We participated for the 3rd year in a row in Yahoo’s Friends & Family draft – a melange of 6 Yahoos, 3 Rotowire peeps, 1 Baseball Prospectus writer (Baseball Prospector?), 1 HardballTimes.com guy, a WSJournalist and us. Count ‘em up – it’s 13 people this year. Anyone can play 12 or 14 team leagues but only ‘perts can manage 13.
After a promising 3rd place finish in our rookie campaign, last year’s team stunk of sophomore jinx – finishing 10th out of 14th. Contributing factors include drafting Justin Morneau/Pedro “Ceranno” Alvarez with our 5th/6th round picks and putrid SAGNOF bets (Lyon and Rodney!).
The most unique aspect of this league is the 1,250 IP cap. For comparison’s sake, the average team in our 2011 Razzball Commenter Leagues had 1,341 IP. This ~100 IP difference leads most teams to roster one less SP in favor of an MR. Other ‘non-expert’ aspects of the league are: daily roster changes (vs. weekly), snake draft (vs. auction), and unlimited FA pickups (no Free Agent $ limit). This tends to play into Grey’s hands as he’s the Tony La Russa to my Jim Leyland.
Below is our team and here are the full draft results.
|C||Russell Martin||R25 Pick 319|
|1B||Joey Votto||R1 Pick 7|
|2B||Neil Walker||R14 Pick 176|
|SS||Alexei Ramirez||R10 Pick 124|
|3B||Mike Moustakas||R12 Pick 150|
|OF||Andrew McCutchen||R2 Pick 20|
|OF||Adam Jones||R5 Pick 59|
|OF||Shin-Soo Choo||R6 Pick 72|
|OF||Colby Rasmus||R16 Pick 202|
|OF||Michael Brantley||R17 Pick 215|
|1B/3B||Lance Berkman||R8 Pick 96|
|2B/SS||Gordon Beckham||R23 Pick 293|
|UTIL||Alex Presley||R19 Pick 241|
|SP||Cliff Lee||R3 Pick 33|
|SP||CC Sabathia||R4 Pick 46|
|SP||Brandon Beachy||R7 Pick 85|
|SP||Tommy Hanson||R13 Pick 163|
|SP||Colby Lewis||R20 Pick 254|
|SP||Hiroki Kuroda||R24 Pick 306|
|RP||Carlos Marmol||R9 Pick 111|
|RP||Jason Motte||R11 Pick 137|
|RP||David Robertson||R15 Pick 189|
|Bench RP||Mike Adams||R18 Pick 228|
|Bench RP||David Hernandez||R21 Pick 267|
|Bench SS||Stephen Drew||R22 Pick 280|
- Picks 1-2: This was my third snake draft of the year (15-team LABR, Razzball Expert league) and 7th was the earliest pick I’ve had (Grey got 7th in the Razzball expert league, I had 10th). This position had worked out well for me by nabbing a 1B (Votto/A-Gonz) and Longoria on the turn. We got the 1B we were hoping for (Votto edging out A-Gonz by a hair) but the 20th pick put us in a rough position as Longoria was long gone (pick #15) and our last OF target (Giancarlo) was picked at #19. After last year’s 2nd round SP (F-Her) worked out only okay (and seemed to put Grey on tilt), we ended up settling for Andrew McCutchen. No doubt he’s a reach but I’ll take bets that he works out better than all but maybe one of the next 5 position players taken (Reyes, M-Teix, Wright, Beltre, and Castro).
- Picks 3-4: We had the 3rd draft pick slotted for SP and I had delusional hopes that one of the big three – Verlander/Kershaw/Halladay – would make it back. With all three + Lincecum off the board, it was a coin flip between Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez and Grey pushed hard for Cliff Lee. After a slew of position players came off the board with the next couple of picks, I pushed hard for us to draft another SP in the 4th round (vs. wait for the 5th/6th round). My preferred choice was taken 3 picks ahead (Greinke) so settled for Sabathia. Doubting myself now whether Hamels would’ve been a better call but the strategy proved smart as 4 more SPs went before our 5th pick.
- General Hitting – Nothing very exciting about our offense after those top picks. Speed in the MI positions went at a premium (Andrus, Gordon, Jemile Weeks) so we focused on R/HR/RBI value in the middle infield and got some speed (Choo, Brantley, Presley) in our OF. This definitely isn’t a dominant offense but there’s some upside and hopefully it can keep us at least middle of the pack on offense because….
- General Pitching – ….if we’re going to succeed in this league, our pitching has to dominate. This team has top 2 potential across W/K/ERA/WHIP. The low IP cap gave us (or at least me) the courage to reach a little on Beachy and take the risk with Hanson – both have so much promise. Lewis and Kuroda are more matchup plays at least in the beginning of the season. The IP cap really drove our MR quality + quantity – we’re expecting high K/9 and strong ERA/WHIP from K-Rob and Mike Adams. With daily changes, we’ll able to slot them in every day. Hopefully b/w them and David Hernandez, one ends up getting the closer job before year end – otherwise, we should stay middle of the pack as long as Marmol and Motte stay healthy.