That’s right folks, we’re doing an expert league from the NFBC with the D-O-double-jay in the LBC while AFK and whatever other acronyms you can think of. ALL THE ACRONYMS. So while I’m sippin’ some gin n’ juice, with literally no money on my mind and my mind in desperate search of money, I decided to summarize this expert draft for mass consumption. [Insert my usual statement on how I generally prefer “writers” over the term “experts”, mostly because I’ve never considered myself an expert at anything in life, here.] And don’t worry, we won’t spread this series out too much, I think we’ll focus this post on the first five rounds, then in a future post all the middle rounds, and then we’ll follow up with one final review, focusing on the late-round sleepers and trying not to draft Domonic Brown by mistake. Life goals! Now, for those unfamiliar with the NFBC, it’s your general Roto 5×5 setup with two catchers, 1,000 innings pitcher minimum, and 15 total teams with their world famous marathon drafts that have their own bicentennial celebration midway. For this specific league, I’ll be representing Razzball among other industry stalwarts like Dalton Del Don, Andy Singleton, and Bret Sayre among many other talented fantasy writers. And so, here are how the first five rounds went…
|1||1||Acuna Jr., Ronald||OF||Kaltenbach|
|1||4||Betts, Mookie||OF||Razzball Jay|
|1||6||deGrom, Jacob||P||Categorical Imperative|
|1||11||Scherzer, Max||P||Del Don|
I had hoped that one of Mike Trout or Christian Yelich might some how fall to my spot, but I can’t complain about netting Mookie Betts. Truth of the matter is, I’m probably one of countless in this regard, but before pulling the trigger, I did try to convince myself to perhaps go with a pitcher (Jacob DeGrom was the most likely candidate and went just two picks later) or even Trea Turner, who I’ve been a big fan of starting with the Padres and now the Nationals. (It’s almost the double-whammy here, me being a dude that grew up in the Whale’s Vagina and now living in D.C.) But alas, common sense took over and while my first round pick isn’t the bravest, it’s certainly not the riskiest in comparison to other peer selections.
|2||18||Tatis Jr., Fernando||MI||Notoriouskro|
|2||20||Sale, Chris||P||Del Don|
|2||25||Devers, Rafael||3B||Categorical Imperative|
|2||27||Rendon, Anthony||3B||Razzball Jay|
I wouldn’t say there were any huge surprises in Round 2. I’m generally a bit hesitant drafting pitchers if I miss out on the very top tier, and while that tier has grown since the days of it being an island of Clayton Kershaw, I just feel a little uneasy using my first two picks on someone like Justin Verlander (Round 1) or Stephen Strasburg (Round 2), which is exactly what led me to grabbing Anthony Rendon. I appreciate the production from a corner position, and with the players already taken off the board, he made a lot of sense with my next selection just seven picks away.
|3||34||Marte, Ketel||2B||Razzball Jay|
|3||36||Albies, Ozzie||2B||Categorical Imperative|
|3||41||Altuve, Jose||2B||Del Don|
Whether a deliberate strategy or not, you’ll generally see teams begin to reach at around this point. Not huge reaches mind you, we won’t be seeing Khris Davis drafted anytime soon (barring a stroke and my head collapsing on the keyboard), but the question becomes this: “If I don’t grab this particular player now, will they still be there when I pick again?” You shouldn’t really care in the first couple of rounds, after all, whomever lands in your lap will generally be good-to-great and will anchor your team irregardless of who exactly that is, but obviously as the draft goes on, this pool gets shallower and your selections are based more on your own analysis and strategy than the best player available. That’s a long way of saying that I might have grabbed Ketel Marte a bit early, but as you can tell here, I’m a big believer, and he most certainly was going to be grabbed before the fourth round. For what it’s worth, I had considered taking Patrick Corbin so as not to go pitcher-less, but it just didn’t feel right. Also, if Aaron Judge had fallen, I most likely would have drafted him instead of Marte, so maybe it’s fate! (Queue next Terminator movie.)
|4||50||Robles, Victor||OF||Del Don|
|4||55||Springer, George||OF||Categorical Imperative|
|4||57||Guerrero Jr., Vladimir||CI||Razzball Jay|
A lot of interesting picks this round and let me tell ya, I would have loved to grab Manny Machado this late, but that ended up a fool’s errand with such a late position this round, but I’m a bit sad that I was just one pick away from landing Giancarlo Stanton as well. (Interestingly enough, this sadness isn’t rooted in any analysis or particular belief, I’ve just never had him on a team his entire career and it would have been nice to land him finally.) That being said, I’m definitely not disappointed in netting Vladimir Guerrero Jr., though it’s a fair argument to say that stacking 3B on a team isn’t the most efficient alignment.
|5||64||Soler, Jorge||OF||Razzball Jay|
|5||66||Syndergaard, Noah||P||Categorical Imperative|
|5||71||Moncada, Yoan||3B||Del Don|
Well, if you needed to know which side I’m on the fence of when it comes to Solar power, just look at the science! In terms of Jorge Soler, yeah, I think the power is real and I don’t mind grabbing him here. Looking at the groupings of players available at the time, I had considered Noah Syndergaard and even Bo Bichette to shore up my SS slot, I even wanted Tommy Pham too! But alas, I liked grabbing him here, solidified by the fact that I’m a believer and would not have a chance to grab him again.
So those are the first five rounds, and depending on how many millennia it takes to finish this draft, I’ll be covering the mid-portions and dive deep into the part of the draft that can make or break teams.
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong, or read his rarely (like never) updated blog Desultory Thoughts of a Longfellow.