Friday, April 2, 2010

2010 ECB Draft Recap

This year I thought it would be fun to add a new wrinkle to our KFS draft recap article – the post-draft Q&A. I think it turned out really well, thank you all for your insightful answers. I hope you find it to be as interesting to read as I did.

The draft was held on March 28, 2010 at 8PM and the final picks in round 25 were made around 9:45. All-in-all it went very smoothly (Remember when we had to actually pick our keepers? Someone’s internet connection would inevitably fail and we would all “stall” by taking as long as possible to make our keeper picks in hopes that they would return before their next turn… ahhh, the good old days). The following Q&A is listed based on the picking order of round 6, the first redraft round:

New Haven Traffic Cones

Manager: Jeff Stanley

Q: After sticking with your usual closers-first pitching strategy you broke the mold by selecting Mad Max Scherzer in the 20th round. What made you decide to make the jump at this point in the draft?

Q: You selected a recent Tommy John surgery patient (Joe Nathan) with the 1st pick in the 12th round. At what point did you realize the mixup?

A: The bottom line is that both of these picks (along with a couple of others) were mistakes. New Haven management has been busy recently and unable to assemble proper scouting reports. Management was forced to rely on a combination of outdated cheat sheets and the always reliable Yahoo! ranking for a good chunk of the draft (round 6 and on). Not one of my better drafts, but that hasn't stopped me from missing the playoffs in the past. Hopefully some free agent pick-ups throughout the season will help compensate for a less then stellar draft.

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Mark Reynolds with the first pick of the 6th round. He’s like Adam Dunn, but better, and he plays 3rd base. Until Elm City starts caring about strikeouts, Mark Reynolds should be a top points producer at a semi-premium position.

Hated it: Jermaine Dye in round 19. I don’t think he’s even on a team.

Woosta Pimp Roostas
Manager: Rich Gallup

Q: You selected Andrew McCutchen with the 2nd pick in the 8th round despite the fact that more proven sluggers and stud pitchers were still available. What are you expecting from the only good player on the Pirates’ roster?

A: In short, I expect at worst a guy who will be solid enough that I can leave him in the line-up all year and feel pretty good about it. At best, I see him as a shining example of the type of player I targeted in this year's draft. There weren't enough of the 30-home run, 100-RBI guys I normally target to go around, so I turned my focus to those Carl Crawford types that can put up big, consistent points through medium power and speed, who everybody expects to suddenly learn how to hit for power but never quite get there. I felt McC was the most exciting guy of that ilk available, and after seeing the next 12 guys get picked I like how it worked out. Of course, if Santana doesn't go crazy this year I'm going to wish I went with another pitcher instead.

Q: Carlos Zambrano in Round 22 was an absolute steal. How did you hack into our Yahoo! accounts to ensure that he wouldn’t show up on our draft boards?

A: I work with an amazingly talented team of software engineers who threw together a little something for me. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Zambrano turns out to be the worst pitcher taken in that Round. Between Franklin, Garza, Wolf, Price, and Oswalt, Round 22 is looking like prime Steal of the Draft territory. I will totally trade you Zambrano for Sandoval, by the way. Their similar body types make it a completely even deal.

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Carlos Zambrano with the 2nd pick of the 22nd round. He’s not as good as he used to be, but he’s definitely a great value in the 22nd round and should get his share of wins on the Cubbies.

Hated it: Justin Upton in the 6th round. Jerk.

Mile High Mackerel
Manager: Jon Bielecki

Q: You selected Javier Vazquez in the 11th round. Does this mean you think he will repeat last year’s performance despite switching back to the AL?

A: In 4 years in the AL, Javy averaged about 500 points per season and, while not staggering numbers, they were consistent which is what I was looking for out of a fourth pitcher (after Lincecum, Lester, & Broxton). He has gone over 200 innings in each of the last 5 seasons (3 in the AL), and racked up 200 or more Ks in the last 3 seasons. I think he would have gone sooner had he not been wearing pinstripes.

Q: New Haven selected Mark Reynolds with the first pick of the 6th round despite your attempts to make us forget about him by leaving him out of your mock draft write-up. Did the tears filling your eyes have anything to do with your drafting of Jason Bay with the 3rd pick?

A: While you never want one of your on-the-fence throw-backs to be drafted first, it is a dubious honor. That being said, Mark Reynolds was a gamble that paid off for me last year and I was scared to death of drafting him in 2010. Honestly, and you can ask Adler about this, I wouldn't have drafted him even if he had fallen to me at pick 3. Was Bay a bad pick? Once the Mets are healthy (if ever) I would expect him to put up numbers similar to last year. He and Reynolds tied for the 6th highest offensive output in 2009. I would have traded Reynolds for Bay at any time last year and probably would have kept him over Markakis.

Draft Analysis:

I always like JB’s drafts. Remember that year he took Hanley and J-Roll with the 8th and 9th picks of the redraft? Nice.

Loved it: Chris Davis in the 18th round. This was a great place to grab Chris Davis and his huge post-hype upside.

Hated it: Not a horrible pick, but I don't like Jason Bay with the 2nd pick in the 6th round. Maybe I’m jaded after watching him for a few years in a horrible Pittsburgh lineup, but I’ve never been a big J-Bay fan. He’s really streaky and injury prone and I think his runs/RBI will be a lot lower after his departure from Fenway and the Red Sox lineup.

Chicago Tiger Army
Manager: Steve Adler

Q: You stole a lot of picks from me. I guess great minds think alike. Bravo! Please discuss.

A: Well... glad to hear someone else wanted some of the guys I ended up with. I think that both of our franchises have been competitive... so I can't say that I am completely surprised. I am guessing about which players you are referring to, but I know you had Votto last year so I'll start there. I was jealous that you had him all year as he was a player I had targeted prior to LAST YEAR. I think there may be even more upside there. I also think it is true that in this league owners try to get back a lot of their players (beyond their keepers) from the previous year (see Speedway rounds 6-9). The second guy that I am guessing you mean is Josh Johnson. I looked at your roster from last year (as well as mine) and we both seem to target starters that can throw a lot of innings with a high strikeout rate. The final player that I think you mean: David Price. This I think is for a different reason... and that is because BAL and SPE are notorious for grabbing every good looking prospect and I think Price still qualifies even though he is somewhat forgotten about with the focus shifting to Strasburg.

Q: You chose Gordon Beckham with the 10th round. Are you expecting a breakout season for the young second baseman? Or did you make the mistake of going on a Chicago-based sports website to read the incredible local hype?

A: I think this goes back to the second part of getting players back that you liked the previous year (also think this was another player you may have targeted). I think the reason that I took him that early (and may have overpaid) was twofold. First, if I hadn't taken him right there both Speedway and Baltimore would have had two picks before I got another chance to take him. Secondly, I think that his move to 2B makes him an exceptional value. Although he is relatively unproven the kid DID rake after the first 4 games or so with the White Sox. I think he can hit 20-25 HR's and have an OPS above .800... which coming from a middle infield position is exceptional. PLUS, I kept 2 pitchers this year and hope to never do that again so I want to have a deeper pool of prospective positional keepers.

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Carlos Quentin in the 14th round. This was a great pick in the 14th round. If the reports of him being over his various injuries are true he could quickly regain his status as the elite hitter Adler traded for 2 seasons ago.

Hated it: Nothing really jumps out at me as a bad pick or a reach. The combination of Soriano and Beltran in the 15th and 16th rounds was risky since both are so injury prone. He’ll be lucky to get one full fantasy season’s worth out of these two.

Speedway Starwipes
Manager: Ryan Freidman

Q: Was drafting Matt Weiters in the 9th round a rational decision? or were you just “feeling the itch” since Baltimore had selected Heyward with the preceeding pick?

It actually had nothing to do with Heyward, although I'm glad it worked out that way. I was ready to draft Weiters heading into that pick regardless. He was the last catcher on the board that I would actively want on my team, and he really wasn't that bad last year, putting aside the hype. .288 with a pace for 15 homers and 70+ RBIs in a full season.

You used 3 of your first 5 picks on pitchers. Was this an intentional strategy? Or were you just taking what the draft gave you?

Intentional for sure. Last year's squad was the best team I've had since our inaugural year, and it was nearly all due to having all those aces on the roster. In fact, I really planned to add one more (either Cliff Lee or Matt Cain) until I heard the siren song of Jay Bruce and Lance Berkman just to spite Adler.

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Haren and Carpenter in rounds 7 & 8. I just hope I don’t have to play you the week that Halladay, Haren, and Carpenter each have two starts. Not to mention Hanson who you added a couple of rounds later.

Hated it: James Loney, Round 18. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s just that he’s so, I don’t know, boring.

Baltimore Devil Jays
Manager: Jon Grashow – DOSBOT

Q: Jason Heyward in the 9th round? Really? He has fewer than 50 at bats above single-A. What were you thinking?

A: Well, it didn’t help that Yahoo! had a feature article about him on the fantasy baseball front page the day of the draft. Chipper Jones seems to love the guy, and Bobby Cox says he’s the only player whose bat makes the same sound as Hank Aaron’s when he hits the ball. Plus one of the thousand articles I’ve read about Heyward during spring training said he had the potential to have a “Pujols-esque” rookie season. Since Woosta stole the next Griffey Jr (Justin Upton) from last year’s championship roster it seemed prudent to add the next Pujols. Across 3 minor league levels last year he had a 51:51 walk-to-strikeout ratio, so at least he’s not Chris Davis. If we’re lucky we’ll get the second coming of Pujols, if we’re not so lucky we’ll get another Alex Gordon. Either way it will be a fun ride.

Q: You drafted Nomar with your final pick, effectively preventing him from retiring as a member of the Tiger Army. How can you justify this backstabbing behavior?

A: Speaking of Alex Gordon, we were going to take him with our final pick as a joke, but I suddenly got worried that people wouldn’t realize it was a joke. Fearing bad Karma for the entire season (the punishment for making serious picks in the final round), I pulled the trigger on Nomah instead. Admittedly, in his fantasy career we were more like the Dodgers than the Red Sox. I dropped him immediately so that Adler could pick him up and have a jersey retirement ceremony. As I made that pick I was suddenly transported to the TV coverage of one of the All-Star games where Jeter and Nomar were being talked about as the two premier shortstops in the game. They seemed so happy back then, smiling and laughing in the dugout…

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Chipper Jones in the 21st round. I know he has injury issues, but he’s been raking this spring and still has the upside to be an elite third baseman when he’s on the field. Also, apparently he is going to keep both hands on the bat when he hits lefty in order to catch up with fastballs better this season.

Hated it: Cody Ross in the 19th round. I Didn’t really know who to pick at this point. He’s already been cut from the team.

Marshall Street Menace

Manager: Jon Watterson

Q: Your first 2 picks were Ellsbury and Ichiro. This will obviously cement your lead atop the steals category, but do you think these picks will help you in Elm City Baseball where “chicks dig the longball?”

I had to get back to picking great players. I had become very pitcher-reliant and wanted to get away from that, while also staying away from picking-for-position so early in the draft. I have high hopes for these two players in a number of categories--Runs, 1B, 2B, 3B, and SB. I realize that not getting the 4-point value of a HR (and the RBIs that come with it) may prove to be a downfall of mine, but I hope that these guys are so active in other categories that it makes up for not getting the HRs from them.

You selected Elvis Andrus in the 16th round and Stephen Drew in the 19th round. All in all you drafted 6 middle infielders (including 2 keepers). Is there a method to your madness?

Despite what I just said, Elvis Andrus was very much a position play--I needed a shortstop badly at the time. I actually really like him at that late a round. Around Round 19, I started looking at backups, and that is the reason for the proximity of the Andrus/Drew picks.
Cano has Ellsbury/Ichiro potential, for me--I (almost) look at him independent of position, because I think he can fill up so many statistical categories.

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Francisco Rodriguez with the 7th pick of round 12. With Nathan going down, K-Rod is in line to be the best closer in Elm City baseball in my opinion. Getting him as the 5th closer off the board was a steal.

Hated it: Ichiro in round 7. OF is a deep position and Ichiro hasn’t been an elite scorer in Elm City for some time. I liked Carlos Lee (Round 10), Shin-Soo Choo (Round 11), Josh Hamilton (Round 11), and Adam Jones (Round 12) better. Just to name a few.

New Hampshire 603s
Manager: Brian Labore

Q: Your selection of Bob Abreu with the first pick of the 7th caught me by surprise. Why did you feel it was necessary to pull the trigger on this pick so early?

A: While not the first name on my list, the 603s really needed to build a solid foundation to compete this year. Coming off last years abandonment, criminal hearings, and scandal, we felt that Abreau had the consistent numbers and play time that could keep our team on track throughout the season.

Q: Your team is obviously strongly aligned with the Granite state. How do you think your fans will react to you drafting the prince of darkness (Jorge Posada) in the 18th round?

Posada is neither a fan nor an owner favorite and will most likely be cut ealry in the season but we here in the NH believe that every man should be given a chance to prove he can Live Free, and we all know the alternative...

Draft Analysis:

Loved it: Hideki Matsui in round 20. He retains OF eligibility from last year, but will spend most of his time as LAA’s DH to save his knees. This guy is a professional hitter and one of two Yankees that I admit to liking (along with David Wells). He could easily outscore your first pick (Bobby Abreu) if he can stay healthy.

Hated it:
Garrett Jones in round 10. My magic 8-ball said “very doubtful” when I asked if Garrett Jones would repeat last year’s performance. At this point in the draft there were more proven performers and better high-upside picks to choose from.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mile High Minute :: 2010, Week Zero

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…bay-jason-002 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.lester-jon-001 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.wilson-brian-001Bielecki 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.84226920DGB_D062408184.JPG 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.”lincecum-tim-001 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

Gentlemen! You can’t draft in here, this is the War Room!

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:

Justin Upton

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).

sandoval-pablo WOOSTA PIMP ROOSTAS
Pablo Sandoval

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.

carpenter-chris  MILE HIGH MACKEREL
Chris Carpenter

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.

Joey Votto

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.

Dan Haren

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 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.

Jason Bay

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.

Jacoby Ellsbury

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 ( or as he is more commonly known Jacoby Ellsbury.

rollins-jimmyNEW HAMPSHIRE 603
Jimmy Rollins

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.