I was fortunate enough to be invited to this year in KFFL’s Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft (which leads to a BAD acronym).  It has historically been a 12-team mixed snake draft league but has now been expanded to 15 teams.

Some drafts require a lot of prep time – this one had the prep time of a TV dinner.  It came right on the heels of LABR which follows the same format.  Then my pals at KFFL (Nick Minnix and Tim Heaney) were nice enough to ‘randomly’ assign me the same pick (#8) I had in LABR.  Sweet.

My strategy going into the draft was similar to LABR – draft 9+ SPs, be AVG-conscious, get two top 15 closers, try to nab one of the speedy/solid AVG MIs, and anticipate and/or dodge position runs.  There were a couple of post-LABR draft learnings I incorporated:

  • It is a safe bet that Freeman will be there at #23 so there’s a solid 1B safety pick if I go OF in first round.
  • Emphasize Catchers a little bit more (assuming Josmil Pinto starts the year in AAA, a Doumit/AJ Ellis duo is probably the worst in the league)
  • Secure your 2nd and 3rd OFs sooner (did not draft my 2nd/3rd OFs in LABR until 12th/13th rounds).
  • Be a little less dependent on 2nd-year players (LABR team has Puig/Segura in first 3 rounds).

Below is my team.  My round-by-round notes – as well as all the rosters, participants, and the participants’ round-by-round notes (interesting stuff) – can be found here.

Pos Player Round Pick #
C Matt Wieters 9 128
C A.J. Pierzynski 16 233
1B Joey Votto 2 23
2B Jose Altuve 6 83
3B Mike Moustakas 20 293
SS Brad Miller 14 203
CI (1B/OF) Nick Swisher 13 188
MI Omar Infante 17 248
OF Adam Jones 1 8
OF Jay Bruce 3 38
OF Wil Myers 5 68
OF Adam Eaton 12 173
OF Junior Lake 19 278
UT Nate Schierholtz 23 338
P Justin Verlander 4 53
P Cole Hamels 8 113
P Hyun-Jin Ryu 11 158
P Justin Masterson 15 218
P Ian Kennedy 18 263
P Dillon Gee 21 308
P Tim Hudson 22 323
P Addison Reed 10 143
P David Robertson 7 98
BN (SS Javier Baez 24 353
BN (SP) James Paxton 25 368
BN (SP) Mike Leake 26 383
BN (OF) Alex Presley 27 398
BN (RP) Edward Mujica 28 413

Some overall notes:

  • I had some really nice luck in Rounds 2/3.  My switch from Chris Davis to Adam Jones as the 1st round pick (considered Ryan Braun as well) worked out wonderfully when Joey Votto miraculously fell to pick #22.   I then had fellow Red Jay Bruce fall to me in the 3rd round (in LABR, I got Puig with the 2nd pick but ended up with Segura at #3 when Bruce and a few other OF targets got sniped before my pick).
  • I am both psyched and anxious about Verlander (4th) and Hamels (8th) as my top two SPs.  As long as Hamels does not miss more than April, I think he will deliver value (Paxson/Leake are above replacement value).  This is a solid #1/#2 even if they both deliver 80% of their peak years.
  • In my LABR draft, I went Kenley Jansen over Wil Myers because I had not drafted a pitcher yet and felt Jansen’s 30+ K’s above average would help soften the blow of not having an ace.  With Verlander in tow, I chose Myers over a top reliever with the 5th pick.  I think he has AVG downside but a very good shot at an 80/30/90 season with up to 10 SBs thrown in.
  • This draft occurred before the spring training hype on Mike Moustakas’s resurrection and Javier Baez’s ascendancy.  I like their value at where I drafted them and just hoping their ADP does not escalate too much (note: just drafted Moustakas in a Razzball-sponsored NFBC draft at 18.13).
  • I am happy with my SP depth.  Felt like I got a good mix of K’s and ERA/WHIP.
  • I totaled up the team roster values based on my 15-team $ and, not surprisingly (because they are my $), my team was 1st at $317.  The next two were BaseballHQ’s Ryan Bloomfield at $282 and the Baseball Prospectus duo of Mike Giannella and Paul Sporer at $272.  The lowest was $237.  Average was $263.  This does not mean much except: 1) My $ values are at least proportionally right and 2) I didn’t screw up the draft.
  • My hit/pitch split was 66/34 which was right about on target (I’ve used 67/33 for all my $ this year).
2020 Draft Kit
  1. Jeff in Southern Indiana says:

    Why do you use a 9 SP strategy? Limit on transactions and streamers? Does everyone typically just use 2 closers?

    I like this draft much better than LABR. Myers > Kenley and no AAA catcher!. Better grab a Nick Franklin voodoo doll.

    • I go heavy on SP because everyone is looking for SP on waivers so it could cost a lot of FAAB. I like this team a little better than LABR too.

  2. RandomItalicizedVoice says:

    Wow Mous as your starting 3B. Love where you got him, but how concerned are you about having jim as your 1st line 3B, with nobody on the bench to back him up at this point?

    Overall, I like the team. And for anybody who hasn’t had a gander at the draft commentary Rudy linked, it’s definitely a really informative read.

    • Thanks. Definitely a risk with Moose as my only 3B but it is a position I would have little competition for on waivers if I need a replacement.

  3. jbird669 says:


    Like The Moustakas pick. I am targeting him in the back half of my auction. I dig this team.

    Any word on when the projection accuracy article is coming? My keepers are due Sunday and was hoping to see it by then.

    • Thanks. Was lucky this draft was early before Moose Tacos hit a hot streak.

      Doubt it on projection accuracy. Steamer did well in the initial testing. I’d use that.

      • jbird669 says:

        @Rudy Gamble:

        Thanks Rudy. That was the plan in case it wasn’t coming out.

  4. jbird669 says:

    Also, my league hitting/pitching split the past four years averages 58/42. Do I budget near that or do I go 65/35 (my norm).

  5. Mike says:

    Our NFBC draft Mous went 14.4 If he hadn’t, he woulda gone 15.15 when I had my next chance. (Same guy poached Abreu from me at 5.12.)

    Anyway, instead of Mous, I reached for Castellanos at 14.1, figuring that he’ll play third, but have OF position eligibility too. It was a tough call though… I mean, we’ve all seen enough spring training to know that if they aren’t official, stats ain’t nothin… but… EVERYONE knew Mous was a can’t miss prospect.

    • @Mike: Was lucky to get Mous in 18th round for NFBC. Had Prado as an MI or 3B but prefer him at MI. I’m bearish on Castellanos. Feel he’s hitting 8th and his counting stats will be low.

  6. Tom Jacks

    Tom Jacks says:

    Congrats on Votto! I’m also amazed he was still there. Kipnis going 13th overall blows my mind. Also, Lake, Schierholtz, and Baez – are you sure you’re not a Cubs fan?

    • Shake N Bacon says:

      @Tom Jacks: Rotographs (Fangraphs) posted their top 300 today and Kipnis is 9th overall and Hosmer is 22nd overall. I typically like the time and effort they put into their analysis but don’t agree at all with m(any) of their rankings.

      • Lord Baldrick says:

        @Shake N Bacon: Note that those rankings were distorted by one guy, Forrest Gump, uh, Zack. Remove his column from the spreadsheet and re-sort, and you have a more useful tool for comparative use.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:

          @Lord Baldrick: Thanks for pointing that out. Altuve at 12!!!!!!!!!!!! Although, his rankings for cargo, Jones, etc are equally puzzling.

        • Shake N Bacon says:

          @Lord Baldrick: Yeah he uses some weird scoring system (z-something) and ranks his players based solely on that. No common sense really taken into account.

          • Tom Jacks

            Tom Jacks says:

            @Shake N Bacon: Gotcha. I understand using a unique scoring system, but if it’s producing results like that, it’s clear some tweaking is needed.

            • Tom’s right. Z-scores are a solid way to build a player ranking system. I think ESPN Player Rater uses this methodology as well. There are still choices one needs to make regarding position scarcity, etc, that can lead to unlimited variations. It is likely some of those choices he made that led to the unorthodox results.

      • Tom Jacks

        Tom Jacks says:

        @Shake N Bacon: Yeah I didn’t expect to see them have many of these. Longoria at 45! I couldn’t justify Kipnis at 9th if I wanted to.

    • @Tom Jacks: thanks on Votto. Not a cub fan but love Baez as a late-draft pick, find Junior Lake a very good value in late rounds this year, and Schierholtz is just a bench bat.

  7. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    Almost looks like a roster from a 12 team league. Nicely done, Rudy. If you get anything out of Moose and Hamels comes back in a month or so as his pre-injury self, this team looks like a sure-fire contender.

  8. Joe says:

    First draft of the season last night. 10 team standard 5×5 roto with 5 OF, MI and CI. Non-Keeper. I feel as though the draft went pretty well. ESPN ranks really helped drive down the value of some of players I really like. For what normally is a pretty competitive league with some money on the line, I really like my team.

    Didn’t like going 1b in the 2nd and 3rd, but I was really shocked Votto lasted that long after Prince. Joey Bats in the 5th and Segura in the 8th were also some nice surprises. Thoughts?

    C – Weiters
    1 – Prince
    2 – Altuve
    3 – Alvarez
    SS – Segura
    CI – Votto
    MI – Villar
    OF – Cargo
    OF – Joey Bats
    OF – Marte
    OF – Eaton
    OF – Cruz
    Util – Bogaerts
    Bench – Springer
    P – Strasburg
    P – Greinke
    P – Cole
    P – Wacha
    P – Salazar
    P – Josh Johnson
    P – Uhera
    P – Perkins
    P – Henderson
    Bench – Kluber
    Bench – Beachy
    Bench – Taijuan

    • Mike says:

      @Joe: like your pitching a lot, but your power/RBIs seem like they may take a hit…

    • You got some good values there. I think you have a little too much speed. I think two of Segura, Altuve, and Marte is sufficient. Ideally you could trade Marte for a hitter with more power/RBI.

      Pitching staff looks good albeit very young. I don’t know if u have a GS/IP cap or daily vs weekly roster changes but I could see swapping some bench SP for middle relievers.

      I would go to the ESPN 10 team grid in the preseason player Rater and add up the $ total for each category. That should confirm/refute my initial take in terms of balance.

  9. Mike says:

    Just noticed – this was 28 picks, we’re in 30th round… So comparison time! I drafted from the shitty wheel…

    1.15 – Ellsbury
    2.1 – Encarcion
    3.15 – Hosmer (At this point, getting another solid CI was imperative. All that were left – Rizzo, Trumbo, AGon, Abreu – were risky or had a weakness)
    4.1 – Werth (higher than most, but he contributes everywhere when healthy. And this year, those around him should be much better)
    5.15 – Salazar
    6.1 – Greg Holland
    7.15 – Wilson Ramos
    8.1 – Coco Crisp
    9.15 – Balfour
    10.1 – Sonny Gray (need to focus on high K starters because I went so offense heavy)
    11.15 – Iwakuma
    12.1 – Huston Street
    13.15 – Chris Archer (too good last year to not take a chance to see if he’s real. TB churns these guys out)
    14.1 – Castellanos (3b, w/OF elig)
    15.15 – Brett Gardner
    16.1 – Rendon
    17.15 – Chris Johnson
    18.1 – Derrick Norris
    19.15 – Gaussman (I might write him a thank you card for blowing chunks so badly last year.)
    20.1 – Baez
    21.15 – Jordy Mercer
    22.1 – Denard Span
    23.15 – Carlos Carrasco (My sleeper of the year – 2 yrs removed from TJ surgery, throwing hard)
    24.1 – Gregory Polanco
    25.15 – Jose Iglesias
    26.1 – Grady Sizemore (really hoping he send Bradley Jr back to Triple A for the year)
    27.15 – Arodys Vizcaino (I don’t think Veras holds down the job all year)
    28.1 – Kert Suzuki
    29.15 – Taylor Jordan
    30.1 – Tanner Roark

  10. Andrew A says:

    a very Razzball-y team. We are very well indoctrinated

  11. Paul H. says:

    I would be pretty happy with this team in a 12 team league let alone a 15 team one – one of the better teams I have seen as people post their drafts.

    Think Moose could actually work out – if the Royals are smart and platoon him he should have better rate stats even if his counting stats take a slight hit.

    • @Paul H.: thanks! Hopefully moose could do something vs LHP this year if not platooned.

  12. Shake N Bacon says:

    I’m liking your team Rudy. Votto coming back to you is crazy good! Looks a little light on speed, but SAGNOF…

    I got Moose late in my RCL draft. here’s hoping he doesn’t suck ass again this year!

    • Thanks. I agree speed is my worst hitting category.

      • Shake N Bacon says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Easier to makeup for speed, than trying to makeup for lack of power.

        Eaton could be a big steal guy though. When Javier Baez gets called up, your MI slot is gonna be sexy.

  13. Shake N Bacon says:

    Andrew Martinez of Rotowire had the anti-Razzball draft. Darvish, Strasburg, Kemp (1,2,3 respectively), got Rosario in the 5th. Sometimes you gotta zig while everyone zags (overused phrase) but I’m curious what his overall $ amount was.

    • It was definitely unconventional. Everyone’s $ values are different but i think it is fair to say he drafted the riskiest team.

  14. Korey says:

    Rudy, I would love your opinion on this team. I went to Grey for help last night and loved his feedback and it made me f eel much more comfortable with the big mistake that I made. The mistake? I set up a draft to take place at a new location and had no idea the fire wall wouldn’t allow me to enter the draft. I scrambled for eternity to fix it but I was stuck refreshing the draft result page, hopelessly watching the results of my pre-draft Greynkings. It could have turned out worse I think, but I know it still needs work.

    Yahoo, 12 team roto.
    C-Rosario (would have waited to draft a catcher, but oh well)
    UT-Hosmer (10 of first 11 picks were offense).
    Bench: Miller, Garcia, Frazier, Venable:( Wouldn’t have drafted four bench spots)
    SP: Moore, Gray, Corbin, Archer, Sabathia, Procello, Walker (do not like Moore or Sabathia)
    RP: Axford, Scheppers (obvious weakness here, but I think I can vulture and FA move saves).

    I would like to move Pujols or Hosmer for a SP and move Garcia into the UT spot. Drop Frazier and Venable for ‘swing’ players.

    I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. And thank you everyone who runs this site.

  15. That sounds like a good plan. I’d pick up Cody Allen ASAP to handcuff Axford too.

  16. pedsRus says:

    Hello Rudy, that’s a solid Draft it looks like you start off on the right foot. I have a question for you as well. I’m in a 12 team weekly roto league and I have been drawn the 7th pick. This is a 12 team league that uses ops but also Q’S and K/9 instead of W’s & K’s and solds (which I’m not sure I like). Would you consider Kershaw in my position? I like Brain if he is there and maybe Cargo since it is a roto. Player rater shows Tulo as a great Ops guy but I’d prefer not go with an injury prone guy with my first pick, especially since he could be there round 2… maybe not. But I’d also like to try and snag Segura in round 4 if possible. I know pitching is deep but is quality? I have tried mocks but it’s flawed for me because I am in a league with no CI or MI, only 3 ofs but 2 UTl. Any advice?

    • I’d use the Yahoo 6×6 OPS and 6×6 Holds rankings (W vs QS doesn’t change a ton). Hard to say off-hand who I’d choose. Kershaw’s value is reduced because he’s delivering only 4 of 6 cats. I imagine Votto or Davis will have nice value with the addition of OPS.

      • pedsRus says:

        @Rudy Gamble: thanks. Rudy. This is a 5×5 cats League. I’m thankful you posted the link for the commentary of picks. Not a fan of flowers’ team although he got a few razzball guys. I think I feel more confident in skipping pitching 1st round after reading that. So you think Votto or Davis over Prince at 7 overall? (Assuming he’s there) I know u went Davis in Labr at 6. Just worried some of his Thunder week get taken from him

        • I got Davis at#8 in LABR. I do like him better in non-OBP leagues than Votto and Fielder.

  17. Papajeansegura says:

    What’s the absolute latest you’d grab a #1 SP for your team, and do you think Gio is good enough to be the ace of my squad, considering I plan to grab all sluggers for the first 4-5 rounds?

  18. Hawks Fan says:

    Hey Rudy, do you prefer daily leagues or weekly leagues? And why do you prefer whichever you chose? Thanks

    • I find daily leagues a bit exhausting – requires constant moves in order to win/compete. Could only handle 1-2 of those. So I play more weekly leagues.

  19. de nachos says:

    Mil gracias for including the link to the kffl draft (autocorrects to KFC btw). Are there comments on the picks through round 28 *quickly checks* oh goodness there are. Looks like I will be doing zero real work this morning. I like your D Robertson – do you have a guess on Kelley or Thornton as a better handcuff?

    • de nachos says:

      @de nachos: and in real baseball phils fandom I appreciate your optimism on Hamels – especially seeing how site faves Homer, Cobb, and Teheran went later. This draft is great.

    • I’d go with Kelley as the (weak) handcuff since he’s a RHP. Robertson should get a lot of rope.

      • de nachos says:

        @Rudy Gamble: agreed it’s very weak. Robertson has shown he can pitch in NY. for a deep league, would you rank closers-in-waiting in this order
        2. Bastardo
        3. Kelley

        Or flip 1 – 2? I wonder how prickly Sandberg is going to be his first full year as skipper.

        • I agree w/ Casilla first given Romo’s fragility. Bastardo and Kelley are coin flips since both Papelbon and Robertson are relatively safe and B&K are career middle relievers (as opposed to ex-closers or prospects with high potential).

  20. Pjr says:

    I have the second pick in a h2h 12 team espn.
    I think I should pick up a stud pitcher on one of the 22 of 24 picks on the way back around. U agree?

    • If darvish is there, yes. I don’t like Strasburg or wainwright enough to draft them that early

  21. Dani says:

    Can you rank these 3B for a standard league:


      • Dani says:

        @Rudy Gamble:

        Thanks! Pujols or J Upton (position doesn’t matter)? Is it close?

        • @Dani: Definitely close. I like J-Up more – both b/c of the Steamer projections but also less injury risk. But their ADP has been about the same this preseason.

          • Dani says:

            @Rudy Gamble: Thanks, one more! Puig or Harper? Close?

            • I’d take Harper over Puig (contradicting my Steamer- based $) because I think he has less downside.

Comments are closed.