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 Management was forced to rely on a combination of outdated cheat sheets and the always reliable Yahoo!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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
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…
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?”
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
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?
A: 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...
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.