Our first round demonstrated the experience of the managers. All solid picks. Five 1B went in the round with more to go off the board in the second.
Three Boston Red Sox went off the board. Tell me again how they didn't make the playoffs in 2011. It'll be interesting to see how Bobby Valentine does there. Yours truly thinks he's the wrong man for the job but, then again, that may be a strong endorsement of the man.
My favorite pick of the round? Probably Joey Votto going at #11. The young man does it all and was a great value that late.
Only one Starting Pitcher off the board in the first round. That'll pick up shortly.
Good job to all the managers.
Half the picks went either to starting pitching or third basemen. Again all solid picks. Johnny Peppers reached a little with A-Ram but he locked down the 3B and CI positions with his last in 2nd and first in 3rd picks.
Roy Halladay dropped to the 4th SP taken overall in the draft, probably reflecting concerns about his age. Good value at pick #26.
I like the Clayton Kershaw pick. Great young pitcher in a good pitchers park.
Michael Huston locked down his catching position early with the pickup of Mike Napoli. The man can hit when given the chance but the biggest surprise last year was his ability to handle the pitching staff. I believe the young man likes Texas better than Anaheim.
Good round by all. On to #3.
The third round featured a mini-run of second basemen. Three managers decided it was time to lock down the 2B position. All solid picks.
Ivar Anderson held his nose and drafted a catcher. OK, Ivar, the rest of the draft will be fun. Ivar is slightly catcher-phobic. I don't blame him. Either nail down a top one or wait until the later rounds.
As much as it hurts me to say this, Chris Fisher's team is shaping up nicely. That is, as long as Carl Crawford remembers how to hit the ball and steal a base. I'm saying he does.
In last year's draft, Joel Henard locked down his infield positions in the early rounds. I see he's done the same thing this year. Always interesting to see the draft strategy employed by the various managers.
Steve Smith decided it was the right time to fill the 3B slot. It's surprising how weak this position has become in the last few years. Injuries and age have robbed the fantasy community of strong options here. I suppose it's hurt the real life managers, too.....
Ryan Braun went off the board at pick #49 to Michael Huston. Yours truly was primed to take him at #50 but I'm happy to get Matt Cain instead. Cain is one of the underrated pitchers who shows great consistency from year to year.
Steve Smith took Brett Lawrie both to fill his 3B slot and because he likes Canadians. Lawrie is the real deal and should fill a weak position nicely for Mr. Smith (who, to my knowledge, has not gone to Washington).
Johnny Peppers stepped up with the first major reach of the draft with Jemile Weeks (and then Dee Gordon to start round 5). But you never know. One man's reach is another man's sleeper.
Ron Stockton took another Red Sox player in Jon Lester (or is it Lesta?). That makes two out of four for Ron with more to come.
Lastly, special kudos and condolences to Ivar. He has taken part in 967 Fantasy Baseball drafts (OK, I made that up) and never takes catchers early except here. After the V-Mart injury, I suspect he never will again.
Good round everyone.
Rob Evans decided it was high time to go with a youngster who will either have a breakout year or sophomore regression. Thus Mr. Eric Hosmer is pleased to be part of Rob's team this year. My guess is breakout.
Three managers went with Phillies. Is it just me or are those guys starting to get old? (The players, not the managers.) They probably all still have plenty in the tank for another good year.
I like Scott Gilroy's Greinke selection. Zack's Fielding Independent ranking was much better than his ERA from last year. And you count on Zack for lots of K's.
Olin Forman decided Alex Gordon is for real. Alex finished #24 last year in the ESPN rankings. He certainly has the tools to put two good seasons together - and maybe many more. He's still young despite the perennial prospect tag.
Lot of good picks this round. Steve Lyon and Joel Henard took their first pitchers. Strong finish with the Morse & Weeks selections.
On to #6.
The round started with two good young Atlanta Braves, one being Craig Kimbrel as Matt Adair took the first closer of the board. Kimbrel is the real deal so long as his arm holds up under the workload.
Shin-Soo Choo is a great value pick this late. His injury problems should be a one-off occurrence.
Chris Fisher says his Madison Bumgarner pick is the steal of the draft. He may be right. I'm always a little gun shy of young guys coming off a big increase in innings the previous year. But it's hard to argue with Mr. Fisher --- for any number of reasons!
Marc Taylor decided Tommy Hanson will put his injury behind him. Word is that Tommy is healthy so probably a good bet.
I selected Drew Stubbs who is ranked all over the board this year. Mock Draft Central has him about #75. ESPN has him about there. Athlon's consolidation of five major rankings doesn't even have in the top 100. Couch Managers has him around #160. Regardless, I like the young man. Should do 15/40 with a .260 average. (Maybe I'm spending too much time researching.......)
Scott Gilroy took Mr. Predictable in Billy Butler. Good value pick plus Billy still has that year coming where the doubles turn into home runs.
Johnny Peppers finished up the round with Chris Young OF. Power and speed combination with batting average risk. Similar to Mr. Stubbs above.
Great round everyone.
I like Johnny's first pick here. Werth has a lot of upside after last year's debacle.
Question: So, Rich, you took a young pitcher with health concerns after expressing concerns about Mr. Fisher's Bumgarner pick? Answer: Yep. 'Tis better to have hassled Chris Fisher than never to have hassled at all.
Three managers decided it was time to get the catcher position filled. Can Mauer stay healthy? Can Wieters continue his recent improvement? Can M. Montero stay healthy? Ah, the joys of the catching position......
Marc Taylor is going with Adam Lind. I still like Lind despite his spotty track record. He had an absolutely stellar 2009. Anyone who can hammer the ball like that is worth a roster spot.
Matt Adair is looking for a bounceback campaign from Andre Ethier. Andre has been an enigma lately. But when he's healthy, he should can hit.
It was a pitching-heavy round with a total of 7 starting pitchers and 2 closers off the board. Beachy and Darvish going before Latos defied the Mock Draft Central trend and several of the ranking agencies.
When it comes to starting pitching, the home ballpark makes a huge difference. If Latos were still pitching in San Diego, methinks he goes 20 picks earlier. (Previous sentence incorporates proper utilization of the subjunctive mood.)
Rob Evans took Yu Darvish. Strong draft so far for Rob --- which of course means..... Not a whole lot since it's all guesswork. But Rob still earns a kudo.
Olin Forman says Frenchy's bounceback in KC is for real. I'm a cautious believer since Franceour has always had the tools. The stolen base count is well outside his career norm so we'll see if that holds up going forward.
Kevin Justmann locked down his 2B spot with Michael Cuddyer. Good move. Cuddyer started 17 games (draft rules require 10 starts) at second but hits more like an outfielder.
It was the best of rounds (for closers) and it was the worst of rounds (for everyone else). OK, that's an overstatement but this is the interweb. So it's not a problem. Six managers took closers with Mr. Stockton also taking a closer to kick off Round 10 just for good measure.
Messieurs Evans and Adair declared 'out with the old, in with the new' with picks of up and comers. Justmann the elder and Messieur Huston took players who finished last season with injuries. Both are banking on good health this year.
The J.J. Hardy pick is an intriguing one. Which J.J. shows up this year? BTW, did you know he's actually the son of Frank Hardy from the Hardy Boys series? Trust me.
Speaking of Steve Smith, I liked his Nick Swisher pick. Pretty steady 80/20/80 guy.
It's a wrap. On to Round 10, my young Padawans.
Turns out it was the best of the best of times for closers. Over half the draft picks (9 out of 16) went to secure the saves category. I predict this will be a feat unmatched in the remainder of the draft.
Joel Henard and Kevin Justmann each took a solid starting pitcher who had fallen due to the siren songs being sung by the closers. Odysseus would be proud.
I am announcing one of the come back players of the year: Joakim Soria. Marc was supposed to let him fall due to Soria's sordid 2011 campaign. However, he swooped in and took a bargain.
Again a lot of solid picks. Matt Adair took Gaby (I always finish around #150) with roughly the 150th pick. Ron Stockton took a young stud closer in Joel Hanrahan. Michael Huston locked down his 2nd base position with the sweet-swinging Dustin Ackley.
Good work, guys. Looks like a competitive season ahead.
Five more closers. Things are now winding down in that arena given there aren't a whole lot of closers left. Managers will probably pick a few setup men later in the draft as insurance.
The round had three good young 2B come off the board. How is it that 2B is deeper than 3B --- and has been for a couple years?
I like Ron Stockton's Peralta pick. Pretty solid 80/20/80 middle infielder. He won't hit .299 again but he can help a fantasy team.
It'll be interesting to see if Sergio Santos can hang on to his closer job in Toronto. He's 97.65% better than Francisco Cordero. Hopefully the Blue Jays recognize talent when they see it.
Finally, I like the Max Scherzer pick. The Rich Justmann is predicting a breakout season for Max. There's no reason for him to have an ERA of 4.43 with a 1.35 WHIP with his talent.
The young men in this draft really picked up the pace. The Rich found himself running behind in the recap arena. However, it was well worth it as Rich was able to observe his 9 year old performing as a mouse in the Cinderella three times over the weekend. She was, of course, the star of the show. In fact, she was one of two lead mice and quite certainly the lead 9 year old in the ballet. Pretty heady stuff. Oh, and there were some other people in the show too.
Highlights of the rounds:
Total of 4 closers. Not much left on the board.
Managers continued to focus on hitting in rounds 12 & 13. Only 4 total SP's taken.
Round 14 featured the "I been injured" M boys --- Morneau & Morales. Risk/reward picks.
The man with the name (bet it was a tough childhood!), Lucas Duda, went to Mr. Adair.
Speaking of risk/reward, Brandon Morrow checked in courtesy of Mr. Stockton.
And a special note for Melky Cabrera: Melky, apparently we all like you but we don't appear to trust you. Mr. Taylor is counting you to be at least mediocre this year as he invested the 216th pick of draft in you.
We past the halfway point midway through round 13. Managers will shortly be faced with making choices between high upside youngsters --- who may not play as much as anticipated --- and boring veterans who will contribute a little in some categories.
May the best man win.
Well, we finally had our first SP majority round in round 17 with 9 of 16 picks going to starting pitchers. Looks like we've got a bunch SPaphobes here.
It's all about value this late. Most guys are taking veterans who should get 450 or so at bats. Some guys are going after the potential breakout stars.
Some of my favorites picks:
Eric Thames --- He can hit. It's all about playing time. Mr. Smith says 'play the man'!
John Mayberry --- What is it about Big John that makes Philly so leery of starting him?
Jason Bay --- OK, OK, I know. But still..... The fences have been moved in.
Alejandro De Aza --- Could be a great pick. Could be a bust. Ivar's going for it.
Nolan Reimold --- Great 2011 finish. Rich is hoping 2010 was just a bad dream.
Ted Lilly --- Solid, predictable player. Great value selection.
Chase Headley --- What can I say? I like the guy. Sorry about the PETCO thing, dude.
The worst pick of the rounds was...... Just kidding. No way I'm doing that. We've got a great bunch of managers making strong, knowledgeable picks.
Joel Henard says he has the steal of the draft by picking up Bryce Harper this late. Could be. Seems that Davey Johnson wants Harper in Right Field from the start of the season.
Steve Lyon may have gotten a great pick in Javy Guerra. While the Fantasy Baseball World has decided that Kenley Jansen will be the closer in L.A., Don Mattingly has the last word --- and he hasn't said anything.
I like the Dempster and Baker selections in round 19. Dempster had a Fielder Independent Pitching stat of 3.70 in 2011. Expect a bounceback season plus his 200 strike outs. Although I should that, unless the Cubs improve their defense, he'll still have an ERA above where it should be.
Ron Stockton implemented his 2nd in line strategy with picking up Jonny Venters and Joel Peralta. Both great setup men who are one arm injury from the closer seat. I predict Peralta gets 10 saves in 2012.
Finally, I like the J.D. Martinez pick. He should bat clean-up for Houston. Not a great offensive club but a clean-up hitter in round 20 ain't all bad.