I am looking at my player rankings and tiers in preparation for a draft on Sunday night with “Rotoman’s Regulars”. Rotoman, aka Peter Kreutzer, and a host of other writers and contributors will be in this battle which features Yahoo based lineup – that is C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, three OF, UT and seven active pitchers, two SP, two RP, and three P.
I have the first pick in the draft and will be taking Albert Pujols. But here is the catch – it is a twenty man league, so I don’t get to select my next player for what will seem like hours.
In fact there are so many players that will disappear off the board that I can’t even make a reasonable target list. So I am resigned to just taking the best hitter and best starting pitcher that the group leaves me.
Well I had plenty of options at the end of the second round – Zach Greinke and Dan Haren were the best starting pitchers available. On the hitting side I could choose one of the top catchers – Mike Napoli or Carlos Santana, or try to fill an infield slot before pickings got really slim. I may wonder for a while if I could have ever assembled a really good pitching staff if I had taken a catcher along with the third baseman I chose but in the end stay with my idea of one each and took Greinke and Toronto third baseman Brett Lawrie.
One of my reasons for taking Lawrie was that I wanted to draft as many of the nine hitters as I could that would contribute in both home runs and stolen bases. That way I could avoid a hitter who would fix the stolen base category but be deficient in HR and RBI and potentially even R and BA. So Lawrie who I think has a floor of 20/20 was a really good start, especially as the eighth 3B off the board.
Now the next long wait - I find it’s better not to think too much during that 20-30 minutes and just cross players off your list. I was pleasantly surprised to find C.J. Wilson still on the board and took him at 4.20. On the hitting side there was Buster Posey, Brett Gardner, or Adam Jones, but I chose Asdrubal Cabrera as my shortstop and one I think will be at least 15/15.
At the end of round six I had to decide what I wanted to do with the saves category as the first two closers had gone in the fourth round, three more in the fifth, and the sixth, Jose Valverde just in front of me in the sixth. So I drafted Ryan Madson at 6.20 as the seventh closer off the board. My selection to start the seventh round was Padres hurler Cory Luebke, who qualifies at Yahoo as both a SP and RP which hopefully I can use during the season. He will certainly give me a leg up in strikeouts with Greinke and Wilson.
At the end of the eighth round I eschewed a second closer to add two hitters – OF Jeff Francoeur and 2B Jason Kipnis, both of whom I project to get double digit homers and bags. Not sure if I could have waited on Kipnis but in a league this deep I wanted to stick to my plan and not take the chance. It did make it difficult later to find that second closer as I just got pickpocketed with Matt Thornton going at 10.12 and Javy Guerra – my real target – at 10.16. The best I could do was grab Addison Reed at 13.01 hoping Thornton blows yet another chance and scooping up Wilton Lopez at the end of the eighteenth round. And of course there will always be some available on the waiver wire.
The outfield filled out nicely with Torii Hunter (10.20) and Angel Pagan (12.20), both of whom I expect to be double digits with Hunter having more home runs and Pagan decidedly more stolen bases. In fact it will be interesting to see if Pagan who we project for 33 swipes will have more than Lawrie.
I got my late target catcher – Wilson Ramos of the Nationals at 11.01. I think we are light in our projection of his home runs as he had fifteen last year, but of course don’t project him for any steals. My final starting hitter was 1B/OF Mike Carp who will be lucky to get a couple of steals but whose power is very real and if he gets full time at bats as I suspect between LF and DH, will be a very good contributor.
The pitching staff was filled out with starters Juan Nicasio (16.20), Julio Teheran (19.01) and Rick Porcello (20.20). I highly doubt that Porcello on that Tiger team is Mr. Irrelevant.
I added new Rockie Marco Scutaro (15.01) as my first reserve hitter. With his upcoming second base eligibility added to shortstop he gives me a very good MI sub for Kipnis and AsCab on days off. I took one shot at some rookie help on offense, grabbing Colorado’s Nolan Arenado with the first pick in the seventeenth round. He has a shot to make the club as the starting third baseman out of spring training which would add power to the lineup, and sadly if not, he will be my first drop (assuming no injuries) after opening day.
So here is the offense
C – Wilson Ramos
1B – Albert Pujols
2B – Jason Kipnis
3B – Brett Lawrie
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera
OF – Jeff Francoeur, Torii Hunter, and Angel Pagan
UT – Mike Carp
On our 2/15 projections that is 178 home runs and 126 stolen bases, numbers that would have been fifth in both categories on last year’s results. Hopefully I can get a little higher in each category.
The pitching looks like it will be a strong point – remember this is a twenty team league.
SP – Greinke, Wilson, Luebke, Nicasio, Teheran, and Porcello
RP – Madson, Reed, and Lopez
The actual lineup configuration is 2 SP, 2 RP, and three P so I should be in good shape to get maximum starts and still scrape up some saves.
The draft was great fun, directed by Steve Parsons and included writers from many different sites including of course the Rotoman – Peter Kreutzer, doing battle this year as “The Vertigos”. I will continue to use the “Captain Hook” moniker so you can easily recognize the team in varied mentions. I will post the team in the Team Management Forum and add updates and free agent additions as I battle throughout the year. I am sure most of you don’t play in leagues this deep, but it can be a lot of fun and hopefully provide some good information as well.
Draft by round
1.01 - Albert Pujols, 1B
2.20 - Zach Greinke, SP
3.01 - Brett Lawrie, 3B
4.20 - C.J. Wilson, SP
5.01 – Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
6.20 – Ryan Madson, RP
7.01 – Cory Luebke, SP/RP
8.20 – Jeff Francoeur, OF
9.01 – Jason Kipnis, 2B
10.20 – Torii Hunter, OF
11.01 – Wilson Ramos, C
12.20 – Angel Pagan, OF
13.01 – Addison Reed, RP
14.20 – Mike Carp, 1B/OF
15.01 – Marco Scutaro, SS
16.20 – Juan Nicasio, SP
17.01 – Nolen Arenado, 3B
18.20 – Wilton Lopez, RP
19.01 – Julio Teheran, SP
20.20 – Rick Porcello, SP