Tuesday night we held the draft for the CC fantasy league. Amazing thing about playing in an 8 team league is that we had 100% participation, which is a first for me. Another first for me was playing with only American League players. It's hard.
The league is head-to-head, but the scoring is actually done a bit differently than the usual H2H league. Instead of being matched up against your opponent by category with the winner of the match up going to the player who won the most categories, the winner is determined by a points system. Offensively it's basically a point per base as singles will earn 1 point, doubles 2 points, etc., and your other basic offensive categories (RBI, R) earning 1 point per. Points are lost on offense with strike outs and caught stealing. The pitching points are fun. +10 for a win, -5 for a loss. 0.5 points for every inning pitched. +1 for a K, -1 for a BB. 3 points for a save. Oh and if your pitcher throws a complete game shutout, there's another 10 points. The general consensus of the players is that this is an unfamiliar system so it'll be interesting to see how things turn out.
The draft itself was a lot of fun although we did have a few snafus. daveh873 had the first pick but my computer didn't switch over to the live draft so he'd taken Joe Mauer and I was on the clock and I had no idea what was going on. I had to leave the room and re-enter and by the time I did the computer had auto selected Mark Teixeira for me. There have been implications that I did it on purpose so that I could be absolved of the guilt of actually drafting him but still collect his stats. That wouldn't have been a bad plan, actually, but that's not how it went down. At any rate, I'm not crying. It's not as though my automatic selection was Yuniesky Betancourt.
The other snafu was pretty much a result of me being a moron. In round 9 I had my next pick all lined up and ready to go and the second it was my turn I somehow drafted David Ortiz. Ooh I was mad. Because I'd already had technical difficulties I thought it was another glitch. Then in round 10 it happened again with Jason Kubel. Well it wasn't until I'd also drafted against my will David DeJesus that I realized I'd turned my autopick on. MORON. Luckily I wasn't the only one who did this, as it happened to Chanumas as well. He ended up with Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Ellis and Pat Burrell as a result.
Here is a rundown of all 8 teams (listed in order of their draft pick) along with my comments. When reading my comments please bear in mind that I don't know any fantasy baseball strategy.
As evidenced by his team logo, Dave's team is named after the great Albert Belle. He gets bonus points (that don't actually count for anything, sorry Dave) for planning all along to draft Josh Bell so that if he gets called up he can change his team name to Hell's Bell. I would say that he could have probably just picked Bell up if he got promoted, but given that it's an entire league of Orioles fans maybe not.
Dave's lineup is pretty strong although he has a few question marks in the outfield. Magglio Ordoñez's 2009 was his worst season in over a decade and he'll be 36 years old this season. Nolan Reimold has to prove he can put together two good years in a row, not to mention stay healthy. He does have J.D. Drew who will put up great numbers when healthy, but who knows how many games that will be. He also inexplicably has the currently unemployed Jermaine Dye on his bench. He'll get good production from his infield of Victor Martinez, Robinson Cano, and Kevin Youkilis, but shortstop Alexei Ramirez might be a problem. Also, ew Dave. Your infield makes me sick.
Pitching-wise, Hell's Belle could be awesome, but a few injuries could sink the team.His rotation includes Rich Harden (awesome but always an injury risk), Cliff Lee (awesome but shut down in ST with a strained abdomen and could start the year on the DL), Ervin Santana (hit or miss and currently nursing a sore elbow), John Lackey (hideous), and Phil Hughes. He'll collect relief stats from the awesome Neftali Feliz, Raphael Soriano, and Chris Perez, who will close for the Indians while Kerry Wood is shut down to start the season.
Whenever I play fantasy baseball on Yahoo, my team logo is a hamster with a machine gun. I decided to switch it up and go with this troll. My team is of course named after the state champion cheerleading team from the most excellent film, Bring It On. I have played fantasy baseball every year since 2006 and I've never placed higher than 5th. I've never played H2H before, though, so maybe at the end of the year I'll discover that I've found my niche. Really the draft is my favorite part of the entire thing.
My rotation is Felix Hernandez, Matt Garza, Wade Davis, Kevin Slowey, and Chris Tillman. No one needs to be reminded of the greatness of King Felix. Garza was good in '09 and I expect him to be a beast this season. The other three are wild cards. Davis is highly regarded and had success in his brief time with the Rays last year. I've been waiting for Slowey to be good for awhile now, maybe this is the year it will happen, and you all know the potential and risks of Chris Tillman. My bullpen is filled with Andrew Bailey, Matt Guerrier, and the injured Kerry Wood.
My lineup is anchored by the previously mentioned Mark Teixeira and complimented by what I think is a strong outfield in B.J. Upton, Jason Kubel, and Bobby Abreu. If any of them falters, Matt Joyce and Felix Pie will be ready to step in. Oh, and David DeJesus, too, I suppose, at least until I drop him for someone better. I snagged one of the best hitting 2B in the AL with Ian Kinsler and his teammate for 3B, Michael Young. I've currently slotted David Ortiz in as the DH but he's on a short leash. I don't actually really have a catcher to speak of as Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been a giant disappointment so far in his career.
Griffey's Grandchildren - Nawlins Oriole
1st pick: Alex Rodriguez
23rd pick: Ken Griffey, Jr.
My fave pick: Curtis Granderson (3rd round)
Orioles drafted: Adam Jones (6th round), Miguel Tejada (11th round), Garrett Atkins (17th round), Luke Scott (19th round)
Before the draft this team was named Pie's Posse, but I suppose that was ruined when I drafted Felix in the 15th round. Going in I had decided that it would be ok if Pie went to this team since it was named after him, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Griffey's Grandchildren has the distinction of being the team with the most Orioles, although I can't imagine a scenario where Atkins gets any playing time. Luke Scott isn't a bad guy to have on the bench because when he goes into one of his crazy good streaks for a few weeks you can just plug him in and let him rack up the stats. Then when he gets cold you just plop him back on the bench.
The pitching staff of this team is simultaneously talented and vomit inducing. Nawlins O assembed a starting rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Mark Buerhle, and Tim Wakefield. Hm, one of these things is not like the other. Pettitte and Wakefield are both risky but the rest of the pitchers will take his team far. His bullpen is short and to the point: Mariano Rivera and Bobby Jenks.
Alex Rodriguez will score a lot of fantasy points on offense, but Nawlins O might have trouble with some of his other hitters. Tejada isn't a bad player to have in fantasy since he can be played at the shallow position of SS and he'll get a fair number of hits. Howie Kendrick and Mike Cameron could be trouble, and who knows what will happen with Josh Hamilton. Granderson was picked a little early in the game but I think you'll see a banner year for HR for Granderson now that he's moved to Yankee Stadium. And of course Adam Jones is awesome.
Looking at the picks in the last round I'm going to award the Bowie Baysox the best last round pick with Daniel Bard. Given that the last pick for most of us was garbage that probably won't contribute at all, Bard will at least give the team a boost in the strikeout department. And should anything happen to Jonathan Papelbon, he'll be in line for saves as well.
With a starting rotation of Brett Anderson, Clay Buchholz, David Price, James Shields, and Ben Sheets, this team has a young rotation at the very least. Anderson was very good in his rookie year and he'll be good for a league that deducts points on walks as he doesn't walk many at all. Shields will give solid stats and Price could break out at any time. But Buchholz might not even make the Red Sox rotation and Sheets is having a disasterous spring after missing all of 2009. The Baysox bullpen might be short on stats as neither Bard nor Jose Mijares are closers, and Kevin Gregg is in competition for the job in Toronto but hasn't been chosen yet.
This is a solid offensive team. Longoria is a stud and Billy Butler is going to be really good this year, and if Aaron Hill can come close to replicating his 2009 numbers it'll be a strong infield (other than Marco Scutaro). Ichiro and Shin-Soo Choo are a good duo in the infield and Denard Span shows a lot of promise.
Now don't get me wrong, I certainly am not under the impression that Guthrie is going to be a stud pitcher, fantasy or otherwise. But to drop him for Fausto Carmona? I'm not sure what to do with that information. Guthrie has had one down year. It may continue, it may not. Fausto Carmona had a very good year in 2007 and has had two straight garbage years. Not trying to call you out, buddy, it just totally caught me off guard. Not that you dropped Guts, just who you dropped him for. I did see that Carmona is having a hot spring, so maybe I'll look a fool at the end of the season for being so questioning.
With Jacoby Ellsbury and Juan Pierre on the roster, I think it'll be safe to say that team 黄鹂 will be favored in stolen bases against most teams (provided Pierre plays enough games). And with three Yankees in the lineup (Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and Nick Johnson) there probably won't be any issue scoring runs. Add in power hitter Miguel Cabrera and a few other players capable of hitting 20 HR, it looks like a pretty well rounded lineup. There are also a few really interesting players on the bench in Sean Rodriguez, Scott Sizemore and Jake Fox.
Now, pitching. Monarkrunr has stocked up on starting pitching with A.J. Burnett, Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, Gavin Floyd, Rick Porcello, Fausto Carmona, and Francisco Liriano. Carmona, as mentioned above, has had a great spring but has been absolutely putrid the past two seasons. Liriano is also coming off a lousy season and is in competition for the fifth starter, although there has been talk that he might replace Joe Nathan as the closer. The rest of the rotation is pretty solid, though. There will be plenty of saves by Jonathan Papelbon and if Jason Frasor is chosen to be the Blue Jays closer, the team will be in good shape.
This team is built for speed. Brian Roberts, Carl Crawford, Elvis Andrus, and Rajai Davis are all fast dudes who steal a lot. It's not too shabby in the power department either, as both Justin Morneau and Nelson Cruz have 30+ home run power. The lineup is filled out with Brandon Wood, who will finally be given a real chance in the majors, Kelly Shoppach, and Travis Hafner.
Headlining Jobu's Rum's rotation is 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, a fact that makes me a little jealous. Also making me jealous is that this team also features the 2010 Cy Young winner, Brian Matusz. Add Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, and Max Scherzer to the list and it looks pretty good.
The Fightin' Participants - Chanumas
1st pick: Dustin Pedroia
23rd pick: Jim Thome
My fave pick: Travis Snider (22nd round)
Orioles drafted: Nick Markakis (2nd round), Mike Gonzalez (14th round), Brad Bergesen (16th round)
The offense on this team features three outfielders trying to rebound from down years. Grady Sizemore and Carlos Quentin both had injuries last year that affected their numbers and Nick Markakis lost his plate discipline. All three seem likely to rebound but if they don't it'll be a big blow to the Participants. Every member of the starting lineup has the potential to hit 20+ home runs with the possible exception of Dustin Pedroia, but doesn't have many guys who will take a lot of walks. Mike Napoli, Carlos Pena, Adrian Beltre, J.J. Hardy, and Jose Lopez make up the rest of the lineup. I do like the J.J. Hardy pick, I think he's going to have a good year.
The Participants' pitching is definitely the weaker part of the team. Strikeouts shouldn't be a problem with Javier Vazquez and Scott Kazmir, but Kazmir isn't known for going very deep into games. Brad Bergesen won't hurt the team with walks but won't help with strikeouts either. Neither Joba Chamberlain nor Daisuke Matsuzaka will be in the rotation, with Joba going to the pen and Dice-K going to the disabled list. The final starter, Jon Danks, has had two strong years in a row and should be good for another.
Cavaliers - Sidewinder X
1st pick: Justin Verlander
23rd pick: Lou Montanez (yay!)
My fave pick: Asdrubal Cabrera (13th round)
Orioles drafted: Matt Wieters (4th round), Kevin Millwood (19th round), Montanez
For those of you mocking the pick of Lou Montanez, don't worry. After the draft he was immediately drafted in favor of Cesar Izturis. Also, don't mock, it made me happy. The Cavaliers will look for power numbers from Kendry Morales, Adam Lind, and Juan Rivera. I like all of those guys. I really like Lind, but he'll probably strike out over 100 times which could really hurt the team. Chris Davis will also add a good number of home runs, but in a league that penalizes strikeouts he seems toxic. The other members of the lineup are the speedier type, especially Chone Figgins and Julio Borbon.
The one-two punch of Justin Verlander and Jake Peavy in the rotation should provide the team with a lot of strikeouts. The rest of the rotation leaves a little to be desired. Shaun Marcum has potential but is coming back from elbow surgery, Kevin Millwood is who we think he is, Trevor Cahill is a question mark, and Ricky Romero had a killer first half in 2009 but slumped badly to ruin what had been a decent run at Rookie of the Year.
That's it. This ended up really long. Once the league starts up I'll take a look at the matchups and make some predictions. Oh, and the Cavaliers and Bowie Baysox hadn't uploaded logos so I just made those up.
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