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Thursday 27th Apr 2017

It seems kind of funny to be kicking off the NFBC focus this year having simply been a facilitator, but this year, since the NFBC guys were hosting Tout, I threw my hat into the ring and drafted at Citi Field last Saturday morning as part of League Six.

It was actually a last minute switch, as I had been slated to play in League Five, but because my compatriot JP Kastner and I are funded from the same source, I was moved into a league with my MLB.com bud, Cory Schwartz and his running mate Mike Siano.

Nestled as Team Five, snugly between George Vogeloskos and his son (Alex, I think) and Winston Sapigao and his partner, whom our Auctioneer, Ryan Carey, referred to as The Deadly Assassins, I caused a buzz with my first pick of Troy Tulowitzki, at fifth overall.

My reason was simple. Balance is key, and power at certain spots is critical. And Tulo likely has the most power potential of any of the younger shortstops. True, Hanley Ramirez is a better and more valuable pick, but Tulo was not going to be there on the return of the snake, for certain (and Hanley was gone, of course).

I wanted to fill my middle infield and third base with the best players available at the time, reasoning there was enough power at first and in the outfield to push that out a bit.

When the pick came back to me I nabbed Brandon Phillips, and was setting my sights on either Pablo Sandoval or Kevin Youkilis as round three moved forward. I thought there would be daylight for the Panda when Aramis Ramirez was surprisingly gobbled up in the second round. Lord Zola, who was my co-drafter (though Todd masterminded his mixed auction strategy, while I took the lead with the classic team), and I were more than pleased and surprised as it pretty much nailed acquiring one of the two. But, Sandoval was nabbed so we settled for Youk, dropping him at third.

When CC Sabathia was still available for round four, I had to take him, and when the chance to snatch Javier Vazquez and Jake Peavy as picks six and seven (Mariano Rivera was my number five), again, I simply had to take advantage of the troika as rotation anchors.

Leaving first base alone worked well as we got Paul Konerko in round 13, and Nick Swisher in round 16.

Additionally, closers went earlier than we speculated. We did take Mo after Jonathan Papelbon was taken as the second closer, and Jonathan Broxton the first, by Cory and Mike. By rounds nine and ten all the mid-level closers, a la Rafael Soriano, were taken so we played it safe with Brian Fuentes.

There were some interesting zigs and zags and surprises, in addition to Ramirez going in round two. Jayson Werth found himself deemed worthy to be a second rounder, and Team Nine, manned by Dean Chadwin, grabbed Joe Mauer first and locked up his backstops with a second selection of Victor Martinez. The Citi Field location was just great and the whole affair proved to be a lot more fun--drafting is serious business--than I ever imagined.

Of course the season will reveal itself and our good picks from our bad ones, but here is how the squad shakes down (round selected in parenthesis):

  • C-Russell Martin (12)
  • C-AJ Pierzynski (14)
  • 1B-Paul Konerko (13)
  • 2B-Brandon Phillips (2)
  • 3B-Kevin Youkilis (3)
  • SS-Troy Tulowitzki (1)
  • CI-Nick Swisher (16)
  • MI-Asdrubal Cabrera (10)
  • OF-Jason Kubel (8)
  • OF-Denard Span (9)
  • OF-Brad Hawpe (15)
  • OF-Cody Ross (17)
  • OF-Scott Podsednik (20)
  • UT-Luke Scott (23)
  • P-CC Sabathia (4)
  • P-Javier Vazquez (6)
  • P-Jake Peavy (7)
  • P-Mark Buehrle (17)
  • P-Ervin Santana (19)
  • P-Carl Pavano (21)
  • P-Mariano Rivera (5)
  • P-Brian Fuentes (11)
  • P-Scott Feldman (22)
  • Res-Cliff Pennington
  • Res-Scott Downs
  • Res-Ryan Sweeney
  • Res-Skip Schumacher
  • Res-Nick Blackburn
  • Res-Nate Schierholtz
  • Res-Landon Powell

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