Sunday was draft day D-day for the 14 managers taking part in the 2011 BaseballGB fantasy league.
Here’s a recap of our managers did in the first half of the draft.
|1.||Albert Pujols (StL – 1B)||daebhid2|
|2.||Roy Halladay (Phi – SP)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|3.||Hanley RamÃrez (Fla – SS)||Iron Men|
|4.||Miguel Cabrera (Det – 1B)||SWAT*|
|5.||Evan Longoria (TB – 3B)||The Wright S…|
|6.||Carlos GonzÃ¡lez (Col – CF)||Bonestalkers|
|7.||Troy Tulowitzki (Col – SS)||The Cheddar …|
|8.||Joey Votto (Cin – 1B)||Pretzel Vendors|
|9.||Mike Stanton (Fla – OF)||Redbacks|
|10.||Ryan Braun (Mil – OF)||Weston-Super…|
|11.||Robinson CanÃ³ (NYY – 2B)||BD Yankees|
|12.||AdriÃ¡n GonzÃ¡lez (Bos – 1B)||stevenston a…|
|13.||David Wright (NYM – 3B)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|14.||Carl Crawford (Bos – OF)||Orpington Is…|
My first thought on entering the live draft with just under half an hour before the first pick was “not again!” For the second year running I found myself picking 14th out of 14. At least it proves this league is not a fix!Â
I had done three mock drafts in preparation, one where I picked 3rd out of 12 (the maximum number of teams Yahoo allows in a mock), another where I picked 6th and another in 11th.
Clutching the latter draft’s results I began looking at how I’d done and trying to work out who would be available for my first two picks. It was looking like I’d be left with a choice of corner infielders, with (possibly) Wright, A-Rod, Howard, Prince Fielder and Ryan Zimmerman likely to be available, so I planned to pick a 3B and a 1B barring any first round surprises.
Dave picked first and went for Pujols, no surprise. But Margaret thew us a curveball by opting for Roy Halladay with the second pick rather than taking Hanley Ramirez. I’ve personally never been a fan of taking a pitcher in the first two rounds, but if you are going to do it, Doc is your man.
Iron Men wasted no time in snapping up Ramirez, with the Cabrera, Longoria, CarGo, Tulo and Votto all following.
Redbacks caused a major surprise by opting for Mike Stanton with the first pick. Stanton has huge potential, but to see him go 9th overall was a huge surprise. I wouldn’t have a problem in gambling on him in the fifth or sixth round, but here was far too early for my liking.
But I wasn’t going to complain, as the two surprise picks meant I would have two extra hitters to choose from.
Braun went next, followed by Cano and Adrian, all of whom are great value here. Would I be left with Wright or Crawford?
JJ’s choice of Wright makes my mind up for me, as I nab Crawford with my first pick.
|1.||Ãlex RodrÃguez (NYY – 3B)||Orpington Is…|
|2.||Chase Utley (Phi – 2B)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|3.||Ryan Zimmerman (Was – 3B)||stevenston a…|
|4.||FÃ©lix HernÃ¡ndez (Sea – SP)||BD Yankees|
|5.||Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)||Weston-Super…|
|6.||Joe Mauer (Min – C)||Redbacks|
|7.||Dustin Pedroia (Bos – 2B)||Pretzel Vendors|
|8.||Josh Hamilton (Tex – CF)||The Cheddar …|
|9.||B.J. Upton (TB – CF)||Bonestalkers|
|10.||Mark Teixeira (NYY – 1B)||The Wright S…|
|11.||Buster Posey (SF – C,1B)||SWAT*|
|12.||Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B)||Iron Men|
|13.||Tim Lincecum (SF – SP)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|14.||Jon Lester (Bos – SP)||daebhid2|
Weighing up the 1B and 3B options forÂ the start of round two, I decide to go for A Rod due to concerns about how much protection Howard will get behind him in the Phillie line-up.
With 26 picks before my next two turns, I was hoping to grab a hitter and an ace, as I feared if I waited until rounds 5 and 6 my top pitching targets would have already gone. I was hoping for Adam Dunn and one of Lester, Lee or Sabathia.
No surprise to see Utley (sore knee and all), Howard, Zimmerman, Hamilton and Teixeira join Fielder in being picked in round two, although the Yankees went for an ace early with King Felix (could this happen in MLB?), Redbacks opted for Mauer and SWAT drafted Posey.
After already picking Halladay, Margaret followed it up with Linceum, giving a formidable 1-2 punch in her rotation but no star hitters as yet. Another pitcher, Lester, went with the next pick.
|1.||Adam Dunn (CWS – 1B)||daebhid2|
|2.||Kevin Youkilis (Bos – 1B)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|3.||Ian Kinsler (Tex – 2B)||Iron Men|
|4.||Shin-Soo Choo (Cle – OF)||SWAT*|
|5.||Matt Holliday (StL – OF)||The Wright S…|
|6.||JosÃ© Reyes (NYM – SS)||Bonestalkers|
|7.||Dan Uggla (Atl – 2B)||The Cheddar …|
|8.||Nelson Cruz (Tex – OF)||Pretzel Vendors|
|9.||Josh Johnson (Fla – SP)||Redbacks|
|10.||Matt Kemp (LAD – CF)||Weston-Super…|
|11.||Justin Upton (Ari – OF)||BD Yankees|
|12.||Cliff Lee (Phi – SP)||stevenston a…|
|13.||CC Sabathia (NYY – SP)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|14.||Clayton Kershaw (LAD – SP)||Orpington Is|
Dave managed a double of my targets by nabbing Dunn at the start of round three, which could pay dividends if Dunn’s power works as well at the White Sox’s ballpark, which I really think it will. Margaret takes her first hitter with Youk and Iron Men and SWAT go for the speed/power combos of Kinsler and Choo respectively.
That means Holliday falls to the Stuff, who have now drafted three excellent hitters in a row. Reyes goes before Matt Kemp, which is a bit of a surprise, and my other possible hitter targets of Uggla and Cruz also vanish before the Angels opt for Cliff Lee, which is a pick I like a lot but wish he hadn’t made! Sabathia then goes with the next pick, sending me into a panic.
With no hitters around who I am overly keen on (McCutchen, Ichiro and Ellsbury aren’t a priority as I have Crawford’s speed and I’m not sure about Bautista repeating a big year) I consider reaching down the draft for a hitter by decide it’s hard to pass up on the remaining pitching options.
I decide to take Kershaw …
|1.||Ubaldo JimÃ©nez (Col – SP)||Orpington Is…|
|2.||David Price (TB – SP)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|3.||JosÃ© Bautista (Tor – 3B,OF)||stevenston a…|
|4.||Jason Heyward (Atl – OF)||BD Yankees|
|5.||Andrew McCutchen (Pit – CF)||Weston-Super…|
|6.||Ichiro Suzuki (Sea – OF)||Redbacks|
|7.||Justin Verlander (Det – SP)||Pretzel Vendors|
|8.||VÃctor MartÃnez (Det – C,1B)||The Cheddar …|
|9.||Rickie Weeks (Mil – 2B)||Bonestalkers|
|10.||Brandon Phillips (Cin – 2B)||The Wright S…|
|11.||Jayson Werth (Was – CF)||SWAT*|
|12.||Ãlex RÃos (CWS – CF)||Iron Men|
|13.||Andre Ethier (LAD – OF)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|14.||Brian McCann (Atl – C)||daebhid2|
… and I follow it up with Ubaldo. I now look ahead for my next picks and aim to fill SS and CF with hopefully a combination of Alexei Ramirez and one of Werth or Rios.
SWAT and Iron Men soon put paid to that, taking my CF targets with successive picks.
|1.||Jacoby Ellsbury (Bos – CF)||daebhid2|
|2.||MartÃn Prado (Atl – 2B,3B)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|3.||Jay Bruce (Cin – OF)||Iron Men|
|4.||Carlos MÃ¡rmol (ChC – RP)||SWAT*|
|5.||Cole Hamels (Phi – SP)||The Wright S…|
|6.||Michael Young (Tex – 3B)||Bonestalkers|
|7.||Zack Greinke (Mil – SP)||The Cheddar …|
|8.||AdriÃ¡n BÃ©ltre (Tex – 3B)||Pretzel Vendors|
|9.||Jonathan Papelbon (Bos – RP)||Redbacks|
|10.||Jimmy Rollins (Phi – SS)||Weston-Super…|
|11.||Mariano Rivera (NYY – RP)||BD Yankees|
|12.||Alexei RamÃrez (CWS – SS)||stevenston a…|
|13.||Paul Konerko (CWS – 1B)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|14.||Hunter Pence (Hou – OF)||Orpington Is…|
Dave follows his McCann pick with Ellsbury, who I think is excellent value here. Prado went very early, and Iron Men add another high quality outfielder in Bruce.
SWAT take the first closer with Marmol, and the Stuff take Hamels, who again is excellent value here, as is Greinke for the Chasers. Even if Zack misses a couple of weeks, he’s definitely worth taking here.
Two more closers go in Papelbon and Rivera, as well as two shortstops in Rollins and (dammit!) Ramirez.
With fallback option Konerko also off the board, I decide not to take a SS or CF for the sake of it (although I was tempted with Stubbs) and add to my outfield with Pence, who still doesn’t get the attention he deserves.
|1.||Justin Morneau (Min – 1B)||Orpington Is…|
|2.||Derek Jeter (NYY – SS)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|3.||Tommy Hanson (Atl – SP)||stevenston a…|
|4.||Pedro Alvarez (Pit – 3B)||BD Yankees|
|5.||Carlos Santana (Cle – C)||Weston-Super…|
|6.||Michael Cuddyer (Min – 1B,3B,OF)||Redbacks|
|7.||Brian Wilson (SF – RP)||Pretzel Vendors|
|8.||Drew Stubbs (Cin – CF)||The Cheddar …|
|9.||Mat Latos (SD – SP)||Bonestalkers|
|10.||Francisco Liriano (Min – SP)||The Wright S…|
|11.||Joakim Soria (KC – RP)||SWAT*|
|12.||Jered Weaver (LAA – SP)||Iron Men|
|13.||Heath Bell (SD – RP)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|14.||Roy Oswalt (Phi – SP)||daebhid2|
Still needing a 1B and not wanting to take any more pitching just yet, I cross my fingers and take Morneau, hoping he can recover from his concussion problems and have an MVP-type year again. It’s a risk, but one I feel is worth taking at this point.
Planning ahead, I’m crossing my fingers for Stephen Drew and Stubbs or Colby Rasmus to fill SS and CF with my next two picks.
This round sees eight pitchers taken, including three closers. I’m not sure how Latos will rebound after a lot of innings for the Padres, but he could work out well for Bonestalkers, while the Stuff, Iron Men and Daebhid2 should be very happy with Liriano, Weaver and Oswalt here.
No Stubbs for me, as the Chasers snap him up, and Redbacks make the strangest choice of the round with Cuddyer.
I like Cuddyer and he has additional positional versatility this year with 3B as well as 1B and OF. As a second half pick he’d be fine, but not this early for me.
|1.||Mark Reynolds (Bal – 3B)||daebhid2|
|2.||Corey Hart (Mil – OF)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|3.||Billy Butler (KC – 1B)||Iron Men|
|4.||Yovani Gallardo (Mil – SP)||SWAT*|
|5.||Chris Young (Ari – CF)||The Wright S…|
|6.||Mike Napoli (Tex – C,1B)||Bonestalkers|
|7.||Neftali Feliz (Tex – RP)||The Cheddar …|
|8.||Stephen Drew (Ari – SS)||Pretzel Vendors|
|9.||Elvis Andrus (Tex – SS)||Redbacks|
|10.||Aramis RamÃrez (ChC – 3B)||Weston-Super…|
|11.||Matt Cain (SF – SP)||BD Yankees|
|12.||Max Scherzer (Det – SP)||stevenston a…|
|13.||Juan Pierre (CWS – OF)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|14.||Kendrys Morales (LAA – 1B)||Orpington Is…|
Reynolds leads off round 7, with Dave betting on him using his power stroke to good effect at Camden Yards, while Margaret goes for Hart’s power/speed combo.
SWAT snap up Gallardo whiloe the Vendors scupper my plans by taking Drew, with Andrus going the next pick, leaving me to worry about SS.
When my turn comes around Kendrys Morales is the top rated hitter available. The other managers will have been put off by his injury, but with the 98th overall pick I figure if I’m gambling on Morneau I may as well gamble on Kendrys too.
|1.||Chris Carpenter (StL – SP)||Orpington Is…|
|2.||Michael Bourn (Hou – CF)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|3.||Delmon Young (Min – OF)||stevenston a…|
|4.||Curtis Granderson (NYY – CF)||BD Yankees|
|5.||Shane Victorino (Phi – CF)||Weston-Super…|
|6.||Carlos Lee (Hou – 1B,OF)||Redbacks|
|7.||Nick Markakis (Bal – OF)||Pretzel Vendors|
|8.||Pablo Sandoval (SF – 1B,3B)||The Cheddar …|
|9.||J.J. Putz (Ari – RP)||Bonestalkers|
|10.||Dan Haren (LAA – SP)||The Wright S…|
|11.||Gordon Beckham (CWS – 2B)||SWAT*|
|12.||Casey McGehee (Mil – 3B)||Iron Men|
|13.||Colby Rasmus (StL – CF)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|14.||Brett Gardner (NYY – CF)||daebhid2|
I agonised over my pick for round eight, as even though Rasmus was still there, I wasn’t expecting Carpenter to still be available. I already have Kershaw and Ubaldo at the top of my rotation, so I probably don’t NEED Carpenter and probably should be filling CF or SS instead. But with an ace sitting there asking to be drafted, I decide it would be rude not to.
I take Carp and decide to wait on a CF, only to see five go in this round alone!
Carlos Lee and Sandoval are definitely worth a shot here for Redbacks and the Chasers, while the Stuff snap up Haren. Rasmus goes to Margaret, causing a little buyer’s remorse about Carpenter, but I honestly wasn’t expecting Rasmus to make it back to me.
|1.||Chone Figgins (Sea – 2B)||daebhid2|
|2.||Rafael Furcal (LAD – SS)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|3.||Shaun Marcum (Mil – SP)||Iron Men|
|4.||Starlin Castro (ChC – SS)||SWAT*|
|5.||Chad Billingsley (LAD – SP)||The Wright S…|
|6.||Ben Zobrist (TB – 1B,2B,CF)||Bonestalkers|
|7.||Carlos PeÃ±a (ChC – 1B)||The Cheddar …|
|8.||Brian Roberts (Bal – 2B)||Pretzel Vendors|
|9.||Scott Rolen (Cin – 3B)||Redbacks|
|10.||Kelly Johnson (Ari – 2B)||Weston-Super…|
|11.||Ian Desmond (Was – SS)||BD Yankees|
|12.||Matt Wieters (Bal – C)||stevenston a…|
|13.||Clay Buchholz (Bos – SP)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|14.||Grady Sizemore (Cle – CF)||Orpington Is…|
Dave decides for a speedy double with Gardner and Figgins while my wait for a SS takes three more hits as Furcal, Castro and Desmond all go.
The Super-Sox take Kelly Johnson’s power at 2B, so that’s no longer an option either.
Knowing I have to take a CF or SS this time or risk leaving myself in deep trouble at two positions, I cross my fingers and hope Sizemore can get back to his best after an injury-ravaged season last year.
The pick of the round here might well be JJ with Buchholz, who I think can be a serious Cy Young contender this year.
|1.||Andrew Bailey (Oak – RP)||Orpington Is…|
|2.||Jonathan SÃ¡nchez (SF – SP)||Beck ‘Nams (GB)|
|3.||Howie Kendrick (LAA – 1B,2B)||stevenston a…|
|4.||Rafael Soriano (NYY – RP)||BD Yankees|
|5.||Brandon Morrow (Tor – SP)||Weston-Super…|
|6.||Torii Hunter (LAA – CF)||Redbacks|
|7.||Vladimir Guerrero (Bal – OF)||Pretzel Vendors|
|8.||Gio GonzÃ¡lez (Oak – SP)||The Cheddar …|
|9.||Bobby Abreu (LAA – OF)||Bonestalkers|
|10.||Francisco RodrÃguez (NYM – RP)||The Wright S…|
|11.||Nick Swisher (NYY – OF)||SWAT*|
|12.||Carlos Quentin (CWS – OF)||Iron Men|
|13.||Geovany Soto (ChC – C)||Okajima’s Fi…|
|14.||Phil Hughes (NYY – SP)||daebhid2|
Aside from needing a SS, my other gap at this point is saves. Having avoided drafting relievers until this point or slightly later in the mocks, I decide I’d better take a closer here as I didn’t want my options to narrow before rounds 11 and 12.
I decide to go for Bailey, who has had a few injuries (as was proved with the worrying news on an elbow exam a few days later!) but also very impressive numbers.
I promise myself I’ll make a start on sorting out my middle infield with my next pick – Aaron Hill could be the best option.
Two more relievers go this round, although Soriano going this early was a surprise considering he’ll only get saves if Rivera gets hurt or needs a rest.
I like the Vendors’ pick of Guerrero here, and Phil Hughes is a very smart choice here at the halfway point of the draft.
So with 10 rounds down and 10 to go I have two stud hitters, a trio of aces, a solid outfielder, three players hoping to rebound from injury and a closer.
But I still need to fill the gaping hole at SS and 2B.
What happened in the second half of the draft? Find out how Rounds 11 to 20 went, alongside Markâ€™s analysis of the 14 teamsâ€™ final rosters, on Thursday.