In a few hours, probably my most gruelling draft begins.
That would be the Murphy Scoresheet draft, whereby 24 teams will flesh out their squads with roughly 29 rounds of picks.
At least for me it will be 29, though for some of the squads with derelict freeze lists, it could be more, for in the league we are allowed up to eight keepers each year, though owners can keep fewer players. However, that is considered a "soft eight" as before the real draft begins, the teams with our first full round--that would be round 9--there are 12 picks to be made by a handful of squads bringing everyone up to that eight number.
But, 29 rounds times 24 teams is a lot of guys (696 to be exact) and since we are spread all over the planet--though headquartered in Davis, where coincidentally Diane is slamming her way towards Veterinary School and where draft control center central will be engaged later today--it takes while.
As in we are starting around 11 AM, Pacific Time, and will end around eight hours later.
Making things more interesting for me, having finished second overall last year (sigh, I lost in the World Series) I pick 23rd which means 214 players will be gone by the time I get my first pick, although to be fair, I froze eight of those 214.
And, I froze a pretty good eight:
- 1B-Albert Pujols
- 2B-Jemile Weeks
- 3B-Mike Moustakas
- SS-Erick Aybar
- OF-Alex Gordon
- SP-Roy Halladay
- SP-Clayton Kershaw
- SP-Shaun Marcum
I will say that Scoresheet is a league where having as many strong starting pitchers as one can get his or her hands upon will have the advantage more times than not. And, I dropped Josh Collmenter, Dillon Gee, Zach Britton, and Carl Pavano, and while these are not primo starters, Collmenter, Britton, and Gee all had solid enough rookie seasons--though up and down--keeping at least one of them would have been a nice luxury.
And, laugh if you will at Pavano, but he now has three years of 200 inning seasons in a row and in a league where each team must run a five-man rotation (that is 120 starters) as a fifth starter, Pavano is just fine. Still, I doubt I will wind up with him because of how I want to approach my draft this time. I also released Drew Storen because I can get a good closer back, and in the Scoresheet format, such a retention is not prudent.
On the hitting side, in addition to Gardner, Cuddy, and Young, I also cut loose Gordon Beckham, Kurt Suzuki which hurt for a couple of reasons. First, I traded Max Scherzer for Beckham last year and he did not do what he was supposed to (ok, what I thought he would). I traded for Suzuki a couple of years ago thinking he was on the rise and would be for a few years, anchoring my backstop spot.
So, now I have to replenish my stock.
Now, I did think hard about freezing Young and Moustakas over Aybar, but shortstop is lean in such a league, and I am not sure Young can repeat his excellent 2011 (though I hope he does: he is a player and I like him), and, well, it is fun to keep a few prospects like Moose, but Aybar has some upside for sure, and is certainly good enough (and defense does count) and now my infield is covered.
Meaning I need a catcher, two flychasers, and two more starters as prime targets.
So, I am going to take pitchers first with my first pick (#23) and second (#26). And then I am taking a catcher and an oufielder with my next picks 45 and 48 selections later (this last pick will be #266 of the soiree) because, as you can see, things get very lean, very fast.
Of course should a really outstanding player still be hanging out there--like I grabbed Gardner last year I think in the 11th round, surprised the Yankee flychaser was not already gone--I will adjust.
But, the prime directive in such a draft and league if you plan on contending must always be to fill the best possible roster of everyday players as you can as quickly as possible.
Then shoot for the prospects and crap shoots.
Which is the plan for there are always some pretty good youngin's out there by round 20 or 25, by which time my core will be set.
By the way, starting this off-season we can freeze one additional player--a prospect--which is a nice wrinkle.
Keep an eye on the comments and I will post my team by Sunday morning and we can see how it all worked out.