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Breaking Down the Fantasy Baseball Draft

March 9, 2007 | By James Morris | comment on this post
The aftermath of the fantasy draft.
Here’s what James’ cheat sheets look like after a hard fought draft.

Fantasy baseball has already started and it is never too early to get a live draft going. I completed my first draft only minutes ago and saw some strange trends going on. Here is a breakdown of my picks and why I made them. The league has 16 teams, it is a snake style draft, and the scoring catagories are as follows:

Roster Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, Util, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL
Stat Categories: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP

I’ll go through the draft with the following format: Round, Pick No., Player, Position

1. (3), Johan Santana, SP

Some knucklehead took Alfonso Soriano No. 1 overall, which left Albert Pujols to go second, and I gladly took Santana third. There is nothing like getting the majors’ best pitcher with the third pick in a draft. The goal here is a 2.75 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 20 wins and 250 Ks.

2. (30), Miguel Tejada, SS

Tejada is durable, had his best season thus far last year, hitting .330/.379/.498 for an OPS of 878. Behind Jose Reyes, Tejada is the best SS on the market. He is starting to slow down a bit in the field, but 26 HRs and 105 RBI are likely totals for him this season. Grabbing him with the 30th overall pick is a steal. He could possibly wind up at .320/.370/.505

3. (35), Joe Mauer, C

Well, I was the first to take a catcher in the draft, but with 16 teams, if the run started and we were on pick four of a round, I could wind up starting Chris Iannetta and praying he is the sleeper we all talk about him being. Mauer had a great ’06 season, and could actually improve his power numbers to around 30 HRs at some point in his career. Here’s what I see for him this year: .315/.395/.495.

4. (62), Brian Roberts, 2B

Okay, Brian Roberts is a top 50 fantasy player on my draft chart, so getting him at 62 was good for me. Once I saw Chase Utley and Robinson Cano go, I knew it was time to get Roberts before I ended up with Chone Figgins. My expectations: .290/.355/.430 with 33 stolen bases.

5. (67), John Lackey, SP

Lackey is underrated and I think he has the stuff to be a future Cy Young winner. He is like Brandon Webb in that he keeps the ball on the ground and out of the stands. Lackey had a great second half last season and I hope to see
around 185 Ks, 15 wins, 3.60 ERA, and a 1.30 WHIP. A top 10 SP in the fifth round (67th overall) is great value.

6. (94), Francisco Cordero, RP

A bit of a run started in closers, so I had to burn two picks in a row to make sure I got enough saves to compete. Cordero couldn’t have been much worse in Texas, but that’s a hitter’s park anyway. However, after going to the Brewers, he converted 16 of 18 save chances with a 1.69 ERA after Derrick Turnbow imploded. I’m thinking Cordero could get me 35 saves with a 3.30 ERA.

7. (99), Chris Ray, RP

Well, Ray is a high risk/high reward pick to me. He has the raw talent to be real good, he still needs to improve how lefties hit him and get his command more in order. Ray’s main problem is that he puts everything he’s got into every pitch he throws. This is a time when 110 per cent at all times can hurt you. I’m hoping for a 2.75 ERA with 35 saves out of him.

8. (126), Mark Teahen, 3B

Okay, so the 3B ran came and I was left reaching on Teahen. I will say that will be in the OF around the All-Star break, but he will still qualify at third this season. He had a monster second half last season (947 OPS), and I look for him to carry that over into this season. A line of .290/.350/.490 isn’t asking too much…right?

9. (131), Jeff Francoeur, OF

I take my first outfielder at pick 131. Admittedly, I waited a bit longer than I should have. Francoeur should hit around .265/.330/.475, but that’s a big maybe. I waited too long and this is what I ended up with.

10. (158), Willy Taveras, OF

Now I am worried because my OF is horrible so far and things don’t look very good from what is left on the board. Taveras is going to do nothing with the stick, but his legs made me take him here. He can easily steal 55 bases if the Rockies turn him loose. But, he has no pop in the bat and strikes out way too much to start on most fantasy teams. A line of .265/.315/.340 with
55 SBs is a dream come true from him.

11. (163), Dave Bush, SP

After the OF crisis, I decided to take a break from making my “Oh no” picks and took a guy here I think can be a real sleeper. Bush is an innings eater that attacks hitters. He has crazy control, a very solid K rate, and he could be just the third starter I am looking for. A line of 16 wins, 165 Ks, a 3.25 ERA, and a 1.10 WHIP sound good to me.

12. (190), Adam Wainwright, RP

Making the transition from the pen to the rotation is hard for most to do, but Wainwright hasn’t allowed a hit in seven innings so far this spring. The risk here is that if Jason Isringhausen falls apart, Wainwright gets thrown
back into the CL role. I am banking on Izzy having one more season in the tank. I need to get 110 innings, 3.75 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, six wins and maybe 100 Ks from Wainwright. This pick was a reach, but the OF problem is still on my mind.

13. (195), Jeremy Hermida, OF

I looked over the OF left on the board in hopes of finding someone…anyone…that I could start and get some stats from. Hermida
caught my eye. His rookie season plagued with injury scared draftees away, but not me. He has a sweet stroke with the bat, power potential and awesome plate discipline — all the tools to bust out this season. I’m thinking that .280/.395/.475 is possible.

14. (222), Lyle Overbay, 1B

It just occurred to me, I don’t have a first baseman! Normally, that’s not an issue in a keeper league, but we’re not drafting a keeper squad. Oh no…OF all over again. Scroll…scroll…scroll…Overbay to the rescue. He had a great 2006 season and I bet he does it again. Overbay has reached his prime and is not a bad middle of the pack option at 1B. I’m expected .300/.375/.470.

15. (227), Adri’n Gonz’lez, 1B

Just in case Overbay doesn’t get it done, Gonzalez just may. Playing in PETCO hurts his power, but he does play half his games outside of San Diego. This is just a hope and pray pick. My hope is to see a line of .295/.375/.490 come September.

16. (254), Matt Garza, SP

I just couldn’t wait any longer to take the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, Garza got one too many outs to quality for the award, but regardless, he has the attitude of an ace and the arm to back it up. Not quite a Francisco Liriano on any level, I will sure take a poor man’s Liriano at pick 254 of any draft! I see him getting 12 wins, 150 Ks, 3.95 ERA, and 1.20 WHIP.

17. (259), Greg Maddux, SP

When you take Maddux in 2007, remember that he is going to be 41 in April. Don’t bank on 200 innings, but what hurts Gonzalez in PETCO, I am hoping will help Maddux get 15 wins, a 4.20 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and maybe 125 Ks.

18. (286), Chris Burke, 2B/OF

Why did I take Burke, you’re wondering. Well, I’m wondering that myself. I’ve been reading and people think he could have a good season playing in the OF. This was just to get a guy to back up Roberts at 2B and hope for the best. I’m crossing my fingers for a season of .280/.350/.425.

19. (291), Geoff Jenkins, OF

And the OF problems just get worse. Jenkins and I both hope for a trade out of Milwaukee. He had an OPS of 1178 OPS last September. Okay, so I messed up drafting my outfield. I’m hoping Jenkins puts up a line of .275/.355/.460.

20. (318), Dan Wheeler, RP

I don’t trust Brad Lidge, so I took his heir. Wheeler strikes people out enough to keep his ERA and WHIP looking good even if he is just a set-up guy. There isn’t much left in round 20, and Wheeler is a sleeper hopeful. My hope is a 2.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and maybe 10 saves.

21. (323), Tony Graffanino, 1B/2B/3B/SS

When do you know a draft has ended? When Graffanino starts looking attractive. What can I say other than I needed someone to occupy some middle infield spots and I wasn’t happy over my OF problem. If he hits .270/.340/.380 in 280 ABs, that would be fine at pick 323.

So, when it is all said and done I walk away happy with my team, but know that the outfield is going to be my downfall. I waited too long to take an OFer and may just end up trading for one or picking up the hot FA after Week Two. Let this serve as a lesson to you all, grab at least one starter at each position before you take a second. Grabbing closers back-to-back in rounds six
and seven instead of taking an OFer in round seven may hurt me when all is said and done. Only time will tell, but Francoeur, Taveras, Hermida and Jenkins is never a good OF line-up.

Team Names: WVU Mountaineers, UK Wildcats, Fighting Illini, SD State Aztecs, Washington Huskies, Ohio State Buckeyes, Alabama Crimson Tide, Virginia Tech Hokies, Maryland Terrapins, Golden Gophers, Northwestern ‘Cats, UNM Lobos (my team), NY BCC Broncos, Texas Longhorns, Go Terps and Notre Dame Irish.

Round One

1. Alfonso Soriano, Alabama
2. Albert Pujols, Northwestern
3. Johan Santana, UNM Lobos
4. Jos’ Reyes, Fighting Illini
5. Ryan Howard, Ohio State
6. ‘lex Rodr’guez, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Carlos Beltr’n, Maryland
8. Chase Utley, SD State Aztecs
9. David Ortiz, UK Wildcats
10. Miguel Cabrera, Go Terps
11. David Wright, WVU
12. Vladimir Guerrero, NY BCC
13. Manny Ram’rez, Notre Dame
14. Carl Crawford, Golden Gophers
15. Lance Berkman, Washington
16. Grady Sizemore, Texas Longhorns

Round Two

1. Carlos Zambrano, Texas Longhorns
2. Mark Teixeira, Washington
3. Jason Bay, Golden Gophers
4. Hideki Matsui, Notre Dame
5. Justin Morneau, NY BCC
6. Travis Hafner, WVU
7. Carlos Lee, Go Terps
8. Chris Carpenter, UK Wildcats
9. Jimmy Rollins, SD State Aztecs
10. Matt Holliday, Maryland
11. Vernon Wells, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Ichiro Suzuki, Ohio State
13. Andruw Jones, Fighting Illini
14. Miguel Tejada, UNM Lobos
15. Jake Peavy, Northwestern
16. Roy Oswalt, Alabama

Round Three

1. Roy Halladay, Alabama
2. Derrek Lee, Northwestern
3. Joe Mauer, UNM Lobos
4. Jermaine Dye, Fighting Illini
5. Derek Jeter, Ohio State
6. Michael Young, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Garrett Atkins, Maryland
8. Troy Glaus, SD State Aztecs
9. Hanley Ram’rez, UK Wildcats
10. Bobby Abreu, Go Terps
11. Rafael Furcal, WVU
12. Brandon Webb, NY BCC
13. John Smoltz, Notre Dame
14. Paul Konerko, Golden Gophers
15. Aramis Ram’rez, Washington
16. Scott Rolen, Texas Longhorns

Round Four

1. Justin Verlander, Texas Longhorns
2. V’ctor Mart’nez, Washington
3. Michael Cuddyer, Golden Gophers
4. Chone Figgins, Notre Dame
5. Mariano Rivera, NY BCC
6. Francisco Rodr’guez, WVU
7. Joe Nathan, Go Terps
8. Robinson Can’, UK Wildcats
9. Carlos Delgado, SD State Aztecs
10. B.J. Ryan, Maryland
11. Billy Wagner, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Ben Sheets, Ohio State
13. Trevor Hoffman, Fighting Illini
14. Brian Roberts, UNM Lobos
15. F’lix Hern’ndez, Northwestern…
16. Todd Helton, Alabama

Round Five

1. Johnny Damon, Alabama
2. Ryan Zimmerman, Northwestern
3. John Lackey, UNM Lobos
4. Jim Thome, Fighting Illini
5. Brian McCann, Ohio State
6. Huston Street, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Maryland
8. J.J. Putz, SD State Aztecs
9. Dan Uggla, UK Wildcats
10. Gary Sheffield, Go Terps
11. Juan Pierre, WVU
12. Ram’n Hern’ndez, NY BCC
13. Jason Schmidt, Notre Dame
14. Aaron Harang, Golden Gophers
15. Carlos Guill’n, Washington
16. Adam Dunn, Texas Longhorns

Round Six

1. Tom Gordon, Texas Longhorns
2. Rickie Weeks, Washington
3. Bill Hall, Golden Gophers
4. Barry Bonds, Notre Dame
5. Adri’n B’ltre, NY BCC
6. Jeremy Bonderman, WVU
7. Felipe L’pez, Go Terps
8. Chipper Jones, UK Wildcats
9. Scott Kazmir, SD State Aztecs
10. Chris Young, Maryland
11. C.C. Sabathia, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Cole Hamels, Ohio State
13. Rich Harden, Fighting Illini
14. Francisco Cordero, UNM Lobos
15. Bobby Jenks, Northwestern
16. Julio Lugo, Alabama

Round Seven

1. Eric Ch’vez, Alabama
2. Jeff Kent, Northwestern
3. Chris Ray, UNM Lobos
4. Nick Swisher, Fighting Illini
5. Joe Crede, Ohio State
6. Dontrelle Willis, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Takashi Saito, Maryland
8. Corey Patterson, SD State Aztecs
9. Matt Cain, UK Wildcats
10. Brett Myers, Go Terps
11. Richie Sexson, WVU
12. Rich Aurilia, NY BCC
13. Brad Lidge, Notre Dame
14. Ryan Freel, Golden Gophers
15. Rocco Baldelli, Washington
16. Jonathan Papelbon, Texas Longhorns

Round Eight

1. Jered Weaver, Texas Longhorns
2. Magglio Ord”ez, Washington
3. Howie Kendrick, Golden Gophers
4. Hank Blalock, Notre Dame
5. ‘dgar Renter’a, NY BCC
6. Eric Gagne, WVU
7. Delmon Young, Go Terps
8. Chad Cordero, UK Wildcats
9. Barry Zito, SD State Aztecs
10. Orlando Cabrera, Maryland
11. Josh Barfield, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Prince Fielder, Ohio State
13. Jason Isringhausen, Fighting Illini
14. Mark Teahen, UNM Lobos
15. ‘lex R’os, Northwestern
16. Curt Schilling, Alabama

Round Nine

1. Iv’n Rodr’guez, Alabama
2. Kenji Johjima, Northwestern
3. Jeff Francoeur, UNM Lobos
4. Mike Mussina, Fighting Illini
5. Dan Haren, Ohio State
6. Ra’l Iba’ez, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Adam LaRoche, Maryland
8. Erik Bedard, SD State Aztecs
9. Torii Hunter, UK Wildcats
10. Mike Cameron, Go Terps
11. Scott Podsednik, WVU
12. Ken Griffey Jr., NY BCC
13. Andy Pettitte, Notre Dame
14. Brad Penny, Golden Gophers
15. Randy Johnson, Washington
16. Jason Giambi, Texas Longhorns

Round 10

1. J.D. Drew, Texas Longhorns
2. Roger Clemens, Washington
3. Chris Capuano, Golden Gophers
4. Pedro Mart’nez, Notre Dame
5. Mois’s Alou, NY BCC
6. Ervin Santana, WVU
7. Tadahito Iguchi, Go Terps
8. Brian Fuentes, UK Wildcats
9. Bob Wickman, SD State Aztecs
10. Ian Kinsler, Maryland
11. Eric Byrnes, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Nick Markakis, Ohio State
13. Bronson Arroyo, Fighting Illini
14. Willy Taveras, UNM Lobos
15. Josh Beckett, Northwestern
16. Todd Jones, Alabama

Round 11

1. Chien-Ming Wang, Alabama
2. Brad Hawpe, Northwestern
3. Dave Bush, UNM Lobos
4. Brandon Phillips, Fighting Illini
5. Freddy S’nchez, Ohio State
6. Kerry Wood, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Michael Barrett, Maryland
8. Rich Hill, SD State Aztecs
9. Pat Burrell, UK Wildcats
10. Mike Piazza, Go Terps
11. Jorge Cant’, WVU
12. Joel Zumaya, NY BCC
13. Bobby Crosby, Notre Dame
14. Freddy Garc’a, Golden Gophers
15. Coco Crisp, Washington
16. Jhonny Peralta, Texas Longhorns

Round 12

1. Joe Borowski, Texas Longhorns
2. Mark Prior, Washington
3. Ryan Dempster, Golden Gophers
4. Jorge Posada, Notre Dame
5. Kevin Millwood, NY BCC
6. A.J. Pierzynski, WVU
7. Armando Ben’tez, Go Terps
8. Josh Willingham, UK Wildcats
9. Dave Roberts, SD State Aztecs
10. Kelvim Escobar, Maryland
11. Russell Martin, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Ray Durham, Ohio State
13. A.J. Burnett, Fighting Illini
14. Adam Wainwright, UNM Lobos
15. Austin Kearns, Northwestern
16. Jos’ Valverde, Alabama

Round 13

1. Stephen Drew, Alabama
2. Derek Lowe, Northwestern
3. Jeremy Hermida, UNM Lobos
4. Chris Duffy, Fighting Illini
5. Curtis Granderson, Ohio State
6. Nomar Garciaparra, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Kenny Lofton, Maryland
8. Taylor Tankersley, SD State Aztecs
9. Jason Varitek, UK Wildcats
10. Javier V’zquez, Go Terps
11. Bartolo Col’n, WVU
12. Jon Garland, NY BCC
13. Aubrey Huff, Notre Dame
14. Joel Pi’eiro, Golden Gophers
15. Octavio Dotel, Washington
16. Luis Castillo, Texas Longhorns

Round 14

1. Bengie Molina, Texas Longhorns
2. Tim Hudson, Washington
3. Jeremy Sowers, Golden Gophers
4. Jim Edmonds, Notre Dame
5. Scott Olsen, NY BCC
6. Ted Lilly, WVU
7. Josh Johnson, Go Terps
8. Tom Glavine, UK Wildcats
9. Ian Snell, SD State Aztecs
10. Frank Thomas, Maryland
11. Mark Mulder, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Kenny Rogers, Ohio State
13. Jos’ Contreras, Fighting Illini
14. Lyle Overbay, UNM Lobos
15. Salom’n Torres, Northwestern
16. Gary Matthews Jr., Alabama

Round 15

1. Juan Rivera, Alabama
2. Omar Vizquel, Northwestern
3. Adri’n Gonz’lez, UNM Lobos
4. Josh Bard, Fighting Illini
5. Noah Lowry, Ohio State
6. Craig Biggio, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Jonathan Broxton, Maryland
8. Chris Duncan, SD State Aztecs
9. John Patterson, UK Wildcats
10. Mike Gonz’lez, Go Terps
11. Milton Bradley, WVU
12. Kei Igawa, NY BCC
13. Paul Lo Duca, Notre Dame
14. Jonny Gomes, Golden Gophers
15. Daniel Cabrera, Washington
16. Kris Benson, Texas Longhorns

Round 16

1. Cliff Lee, Texas Longhorns
2. Adam Eaton, Washington
3. Johnny Estrada, Golden Gophers
4. Nick Johnson, Notre Dame
5. David Ross, NY BCC
6. Orlando Hern’ndez, WVU
7. Akinori Otsuka, Go Terps
8. Mark Buehrle, UK Wildcats
9. Nate Robertson, SD State Aztecs
10. Kevin Youkilis, Maryland
11. Jeff Suppan, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Francisco Liriano, Ohio State
13. Melvin Mora, Fighting Illini
14. Matt Garza, UNM Lobos
15. Alex Gordon, Northwestern
16. Anibal S’nchez, Alabama

Round 17

1. Marcus Giles, Alabama
2. Casey Blake, Northwestern
3. Greg Maddux, UNM Lobos
4. Jacque Jones, Fighting Illini
5. Rafael Soriano, Ohio State
6. Brian Giles, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Mark DeRosa, Maryland
8. Akinori Iwamura, SD State Aztecs
9. Morgan Ensberg, UK Wildcats
10. Chad Tracy, Go Terps
11. Ty Wigginton, WVU
12. Jamie Moyer, NY BCC
13. Orlando Hudson, Notre Dame
14. Conor Jackson, Golden Gophers
15. Scot Shields, Washington
16. Carlos Quentin, Texas Longhorns

Round 18

1. B.J. Upton, Texas Longhorns
2. Scott Linebrink, Washington
3. Jason Jennings, Golden Gophers
4. Zach Duke, Notre Dame
5. Pl’cido Polanco, NY BCC
6. Andre Ethier, WVU
7. Brad Wilkerson, Go Terps
8. Shea Hillenbrand, UK Wildcats
9. Mike Jacobs, SD State Aztecs
10. Mike Lowell, Maryland
11. Wilson Betemit, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Brandon Inge, Ohio State
13. Edwin Encarnaci’n, Fighting Illini
14. Chris Burke, UNM Lobos
15. Aaron Rowand, Northwestern
16. Jake Westbrook, Alabama

Round 19

1. Javy L’pez, Alabama
2. Doug Davis, Northwestern
3. Geoff Jenkins, UNM Lobos
4. Garret Anderson, Fighting Illini
5. Ryan Shealy, Ohio State
6. David Weathers, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Matt Murton, Maryland
8. Miguel Olivo, SD State Aztecs
9. Mark Loretta, UK Wildcats
10. Troy Tulowitzki, Go Terps
11. Gil Meche, WVU
12. Craig Monroe, NY BCC
13. Clay Hensley, Notre Dame
14. Joe Blanton, Golden Gophers
15. Jason Kendall, Washington
16. Kevin Mench, Texas Longhorns

Round 20

1. Sean Casey, Texas Longhorns
2. Joey Gathright, Washington
3. Chuck James, Golden Gophers
4. Shawn Green, Notre Dame
5. Pedro Feliz, NY BCC
6. Nick Punto, WVU
7. Jos’ Vidro, Go Terps
8. Randy Winn, UK Wildcats
9. Gerald Laird, SD State Aztecs
10. Cla Meredith, Maryland
11. Bob Howry, Va. Tech Hokies
12. Jos’ Guill’n, Ohio State
13. Vicente Padilla, Fighting Illini
14. Dan Wheeler, UNM Lobos
15. Seth McClung, Northwestern
16. Brendan Donnelly, Alabama

Round 21

1. David DeJes’s, Alabama
2. Chad Billingsley, Northwestern
3. Tony Graffanino, UNM Lobos
4. Tim Wakefield, Fighting Illini
5. Jeff Francis, Ohio State
6. Emil Brown, Va. Tech Hokies
7. Andrew Miller, Maryland
8. Mike Stanton, SD State Aztecs
9. Liv’n Hern’ndez, UK Wildcats
10. Woody Williams, Go Terps
11. Justin Duchscherer, WVU
12. Esteban Loaiza, NY BCC
13. Matt Morris, Notre Dame
14. J.J. Hardy, Golden Gophers
15. Jos’ L’pez, Washington
16. Jon Lieber, Texas Longhorns

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