For the second straight year, I was invited to play in an expert’s league by the folks over at KFFL. Nicknamed K-BAD, for Baseball Analysis Draft, the league pits 11 of the top minds in the game against one flunky (that would be me). I thought I would give my analysis of the team I was able to roster in the 12-team, 5×5 mixed league with 28 rounds (I had the ninth pick in the draft which was completed near the start of March).
Note: If you want to read my review of picks 1-10, click on the link to K-BAD – Part I.
ROUND 11: Russell Martin, C, Dodgers
Maybe the extra 20 lbs will allow him to drive the ball deep again. He wasn’t as bad as it looked last year, and is still a top-7 option in my mind – or at least he was until he was injured (this pick was made before his ill health hit). Martin is progressing well and may not miss more than a handful of games to start the year.
ROUND 12: James Shields, SP, Rays
Shields was the last, reliable, top shelf option left on my draft board amongst starting pitchers, so I’m very comfortable with him as my third starter.
ROUND 13: Trevor Hoffman, RP, Brewers
Safe, old and boring, all Hoffman does is rack up 30-saves year after year. In each of his last 14 healthy seasons he has hit that level, so there is no reason to think he will produce anything less this season.
ROUND 14: Ryan Dempster, SP, Cubs
The most skilled starting pitcher left on my board or a middling OF? I decided to roster a fourth solid starter since no one stood out in the outfield.
ROUND 15: Ryan Ludwick
Immediately after making the pick, I slightly regretted it. Not because Ludwick will fail in 2010, he’ll hit behind Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the center of a powerful Cardinals’ lineup, but because Mike Gonzalez was taken with the next pick and I need save help.
ROUND 16: Rafael Furcal
A risk since he stopped running last season. Still he is a decent starting option at short, and he will allow me to use Tejada at third base once the season gets underway.
ROUND 17: Brad Lidge, RP, Phillies
What, you think he won’t rebound in 2010? I’m not sure either, but I had only one reliever at this point so I had to take a chance that his elbow and knee will be healthy enough for him to return to a high level of effectiveness if his BABIP returns to normal.
ROUND 18: David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox
I agonized a bit here, but at this point a 25+HR, 90+RBI guy isn’t all that bad, and I needed the pop based on the rest of my lineup.
ROUND 19: Aaron Harang, SP, Reds
The results weren’t there last season for Harang, but he isn’t that far off his 2006-07 form that he should be getting this little respect. He’s a great 5th starter for my club.
ROUND 20: Ryan Madson, RP, Phillies
As talented as any reliever left on the board, he is my handcuff in case Lidge isn’t ready to go because I only had two closers at this point of the draft in Lidge and Hoffman.
By Ray Flowers