Our first round demonstrated the experience of the managers. All solid, safe picks with one exception - Mr. Forman went out on a limb to nab Bryce Harper. In a draft like this, taking a flyer on a player with huge upside can be big bonus. Separating yourself from the other 15 managers to secure the top spot isn't easy.
OK, I'll amend that last statement. It's not supposed to be easy but Mr. Matt Adair has twice done it with ease. Thrice and we may need to call off the draft. At any rate, Mr. Adair, this is your last kudo for previous performance. You will now be Matt again.
Interesting change from last year: Three Red Sox went in the first round last year. None this year. You know the team can't be very good if even Mr. Stockton passes on them out of the gate.
One thing is a constant: One pitcher in the first round each year. He goes by the name of Verlander.
Dropped out of the first round:
Good job to all the managers.
Where have all the OF picks gone? Long time passing. Woo, woo, woo. For those of you too young to know the song, well it was a nice mediocre song from the 60's.
The managers did an about face from round 1 (8 OF Picks) to round 2 (3 OF Picks). So where did the picks go? "To the infield" quoth the Raven. We had a run on Middle Infielders (6) and a mini-run on Corner Infielders (3).
Johnny Peppers stepped up at the C position early by taking Buster Posey. This is the kind of pick that will win or lose for him --- which is smart in a 16 manager league. The drop-off after Posey is significant. But the injury risk at C is higher than other positions. Frankly, I was glad Mr. Peppers took him before me so I didn't need to make the decision.
Olin Forman's man-crush on Josh Hamilton continued. Not a bad man-crush to have. Can Hamilton bounce back from his wretched 2nd half last year? I say yes but the home stadium will be a slight drag on production.
Matt Adair took Encarnacion 10 rounds earlier this year than last. If last year's breakout was real, which it probably was, Edwin will contribute 40 homers to the Champ's bottom line.
Lots of solid picks as usual. Good job, gents.
Very interesting round. Two bounce-back picks: A-Gon & Ellsbury. Three high-upside First Basemen at the end of the round. Solid Pitching value throughout the round.
I thought I saw Ivar Anderson select a Pitcher early in the Third Round but my eyes must have been deceiving me. Next thing he may take a Catcher. Wait, that's not happening.....
Mr. Forman deserves another man-crush mention, this time with Yoenes Cespedes. Yoenes is originally from the Greek 'Yoenerime' which means 'strikes bat with ball when not hurt'. Olin is banking on the the 'strikes ball' part. Good selection.
Mr. Gilroy took one of my favorites this year: Allen Craig --- although Craig derives from the Latin 'CraigCeaserBruteRomulusRemus' which also means 'strikes bat with ball when not hurt'.
Other good value picks: Mr. Justmann with Gio I hate Oakland Gonzalez. Mr. Souza with Adam I'm Young but Consistent Jones. Marc Taylor with Matt I also hate Oakland Holliday.
Someone is a little loopy toward the end of his work week. On to the fourth.
My favorite picks this round: Zimmerman & Granderson. Both high value players who should provide good numbers. The AVG with Granderson has become a risk. The shoulder with Zimm. Nevertheless, solid value for the 4th round in a 16 team draft.
The run on infielders continues - four 3B & four 2B. You'd almost think good players at these positions are in short supply. Oh, wait.....
Entering the draft, I expected to end the 4th round with three hitters and one good SP. But the run on hitting has been so strong that I've zagged to pitching. Not sure if it's a good strategy but who knows? There's a first time for everything.
Liked Steve Smith's pick of B.J. Upton. Great value if Upton can hold his AVG in the .250 range.
Johnny Peppers is playing the position scarcity game. So far, looks stout. Great C, 2B & two 3B.
Finally, I am intrigued by Mr. Henard's selection of Chase Headley. Mr. Headley was tagged with the 'post hype' label last year and had a monster year (#14 overall according to ESPN). And that was with those ridiculous fence placements at Petco. Headley seems like a good guy and it would be great to see him repeat --- so long as Mr. Henard finishes no higher than 2nd.
Hazel, did you see that? Ivar took a closer at the beginning of Round 5!
I like Lloyd's Desmond Jennings pick. This is the Chinese Year of the Desmond so should be a highly productive selection. Kevin took Madison Bumgarner who, as some of you know, had the same Jedi Master as I when we were mere Padawans. Bumgarner will be a top 30 overall producer this year.
Marc now has his 3B, SS, and 2B positions locked down. Looks like he took best available in Round 1 and then a little position scarcity after that.
Personally I think Cole Hamels is a steal in the 5th Round. Good job, Michael.
Most interesting pick of the round is probably Aroldis Chapman. Aroldis would provide a guaranteed top 25 overall performance again if he were closing. By the middle of the 5th Round, Rob bought his upside at SP. Good move.
Come on down, Kris Medlen. The Big O has a roster spot for you. It will be interesting to see if Medlen can build on his superman year of 2012. I think yes --- as does Olin.
Who finished as the #5 fantasy player last year? R.A. Dickey who went #89. Who finished as the #11 fantasy player last year? Alex Rios who went #91. Not a lot of love for these players in our fantasy circle --- and in most fantasy circles.
Joel doubles up on catchers by taking Carlos Santana and slotting him into the 1B position. Is Joel strengthening his own team and purposefully weakening others simultaneously? Could this all be part of his diabolical plot for fantasy world domination? Or maybe he just took Carlos because he likes him. We may never know.
Steve snares a good one with Shin-Soo Choo. Look for Choo to really chew it up this year in Shincinnati. (That was Soo lame.)
Finally, Mr. Gilroy takes Mr. Gordon to be his lawfully rostered outfielder. Alex had an off year by his 2011 standard but is still a great player. Good pick.
The new Dad in the group took at couple of interesting picks. Jeter looks to be coming back healthy this year. At this point in the draft, probably a good value. The Freak: No middle ground here. He'll help Mr. Fisher bigtime or kill his ERA & WHIP. I have no opinion because I have no idea.
I like the Victorino pick. He's undervalued this year. Michael picks up a guy who will rank #89 with the 127th pick.
Rob Evans takes Melky. Mr. Cabrera will probably have a good year but how much of his production was chemically-induced remains a question mark. That said, Melky was at the top of my queue when Rob took him.
Marc Taylor takes Yadier Molina off the board. Molina had a great year after a couple solid ones. At this juncture, he's a solid value. BTW, anyone see those silly ADP's from Mock Draft Central? Yadier at #27? I don't think so.
Finally, I like Kyle Seager this year. Perhaps not as much as Mr. Stockton but Seager appears to be for real. If he can improve this defense, he'll get 575 at-bats with 25 home runs out of the 2B position.
I think we had our first round of 14 pitchers in our history with the 12th round this year. Of that, a whopping 9 relief pitchers went in a major RP run. At this point in the draft, you have to be aware of what other guys are doing and once the RP run started, guys had to nab one before the closers were gone. There's a few closers out there still but we'll soon morph over to the elite setup men (and then the non-so-elite).
A few of my favorite value picks were:
Nick Swisher (Why is the fantasy community so down on him this year?)
Paul Konerko (See Swisher, Nick)
Having Ivar's spreadsheet is a great help at this point in the draft.
- Some guys have gone infield heavy with a positional approach and have catcher around to third base locked down --- Ivar, Michael, Joel.
- Two have their 5 outfielders selected --- Matt, Rob.
- Two have 4 starting pitchers and 2 closers on board --- the Justmenn.
Stay thirsty for victory, my friends.
Rob Evans says I don't need your lousy pitchers. Get 'em away from me. I'll take whatever's left at the end. Selecting three pitchers with my first 15 picks is plenty.
And who's that I hear coming through the door to support Mr. Evans, it's none other than Griffin Hawke Fisher's dad. (Chris, get used to it. You'll slowly lose your first name and become "I don't know. I just call him Griifin's dad.") Mr. Fisher says taking four pitchers through 15 picks is plenty - perhaps excessive in his case.
Seven closers in Round 13 despite Mr. Stockton's efforts to stop it. Not many left. Get 'em while they're lukewarm.
Hold on thar a minute, Pardner. I just noticed the Champ has only three pitchers also. Perhaps there is a method to the madness.
I like Mr. Taylor's pick of Kevin Youkilis. High risk, high reward. Either a nice bounceback bargain or an injured bust. Go for it.
Same with Steve Lyon on Drew Stubbs. The only issue with Stubbs is the average. But he's a guaranteed 20/20 guy --- probably 20/30.
Good job, gentlemen. On to the 16th. BTW, I think there's a football game today.
Two of our esteemed managers select high-upside young guys in the 16th. Mr. Henard takes Jurickson Profar of TEX and Ivar Anderson selects Wil Myers of TB. No boring steady-eddy players for them. Break out the young guys and see what happens.
Scott Gilroy snatches Chris Carter in the 17th immediately after his trade to Houston. Good move. Two picks I liked a lot: Alexi Ogando to Mr. Adair and Chris Nelson to Mr. Evans. Nelson has a great bat but playing time in Colorado may be an issue. Good risk this late.
Johnny Peppers nabs Huroki Kuroda in the 18th. Kuroda stayed on the board a llloooonnnnnggggg time showing the lack of managerial confidence in his ability to repeat 2012. But by the 18th, he's a steal. Marc Taylor's pick of Tim Hudson was a great value pick this late. Chalk Mr. Taylor up for an 18 win increment in his results. Ron Stockton's pick up of Mike Fiers was great. Fiers is not the prototypical strike out pitcher but he gets results.
In the 19th, the New Papa takes Cody Ross who was conveniently waiting for him. Good value. Kevin Justmann says half a season of Brandon Beachy is better than a full season of the other pitchers out there. If Beachy brings it like the last season and a half, he'll help in four categories.
I will publicly state it here and now. I liked Olin's selection of Brian Roberts in the 20th despite the lukewarm response among his drafting brethren. Roberts is rumored to be in a good shape for the season. And if not, well, we all have guys who don't contribute. Lloyd Souza says 5 months of Brian McCann is better than 6 months of the other catchers. At this juncture, he's right. And Chris Fisher pulls in 30 steals via Rajai Davis to add to his roto quiver.
Favorite picks in the last 5 rounds:
- David DeJesus by Michael Huston in the 22nd
- A.J. Griffin by Olin Forman in the 22nd
- Sergio Santos by Johnny Peppers in the 22nd
- Lonnie Chisenhall by Steve Smith in the 24th
- Justin Maxwell by Steve Lyon in the 24th
- Dominic Brown by Lloyd Souza in the 25th
Great final 10 rounds. All the managers stayed focused and determined. Let the games begin.