Hum that title to Ted Nugent, because I do indeed have Strat fever.
That is because the 2011 MWest League Strat-O-Matic draft has begun.
As I have noted before, this is as deep a league as one can imagine, with 30 teams, and usage rules, making guys like Humberto Quintero--who is good defensively--a valuable roster commodity.
In fact, one of the things that makes or breaks a team is bench strength. Meaning, to have a successful team first, one must have everyday players at all position spots, one must have at least four strong starting pitchers, one must have a bench, and a pen to support the closer. Just like on an MLB team!
So, in addition to Quintero, having Joe Dillon and Ramon Troncoso to support those starters is also essential. And though my team won 90 games last year, I knew in June we did not have enough of a bench. We had no speed, or defense in the infield or outfield, let alone a solid on-base percentage guy as a pinch hitter. Winning without these things is nearly impossible.
When it became clear last season that I could not make the run, I traded Jermaine Dye, Wandy Rodriguez, Tyler Clippard, and Carlos Ruiz for a couple of first round picks this year. Because I did see that 2011 was going to be a good year for prospects.
As part of those trades, with a couple of teams, I also wrangled Bill Hall, Vicente Padilla, and Andruw Jones, and during the off-season, Padilla was paired with James McDonald in exchange for Jeff Niemann.
So, going into that draft, which just started, I have the 11th, 15th, and 16th selections, along with the 27th pick, so in theory, I should be able to nab a first baseman, a catcher, a pitcher, and an outfielder to augment what is already a pretty good team.
With Jason Heyward going first, and Buster Posey second--for the league is divided into National and American, and now we are in the National League draft--I feel good that I can indeed fill all those spots with good players for 2011, and prospects for the future.
Meaning that with Hall and Andruw and Quintero, I will also have some bench.
And we all know what that means.