A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.
MLB EXPERT DRAFT
I thought I'd jot down some interesting notes as I watch/listen to the MLB expert draft. It's a 12 team mixed 5x5 league with no transactions and a $1000 first place prize.
- Most people will think the Renteria/Tejada/Rolen picks were crazy. Frankly I think they were taken too high, but not as much as people think. Renteria was probaby the best of the picks. Tejada, I don't like. He has the power edge, but the SBs and AVG aren't big assets. Third base is deeper than SS, and there are a lot of young, underrated guys I'd be willing to settle for later in the draft - thus Rolen's a little shakey. Darn, I usually try to stand up for my Mastersball guys. I'm currently in a discussion over at Rotojunkie about the Renteria pick (and evidently Pierre, too). I'm definitely erring on the side of pro-Renteria/Pierre, but Sosa/Halladay are definitely not better picks than either one.
- Again, I'm surprised Soriano fell that far. I'd definitely take him number 3 ahead of Helton, and probably ahead of Pujols as well. That power/speed combination from the 2B position is deadly. Add in quality RBIs/RUNs and the possibility of a .300 AVG in Texas and he's the man! Does anyone really think Pujols will hit .370 again?
- Schilling might be a reach, but I really like him. A 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 250 Ks, and 18 WINS is not even his ceiling.
- Vlad was taken too high. With his injury last year, he's likely to not steal more than 15 bases, let alone be healthy for the whole year.
- Surprised they weren't taken in the first round: Bonds & Pedro. I have a feeling that Jeter will also be a steal wherever he's taken. Is there a huge difference between him in a full year versus Edgar Renteria?
- Whoa, a "snake-like" draft in "inverse order." Do they really think non-fantasy players are actually watching this?
- Orlando Cabrera: With last year's stats, he's worth being taken here. But his career's been up and down and I don't think you can necessarily expect .300/20/20
- Nomar Garciaparra: Except for the injury, he's my second-best shortstop behind ARod. I have no idea what this injury means or how to account for the risk. Could be a steal or a bust.
- Eric Chavez: Still has room for improvement, but won't necessarily get significantly better. Oakland park/lineup limits the AVG and RUN/RBI opportunities.
- Bret Boone: MLB.com won't mention the 'roids, but...
- Jeff Kent: Hmm, can I have his 2000 season? He'll continue to age, he's got no speed, but he does have the 2B thing going for him. Probably a reach.
- Juan Pierre: Mediocre baseball player, but a fantasy stud. SBs and AVG are the two categories one player can really dominate in. Pierre does that in SBs and to a lesser extent AVG. But no, Ron, you do not have 100 SBs between Renteria and Pierre.
- Derek Jeter: I've got a good feeling this year... .325/15/35/110/80. Just as good as the other non-ARod/Soriano MI, and many many picks later
- Carlos Delgado: 1Bs get hit the hardest in mixed leagues. There are just so many good ones that they all lose tons of value. Yes, there are tons of good outfielders, but you need five of them, versus two 1B at the most. Add in the fact that 2003 was the max for Delgado, this is a reach.
- Rafael Furcal: Ok. His AVG and RUNs will regress, but he might run a lot more. Why would you draft a SS ahead of normal just because others already have a SS. It means you can wait LONGER because the other guys are looking elsewhere.
- Pedro Martinez: Seen as a big injury risk, but he's shown to be a consistent injury risk. You can count on 30 great starts every year. Project it, value it, and pick it where the numbers fall. Good pick.
- Magglio Ordonez: No monster category, but no weaknesses. 2003 wasn't his best, but don't judge a player just on the previous season. Kreutzer had him ranked seventh, which is way too high. At this point, not a bad pick.
- Roy Halladay: I love Hallday as a pitcher. He racks up lots of innings, but because he's efficient, he's not an injury risk. Fantasy-wise, he's a little overrated. Good, but not great, ERA/WHIP, good SOs only because of the IP, and decent win-potential. Most people would have taken him well before this point, but I think it's an appropriate spot for Halladay. Vazquez and Mussina should earn similar value, but will probably not be picked for a while.
- Barry Bonds: Sure, there are the steroid and age issues, but you still need to base your projection on the last three years. People forget about how good his AVG is, in addition to the monster power. A good deal here.
- Bobby Abreu: If my name was Robert, I'd ask people to stop calling me Bobby at age 14. Bob Abreu is underrated. He gives you some of everything, thus flying under the radar. Beltran lite. Good pick.
- Ichiro!: Better AVG & power than Pierre, but still not enough SBs to make up the value difference. Solid pick.
- Kerry Wood: Good ERA, great SOs, good win-potential, but the walks drag down (up?) the WHIP. Solid pick.
- Gary Sheffield: I'm surprised he fell this far, but I wouldn't have taken him earlier. He won't repeat last year, but the Yankee offense won't let the counting stats fall too far. The thumb is an x-factor.
- Marcus Giles: Great, underrated baseball player, but fantasy-wise he's not that great. Good AVG, solid power and counting stats for a MI, and throws in some SBs. But I don't think he's any better than last year. I'd have waited a little more.
- Hank Blalock: I see big things from Hank. Power should keep developing. No speed limits his value.
- Vernon Wells: Why does everyone love this guy after just one very good year? Sure, he's very good, but the AVG isn't guaranteed to stay high, his OBP is AVG dependant, and "RBI machine" is really a skill. But still, at this point he's a solid pick.
- Preston Wilson: Who cares about the strikeouts. He showed he's a fantasy stud last year in Colorado. Just gotta worry about the injury.
- Mark Prior: A great gamble here. Might only miss a couple weeks. Then again, with as much as Dusty pitches him, he might not be healthy all year. If I were him, I'd pitch for a couple months, give myself an injury in July, and then come back strong for the stretch run in August.
- Jim Thome: Hate that AVG. His best years are behind him and he'll just keep regressing.
- Richie Sexson: ARZ's a better hitters park than MIL. Richie has as much power as Thome at this point and I like him better overall.
- Get ready for more "inverse drafting" in round four!
- Carl Crawford: Similar to Juan Pierre, just without the proven track record. Might even flash a little power.
- Garrett Anderson: I've actually been surprised how low he's been taken in leagues this year, and appropriately so. Anderson's traditionally been very overrated, then was so overrated he was underrated, but now he might actually be so underrated that he's underrated. Anyways, very solid outfielder. The kind of pick that helps your team, but you don't have fun making.
- Sammy Sosa: Health? 'Roids? Age? Mediocre 2003? Lots of downward signs, but he has to rebound, right? I think he will, but not to the Sammy of old. Many people will think he's a steal here, but declining AVG and lack of SBs limit his upside, even if the power comes back.
- Jason Giambi: 2003 was an "off" year for Giambi, but it was still pretty good. I see a rebound, and if so, is a better option than some of the first basemen picked before him. Remember, he hit for very good AVG in Oakland. I subbed in a mixed league this past Sunday and Aubrey Huff went for more than Giambi. Guys, wake up. You're not buying 2003 stats. (By the way, I'm interested in a retro draft, if anyone plans on doing one.) Moving on...
- Tim Hudson: Solid pitcher. Good spot.
- Placido Polanco: MLB.com didn't have him rated. Don't know which is dumber, Polanco in the fourth, or not even having him on the draft board. He's quite definitely underrated, but this? An aspect of drafts that gets ignored too much is the fact that players you think are underrated will get passed on by others. You need know when other teams will jump in and grab a player. Shandler obviously really likes Polanco. There's got to be a few others at similar value that are more popular. Why not grab one of them, and take the chance than Polanco drop another round or two. You lose a buck or two if Polanco gets drafted, but if you get him two rounds later (which probably has a 50% chance of happening), you gain $5 to $6. Let's see, risk $2 to gain $5 at 50/50 odds? Yup, I'll take that any day of the week.
- Scott Podsednik: MLB.com ranked him 102. Right. Tons of SB and good AVG, but the scouts think it was a fluke. I'd probably agree. Think Dave Roberts.
- Roy Oswalt: Definitely his spot to go. Big upside here.
- Derrek Lee: The 1B with speed. Numbers should go up a little playing in CHI, but not a ton. Still think the 1Bs are overrated in this size league.
- Mark Mulder: Stress fracture in the hip, just getting back into form. Big risk with big upside. Mulder's the biggest strikeout pitcher of the Big 3. I had him pegged as having a huge year last year, so naturally he's on my AL-only team this year.
- Randy Johnson: Could be a huge steal here. Like I posted in the entry below, I foresee 30 Randy-like starts this year.
- Jorge Posada: He and IRod should battle for top catcher honors in MLB this year. Many will grab Javy Lopez or Mike Piazza, but these guys are better picks.
- Notes: Besides Gagne, no other closers went in the first four rounds. I would have guessed that the big guns - Smoltz, Wagner, and Rivera would be gone. Evidently all of these experts read my entry on how to win public Yahoo leauges and are waiting to snatch up the secure second tier closers than fall too far (Cordero, Benitez, Baez, Riske, Rhodes, Borowski, Guardado, Urbina, Dotel.)
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