Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reviewed: Jason Willey

Team: Krunk Smurfs
Owner: Jason Willey
Draft Pick Order: 3rd Overall

Top Ten Rounds Evaluation (ADP Round)*
1 – David Wright (1)
2 – Ryan Howard (1)
3 – Jake Peavy (3)
4 – Matt Kemp (2)
5 – Joe Mauer (4)
6 – Derek Jeter (4)
7 – Kevin Slowey (11)
8 – Justin Verlander (11)
9 – Brian Fuentes (8)
10 – Mark DeRosa (10)


In terms of value, Jason’s first six picks were very nice. While I do not consider Jeter a good fantasy player anymore, taking him two rounds later than where he was going to go is very acceptable. Jake Peavy was one of the more sane high round picks and the decision to take David Wright over Jose Reyes was a wise one.

What he was think, then, when he got to round seven baffles me. Kevin Slowey? Round seven? What is more confusing is that he took a decisively better pitcher in the next round. I think this perfectly explains the draft. If someone asked me to explain the draft, I’d say look at Jason’s seventh and then eighth round picks and try to determine the logic used there. Rounds six through 10 were just insane and I think these picks encapsulate that fact.

Mark DeRosa in the 10th round seems strange to me. It is odd that a utility player goes in the top 10 rounds, but he did. I wonder what DeRosa will be like playing every day at second base in Cleveland. For the Royals sake I hope he sucks.

One thing that is going to be true about Jason’s team is he is going to strikeout a ton. Here are some of the 2008 strikeout totals from some of the players he drafted and kept (walks in parenthesis):

Ryan Howard: 199 (81)
Mark DeRosa: 106 (69)
David Wright: 118 (94)
Adam Dunn: 164 (122)
Jay Bruce: 110 (33)
Matt Kemp: 153 (46)
Justin Upton: 121 (54)
Luke Scott: 102 (53)

If you are counting at home, that’s eight of Jason’s 15 hitters that struck out 100 times or more last season. Only Joe Mauer walked more than he struck out last season.

Best (and Worst) Mid to Late Round Picks

There are three picks that I really like from Jason: Justin Upton (14), Adam Dunn (13), Jim Thome (19).
I like the Thome pick simply based on value. Thome is in his final season with the White Sox and you wonder if he won’t be playing for one last big payday. Plus, the ball flies out of U.S. Cellular Field. I like the Upton pick because of his upside. If this is Upton’s breakout year and he becomes the player that many think he can be, he will be of excellent value at round 14. If not, Jason didn’t really lose anything there. Adam Dunn equals Ryan Howard only Howard gets more respect because he plays for a better team (I guess).

Ryan Howard (last two seasons average): .259/.364/.562, 94 BB, 199 K, 133 OPS+
Adam Dunn (last two seasons average): .250/.386/.533, 111 BB, 164 K, 133 OPS+

(This thought leads me to a Royals post that I’m going to throw up on the blog sometime.)

Kevin Slowey. Why? Just… why?

Starting Positional Breakdown

C – Joe Mauer: His health concerns me. Of course, if he is healthy, he is a top three catcher.

1B – Ryan Howard: The dude is going to strike out… a ton. Better hope he walks enough to offset the strikeouts or else some of his home runs are going to go towards canceling out his whiffs and not supplementing his fantasy points.

2B – Mark DeRosa: I don’t know what an everyday Mark DeRosa looks like. I’ve got to wonder when fatigue sets in as well as how quickly he’ll adjust to the American League.

3B – David Wright: Equals fantasy stud.

SS – Derek Jeter: I don’t like Derek Jeter as a player and I don’t like him in fantasy.* There you go.

*I would love him as a player if he didn’t play for the Yankees.

LF – Adam Dunn: The Ryan Howard clone. Did you know that Dunn has hit at least 40 home runs and walked 100 times in five straight seasons? Just sayin’…

CF – Jay Bruce: Jason better hope Bruce improves his discipline at the plate or else this is going to be a long year for him in centerfield.

RF – Andre Ethier: A nice glue piece with a weird last name.

UT – Matt Kemp: Jason likes him some Los Angeles Dodgers outfield prospects doesn’t he? Actually, he likes outfield prospects in general it seems. Three of his four outfielders that are starting are all prospect-type guys.

SP1 – Clayton Kershaw: Still a year or two away from being fantasy relevant.

SP2 – Jake Peavy: It should be interesting to see if he gets traded by the deadline. That certainly was a good thing for CC Sabathia. You wonder what kind of effect it will have on Peavy.

SP3 – Kevin Slowey: Ugh…

FLEX – Johnny Cueto: A disastrous keeper selection especially given the ballpark.

RP – Brad Lidge: I don’t know how much to trust last season, but is certainly an excellent closer if he has truly rebounded from being Pujolsed.

RP – Matt Capps: He won’t get you a lot of strikeouts, but he should post 30 plus saves even for a bad Pirates team.

RP – Brian Fuentes: A very nice strikeout pitcher who will receive a ton of save opportunities playing for the Angels.

General Thoughts:

Strikeouts will be the achilies heel for Jason, but he should be rewarded for not falling into the pitching trap in the first six rounds. The Slowey pick still sucks, but the Verlander pick should redeem him.

Sarcastic Statement:

Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn have made excellent strides this offseason in making more contact to reduce their strikeouts and Kevin Slowey is a true fantasy stud in the making.

Final Statement

Jason is going to have to make a few moves if he wants his team to make the playoffs, but we all know that won’t happen. What may be his saving grace is that he’ll be in the Losers Division and may be able to sneak out a few more victories than he should.

*Average Draft Position by Round via ESPN’s Live and Mock Drafts as of March 14, adjusted for keepers.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reviewed: Tony Allen

Team: San Antonio Saints
Owner: Tony Allen
Draft Pick Order: 2nd Overall

Top Ten Rounds Evaluation (ADP Round)*
1 – Hanley Ramirez (1)
2 – Roy Oswalt (3)
3 – Kevin Youkilis (3)
4 – Nate McLouth (4)
5 – Vladimir Guerrero (3)
6 – Adrian Gonzalez (4)
7 – Rich Harden (7)
8 – A.J. Burnett (7)
9 – Max Scherzer (12)
10 – Chone Figgins (8)


I think Tony ended up with the guy who is going to be the number one in fantasy, Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez move to the third spot in the order is going to greatly increase his RBI opportunities and free him to swing for more power as opposed to taking the leadoff approach. He’ll still score a lot of runs with Uggla and Hermida behind him. I don’t think his move to the three hole will affect his speed numbers, but if it does, the added RBI will take care of whatever small drop happens there.

I absolutely hate the Roy Oswalt pick. Well, maybe not as much as I hate other picks in this draft, but I didn’t like it when it happened and I don’t like it several days after the fact. My special little ESPN Adjusted deal has him as a fringe 3rd/4th round pick, so taking him at the end of the second round is enough of a reach to make me somewhat angry. I’m not saying the guy suck, look at the man’s production from 2004 to 2008. My problem with this pick is that I believe it is the one that set off the pitching panic. After Francisco Liriano was stupidly taken in the second round, things seemed to calm down a little. Liriano was followed by Manny Ramirez, Nick Markakis, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard. Normalcy had returned. A sense of “hey, there are not any pitchers of second round value here, but there sure are a lot of good hitters out there” entered the draft. And then Tony took Roy Owsalt two rounds too early and all hell broke loose. All of the mid-range guys immediately came off the board: Jake Peavy, Felix Hernandez, John Lackey and Jon Lester. Everybody decided to take round five to regroup and figure out what pitchers were available and that started The Great Pitching Panic of ’09 when half a trillion pitchers were unjustifiably taken between rounds six and 10. I think the psyche of the draft was affected by the Oswalt pick. I think people still felt like there were some good mid-range guys who would be there in rounds five, six and seven that would balance everything else. Instead the likes of Adam Wainwright (what the hell was Keller thinking?), Kevin Slowey, Max Scherzer (another Allen pick), Joe Saunders, Gil Meche, David Price and Brett Myers were taken. What a disaster.

I like the Adrian Gonzalez pick at round six and, though I don’t think he is the same player as he used to be, I like the value Allen received in the fifth round for Vladimir Guerrero. I am not a fan of Nate McLouth repeating his 2008 season and probably would have gone a different direction in round four – maybe Bobby Abreu would have been a better pick there.

A.J. Burnett and Rich Harden are “Boom or Bust” candidates. I think Tony’s season will be defined by these two players health. Both are going to win games and strikeout a ton of people in they can stay healthy, which is a big “if”. Burnett does have issues with his control and Harden has been known to give up the long ball in addition to walking a lot of batters. Harden has only one season in his six major league seasons where he has surpassed 150 innings pitched. It is things like this that make me believe Allen’s bet will not pay off, but you never know.

Oh, and what the hell were you thinking drafting Max Scherzer in the ninth round?!?! Honestly, what were you thinking? Honestly, the guy was being picked in regular drafts in the 16th round amongst such gaudy names as Rick Ankiel, Mike Aviles and Pablo Sandoval. Really, what were you thinking? I’m not saying the kid won’t be good this season, but you took him insanely too early.

Best (and Worst) Mid to Late Round Picks

David Ortiz. In the first year of this league, I remember taking Barry Bonds in round 17ish a year removed from his leg injury. It paid off very nicely for me as he had a 1.045 OPS and nearly walked three times per every strikeout. Is was a big supplement to my outfield that helped me get to the championship game. I think David Ortiz can be that guy for Tony in round 17. J.D. Drew in round 25 is also very interesting assuming he has a full season.

Max Scherzer. I still don’t get that pick. Really, I don’t get it, why did you do that? Please tell me.

Starting Positional Breakdown

C – Mike Napoli: Mike hit 20 home runs in 227 at-bats in an injury shortened season. At least you know the pop is there if he is on the field. Mike also had 70 strikeouts last season so that’s not good.

1B – Adrian Gonzalez: If Adrian played anywhere other than PetCo, he would have 40 homers a season and be one of the most salivated over fantasy players every year. Instead he just hits 30 homers with 100 RBI and 100 runs, so, naturally, he falls to round six. Question: Would you rather have Adrian Gonzalez or Adam Wainwright with your sixth round pick? Gonzalez or Robinson Cano? Gonzalez or Johnny Damon? Gonzalez or John Lackey or Jon Lester? Adam, you don’t get to vote.

2B – Dustin Pedroia: Well, that’s nice.

3B – Kevin Youkilis: It should be noted that Tony has four Red Sox and three Cardinals on his team.

SS – Hanley Ramirez: I think a legitiment argument could be made that Tony has the best infield of anybody in The League. I don’t know if this is true yet, but I’m leaning that way at the moment.

LF – Ryan Ludwick: Wow, talk about a talent drop off. Sheesh.

CF – Nate McLouth: As I’ve stated already, I do not believe McLouth will be the same player as he was last season. I really don’t.

RF – Jacoby Ellsbury: The guy is so good the Red Sox chose to start Coco Crisp over him in the playoffs. Keep that in mind.

UT – Vladimir Guerrero: 1998-2006 averages: 36 HR, 112 RBI, .327/.393/.590 – 151 OPS+
2007-2008 averages: 27 HR, 108 RBI, .314/.385/.535 – 140

I show this to note two things: One, Vlad is REALLY good and, two, Vlad is starting to lose his power, but is still really good. Just a note.

SP1 – Edinson Volquez: 1st Half: 117.2 IP, 2.29 ERA, .212 BAA, 5 HR allowed
2nd Half: 78.1 IP, 4.60 ERA, .260 BAA, 9 HR allowed

Oh, and would this be a bad time to mention he pitched 52 more innings than his previous career high and 162 more innings than his previous MLB high in what will be his fifth MLB season in 2009? No? Oh, I’m sorry.

SP2 – Roy Oswalt: Already discussed him.

SP3 – A.J. Burnett: Burnett has 10 major league seasons and has had 26 or more starts in only four of them. I wanted to make that note for injury purposes. Burnett also has only two seasons where he averaged less than 3.5 walks per nine innings. I wanted to make that point to show his control issues. Have I mentioned his home run issues yet?

FLEX – Rich Harden: He will spend more time on the DL than he does here.

RP – Frank Francisco: Assuming he doesn’t throw any chairs at any fans he should be above average for Tony, though he will not get many saves.

RP – Manny Corpas: Doesn’t strikeout nearly enough people to be relevant.

RP – Todd Wellemeyer: Ugh… What a terrible relief core.

General Thoughts:

Tony has an excellent infield, but his holes in the outfield, bullpen and starting rotation are going to be too much for him to overcome.

Sarcastic Statement:

Keeping Colby Rasmus and drafting two Cardinals – Ryan Ludwick and Todd Wellemeyer – are going to be looked upon as the three most important moves Tony made to build a winning fantasy team.

Final Statement

Normally I would say that with a few savvy moves you could put yourself in a good position to make the playoffs, but because this is Tony we are talking about… I doubt that happens.

*Average Draft Position by Round via ESPN’s Live and Mock Drafts as of March 14, adjusted for keepers.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reviewed: Jeff Weseloh

Team: Flying Monkeys
Owner: Jeff Weseloh
Draft Pick Order: 1st Overall

Top Ten Rounds Evaluation (ADP Round)*
1 – Albert Pujols (1)
2 – Aramis Ramirez (3)
3 – Carlos Beltran (3)
4 – Lance Berkman (Kept)
5 – Johnny Damon (6)
6 – Daisuke Matsuzaka (6)
7 – Garrett Atkins (6)
8 – Ian Kinsler (8)
9 – Erik Bedard (13)
10 – Aaron Harang (14)


And you were doing so well until you got to rounds nine and ten...

I hate the Damon pick, but that is more of my opinion of him getting old, regressing and sucking that is influencing that.

The Bedard and Harang picks I take issue with. Aside from them being overvalued, neither of them pitch in situations that really make me feel good about them. Harang pitches in a sandbox that sees routine fly balls turn into 500 foot home runs. He saw a huge dip in his strikeouts last year and has pitched almost 900 innings in the last four seasons. There is a lot to not like about Harang without the whole ninth round status attached to him.

Bedard pitches for a terrible team, it’s as simple as that. He had injury issues last year and has never pitched over 200 innings in a season. Additionally, he really only has one good season in his career (2007) which happened to coincide with his one good strikeout season. Bedard would have made more sense as an overdraft in round 12, maybe 11.

I love the Beltran pick. It is striking to me how Beltran had the third highest fantasy point total last season, but everyone decided to let him slide to the third round. But, hey, at least Joel got Liriano three rounds too high!

Best (and Worst) Mid to Late Round Picks

David DeJesus. Because at round 21, he is projected to score more points than Adam Keller’s catcher, first baseman, left fielder and right fielder (not combined) and is only three points short of his kept second baseman Dan Uggla. Normally this would be a compliment, but actually it is more of slam on Adam’s “stacked” fantasy team. (Boom! Roasted again!)

In all seriousness, I like the Chris Carpenter and Travis Snider picks. But I don’t have anything to say about them other than the obvious so I’m going to leave that there.

I can’t decide between Johnny Damon, Erik Bedard or Aaron Harang… Let’s just go all three! But, hey, at least two-thirds of your outfield and half of your infield isn’t projected to score fewer fantasy points than someone else’s 21st round pick like someone else I know…

Starting Positional Breakdown

C – John Baker: My early thoughts are he sucks. Those will probably reflect my latter thoughts as well.

1B – Lance Berkman: You know, looking back on the draft, keeping Berkman for a 4th rounder seems stupid since you probably could have drafted him in the 20th round the way pitching was going. None the less you have a solid first baseman.

2B – Ian Kinsler: If he stays healthy and Utley does not, you have the number one second baseman in fantasy.

3B – Aramis Ramirez: One of the better third basemen in a shallow third base class.

SS – Michael Young: Young’s transition to third base gives me concern as to his fantasy value this season and in seasons to come.

LF – Johnny Damon: Already discussed my disgusting thoughts on him.

CF – Carlos Beltran: Him too.

RF – Jermaine Dye: He’s the wildcard for you this year. If he stays healthy and does not regress too much, he could be the key piece to put you over the top into the playoffs.

UT – Albert Pujols: I hate the Cardinals, but Pujols still holds the number spot in the greatest home runs I’ve ever seen live in person or on TV. That was insane.

SP1 – Zack Greinke: Worst case scenario he’s an above average guy for you. Best case: He wins the Cy Young.

SP2 – Daisuke Matsuzaka: Most overrated and overvalued fantasy pitcher in this league, period.

SP3 – Erik Bedard: Yeah…

FLEX – Justin Duchscherer: That’s not good either…

RP – Francisco Cordero: Well this is going downhill fast.

RP – Brandon Morrow: When your best reliever is a starter, that’s not good.

RP – Joel Hanrahan: Say “Hanrahan” five times fast. Not possible without saying "hand" at least twice. Note: I have no idea who this guy is.

General Thoughts:
This was not a bad draft. I don’t think it will win you the league, but I don’t think it will lose it for you either. Being in the Losers Division is going to help you.

Sarcastic Statement:

Adam most definitely has your team beat just with his stacked outfield alone.

Final Statement

Carlos Beltran would have been a better third round keeper than AROD had AROD dropped to the third round.

*Average Draft Position by Round via ESPN’s Live and Mock Drafts as of March 14, adjusted for keepers.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reviewed: Adam Keller

Team: Viva El Birdos
Owner: Adam Keller
Draft Pick Order: 4th Overall

Top Ten Rounds Evaluation (ADP Round)*
1 – Jose Reyes (1)
2 – Alex Rodriguez (2)
3 – Felix Hernandez (5)
4 – Jimmy Rollins (Kept)
5 – Curtis Granderson (4)
6 – Adam Wainwright (8)
7 – Bobby Jenks (8)
8 – Hunter Pence (6)
9 – Carlos Zambrano (9)
10 – B.J. Ryan (9)


I do not understand the Jose Reyes strategy from Adam when he already has Jimmy Rollins on his roster. I get the best player available idea, but I don’t know if that was the best thing for him to do for his team.** Drafting Reyes was essentially drafting a Utility player with your first pick. I think Adam would have been better served taking Miguel Cabrera or Grady Sizemore and having two top player at two positions as opposed having two top players at one position. I think depth in the lineup is important. Additionally, filling out an utility spot is going to be a lot easier than filling out holes in specific positions - like centerfield. Adam certainly has trade bait in Rollins or Reyes, but again, do really want to be drafting trade bait with the fourth overall pick in the draft?

**It should be noted that I did pick after Keller, and did plan on picking Reyes if he fell to me. But I am equally as happy with my actual pick, Grady Sizemore, as I would have been if I had taken Reyes. I say this in the interest of full disclosure and to make a note that my view of Adam’s pick is not out of anger for not having the opportunity to draft Reyes.

While ADP says he didn’t, I think Adam overvalued Alex Rodriguez. Alex will miss at least six weeks with his injury and will only max out at around 90% (so it has been claimed) for the rest of the season. And if the Yankees are out of it by the end of August, which could really be a possibility if the Rays and Red Sox play like they can, they may tell AROD to cut his season short and get the second surgery he’s going to require. I don’t know if that is a risk I take with my second round pick, even if it is AROD. Secondly, I think he has more value if he were to be taken in rounds three or four. I think he would have fallen at least to the end of round three had he been allowed and at that point would have been made keeper eligible. Picking him in round three or four would have made more sense.

If it is true, as I have heard through the grapevine, that he was drafted to prevent someone else from keeping him, Adam is a fool. Drafting based on keepers in the top three or four rounds is bad enough. Drafting based on PREVENTING people from keeping other players in the top three or four rounds is downright stupid. Someone keeping the likes of AROD does not dictate who does and does not win The Leauge. Ask Tony, who kept Johan Santana, Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols last season and finished in next to last place. There is more to winning this league than one great player. One should draft to win The League rather than try to prevent potential keepers or draft keepers. We play to win The League. WE PLAY TO WIN THE LEAGUE!

Felix Hernandez is way too inconsistent and his team too poor to be drafted in round three. He’s a great young prospect with lots of potential, but he doesn’t deserve third round status. I believe this to be a panic pick since Webb, Halladay, Liriano, Oswalt and Peavy were all off the board by this point. You can look at it as the market placing high value on pitchers if you want I suppose, but I think, in the case of a draft, it means there is excellent value in other places, like, you know, Alex Gordon…………………………

Best (and Worst) Mid to Late Round Picks

Vernon Wells. I think Wells is prime for a return to his normal self after terrible 2006 and 2007 campaigns. In 2006 he had the “Payday Hangover” season and in 2007 he had “Over-compensate for Last Year” syndrome that resulted in an injury shortened year. But he did get his power back and had as many RBI’s in 2007 as he did in 2006 in 200 fewer plate appearances. Adam got excellent value here.

Adam Wainwright. Not only is Wainwright overrated, but he is extremely overvalued at round six. He has awful strikeout numbers, has injury issues and allows too many base runners and home runs. His 11-3 record last year was more indicative of his division than it was of his talent. I don’t see Wainwright producing at a level in 2009 that would warrant a sixth round selection.

Starting Positional Breakdown

C – Victor Martinez: Take away a players legs and you’ve seriously damaged that players ceiling. Knee injuries are something that are difficult to overcome if one wants to return to their true self. When you add the wear and tear of the catching position, I believe it to be very difficult that Martinez returns to what he used to be. Assuming a healthy season, I think Martinez is a mid-level catcher.

1B – Chris Duncan/Adam LaRoche: Awful and may possibly the worst first base tandem in all of fantasy this year. And when you consider how deep first base was/is this year, it makes it even harder to believe Adam couldn’t find someone better than these two guys.

2B – Dan Uggla: As stated in his keeper review, Uggla is probably a bottom-half second baseman because of his strikeouts. Unless an act of God takes place, I do not see his strikeout problem being fixed. And with Hanley Ramirez batting third this season, I see Uggla’s production taking a dip as well.

3B – Aubrey Huff: Yet another bad infielder. Adam will site last season and I’ll site the three year trend Huff had going into last season and Huff’s age. Oh, and that Huff sucks.

SS – Jimmy Rollins: Finally, someone good.

LF – Xavier Nady: Aaand back to the sucking. Xavier Nady: Great role player, terrible fantasy starter. If he was a glue piece in Adam’s fantasy team, maybe I could live with it. But as we are seeing, this is not the case.

CF – Curtis Granderson: If Granderson hits his ESPN projection – a projection that is lofty in my opinion – he will finish as the eighth best eligible centerfielder in a ten team league. Not positive. Good thing he didn’t draft Grady Sizemore…

RF – Hunter Pence: Curtis Granderson, the aforementioned eighth best centerfielder in a ten team league, is projected to have 120 more fantasy points than Pence. You can connect the dots on that one. But in case you don’t have the time, those dots when connected spell S-U-C-K-S-A-T-F-A-N-T-A-S-Y. But, hey, at least Pence is projected to get 30 more points than Xavier Nady – at least you don’t have Nady starting for you too, that would suck.

I’m starting to wish I wrote this drunk, this is getting depressing…

UT – Jose Reyes: Hey a second guy who is actually good in fantasy! Yipee!

SP1 – Dan Haren: Second tier guy. Which isn’t a bad thing.

SP2 – Ricky Nolasco: Will be on the DL before July.

SP3 – Felix Hernandez: Will have three great starts to get you pumped and then be mediocre and suffer minor injuries for the rest of the season with little teases in between to keep you honest. You can take that to the bank.

FLEX – Adam Wainwright: Is this a joke? Seriously, did you take this guy just to mock Kimball for taking Joe Saunders in the ninth round? Oh, wait, Wainwright went in the sixth round. So was Kimball mocking you then? Honestly… what were you thinking? You’d rather have him over Raul Ibanez right now? Really?

RP – Bobby Jenks: This horror story doesn’t end, does it? I’ll give you this, at least he’s not J.J. Putz.

RP – B.J. Ryan: Good thing this guy doesn’t have major health issues, otherwise this would be a concern area for you...

RP – Chris Ray: Oh God… Where do you find these guys?

General Thoughts:

While the flashes of Adam’s team look nice (Rollins, Reyes, AROD, Haren, King Felix), the complete team is little more than uninspiring at best.

Sarcastic Statement:

Well, you can go ahead and pencil Adam in for an easy playoff bid. What a draft!

Final Statement

Boom! Roasted!

*Average Draft Position by Round via ESPN’s Live and Mock Drafts as of March 14, adjusted for keepers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kept: The Kyle Morris Story

Kept Players
Magglio Ordonez (Round 16)
Ervin Santana (Round 24)
Jason Bay (Round 18)
Joakim Soria (Round 17)
Alfonso Soriano (Round 5)

Last Year’s Record: 13-11
Division: Losers
Season Result: Finished third in the Losers Division.

Keeper Decision Scale: 3.5/10

Kyle is a Mizzou fan, yet somehow I gave him a higher rating than “negative infinity.” I’m clearly a Christian. On with more good things…

The Good:

You’ve gotta love the Mexicutioner selection. It will reap many rewards for Kyle. He got him in a trade for me for Justin Upton and James Loney, I believe. Loney was a key in me landing Josh Hamilton and I don’t believe I would have kept Soria, but I might have kept him over Carlos Quentin. In any case, Kyle has him and made a good decision here.

Ervin Santana had a good season last year…

Jason Bay Is excellent value at round 18 and gives him excellent flexibility in the draft.

I’m not a fan of keeping Alfonso Soriano at round five, but he does produce at a high level and is in a strong lineup in a weak division.

Kyle has a man crush on Magglio, so I’ll be careful to not criticize him too much.

The Bad:

I take that back, the Magglio decision was a poor one. Magglio, with the exception of his 2007 season, has not been the same since his surgery and subsequent move to spacious Detroit. He’ll be 36 this season, with bad legs, in a big ball park, playing every day in said big ball park. This is not a good situation.

Ervin Santana is on the DL.

Alfonso Soriano will be “33” this season and has had injury issues in back to back years. Best case scenario, he sees a strong drop in his stolen bases and a little bit of a drop in his power. Worst case scenario, and this is the Cubs we’re talking about, Soriano will lose his speed and his power and will only play for half the season. Either way, his production is going to decrease to a point not worthy of a fifth round pick. I think there were better options for Kyle than keeping Soriano.

Jason Bay is an excellent player, but I do wonder if the poor ALCS and full season of the Boston Media Machine will have negative effects on him.

I have nothing poor to say about the Mexicutioner.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kept: The Adam Keller Story

Kept Players
Jimmy Rollins (Round 4)
Dan Haren (Round 11)
Dan Uggla (Round 17)
Aubrey Huff (Round 25)
Ricky Nolasco (Round 14)

Last Year’s Record: 9-15
Division: Losers
Season Result: Finished fourth in the Losers Division.

Keeper Decision Scale: 6.5/10

I give Adam a pass for his first year in The League, but he’s not going to get one for his crappy keeper selections… or is he? But first, the good.

The Good:

I cannot argue with taking the first round talent in the fourth round. I’m all for that. I do question ESPN’s projections for him, but that is neither here nor there.

Dan Uggla strikes out a LOT. But I suppose if you want to make sure you get a top five second basemen for a 17th round pick, you can’t go too wrong. I don’t know if I would have kept him, but looking at Adam’s roster, I don’t think there were many other options.

Dan Haren was kept at excellent value. Though I do not think he will repeat last season’s performance, I do think he’s going to get better production out of him than a pitcher he may draft in the eleventh round.

I hate the Aubrey Huff decision, but the positive in that is I have been known to be wrong on occasion.

Ricky Nolasco was an interesting keeper decision. Florida will be down a bit this year, which means they should make the World Series.

The Bad:

Nolasco pitched 212 innings last season, the first time he has done so in his career. It was also the first time he had pitched more than 165 innings in a season. Do the math where I’m going with this.

Aubrey Huff sucks. From 2005 to 2007, Huff had a .778 OPS with declining power each season; given Huff is moving away from his prime (he’ll be 32 this year), assumed regression from what was almost a career year, and Weiters eventual entrance to the lineup, I think it is safe to say he won’t be as good in 2009. Even if he is close to last year’s numbers, he was still only a middle of the road option. I don’t think you keep Huff ahead of some of his other options he had on the table (ie Brian Fuentes or Raul Ibanez – neither of whom, on first and second glance, were drafted last season).

Dan Uggla strikes out a WHOLE lot. So much so that his 77 walks were not enough fantasy points to break even with his strikeouts. Additionally, Uggla was only the 8th best (in a 10 team league I may add) second base eligible player. To put it another way, he only had three more points than Jose Lopez last season. Why not keep the new Angles closer, who you know is going to get a host of saves, for a 15th rounder and take Lopez late in the draft. It seems like a better move to me given the sleeper label that is on Lopez this year.

I cannot knock the Haren and Rollins choices. I think having Rollins in the fourth round alone makes this a better keeper class than some we have discussed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2009 Overall Draft Review

Starting later this week I’ll begin with the individual reviews of everyone’s draft. But I wanted to begin with a brief general overview of the draft along with a few comments about a few specific situations and people who shaped this year’s draft.


This year’s draft is why I do not like the ESPN live draft system. Raul Ibanez doesn’t fall into the late rounds if we are using ESPN. Alex Gordon doesn’t go in the third round if we had used the ESPN system.* There is an element of the unknown that you get by doing the draft live on AIM or in someone’s living room; when we are all using a different list to draft from, with different philosophies and different strategies. ESPN, I think, can make one lazy and let the “system” dictate how they draft. A setting like the one we have doesn’t easily allow for that, thus making the draft far more unpredictable and interesting.

*I think. And on a side note: Gnarls Barkley looks a lot like a cross between Barry Bonds and Emmitt Smith. I felt you should know this.

With that, this draft sucked. What the hell were you guys thinking?


You’ll find throughout the draft reviews that I will be referring to the ESPN Average Draft Positions that I printed off on March 14, the day before the draft. Those positions were dictated by ESPN’s mock and live draft results in the week leading up to our draft (so it included AROD’s injury). What I did was eliminate all of the players who were kept from the list and reorganized the list to better reflect what players should be taken in what rounds in our draft. I did this for myself to help determine value. Little did I know it would be used to help me become more aware of how stupid some of the pitching selections were. Unbelievable.


The top ten rounds were divided into three pitching phases. Phase One: Crazy pitching selections. Phase Two: Crap, we have to draft hitters too. Phase Three: Screw it, I’m just drafting pitchers.

Phase One

Phase one consisted of “what the hell” picks. There were 10 pitchers selected in the first four rounds, six of which were drafted too high. Here are the six from worst to last:

Round – Player – ADR
2 – Francisco Liriano – 5
4 – Jon Lester – 7
3 – Felix Hernandez – 5
2 – Roy Oswalt – 3
3 – John Lackey – 4
4 – James Shields – 5

Without going into detail, it was clearly stupid to draft Liriano and Lester where they were taken. Not so much because they are crap players, but because how much value those players lost being selected where they were.

For example, drafting Francisco Liriano in the fifth round (where he had been going at the time) made more sense because of his clear high-ceiling, but question marks as to if he would reach that ceiling this season due to his previous injuries. So, if he reaches his ceiling, you’re getting a second production from a fifth round pick. If he’s average by his standards, you’re getting what you should out of a fifth or six round pick. Drafting him in the second round demands that he produce at his ceiling now, which seems unlikely this season. And even if he does reach his ceiling, you’re getting what you ought to get out of a second round pick, which means you’re getting what you paid for. This all but eliminates Liriano’s value. Imagine if one had selected Jake Peavy there (a small reach) and waited to take Liriano in the fifth round. That would be a far more stout combination at much better value. And if you didn’t get Liriano, you’d still have Peavy and a boat load of excellent hitters still available to round out your lineup.

It was picks like this that really screwed up a lot of people’s draft. I’m sure if you ask some of these individuals about their draft, I’m sure they’d say it was excellent because they got superstar A, B and C to go along with hot prospects D and E. The problem they fail to see is what they had to pay to get those players and what the quality of players F through Y are. So what if you have Albert Pujols and CC Sabathia if the rest of your line up is a bunch of Tony Pena Jr.’s and the rest of your rotation is handful of Brett Tomko’s.
Three players are not going to win a league, because every team is going to have three or so great players on it; it’s a bunch of consistent quality players. Need an example, ask Tony. He started the season with Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Johan Santana on his team as keepers and finished the season with the second worst record in the league. Again, it’s not about having a few great players, it’s about having a great team.

Phase Two

Round five was the round where everyone suddenly realized they had to fill out their line up. Only one person picked a pitcher (me, of course…) and it was a reliever.

What was surprising to me was how many terrible picks were made in that round. Here is the recap:

Weseloh – Johnny Damon
Allen – Vladimir Guerrero
Willey – Joe Mauer
Keller – Curtis Granderson
Nielsen – Joe Nathan
Morris – Alfonso Soriano (Keeper)
Schilb – Matt Holliday (Keeper)
Kimball – Robinson Cano
Johnson – Chipper Jones
Wessley – Bobby Abreu

The amount of guys taken on the downward side of their career selected in this round were incredible: Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones and Bobby Abreu. It would have been a fantastic round to take guys like Francisco Liriano and Felix Hernandez, but of course they were gone three rounds earlier for no real reason…

Robinson Cano is a guy who had a .715 OPS last season with a .305 OBP and has seen a drop in his OPS in three straight seasons. Add in the AROD-less lineup and an outfield that features Xavier Nady, aging stars Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon and the black hole that has become Jorge Posada and things don’t look so good for a Robinson Cano comeback.

Curtis Granderson has high upside, but is overvalued at round five.

Phase Three

Twenty-seven pitchers were taken between rounds six and 10, which doesn’t sound too insane at first glance. But when you think about how many pitchers were over-drafted in the first five rounds and all of the pitchers that were kept, then you start to think, “Who the hell was left of value as a pitcher to warrant 27 pitchers be taken?”

Here are some other fun stats:

Nine of the 10 picks in the 9th round were pitchers.

At least four pitchers were taken in rounds six through 10 (that’s insane, I promise).

Seven of the 27 pitchers taken were taken below value (taken later than expected). Of those seven, five were closers.

Fourteen of the 27 pitchers were taken at least TWO rounds too high, based on ESPN’s ADP.

Six of the nine 9th round picks were drafted two rounds too high. Four were taken at least three rounds too high. Three were taken at least four rounds too high. Two were taken five rounds too high. One was taken six rounds too high.

ESPN had 200 players listed on its ADP. J.J. Putz, drafted in the 10th round of our draft, was not on that list. A couple of picks later, B.J. Ryan was taken one round below where he was projected to go.

In a regular draft, David Price was going, on average, around round 18. Adjusted for our draft, that would put him around round 16. Instead, he was taken in round 10.

In other news: Raul Ibanez was taken in round 17; Jim Thome was drafted in round 19; Fausto Carmona, Billy Butler and J.J. Hardy were taken in round 20; David DeJesus was taken in round 21; John Smoltz went in round 24; J.D. Drew and Kelvim Escobar went in round 25.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kept: The Tony Allen Story

Kept Players
Jacoby Ellsbury (Round 15)
Colby Rasmus (Round 23)
Ryan Ludwick (Round 14)
Edinson Volquez (Round 24)
Dustin Pedroia (Round 12)

Last Year’s Record: 6-18
Division: Winners
Season Result: Last place in the Winners division. He generally sucked.

Keeper Decision Scale: 2/10

Leave it to Tony to go heavy on the crappy players. Well done. This isn’t to say there is nothing good about the players he kept, so we’ll start with the good and work our way to reality.

The Good:
Colby Rasmus has loads of potential, although he is suffering a bit from prospect fatigue in some eyes. With a perceived deep outfield, finding a spot for him may be difficult, but Rasmus is going to get any edge in a position battle given his upside.

Jacoby Ellsbury is a speedy guy who plays a team that scores many runs, this cannot be a completely bad thing.

Edinson Volquez had excellent strikeout numbers last season and to go along with a very strong first half of the season.

Dustin Pedroia = 2008 MVP.

Ryan Ludwick surprised everyone with his bat last season and looks to carry it over into 2009.

The Bad:
Ryan Ludwick sucks. He had one good, career year and that will be all for him. A bust at round 14.

Jacoby Ellsbury is highly overrated in my mind. His status as the Red Sox centerfielder carries great hype with it, which makes it seem like he is a better player than what he is. A full season without Manny in the lineup will also hurt him in the long run. Retaining his stolen bases is a nice thing, however.

Edinson Volquez pitched 33 innings in 2006 and 34 innings in 2007. He pitched 196 last season. Do the math with where you think I’m going with this.

Colby Rasmus has not played one major league season, nor has he even had one major league at-bat. Expecting high returns this season is questionable. Rasmus may max out his keeper options with Tony before he ever becomes the play some think he may become.

Dustin Pedroia is a nice player who produces a lot of runs. I feel like a better fantasy guy could be taken at round 12 in a more premium position. But I don’t think this is a terrible decision either.

Carlos Marmol should have been kept for a 21st rounder over someone like Ludwick. Marmol is the default closer for Cubs and had an excellent chance of being a low-risk/high-reward guy for Tony.

Overall, it could have been worse, but I think Tony have very little upside with his keeper selections.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kept: The Joel Schilb Story

Kept Players
Matt Holliday (Round 5)
Ryan Dempster (Round 15)
Jhonny Peralta (Round 23)
Geovany Soto (Round 11)
Alexei Ramirez (Round 14)

Last Year’s Record: 15-9
Division: Losers
Season Result: Second place in the Loser division and Wild Card winner.

Keeper Decision Scale: 7.2/10

I oddly feel decent about Joel’s selections with on semi-major exception. So let’s get on with the good, before I semi-rip Joel for not taking risks.

The Good:
Matt Holliday is a good hitter. I don’t care that he is not in Colorado anymore, I still think he is a 100/30/100 guy who will put up a lot of points for Joel.

Ryan Dempster had an oddly good season last year and maintained it for the whole year. It is worth the risk to keep him at 15.

Jhonny Peralta is a third-tier shortstop with the potential to be a second-tier guy. The upside makes him way more than worth it at round 23.

Geovany Soto is a top three fantasy catcher and he’ll have him for a mere 11th round pick.

Alexei Ramirez will be moved to shortstop this season which makes him valuable as a guy who can play both middle infield spots in fantasy. I don’t see his numbers improving that much, but as a utility guy, he will be very useful.

The Bad:

Fantasy is all about risk taking and I think Joel completely missed out on the opportunity to have an explosive season from Nick Markakis. Yes, a third round pick is a valuable pick, but I think Markakis is more than worth the pick given what he could do this season. He could easily be a 100/30/100 guy and maybe more with the continued improvement of Adam Jones and the early season arrival of Matt Wieters. Markakis is going to have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs with Brian Roberts and Jones hitting in front of him. Wieters will provide solid protection behind him if he hits merely half as well as he is hitting in the minors.

Additionally, Joel would have had the chance to have a corner outfield of Markakis and Holliday, something maybe only the Inoculators could match (Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton). It would have been risky, but I think it would have been worthwhile.

Overall, I think Joel got good value for his keepers and has a good start to his 2009 campaign.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kept: The Jeff Weseloh Story

Kept Players
Lance Berkman (Round 4)
Ian Kinsler (Round 8)
Zack Greinke (Round 13)
Adam Jones (Round 25)
Jermaine Dye (Round 22)

Last Year’s Record: n/a
Division: n/a
Season Result: This is his first year in The League.

Keeper Decision Scale: 7.9/10

Jeff Weseloh is going to try to do what he does in fantasy football: Draft really well, trade everybody away and suck for the rest of the season. To the good!!!!!!!!

The Good:
Lance Berkman had a great season last year and has excellent power.

Ian Kinsler, when healthy, is the best offensive middle infielder in the American League and is the second best offensive second baseman in baseball.

Zack Greinke looks primed to build on his excellent season from 2008 an turn into a Cy Young contender.

I like Adam Jones simply because I saw him almost hit for the cycle at Yankee Stadium last summer in a blowout of the Yanks.

Jermaine Dye is good for a lot of home runs and RBI which is not a bad thing in fantasy.

The Bad:

Lance Berkman is not going to match what he did last season. He is exiting his prime, has seen his home runs drop in three consecutive seasons and plays on a team that is lacking offensive protection. He’s not a bad fantasy player, but not worth the fourth round commitment.

Jermaine Dye is similar to Berkman, except he has a little more around him. Dye is also more injury prone and is worthless when he is not hitting home runs.

Adam Jones has excellent value at round 25, so his it is not too much of a killer to deal with his less than exciting power/speed numbers. However, at 23, there is a lot of upside.

Ian Kinsler has shown a knack for getting hurt, which is always going to be an issue. His eighth round tag only adds to the importance that he stays healthy for most of the season.

Overall, Jeff has a very nice foundation for his 2009 team. Health is always going to be a concern, but there is a special emphasis on it with his selections given the history of all five guys he has selected.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kept: The Jeff Kimball Story

Kept Players
Jonathan Papelbon (Round 14)
Shane Victorino (Round 16)
Scott Baker (Round 24)
Cliff Lee (Round 25)
Josh Johnson (Round 15)

Last Year’s Record: 16-8
Division: Winners
Season Result: Second place in Winners Division and clenched a Wild Card berth.

Keeper Decision Scale: 5.3/10

Kimball’s pitching heavy keeper decisions may prevent him from making the playoffs in the highly competitive Winners division. But then again, he’s Kimball, so who knows. But let’s start with where I agree with Kimball.

The Good:
Clearly, keeping Cliff Lee as a 25th round pick is a good decision. Even if Lee regresses (which he will), it will be difficult for him to regress to a point where he wouldn’t be worth the 25th round flyer. And if he puts together another Cy Young caliber year, he will have cemented his position as being the most valuable keeper in this draft. Yes, even more valuable than CC Sabathia.

In the 16th round, Shane Victorino is another nice value pick. Given the lineup he hits in and the value of stolen bases in our league, a healthy Victorino can only out-produce his draft status.

ESPN has Jonathan Papelbon as the top closer in fantasy baseball this season. So getting him in the 14th round is a nice deal for Kimball.

The Bad:
Kimball kept too much pitching. This is more of a philosophical difference than it is a terrible decision on Kimball’s part.

In my mind, pitching is one of the hardest things in baseball to project. There are only a select few pitchers one can say will have a dominating season, and those few should be the ones who ought to be kept.

As I stated above, the decisions to keep Lee and Papelbon made sense given their value and their previous high level of success.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kept: The Jason Willey Story

Kept Players
Johnny Cueto (Round 21)
Brad Lidge (Round 12)
Andre Ethier (Round 24)
Clayton Kershaw (Round 25)
Jay Bruce (Round 18)

Last Year’s Record: 7-17
Division: Winners
Season Result: He sucked it up big time.

Keeper Decision Scale: 5.1/10

Leave it to Jason to have the most perplexing set of keepers that kind of make sense, but at the same time want to make you punch him in the face for being so stupid. But before we get to the punching Jason out, here’s what Jason got right.

The Good:
Jason gets excellent values for what is expected to be two excellent young players in Jay Bruce and Clayton Kershaw. Each should have a better feel for the majors after their first full season in the big leagues.

Brad Lidge, three years later, finally recovered from being Pujolsed in the 2005 NLCS. The 12th round may be a little high, but we may not be feeling that way six months from now if Lidge stays healthy and builds on last season’s success.

Johnny Cueto has some decent strikeout numbers last season and is a good low-risk/high-reward guy at round 21.

The good news is Andre Ethier will be hitting somewhere close to Manny Ramirez in the Dodger lineup.

The Bad:
The bad news is that Andre Ethier will be in the same clubhouse as Manny Ramirez.

Johnny Cueto plays in Cincinnati, which is like saying he plays for the Rockies of the East. While his strikeout numbers are not bad, they are going to have to get much better if he is going to survive in that ballpark and be a viable fantasy option.

Brad Lidge got Pujolsed. Do you truly ever get over that?

After Jay Bruce decided to go all Roy Hobbs in his first 10 games as a big leaguer (.432/.533/.757 – that’s a 1.290 OPS! – 3 HR, 7 RBI, 12 runs, 7 BB, 3 K in 45 PA), he finished the final 98 games looking more like Tony Pena Jr. on steroids (.237/.290/.423 – a not so impressive .713 OPS – 18 HR, 45 RBI, 107 K, 26 BB in 407 PA). Clearly, at least for Jason’s sake, Bruce is not as bad as ‘roided up Tony Pena Jr., or as good as Roy Hobbs. Where Bruce falls on that spectrum will be interesting to see now that we have an idea where his ceiling and basements are. Jason better hope Bruce has a nice living room and he spends most of his time there instead of his basement.

Clayton Kershaw is going to be good, it is just a matter of when. That uncertainty may hinder Kershaw’s value to Jason. Kershaw will just be 21 this season and it is reasonable to say that Kershaw won’t start to meet his full potential until after he has maxed out his keeper options with Jason. If Kershaw is going to speed that process up, he is going to have to get better command of his pitches. Kershaw walked 52 batters in 107 innings last season. Better command could result in a better ERA this season. Jason needs the walks to turn into strikeouts.

Overall, I hate the Cueto pick, think Bruce is a bit overrated, and think Kershaw is two years away from truly seeing his major league potential. I also think you don’t every completely get over from being Pujolsed and I’m not the biggest Ethier fan as a fantasy option. However, all five of these guys have very high ceilings, which could pay off very nicely for Jason is two or three of them could reach it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kept: The Erik Johnson Story

Kept Players
Tim Lincecum (Round 14)
Cole Hamels (Round 20)
Chad Billingsley (Round 8)
Josh Beckett (Round 15)
Prince Fielder (Round 13)

Last Year’s Record: 18-6
Division: Winners
Season Result: Division Winner and The League Runner-up

Keeper Decision Scale: 7.5/10

After the last two seasons, it would be hard to criticize Erik’s risk taking on young pitchers. But because I’m writing this post, you know I’ll find something. Before we get to that, here is what Erik did right.

The Good:
Unlike Andrew, Erik took advantage of his strength and what made his team good last season: His young starting pitching. The four-headed monster that is Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels, Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley will be tough for any team to match. Erik is going to feel quite nicely about have four to eight starts a week from those four guys. All four pitchers strikeout batters at a very high rate and all produce a lot of quality innings, which should play well to this year’s scoring system.

Prince Fielder provides something Erik has lacked the last two seasons: A solid fantasy bat. Last year, Erik depended mostly on the production from Adam Dunn, who while he hits a ton of home runs and drawls 100 walks, also strikes out 200 times and has another 200 production-less fantasy at-bats. Fielder is a more consistent player, who does not strike out at the same rate and has more productive at-bats. Having his rotation set should help Erik figure out his offensive woes early in the draft.

The Bad:
Injuries, injuries, injuries.

The is a growing thought processes, and evidence to go with it, that suggest that the farther a young pitcher goes over his previous career high in innings pitched, the more likely he is to get hurt the following season. The magic number is about 20 innings. The farther away you get from 20 innings, the higher injury risk you are placing on said pitcher.

An example would Fausto Carmona. Carmona threw 75 innings his rookie year in 2006 and followed that up by pitching 215 innings in 2007. Needless to say, injuries were an issue last season.

Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Chad Billingsley are all dangerously flirting with this injury theory.

Lincecum pitched 81 more innings (227 IP) in 2008 than he did in 2007 (146). He only pitched 63 total innings in his two years in the minors, but did throw significantly more innings in college. Include his already violent pitching motion and the general theory of “20” and Lincecum could be, at least, looking at a 2008 Justin Verlander-type season.

Cole Hamels also has had a lot of mileage on him in his first three season. Last season alone he threw 262 innings when his postseason innings are included. In the last two years, he’s thrown a total of 461 innings. This is a large workload for a guy who is just turning 25. Hamels would be a prime candidate for a 2008 JV season, if not an injury plagued one.

Chad Billingsley surpassed his career high by 40 innings last year. In 2006 he pitch 161 innings, 20 more than his previous high, between AAA and the majors and threw 147 the next season in an injury plagued year. In 2008 he threw 200 innings. I’d expect a trip to the disabled list for Billingsley this season.

We all know about Josh Beckett’s injury issues.

Prince Fielder may be a concern if the Brewers get to far out of the race by the end of July. Fielder has already expressed his dislike for the Brewers and may not feel the need to try very hard if the Brewers have nothing to play for. Fielder has also been a slow starter in his first two years in the bigs.

Assuming health, Erik has one of the best pitching situations in The League. If he can add one or two more high end arms in the draft, he will be looking very nice in his quest for a third-straight title game appearance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2009 Draft

Round One
Weseloh –Albert Pujols
Allen – Hanley Ramirez
Willey – David Wright
Keller – Jose Reyes
Nielsen – Grady Sizemore
Morris – Mark Teixiera
Schilb – Johan Santana
Kimball – Justin Morneau
Johnson – Chase Utley
Wessley – Miguel Cabrera

Round Two
Wessley – Carlos Lee
Johnson – Brandon Webb
Kimball – Roy Halladay
Schilb – Francisco Liriano
Morris – Manny Ramirez
Nielsen – Nick Markakis
Keller – Alex Rodriguez
Willey – Ryan Howard
Allen – Roy Oswalt
Weseloh – Aramis Ramirez

Round Three
Weseloh – Carlos Beltran
Allen – Kevin Youkilis
Willey – Jake Peavy
Keller – Felix Hernandez
Nielsen – Brian Roberts
Morris – John Lackey
Schilb – Derrek Lee
Kimball – Alex Gordon
Johnson – Ichiro
Wessley – Brandon Philips

Round Four
Wessley – Carl Crawford
Johnson – Jon Lester
Kimball – Alex Rios
Schilb – James Shields
Morris – B.J. Upton
Nielsen – Brian McCann
Keller – Jimmy Rollins (Keeper, First Time)
Willey – Matt Kemp
Allen – Nate McLouth
Weseloh – Lance Berkman (Keeper, First Time)

Round Five
Weseloh – Johnny Damon
Allen – Vladimir Guerrero
Willey – Joe Mauer
Keller – Curtis Granderson
Nielsen – Joe Nathan
Morris – Alfonso Soriano (Keeper, First Time)
Schilb – Matt Holliday (Keeper, Second Time)
Kimball – Robinson Cano
Johnson – Chipper Jones
Wessley – Bobby Abreu

Round Six
Wessley – Francisco Rodriguez
Johnson – Yovani Gallardo
Kimball – Joey Votto
Schilb – Chris Davis
Morris – Rafeal Furcal
Nielsen – Mariano Rivera
Keller – Adam Wainwright
Willey – Derek Jeter
Allen – Adrian Gonzalez
Weseloh – Daisuke Matsuzaka

Round Seven
Weseloh – Garrett Atkins
Allen – Rich Harden
Willey – Kevin Slowey
Keller – Bobby Jenks
Nielsen – Carlos Pena
Morris – Scott Kazmir
Schilb – Corey Hart
Kimball – John Danks
Johnson – Connor Jackson
Wessley – Torii Hunter

Round Eight
Wessley – Derek Lowe
Johnson – Chad Billingsley (Keeper, First Time)
Kimball – Yunel Escobar
Schilb – Carlos Marmol
Morris – Matt Cain
Nielsen – Troy Tulowitzki
Keller – Hunter Pence
Willey – Justin Verlander
Allen – A.J. Burnett
Weseloh – Ian Kinsler (Keeper, First Time)

Round Nine
Weseloh – Erik Bedard
Allen – Max Scherzer
Willey – Brian Fuentes
Keller – Carlos Zambrano
Nielsen – Jose Valverde
Morris – Matt Garza
Schilb – Javier Vasquez
Kimball – Joe Saunders
Johnson – Lastings Milledge
Wessley – Gil Meche

Round Ten
Wessley – Russell Martin (Keeper, First Time)
Johnson – David Price
Kimball – J.J. Putz
Schilb – Milton Bradley
Morris – Adrian Beltre
Nielsen – Brett Myers
Keller – B.J. Ryan
Willey – Mark DeRosa
Allen – Chone Figgins
Weseloh – Aaron Harang

Round Eleven
Weseloh – Justin Duchscherer
Allen – Chien-Meng Wang
Willey – Matt Capps
Keller – Dan Haren (Keeper, Second Time)
Nielsen – Mark Buehrle
Morris – Mike Aviles
Schilb – Geovany Soto (Keeper, First Time)
Kimball – Ted Lilly
Johnson – Kerry Wood
Wessley – Ryan Zimmerman

Round Twelve
Wessley – Brian Wilson
Johnson – Joey Devine
Kimball – Mike Gonzalez
Schilb – Chris Young ARI OF
Morris – Ryan Doumit
Nielsen – Olivar Perez
Keller – Victor Martinez
Willey – Brad Lidge (Keeper, First Time)
Allen – Dustin Pedroia (Keeper, First Time)
Weseloh – Francisco Cordero

Round Thirteen
Weseloh – Zack Greinke (Keeper, First Time)
Allen – Ryan Ludwick (Keeper, First Time)
Willey – Adam Dunn
Keller – Xavier Nady
Nielsen – Jair Jurrjens
Morris – Heath Bell
Schilb – George Sherrill
Kimball – Pat Burrell
Johnson – Prince Fielder (Keeper, First Time)
Wessley – Jered Weaver

Round Fourteen
Wessley – CC Sabathia (Keeper, Second Time)
Johnson – Tim Lincecum (Keeper, Second Time)
Kimball – Jonathan Papelbon (Keeper, Second Time)
Schilb – Alexei Ramierez (Keeper, First Time)
Morris – Matt Wieters
Nielsen – Ryan Braun (Keeper, Second Time)
Keller – Ricky Nolasco (Keeper, First Time)
Willey – Justin Upton
Allen – Edinson Volquez (Keeper, First Time)
Weseloh – Brandon Morrow

Round Fifteen
Weseloh – Jose Lopez
Allen – Jacoby Ellseburry (Keeper, First Time)
Willey – Trevor Hoffman
Keller – Vernon Wells
Nielsen – Carlos Quentin (Keeper, First Time)
Morris – Matt Lindstrom
Schilb – Ryan Dempster (Keeper, First Time)
Kimball – Josh Johnson (Keeper, First Time)
Johnson – Josh Beckett (Keeper, First Time)
Wessley – Jonathan Broxton (Keeper, First Time)

Round Sixteen
Wessley – Jason Werth
Johnson – Ubaldo Jimenez
Kimball – Shane Victorino (Keeper, First Time)
Schilb – Manny Parra
Morris – Magglio Ordonez (Keeper, Second Time)
Nielsen – Andy Sonnanstine
Keller – Jeremy Guthrie
Willey – Hank Blalock
Allen – Mike Napoli
Weseloh – Brad Hawpe

Round Seventeen
Weseloh – Michael Young
Allen – David Ortiz
Willey – Howie Kendrick
Keller – Dan Uggla (Keeper, First Time)
Nielsen – Josh Hamilton (Keeper, First Time)
Morris – Joakim Soria (Keeper, First Time)
Schilb – Huston Street
Kimball – Scott Shields
Johnson – Raul Ibanez
Wessley – John Maine

Round Eighteen
Wessley – Jorge Cantu
Johnson – Sean Gallagher
Kimball – Bengie Molina
Schilb – Armando Galarraga
Morris – Jason Bay (Keeper, First Time)
Nielsen – Evan Longoria (Keeper, First Time)
Keller – Chris Young SD P
Willey – Jay Bruce (Keeper, First Time)
Allen – Frank Fransisco
Weseloh – Joel Hanrahan

Round Nineteen
Weseloh – Chris Carpenter
Allen – Hiroki Kuroda
Willey – Jim Thome
Keller – Mike Cameron
Nielsen – Joba Chamberlain (Keeper, First Time)
Morris – Nelson Cruz
Schilb – Kelly Shoppach
Kimball – David Murphy
Johnson – Orlando Cabrera
Wessley – Randy Johnson

Round Twenty
Wessley – Cameron Maybin
Johnson – Cole Hamels (Keeper, Second Time)
Kimball – Mike Pelfrey
Schilb – Brad Ziegler
Morris – Fausto Carmona
Nielsen – Billy Butler
Keller – Kyle Lohse
Willey – Brad Penny
Allen – J.J. Hardy
Weseloh – Jeremy Bonderman

Round Twenty-One
Weseloh – David DeJesus
Allen – Manny Corpas
Willey – Johnny Cueto (Keeper, Second Time)
Keller – Jose Guillen
Nielsen – Elvis Andrus
Morris – Shin-Soo Choo
Schilb – Jonathan Sanchez
Kimball – Ryan Theriot
Johnson – Chris Iannetta
Wessley – Gavin Floyd

Round Twenty-Two
Wessley – Placido Polanco
Johnson – Chad Qualls
Kimball – Ian Stewart
Schilb – Miguel Tejada
Morris – Andy Pettitte
Nielsen – Clay Buchholz
Keller – Bronson Arroyo
Willey – Luke Scott
Allen – Jeff Francoeur
Weseloh – Jermaine Dye (Keeper, First Time)

Round Twenty-Three
Weseloh – John Baker
Allen – Colby Rasmus (Keeper, First Time)
Willey – Pablo Sandoval
Keller – Adam LaRoche
Nielsen – Matt LaPorta
Morris – Chris Volstad
Schilb – Jhonny Peralta (Keeper, First Time)
Kimball – Jorge Posada
Johnson – Ian Snell
Wessley – Tony Pena (ARI)

Round Twenty-Four
Wessley – Steven Drew (Keeper, First Time)
Johnson – Tommy Hanson
Kimball – Scott Baker (Keeper, First Time)
Schilb – Melvin Mora
Morris – Ervin Santana (Keeper, First Time)
Nielsen – John Smoltz
Keller – Chris Duncan
Willey – Andre Ethier (Keeper, First Time)
Allen – Kevin Gregg
Weseloh – Travis Snider

Round Twenty-Five
Weseloh – Adam Jones (Keeper, First Time)
Allen – J.D. Drew
Willey – Clayton Kershaw (Keeper, First Time)
Keller – Aubrey Huff (Keeper, First Time)
Nielsen – Kelvim Escobar
Morris – Wandy Rodriguez
Schilb – Skip Schumaker
Kimball – Cliff Lee (Keeper, First Time)
Johnson – Rick Porcello
Wessley – Carlos Delgado (Keeper, First Time)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kept: The Andrew Wessley Story

(This is the beginning of the 10 part series that will breakdown everyone's keepers.)

Kept Players
Russell Martin (Round 10)
CC Sabathia (Round 14)
Carlos Delgado (Round 25)
Steven Drew (Round 24)
Jonathan Broxton (Round 15)

Last Year’s Record: 20-4
Division: Losers
Season Result: Division Winner, League Champion

Keeper Decision Scale: 5/10

The Good:
One cannot lose when one gets that kind of talent CC Sabathia has in the 14th round. Of course, there will always be the questions surrounding his weight, injury history and the pressure of New York. But Sabathia thrives under pressure (See: End of last season) and he has not been on the disabled list since early 2006 making Sabathia either due for an injury or continuing a trend of good health in 2009. I project the latter.

Russell Martin is an excellent value in the 10th round given the lightness of the catching position. Martin can hit for average and some power and can also steal bases. Andrew dominated stolen bases last season, which was one of the main reasons why he won The League in 2008.

Jonathan Broxton will be the young closer for the 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers and will not have a hard time finding save opportunities. The fifteenth round is very fair for him, maybe even a steal. There may be some concerns with him being 25 years old and closing for the first time in a big market, but Broxton has great stuff, which is evident by his 306 strikeouts in 241 career innings. Andrew will not regret this selection.

The Bad:
You should have kept K-Rod and Mariano Rivera. You won because of speed and saves, not because you had Carlos Delgado on your bench for half the season.

I understand the Steven Drew decision. Given the lack of depth at shortstop and the 24th round pick associated with Drew, it makes sense to me why you kept him. I could also understand the argument that Mariano Rivera is on the downside of his career and may not be the force he once was.

What I don’t understand is how you could consider Rodriguez a less valuable keeper prospect than Delgado? Especially when you admit that Delgado isn’t a starter on your 2009 team anyway? Clearly, you are willing to spend high draft picks on closers, why not keep Rodriguez and guarantee his starting position on your roster? Add one more top ten closer and your bullpen is about as dangerous, if not more, than it was last season.

Getting rid of both Rivera and Rodriguez was not the best situation you had on your table. And while it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll suck this year, it was not the best start you could have had.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Story of CC Sabathia

He is a large man; towering and imposing. His face is a deep darkness, staring straight at you with an intensity that can be taken in by all the senses. He is impossible to miss.

There was no way, not with everything on the line, CC Sabathia was going to allow the cursed Cubs to take away the Brewers shot at a playoff berth. So with this in mind and on three days rest, Sabathia tossed a four-hit, seven strikeout gem that would send the Brewers to their first playoff appearance since Robin Yount manned shortstop. And as the Brewers celebrated, Andrew Wessley sat in his chair soaking in his first fantasy baseball title and thanking the baseball gods for the good fortune of having one CC Sabathia.


The road of CC Sabathia in The League is an odd story, one no one would expect.

As noted by Kyle Morris, Sabathia’s undrafted status in 2007 was hard to believe.

“That’s ridiculously hard to believe,” Morris said. “Considering he had a 3.22 ERA in 2006 the year before The League was started.” His disbelief was palpable. “Are you sure no one drafted him? I can’t imagine anyone who had an ERA under four going completely undrafted.”

But it was true. The first draft of the new The League was a tough one. Three individuals – Erik Johnson, Jeff Kimball and Casey Allen – failed to attend the draft. The absence of these individuals left The League Manager, Ben Nielsen, between a rock and a hard place.

“It was tough,” Nielsen said. “There was a lot going on. It was the first time I had ever run a live draft, three people were not there and Jason Wiley kept exiting the chat room. Between all of that and drafting for four people, I lost track of what was going on.”

And, apparently, so did many people in The League. While it was perfectly acceptable for individuals like Joel Schilb and Tony Allen to make absolutely ridiculous decisions, watching Wessley pass on Sabathia round after round made the whole situation more perplexing.

“I remember watching the draft thinking that somebody was going to take him,” Wessley may or may not have said. “I remember thinking maybe if I wait another round, I can get him even lower. Before I knew it, the draft was over and Sabathia was not selected. I was astonished. I am also gay.”

So there Sabathia was, alone and without a team. But he wouldn’t go unnoticed for long.

“I remember entering everyone’s draft,” Nielsen recalls. “I remember being about six or seven teams in and noticing that Sabathia was still there. I looked at the last team I had to enter and saw Sabathia wasn’t on that team either. I remember thinking, ‘Andrew is a retarded homosexual.’ Either that or I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to pick Sabathia up right after I finalize the draft.’ One of those two. Maybe both. Probably both.”

Immediately after the draft was entered, Nielsen picked Sabathia up off of waivers and added him to his team. He thought he had a steal.

“I thought I had a steal,” Nielsen said.

But, for some reason unknown to man or Nielsen, Sabathia was mysteriously dropped from the Inoculators roster.

“I have no idea what happened or why I decided to drop him before week two - I’ll never know,” Nielsen said.

He’ll never know because after the first week of the season, ESPN had a major malfunction that required all of the rosters to be reset. The resetting of all the rosters permanently erased all knowledge of Sabathia’s addition or subtraction. What we do know is that, in week two, Sabathia appears on Johnson’s roster, netting him 41 points in a win over Nielsen’s Inoculators.

“Fate is a bitch,” Nielsen quipped.

Between April 10 and July 29, Sabathia was who we thought he was, so we justifiably crowned his ass. Sabathia struck out 143 batters and won 12 games for the Indians in that span and pushed Johnson into The League lead.

“I was happy to take Nielsen’s trash,” Johnson assholishly said. “As a matter of fact, I also picked up Ryan Braun after Ben dropped him. Nielsen pretty much won The League for me that year.”

“Bastard,” Nielsen said.

On August 1st, Andrew Wessley was in the midst of one of the worst fantasy seasons in history. I mean he sucked bad. For some reason unknown to intelligent man, he traded all of his best players to Nielsen for all of his worst players, putting him in a situation at the trading deadline where he was looking to add a keeper or two for the 2008 season.

“Ben Nielsen has to be the greatest baseball mind I have ever known,” Wessley recalled. “I mean, he’s just so freaking smart. If he was luckier, he would dominate this league hands down. Unfortunately for him, I’m the luckiest bastard in the world so… yeah, I’m gay.”

Wessley, looking for keeper prospects, turned to Johnson who was in a playoff chase with Nielsen and was looking to add one more arm to put him over the top.

“He wanted Hamels,” Wessley remembered. “While I really felt Hamels was a good keeper prospect, I felt that Sabathia was a better one. And since he went undrafted, it just made that much more sense for me to part ways with Hamels and add Sabathia.”

Wessley sent Cole Hamels, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Fausto Carmona to Johnson for Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia. Wessley would keep both Verlander and Sabathia for the 2008 season.

“I still to this day have no idea how Sabathia wasn’t drafted,” Wessley said.

“I do,” Nielsen said. “I was drafting for freaking half The League and Andrew, Tony and Joel are all idiots. How, in the comfort of your own home and with nothing to do in between picks, could you possibly miss the fact that CC Sabathia was not drafted? Seriously, how stupid do you have to be? Furthermore, how stupid to you have to be to agree to draft for four people? I think it must be noted that three of the four teams that made the playoffs that year were drafted by me – nobody ever recognizes this. I’m bitter! And Andrew is gay.”

Point taken.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

2009 Keepers

Ben Nielsen’s Keepers
Evan Longoria (1st Time – Round 18)
Ryan Braun (2nd Time – Round 14)
Carlos Quentin (1st Time – Round 15)
Josh Hamilton (1st Time – Round 17)
Joba Chamberlain – 1st Time – Round 19)

Erik Johnson’s Keepers
Tim Lincecum (2nd Time – Round 14)
Cole Hamels (2nd Time – Round 20)
Chad Billingsley (1st Time – Round 8)
Josh Beckett (2nd Time – Round 15)
Prince Fielder (2nd Time – Round 13)

Jason Wiley’s Keepers
Johnny Cueto (1st Time – Round 21)
Brad Lidge (1st Time – Round 12)
Andre Ethier (1st Time – Round 24)
Clayton Kershaw (1st Time – Round 25)
Jay Bruce (1st Time – Round 18)

Tony Allen’s Keepers
Jacoby Ellsbury (1st Time – Round 15)
Colby Rasmus (1st Time – Round 23)
Ryan Ludwick (1st Time – Round 13)
Edinson Volquez (1st Time – Round 14)
Dustin Pedroia (1st Time – Round 12)

Joel Schilb’s Keepers
Matt Holliday (2nd Time – Round 5)
Ryan Dempster (1st Time – Round 15)
Jhonny Peralta (1st Time – Round 23)
Geovany Soto (1st Time – Round 11)
Alexei Ramierez (1st Time – Round 14)

Jeff Weseloh’s Keepers
Lance Berkman (1st Time – Round 4)
Ian Kinsler (1st Time – Round 8)
Zack Greinke (1st Time – Round 13)
Adam Jones (1st Time – Round 25)
Jermaine Dye (1st Time – Round 22)

Jeff Kimball’s Keepers
Jonathan Papelbon (2nd Time – Round 14)
Shane Victorino (1st Time – Round 16)
Scott Baker (1st Time – Round 24)
Cliff Lee (1st Time – Round 25)
Josh Johnson (1st Time – Round 15)

Adam Keller’s Keepers
Jimmy Rollins (2nd Time – Round 4)
Dan Haren (2nd Time – Round 11)
Dan Uggla (1st Time – Round 17)
Aubrey Huff (1st Time – Round 25)
Ricky Nolasco (1st Time – Round 14)

Kyle Morris’ Keepers
Magglio Ordonez (2nd Time – Round 16)
Ervin Santana (1st Time – Round 24)
Jason Bay (1st Time – Round 18)
Joakim Soria (1st Time – Round 17)
Alfonso Soriano (1st Time – Round 5)

Andrew Wessley’s Keepers
Russell Martin (2nd Time – Round 10)
CC Sabathia (2nd Time – Round 14)
Carlos Delgado (1st Time – Round 25)
Steven Drew (1st Time – Round 24)
Jonathan Broxton (1st Time – Round 15)