I know, I know. No one else cares about my fantasy baseball team. I am writing this post to gather my thoughts immediately post-draft because a lot will change in a short amount of time and I’ll wonder what the heck I was thinking drafting a 35-year-old first baseman in round 9 or a 34-year-old starting pitcher whose best days may very well be behind him. (And missing out of my favorite teams’ best young players..more on that later)
First, my team:
Our league allows for up to five keepers. You are allowed to keep the player in the round they were drafted originally. My keepers are starred in the above picture. You may notice Rounds 3, 4, 8, 9, and 13 missing. I made several trades involving draft picks last season to acquire players and make a push to win the league.
As you may notice by my team name, it worked. I won the league and the trades turned out to be worth it, despite hurting me for this draft.
I could have kept Jameson Taillon in Round 10 and absolutely regret choosing Jesse Winker over him. Taillon went in Round 4, 38th overall. I could have kept him at 114th overall. Aside from that, my remaining keepers each were being drafted much sooner than where I was able to “draft” them. I’m nervous that Winker may not start every day, but I was able to get Matt Kemp so I should have at least one starter every day between the two of them.
Starting out the draft with Baez, Myers, Mondesi, Bauer, and Winker was nice as far as filling positions go. I didn’t really have to chase a middle infielder early on. My first pick presented Freeman, Jose Altuve, Giancarlo Stanton, and Manny Machado. Freeman was the pick based on position mainly. The runner-up was Altuve for sure. I actually didn’t draft any 2B, and instead took 3 more 1B, so that seems head-scratching right now (20 minutes after the draft and lacking sleep).
Round 2: After that, I chose Thor (who is looking more mullet-like currently, love it) over Kris Bryant. Once again, this was influenced by my keepers. I love Bryant this year as he played injured for most of last season. I could have gotten him at Pick 18, but that’s excluding the 60 players kept in total. Insane value if he even sniffs his MVP production from 2016.
Looking at Doolittle in Round 5, I am mad at myself. I hate chasing saves early in the draft. Round 5 is so damn high for a guy who isn’t even an elite closer. Man oh man, I hope the Nationals are good…
Picking Devers in Round 6 wasn’t an easy choice. Clayton Kershaw was available and Luis Castillo, the Reds opening day starter (Also, a player on my roster from last year that I could have kept). One of my main goals of the draft was making sure I got Castillo. I blame the Yahoo! draft client (just kidding, it’s my own damn fault for not remembering that I had kept Baez in Round 7).
An aside: The stupid draft software makes your next pick bold and puts a line under the player that would fall to you next if everyone drafts in the order of the board. That doesn’t happen, but it’s a nice barometer to see if you can wait to grab a guy. As it were, Castillo went pick 85. My pick was 79. I would have gotten him had I had my pick rather than a keeper. I’m not used to drafting with keepers, and I think Yahoo! needs to change the way they show your picks. Oh well, maybe Castillo wouldn’t have been worth it.
So, I’ve gotten two ace’s, great hitters so far, and now I have to wait.. No picks Round 8 or 9 (I got Clayton Kershaw, R22, R23 for Dexter Fowler, R8, R9 last year, LOL).
Finally, my turn to pick again, and I go with Kyle Schwarber in Round 10. I was considering Nick Pivetta and eye-balling some closers in Cody Allen and Jose Alvarado. I had no intention of taking Schwarber until after the 1:00 clock had started for my pick. So, I’m fully on board with my guy Eno Sarris.
Pivetta didn’t make it back to me as he went Pick 118. I settled on Jose Alvarado at pick 123. Feels too early for another closer but I was tired of missing on guys I like. I have heard his name on some podcasts recently, I think. Seriously, if he and Doolittle don’t work out, I am never drafting a closer before Round 15 again.
Next, I really screwed up, taking Hyun-Jin Ryu over teammates Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling. This is mainly due to Nick Pollack’s pitcher rankings, which I just happened to look up right after drafting Ryu.
Talk about head-scratching and you have my Round 12 pick, Miguel Cabrera. A far cry from his 2012 and 2013 MVP seasons, Miggy fell below 500 plate appearances for the first time since he debut season of 2003 with the Marlins. The good news? His .299/.395/.448 triple-slash was much better than 2017 (.249/.329/.399) which featured his worst numbers since, you guessed it, 2003. I am taking a flyer that Miggy still has some left in the tank and taking advantage of the Fantasy ageism that absolutely exists.
I’m a little upset with my Round 12 and 14 picks, in Yusei Kikuchi and Jon Gray. Not because I don’t like the players, but because I fell into the trap of drafting based on the ranking in front of me, not the value that is out there. I think hitters are much harder to come by and try to focus on getting quality hitting before shoring up the pitching staff. The biggest reason, for sure, was that Nick Senzel went Pick 154. There is no universe that I value Kikuchi over Senzel. I can’t believe I forgot about him. I wanted Castillo and Senzel.. and didn’t get either one.
Writing this isn’t helping me enjoy my team much more.. so I’m gonna lighting-round the rest of my picks:
- Pedro Strop – Opens the season as Cubs’ closer, hoping for some saves early on.
- Josh Bell – Solid OBP guy who has a 20-homer bat. Insurance for Miggy I guess.
- Jeff Samardzija – My favorite podcast has boosted him up. Three consecutive years of 200+ IP and decent ERA/WHIP before last year.
- Jackie Bradley Jr. – Another Eno Sarris guy. In a great lineup.
- Matt Kemp – Potential platoon with Winker and a Red… I didn’t have a great strategy late.
- Francisco Mejia – This guy was a “top prospect” at some point… and I have to fill the C slot, I think.
- Shohei Ohtani (Pitcher) – This is literally just to keep him next year.
- Jesse Winker – My last keeper. I actually had dinner with Jesse last year at the Reds Hall of Fame induction. Nice guy. Big Buffalo Bills fan.
- Matt Olson – See Ohtani above. Only 24 years old and after injury, could be a steal of a keeper next season.
Well, there we have it. Honestly, I don’t love my team. Not a great sign immediately after a draft. Good thing I won this league last year. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Seriously, I know you don’t care about my fantasy team.