Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Review of My 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft - Part 1

Last week, we had our annual fantasy baseball draft, and it sure was a doozy. I am going to break it down round-by-round in three separate parts, but before we get started, I have given each team a nickname based on the jobber that they most represent. Here are my explanations.

Norman Smiley – Because my dance moves are sick.
Vinnie Vegas - This guy is a gambler, and I respect that.
3 Count - This guy looked like a boy band member in high school, so this is fitting.
Eugene - Idiot who tries to take other people's gimmicks, but he can't pull it off.
LA Gore - If you told me LA Gore was his real Dad, it would explain so much. He ruined his family line of being man enough to wear cutoff jean shorts.
Dr. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. - I have no idea who this clown is, but somebody else referred to him as "a doctor, but not a real doctor." That describes dentists pretty well.
Bob Backlund - Crafty, sometimes unintelligible, but shockingly effective as he kicked ass in the 2014 season.
El Dandy - He's Mexican, and Bret Hart let us know that he should not be underestimated.
Zack Ryder - Had a moment of glory, but is now firmly stuck in jobber territory.
GI Bro - He thinks he's like Booker T, but he's just a cheap knockoff.
Viscera - Large and sexually charged. Has glasses that are referred to as "The Big Nasties."
Kerwin White - Shockingly good at golf.

Now let’s get to the baseball stuff.

Round: 1 (Keepers: Giancarlo Stanton)
(1) Norman Smiley - Mike Trout CF
(2) Vinnie Vegas - Andrew McCutchen CF
(3) 3 Count - Clayton Kershaw SP
(4) Eugene - Paul Goldschmidt 1B
(5) LA Gore - Miguel Cabrera 1B
(6) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Carlos Gomez CF
(7) Kerwin White - Felix Hernandez SP
(8) El Dandy - Yasiel Puig RF
(9) Zack Ryder - Robinson Cano 2B
(10) GI Bro - Edwin Encarnacion 1B
(11) Viscera - Giancarlo Stanton RF
(12) Kerwin White - Adam Jones CF
Best Pick: Adam Jones
I really like Adam Jones this year, but that may be because I saw him hit two home runs at the one spring training game that I attended this year. He's really good, and he stays healthy. He's not great enough to be a top-5 fantasy performer, but top-10 is well in his reach, and it's tough to see him falling below the top-20.

Worst Pick: Yasiel Puig
Puig is a really good player, but that Dodgers don't seem to be trying to help him with his image, so clearly they share the media's opinion of him. Also, he's been good in fantasy, but it's not like he took a step forward last year, so I don't quite understand why he has been upgraded to first round status this year.

My Pick: Mike Trout
I had the number one pick. I didn't screw it up. Nice job, me.

Round: 2 (Keepers: Chris Sale)
(13) Kerwin White - Troy Tulowitzki SS
(14) Viscera - Starling Marte LF
(15) GI Bro - Ian Desmond SS
(16) Zack Ryder - Stephen Strasburg SP
(17) El Dandy - Max Scherzer SP
(18) Bob Backlund - Josh Donaldson 3B
(19) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Madison Bumgarner SP
(20) LA Gore - Adrian Beltre 3B
(21) Eugene - Freddie Freeman 1B
(22) 3 Count - Chris Sale SP
(23) Vinnie Vegas - Ryan Braun RF
(24) Norman Smiley - Bryce Harper LF
Best Pick: Ryan Braun
I have a weird thing for Ryan Braun. It's weird, because him using steroids made me like him more. Steroids are only going to help a guy so much, so I think Ryan Braun will get back to where he was before all of the controversy. Last year he was dealing with a wrist injury, so I feel like his power will be back this year. Again, this may just be my weird quirk where I really like guys who use steroids because it shows that they are willing to cheat, and possibly have long-term health issues, to win. That's honorable for my sports people.

Worst Pick: Adrian Beltre
He's old. He took a step backwards last year, and he'll probably take another step back this year. I cannot imagine a scenario where he provides top-20 value.

My Pick: Bryce Harper
Well, hopefully THIS is the year that Bryce Harper finally breaks out. I'll admit that this is the riskiest pick of this round, but I also think he probably has the second highest upside behind Troy Tulowitzki staying healthy all year. Nobody has ever questioned Harper's talent, so maybe this is the year he finally puts it all together.

Round: 3 (Keepers: Jose Bautista)
(25) Norman Smiley - Evan Longoria 3B
(26) Vinnie Vegas - Hanley Ramirez SS
(27) 3 Count - Jacoby Ellsbury CF
(28) Eugene - Justin Upton LF
(29) LA Gore - Buster Posey C
(30) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Jose Bautista RF
(31) Bob Backlund - Corey Dickerson LF
(32) El Dandy - David Price SP
(33) Zack Ryder - Carlos Gonzalez LF
(34) GI Bro - Victor Martinez DH
(35) Viscera - Jon Lester SP
(36) Kerwin White - Zack Greinke SP
Best Pick: Carlos Gonzalez
The potential output is just so huge with Carlos Gonzalez that it makes him a great pick for the third round. He never stays healthy the entire year, but even at 130 games, if he can get back to his production from two years ago, he is incredibly valuable in a head-to-head league. He is likely a boom or bust player, but you gotta go big if you want to be a champion. I also really like David Price, as I feel like he was the last pitcher in that top tier of guys.

Worst Pick: Victor Martinez
I had Victor Martinez as a worst pick last year, and it was way later in the draft, and he made me look really stupid. So now it is time for my revenge as I will again pick him as the worst of a round. I could have also gone with Jon Lester, who is already dealing with a dead arm, and the NL Central is basically mid-90s WCW, it's "Where The Big Boys Play."

My Pick: Evan Longoria
I love Evan Longoria. He wasn't very good last year, but he also wasn't all that bad either. I think he gets back to hitting 30 home runs with a .270 average. There was nobody that stood out above him, and it is more fun to have guys you like on your team, so it's good to have him back again.

Round: 4
(37) Kerwin White - Albert Pujols 1B
(38) Viscera - Adrian Gonzalez 1B
(39) GI Bro - Billy Hamilton CF
(40) Zack Ryder - Yoenis Cespedes LF
(41) El Dandy - Ian Kinsler 2B
(42) Bob Backlund - Prince Fielder 1B
(43) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Jose Reyes SS
(44) LA Gore - David Ortiz DH
(45) Eugene - Cole Hamels SP
(46) 3 Count - Craig Kimbrel RP
(47) Vinnie Vegas - Jordan Zimmermann SP
(48) Norman Smiley - Jason Heyward RF
Best Pick: Adrian Gonzalez
If you asked me in an hour, I would probably make the case for somebody else. There is 10 very fine picks, my pick, and the worst pick. Nothing really stands out. Right now, I'm feeling Adrian Gonzalez and that Dodgers offense to get things done.

Worst Pick: Craig Kimbrel
We are in a standard 5X5 league, but nobody cares about saves in our league. People load up on starting pitchers, because they like guys who get W's and K's. It's not like Kimbrel is a bad pick, but paying sticker price for a closer is never a good idea. I waited for closers to drop when I felt the value was too good, and I still may have overdrafted them considering how few were taken even in middle rounds, but we'll get to that later.

My Pick: Jason Heyward
I could understand why people may not be a big fan of this pick. I wasn't either. I like Heyward, but this is the point in the draft where there is a big dropoff in talent, and you're trying to mix in upside with keeping it somewhat safe, because the upside isn't going to be that great for many of these guys. If Heyward regains his power stroke, it's a fantastic pick. If he doesn't, he's still got a good shot of supplying something in all five categories while being an asset in stolen bases.

Round: 5 (Keepers: Jose Altuve)
(49) Norman Smiley - Jason Kipnis 2B
(50) Vinnie Vegas - Sonny Gray SP
(51) 3 Count - Matt Kemp CF
(52) Eugene - Kyle Seager 3B
(53) LA Gore - Kris Bryant 3B
(54) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Adam Wainwright SP
(55) Bob Backlund - Kole Calhoun RF
(56) El Dandy - Chris Davis 1B
(57) Zack Ryder - James Shields SP
(58) GI Bro - Jeff Samardzija SP
(59) Viscera - Jose Altuve 2B
(60) Kerwin White - Todd Frazier 3B
Best Pick: Adam Wainwright
Are we sure Adam Wainwright is done? Like, he could have easily just worn out at the end of last year for the playoffs and could be right back to Adam Wainwright levels this year. If that is the case, he is one of the top fantasy pitchers out there. If he does stink, then Yankem may need to give back his dentist license, but I would way rather have Wainwright than any other pitcher taken in this round.

Worst Pick: Sonny Gray
What upside do you get with Sonny Gray? He was maxed out last year, so best case scenario is that it's a fine pick for this round. Worst case is that he takes a significant step backwards, and you end up dropping him sometime in June. Also, I'm sure people were expecting Kris Bryant in the fifth round to draw my ire, but if you take a look at what was out there, I can't find much fault with it. It seemed ridiculous at the time, and maybe it is, but I'm an irrational Cubs fan, and is a bounceback from Chris Davis any more likely than Kris Bryant raking right when he comes up? I don't think so. Also, he started off Spring Training with eight home runs in 25 at bats. Even if he only gets 250 at bats, that's still 80 home runs. Not a bad haul for the fifth round.

My Pick: Jason Kipnis
I love Jason Kipnis. I stole him two years ago, and he was phenomenal for me. Last year, he was drafted way too high, so I stayed away while he had a fluky bad injury-ravaged season. Now he is primed to go back to that wonderful human being he was in 2013, only better. Why better? I don't know, man, I just like saying, OOOH WAT AHT AH - I'M GOING DOWN WITH THE KIPNIS.

Round: 6 (Keepers: Anthony Rizzo)
(61) Kerwin White - Gerrit Cole SP
(62) Viscera - Greg Holland RP
(63) GI Bro - Masahiro Tanaka SP
(64) Zack Ryder - Kolten Wong 2B
(65) El Dandy - Dustin Pedroia 2B
(66) Bob Backlund - Carlos Santana 3B
(67) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Anthony Rizzo 1B
(68) LA Gore - Starlin Castro SS
(69) Eugene - Matt Holliday LF
(70) 3 Count - Joey Votto 1B
(71) Vinnie Vegas - Chris Carter DH
(72) Norman Smiley - Jay Bruce RF
Best Pick: Joey Votto
I wanted Votto to fall to me, but it just wasn't meant to be. Still, I think he can bounce back and get near his pre-2014 levels. I notoriously get burned by expecting bouncebacks, so that explains my pick which we'll get to later. Also, honorable mention to Carlos Santana who I also liked quite a bit.

Worst Pick: Kolten Wong
Seriously? Zack Ryder felt it necessary to reach for Kolten Wong? I mean, he's fine, but he hasn't proven he's good, so this is totally a prayer of a breakthrough to even justify the pick. And even then, it's not like Wong was ever a top prospect, he was a fine prospect, but he's not oozing with untapped potential. There is no chance he exceeds expectations.

My Pick: Jay Bruce
This draft was really a homecoming for players I love. Evan Longoria, Jason Kipnis, and now Jay Bruce (just realized they're all white guys...crap). These are guys that I have loved for a long time, and I would say Bruce is most special in my heart. I loved Jay Bruce when he got drafted, and my love has only grown since then. Sure, he was terrible last year, but I believe in Jay Bruce, and I'm excited to have him back home.

Round: 7
(73) Norman Smiley - Manny Machado 3B
(74) Vinnie Vegas - Jake Arrieta SP
(75) 3 Count - Jonathan Lucroy C
(76) Eugene - Jacob deGrom SP
(77) LA Gore - Tyson Ross SP
(78) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Devin Mesoraco C
(79) Bob Backlund - Mookie Betts CF
(80) El Dandy - Matt Carpenter 3B
(81) Zack Ryder - Mark Trumbo 1B
(82) GI Bro - Gio Gonzalez SP
(83) Viscera - Brandon Moss 1B
(84) Kerwin White - Hunter Pence RF
Best Pick: Jake Arrieta
I think Arrieta's breakout was real, and I expect more of the same for him in 2015. Health is a concern, but I also think it might be getting a tad overblown in that many feel he has no chance of being a 200 inning guy. He could definitely be a top-10 starting pitcher this year, but I will admit that I do sometimes wear Cubs-colored glasses.

Worst Pick: Hunter Pence
I'm doing this without internet access currently, so I may forget to check back, but I'm pretty sure he's hurt. Don't draft a hurt guy; that means they're not healthy. If he isn't hurt? Um, he's a solid contributor but take somebody more exciting than an Edge-lookalike.

My Pick: Manny Machado
This decision may have partially been made in that same Spring Training game that Adam Jones hit two home runs, Machado hit one as well. If he stays healthy, I think he will take a big step forward this year, and I'm excited to have him on board for the first time.

Round: 8 (Keepers: Julio Teheran)
(85) Kerwin White - Alex Cobb SP
(86) Viscera - Chris Archer SP
(87) GI Bro - Hisashi Iwakuma SP
(88) Zack Ryder - Marcell Ozuna CF
(89) El Dandy - Julio Teheran SP
(90) Bob Backlund - Carlos Carrasco SP
(91) Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS - Leonys Martin CF
(92) LA Gore - Alexei Ramirez SS
(93) Eugene - Alex Gordon LF
(94) 3 Count - Pablo Sandoval 3B
(95) Vinnie Vegas - Jorge Soler RF
(96) Norman Smiley - Garrett Richards SP
Best Pick: Jorge Soler
I think Soler is getting overlooked by a lot of people. Obviously, at number 95, that was not the case in this draft. I was really hoping he would fall to me, even though I was already loaded on outfielders. I think he could easily hit .270 and hit 30 home runs this year and still get better than that moving forward. Even though he didn't really fit my team with the roster I already had, this is definitely a guy I wish I could have gotten.

Worst Pick: Alexei Ramirez
Last year, the guy wasn't even draftable, now he's going in the top 100 picks? I understand breakouts, but at his age, I see it as more of a fluke than an actual breakthrough for him. There were at least 10 middle infielders I would have rather taken over Ramirez.

My Pick: Garrett Richards
I would say this was my biggest panic pick. Nobody that I was really interested in fell to me at this point, so I had to jut pick somebody. Overall, I still feel good with this pick. I had to go pitcher at this point, and the only other guys that I would have considered were Michael Wacha and Alex Wood, but I feel good about getting Richards. Obviously, health is a concern, but it looks like he may miss very little time and he has gotten positive reviews in his rehab. Despite panicking, I feel like I showed grace under pressure.

That wraps up part one, stay tuned for part two.

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