For the last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to participate an experts league with the crew from KFFL.com. The league, called K-BAD (KFFL’s Baseball Analysis Draft), pits 12 experts against one another in a 12 team mixed league draft with 28 man rosters. The participants for this years event are as follows:
Doug Anderson, RotoExperts
Howard Bender, Fangraphs
Mark Chamberlain, Baseball Sharks
Steve Gardner, USA Today
Joe Hamrahi, Baseball Prospectus
Tim Heaney, KFFL
Bill Macey, Baseball HQ
Nicholas Minnix, KFFL
Jeff Paur, RTSports
Josh Shepardson, The Hardball Times
Pasko Varnica, Mastersball
*For full bios on all 12 of the participants click on this link to K-BAD Bios.
One of the unique aspects of this draft is that the participants are asked to record their thoughts as they work through the slow draft (it’s done over days while all of us pound out our daily work). As a result, KFFL presents a unique look into the mind of an expert to expose “experts” thoughts and decision making process at the time each of the selections are made. For the full 28 round analysis of the draft, from all the experts, simply click on the link to K-Bad Round Analysis.
Since I’m sure you’re all riveted as to how my team came together, I thought I would reproduce the results of my squad in a couple of articles here at BaseballGuys. So without further ado, here is how the draft played out for me.
Round 1: Miguel Cabrera
Albert Pujols was a strong consideration, as was Troy Tulowitzki, but ultimately I decided on Cabrera for three reasons: the addition of Prince Fielder, the fact that Cabrera can hit .340, and the soon to be third base eligibility he will pick up.
Round 2: Matt Holliday
Overlooked this year by some, I have little doubt he’ll return to something like a .300-25-100 line in St. Louis even with Albert Pujols out of the mix. Was really hoping that Andrew McCutchen would fall to me at this spot, but missed out on him by a few picks.
Round 3: Kevin Youkilis
Really didn’t love this pick. Was tempted to go with another outfielder, but settled for the stability that Youkilis should bring. Plus, everyone is likely to go heavy on third base, so the next time I pick I’ll be hard pressed to find a comparable talent to Youkilis.
Round 4: B.J. Upton
I was hoping that Ben Zobrist would make it back to me. Obviously he didn’t. I considered Michael Bourn but went with the better all-around performer in Upton. With Cabrera/Youkilis/Holliday I should be able to handle Upton’s poor average.
Round 5: Felix Hernandez
I don’t usually go for pitching early, but I’d bet the 5th and 6th rounds are going to be filled with starters being grabbed. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a guy like Hernandez that should give me 200 Ks and 220-innings of elite work as my staff anchor. Also considered Zack Greinke.
Round 6: Howie Kendrick
A perennial option to hit .300, he’s also likely to go 10/10, possibly even 15/15. I was tempted to take Weeks, but look at Week’s games played mark – an average of just 107 games a season the past five years. Give me Kendrick who also has OF eligibility.
Round 7: Shane Victorino
Solid, consistent, across the board producer. That’s Shane Victorino. I was tempted by Shin-Soo Choo here, but I’m worried about Choo returning to .300, and I don’t know if he’s going to swipe 20 bases anymore either. Shane might be slightly boring to some, but he’s a fantastic 3rd outfielder.
Round 8: Mark Reynolds
People might laugh at this selection, but we all know that third base starts to thin out pretty quickly, and Reynolds covers me at first base as well. His average is woeful, but he is one of only five men to have 30 homers, 85 RBI and 75 runs scored each of the past three years.
Round 9: Derek Jeter
Boring? Yes. Old? Yes. Declining skill set? Yes. So why take him? After the selection of Reynolds with my last pick, I need the .290 average that Jeter should bring. There are more exciting options left at shortstop, but I’m looking for some average stability.
Round 10: Ricky Romero
It’s the time in the draft to start building my pitching staff. Romero may not be elite, but he’ll fit in nicely behind King Felix as I have two power sinking fastball types. Considered going closer, but I’ll wait there.
Round 11: Josh Beckett
I considered Matt Garza and Brandon Morrow here. Garza is as consistent as they come, and Morrow has massive upside, but I split the difference and grabbed Beckett.
Round 12: Brandon Morrow
There might be safer pitchers left on the board, but there are none with 250 K potential. If he keeps the walks down again he could shave a run off his ERA.
Round 13: Dustin Ackley
I was tempted to go with a fourth outfielder here and if I didn’t already have three third base eligible guys (Reynolds, Youkilis and Cabrera) I’d have taken Martin Prado.
Round 14: Sergio Santos
The run on closers commenced, and I jumped in the mix. Was tempted to an address my catcher’s spot which is open, but I went with that huge arm of Santos.
In PART II I’ll continue my look at the selections I made before giving an overall wrap up.
By Ray Flowers