I just keep doing fantasy baseball drafts don’t I? Seems like every time I wake up I get my bowl of cereal, my Red Bull (sometimes there is vodka in it), answer a plethora of tweets and emails, and then I end up being in a draft of some kind. Which draft am I talking about in this article? It’s the SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio draft, populated by the genius minds of the network. How did my team turn out? Before I get to that, here are the rules.
12 team mixed league
14 hitters, nine pitchers
six reserve rounds (also one DL spot)
Here’s the club.
C: Mike Napoli (9th round), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (18)
1B: Adam Dunn (15)
2B: Martin Prado (6)
3B: Miguel Cabrera (1)
SS: Hanley Ramirez (2)
MI: Andrelton Simmons (21)
CI: Kevin Youkilis (17), Lance Berkman (26)
OF: B.J. Upton (3), Shin-Soo Choo (4), Austin Jackson (5), Melky Cabrera (14), Juan Pierre (16), Dayan Viciedo (22), Rajai Davis (27)
UT: Brandon Belt (20)
STARTING PITCHERS: James Shields (7), Yovani Gallardo (8), Zack Greinke (10), Tim Lincecum (11), James McDonald (23), Wandy Rodriguez (24), Edinson Volquez (25), Francisco Liriano (29 – DL)
RELIEF PITCHERS: J.J. Putz (12), John Axford (13), Chris Perez (19), David Hernandez (28)
It’s important to note a couple of salient points before I dig into my team.
This league has one DL spot. That was part of the reason I wasn’t worried about taking Liriano with my last pick. I’ll stick him on waivers and add another arm in week one.
This league was done on a service that has very lenient rules for positional qualification. Take the case of Prado. He should only qualify at outfield (119 games) and 3B (25), but in this league he also qualifies at shortstop (13) and second (10). I say it all the time, but it’s vital to know the rules of your league, and in this league the following players qualify at more than one spot:
Ramirez: 3B, SS
Prado: 2B, 3B, SS, OF
Napoli: C, 1B
Dunn: 1B, OF
Youkilis: 1B, 3B
No on to the offense.
Napoli and Saltalamacchia might hit a combined .240, but both should go go deep at least 20 times with Napoli having 30 HR upside if he can get 500 at-bats at first base for the Red Sox.
I had the #3 pick and was worried that Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera would go 1-2 leaving me to pass on Mike Trout at #3. Luckily Trout went #2 overall so I could draft Cabrera. Dunn is a batting average disaster, but he’s nails in HR, RBI, runs scored. He’s hit at least 38 homers with 92 RBIs and 79 runs scored in eight of nine years. Youkilis should see a nice bounce back at third base in Yankee Stadium, and Berkman was also a late round add who is just one season removed from hitting .300 with 30 homers. Belt has 15/15 talent, and this might be the year he finally lives up to his billing.
Everyone keeps hating on HanRam. Give me that 20/20 talent that qualifies at two spots. I’m a big believer this year. Simmons is likely to bat leadoff for the Braves this season in what could be a potent lineup. I don’t love Simmons this year, but I’ll take that talent in the 21st round. Prado is my starter at second. I’ll take that .300 average and potential 15/15 upside without hesitation.
My outfield is solid. Upton could go 20/40. Choo could go 20/20. Jackson could go 15/25. I’ll take that as a top-3. My fourth is Melky Cabrera. I’m not quite sure how he performs coming back from his PED suspension, but after proving himself to be a .300 hitter the past two years, I took a shot (more on the reason for that below). My 5th outfielder is Juan Pierre. Forty steals and 80 runs, not to mention a .280 average, seem doable. Viciedo never walks, but that’s a 25 homer bat, and I have no idea why Davis was still there in the 27th round. I’ll trade him to someone who needs some speed.
On the hill…
I went earlier for pitching in this draft that I normally do. Why? Because it was where the value was. I didn’t jump into the mix early, the 7th round was my first arm, but look at my top-4: Shields, Gallardo, Greinke and Lincecum. Do you honestly think that each of those four men can’t strike out 200 batters while winning 15 games? People are worried about Greinke’s arm. He was worth taking a shot on in the 10th round (his current ADP is inside the top-60). I picked him up at selection #118. Lincecum? I’ve long been on record expecting a bounce back (see – Is Lincecum Washed Up After Years of Dominance?). Behind that foursome I have another big arm in McDonald, and Wandy Rodriguez is a solid 6th starter. I also added another potential big K arm in Volquez in the reserve rounds. In the pen I also did something I rarely do – I ended up with three closers. I took Putz/Axford because of the value I felt they held, and then much like with Greinke, I just couldn’t pass up Perez in the 19th when others were seemingly afraid to take him cause he might miss the start of the season. I thought Perez was a great value in the 19th round, side issue be damned. Don’t forget that Perez had 36 and 39 saves the last two years. I also tabbed Hernandez as a middle reliever, one who would likely take over if Putz were injured.
Some final thoughts.
I have batting average drains in Dunn, Napoli, Saltalamacchia and Upton. I offset that with the likes of Prado, Miguel Cabrera, Choo, Jackson and Melky Cabrera. I added two all speed guys in Pierre/Davis to help me strongly in steals (not to mention the potential 20 thefts guys like Ramirez, Simmons, Upton, Choo and Jackson). I’ve got youth – Belt, Simmons – and age – Youkilis and Dunn. I really like the balance of this offense.
On the mound, I like it. My top-4, if healthy, will be better than any other top-4 in this league. If my three relievers stay healthy, that’s 100 saves. For not taking a starter early, and not taking a reliever until the 12th round, don’t you think my staff turned out pretty well? Me too.
For the full RESULTS OF THE DRAFT click on the link.
* Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the 2013 BaseballGuys Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide which is now available. Nearly 150 pages of insight to help you dominate the competition in 2013.
By Ray Flowers