The Beat Grey Albright NFBC league filled up so quickly that the NFBC folks (you can still use promo code: Razzball25 and get $25 off at NFBC—sign up for a Draft Champions or Cutline Championship League today!) decided to create a second league where 14 unlucky fans got a chance to take on the Donkey who poops in Grey Albright’s backyard. So much has happened since this Donkey draft started on November 22nd and completed, 750 picks and 18 days later, on December 10th: Gerrit Cole signed with the evil empire for *pinkie to mouth* ONE BILLION DOLLARS, Anthony Rendon now calls Los Angeles or Anaheim or wherever home, the White Sox locked up prized prospect Luis Robert for six years, the Astros took cheating to whole new levels and I fell off my roof seven times while putting up and taking down Kwanzaa lights. Fortunately, the roof of my barn isn’t very high off the ground so I only stubbed a hoof. Anyway, here’s my NFBC Draft Champions errrr, draft recap:
C: Gary Sanchez (8/113)
C: Welington Castillo (40/593)
1B: Trey Mancini (9/128)
2B: Michael Chavis (18/263)
SS: Francisco Lindor (1/8)
3B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (4/53)
MI: Adalberto Mondesi (3/38)
CI: Danny Santana (11/158)
OF: Joey Gallo (5/68)
OF: Aristides Aquino (10/143)
OF: Byron Buxton (12/173)
OF: Trent Grisham (17/248)
OF: Avisail Garcia (20/293)
UTIL: Dee Gordon (19/278)
Bench: Miguel Andujar (21/308), Robinson Cano (23/338), Josh VanMeter (24/353), Teoscar Hernandez (26/383), Manny Pina (30/443), Jake Lamb (36/533), Jaylin Davis (37/548), Ty France (41/608), Monte Harrison (42/623), Dustin Garneau (46/683), Jake Cronenworth (50/743)
P: Walker Buehler (2/23)
P: Noah Syndergaard (6/83)
P: Shohei Ohtani (7/98)
P: Jose Leclerc (13/188)
P: Keone Kela (14/203)
P: Mike Foltynewicz (15/218)
P: Brendan McKay (16/233)
P: Daniel Hudson (22/323)
P: Pablo Lopez (25/368)
Bench: Jake Arrieta (27/398), Jordan Yamamoto (28/413), Jose Urena (29/428), Matt Strahm (31/458), Matt Shoemaker (32/473), Andres Munoz (33/488), Yusei Kikuchi (34/503), Sergio Romo (35/518), Jon Duplantier (38/563), Rich Hill (39/578), Arodys Vizcaino (43/638), Trevor Williams (44/653), Art Warren (45/668), Steven Brault (47/698), Ray Black (48/713), Alex Vesia (49/728)
YOU PROMISED TO GIVE AWAY A HIGHLY COVETED RazzSlam FAN SPOT TO WHOEVER EXECUTED YOUR FAVORITE DRAFT, STOP STALLING AND GIVE IT UP!
Settle down Al Caps, I was just getting there. There’s one draft that made my tail wag with excitement and jealousy: Mondongo aka Shawn Beck somehow found Gerrit Cole—ADP #6— fall into his lap at pick 13 and Jacob deGrom—ADP #9—smack him over the head at pick 18. Maybe that’s the Razzball starting pitcher fade in action since most participants hailed from RazzHall. I’m cool with fading starters but in a draft and hold league, such as NFBC Draft Champions, we don’t have the luxury of picking up the pitching flavor of the week off the wire so the elite SPs get a decent boost in value. I myself took advantage of the discount, snagging Walker Buehler—ADP #17—at pick 23.
On top of the prize money for the top 3 finishers in each league, NFBC Draft Champions is also an overall competition with a grand prize of $30,000 being awarded to the top team from across all 240 leagues (3,600 teams) at year’s end. There’s something to be said for a unique team build which will differentiate your team from the pack. And there’s a chance Mondongo has literally the only Cole/deGrom build in the entire 3,600 team contest.
Mr. Mondongo sealed his place as my favorite team with his 6th round selection of Luis Robert. It was a bold move at the time as Lou Bob’s ADP sat around 110 overall and our newly-minted-RazzSlam-participant jumped him all the way up to pick 78. I thought for sure I could land the White Sox super-prospect with my pick 83 and was thinking about gambling that he’d make it back to me at pick 98. Donkey Teeth and Lou Bob just weren’t meant to be together in this one. Cut to a month and a half later and Robert the Luis has signed a six year extension with the South Siders and seems primed to break camp with the big club; his stock will only continue to rise as March draws nearer.
If those three picks weren’t enough, Mondongo caught up on offense by adding Yordan Alvarez with pick 43, Giancarlo with pick 48, Laureano with pick 78 and then he even landed a stud closer in Roberto Osuna at pick 103. Known closers draw a natural premium in draft and hold where we aren’t able to add the surprise closers throughout the year and that premium is amplified in November with all the unknown.
There were several teams I liked a lot from this draft, but the sexiness of the Mondongo was just too much. Congrats Mr. Mondongo, and welcome to the inaugural RazzSlam!
WHEN YOU’RE DONE GUSHING ABOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND MONDONGO’S TEAM WILL YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY YOU DRAFTED OHTANI IN A WEEKLY LEAGUE WHERE YOU’LL ONLY BE ABLE TO START HIM AS EITHER A PITCHER OR HITTER EACH WEEK.
Ohtani is special. I think people may have forgotten the flashes of brilliance we saw from him on the mound in early 2018, as only a 23 year old, in a new country. He’s now had two full seasons to acclimate to the U.S. baseball scene and by opening day he’ll be 18 months removed from Tommy John surgery. Ohtani’s also been throwing off a mound since this summer and will have the luxury of a full off season throwing program and a normal spring training regimen to get ready.
So what if the Angels bring out the kid gloves and limit him to 120 innings? Those might be 120 spectacular innings and when the Angels announce they’ll skip one of his starts I’ll have the luxury of slotting an elite five category bat into my offense. Heck, if my pitching pans out well, I might just use him on offense anyway. Pick 98 seems silly late for the upside he’s oozing. Keep doubting folks, you’ll wake up at Shotime.
OF COURSE YOU DRAFTED KIKUCHI.
Yes, I drank the Kikuchi Kool-Aid last year and yes, I had a bad trip. I’m sorry if you followed me into the abyss, I owe you one. Do you accept IOUs? Bitcoin Cash? Ah, well I’m good for it.
The Kooch is cheeeeap this year. For good reason! Oh great, now random italicized voice is here too?! So I snagged Kikuchi at pick 503 because, well, why not? I don’t have lofty expectations this season but it wouldn’t be the first time I came early. I mean, the first time I drafted someone a year early. It’ll take some major changes in approach, but 170 innings of 4.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP aren’t outside the realm of possibilities. Although that’s not saying much, pretty sure the realm of possibilities is infinite according to quantum physics.
IS THIS A NEW 5×4 CONTEST WITHOUT SAVES?
Speculating on saves in November is a fools errand if I’ve ever ran a fools errand. Which I have. Many times.
This early in draft season you might think it makes sense to snag a solid closer who allows you to bank some saves amidst all the closer uncertainty. But I did that in my early NFBCs last year with Blake Treinen, Edwin Diaz and Craig Kimbrel and now I cower in fear anytime a closer’s name is mentioned.
Truth be told, I was looking to take a shot on a solidified closer in this draft, but a shiny toy distracted me each time I considered one. There was a huge closer run in the 10th round—Rogers, Hendriks, Iglesias, Diaz, Jansen, Giles, Smith, Kimbrel—which I missed out on by taking Aristides Aquino with pick 143. But he’s soooo shiny!
I decided to zag, building my bullpen around several bubble gum wrappers, an over-ripened banana duct taped to a wall and a slew of tequila shots in the dark. Jose LeClerc might be the dude again in Texas, Kela could be the hombre in Pittsburgh and Daniel Hudson looked delightful for the Nats in the World Series. Munoz, Romo, Vizcaino, Warren, Black and Vesia all have varying degrees of upside. Long story short, you have to get lucky somewhere when you’re drafting 50 rounds in mid-November.
LIKE YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT GETTING LUCKY.
Dang, low blow Al Caps. Low blow.