Fantasy Baseball Draft Analysis: League 1
I used to do this all the time on my wordpress… and I like to think I’m some sort of fantasy know it all. So here’s an analysis of my draft from this past Sunday. This is the first of FOUR drafts I’m going to have done. This is for my CGS League.
CGS LEAGUE: INITIAL THOUGHTS
In the past, this league has been anywhere between 16 and 20 teams deep. We’re at 14 deep this year, which surprised the heck out of me. I do better in smaller leagues.
I had two challenges to overcome: experienced managers,and autodrafting/using the Android App to draft.
Even with less managers, the ones that didn’t return most likely weren’t the ones who were more challenging to me. There’s tons of experienced players, players who have won this league. Despite what I think I know, I’ve never finished higher than 6th in this league. There are guys who have won multiple times.
The other challenge was the fact that I had to autodraft for the latter part of the draft. I couldn’t help it, it was either autodraft or leave my girlfriend to go to the bus station by herself. I would never do that to her, especially with how understanding she is about my collecting and my fantasy baseball. On top of the fact that we’re 200 miles apart, that just was a no go. I accepted that fact and drafted… not so terribly while I was gone.
Aside from autodrafting and less managers, there’s also keepers. We’re allowed to keep 5 players next season, and my draft was aimed with that in mind.
The only snag with my autodraft was that I didn’t sort my queue. I didn’t prioritize the right players. But let’s get into it and see what I’m talking about. I picked 1st, which means in the snake style draft we did, I picked 1st, then 28th and then 29th.
1.(1)Mike Trout (LAA - LF,CF)
Thoughts: Gee. I wonder who I was going to go with… between Miggy and Trout, those two are the best hitters in the game. Trout is younger, and provides steals. That’s why I picked him over reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera. .320 Average, 29 homers, 70 rbi’s, 108 runs and 44 steals. Calling it.
2.(28)Freddie Freeman (Atl - 1B)
Thoughts: The pitfalls of drafting first: missing out on some primo talent: Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Troy Tulowitzki… not that I don’t like Freddie Freeman. Freeman has been progressively improving each season, and is still pretty young. I’m looking for a .280 average with about 28 homers and 106 RBI’s. That’s not bad, but I still feel Freeman is a step below the elite first baseman. Even Prince Fielder, who could have a bounceback year. We’ll see if he continues his rise or if he levels off.
3.(29)Félix Hernández (Sea - SP)
Thoughts: I had a tough decision here between 3 elite pitchers: Stephen Strasburg and Jose Fernandez were the other too. I went with the lowest risk pitcher. Strasburg has been injured practically every season he’s pitched, but his upside is tremendous. Jose Fernandez might be as good or better than Strasburg, but I wanted to get one more season out of him before I comitted, and with the keeper rules being what they are, I wouldn’t have kept him anyway. Also, Jose might win less games than even King Felix; the Marlins don’t put out a competitive lineup. At least the Mariners bought some offense over the offseason. Benchmarks for Felix will probably be 12 - 16 wins, 3.15 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 210 strikeouts in like 229 innings.
4.(56)Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP)
Thoughts: This is a league that uses both saves and holds. I’m of the mind of getting at least two top 12 closers and two top relievers: this way, saves are locked down, and the relievers may even vulture a save or two, and hopefully provide a lot of holds. Kenley Jansen is arguably the third best closer in baseball. Greg Holland might be better, but the difference is that Jansen is pitching for a team that’s likely to win more games than the KC Royals. I look for about 40 saves, 1.90 ish ERA, WHIP under 1.00 and about 95 - 105 strikeouts.
5.(57)Wil Myers (TB - CF,RF)
Thoughts: Another darling prospect, Myers was the #1 rated prospect entering the 2013 season. Traded from the Royals to the Rays for James Shields, Myers was called up late in the season and hit .293 with 13 HR 53 RBI 50 R and 5 SB in 88 games. He’s hit well at every level of the minor leagues, so I don’t expect much regression. I’m looking forward to .290 23 HR 93 RBI 89 RBI and 9 SB.
6.(84)Mike Minor (Atl - SP)
Thoughts: I found out afterwards that Minor is out till mid-April, but if he’s healthy then, he’ll still make around 30 starts. Minor was kind of under the radar in Atlanta with the emergence of Julio Teheran, and the mega wattage in the outfield. Minor is a very good pitcher, I don’t know if I love him as my SP2, I could’ve had Gio Gonzalez, Teheran or James Shields, but I do like Minor for about 14 - 16 Wins, a 3.31 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 188 strikeouts.
7.(85)Brett Lawrie (Tor - 2B,3B)
Thoughts: Lawrie has been one of my prospect man crushes (Hosmer and Moustakas were the other two), but at this point in the draft, I legitimately needed someone at 2b or 3b, because the depth there is pretty poor. There are problems with the other guys picked after Lawrie (Brandon Phillips is getting old, Pedro Alvarez hits Homers or strikes out, Pablo Sandoval has yet to prove himself and Martin Prado has no power) did not have as much upside as Lawrie does. If Lawrie can put it all together I forsee a .276 16 HR 79 RBI 74 R and 16 SB.
8.(112)Brian McCann (NYY - C)
THOUGHTS: My first Yankee. There were only about one or two catchers left that I would want on my team after McCann, and McCann has upside with playing in Yankee Stadium. The short porch in right field will probably add about 3 or 4 HR to his total, not to mention the other hitter friendly parks and the fact that he’ll play more games at DH. I’m looking for a line of: .263 25 HR 92 RBI 84 R 0 SB
9.(113)Glen Perkins (Min - RP)
THOUGHTS: This is where I think I made a misstep. I could’ve gotten David Robertson later. I could’ve gone for potential ace starters like Matt Moore, Doug Fister and Hishashi Iwakuma. I did follow my basic gameplan though: get two lockdown relief ace closers. Even playing for a bad team, Perkins got 36 saves… I can expect about the same this year, along with an ERA around 2.35, a sub 1.00 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in about 60 plus innings. Not bad at all. Robertson has more potential though, but he also has a lot of pressure on him replacing the greatest reliever of all time.
10.(140)Kyle Seager (Sea - 3B)
THOUGHTS: Kyle Seager is severely underrated at a position with a dearth of talent. His batting average will never be great, but he provides decent offense despite the fact that he plays in Safeco Field 81 games a season. You can pretty much guarantee he’ll have a .260 average with 20 Home Runs, 70 RBI, 70 Runs and around 10 SB. Not bad. My only regret is that maybe I could’ve taken a chance with a propsect like Jurickson Profar (more speed potential, multi position qualification) or Xander Boegarts (upside, upside, upside). I was trying to play it safe, especially with Brett Lawrie as my 2B/3B guy.
11.(141)Danny Salazar (Cle - SP)
THOUGHTS: With guys like CC Sabathia still available, I went with a prospect. This is a keeper league, and you have to have an eye on the future as well as the present. Salazar had a pretty good debut. He only made 10 starts, so this will be his rookie season. In those 10 starts, Salazar was electric, with 65 k’s in 52 innings. He’ll probably be on an innings limit, but how well he performs will determine if I keep him. I think the Indians might have overachieved last year, so I’m going to pencil Salazar in for about 10 Wins, a 3.43 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 185 strikeouts in 170 innings.
12.(168)Norichika Aoki (KC - RF)
THOUGHTS: Autodraft pick. I like Aoki. He’s a nice pick, and a decent OF 3. With Aoki, you’re getting a true leadoff hitter: high on-base, steals bags, hits for a decent average. He’s 32, so I don’t know when his dropoff is going to happen, it could be this season, it could be a few years from now. For now, I’m hoping for a .287 Average with 9 Home Runs, 25 Stolen Bases, 90 runs and 42 RBI’s.
13.(169)Avisail García (CWS - CF,RF)
THOUGHTS: Autodraft pick. This is where I screwed up my autodraft. I selected a group of players I wanted, but I didn’t select the ORDER I wanted them in… I could’ve had Garcia with a much lower pick. I’m high on him, but not this high. I missed out on a more stable SS like Jed Lowrie, or a sleeper starter like Sonny Gray. As is, I’ll take .286 21 homers, 80 RBI, 81 R and about 10 SB. With such a dynamite outfield as is, Garcia was a stash/OF4 Option. Not a loss, but not what I wanted in the middle rounds of a 14 team draft.
14.(196)Jhonny Peralta (StL - SS)
THOUGHTS: This is not where I wanted to get a shortstop. I wanted a shortstop way earlier. Jhonny Peralta is probably out of the top 10 in most fantasy rankings. Still, if his production wasn’t PED reliant, he’s in a decent offense. I’m hoping for .260 13 HR 70 RBI 60 R and 1 SB.
15.(197)Zack Wheeler (NYM - SP)
THOUGHTS: A keeper candidate for me. Wheeler was the Mets hot pitching prospect before Matt Harvey. Acquired from the Giants in the Carlos Beltran trade, Wheeler debuted last year and performed pretty well. Not as dominant as Harvey was, but Harvey is lost this year to Tommy John surgery. The Mets are improved, but it’s more incremental than drastic. Wins will be low, but I expect about 10 to go along with a 3.37 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in about 180 innings.
16.(224)Marco Estrada (Mil - SP)
THOUGHTS: One of my favorites going into 2013, Estrada had a slightly disappointing season. He did have an injury, and despite a terrible first half, he recovered in the second half after the hamstring injury. I’m a sucker for sleeper picks, and I think Marco could be a great pitcher, despite the ballpark. I’d like to see 12 Wins, a 3.44 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 180 K’s in 190 IP.
17.(225)Derek Jeter (NYY - SS)
THOUGHTS: Derek Jeter. The Captain. I can lie and say that I drafted him as Peralta insurance. I can try and justify it… but truthfully, this is my last season with him. He’s been my captain and my idol for most of my life, since 1996. I’ve been a Yankee fan since 1993… this is an emotional season for me. I hope Jeter recovers and ends his career on a high note. Fantasy wise, I’ll take .290 11 HR 56 RBI 99 R and 15 SB.
18.(252)Luis Avilán (Atl - RP)
THOUGHTS: AUTODRAFT. Avilan is the latest in the crop of Atlanta’s relief aces. Between Eric O’Flaherty, Johnny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, Avilan has become a surprising piece. He set-up for Kimbrel due to injuries to the other two, and performed admirably. He’s not the strikeout monster the other pitchers are, but he’s a low ERA, low WHIP guy. He’s going to provide me pluses in those departments as well as Holds. He might even vulture a save or two. I expect 4 Wins, a 1.88 ERA, .99 WHIP with 50 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched, with about 29 holds.
19.(253)Luke Gregerson (Oak - RP)
THOUGHTS: AUTODRAFT. The Padres long time set-up man was traded to Oakland in the offseason. He goes from one great pitcher’s park to another in Oakland’s O.co Stadium. Gregerson is your prototypical reliever: throws heat, doesn’t walk anyone and strikes guys out with regularity. He’s been reliable for so long, but he is turning 30 this year, and you wonder how much longer he’s going to be keeping this up. Not really a concern for me, I have other guys to keep. I’d like to see about 4 Wins 4 Saves with a 2.55 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and about 65 strikeouts in 67 innings.
20.(280)Michael Morse (SF - 1B,LF,RF)
THOUGHTS: AUTODRAFT. Another case of not setting my autopick properly. This could’ve been Avisail Garcia. I’m taking a flier on Morse. Judging from who went after, I would’ve preferred Michael Pineda or Khris Davis, those two were much higher on my want list. He’s a great hitter when healthy, but that’s a big question mark. He’s missed a lot of time in the past few seasons, except for his breakout year. Plus he’s going to a park where offense goes to die. He did ok in Seattle and Washington, so he should be ok, it’s just about keeping him in the lineup. I’m expecting a .278 AVG with 22 HRs and 79 RBI WITH 70 R in about 140 games. 140 is being optimistic too.
21.(281)Oscar Taveras (StL - RF)
THOUGHTS: AUTODRAFT. Definitely a stash pick. Taveras is the Cardinals best hitting prospect. He’s been injured last season as well as this spring, so I may not see him debut a while, but this is a keeper candidate if I ever saw one. I am holding on to this guy. The other problem with him is that he’s blocked by Allen Craig, Jon Jay and Pete Bourjos. It’s not going to be that easy to supplant those guys, but if he tears it up in the minors, what choice does St. Louis have?
22.(308)Taijuan Walker (Sea - SP)
THOUGHTS: AUTODRAFT. Another stash pick. Walker is hurt, and will most likely be out until the middle of April or so. A stud pitcher with a fastball-curve-changeup repertoire, he brings the heat with mid-90’s fastballs that can touch 98. He could be what Michael Pineda was back in 2010, but we’ll see where he goes. I’m excited either way to have him as a bench player.
If I had to handicap my keeper picks now it would be Walker, Tavares, Wheeler, Lawrie and Myers. Don’t hold me to it, but I like those guys the most for 2015. I might swap Lawrie for Estrada for value (I can draft someone better in round 5 most likely).
So that’s it. I’m not thrilled with my team, but playing against a league that pays attention, and knows as much if not more than me, I like my team enough and I’m ready for the challenge. Knowing my past patterns, 33 - 40% of my team will be added and dropped repeatedly, but I have to remind myself to be patient with players with a track record or who are still developing. With the introduction of keepers in this league, I’m in it for the long haul, not just this season.