After viewing what seemed to be a grueling American League LABR auction on Saturday, I hoped I was prepared for an equally taxing National League conclave Sunday night.
The thing that I thought made the American League so tough was the number of players who went for between $11-$22, meaning money was spread around throughout the draft and that makes controlling the board at any moment so much more difficult. But, the NL was somewhat more true to form, not that this means the draft was easy.
It means more that there was more a confluence of strategies as opposed to 11 guys all essentially gunning for the same basic construct which begs intensity throughout. And, if you have been through a draft or auction, there is already an inherent amount of intensity without all the owners being locked in a sort of Spaghetti Western Mexican standoff.
I guess I caused a bit of consternation to begin the draft by not plucking anyone until the #43 player nominated in Sergio Romo, whom I grabbed for $19. But, it did not take me long to then catch up with the rest of the league in filling out my roster. But, the reality is there are a lot of players and being patient and letting some money fall before jumping in is something that works well for me. But, the main thing is to be careful not to wait and let too much power fall away, something I did last year with less than stellar results.
I did accomplish my basic goals:
- -get as many everyday players as possible
- -focus on strikeouts with my pitchers,
- -make sure I have a core of power for offense
- -try not to spend more than $30 on a single player
I did wind up with 12 of 23 players I picked on my mythical lineup, and I got all the players I targeted on my Leading into LABR piece published Saturday, generally getting guys around my projected cost. So, here are the results (comments welcome!):
- C A.J. Ellis ($8): I projected $6 so that is a cost totally within reason for a starting backstop with a pretty good eye on what seems to be a good team.
- C Kurt Suzuki ($5): I had hoped to cop Hector Sanchez late in the draft for a couple of bucks, and might have goofed when I let him pass in the first round for just $3. But, I was trying to hold out on spending to gain some control and Suzuki on a good team is OK with me.
- 1B Ike Davis ($25): Davis was my second offensive player and he cost more than the $17 I projected, but I had the money, and again, did not want to be caught flat with no power. Freddie Freeman went right before at $25 as well, so I felt fine with this purchase.
- 2B Marco Scutaro ($12): I had hoped to bag Mark Ellis for $6, which is exactly what he cost, but somehow was caught flatfooted after nominating the Dodger second sacker in the second round (he went for $6). Again, I just was not ready to spend yet, hoping to rattle my opponents in whatever way I could by simply bidding, but not closing the deal (that cuts a lot of ways).
- 3B Ryan Zimmerman ($29): Targeted Zimmerman at $27, and he was my first offensive player and I hope part of the core of my offense and power. I think he is primed for a big, and hopefully healthy year.
- SS Dee Gordon ($9): He cost a lot more than the $2 I imagined, but Gordon brings speed and I think he will wind up playing short with Hanley moving back to third. I also think he will swipe 20-plus bags.
- MI Brandon Crawford ($2): I nominated Crawford at $2 and got the crickets I wanted. He has a full-time job and it should not be that tough for Crawford to earn his money back for me.
- CI Logan Morrison ($9): Potential 20-homer power for $9 is a pretty good deal. Might give some outfield flexibility too.
- OF Andre Ethier ($17): Target was $14 so this is fine. No question Ethier can rake, and on the Dodgers he should have a solid offensive year.
- OF Carl Crawford ($13): Clearly a gamble, and Crawford could make or break my season. But, he is obviously capable of solid production all around, and I am hoping he has something to prove. A rebound could win it for me.
- OF Matt Carpenter ($6): No question Carpenter can hit, and I am hoping for a .280-15-65 line from him. Because the Cards tend to be brittle, that suggests 400-plus at-bats, and like Morrison, Carpenter has some flexibility, playing first, third, and the outfield.
- OF Chone Figgins ($1): I was down to $1 players, and I really wanted Collin Cowgill or Darin Ruf in this spot, but they went for more than I had. Still, Figgins will probably get to play and again he does not have to do much to earn a profit. He also plays all over. The question is can he hit anymore? And, if he can run, he will help.
- UT Andres Torres ($6): I like the Giants outfielder and though his average is a little low, he has the speed I want.
- SP Jordan Zimmermann ($19): I targeted Zimmermann at $19, so was happy with this. How can you not like the guy?
- SP Gio Gonzalez ($19): I was not really thinking Gio would wind up on my team, but as he proved last year, when he is on, he has deadly stuff. Plus, I think the Nats are going to have a big year and both Gio and the Zimmermans will be at the center.
- SP Homer Bailey ($9): Again, was not planning on picking up Bailey, but he had a solid second half and I think he is there. For $9 I could not let the gamble get by me.
- SP Matt Harvey ($14): Targeted at $9, Harvey was a little expensive for me, but he has such great tools and his first splash in 2012 was so solid I liked the gamble.
- SP Trevor Rosenthal ($6): Again, a little more than anticipated, but because I waited, and did not spend too much on a single player, spreading my dollars around let me assemble a roster with more fluidity. Rosenthal is certainly no secret. I love the guy and think he will emerge this year as the best young arm on the Cards.
- SP Nathan Eovaldi ($1): Got him for what I wanted as my last pitcher when I had a buck to spend. Great potential upside. Just give me some innings and whiffs and try not to get killed in the ERA and WHIP universe.
- RP Sergio Romo ($19): Romo cost me a buck more than I hoped, but that is nothing. As a full-time closer, he should deliver the save, whiff, and ratio goods.
- RP Steve Cishek ($13): A second closer on the relative cheap, I am plenty happy to have him backing Romo.
- RP Luke Gregerson ($5): Among the best setup guys in the league the last few years, he can step in if Street is derailed.
- RES Steve Lombardozzi: Again, flexible position eligibility and some pop off the bench on that good Nats squad.
- RES Jacob Turner: A top pick who did well after being traded to the Fish last year. Sure, his team is not so great, but the potential is there and as a reserve pick this is the perfect gamble.
- RES Josh Collmenter: Up and down, but as a reserve pick I am fine with Collmenter. He did have a solid second half last year.
- RES Tony Cingrani: I do like to focus more on arms during the reserve rounds, and I like Cingrani a lot. He could suprise a lot. Check out his rise from A ball to the Show last year and you will see the guy is serious about pitching.
- RES Brian Wilson: Still a free agent, and somewhat untested, but we all know what he can do. We also know someone will take a chance. If it is in the NL, then maybe I hit paydirt here. If not, easy to replace.
- RES Mark Kotsay: Kotsay can do a lot of little things. As a fill-in, he is just fine with me.