My NFBC Main Event Team
Here are the results:
1.1 Mike Trout - Don't think I have to explain this one.
2.15 Giancarlo Stanton - I'd been agonizing over what to do at the 2/3 turn ever since I found out my draft slot last week. It was going to be either two starting pitchers with Stephen Strasburg being one of them if he fell, or one SP and most likely Albert Pujols, with the possibility of Yasiel Puig if he dropped. Instead, Puig was gone three picks before me, Strasburg two picks before me, Jose Fernandez one before me but somehow Stanton, who wasn't even on my radar, dropped. I took him over Pujols.
3.1 Justin Verlander - Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Strasburg and Fernandez were all gone at this point, and I wasn't getting an ace on the way back. I like Verlander a little more than Sale or Wainwright, so I pulled the trigger.
4.15 Josh Hamilton - I know this is early, but I wasn't confident I would get him 30 picks later, and I much prefer him to the safe, consistent guys like Matt Holliday and Hunter Pence, who were already gone, in this big contest format. I also wanted to take Joe Mauer, but he went one pick before me.
5.1 Matt Kemp - I picked very fast Saturday, rarely using even 10 seconds of my 75 per pick, but this one I paused for a bit. I considered Gerrit Cole and Carlos Beltran here, but the news on Kemp has been positive, and a healthy version of him is a second-rounder. This gave me four outfielders in my first five picks, not an ideal way to start a draft, but even though I had initially planned on saving room for the quality late-round options at the position, I trusted the sharks in the room not to let them slip too far. (Interestingly, the guys picking second wanted Mauer and Kemp these rounds and were happy they took Mauer first when they saw me disappointed at missing out on him, but when I took Kemp, they realized they weren't getting both no matter what they did).
6.15 Jonathan Lucroy - Beltran was still there, a miracle given the 30-pick wait when you're on one of the ends. But I couldn't take him because having five OF and 1 SP would have cramped my flexibility too much and make it tough to fill up scarce positions. So with Buster Posey, Wilin Rosario, Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana gone, I grabbed Lucroy.
7.1 Joe Nathan - The other scarce commodity in a 15-team mixed besides catchers is saves. Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, Greg Holland, Trevor Rosenthal and David Robertson were gone, and with 30 picks before it returned to me, it was time.
8.15 Joakim Soria - His ADP is much lower than this, but Koji Uehara, Glen Perkins, Sergio Romo and Ernesto Frieri were gone, I had Soria higher than most of those guys, and I assumed some of the sharps in the room probably did also.
9.1 Brandon Belt - He was my top-rated first-baseman left, and still just 25 years old. I expect some growth here, and I didn't think Matt Adams or Brandon Moss would make it back to me if I went elsewhere. (They didn't).
10.15 Tony Cingrani - This was the pick I really wanted to drop to me, and about five picks before he went, I heard the guys drafting next to me whisper his name among their draft candidates. Fortunately, they took Bobby Parnell, and I got another high-K option to support Verlander. We took a break at this point, but I already knew who I wanted in Round 11 which was...
11.1 Aroldis Chapman - You need 2.5 closers worth of saves to contend in the overall (you could have fewer, but it would put a lot of pressure on your other categories), and here was my half closer at a good price. Plus, Chapman could be back in mid-May, making him a 3/4 closer and he'll also help in Ks. I love this risk especially when Kimbrel and Jansen went in Round 3.
12.15 Chase Headley - I wanted one if not two of this tier of third basemen between Nolan Arenado, Headley, Manny Machado, Brett Lawrie and Aramis Ramirez. All of them were gone except Headley and Machado, and I took Headley, a switch hitter getting two thirds of his at-bats from the left-side in suddenly lefty-homer-friendly Petco Park.
13.1 Ben Revere - I wanted to take Machado here who I believe is capable of explosive growth this year, but (1) I have him in four other leagues, so I'll still benefit if he pans out; and (2) I needed a speed guy to go along with Trout. Revere also hits or average, so I grabbed him.
14.15 Anthony Rendon I had no middle infielders at this point and was worried it could get ugly. Luckily two of them I liked fell to me at this turn.
15.1 Kolten Wong After a strong spring, he was the guy, and there was a chance he'd hit up in the order. Possible poor man's Jean Segura this year. I considered Dee Gordon but hoped to get him a round later (he was gone), but in any event, I had plenty of speed with Trout, Revere and Wong now.
16.15 Rick Porcello I still had only two starters, so it was time to build the rest of my staff. I like Porcello's gains last year, his pedigree, the offense behind him and the defensive upgrades. (It would be better had Jose Iglesias stayed healthy, but this year's infield is still an upgrade over last year's).
18.15 Dillon Gee - Solid low-risk starter in a good park.
19.1 A.J. Pollock - I still needed a UT player, and Pollock was best available on my board, given his speed and little bit of home run power while hitting atop the lineup in a good park.
20.15 David Freese - I needed a CI and narrowly missed on Mark Teixeira (by one pick in Round 18) and Matt Dominguez in this round, so I settled for Freese. He gets hurt quite a bit, and he has less power than I'd prefer, but he was the best CI on the board, and I think the Angels will be an offensive juggernaut this year with Freese hitting in the middle of the lineup.
21.1 Derek Jeter - I still didn't have a shortstop, and I've long been partial to Jeter who has twice exceeded expectations later in his career after people had written him off. Doing it a third time would be a tall order given his age (40) and last year's injury, but Jeter's always been exceptional, so I won't put it past him.
22.15 Chris Iannetta - After I took Jeter, there was a mini catcher run with Devin Mesoraco, Travis d'Arnaud, Mike Zunino and Alex Avila going from 21.2 to 21.5. I thought I had screwed up and all but the dregs of the dregs would be gone, but the run ended after four picks, and no one took a catcher in the next 25 as the draft made its way back to me. I have Iannetta ahead of all of those guys both because of his power, his apparent vision improvement and again the Angels strong lineup. I now had my second catcher, and my entire starting lineup save for my ninth pitcher was full.
23.1 Wily Peralta - I needed upside pitchers, and Peralta throws hard and was more effective in the second half last year.
24.15 Josh Beckett - Another upside pitcher who has rebounded from down seasons before and finds himself in a good park and with a strong offense behind him.
25.1 Garrett Jones - I needed a back-up corner (preferably a 1B since I had Headley and Freese), and he was there.
26.15 Martin Perez - More starting pitching to stream, and Perez has some upside.
28.15 Jason Hammel - He was good on the Orioles a couple years ago, and now he gets to pitch in the NL Central.
29.1 Logan Morrison - I wasn't feeling great about Jones as my sole backup CI, especially given how fragile Headley and Freese have been.