The inaugural IIATMS fantasy baseball draft took place last night, with 11 of the 12 teams present. The banter was good, quick-witted, funny and sharp. There were some great picks and some questionable ones. We'll see who has the keenest eye and I'll do something here every so often to discuss the standings. Maybe every Monday morning, if there's a voyeuristic desire.
Since I own the keys to the car, here is my draft, in order, with where some of the best choices that I passed on/comments, drafting out of the #4 slot (Round, Overall, Player, Team; I also added their new ESPN ranking # even though it's based upon BA, not OBP):
- 4, Jose Reyes, NYM, ESPN#4 (Hanley, Pujols, Wright went prior. Easiest pick for me, downhill from here.)
- 21, Ryan Howard, Phi, ESPN#19 (Giddy-up, power to follow the Reyes speed and OBP will help. ARod went 2 picks later)
- 28, Alfonso Soriano, ChC, ESPN#15 (Oh Sori, I can't quit you. I really wanted another BIG bat, but Prince went 2 picks before me. I can hope for 30+ HR and 25 SB, right?)
- 45, Brandon Phillips, Cin, ESPN#34 (can he go 20/20? I think so, from 2B. I debated Alexei here but opted for the double threat since I don't think Alexei runs as much)
- 52, Justin Morneau, Min, ESPN#32 (was mildly surprised he lasted this long, #52 overall. Already fearing a lack of RBI men, I went with a guy who can drive in 125 along with 30 HR.)
- 69, Adam Dunn, Was, ESPN#94 (Was set to take Chris Davis at 3B but never got the chance. Passed on a suddenly old looking Vlad for 40 HR machine Dunn and his .380+ OBP)
- 76, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bos, ESPN#89 (I was planning on waiting longer to start building a rotation but felt the aces were fading fast, so I was set to take Liriano but didn't get the chance. Dice will be my ace. Given how he has looked so far this WBC, I hope he can keep it going)
- 93, Edinson Volquez, Cin, ESPN#164 (nearly had to sell my soul as I had Beckett teed up but was snapped up right before me. Volquez is good for another 3 ROTY votes. Seems I took him too early.)
- 100, David Ortiz, Bos, ESPN#64 (the DH-only slotting hurts but at the 100th pick, Ortiz was staring at me. Two Sox in three picks. My soul is crying. Passing on Gallardo did hurt.)
- 117, Matt Garza, TB, ESPN#144 (wanting to take good, young pitchers on young teams with decent K rates, Garza was there for the taking)
- 124, Chien-Ming Wang, NYY, ESPN#182 (That thing about good K rates, nevermind. My first NYY and I am happy to have him. Adding another W machine is good. I debated dipping into the closer pool but as you'll see, I chose to bottom-feed and hope for the best. I think ESPN undervalues him)
- 141, Chone Figgins, LAA, ESPN#115 (Realizing that all of the power 3B are gone, I took a high OBP/SB machine. I was hoping Huff would have fallen but it wasn't meant to be.)
- 148, Pat Burrell, TB, ESPN#165 (Right now, I know RBI are tough to find and I took what I think will be a good RBI/OBP/power source. I passed on V.Wells as that hammy scares me; lotsa closers flying off the board.)
- 165, Clayton Kershaw, LAD, ESPN#177 (Young? check. Good K rate? check. Good team? check. Bonus: NL West dweller. Drafted too early? Maybe.)
- 172, Randy Johnson, SF, ESPN#161 (Good K rate? check. Good team? half-check. Young? um, not so much. Bonus: NL West dweller. Extra bonus: Wife made this pick.)
- 189, Trevor Hoffman, Mil, ESPN#200 (I'm a sucker. I love Hoffman. I know he is a huge risk, doesn't K many, but with closers running thin, I wanted to get at least one who I liked)
- 196, Mike Gonzalez, Atl, ESPN#218 (Here's hoping that his arm holds up. I was set to take Lindstrom, who went 2 picks earlier, then left the WBC with shoulder pain)
- 213, Dan Wheeler, TB, ESPN#239 (I was very iffy on this one. I know Percy --taken 3 picks later--thinks he's coming back but I don't have much faith. This could be a good steal or a huge bust and I have no idea right now.)
- 220, Chase Headley, SD, ESPN#220 (I need OF and there aren't a ton who I really like down here. Headley has 20 HR potential so that's what I have to hope for. Bedard was available and I let him slide.)
- 237, Elvis Andrus, Tex, ESPN#233 (Just a hunch)
- 244, Chris Snyder, Ari, ESPN#276 (I usually wait until the last round for a C, but I like Snyder and his 20 HR potential at C.)
- 261, Cody Ross, Fla, ESPN#266 (see Chase Headley)
- 268, Kazuo Matsui, Hou, ESPN#253 (Solid OBP/SB from the SS/2B slot. Not thrilling but shouldn't hurt too much)
- 285, Thomas Hanson, Atl, ESPN#n/a (This got me kicked off themarksmith's holiday card list)
- 292, Michael Bourn, Hou, ESPN#280 (with Willie Tavares getting drafted at 203, someone is going to need a 40+ SB guy)
I think I have upper third power/Runs/OBP. I think I will own SB. I think I have mid-pack RBI. Pitching is a little patchy but given that I didn't get a pitcher until the 7th round, I am happy with my rotation. My bullpen will need help or just attention via the WW. Overall, I am pretty pleased but not too excited.
I welcome your comments, criticisms, ridicule.
For my leaguemates: Please feel free to add your teams and comments so the other readers can get a feel for the competition.