Last night, I participated in my first fantasy baseball draft of 2009 in the "League of Awesomeness." I have to say I am very satisfied with the results. I had the seventh overall pick in the draft and my strategies going into the draft were:
Wait until the fifth and sixth rounds to grab my starting pitchers, fill up my infield early so I don't have to worry about it later, wait until later in the draft to grab my starting catcher and closers, grab power bats early and try to get players that have power and speed, and grab strike-out pitchers that have the ability to strike out 200 batters. Here's my team in the order I picked them:
1. Ryan Braun OF (7) 11. Justin Upton OF (127)
2. Prince Fielder 1B (18) 12. Chris Young OF (138)
3. Aramis Ramirez 3B (31) 13. Randy Johnson SP (151)
4. Brandon Phillips 2B (42) 14. Chris Iannetta C (162)
5. Dan Haren SP (55) 15. Heath Bell RP (175)
6. Chad Billingsley SP (66) 16. Frank Francisco RP (186)
7. Bobby Abreu OF (79) 17. Cameron Maybin OF (199)
8. Troy Tulowitzki SS (90) 18. Fauston Carmona SP (210)
9. Matt Cain SP (103) 19. Rickie Weeks 2B (223)
10. Matt Garza SP (114) 20. Brandon Lyon RP (234)
21. Chris Perez RP (247)
That is a pretty solid team, although I might be lacking in stolen bases unless Maybin really breaks out. This is a roto league that has the stats categories of: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, QS. Some tidbits from the draft:
-While I was sitting at the No. 7 slot, Jose Reyes fell to me, which was very surprising. I still passed on him, which might have been a mistake, but I like to grab power bats for my first few rounds of the draft. He went eighth overall.
-Another guy I was surprised that fell was Grady Sizemore. He went ninth overall and that is too low for a guy who could go 30-30 easily.
-Alex Rodriguez fell to the fourth round. I had the chance to grab him in the first four rounds, but passed on him every time, because I grabbed Aramis Ramirez in the third, so didn't feel the need to get another third baseman. I think Ramirez has a better year anyway. If A-Rod only misses the first month then that's a bargain spot for him.
-Starting pitchers went early in the first two rounds, but fell after that. I didn't grab my starting pitchers until rounds five and six and still ended up with Dan Haren and Chad Billingsley.
-Another owner loves Yovani Gallardo as much as I do. I waited until round seven to grab him and it was too late. He went in the seventh and was the fifth pick of that round.
-Outfield and starting pitching is so deep this year that I waited until the seventh round to grab my second outfielder, Bobby Abreu, and the 11th round to grab Justin Upton as my third outfielder. There are so many breakout candidates in the starting pitching and outfield that you don't have to grab them too early, so that is why I filled up my infield early.
-The power and speed combination players tended to go earlier than I thought. Matt Kemp went in the third round, Curtis Granderson went in the fourth, and Alexei Ramirez went in the fifth, as did Corey Hart.
-Closers went early, which didn't surprise me. Jonathan Papelbon went in the fifth round and Mariano Rivera went in the sixth round, as did Joe Nathan, K-Rod, and Brad Lidge.
-Some of my breakout candidates went higher than I thought. Matt Kemp went in the third, Nick Markakis went in the fourth, Corey Hart and Chris Davis in the fifth, Gallardo in the seventh, etc.
The draft was very competitive and it was a solid first draft for me in 2009. My team is loaded with power and speed guys and I am banking on a major breakout for Maybin and Upton. The team is pretty balanced. Although I may have undervalued batting average and stolen bases, I am pleased with it.