Monday, March 24, 2008

Tales from the draft

Some colleagues and I had our fantasy baseball draft over the weekend for our Newsroom Junkies league. I'd like to share with you a few thoughts.

This is our league's second year of existence, and we decided to make it a keeper league. We could protect five guys from last year's rosters. Here are mine: Travis Hafner, B.J. Upton, Vlad Guererro, Josh Beckett, and Mark Teixeira. I thought Vlad and Tex were pretty much no-brainers ... and after the potential Upton showed last year I couldn't pass up him and his 2B eligibility. I'm counting on a big rebound from Pronk. And I felt like I needed an ace for my rotation. I threw back Dan Uggla, Delmon Young, Michael Young, Roy Oswalt, Scott Kazmir, Mariano Rivera and J.J. Putz.

Here are the 2008 Springfield Atoms. I should mention it's a 10-team, 5x5 mixed league with two utility slots, seven pitcher slots and seven bench players.

C Kenji Johjima
1B Mark Teixeira
2B B.J. Upton
SS Rafael Furcal
3B Adrian Beltre
OF Vlad Guererro
OF Delmon Young
OF Jason Bay
UTL Travis Hafner
UTL Lance Berkman
P Josh Beckett
P Aaron Harang
P Daisuke Matsuzaka
P Tim Hudson
P Bobby Jenks
P Rafael Soriano
P Todd Jones
P Jonathan Broxton
BE Miguel Tejada
BE Jacoby Ellsbury
BE Akinori Iwamura
BE Tom Gorzelanny
BE Derek Lowe
BE Kelvim Escobar

I was thrilled to get Berkman with my first pick in our re-draft. I had him as the highest-rated available player and he fell all the way to me with the sixth overall pick.

And I think I may have gotten one of the steals of the draft: I took Tejada in what would be somewhere around the 16th round. He's a sixth- or seventh-round pick by most estimates, even with the Mitchell Report concerns and coming off a lackluster season. Plus, I've already got Furcal at short - not thrilled with him, but he's a capable player who steals a ton.

Speaking of steals, I think I'll be OK with Furcal, Upton and Ellsbury, who I think could swipe 40-45 bags.

I should be OK in Ks too between Beckett, Dice-K and Harang at the top and Gorzelanny helping out. I'll be alright in saves too - Jenks and Jones should each get 40, and I think Soriano is really underrated. Love Broxton too as a set-up guy and maybe Takashi Saito's replacement if I get lucky.

Not thrilled with Beltre at third so I took Iwamura as some insurance. A lot of the elite guys were protected. I really wanted Edwin Encarnacion, but he went a few picks before I could get him.

Escobar went a lot later than he should have because of the shoulder injury, but I look forward to a speedy recovery. And Lowe is a decent but unspectacular last guy in the rotation. I figure I can put Escobar on the DL or even drop Lowe at some point if I spot some promising pitchers out there.

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