I was fortunate to be invited back to KFFL’s Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft, K-BAD for short, for the second straight year. Last year, despite some injury and poor performance, I was able to grab third place in the league, a mere 0.5 points out of second place (you can see the team I drafted by visiting 2010 K-BAD: PART III. This year I am back to finish at the top of the heap.
In what follows you’ll see the players I chose for the 12-team, 5×5 mixed league, as well as being able to read my thoughts on why I chose the players that I did. For a full review of the entire league and what the other owners were thinking while they were making their selections (there are certainliy some big name participants in the draft), make sure you visit the K-BAD Homepage at KFFL.
* 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 1-8: Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers.
Braun should be a top-5 selection in all drafts (I had him at #3 overall in The Top-25 for 2011), so I was exceedingly pleased to take him 8th overall. In each of his four seasons Braun has produced a 5×5 line of at least .285-25-97-91-14. Only four men reached those totals in 2010 – and those are Braun’s career worst totals.
Round 2-5: Chase Utley, 2B, Phillies.
In my book Utley is still the top dog at second, ever so slightly ahead of Robinson Cano because of his steal potential (you can see my argument in Top-10 2B for 2011). Injured last season, Utley was still on pace for 22 homers, 88 RBI, 101 runs and 18 thefts if he had played 155 games.
Round 3-8: Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates.
I didn’t think McCutchen would make it back to me next round, so I figured I might as well make a move now if I wanted to roster this luminous talent. The Pirates dampen his outlook somewhat, but Andrew is one of those players who can be a five category contributor with the potential to blow up in 2012.
Round 4-5: Adam Dunn, 1B, White Sox.
I almost took the plunge on Ian Kinsler, but with Chase Utley already on board at second, I went for the mind numbing consistency of Dunn. I’ll take the 40 homers and 100 RBI that he will produce knowing he could push 50 dingers in his new home in Chicago.
Round 5-8: CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees.
I never go pitching this early in 12 team drafts, but I couldn’t pass up the value that Sabathia brings given this draft spot after 2-straight seasons of at least 19 wins, 197 Ks and a 1.19 WHIP. I’ll wait on outfielders and hopefully get one of my targets next round.
Round 6-5: B.J. Upton, OF, Rays .
Sweet. Upton was one of three outfielders I almost took in the fifth round, so taking Sabathia with my last pick didn’t hinder me in the least. Shane Victorino is a safer selection than Upton, but one of these days Upton is gonna to have a monster season. Will it be 2011?
Round 7-8: Tommy Hanson, SP, Braves.
I never take two SPs in my first seven choices – never – but when Martin Prado and Stephen Drew were taken right before me I went with Hanson. Not seeing any hitters who stuck out, I figured I’d take the top SP on my board and then head back to offense in the next couple of rounds.
Round 8-5: Mark Reynolds, 3B, Orioles.
I really wanted to take Ben Zobrist for the positional flexibility, but third base was getting thin fast. Plus, I already have a second sacker in Utley. I think there’s still talent at the seocnd base position, so I’ll wait to add up the middle strength until the next round.
Round 9-8: Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Rays.
This draft is playing out exactly as I hoped. I took Mark Reynolds last round hoping to wait for my MI option, and the strategy worked to perfection as I grabbed Zobrist. I was tempted to take Howie Kendrick, but dual position eligibility swung my selection to Zobrist.
Round 10-5: Joakim Soria RP, Royals.
I really like having one closer I can count on, and Soria is an absolute beast. I also figured that my selection of a closer would cause others to target the bullpen hopefully letting others I covet to fall to me in the 11th round (Note: I was right as Neftali Felix, Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera were taken in the next six picks).
In PART II, I’ll continue my review of the squad.
By Ray Flowers