In the War Room: Expert Draft Strategy, Rounds 22-28

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Brandon Morrow #35 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium September 11, 2008 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

We continue our pick-by-pick coverage for the KFFL K-FAD Expert League Draft. To recap, the league is your standard roster (two catchers, five OF) 5x5 rotisserie 12-team league.

I get the chance to represent Fantasy Baseball Search to play against some of the toughest competitors and expert minds in the industry.

The fourth segment of the KFFL K-FAD Expert League Draft was a great and fun seven rounds. In reality, there was little pressure in rounds 22-28. I felt free to take my deepest sleepers and highest risk/reward players.

Not only did I get most of the players I wanted, but I got outstanding players that will have big impacts on my fantasy team throughout the year.

Most of the picks in these late rounds end up on waivers at some point in the season and while I don't doubt that a couple of them will get the boot, many of them are keepers.

Here is my analysis of my final seven picks for this expert draft. Overall I felt that I had one of the best drafts in the league and I will enter the season with a great team.

Round 22 - Brandon Morrow, Seattle Mariners, SP
3.35 ERA, 16 W, 1.19 WHIP, 195 K

Planned Strategic Pick: I have to admit that I was shocked that Morrow was still around this late in the draft and even more shocked that I let him go that long. Its one of those cases of you assume he's gone till you double check.

Morrow is a young stud with all the talent in the world. He has a super fastball and nasty breaking stuff. He will be one of the best young starting pitchers in the American League in 2009. One advantage that he has is he pitches in Seattle and one disadvantage is he pitches in Seattle.

So, while he's in a pitchers park, he will lack offensive support. Overall this was a huge steal and a great anchor to my pitching staff.

Other Considerations: George Sherrill, Roy Corcoran, Jed Lowrie.

Strategic Plan: Fill a bench spot for middle infielder or grab a pitcher, RP or SP.

Round 23 - Roy Corcoran, Seattle Mariners, RP
5 W, 45 K, 3.20 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 32 SV

Planned Strategic Pick: I wanted one more closer and Joey Devine and George Sherill went off the board. I've liked Corcoran all spring training, but my concern has always been whether or not he will get the job. Hopefully he will.

If he does, its a great pick. Corcoran doesn't have closer stuff, but he has the mentality and he's the leader of the bullpen with JJ Putz's departure. Another bonus is, he will save games at Safeco and its hard as hell to hit home runs in that park.

Other Considerations: Jed Lowrie

Strategic Plan: Get a closer.

Round 24 - Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays, 2B
15 HR, .286 BA, 75 RBI, 83 R, 4 SB

Planned Strategic Pick: This was another one of those, what is this guy still doing on the board? Getting Aaron Hill for a 2b or MI roster slot was outstanding. If he wasn't injured last year, Hill would easily be a 11th through 14th draft pick.

Instead, he fell to the 24th pick, and I got a badly needed infielder for my roster and frankly for my starting lineup. Currently my middle infielder (MI) is Elvis Andrus, so having Hill is awesome insurance.

Other Considerations: Jed Lowrie, Ryan Garko, Casey Blake.

Strategic Plan: Get a bench player to backup my corner or middle infielders.

Round 25 - Ryan Garko, Cleveland Indians, 1B
16 HR, 92 RBI, 88 R, .270 BA

Planned Strategic Pick: Just another risk free stellar pick. Garko is a 15+ home run player with solid batting average. The weakest position on my team was 1B. I only had to this point in the draft one first basemen and that was Gaby Sanchez, so getting more first basemen was an absolute priority.

I had lost out on late picks like Helton and Kotchman, but I felt I did better getting Ryan Garko.

Other considerations: Travis Ishikawa.

Strategic Pick: I had to get another first basemen.

Round 26 - Brad Penny, Los Angeles Dodgers, SP
12 W, 3.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 145 K

Planned Strategic Pick: This was a bit of a homer pick, but again getting Penny in the 26th round is low risk, high reward. Penny is one year removed from winning 16 games and was injured last year. Now a Red Sox, Penny is mostly healthy and should start the season. If I get 11 or more wins out of him, its a great pick.

Other Considerations: Travis Ishikawa.

Strategic Plan: No strategy, get a value player.

Round 26 - Travis Ishikawa, San Francisco Giants, 1B
14 HR, 68 RBI, 60 R, .269 BA, 6 SB

Planned Strategic Pick: I've been eying Ishikawa for several rounds now. Finally, I drafted him and I think I got away with a steal. He is one of the better prospects coming up for the Giants this year and he's having a great spring. He will start at 1B for the Giants and he will likely start for me.

He has a good combination of speed and power, so he will provide good fantasy stats for a 27th round pick.

Other Considerations: None.

Strategic Plan: Get a young first basemen.

Round 28 - Josh Anderson, Atlanta Braves, OF
.263 Avg, 4 Hrs, 42 RBI, 92 runs, 40 SBs

Planned Strategic Pick: This pick was planned from Round 23. I was willing to wait till the last round to get him and I felt he would stick around. Anderson should get the job starting in CF for the Braves.

They are out of options with him and risk losing the speedster if they send him to the minors. Anderson is a burner and can steal 40 bases if he gets over 500 at-bats. He also has the capability to put up a good batting average, but as a rookie likely won't.

Still, I got my seventh outfielder and he can steal bases and that is all I was looking for at this point. Again, very low risk, very high reward in the 28th round.

Other Considerations: None.

Strategic Plan: Get the speedster outfielder Josh Anderson.

Finally this marathon draft has ended. The team I assembled was one of the best overall in the league. In my next post, I will examine the team position-by-position giving analysis on how each player will impact my team.

Overall, the draft was fun, exciting, and all the participants made it not only challenging, but a humbling experience. I never knew who would be there for me the next round. Each expert took the players they wanted when they wanted and didn't answer to know one for early ADP cracking picks.

My hat goes off to everyone who participated in the draft and to Nicholas Minnix for running the draft and getting 12 busy experts to stay on track.


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