In my last two posts, I discussed the team I rostered in the K-BAD experts league. In Part III of my review, I’ll give my thoughts on how the draft played out after quickly running through my final few selections.
Note: If you want to read my review of picks 1-10, click on the link to K-BAD: Part I.
If you want to read my review of picks 11-28, click on the link to K-BAD: Part II.
ROUND 21: Matt Thornton, RP, White Sox
I may not have saves in abundance, but Thornton and my last pick, Ryan Madson, give me arguably two most talented setup men in the game.
ROUND 22: Chris Young, OF, Diamondbacks
Once upon a time he went 30/25. Hell, it was just the other day really (2007). If he comes through in ’09 he could be a cheap, vastly underrated, 20/20 option.
ROUND 23: Elijah Dukes, OF, Nationals
Seems refocused knowing his career might be on the line. Too bad the Nationals didn’t buy it as they let him go. This is what happens when you do a draft far in advance of any meaningful games.
ROUND 24: Delmon Young, OF, Twins
My third straight young outfielder. All three have a ton of potential, and each could be a terrific fifth outfield option this year.
ROUND 25: Rod Barajas, C, Mets
This late you can throw a dart. Hopefully Rod will hit 15 long balls and bat .250. If he does, I’ll be ecstatic. If not, I’ll hit the waiver-wire.
ROUND 26: Brandon Lyon, RP, Astros
There were certainly better relievers still available, but being that I’m weak in saves I had to take a chance on this inferior relief option.
ROUND 27: Casey Blake
He has no upside, but I had him as 15th best third basemen so no harm in taking him this late. See Breaking Down: Casey Blake.
ROUND 28: Brett Myers, SP, Astros
Not a bad last pick. Seriously. If he can control the homers, in tough park for pitchers, he could return 15th round value.
Here is my team (number is round selected).
C Russell Martin 11
C Rod Barajas 25
1B Miguel Cabrera 1
2B Brian Roberts 3
3B Casey Blake 27
SS Miguel Tejada 9
MI Dan Uggla 6
CI Lance Berkman 5
OF Carl Crawford 2
OF Ichiro Suzuki 4
OF Andrew McCutchen 7
OF Ryan Ludwick 15
OF Chris Young 22
UT David Ortiz 18
P Yovani Gallardo 8
P Scott Baker 10
P James Shields 12
P Trevor Hoffman 13
P Ryan Dempster 14
P Brad Lidge 17
P Aaron Harang 19
P Ryan Madson 20
P Matt Thornton 21
Bench Rafael Furcal 16
Bench Elijah Dukes 23
Bench Delmon Young 24
Bench Brandon Lyon 26
Bench Brett Myers 28
* I already have my fingers crossed. When the draft took place Roberts, Berkman and Martin where totally healthy, and Dukes still had a big league job. So are the breaks of the game.
* Blake in the 27th round was a nice grab, and I’ll have Tejada as an option at the hot corner as well once season gets underway.
* Crawford and Ichiro are a dynamic duo in the OF. If McCutchen does what many expect, that is one potentially fantastic threesome. The group is light on power though, so I added Ludwick who should be a fine 5th hitter for the Cardinals. My final outfield spot will go to one of two men who could be a terrific 5th option – D. Young, C. Young (Dukes hosed me).
* My offense might be a bit light on pop but you can’t have everything when picking against astute owners in an experts league.
* My staff has as good a 5-some of hurlers as any in the league: Gallardo, Baker, Shields, Dempster and Harang. Not a “superstar” amongst them, but that is a fantastic group of arms.
* My bullpen is thin. Every time I went to grab a closer someone else did. In fact, I had only one closer heading into the 17th round. At the end of the round I had two (gulp with Lidge), but another team had three and one grabbed a 4th in 18th. Closers went way too early in this league if you ask me. I didn’t want to roster a flunky just cause they were going, so I ended up passing and grabbed two of the best set up men in the game in Madson and Thornton. In the 26th round I then grabbed Lyon who could be the full-time closer in Houston, a part time option, or a total failure. Still, in the 26th, it was a risk worth taking.
* My staff is really strong top to bottom. I’ll need some help in the saves category, hopefully I’ll be able to snag one of those guys off waivers since there are always at least a handful of guys who emerge, but I should be sitting pretty in wins, ERA, WHIP and strikeouts.
* Surprised to see these power arms not drafted: Luke Gregerson, Daniel Bard, Mike Adams, C.J. Wilson and George Sherrill.
* No one took the steady Andy Pettitte, or last year’s ground ball star Joel Pineiro.
* Three Cubs outfielders were left on waivers: Xavier Nady, Kosuke Fukudome and Marlon Byrd.
* Youngsters Carlos Gomez and Cameron Maybin also went teamless. Each offers some upside and should have been rostered in my opinion.
* At second, Kelly Johnson and Mark Ellis are free agents. I would be shocked if both don’t end up as top-20 options at second, and both have a chance to sneak into the top-15.
* No one bought into Russell Branyan repeating his effort from last season now that he is with the Indians, so he was left undrafted. Across the diamond, here are a few of the third basemen that went undrafted as well: Mark Teahen, Mike Lowell, Brandon Inge, Juan Uribe and Adam Kennedy.
I’ll keep you posted throughout the year as to how my team stacks up. Let’s just hope there aren’t more injuries prior to the season starting – there is nothing more frustrating that losing because your guys are on the shelf.
By Ray Flowers