Yesterday in K-BAD 2011: PART I I laid out the parameters of one of the experts leagues I’m participating in this year. In addition to giving the lay of the land, I also ran through my first 10 selections. Today, I’ll continue to run through my team focusing on picks 11-20.
Note: All comments were written in real time meaning they were penned right after the choice was made (the draft is a “slow draft” type setup where people have two hours to make a selection as we are all squeezing in the draft during our busy work days).
For a review of the whole draft see the K-BAD Homepage at KFFL.
Round 11-8: Juan Pierre, OF, White Sox
I went for the value pick, even though that wasn’t at all my plan. I didn’t really need the steals, but this choice should allow me to finish at, or near the top in the category barring injury. Maybe Pierre’s solid average in a ton of at-bats can also help to offset the poor marks of Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds.
Round 12-5: Chad Billingsley, SP, Dodgers
I wanted to take Pablo Sandoval in the 10th and 11th rounds, and told myself I would take him here if he was still available. He was, but I went with the consistency of Chad Billingsley instead. You know I’m playing to win when I take a Dodger over a Giant.
Round 13-8: Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels
I already have two second base eligible players, but Zobrist can play OF so it’s not an issue. Kendrick fills my need for batting average help as well – something I need with Dunn/Reynolds (a situation I also tried to address with the selection of Pierre that I mentioned above).
Round 14-5: Carlos Lee, 1B/OF, Astros
Amazingly consistent with 11-straight years of 24 homers, 80 RBI, Lee’s multi position eligibility (OF/1B) led me to calling out his name even though I still need a catcher. Hopefully I’ll be able to address my backstop with my next selection.
Round 15-8: Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals
I considered taking a catcher in the 13th and 14th rounds before finally pulling the trigger. I’d have preferred Carlos Ruiz taken one pick before me, but Molina is a solid option and honestly, there is nothing more than a hair’s difference between the two this season.
Round 16-5: Ricky Nolasco, SP, Marlins
Everyone has gone closer crazy the last couple of rounds leaving this potential top-25 starting option on the board. If he could ever put everything together, he could be top-15 starter. You can read more about my thoughts on Nolasco in Hot Stove: Holliday Dealings.
Round 17-8: Joel Hanrahan, RP, Pirates
I don’t know if he will close or not (I think he will), but the arm is live and over his last 33 appearances he had a 13.50 K/9 and 4.0 K/BB. NOTE: It was announced two days after I made this pick that Hanrahan would indeed open the year as the team’s closer. For more on why I thought Hanrahan was a great reliever to target make sure to read Radiant Relievers.
Round 18-5: Scott Baker, SP, Twins
I agonized over this pick, not because I don’t like Baker, but because of trying to figure out how I would fill out my catcher and shortstop position if I took him. It’s one of the problems with “slow drafts” – you have too much time to ponder your choices.
Round 19-8: Jason Bartlett, SS, Padres
I don’t love this pick, but I think Bartlett was the best SS left on the board and he’s the guy I’ve been targeting since I made the choice to pass on SS earlier. I’ve written this before, but I really don’t think, at the end of the day, that there will be much difference between Starlin Castro, who was taken in the 14th round in this draft, and Bartlett in terms of fantasy production in 2011.
Round 20-5: Leo Nunez, RP, Marlins
This is the type of guy you end up having to take a chance on when you don’t roster the top flight closers. I feel good enough about my offense to roster the risk. If he hadn’t struggled at the end of the year, he likely would have been taken at least five rounds earlier. After all, Nunez had a 9.83 K/9 mark, a 3.38 K/BB ratio and a strong 1.79 GB/FB ratio. If he repeats in those three categories this season, he should be able to rack up another 30 saves.
In Part III of this series I’ll review my final eight selections and give a few closing thoughts on the draft.
By Ray Flowers