This past weekend, I had the privilege of participating in a fantasy baseball experts draft as part of the Fantasy Sports Invitational Challenge sponsored by Fantasy Sports R Us.
The league consists of 12 teams and features an AL-only player universe – meaning you will find names and draft positions of some players that might not make any sense for your league.
For those of you who are playing in AL-only leagues this season, publishing these draft results could be a real gift. This was probably the toughest draft I have ever participated in because I had to dig deep into my dungeon of player knowledge to come up with late round draft picks as I did in this draft.
5×5 roto scoring will be used for points with set lineups locked each week on Monday. Every team has one hitter at each field position, one middle infielder, one corner infielder, five outfielders, one DH spot and nine pitcher spots.
The draft consisted of 27 rounds in a snake format, making this the LONGEST and deepest draft I have ever seen.
When you’re in an AL-only league – that isn’t really the best thing!
Since I was the newest member of the league, I was granted the first draft pick. Since Alex Rodriguez is out, I drafted Grady Sizemore no. 1. I’m very high on Sizemore in 2009, and we have him ranked our top outfielder heading into the season.
Miguel Cabrera was the first first baseman drafted at no. 3. AL MVP Dustin Pedroia went no. 4 as the first second baseman off the board. Evan Longoria was the first hot corner at no. 9. C.C. Sabathia capped the end of round 1 as the first pitcher selected.
Josh Hamilton (no. 2), Matt Holliday (5), Mark Teixeira (6), Ian Kinsler (7), B.J. Upton (8), Justin Morneau (10), and Carlos Quentin (11) also went in round one. A-Rod was noticeably missing from round one due to his injury.
Jonathan Papelbon was the first closer off the board with the fourth pick in round two. David Ortiz was the first DH-only player drafted in round three. After going in round two at no. 17 overall in my mixed league draft last week, Derek Jeter was the first shortstop taken – with the third pick in round four! Victor Martinez was the first catcher selected with the last pick in round four.
Things to note from this draft:
- Baltimore top prospect Matt Wieters was the second catcher drafted, eight picks before Joe Mauer, in round five.
- Cy Young winner Cliff Lee was the 9th pitcher off the board, no. 36 overall.
- Immediately following the draft, I traded my third round pick (Jon Lester) for no. 3 pick in round three (Jermaine Dye).
- Chien Ming Wang – the steal of my mixed league draft – was selected with the first pick in round six.
- Brian Buscher – the Minnesota Twins backup third baseman – was Mr. Irrelevent.
The steal of this draft – in my opinion – was Joe Crede, drafted with the sixth pick in round 16 (no. 186 overall). While he has battled injuries the past couple seasons, he produced 5×5 numbers in his last full season (2006) of .283/30/94/76/0. CBS Sports projects him to hit 17 homeruns and bat .256 in only 366 at-bats this year, but if he is healthy, Crede could easily exceed those numbers playing 81 games in the Homerdome in 2009.
The players I drafted in each round are listed below with overall selection number in parentheses. Admittedly, I punted saves during this draft, but hopefully I can stream some saves as closers get injured.
Check out our league’s full draft results at the link at the bottom, courtesy of Scribd.
- Grady Sizemore (1)
- Alexei Ramirez (24)
- Josh Beckett (25)
- Victor Martinez (48)
- Jon Lester (49)
- Mike Aviles (72)
- David Price (73)
- Carlos Gomez (96)
- Gavin Floyd (97)
- Armando Galarraga (120)
- Melvin Mora (121)
- David DeJesus (144)
- Brandon Inge (145)
- Mark Teahan (168)
- Matt Joyce (169)
- Vicente Padilla (192)
- Jose Bautista (193)
- Cesar Izturis (216)
- Eric Chavez (217)
- Gio Gonzalez (240)
- Clayton Richard (241)
- Andruw Jones (264)
- Dontrelle Willis (265)
- Nick Punto (289)
- John Buck (290)
- Zach Miner (313)
- Tyler Walker (314)