Beat Peter Schoenke - Draft Results.
My entry in the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Online Championship was Monday night. Here's my quick take on the draft - this is a 12-team mixed league, 5x5 categories, 30 rosters spots (23 active), with no trades in the league. It has a top prize of $50,000 and a league prize of $1,400. In addition, every member of my league gets three free months of RotoWire if they finish ahead of me.
My strategy going into this draft was to increase the amount of risk and variance I usually draft. I'm swinging for the fences. I also wanted to throw out the ADP values and just take players I liked.
1.11 Troy Tulowitzki SS - I wanted Carlos Gonzalez (he was taken just before at pick 10), so instead decided to really go for it. Yeah, there's injury risk, but this is a "what can go right" pick. Not much power at SS.
2.2 Bryce Harper CF - The comps for what Harper did in the majors at age 19 are eye-popping. Mel Ott, Ken Griffey Jr., Ty Cobb, Tony Conigliaro, Mickey Mantle, Cesar Cedeno,Sherry Magee, Claudell Washington all had 1.0 bWAR as OFers at age 19. Six had huge jumps (3+ WAR) in year two. (I got this stat from the Joe Sheehan newsletter - you should subscribe). I know there's fielding stats in WAR, but betting on a player with a lot of inner-circle hall of fame comps is how you win a $50K prize. However I did skip Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Bautista twice, which may get me kicked out of the RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today booth.
3.11 Felix Hernandez SP - I wanted to get one of the top five starters and hoped for two. Not sure I love this pick in retrospect, but you probably need at least one ace to win this thing. Strasburg, Verlander, Kershaw, Price and Cliff Lee had already been taken.
4.2 B.J. Upton CF - This is the pick I regret the most. Not that I don't like B.J. Upton. He'll produce in four categories and his batting average may improve in Atlanta and isn't as much a sink hole with league batting averages declining. But I should have taken Yoenis Cespedes - a 27-year old with five category potential who our top scout also loves. I wanted him on my team but wussed out.
5.11 Desmond Jennings LF - Poster child for upside play. Last season was a clunker, but he's at the right age (26) to break out.
6.2 Anthony Rizzo 1B - RotoWire has a big projection for Rizzo and at age 23 he fits the upside mode.
7.11 Paul Konerko 1B - Not exactly an upside play, but I hit the part of the draft where I could have gone any number of directions and decided to just pocket a solid hitter. 1B and CR are deep this year, but it is hard to find corners who don't hurt your batting average. I needed some batting average after Upton and Jennings.
8.2 Jose Altuve 2B - Another batting average play and MI was getting thin.
9.11 Mariano Rivera MR
10.2 Joe Nathan MR - In most leagues I punt closer. Even my 4x4 home league. But you can't trade in this league and I have a feeling my other 11 owners will be no slouches on the waiver wire. So I went ahead and just took the two guys who have the most job security, along with good peripherals.
11.11 Tim Lincecum SP - I have no idea if he'll be good, but if I win $50K this is probably the pick that will do it. When there's no apparent reason why a player dropped off in performance, it's usually a buying opportunity. I'm probably not taking him here in a league where I'm happy to finish third and make some money.
12.2 Coco Crisp CF - May have reached for him here as I may have overkill in steals. But he adds at least some power.
13.11 David Freese 3B - There were a lot of third baseman I liked and was willing to wait on the position, but after Will Middlebrooks, Kyle Seager and Pedro Alvarez went I needed to fill the spot. Although maybe I should have just taken Manny Machado to fit the upside theme.
14.2 Ryan Vogelsong SP - I need some starters now and although he's old, he's in the NL and a good park and seems for real after two strong seasons after returning from Japan.
15.11 Jonathon Niese SP - Jeff Erickson thinks he's breaking out at age 26. Good enough for me at this point.
16.2 Starling Marte LF - Another total upside play. He's a free swinger but could be a five-category impact player.
17.11 Jayson Werth RF - He's not getting much love in drafts but could go 20-20. Yeah, his 2011 stunk, but I'm only worried about what can go right.
18.2 J.P. Arencibia C - I waited and waited on catcher. Arencibia's low batting average isn't great for my team but he has power. I wanted Manny Machado here, but he went one pick before. I may regret that.
19.11 Jedd Gyorko 3B - A trendy upside play ... I'm in! Who knows if he'll hit, but he's got a job to start the year and is a middle infielder with power.
20.2 Hisashi Iwakuma SP - I've ended up with him in almost all my leagues. He was outstanding after he got acclimated to the U.S. and entered the rotation last year (2.65 ERA in 16 starts with a 7.39 K/9).
21.11 Billy Hamilton SS - Mr. Upside. He could get 50 steals if he's called up in July. Fits my game plan exactly. Although I have so much speed already it would be better if this was the power hitter version (Will Myers went right before him and I had him queued up)
22.2 Edwin Jackson SP - NL starter with decent strikeout rates who could amass 175 Ks. A need at this point.
23.11 Welington Castillo C - My catcher sleeper.
24.2 Sergio Santos MR - Looks like he'll begin the season as the closer. I'll take that in the 24th round.
25.11 Chris Carter 1B - An upside power play. He may fit Houston's park perfectly. Maybe the Astros will platoon him or use him in a way to not crush by batting average.
26.2 Rob Brantly C - Since I waited on catcher I took three catchers. He's another sleeper. Looks like a .300 hitter with little power. If I rotate him with Arencibia, maybe the catcher spot won't kill by batting average.
27.11 Hiroyuki Nakajima SS - Because at this point I needed something in case Tulo gets hurt. I still have visions of Tsuyoshi Nishioka as a jaded Twins fan, but then few thought much of Norichika Aoki. Who knows. He's got upside.
28.2 Wei-Yin Chen SP - Could improve in his second full year in the majors. I was scrambling for starters to swap out weekly at this point.
29.11 Johan Santana SP - Who knows? I'll probably drop him early in the season if he's not healthy, but he certainly has upside.
30.2 Trevor Plouffe 3B - He had a .909 OPS last year before a thumb injury. I'm not sure he can field enough to hold the position, but it's not bad to get a player who hit 24 home runs last year with your last pick.
Overall I'm pretty happy with my team. I executed the high upside strategy and got a lot of players I really wanted. Batting average and ERA/WHIP may be an issue, but at least those categories have the most variance.
How did I do?