The second best part of the season (draft) is now over and within a week the ECB will be rolling into its 10th season. That’s tin or aluminum if anyone wants to buy the league an anniversary gift. Speaking of presents, ECB draft day is akin to a child’s Christmas morning for most owners. Even better for some. Mile High, for instance, gets to draft a shiny new Hanley Ramirez every year, which is much better than a Brett Favre jersey or a Brio train set. What else did Mile High receive on draft day? Let’s analyze… After Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton went to New Haven and Woosta respectively, Mile High’s hand was quickly forced. Electing to put off pitching until a round or two later, they took the Mets new star Jason Bay (6RD, 43OVR). GM Jon Bielecki hopes that Bay will produce numbers similar to those he put up in Boston, especially later in the season with the returns of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes to the Met lineup. Until then, Bielecki and Bay are both huge David Wright fans. The first somewhat-coup of the draft for Mile High came with the selection of Jon Lester (8RD, 59OVR) even sooner than his ADP on Yahoo (69.6). One of the few “upside” guys drafted by Mile High this year, Bielecki will be looking for bigger production out of a guy who put up almost 600 points last year. “We’ll be looking for him to fill the roles of Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay in the past. I would like to be able to start Jonny and Timmy both every week and not have to worry about them. That’s up to him…” With Lester, Bielecki will now have one pitcher who defies the laws of physics (Tim Lincecum) and one who defied Mother Nature herself.Bielecki rounded out his staff by drafting three straight pitchers in the middle of the draft. “I wanted to get some quality before it was gone. It seemed like a lot of pitching slipped to the later rounds, so I wanted to get my choice of pitchers before they were gone. Other than Ubaldo (Jimenez), I think we did okay.” The Mack drafted Heath Bell (13RD, 102OVR), Jered Weaver (14RD, 107OVR), and Brian Wilson (15RD, 118OVR) as their 5th, 6th, and 7th pitchers, giving them three solid closers, and four strong starters. “Bell and Wilson will probably share playing time,” Bielecki said, “But I like having the option of using three closers if I have a short pitching week.” He added that, “the clubhouse was short on tatts and muscles,” which was another reason for the signing of Wilson. The revolving door up the middle has already begun. Second base and the MI spots are without question the weakest of the Mackerel lineup. Alongside Hanley Ramirez, the Mack will probably be starting Felipe Lopez (16RD, 123OVR) at second and young buck Ian Desmond (UNDRAFTED) at the MI spot. “Not sure yet how we’re going to work this,” Bielecki said, “I like Lopez hitting around Holliday and Pujols. With Desmond, I’m not sure what we’re in for. It’s a definite gamble.” Early on it’s looking like Mile High will be relying heavily on its keepers to lead the charge. “We can afford to get a slow start,” Bielecki said, “But over the course of the season, we’re going to need the big name players to step up and carry this team like they did last year. Anything less than the playoffs will be considered a failure.”
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Well, now that all the draft slots have been chosen and all of the keepers have been announced (Right? No one still has to announce their keepers?) it is time for a mock draft.
We kid, Watts. For the sake of this mock we are going to assume that Watts is keeping some combo of Mariano Rivera, Carlos Lee, Andre Either, Dusty Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, CC Sabathia, or Kendry Morales. The good news? Whatever combo he goes with has n'an impact on this mock. So Frieds may as well enter these picks after the keepers:
The old jokes about closers and old people have no place in this mock draft. At least that's what we wanted to do. Turned out it's impossible. We think Ffej looks for a proven player to help lift his Cones to playoff contention. That player is Justin Upton. Grashow’s last minute keeper change-of-heart reinvents the Cones as they land the kid who many say is the next Griffey (Ken Jr. not Craig).
Woosta is looking to right the ship that was partly weighed down by Josh Hamilton and his injuries. Rich has an enviable stable of keepers who are surprisingly all hitters. One is even a catcher! Given that we don't all have 15 keepers, we don't see Rich taking a pitcher here. In fact we believe there was more to his trip to San Francisco than just work. It's obvious he was out there asking about his pick, everyone's favorite panda, Pablo Sandoval. This was clearly the missing piece between winning the regular season in '08 and missing the playoffs in '09. Rich reclaims him here. Also we take back what we said about the ship being weighed down. Panda’s not going to help that problem.
MILE HIGH MACKEREL
Mile High has forged its way to the playoffs lately with good all-around hitting, but also with strong starting pitching duos (Lincecum-Lee in '09, Lincecum-Halladay in '08, and Haren-Hamels in '07). The bet here is that JB starts that process again by pairing an ace, Tim Lincecum, with a local boy done good. Chris Carpenter goes off the board here and gives Mile High the wicked awesome 1-2 punch that they have built their rotation around as of late and become the envy of every Major League club.
CHICAGO TIGER ARMY
The Tiger Army has been built around bats. In fact this is the first time they have kept even one, let alone two, pitchers since 2006. To make up for that they will be looking for the best bat available, and if his wife has anything to say about it (and she does), that bat will be Joey Votto. It would appear there is more to enjoy in Cincy than chili (if you want to call it that), Bengals games, and trips to see the in-laws... Actually there isn’t, but Emily needs another carrot to put in front of Adler’s face to get him to Cincinnati.
GM Friedman returns arguably the best collection of keepers. The hitters can flat out rake and matched with an NL bound Roy Halladay, the Wipes are returning a scary core of players. This pick was a lock to end up as Felix Hernandez until Baltimore announced him as their final keeper. It could still end up being the man who inspired www.mattwietersfacts.com but the bet here is that Speedway goes with a familiar face in Dan Haren, enjoys the first half and curses him whole second half.
We now turn to the defending champions. The Devil Jays are known for one thing: Adam Dunn. As of right now they do not have him on their roster. The belief here is that they will re-stock their bats (after making a change that delayed the release of this mock draft) given they already have a King as the foundation of their staff. The best bat on the board looks to be Jason Bay who will be shifting back to the NL and looking to drive in Jose Reyes & Co. (not Corey Sullivan & Co.) about a billion times.
GM Jon "Silent Bob" Watterson is playing his cards very close to the vest this year and hasn't tipped his hand at all... refusing to even have his preliminary keepers announced. Yeah, he’s not paying attention. Also he LOVES Barack Obama. Voted for him 57 times. The thought here is that he plays that he refuses to even tell Yahoo! who he picks when it comes his turn in the draft. Therefore the person left at the top of the rankings that will be drafted by Marshall St will be Tacoby Bellsbury (http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/31/ellsbury_scores_with_fans_at_steal_a_taco_promotion/) or as he is more commonly known Jacoby Ellsbury.
After going through a season of football Brian gets to experience the flagship sport (in our opinion) of KFS. It would appear that he is trying to get a couple of solid players after not seeing anyone he was dying to get his hands on by potentially having the number one pick. Having no draft history to go off the thought here is that he goes with a known quantity at a position that he lacks and grabs Jimmy Rollins and then ponders who he will grab on the wrap pick.
There it is, owners the picks you are all guaranteed to make. Good luck getting your name in the cup.