In Part III of my review of the K-BAD experts draft at KFFL, I’ll wrap things up by breaking down my final eight selections and then giving a quick review of the squad I assembled. Here are some links that are pertinent to the piece as well.
* 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).
Round 21-8: Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs
s a 5th outfielder, as long as he is healthy, Soriano should be fine. Looking at the available options, I just didn’t see many who could hit 25 homers while scoring/knocking in 90.
Round 22-5: Gavin Floyd, SP, White Sox
I almost pulled the trigger on Floyd in the 20th round, so I pretty much had to take him in the 22nd. People always seem to neglect Floyd who has been stable, and pretty darn good the past two years.
Round 23-8: Brandon League, RP, Mariners
I’m not at all convinced that David Aardsma will be healthy and/or effective (he’s likely to miss the start of the year coming back from hip surgery). I wrote about this situation in A Hip that Makes You Hop.
Round 24-5: Ryan Doumit, C, Pirates
Honestly, this is a total shot in the dark. He’s the only catcher left on the board who I think could go .270-15-60, though he’ll need a trade to get anywhere close to that. He could be the first player I dump.
Round 25-8: James Loney, 1B, Dodgers
Boring, but I needed a corner infield option, and I certainly didn’t want to take Chipper Jones. Loney has little upside, but he does have 268 RBI the last three years which is, shockingly, seven more than Paul Konerko.
Round 26-5: Alcides Escobar, SS, Brewers
I wanted to bolster my pitching staff, but there are a handful of starters and relievers still available who I could go with, so I backed up my weakest hitting position by adding this speedster (my other SS is Jason Bartlett).
Round 27-8: Ryan Madson, RP, Phillies
Best pitcher, skill wise, left amongst relievers. Still, I gave heavy consideration to Jake McGee who could close for Rays and Clay Hensley as a handcuff to my ealier selection of Leo Nunez.
Round 28-5: Cameron Maybin, OF, Padres
I wanted to add depth in the outfield with my last pick and also gave a thought to calling out Roger Bernadina, Alex Gordon or David DeJesus (though DD was taken the pick before me).
* This team has lots of speed. Pierre should push 50 steals, Upton should get 40, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see McCutchen go for at least 30. I’m also expecting 15 from guys like Utley, Braun, Bartlett and Zobrist. Barring injury, I should win this category.
* My average might be lacking a bit since I took Dunn and Reynolds. Still, they are about as powerful a 1B/3B combo as anyone could hope to have. Yadier Molina usually has a decent average versus other catchers, and Utley, Braun and Kendrick should hit .300 to keep me respectable here – I hope.
* The power of this club is strong. I should get at least 70 bombs from Dunn and Reynolds, and if I don’t get at least 60 from Braun and Utley I’d be surprised. Zobrist, Lee, Upton, McCutchen and Soriano should all also hit 20.
* On the hill, saves are a bit of a question. Soria is a star as my anchor, and Hanrahan was named the Pirates’ closer two days after I drafted him which certainly helps. If Nunez can hold on to his strikeout and ground ball gains from last season, I could have three solid closers. I also expect League to start off as the closer with Aardsma coming back from injury, and Madson is just one pitch away from an injury to Brad Lidge to being called on in the 9th inning for the Phillies. Maybe this unit isn’t a bad as I thought.
* At the top Sabathia and Hanson are a dynamic 1-2 punch, and I’ll take Billingsley as a #3 in any league. If things come together for Nolasco he will be the best 4th SP in the league, and guys like Baker and Floyd give me a strong top-6. Still, I do regret going against my normal tradition of waiting on pitching. Even though I took two SPs in the first seven rounds I’m not convinced that my team is appreciably better than it would have been if I had waited until the 8th round to take my first hurler.
Every team has a weakness, but overall I really like the way this draft played out. I picked up a bunch of the players that I targeted, so if everyone stays healthy I should be in line for another top-3 finish… but there is a whole of baseball that has to be played before we’ll know for sure how I did.
By Ray Flowers