BaseballGB Fantasy League 2012 draft recap – part one

On Sunday, March 17, it was draft day in the BaseballGB fantasy league. Our managers logged in for the 20-round draft which would see a total of 400 players drafted in just over two hours and 15 minutes.Before we look back on the draft, round-by-round, including my strategy for building my Orpington Isotopes, here’s some background information about the league.

This year’s BaseballGB fantasy league is the largest we have ever had, with 20 teams (the maximum Yahoo will allow in the same league) taking part. I had many more requests for places than 20 too.

Each team’s roster consists of a total of 20 players, and managers must fill the following positions:

1 x Catcher
1 x First baseman
1 x Second baseman
1 x Shortstop
1 x Third baseman
1 x Centrefielder
2 x Outfielders (can also be centrefielders)
1 x Utility (any other hitter)
2 x Starting pitchers
2 x Relief pitchers
2 x Pitchers (starters or relievers)
5 x Bench (combination of hitters and/or pitchers)

Teams play each other head-to-head each week and the 12 categories used are:

Runs Batted In
On base percentage + slugging percentage
Earned Run Average
Walks and hits per inning pitched

There is a 20-inning minimum limit – if a team fails to reach this the opposition automatically wins all of the pitching categories.

So here’s how the draft went:

Round 1
1. Miguel Cabrera(Det – 1B) Chatham Anglers
2. Albert Pujols(LAA – 1B) The Wright S…
3. Curtis Granderson(NYY – CF) Richie’s RBI’s
4. Matt Kemp(LAD – CF) Pretzel Vendors
5. Troy Tulowitzki(Col – SS) NE Riverkings
6. Ryan Braun(Mil – OF) Iron Men
7. Justin Upton(Ari – OF) daebhid2
8. José Bautista(Tor – 3B,OF) Orpington Is…
9. Robinson Canó(NYY – 2B) Pontypridd P…
10. Mariano Rivera(NYY – RP) Bonestalkers
11. Tim Lincecum(SF – SP) YD33’s
12. José Reyes(Mia – SS) Ridge Bolts
13. Adrián González(Bos – 1B) stevenston a…
14. Joey Votto(Cin – 1B) The Cheddar …
15. Carlos González(Col – CF) Weston-Super…
16. Matt Wieters(Bal – C) tavira expats
17. Justin Verlander(Det – SP) Boyd’s Base …
18. Jacoby Ellsbury(Bos – CF) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
19. Dustin Pedroia(Bos – 2B) SWAT*
20. Prince Fielder(Det – 1B) BD Yankees
After taking part in a 16-team draft the week before, I was wondering how a 20-teamer would go, forseeing a lot of scrambling around for players in the late rounds. Having had the good fortune of picking first in that draft, I logged on half an hour before the draft began to see which order Yahoo had jumbled the teams up in.
While picking early on has its obvious advantages, there would be a long wait between rounds, which can really affect your strategy. I found I was picking 8th, and after looking at the player rankings, hoped either Robinson Cano or Adrian Gonzalez would still be there when it was my turn.

It was no surprise to see Miguel Cabrera go first, especially as he will gain 3B eligibility this year. Pujols went next, which surely meant Kemp would go third, but Richie’s RBIs surprisingly picked a different CF in Granderson. I’m not knocking Curtis, as he’s a great player and a good guy too (remember his phone interviews on Five’s MLB coverage all those years ago?) and he had a big power year last season, but I would have to go with Kemp’s power and speed here. Nothing wrong with taking Granderson towards the end of the first round, but third overall is a stretch.Kemp was nabbed fourth, followed by Tulo and Braun, which meant I would be guaranteed one of Cano or Adrian, but daebhid opted for the considerable talent of Justin Upton, allowing me to nab Bautista, and solve a potential problem position of 3B, 8th overall.

Pontypridd took Cano straight after me before the biggest surprise of the first round in Bonesytalkers taking Rivera. I’m not a fan of taking a pitcher in the first round unless you are in a big league like this, but even then I would only do it for a stud starter like a Halladay, a Verlander or a Kershaw.I never like taking closers early on, and would never do so in the first round, so I think Bonestalkers may well regret passing on some of the big hitters or ace starters available here.

Lincecum was taken next before Ridge Bolts filled SS early with Reyes, a really nice pick here. Stevenston benefitted from Adrian’s fall by taking him 13th, which is excellent value, with Votto and CarGo also falling further than I had anticipated. Wieters going next was a surprise. A good hitting catcher is hard to find, but as they only tend to play 120 games if you are lucky, unless they have eligibility at another position like Napoli, Carlos Santana or Mauer, I wouldn’t take one this early.

Boyd’s Base On balls grab the best starter available in my opinion in Verlander, while JJ deserves kudos for taking Ellsbury’s power/speed combo in CF here. Pedroia and Fielder are the final first round selections, so then it’s time to reverse the order for the next round.

Round 2
1. Evan Longoria(TB – 3B) BD Yankees
2. Clayton Kershaw(LAD – SP) SWAT*
3. Roy Halladay(Phi – SP) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
4. Ian Kinsler(Tex – 2B) Boyd’s Base …
5. Álex Rodríguez(NYY – 3B) tavira expats
6. Hanley Ramírez(Mia – SS) Weston-Super…
7. Adrián Béltre(Tex – 3B) The Cheddar …
8. Cliff Lee(Phi – SP) stevenston a…
9. Giancarlo Stanton(Mia – OF) Ridge Bolts
10. Kevin Youkilis(Bos – 1B,3B) YD33’s
11. Brandon Beachy(Atl – SP) Bonestalkers
12. Josh Hamilton(Tex – CF) Pontypridd P…
13. Andrew McCutchen(Pit – CF) Orpington Is…
14. Mark Teixeira(NYY – 1B) daebhid2
15. Pablo Sandoval(SF – 1B,3B) Iron Men
16. David Wright(NYM – 3B) NE Riverkings
17. Félix Hernández(Sea – SP) Pretzel Vendors
18. Ryan Zimmerman(Was – 3B) Richie’s RBI’s
19. Dan Uggla(Atl – 2B) The Wright S…
20. Starlin Castro(ChC – SS) Chatham Anglers
The BD Yankees take Longoria to start the second round, giving them a really nice 1B/3B combo of Fielder and Longo, and back to back aces go in Kershaw and Halladay.Kinsler’s good value here, but Tavira takes another gamble here by drafting A-Rod. His power at 3B is nice to have, but can he stay healthy?

If it were me, I would have taken either of the next two hitters in Hanley Ramirez (who will add 3B eligibility this year) or Beltre. Ridge Bolts take a second Marlin, adding Stanton’s huge power potential with Reyes’ speed – a very nice combo there.Bonestalkers adds another arm in Beachy, again a surprise. Beachy had a nice season last year, but I’d have a hard time justifying taking him ahead of Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia or Price.As the queue makes its way back to me I am hoping for Hamilton to fill CF, but he is nabbed by Ponytypridd a pick before me.

I am pleasantly surprised to see McCutchen still there, and despite considering Holliday and Cruz, I opt for the Pirate.More corner infielders fly off the board, with Teixeira, Sandoval, Wright and Zimmerman all going in the space of five picks, so the Wright Stuff and Chatham make a dent in the middle infield market by drafting Uggla and Castro.

Round 3
1. Brett Lawrie(Tor – 3B) Chatham Anglers
2. Jay Bruce(Cin – OF) The Wright S…
3. Jered Weaver(LAA – SP) Richie’s RBI’s
4. CC Sabathia(NYY – SP) Pretzel Vendors
5. Zack Greinke(Mil – SP) NE Riverkings
6. Cole Hamels(Phi – SP) Iron Men
7. Michael Young(Tex – 1B,2B,3B) daebhid2
8. David Price(TB – SP) Orpington Is…
9. Paul Konerko(CWS – 1B) Pontypridd P…
10. Cory Luebke(SD – SP,RP) Bonestalkers
11. Ian Kennedy(Ari – SP) YD33’s
12. Matt Moore(TB – RP) Ridge Bolts
13. Brandon Phillips(Cin – 2B) stevenston a…
14. Carlos Santana(Cle – C,1B) The Cheddar …
15. Matt Holliday(StL – OF) Weston-Super…
16. Yu Darvish(Tex – SP) tavira expats
17. Jon Lester(Bos – SP) Boyd’s Base …
18. Nelson Cruz(Tex – OF) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
19. Hunter Pence(Phi – OF) SWAT*
20. Stephen Strasburg(Was – SP) BD Yankees
Not as many surprises in this round, as Chatham starts by taking a punt on the potential of Lawrie and there is a run on starters as Weaver, Sabathia, Greinke and Hamels go in a row.I know I will have to get an ace in round three or four and decide I had better get one here, despite being very tempted by the fact Holliday and Cruz are still available.

I’m torn between Price and Haren, but opt for the Tampa man.Bonestalkers take another pitcher, this time Luebke, who had a nice year in a spacious park in San Diego, but more established pitchers in Kennedy and Lester go later this round, along with the promising rookie Matt Moore and Yu Darvish.

Round 4
1. Asdrubal Cabrera(Cle – SS) BD Yankees
2. Michael Bourn(Atl – CF) SWAT*
3. Elvis Andrus(Tex – SS) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
4. Michael Morse(Was – 1B,OF) Boyd’s Base …
5. B.J. Upton(TB – CF) tavira expats
6. Desmond Jennings(TB – CF) Weston-Super…
7. Ben Zobrist(TB – 2B,OF) The Cheddar …
8. Mike Napoli(Tex – C,1B) stevenston a…
9. Heath Bell(Mia – RP) Ridge Bolts
10. C.J. Wilson(LAA – SP) YD33’s
11. Ichiro Suzuki(Sea – OF) Bonestalkers
12. Dee Gordon(LAD – SS) Pontypridd P…
13. Eric Hosmer(KC – 1B) Orpington Is…
14. Paul Goldschmidt(Ari – 1B) daebhid2
15. Shane Victorino(Phi – CF) Iron Men
16. Dan Haren(LAA – SP) NE Riverkings
17. Matt Cain(SF – SP) Pretzel Vendors
18. Yoenis Céspedes(Oak – CF) Richie’s RBI’s
19. Brian McCann(Atl – C) The Wright S…
20. Buster Posey(SF – C) Chatham Anglers
I’m thinking about taking a SS this round if I can, but end up cursing the Yankees for taking Cabrera, although I know he wouldn’t make it to me in all likelihood, and then Andrus and Gordon are taken picks later.Rollins is still out there, but I think I can afford to wait a little longer for him, and it is too early for Yunel Escobar, so I switch tactics and grab Hosmer, who really impressed me last season.

I thought about taking Haren here, but I regretted taking two aces in rounds three and four of last year’s draft, so convince myself not to.Really like the Jennings pick by Weston-Super-Sox, as he should have a full season to show his power/speed combo as well a s CF eligibility, while Richie’s punt on Cespedes looks even better now the A’s have named him their starting CF. The Wright Stuff and Chatham take McCann and Posey in the same round Napoli is drafted.

Round 5
1. Carl Crawford(Bos – OF) Chatham Anglers
2. Aramis Ramírez(Mil – 3B) The Wright S…
3. Wilson Ramos(Was – C) Richie’s RBI’s
4. Craig Kimbrel(Atl – RP) Pretzel Vendors
5. Howie Kendrick(LAA – 1B,2B,OF) NE Riverkings
6. Yovani Gallardo(Mil – SP) Iron Men
7. Alex Gordon(KC – OF) daebhid2
8. Lance Berkman(StL – 1B,OF) Orpington Is…
9. Shin-Soo Choo(Cle – OF) Pontypridd P…
10. Freddie Freeman(Atl – 1B) Bonestalkers
11. Yadier Molina(StL – C) YD33’s
12. Nick Swisher(NYY – 1B,OF) Ridge Bolts
13. Jimmy Rollins(Phi – SS) stevenston a…
14. James Shields(TB – SP) The Cheddar …
15. Michael Cuddyer(Col – 1B,2B,OF) Weston-Super…
16. Derek Jeter(NYY – SS) tavira expats
17. Chase Utley(Phi – 2B) Boyd’s Base …
18. Jonathan Papelbon(Phi – RP) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
19. Adam Jones(Bal – CF) SWAT*
20. José Valverde(Det – RP) BD Yankees
After a terrible debut year in Boston, Carl Crawford’s stock has dropped but if he is anything like the player he was in Tampa, Chatham will have got themselves a bargain pick here.The Stuff wisely take the best 3B remaining in Ramirez and a couple more catchers go. Ramos had an encouraging year for the Nats, and we all know how great Yadier Molina is behind the plate, but these were rather early for my liking.

Gallardo’s a really nice choice by Iron Men.I was thinking about Rollins here, but Berkman’s power and position felxibility made him hard to pass, although I start to wonder if I’ve made the right choice when Stevenston take Rollins five picks later. Shields is a nice option here, and Boyd’s Base On Balls take a worthwhile gamble on Utley’s fitness. Even a half-fit Utley is still better than a lot of other 2B. More closers go this round, with Kimbrel, Papelbon and Valverde all being selected.

Round 6
1. Joe Mauer(Min – C,1B) BD Yankees
2. Carlos Beltrán(StL – OF) SWAT*
3. John Axford(Mil – RP) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
4. Madison Bumgarner(SF – SP) Boyd’s Base …
5. Daniel Hudson(Ari – SP) tavira expats
6. Drew Storen(Was – RP) Weston-Super…
7. Drew Stubbs(Cin – CF) The Cheddar …
8. Emilio Bonifacio(Mia – 3B,SS,CF) stevenston a…
9. David Freese(StL – 3B) Ridge Bolts
10. Eduardo Núñez(NYY – 2B,3B,SS) YD33’s
11. Cameron Maybin(SD – CF) Bonestalkers
12. Alex Avila(Det – C) Pontypridd P…
13. Rickie Weeks(Mil – 2B) Orpington Is…
14. Brett Gardner(NYY – CF) daebhid2
15. Josh Johnson(Mia – SP) Iron Men
16. Jason Heyward(Atl – OF) NE Riverkings
17. Corey Hart(Mil – OF) Pretzel Vendors
18. Dustin Ackley(Sea – 2B) Richie’s RBI’s
19. Adam Wainwright(StL – SP) The Wright S…
20. Gio González(Was – SP) Chatham Anglers
The BD Yankees opt for Mauer to start round 6, and while questions remain about his long-term position he should give a nice batting average boost from C.Beck ‘Nams take another closer in Axford, with Storen going three picks later. More teams opt to take care of CF while they can, with Stubbs, Bonifacio, Maybin (who stole 40 bases last season) and Gardner all being selected.

I had considered getting another CF here, Stubbs in particular, and I am tempted to take Hart’s power. But with a gap in my middle infield and Rickie Weeks’ power still available, I take the Brewer and hope he can keep injury-free.Nunez is a big surprise here as he is unlikely to play all that regularly, although he did steal 20+ bases in limited time last year.

I would have been very tempted to take Daniel Hudson here too, but Tavira beat me to him. As more starting pitchers fly off the board in Bumgarner, Johnson, Wainwright (a great pick by the Stuff) and Gonzalez, I look at my pitching staff, which contains just Price, and know I have to add to this next time around.

Round 7
1. Andre Ethier(LAD – OF) Chatham Anglers
2. Mat Latos(Cin – SP) The Wright S…
3. Michael Pineda(NYY – SP) Richie’s RBI’s
4. Ryan Howard(Phi – 1B) Pretzel Vendors
5. Billy Butler(KC – 1B) NE Riverkings
6. Miguel Montero(Ari – C) Iron Men
7. Chris Young(Ari – CF) daebhid2
8. Matt Garza(ChC – SP) Orpington Is…
9. Daniel Murphy(NYM – 1B,2B,3B) Pontypridd P…
10. Erick Aybar(LAA – SS) Bonestalkers
11. Melky Cabrera(SF – CF) YD33’s
12. Josh Beckett(Bos – SP) Ridge Bolts
13. Chris Carpenter(StL – SP) stevenston a…
14. Ricky Romero(Tor – SP) The Cheddar …
15. Tommy Hanson(Atl – SP) Weston-Super…
16. Andrew Bailey(Bos – RP) tavira expats
17. Jayson Werth(Was – CF) Boyd’s Base …
18. J.J. Putz(Ari – RP) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
19. Brandon Morrow(Tor – SP) SWAT*
20. Jesus Montero(Sea – Util) BD Yankees
Two more starters go as Latos and Pineda are picked, leaving me to hope one of Garza, Hanson or Beckett make it to me. All three are available as my turn comes around, and I go back and forth but opt for Garza’s strikeouts. Happy I have got two good starters, I know I will likely have to add a closer soon before all of the best options go, and there is still that gap at SS which I need to fill soon, so after Aybar goes I resolve to take a closer in round 8 and hope like mad Yunel Escobar is still there for round 9.

I like the Ethier pick here (aside from being a Dodger fan, he’s in the last year of his contract, which tends to lead to big seasons) while Murphy’s versatility should help Pontypridd.Four starters go in a row in Beckett, Carpenter, Romero and Hanson while Beck ‘Nams take a third closer in Putz and the BD Yankees pick Montero, who should be even more useful when he gains C eligibility.

Round 8
1. Jordan Zimmermann(Was – SP) BD Yankees
2. Carlos Mármol(ChC – RP) SWAT*
3. Ike Davis(NYM – 1B) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
4. Logan Morrison(Mia – OF) Boyd’s Base …
5. Mark Reynolds(Bal – 1B,3B) tavira expats
6. Joel Hanrahan(Pit – RP) Weston-Super…
7. J.J. Hardy(Bal – SS) The Cheddar …
8. Peter Bourjos(LAA – CF) stevenston a…
9. Brennan Boesch(Det – OF) Ridge Bolts
10. Jason Kipnis(Cle – 2B) YD33’s
11. Mark Trumbo(LAA – 1B,OF) Bonestalkers
12. Neftali Feliz(Tex – RP) Pontypridd P…
13. Jordan Walden(LAA – RP) Orpington Is…
14. Brian Wilson(SF – RP) daebhid2
15. David Ortiz(Bos – Util) Iron Men
16. Nick Markakis(Bal – OF) NE Riverkings
17. Ryan Madson(Cin – RP) Pretzel Vendors
18. Jhonny Peralta(Det – SS) Richie’s RBI’s
19. Anibal Sánchez(Mia – SP) The Wright S…
20. Max Scherzer(Det – SP) Chatham Anglers
Two more closers, Marmol and Hanrahan, go as I wait for my turn but, after considering Madson and Wilson, I opt for Walden as my first closer.Really like Ridge Bolts’ choice of Boesch here, as he should have fun hitting ahead of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, while Kipnis looks a fine 2B selection for YD33s.Trumbo is intriguing, as if he can play 3B regularly he could be a nice power source for Bonestalkers.
Round 9
1. Derek Holland(Tex – SP) Chatham Anglers
2. Alexei Ramírez(CWS – SS) The Wright S…
3. Sergio Santos(Tor – RP) Richie’s RBI’s
4. Joakim Soria(KC – RP) Pretzel Vendors
5. Jason Motte(StL – RP) NE Riverkings
6. Adam Lind(Tor – 1B) Iron Men
7. Shaun Marcum(Mil – SP) daebhid2
8. Yunel Escobar(Tor – SS) Orpington Is…
9. Tim Hudson(Atl – SP) Pontypridd P…
10. Rex Brothers(Col – RP) Bonestalkers
11. Chase Headley(SD – 3B) YD33’s
12. Russell Martin(NYY – C) Ridge Bolts
13. Kyle Farnsworth(TB – RP) stevenston a…
14. Coco Crisp(Oak – CF) The Cheddar …
15. Martín Prado(Atl – 3B,OF) Weston-Super…
16. Jemile Weeks(Oak – 2B) tavira expats
17. Chris Pérez(Cle – RP) Boyd’s Base …
18. Ryan Roberts(Ari – 2B,3B) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
19. Edwin Encarnación(Tor – 1B,3B) SWAT*
20. Jeff Francoeur(KC – OF) BD Yankees
The nervous wait for a SS continues, especially after seeing Peralta and Ramirez picked, but I am relieved to take Yunel here, an underrated player in my opinion.

No surprise to see a rush on closers here, as five more go here. Soria’s injury (which happened after the draft) is not good news for the Pretzel Vendors (I have Soria in another league) while Chris Perez is picked despite an injury which will see him miss the first few weeks of the season.Brothers could get some save chances in Colorado if Betancourt fails, but it was a surprise to see him picked ahead of Betancourt and other more established closers. Crisp’s speed if a nice option for the Chasers, as is Prado and Roberts’ flexibility.

Round 10
1. Ubaldo Jiménez(Cle – SP) BD Yankees
2. Ryan Doumit(Min – C) SWAT*
3. Ángel Pagán(SF – CF) Beck ‘Nams (GB)
4. Mike Moustakas(KC – 3B) Boyd’s Base …
5. Raúl Ibañez(NYY – OF) tavira expats
6. Ervin Santana(LAA – SP) Weston-Super…
7. Rafael Betancourt(Col – RP) The Cheddar …
8. Kendrys Morales(LAA – 1B,OF) stevenston a…
9. Justin Masterson(Cle – SP) Ridge Bolts
10. Marco Scutaro(Col – SS) YD33’s
11. Kenley Jansen(LAD – RP) Bonestalkers
12. Brandon League(Sea – RP) Pontypridd P…
13. Huston Street(SD – RP) Orpington Is…
14. Neil Walker(Pit – 2B) daebhid2
15. Jonny Venters(Atl – RP) Iron Men
16. Jeremy Hellickson(TB – SP) NE Riverkings
17. Dexter Fowler(Col – CF) Pretzel Vendors
18. Carlos Peña(TB – 1B) Richie’s RBI’s
19. Frank Francisco(NYM – RP) The Wright S…
20. Torii Hunter(LAA – OF) Chatham Anglers
If Ubaldo can bounce back from a below par 2011, BD Yankees will have got themselves a steal with this pick, while SWAT take Doumit, who will be part of Minnesota’s C/1B/OF/DH mix to fill a tricky position. More closers go in Betancourt and League, while Jansen is picked even though he isn’t the Dodgers’ closer … yet.

I strongly consider Morales here, but after he is nabbed by Stevenston, I change tactics.I would like to add another closer at some point, and now seems to be a good time, so I take Street once League is gone.

Walker should give daebhid2 nice run production from 2B and Scutaro should have fun hitting at Coorsfield.So with 10 picks down, I have a complete infield, and outfielder, two starters and two closers. Now to boost the rest of my lineup and rotation.

Part Two of the draft recap will be published on Friday.

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4 Responses to BaseballGB Fantasy League 2012 draft recap – part one

  1. Matt Smith March 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Great recap, Mark. I was happy enough with the first 10 rounds of the draft for my Chasers. Couldn’t resist selecting Drew Stubbs for the 2nd year in a row when he was available in the 6th round!

  2. Nick Hadley March 22, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Nice recap, thanks Mark. Looking forward to part 2. And winning the league, of course!

    Nick (Chatham Anglers)

  3. JJ March 22, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    “…kudos for taking Ellsbury’s power/speed combo in CF here…”

    Yeah! Kudos to me. Even though I had nothing to do with picking him! 🙂

  4. Gareth Pitman March 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Thanks Mark. Really enjoyed the recap! Sorry for taking Cano and Hamilton before you could (not really!). The draft was great fun. Hope the season is too. My only regret was not drafting some starting pitching earlier. Looking forward to part 2 of the recap.

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