J-FOH is a man of many talents, one of which is brainstorming good ideas. Well, not all of them are good. But when the hateful one approached me with the idea for a new in-house dynasty league here at Razzball I was pumped. It’s a 16-team league that consists of Razzball writers and frequent commenters. This was the inaugural 40-round snake draft and included both MLB players and prospects. I’ll be the league’s commish. All that means is that I put on my Burger King crown to send the league emails. The draft took place in late February – spanning 10 days, two continents, and featuring ONE OF THE MOST EPIC DRAFT ROOM CHATS OF ALL TIME.
The specifics of this 16-team league are simple – 40-man rosters with a max of 30 MLB players and a minimum of 10 prospects. The active roster is C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, CI, MI, 5 OF, 2 UTIL, 9 P with a 7-man bench and 10 minors slots. Only players who had signed a major league contract by the time of the draft were eligible, so no Yoan Moncada in this one. It’s weekly FAAB free agency with no innings or games started cap. 30 of the 40 players on each roster will be protected from year to year, meaning 480 players and prospects will be carried over into 2016 prior to the next 10-round supplemental draft.
For this post, I asked each team to submit their favorite pick and worst snipe from the draft with a brief explanation (teams are listed according to their draft order along with their 1st round pick). You can view the full draft results here with both overall and team-by-team results. It will be easy to see which squads decided to play for now or go more prospect heavy in the draft. I’ll be checking in with this league over the course of the year, discussing some of the major transactions and updating you on the standings as we go.
1. Clusterfoh (J-FOH) – Mike Trout
Favorite Pick: Charlie Blackmon at 161 – Crazy good value for a guy that should help me compete for the next four years. Five tools and in a good park…for now. To me its nucking futs to not play for year one in a league full of strangers.
Worst Snipe: Avisail Garcia at 95 – I hate Ralph because he was inspired by my previous writing about Mini Miggy. I should take note of that and only pump up players I hate. Honestly I love Avisail and it pains me to see him in the arms of another man. I might even have to make a bad trade to get him in here. Too bad I blew off any of these prospects to entice him. Hultzen anyone?
2. Ralph’s Lo-Life Founders (Ralph Lifshitz) – Giancarlo Stanton
Favorite Pick: Avisail Garcia at 95 – Any opportunity I receive to pull one over on J-FOH I’m going to take. Tyler Kolek at 319 – This was probably my favorite pick all joking and J-FOH razzing aside. 19-year-old with a fastball that’s been clocked at 102, ummm please and thank you. He’s also from Texas, and only Steers and flame throwing righties come out of Texas and he don’t look much like a steer to me.
Worst Snipe: Kris Bryant at 30 – I had the young god of spring all queued up and ready to go and then bam! GONE! Jonathan Schoop at 246 – Had him ready to go and then Kid A snatched him up. Ended up with punching Judy Panik at MI instead….sad trombone.
3. Cuban Bandits (El Diablo) – Bryce Harper
Favorite Pick: Kristopher L. Bryant – The best hunk of man meat to grace a baseball diamond in the 21st century, somehow fell to pick 30 in a dynasty league. It won’t be long until our leaguemates wish they had taken Bryant with their first round selections. Seeing as he is on pace to hit 130 some odd homers this spring, this pick speaks for itself. Yeah, we’re just a little excited.
Worst Snipe: Marcus Stroman – Despite the youthfulness of the coaching staff here at Cuban Bandits, our reactions to the Stroman pick at 93 were definitely NSFW. We like to think the torn ACL is karma for Kobra’s tanking, but as baseball fans, we hope to see Stro back on the bump soon.
4. Cobra Kai (Cobra Kai) – Paul Goldschmidt
Worst Snipe: Kris Bryant – I went into the draft with the strategy of taking primarily high-end prospects starting in Round 3. I didn’t think there was any chance Bryant would go as early as he did…I was wrong.
5. Yes Cheese (YesCheese) – Andrew McCutchen
Favorite Pick: Mark Trumbo, Round 7 – This blurb is about Trumbo, but it’s mostly about the rarest fantasy baseball commodity: Power. Reliable power is and will be the premium MLB commodity for fantasy’s foreseeable future. So by my count, 24 pitchers, 9 prospects, 2 closers and one trick pony Billy Hamilton were drafted before Mark Trumbo. Trumbo, one of today’s maybe 10 MLB hitters who has a real, actual chance to hit a perennial 40/100 line. I’m sure everyone’s favorite dynasty picks will be the undervalued steals of the draft… and this draft put its premium on youth. I wanted power. PECOTA projects my starting offense for 268 HR. In our 16 team league, I’ll take those 268 dongs and compete.
Worst Snipe: Literally Any Closer, Any Round – I did not put a premium on saves. I wanted saves, a stud closer. But I couldn’t justify saves in a dynasty. With the exponential rate of UCL injuries, it was hard to justify any pitching investment at all, least of all marginal relievers who happenstance into fleeting closer roles. Don’t get me wrong, my redraft LIMA soul cries for SAGNOF. I wish I had a closer.
6. Brooklyn Garbage Men (robbyrobdu) – Anthony Rendon
Favorite Pick: Brian McCann (RD 14, Pick 11) My goal the entire draft is best player available….if I can’t get the MLB talent I think is worth the slot I am at, I more often than not am going very high level prospect (pedigree, skillset, proximity CHECKCHECKCHECK). My favorite pick might actually be be my 28/29 combo of Matz/O’Brien (A stud SP prospect way later than most and a guy not unlike Cheese’s 7th round love, Trumbo, coincidentally on the same team. Razznasty was amazing at gobbling up MLB studs, and I was always going to be stacked with up and comers, getting McCann here was huge for my goal to be able to compete this year (probably due to his off year, and his slightly advanced but far from “done” age). I acquired a starting player, a backup to one of the hardest positions to fill once injuries hit, and the potential to very soon have 1B eligibilty (a position that very oddly went insanely fast in this draft).
Worst Snipe: This list would be endless if I wrote down all the guys taken a round or two before I was targeting them, But I did get double sniped in round 24 when my plan A went 7 picks before me and plan B went Just Before Me in Mike Minor and Chris Tillman respectively. I ended up settling for (VERY HOPEFUL) bounceback candidate in Justin Verlander 379th overall. Honorable Mention goes to Carlos Martinez in Rd 18, thought he was a lock and kind of made me scramble for a selection, which turned out to be Michael Taylor, arguably a top 50 prospect who has stumbled into a starting job this year at a much needed position for me, THANKS HIPPOS!!
7. Mentok (Birdmann) – Anthony Rizzo
Favorite Pick: Jake Arrieta/Carlos Carrasco – With so many people taking prospects, I hope that I found my anchors for my pitching staff in rounds 6 and 8. Young pitchers with upside was what I was looking for and I hope I found it with Arrieta and Carrasco. My goal in collecting my staff was arms 28 and younger with some MLB experience.
Worst Snipe: Jorge Soler – Besides the slow draft which was new to me, it was Soler in the 4th by Mike, two picks away and I was chompin’ at the bit for him at my turn. I ended up drafting my one trick pony Billy Hambone in a panic. Ahh what could have been.
8. Georgia Peach (Kenneth) – Miguel Cabrera
Favorite Pick: Ryan Zimmerman, Round 8 – I thought getting Zimmerman there was a steal, especially after guys like Arcia, Adams, and Gordon went ahead of him. He’s still in his prime years, his floor is quite safe, and there is room for upside. In a 16-team league that has 5 OF slots to fill, his multiposition eligibility is huge.
Worst Snipe: J.P. Crawford, Round 11 – Having targeted late round options for my active middle infielders, getting a top flight middle infielder that wasn’t too far away would have been perfect. He was my ideal candidate and I would have picked him the same round.
9. Razzball Mike (Mike) – Jose Abreu
Favorite Pick: Randall Delgado, Rd 32 – He’s still just 25 years old and had top-50 prospect status back when he was with the Braves. He’s not a lock for a rotation spot this year, but there’s no reason he can’t find himself starting again at some point. At worst he’ll eat some innings in relief for me and at this point in the draft the price was right.
Worst Snipe: Maikel Franco, Rd 10 – Cobra Kai sniped me quite a few times in this draft, but I was really hoping to get Franco a couple of rounds later than this. Instead, I ended up with Mike Moustakas and Ryan Howard later in the draft. Bummer.
10. Ra’zball Al Ghul (Ra’zball Al Ghul) – Nolan Arenado
Favorite Pick: Bobby Bradley, Rd 20 Pick 311 (18 years old, 1B, CLE) – I submit to the Razzcommunity a potential future Grey crush. In 39 games/176 PA in Rookie ball last year, Bobby hit .361 with 56 hits, 13 doubles, 4 triples, 8 HR, and 50 RBI…Psyched I got this kid.
Worst Snipe: Ken Giles, Rd 13 Pick 202 – Mike directly sniped me the pick before I was gonna nab Giles. Having “the next Kimbrel” for a decade would have been nice, Mike… ya homer! (And Mike also, selfishly, drafted “the current Kimbrel” in a guy named Craig Kimbrel) sigh. (I also wanted Maikel Franco and JP Crawford dah)
11. Kid A (Kid A) – Yasiel Puig
Favorite Pick: Yasiel Puig – The AIRHORN starts my life – and ends it – but like Hemingway I brought chocolate and cigarettes to this draft – to be kind and share. I realized very quickly that I was grouped with a bunch of rotten sons-of-bitches in this league, so I smoked the chocolate and ate the smokes. Do I have a favorite pick? F**k no. But here is what I was thinking at the time: “I was a little disappointed to only have one air horn go off to start my pick-clock, which allowed me to only dump a single cup of coffee on my lap out of fright. Burned testicles. I had my fingers crossed for Rizzo to fall to me (that went to s**t) – so I went Puig. Upswing versus downswing with the first pick. Not 100% on it, but at 24 the growth potential for Yasiel is tremendous. I’m always vacillating between risk & reward searching for that happy medium.”
Worst Snipe: SAD AIRHORN – or a slide-whistle down. Do the words even need to be typed? KRIS BRYANT. I had my queue locked and loaded – I hesitated and lost. I’ve not slept well since, so I went Frazier. My notes at the time: “It is time to start to build my corners. I like Frazier the most. I feel his performance/BABIP for 2013 was the anomaly. Hoping for 20+/20 .270. Lord of the Schmohawks went the pick before and Longoria went on the turn after, so I’m targeting Crush or Seager with my next pick and a back-to-back of Soler/Polanco + MI after that. Maybe an arm – probably not.” Crush, Soler, Polanco never materialized. I learned to really hate myself while doing this draft and will never forgive Mike for capping his prospect list at 100. I spent the late stages of this draft wandering around like a blind man with dysentery in a sandpaper store.
12. Hannibal Montana (Csifu) – Carlos Gomez
Favorite Pick: Jake Odorizzi, Rd 16 – I think he will be a top 25-30 SP in two years and should get me 180 Ks this year.
13. Baezaworldseries (Baezaworldseries) – Edwin Encarnacion
Favorite Pick: Pedro Alvarez 212 overall – Pedro improved his walk rate and K% last year while learning 1st base. His home run to flyball rate fell to a ridiculously low 16% in 2014 (it was 26% in 2013) – probably caused by weak contact on pitches out of the zone. If he can adjust I don’t see why he couldn’t be a top 50 player in 2015 and beyond.
Worst Snipe: Strasburg in the third. I really thought it was a reach by Razzball standards. Mike nabbed him three picks ahead of me. I settled for MadBum, who I don’t hate. But I’m really into Stras this year.
14. Nightpandas (Nightpandas) – Adam Jones
Favorite Pick: David Ortiz, Round 9 – Yeah he’s old and this is a keeper but I’m all in this year (hence the Goldy trade) and there was not much power left at this point. Honourable Mention to Grey Fav Matt Shoemaker in Round 11 and Adam Eaton in Round 13.
Worst Snipe: Oswaldo Arcia, Round 8 – He went two picks before me. He’s young with lots of power upside, and I ended up taking my first prospect in Sano instead.
15. The Hippos (MattTruss) – Clayton Kershaw
Favorite Pick: Clayton Kershaw – I’ll freely admit this is my first dynasty rodeo and I was going in on a whim and kinda blind. I read all Mike’s and read prospect Scott’s articles in the past, but putting that info to good use hadn’t been done. That said, I’m not sure what I’m missing that the best pitcher in baseball fell to 15th overall. Even for a Razzball league that seems crazy. In a 16-team league, Kershaw is usually gone top 10 and Grey ranks him 13th. Add in the dynasty aspect, at 27 years old, I was giddy.
Worst Snipe: Round 11, I got double whammy’d. Leagues of this size are impossible to set a queue, it just empties after 30 picks. But, after round 10 I queued up Kennys Vargas and Matt Shoemaker, then watched as they stayed in my queue for 28 picks. Two picks before mine, Bam, Bam, gone. I waited on first base, so getting a switch hitting, 24 yr old, power option there would’ve been a nice compliment to M(F)atty Adams. I just like Matt Shoemaker this year, he didn’t sting as much as Kennys. Just like that, I’m on tilt again!
16. Daypandas Will Maul You (mauledbypandas) – Troy Tulowitzki
Favorite Pick: C.J. Edwards, 25th round – In a dynasty I love getting a guy with his potential in the 25th round. Not as big of a name as some prospects but I believe he will be making waves as early as 2016. I was going to say Joey Gallo here but he really needs to refine his approach at the plate to earn his draft position. I think Edwards presents more value due to how far he slipped.