Tuesday night I was joined by some friends in the blogosphere, some coworkers, some friends, and some family for the 5th annual BeeZee’z BaLLaZ fantasy baseball league draft.
For the sake of blogging about a fantasy draft, I find it much more effective to review a draft of a REAL league as opposed to an experts league. Why? Because in all likelihood, YOU’RE not going to be drafting with experts. Experts reach for prospects, never show favoritism towards a league or a team, and always draft closers much later than your buddies.
In 2009, my league is a head-to-head contest consisting of 12-teams with 7 hitter categories (average, runs, homeruns, RBI, steals, walks, OBP) and 7 pitcher categories (wins, saves, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, quality starts, save percentage).
Lineups include 1 hitter at each of the infield positions, 3 outfielders, 1 utility hitter, 2 starting pitchers, 2 relievers, and 3 wild card pitcher slots. There are 5 bench spots and 2 disabled list slots.
The draft consisted of 21 rounds in a snake format. Before we get started, let me introduce you to 5 particular league members:
- TD of Rain Delay – the man behind the best Braves/Mariners combo blog on the internet
- “Dashing” Dan Massey – Our trade analyst, prospect expert, and a fantasy sportswriter for Lancaster Newspapers.
- DuBBZ Bentz – BeeZee’z brother and occasional contributor to our sister site devoted to college fantasy football.
- Steve – a first-time fantasy baseball player who can throw a 91 MPH fastball. He manages the day-to-day ops of a provider of home value estimates.
- Dave – a diehard Yanks fan, first-time fantasy baseball player, and expert in all things internet marketing.
TD had the first choice and took Hanley Ramirez. Pujols was the top first baseman at no. 2. David Wright was the first third baseman off the board at no. 4. Grady Sizemore was the first outfielder at no. 5. Carlos Beltran (ok) and Jimmy Rollins (surprise) jumped into the first round thanks to depth and injuries.
After three shortstops went in the first round, Ian Kinsler was the first second baseman off the board at no. 14. Shortstop no. 4 was the lowest value draft pick of the night – at pick no. 17. DEREK JETER – he of the .300/11/69/88/11 statline in 2008 – went in the middle of round 2. Unexplainable picks like this are why you should NEVER consult expert drafts before your league’s draft.
Dashing Dan took Tim Lincecum at no. 20 as the top pitcher off the board – Johan Santana immediately followed off the board at no. 21. TD reached for Brian McCann at the end of round 2 to snake the first catcher in the second lowest value draft pick of the night.
The last “first” positional player drafted was Mariano Rivera – our no. 1 closer heading into this season – at no. 41 overall. Other notable draft picks included:
- Manny Ramirez (no. 25), C.C. Sabathia (31), Matt Holliday (32), and A-Rod (36) all in round 3
- Cole Hamels (39), Alexei Ramirez (43), and Scott Kazmir (48) went in round 4
- 3 catchers went in round 5 – R-Mart (51), Mauer (52), and Soto (56)
- Cliff Lee was drafted in round 9 (98) as was Bobby Abreu (100)
- For some inexplicable reason, Justin Masterson was selected with the no. 8 pick in round 11
While Derek Jeter CLEARLY was the worst selection of the draft unless he somehow slugs over 30 homeruns this season, another Yankee could have been the steal of the draft. In round 16, Chien-Ming Wang was selected no. 189 overall. While he is recovering from injury, drafting a potential 54-game winner in 95 career starts as late as 189 should definitely constitute a steal. Nice choice DuBBZ.
The players I drafted in each round are listed below with overall selection number in parentheses. Check out our league’s full draft results at the link below. Thanks to Scribd for giving all of us a place to publish things.
- Carlos Beltran (11)
- Ian Kinsler (14)
- Roy Halladay (35)
- Adrian Gonzalez (38)
- Dan Haren (59)
- Troy Tulowitzki (62)
- Chris Ianetta (83)
- John Lackey (86)
- Ryan Zimmerman (107)
- Jon Lester (110)
- Vernon Wells (131)
- Torii Hunter (134)
- Mike Aviles (155)
- Brian Wilson (158)
- Andre Ethier (179)
- Chad Qualls (182)
- Trevor Hoffman (203)
- Pablo Sandoval (206)
- Armando Galarraga (227)
- John Maine (230)
- Travis Hafner (251)