I completed the National Fantasy Baseball Championship satellite league draft and I have to say it was a rather painful affair. We needed four hours to complete 30 rounds.
I participated in a mock draft at the NFBC site and was expecting to finish in a similar two hours and 15 minutes that the mock draft took. But, it wasn’t meant to be. One guy lost his internet connection and he had to finish the last 16 rounds using a moderator to submit his picks via phone calls.
Plus many owners seemed unprepared to make their selections when it was their turn. Too many times owners would hold their pick to the last of the 90 second clock, trying to create some sort of drama.
Draft Results and Review
Now that it is over, it is time to evaluate the winners and losers. The draft got started off with an odd twist. In a flashback from 2005, Alex Rodriguez went with the first overall pick.
The guys picking second and third must have been elated when they unexpectedly found themselves with Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez . Like many drafts, there were a number of odd picks made, but the A-Rod reach was the strangest.
Here is my roster, consisting of 23 starters and seven reserves.
It is a very solid lineup, deep in power hitting and power arms. My team lacks speed, saves, and ratios, which might end up being the difference between first and second in this league. Because no trading is allowed (to prevent collusion) I will have to hope my team stays healthier than others and make any adjustments from the waiver wire.
I’m not going to go through all 30 rounds, because you would find something else to read before we hit Chone Figgins , but I will hit some of the highlights and some of the lowlights.
My initial plan for the eighth pick included a short list of Ryan Braun , Matt Kemp and Miguel Cabrera . I altered that slightly not long before the draft. I wanted to take Troy Tulowitzki or Kemp in the first round, to get a good power/speed guy to start me out.
But Tulo was gobbled up with the sixth pick and Kemp was snatched with the seventh. When the dust settled, I went with Prince Fielder to provide a good average and drive in a lot of runs, but there were no steals to be found here worth mentioning.
In the second round, I was thinking about taking Jimmy Rollins but his speed seems to be disappearing as he ages and the injuries have been mounting in recent years. Justin Upton looked like a good player to offer me power and a little speed as other options like Carl Crawford and Grady Sizemore disappeared before I could get them.
I continued my power run in the next two rounds with Pablo Sandoval and Justin Morneau . These two picks tied me down at the corner infield positions, leaving me little flexibility as the draft progressed, but you cannot deny the power. I found a little speed in the fifth round with Chone Figgins and plan to slot him at second base as soon as he gains eligibility.
As I progressed, I didn’t take as many pitchers early as I had planned to. Since I participated in a mock draft the night before, I saw that some real pitching bargains developed in the teens and more could be found in the 20s. I did add a top starter in Javier Vazquez and closer in Rafael Soriano , but I mostly concentrated on building a stout offense.
Some of the early picks I am happy about are Figgins in the fifth round to play 2B after the top second basemen came off the board, Kurt Suzuki in the ninth round, and Morneau in the fourth round.
In rounds 10 to 20, I grabbed a lot of pitchers and outfielders that I hope will have bounce back seasons: Carlos Beltran , Huston Street , Tim Hudson , Aaron Harang , Delmon Young , Corey Hart , Derek Lowe , and Fausto Carmona . If they produce the way I expect, I should be looking good in September.
The last ten rounds were filled with bargain picks and depth chart filler. I found Luis Valbuena waiting for me at 21 to backup 2B and SS, Rod Barajas in the 23rd to be my second catcher (we start two), Kenshin Kawakami and Bronson Arroyo at 24 and 25 to provide rotation depth, and I took a chance on Carlos Guillen and Pat Burrell making late career surges as designated hitters at 26 and 30.
The draft didn’t go exactly as I planned, but I like my team and my chances. I didn’t want to punt saves and steals, but I have enough guys to get a few points in each category. If my guys stay healthy and the risks pay off, I should have a say in the league title at the end.