Participated in my first league last night. It was a 16 team H2H league, which had all kinds of fangled rules, hitting (R, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, BB, TB, AVG) and the other (IP, W, CG, SV, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP, QS) that was organized by Bleeding Blue and Teal: a Seattle Mariners blog. Am I secretly a fan of the Mariners? Nope, but I hadn’t joined a H2H league yet and they had an opening so there I was. Since this league is for and by Mariners’ fans, I expected Ichiro to go in the first round (nope), Bedard in the second (yup) and Kenji to be someone’s utility (nope). It turned out to be less “root root for the home team” than I originally thought (though there is a team named, Olerud’s Main Dude). Anyway, here’s my team:
1. (4) José Reyes SS
2. (29) Álex Ríos OF
3. (36) Adam Dunn OF
4. (61) Corey Hart OF
5. (68) Alex Gordon 1B,3B
6. (93) Edwin Encarnación 3B
7. (100) John Maine SP
8. (125) Jeff Kent 2B
9. (132) Jhonny Peralta SS
10. (157) Matt Capps RP
11. (164) Carlos Delgado 1B
12. (189) Adam Wainwright SP
13. (196) Jonathan Broxton RP
14. (221) Brandon Lyon RP
15. (228) Carlos Ruiz C
16. (253) Zack Greinke SP,RP
17. (260) Pat Neshek RP
18. (285) Manny Parra RP
19. (292) Mike Jacobs 1B
20. (317) Jon Rauch RP
21. (324) Franklin Gutiérrez OF
Here’s what I was thinking in various rounds:
1. Can’t believe Reyes is falling to me. He’s an automatic #2 for me, even with this league’s rules. Wow, Pujols went sixth. He’s putting in a good spring, but that injury could be killer. Matt Holliday fell to seventh; that’s who I was planning to take if Reyes didn’t fall to me.
2. 16 teams… Ugh, this is going to take forever to get back to me. (Actually, I thought this every round.) Granderson’s goes 17th? Well, it wouldn’t have been me. Beltran goes 19th, not liking that pick. Peavy 20th, have to like that value, no matter how much I devalue pitching. Bedard goes 22nd (Webb goes 30th); there’s some hometown bias. At 29, I’m more than happy to grab Rios.
3. First off the board in the third round, George Sherrill. Then went—Wait! What? Okay, I probably would’ve taken Percival over Sherrill and maybe 300 other players, but it’s definitely a way to go. (I’ll see if I can get the Sherrill owner to write a guest post about why he didn’t take Jamie Walker in the fourth round to handcuff Sherrill.) Now that I had Reyes and Rios, I felt I needed some wombat, so I went with Dunn. At this point, I started to think I was going to wait a while for pitching and focus on Holds, Saves, ERA and WHIP. Lots of names went this round that I was glad to be no part of: Mauer, Roberts, Byrnes, Russell Martin, Manny and Beckett.
4. I could have gave birth to an elephant in the time it took my to draft again. I went with Corey Hart (61). Markakis went at 57; I was pissed. Atkins went at 59; I was equally po’d. I almost took Konerko or Adrian Gonzalez because I felt like I could have used a bit more pop, but both of these schmohawks have as many negatives as positives with some of the categories we’re playing with in this league.
5. Alex Gordon! Any daily readers of the site knew I was going to take him. There were a lot of names on the board I could’ve opted for. But none gave me the 20/20 balance I see Gordon putting together. If nothing else, my team is balanced. Except of course for my pitching…
7. With the 100th pick overall, I took Maine. Leaguemates seemed amused by this choice, but the only names on the board (pitching-wise) that were close in my book were Hill, Shields, Dice-K and Javier Vazquez. All are in the AL, except Hill. Also, Maine and Hill have the most upside. Here’s Maine’s numbers from last year, 191.0 IPs/15 Wins/1 CG/180 Ks/3.91 ERA/1.27 WHIP/17 QS. At 26 years old, on arguably the best offensive team in the NL? I think I made the right choice. But Hill was very, very close. Shea got a slight nod and the winds at Wrigley scared me away…
13. All I had was Capps (10) at this point for relievers so I figured I needed to be aggressive in trying to get holds and saves with the same guys so I targeted relievers that could conceivably get saves or holds. Worse case scenario being I only get one of the two. Remember this league weighs them equally, so why not take the best guy rather than the one most likely to get saves? So I passed Wood, Gregg, Jones and Borowski for Broxton. (I would have passed on Sherrill here too, but he went in the third round.)
14. Then I grabbed Brandon Lyon next because if his spring training continues into the season Tony Pena’s going to be the closer real soon and Lyon will be relegated to a Holds position. And if Lyon gets some saves, so be it. It’s a win-win. Later, I grabbed Rauch and Neshek. Again, I was always taking the best guy on the board and the guy who will get Holds and could possibly get saves. If I went for Jones, Gagne, Borowski or Gregg there was a chance I would get saves, but I can’t imagine these guys ever becoming the setup men.
15. Carlos Ruiz! Do I have to say more? At 228? Are you kidding me? Joking aside, Varitek was taken right after him and I almost took Varitek but… I love me some Ruiz. Here comes 17/10. Okay, maybe 14/7, but I’ll take it.
19. Mike Jacobs with the 292nd pick? I can’t imagine how he fell that far considering how deep this league is, but there he was. Honestly, I try to avoid hitters towards the end of a draft, but when Jacobs is looking at you almost 300 picks in, you gotta.
20. Another hitter? Yes, but Franklin Gutiérrez is 25 and about to get the right field job on one of the best offensive AL teams. Gutiérrez could go 70/20/80/.270/20 in the ninth hole. Not to mention how deep this league was, some of the names that were picked at the end of this draft were Kendall, Jack Wilson, Tony Gwynn (I think Junior), Noah Lowry (scheduled to start throwing in a month) and some catchers (for people who punted).
Tonight’s an ‘pert league with a bunch of fantasy writers so I’ll be filling you again on Thursday. Until then, how do you think I did on this draft?