Monday, April 4, 2016

The Best and Worst of My 2016 Fantasy Baseball Draft - Part 1

Hey everybody, baseball is here. Last week, I had my fantasy baseball draft, and it sure was a doozy. Unfortunately, this past weekend was also WrestleMania, so I didn't have time to write about it before the season started. Still, people need to know whether their draft was good, bad, or ugly, so I'll be focusing on the best picks, the worst picks, and my pick in each round. It's super simple this year, just a straight 5X5 head-to-head 10 team league with 29 rounds. Who did the best? Me, probably. Who did the worst? I don't know, but let's check it out.

ROUND 1
1 Mike Trout, LAA OF Joc Jams Volume 1
2 Bryce Harper, Wsh OF Team Asaysian
3 Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B The Nasty Boys
4 Josh Donaldson, Tor 3B Team GreinkMyCrank
5 Clayton Kershaw, LAD SP Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
6 Jose Altuve, Hou 2B Regular Ass Joel
7 Manny Machado, Bal 3B   Team Pedigree
8 Carlos Correa, Hou SS Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
9 Giancarlo Stanton, Mia OF Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
10 Andrew McCutchen, Pit OF Total Jocs

Best Pick: Andrew McCutchen
It's very difficult to pick a best and worst pick in the first round. Basically, everybody ends up with one of the ten best players in the draft. Still, getting McCutchen at ten seems kind of crazy.

Worst Pick: Giancarlo Stanton
I love Stanton, but with his injury history, I really wouldn't be able to take him with McCutchen still available.

My Pick: Manny Machado
This pick came down to Machado or Correa. Living in Florida allows me the luxury of attending Spring Training games. This spring, I managed to make it out to seven games. I got to see Correa play twice and Machado play once. Correa really never did anything of note in the games that I watched. Meanwhile, Machado hit a home run right after I left my seats behind home plate to go into the left field bleachers. That was a really boss maneuver on his part, and it was then that I decided that I was likely going to draft Machado. This is very stupid logic, as I am not only going off of an incredibly small sample size, it's an incredibly small sample size in games that don't matter. I have no regrets.

ROUND 2
11 David Price, Bos SP Total Jocs
12 Kris Bryant, ChC 3B Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
13 Nolan Arenado, Col 3B Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
14 Anthony Rizzo, ChC 1B   Team Pedigree
15 Jose Bautista, Tor OF Regular Ass Joel
16 Jose Abreu, CWS 1B Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
17 Edwin Encarnacion, Tor 1B Team GreinkMyCrank
18 Miguel Cabrera, Det 1B The Nasty Boys
19 Mookie Betts, Bos OF Team Asaysian
20 Dee Gordon, Mia 2B Joc Jams Volume 1

Best Pick: Nolan Arenado
Having Arenado fall to 13 and ending up with Correa and him is a pretty sweet way to start the draft. There are really no sings that Arenado is not the real deal, so having him slip to there is a nice way to build the left side of an infield.

Worst Pick: David Price
I just don't see why it was necessary to jump on a pitcher like David Price that early. He's going to a division with a lot of good hitting teams, and he also isn't going to be a friendly ballpark. Now, I still think that he will be good, but I don't really see him being any better than any of the top ten pitchers selected, so there was time to get a pitcher of this level.

My Pick: Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo isn't a really exciting pick, but he was really good last year, and I don't really see any reason he won't be really good again this year. He quietly almost stole 20 bases last year, so he's quietly a five category guy, and that's pretty nice to have at first base. That's why I favored him over the first basemen that were selected later in the round.

ROUND 3
21 Todd Frazier, CWS 3B Joc Jams Volume 1
22 Robinson Cano, Sea 2B Team Asaysian
23 A.J. Pollock, Ari OF The Nasty Boys
24 J.D. Martinez, Det OF Team GreinkMyCrank
25 Chris Davis, Bal 1B Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
26 Max Scherzer, Wsh SP Regular Ass Joel
27 Carlos Gomez, Hou OF   Team Pedigree
28 Miguel Sano, Min DH Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
29 Joey Votto, Cin 1B Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
30 Buster Posey, SF C Total Jocs

Best Pick: Max Scherzer
Scherzer has been pretty incredible the last couple years, and it seems pretty likely he'll be a top-5 pitcher again this year with the upside of being the most valuable fantasy pitcher overall. That's a pretty good get for the middle of the third round.

Worst Pick: Robinson Cano
Cano took a step back last year, he's in a pitcher's park, and he's on the wrong side of 30. I don't really see any reason he is going to bounce back to his previous levels. I think he'll still be a fine second baseman, but I see the upside as a top-50 player. Getting that at 22 is not exactly inspiring.

My Pick: Carlos Gomez
Can someone say panic pick? I can, because that's what I did here. Looking back, I think I would have preferred Buster Posey here, but I was pretty dead set on getting a scrap heap catcher late in the draft. The good news is that Carlos Gomez may bounce back and make me look like a genius for this pick. The bad news is that last year may have signaled a decline in his skill-set, and I'm going to be cursing him the entire year, so...hooray?

ROUND 4
31 Troy Tulowitzki, Tor SS Total Jocs
32 George Springer, Hou OF Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
33 Starling Marte, Pit OF Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
34 Madison Bumgarner, SF SP   Team Pedigree
35 Chris Sale, CWS SP Regular Ass Joel
36 Charlie Blackmon, Col OF Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
37 Matt Carpenter, StL 3B Team GreinkMyCrank
38 Jake Arrieta, ChC SP The Nasty Boys
39 Jacob deGrom, NYM SP Team Asaysian
40 Gerrit Cole, Pit SP Joc Jams Volume 1

Best Pick: George Springer
I'll admit, I kind of overlooked Posey in Round 3, but I was really bouncing between Gomez and Springer. I went with Gomez, because I was really worried about Springer's strikeout rate in the minor leagues and thought his batting average would take a dip and wasn't sure what that would cause. Still, none of that may happen, and he may take another step forward. Honestly, I think Springer has a better than 50% chance of outperforming Gomez, but Gomez still has higher upside.

Worst Pick: Troy Tulowitzki
Don't get me wrong; I love Troy Tulowitzki. I will probably never stop loving Tulowitzki, but he's getting older, he never stays healthy, and even though Toronto is a hitter's park, it ain't Coors Field. It's not that I dislike the idea of having Troy Tulowitzki in fantasy this year, but I don't like him that early.

My Pick: Madison Bumgarner
Since all the top hitters that I wanted had already been acquired, it was time to lock up a pitcher, as that was where the value was. I was between Bumgarner, Sale, and Arrieta, and I took the safest choice. Sale has that delivery that everyone says will make him break, but it won't happen until I draft him. Arrieta had a HUGE increase in innings last year, and although he looks solid, I was a little too concerned about that. And then there is the safe and reliable Bumgarner, who will inevitably be the one who gets injured this year. But the pick made sense for me at that time.

ROUND 5
41 Nelson Cruz, Sea OF Joc Jams Volume 1
42 Xander Bogaerts, Bos SS Team Asaysian
43 Corey Kluber, Cle SP The Nasty Boys
44 Yoenis Cespedes, NYM OF Team GreinkMyCrank
45 Kyle Seager, Sea 3B Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
46 Matt Harvey, NYM SP Regular Ass Joel
47 Jose Fernandez, Mia SP   Team Pedigree
48 Adrian Gonzalez, LAD 1B Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
49 Dallas Keuchel, Hou SP Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
50 Albert Pujols, LAA 1B Total Jocs

Best Pick: Corey Kluber
I think Kluber is a pretty safe bet to perform as a Top-10 pitcher this year, as he's been pretty amazing hte last two years, it's just that he had bad luck last year. With the Indians improving defense, I think his luck is about to change, and he's a fairly safe bet to be a top-10 pitcher this season.

Worst Pick: Albert Pujols
Pujols had a bounce back year last year, but that was basically the best case scenario, which made him the 74th most valuable player last season. Getting him at 50 doesn't exactly scream great value to me, especially since he's likely to be worse this year.

My Pick: Jose Fernandez
Was this a reach? Quite possibly, but I love me some Jose Fernandez. He was the 10th pitcher taken in this draft, but let's think about how talented this dude is. How many pitchers would you want over him if you had to win one game? Definitely Kershaw, probably Scherzer, and then? There is some debate, but I wouldn't want to bet against Jose Fernandez. He was great last year when quickly coming back from injury. Now that he's had a whole offseason to prepare, he is going to be must see TV.

ROUND 6
51 Justin Upton, Det OF Total Jocs
52 Kyle Schwarber, ChC OF Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
53 Stephen Strasburg, Wsh SP Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
54 Jason Heyward, ChC OF   Team Pedigree
55 David Ortiz, Bos DH Regular Ass Joel
56 Lorenzo Cain, KC OF Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
57 Zack Greinke, Ari SP Team GreinkMyCrank
58 Chris Archer, TB SP The Nasty Boys
59 Adam Jones, Bal OF Team Asaysian
60 Brian Dozier, Min 2B Joc Jams Volume 1

Best Pick: Stephen Strasburg
I can't stop believing in Strasburg. He seemed to put things back together towards the end of last season, so maybe he breaks out to show the promise he had when he was first called up. Pitchers are fickle beasts, but I would have been happy to bet on Strasburg had he fallen one more spot in the draft.

Worst Pick: David Ortiz
I think every year I figure that David Ortiz is going to be a crappy pick and every year he ends up still being really good at hitting baseballs. But even with the good hitting of baseballs, he probably can't be expected to really exceed this draft position, and he could be much worse. At least this is the last year he can make me look stupid, but maybe he'll make me look smart on his way out.

My Pick: Jason Heyward
Remember when Jason Heyward hit 27 home runs in a season? Well, I'm betting that there is even more power to tap into since he was so young when he did it. So you're saying he hit less home runs than that last year, and in fact hit less than 27 home runs over the last two years? Well, that means he's just saving up on that power. He's even started pulling more balls during Spring Training. THAT MEANS SOMETHING. Anyway, he was about the 50th most valuable guy last year, and I don't really see any reason for regression with a little bit of power upside.

ROUND 7
61 Carlos Gonzalez, Col OF Joc Jams Volume 1
62 Noah Syndergaard, NYM SP Team Asaysian
63 Ian Kinsler, Det 2B The Nasty Boys
64 Carlos Carrasco, Cle SP Team GreinkMyCrank
65 Eric Hosmer, KC 1B Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
66 Kenley Jansen, LAD RP Regular Ass Joel
67 Corey Seager, LAD SS   Team Pedigree
68 Rougned Odor, Tex 2B Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
69 Francisco Lindor, Cle SS Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
70 Sonny Gray, Oak SP Total Jocs

Best Pick: Noah Syndergaard
This was a tough round to pick a best pick, as it is filled with guys that I don't totally believe in. I could poke holes in every single one of these picks, quite easily, but for best, it came down to Thor and Carrasco. I give the edge to Syndergaard, because he's young, throws a million miles per hour and may be improving. Carrasco took a big step forward last year, but expecting another step forward as opposed to a small step back is a dangerous game, so I'll go with Syndergaard.

Worst Pick: Francisco Lindor
I'll go with Lindor as I see his performance last year as an absolute best case scenario. He was a good hitter in the minor leagues, but he didn't set the world on fire. I could see him hitting .265 with about eight home runs and 30 stolen bases. That's a fine performance from a shortstop, but it's really not that different than Jean Segura, and nobody saw Segura as a 7th round pick.

My Pick: Corey Seager
Top prospects have seemed to acclimate themselves quicker at the big league level recently, and man am I hoping that is the case with Seager. The thing that most appealed to me about Seager is that his older brother, Kyle, admitted that Corey is the more talented baseball player. That means I got the more talented brother 22 picks after the less talented brother was taken. That's a steal. Also, I would way rather bet on Seager than Lindor, so hopefully that bet pays off for me this year.

ROUND 8
71 Johnny Cueto, SF SP Total Jocs
72 Ryan Braun, Mil OF Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
73 Felix Hernandez, Sea SP Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
74 Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B   Team Pedigree
75 Prince Fielder, Tex DH Regular Ass Joel
76 Yasiel Puig, LAD OF Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
77 David Peralta, Ari OF Team GreinkMyCrank
78 Jon Lester, ChC SP The Nasty Boys
79 Adrian Beltre, Tex 3B Team Asaysian
80 Ben Revere, Wsh OF Joc Jams Volume 1

Best Pick: Felix Hernandez
The King is still great and getting a pitcher of that caliber in the eighth round is a really nice get. Johnny Cueto has huge questions about him, and although Jon Lester is good, has there ever been a point where you would have rather had Lester than Felix? I don't think so.

Worst Pick: Adrian Beltre
This is just a simple, "He ain't no spring chicken" argument. Adrian Beltre ain't no spring chicken. His power dropped off last year, and he's a good baseball player but probably not a great fantasy player. And at that age, he's probably going to spend some time on the disabled list. There were third basemen that I would rather have at this point in the draft.

My Pick: Freddie Freeman
Not gonna lie, this was my favorite pick in the first ten rounds of mine. Freeman falling to 74 is ridiculous, and I was ridiculously happy to snatch him up at that point. He had a down year last year, but he's still super young, so I not only see a bounceback, I could see him putting up the best stats of his career.

ROUND 9
81 Hunter Pence, SF OF Joc Jams Volume 1
82 Marcus Stroman, Tor SP Team Asaysian
83 Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY OF The Nasty Boys
84 Danny Salazar, Cle SP Team GreinkMyCrank
85 Jason Kipnis, Cle 2B Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
86 Wade Davis, KC RP Regular Ass Joel
87 Christian Yelich, Mia OF   Team Pedigree
88 Hanley Ramirez, Bos OF Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
89 Adam Wainwright, StL SP Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
90 Daniel Murphy, Wsh 2B Total Jocs

Best Pick: Marcus Stroman
This was a heartbreaking round for me, as I really like Salazar and Stroman is one of my favorite players in the game. As a short dude, I love short dudes. HDMH, Height Don't Measure Heart, and Stroman is pretty great. He was actually more lucky than good last year, but I think he gets back to his pre-injury form and raises his strikeouts and shows that he's a stud pitcher.

Worst Pick: Jason Kipnis
This hurts me. It hurts me deeply. I am one who, like Disturbed, is down the with Kipnis. Last year was a bounceback year for Kipnis. The only problem was that it still wasn't all that good. He didn't show the power he once had, and he wasn't a threat on the bases like he used to be. He was hitting again, but without great power or speed, he's a nice player, but that's it. I really hope he proves me wrong, but I think there were plenty of second basemen to take later in this draft.

My Pick: Christian Yelich
I got Christian Yelich on the cheap last year, and through the first half of the year, I kind of understood how I was able to acquire him so cheaply. He was not very good at baseball stuff. But then the second half happened, and he caught fire and started firing off line drives all over the place and even hitting some home runs. I don't think he's going to be a power threat, but I do think there is more juice in his bat than he's shown, and I also think he could up his stolen bases. He's going to have a high average at the top of a lineup, so he could be a top-50 player if he stays healthy this year.

ROUND 10
91 Trevor Rosenthal, StL RP Total Jocs
92 Matt Kemp, SD OF Team VottoEroticAsphyxiation
93 Garrett Richards, LAA SP Back 2 Take Yo Lunch $$
94 Tyson Ross, SD SP   Team Pedigree
95 Craig Kimbrel, Bos RP Regular Ass Joel
96 Carlos Martinez, StL SP Blackmon Have McHugh Gardner Wongs
97 Byung Ho Park, Min 1B Team GreinkMyCrank
98 Billy Hamilton, Cin OF The Nasty Boys
99 Cole Hamels, Tex SP Team Asaysian
100 Brandon Belt, SF 1B Joc Jams Volume 1

Best Pick: Garrett Richards
Richards was coming off of an injury last year, and he was still effective. Still, the year before, he was a boss, and I think that giving him more time to recover will lead him to becoming a great pitcher again.

Worst Pick: Billy Hamilton
Billy Hamilton can win you steals by himself. That's valuable, but there is an issue. He can't hit. Because he can't hit, there's a good chance he gets put on the bench. He may still steal 60 bases while only starting 100 games, but do you really want to put a pinch runner consistently in the lineup, hoping that he's going to get the chance to steal a base and possibly score a single run. That seems like a lot of sacrifice for minimal payoff.

My Pick: Tyson Ross
This came down to Ross or Martinez, so I asked my wife if I should take Martinez, since she knew him from his time in Low-A. She questioned the Martinez pick because of his shoulder issues, so I went with Tyson Ross. I like that pick more and more as I tried hard to acquire him last year, and him being the Opening Day Starter for the Padres seems like a pretty good sign of his success this season. And if he sucks, I can blame it on my wife.

That wraps up part one. Part two should drop later this week. That's when I show my savvy and really start to dominate this draft.

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