Yesterday, I was anxiously awaiting the start of my MWest Strat League Rookie Draft, something I had been planning for since I started trading for 2011 picks last June, when I realized two things.
First, my team was not deep enough to win. Close, as my 90-72 mark suggests, but not close enough. Second, it was apparent even that early that 2011was going to be a terrific year for prospects, and now was the time to grab a starting pitcher, a first baseman, and outfielder, and hopefully a catcher, putting my already somewhat young squad on a solid contention path for the next several years.
I have to say it was tough. First, Prince Fielder was dangled before me, for one of my picks and something. Then division-mate Jim Capuano offered me Albert Pujols for my three first round picks. And believe me, having a team with Albert and Hanley Ramirez, along with Ryan Zimmerman in the infield was more than tempting.
But, in the end, I waited so long to execute the plan--and my planning was right, for the players I coveted have pretty much fallen to me by now--that I felt obligated to see my vision and patience through. And, one of the keys to a 30-team league like the MWest League is depth. A good team will beat a team with a hole or two, more often than not.
So, now with the first round--and this is the NL only portion of the draft, the AL will commence once we have finished, in a week or so--under our belts, I did indeed get my pitcher, first sacker, and outfielder.
The down surprise is that Madison Bumgarner went #7, and Daniel Hudson was selected with the #9 pick, so I settled for Jhoulys Chacin, with my first choice (#11), knowing that I selected next with numbers 15 and 16, so, unless the universe collapsed, I would likely end up with a couple of players I coveted.
As it is, with pick #15 I took Jose Tabata, and with the next selection, Ike Davis. This latter pick was a little tough, as Gaby Sanchez was still available when I picked, but I went with youth, and a guy who does not have Logan Morrison breathing down his neck (Morrison actually went #14). Sanchez did go #17 to start the second round.
So, one more spot to fill. As it stands, this is how Round 1 looked:
- Jason Heyward
- Buster Posey
- Starlin Castro
- Stephen Strasburg
- Mike Stanton
- Pedro Alvarez
- Madison Bumgarner
- Mike Leake
- Daniel Hudson
- Domonic Brown
- Jhoulys Chacin
- Jaime Garcia
- Jonny Venters
- Logan Morrison
- Jose Tabata
- Ike Davis
Now, all the guys have to do is play! Oh yes, and finish the draft.