Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Baseball Season is Here!!! 

And so it begins....


It's the beginning of the baseball season. I national holiday in my opinion. I celebrated properly by having a day off work, and firmly planting my butt on the couch and watching as much baseball as possible.


I meant to post more over the weekend, but Saturday was the day of my big draft for my local league.

The draft is seriously one of my favorite days of the year. We usually start around 11am, and end up drafting until 5-6pm. We take the occasional break to grab some fresh air, food and more beer, as well as make fun of each others teams.

The thing I love about the league is it is a "set salary" league. Meaning, we use The Sporting News Fantasy magazine price lists for our player prices. It's a standard $260, 23 player, 5x5 setup.


With the set salaries, it's really a challenge to put together a team. It's a lot more like being a General Manager in my opinion, because basically you have players that already have contracts (i.e. dollar values) and you have to stay within budget.

There are a lot of different draft strategies in our league. I would say my approach is one of the more unique. I am a value guy. I go for cheap guys first. I'm basically looking for bang for the buck. It's been a solid approach for me, as I've finished in the top 3 the majority of years I've been in the league.

This year the player pricing was a little different. TSN did a nice job of making prices more consistent, and not letting any players slip through the cracks. For the most part, the player pricing was up for the young guys and budget guys. This didn't play well for my strategy, but I think I did ok overall.


Anyway, enough blabbering. Here is a look at my draft for this season, in the order drafted.


1Bonds,Barry $25
2Ray,Chris $10
3Barfield,Josh $5
4Hermida,Jeremy $13
5Santana,Ervin $12
6Jacobs,Mike $11
7Maholm,Paul $1
8Nady,Xavier $6
9Mathis,Jeff $6
10Brazelton,Dewon $1
11Conine,Jeff $6
12Gonzalez,Adrian $1
13Betancourt,Yuniesky $3
14Seo,Jae $7
15Marquis,Jason $9
16Sullivan,Cory $13
17Zimmerman,Ryan $13
18Verlander,Justin $1
19Estrada,Johnny $9
20Zambrano,Carlos $23
21Rollins,Jimmy $28
22Lee,Derrek $35
23Foulke,Keith $14


My first thought on my draft was and still is, "I can't believe I drafted Barry-Freakin'-Bonds!"

I don't like Barry, and I really wanted Josh Willingham in the first round, but he was taken the pick before mine. For $25, I thought Bonds was too good of a gamble. If he plays 110-140 games, he will probably be a $30-40 player That's what I'm hoping for at least. My fear is, he will take a lot of days off and won't get the ABs to make him worthy of a roster spot.


My next six picks (Ray $10, Barfield $5, Hermedia $13, E. Santana $12, Jacobs $11 and Maholm $1) I really like, and think I could get great value from.

X Nady I'm not sure about. I have faith, but I hear enough doubters out there, that I'm not as sold on him as I once was. But for $6 I'll give him a go. The same goes for Jeff Mathis. I hope he gets enough ABs to make him worthy.

D. Brazelton was not a pick I planned on. With the recent developments in the S.D. rotation, and considering he was only $1, I figured I would give him a flyer.

The Conine pick I thought was a good pick. With Javy Lopez not playing 1B (at least not yet,) I think Conine will see a lot of ABs. If he sees ABs he will hit. A good gamble for $6 I think.

A. Gonzalez is going to win the San Diego 1B job. Klesko's injury is going to give him a chance to show what he can do, and once Klesko comes back, I think the Padres will soon realize that Gonzalez deserves the job.

Y. Betancourt was a pick that came out of leftfield. At the time, everyone was drafting high dollar players, and had been all draft. With the shallow pool of quality low dollar players, I figured I would grab who I could. Betancourt fit that bill, a starter and only $3. I have no idea what to expect from him, and honestly my guess would be I am looking to replace him here in a few weeks.

Jae Soe for $7 in Dodger Stadium...love it!

Jason Marquis $9, contract year, pitches for the Cardinals....Love it!

C. Sullivan $13: A little power, a little speed, and some Coors goodness.

R. Zimmerman $13 - I was shocked that Zim was still there at this point, and couldn't let him pass another time. If he lives up to what he's shown in spring training, this pick will be a steal.

J Verlander $1 - He kind of slipped past me until this point. I can't say American league, rookies that play for the Tigers excite me much, but for $1 I'll buy in to this kids potential. Now the question is how long will last on my team.

J Erstrada $9 - I think Erstrada is going to have a bounce back year. If so $9 is a great value.

At this point I had a ton of money left, and was going into spending mode. First stop C. Zambrano $23. If his arm doesn't fall off, like his other teammates', then I think Zam will be one of the better pitchers in baseball.

J. Rollins $28 - I needed a MI, and wanted some speed. Rollins give you a little bit of everything, so he fit the bill nicely.

D. Lee $35 - Power, Speed, RBIs, and an improved Cubs offense. I know he had a career year last year, but maybe he can do it again?

and finally.... Keith Foulke $14 - This pick left me with $8 of cap room. Foulke is a risk, but I think he could be a great value.....or waiver fodder in a couple of weeks.


Overall, I like my draft. I have a lot of gambles and question marks, but for the most part they are all good gambles. The great thing about our league is there is always some decent players on the waiver wire, especially if you have the cap room. Which I do.

My main concern right now is my pitching. I missed out on a couple of high dollar pitchers I wanted early, but I think of all the budget guys I grabbed I ought to have a couple of diamonds.






Boy, with a complicated draft like that, I bet some Fantasy Draft Software would have come in handy.
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