez and Ricky Nolasco by the Canuckaroos. This team has no starters and its entire offense is filled, so a bat isn’t even an option. They also have three top ten picks from trades. Vazquez and Nolasco are the picks here because if you have no starters, you need to make sure you get a horse that will give you 200 IP and 30 starts; that’s Vazquez. Then Nolasco was flatout genius last year. He posted a incredible K:BB rate at the end of 2008; a rate that should have him on your radar. FYI, some of the other top pitching options available were Brett Myers, Harang and Carmona. I contemplated Derek Lowe briefly over Nolasco, but with no starters he needs Ks and I think Lowe will be there for their 7th overall pick. Finally, I don’t want Myers or Harang as my first starter in 2009. This team needs steady and upside and that’s what I’ve given it. You’re welcome.
4th pick — Chipper Jones by the Wildhack Old Sox. This is a bit of a no-brainer with their team. They have outfielders like Jolie’s got orphans (Holliday, Mags, Grady, Votto, Hart) and they have decent enough pitching for a ten team league (Wainwright, F-Her, Kazmir and Gallardo). Yet they have no 3rd baseman or Corner Infidel. Guess what they have now? Chipper…. Jones…
5th pick — Derek Lowe by the D Town Troubadours and the Canuckaroos suck their teeth as they are mock scooped by the Troubadours. I choose Lowe here because their top starter is Verlander. There’s always 2010, Troubadours.
6th pick — Carlos Delgado by the Blazin Ballz. Blazin Ballz had one of those dream seasons in 2008 where everything goes right. And they still came in 2nd. They had Harden, Pedroia, Halladay, Ervin, Kerry Wood, Manny and Josh Hamilton. Since they kept them all, their 2009 relies on most of those players duplicating their 2008 successes. I think they’re in for a “Ravishing” Rick Rude Awakening. Too many outliers worries me. As for the Delgado pick, it’s between him Peralta, Burrell, Hawpe and Abreu. I went with Delgado because this team doesn’t have a 3rd baseman or a corner man, so they can fill outfield and MI later, while 3rd and corner will get tight. They also have the team average that can handle Delgado’s .265 average.
7th pick — Ted Lilly by the Canuckaroos. See my description of their team’s weaknesses above at the 2nd pick. Ted Lilly is the most reliable pitcher on the board. I still don’t want Myers, Harang and I’m not a fan of Carmona. Also, as aforementioned, I would’ve went with Lowe if he wasn’t scooped.
8th pick — Brett Myers by the Bombadils. Their pitching staff is Ben Sheets, Jobacum, Phil Hughes, Brian “The Brain” Fuentes and Joseph Jason Putz (not sure if they had to keep on keeping Putz, but he was in the literature I was given). As an amateur porn star somewhere in the San Fernando Valley once said, “Excuse me for vomiting on your staff.” I took Myers because I want him over Harang and Carmona for 2009.
9th pick — Jorge Cantu by Axeles. This team has no 1st baseman, 3rd baseman or corner man (obviously). Their pitching is sick as in healthy not sick as in sick (Johan, Lincecum, Peavy, Hamels, Joba, Liriano, K-Rod, Papelbon and Kershaw). The offense they do have is Jose Reyes, Alexei, The Upton Bros., Maybin, Carlos Gomez and Kemp. So now they just need Johan and Lincecum to hit 80 home runs apiece. I choose Cantu for them because he’s the biggest power threat left at a corner spot.
10th pick — Jhonny Peralta by the Blazin Ballz. I explained this team’s weakness up at the 6th pick. Again, this team has the team average to sustain Peralta’s .265 average and they have the oddly placed steals of Mauer to offset Peralta’s lack of steals. This team will need to think about SAGNOF later in the draft and grab some steals.