Well, I guess I have my answer.
In the weeks leading up the 9th annual thefoulline.com fantasy baseball draft, I was openly wondering how the early draft would influence my own strategy, and the strategy of all the other league members. Turns out not much.
Everyone brought their A-game and seemed prepared and ready to go. I guess it will make it all the more satisfying when Rays Those Cowbells clinches his second championship!
Enough small talk, let’s get to it.
The Clock Hits Zero
Once again grumblings about the absurdness of CBS’ draft rankings were the prevailing topic of conversation as we all entered the draft room. Every year they seem to get worse. On what planet should Sonny Gray be ranked ahead of Jose Bautista? Luckily I had a magazine with a much better player ranking list in front of me. I hope everyone else was that lucky.
With his annual first overall pick, Dennis snatches up the best player in the world, Bryce Harper. Wait it wasn’t Dennis? It was his brother? Oh! Regardless, a great start to team Stogies.
In the days before the draft, Dave told me he really wanted Paul Goldschmidt with this pick. Dave lied, and Mike Trout joins team Yankeehater.
I was very curious to see which direction Dylan would go in his return from the fantasy abyss. The best pitcher in the world is a great way to start.
WillisBeTheYear takes 56 seconds to select Paul Goldschmidt. That’s about 50 seconds too long.
The Love Boat Captains grab Joey Vo…. nope. It’s Anthony Rizzo, and it’s a great pick. Dylan is back and Ginger isn’t drafting Votto? It really does feel like 2009.
Is Mike live drafting? Is he live drafting but just not chatting? Wherever he is, Josh Donaldson at #6 is grand larceny.
After spending last season making fun of me for hyping up a rookie SS so much, Allan spends his 7th overall pick on Carlos Correa. Funny how things work out.
I’m only one pick away from having my favorite player this year, Manny Machado, fall to me. Nope, team RedRays is going to pick him at #8. Outstanding pick! If he gains SS eligibility, game over.
I didn’t know my first round pick preference until like 7:45. The pick is Miggy Cabrera, and I’m praying he has one more elite season in the tank.
Dennis closes out a great first round for everyone by grabbing an anchor for his rotation, Max Scherzer.
Dennis finishes his double dip by taking Nolan Arenado, Dave’s favorite player ever.
Giancarlo Stanton is the pick for Rays Those Cowbells at #11, and my team might lead the league in time spent on the DL.
Team RedRays grabs Madison Bumgarner at pick #12, continuing an age old tradition of starting his team with a bat-arm combo.
Believe The Hype certainly believes in the Astros, as he double dips and grabs Jose Altuve. Hey Allan, you better hope the Astros win the AL West.
Mike follows Allan’s lead and grabs a second Blue Jay to anchor his lineup. Donaldson and Encarnacion might hit 85 HRs between them.
Mookie Betts is pick #16 to the LBCs. It’s too early for me, but hard to doubt the three time champion.
WillisBeTheYear hits a home run and snatches the most underrated player in baseball, AJ Pollock. I thought Ginger would take him the pick before.
Dylan nabs Jose Bautista, and three Blue Jays hitters have gone in the first 20 picks.
Dave takes the next big thing in Kris Bryant at #19. I don’t have the heart to tell him he’ll strike out 200 times.
Team Stogies closes out the second round by grabbing 2016’s biggest bust, Zack Greinke.
Dave V redeems himself in a big way and grabs Andrew McCutchen to open three. The guy is 29 years old. He’ll bounce back.
Jose Abreu reminds me of early career Evan Longoria, in that people keep drafting him expecting a next step. It’s a good pick for team Yankeehaters, but he’s reached his peak.
Dylan takes Buster Posey, and he now has the best pitcher and the best catcher.
Ginger is on deck, and Willis grabs Joey Votto. The rest of the draft is hushed into a stunned silence. The Love Boat Captains don’t have Joey Votto, and it’s the end of an era.
Ginger quickly recovers and grabs her anchor from last year, Jake Arrieta.
I wonder if Chris Sale ever gets tired of being drafted by team sportsmanMike? Remind me to ask him sometime.
Allan makes his best pick of the draft with Jacob deGrom. He may win the NL CY Young.
Team RedRays barfs on his keyboard and takes Justin Upton at pick #26. Sorry, but I hate this pick. There were so many better players on the board. This is a reach.
I was sure that David Price would go to team RedRays the pick before me. I quickly snatch him up to lead my rotation. I don’t care what uniform he wears.
Dennis drafted Dallas Keuchel last year and hit a home run. He figures if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s still a ton of elite players left on the board at this point? Dennis follows up on grabbing an ace by taking Sonny Gray at pick #31. A nice two-headed monster going forward.
Dan takes Matt Harvey at pick #32 in 2015. Dan takes Matt Harvey at pick #32 in 2016.
Team RedRays entire season might depend on whether or not Felix Hernandez bounces back from his slight decline from last year. I think he will. He’s still only 30. Good pick here.
Allan told me after the draft he was targeting Todd Frazier with this pick. It’s solid, but I think he could’ve got him a round later.
The champion takes Chris Davis here, and if this was a roto league, he would already have the “HR” category in the bag.
One of these years George Springer is going to hit 40 HRs. Ginger thinks it will be this year. She might be right.
Why does Corey Kluber tank in the draft every year? He’s a lock for 250 strikeouts. Willis is smart enough to not let last year’s fluky 9-16 record scare him away from an ace.
I’ve never liked Cole Hamels as much as everyone else seems too, but he was pretty dominate after the trade to Texas last year. Dylan has a couple dynamic lefties leading his rotation.
Why was Gerrit Cole still on the board here? Dave is probably wondering the same thing. Excellent pick.
Team Stogies makes Johnny Cueto the pick to close out round four. Will he bounce back? I’m glad it’s not my problem to worry about.
Rounds 5-10: Where Championships are Won
Stogies: Troy Tulowitzki, Adrian Gonzalez, Trevor Rosenthal, Adrian Beltre, Steven Matz, Drew Smyly.
Yikes, this is pretty impressive run of picks. If Tulo and Beltre bounce back, they’re absolute steals. Adrian Gonzalez is so solid and consistent it’s become boring, and Steven Matz and Drew Smyly might be my two favorite mid-rotation arms in the draft. I’m not sure why he took Rosenthal so early, but when you hit a home run with every other pick, I suppose you can sneak a bloop single in there somewhere. Excellent job.
Yankeehaters: Stephen Strasburg, Jon Lester, Xander Bogaerts, Starling Marte, JD Martinez and Justin Verlander.
Dave does what he always does in the mid-rounds, grabs a mixture of young up and comers and veteran studs. The Strasburg pick was god-awful and a rare miss by Dave, but Lester will be better than last year, Bogaerts might be a top 3 SS, and Verlander was pretty good in the 2nd half last year. Getting Marte and Martinez in rounds 8 and 9 to fill out your outfield is pure gold.
Roger Dorn: Maikel Franco, Garrett Richards, Hisashi Iwakuma, Daniel Murphy, Jose Reyes, Curtis Granderson.
Is Dylan getting tired at this point? He auto-drafted Richards and Iwakuma. I love the Franco pick, he gets so little respect because he’s on a god-awful Phillies team, but he’s among the best young players in baseball. I’m not a fan of the Reyes and Granderson picks, but they’re veteran producers who might have something left. Can Daniel Murphy turn his October heroics into more consistent fantasy production?
WillisBeTheYear: Jose Fernandez, Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz, Ketel Marte, Miguel Sano, James Shields.
One thing we know about Willis is he loves him so Jose Fernandez. For good reason too. Inning per inning, he might be the best fantasy starter not named Clayton Kershaw. Miguel Sano might be the steal of the draft. He strikes out a ton, but he’s the closest thing in MLB to Giancarlo Stanton in terms of raw power. Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter are going to be solid bats for this lineup. Marte could be a good SS, but I’m not sure how much Shields has left in the tank. I think there were better arms available at that spot.
Love Boat Captains: Corey Seager, Danny Salazar, Roughned Odor, Kyle Seager, Taijuan Walker, Jose Quintana.
Ginger takes the title running away for youngest team in the league. The average age of her roster might be 23 years old. The Seager brothers will be happy to know they’re on the same team, and Odor might be this years breakout second baseman. Everyone is pretty familiar with my man crush on Danny Salazar, and Walker could take the next step and fulfill his potential this year. Jose Quintana is your classic “LBC mid-rotation arm”.
sportsmanMike: Carlos Martinez, Kyle Schwarber, Colin McHugh, Stephen Piscotty, Brandon Crawford, Ryan Braun.
Mike must’ve turned on a few Cardinals games last year, because he got two of their young studs in Piscotty and Martinez. They could be this seasons breakouts. McHugh is underrated every year, and Kyle Schwarber might be the most exciting young player in baseball. Mike ends up with a player like Brandon Crawford every year, he freaks out when he doesn’t have a position filled and takes a guy 5 rounds too early. Last year it was JJ Hardy in round 9. He makes up for it by nabbing epic douchebag Ryan Braun in round 10. I hate his guts, but it’s good value.
Believe The Hype: Adam Wainwright, Chris Archer, Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Marcus Stroman, Freddie Freeman.
Allan has vowed to bounce back after last years debacle, and a run of picks like this is a pretty good start. Throw out taking Yu Darvish 5 rounds before anyone else would have, and you have home runs at every other spot. Archer is a boarderline ace going at a SP #3 discount, Stroman is the next big thing on the mound in Toronto, and Freeman is as solid as they come on a bad Braves team. Wainwright didn’t injure his arm, so he should bounce back rather easily to ace form, and Cespedes got shoved down the boards because nobody knew where he would land in free agency. This is a sensational run of picks here.
RedRays: Adam Jones, Francisco Lindor, Brian Dozier, Kenley Jansen, Jason Heyward, Jordan Zimmerman.
Win, Win, Win, Win, Win, Win. Team RedRays strikes gold with every one of these picks. He snatches 2016 comeback player of the year Adam Jones the pick before I could get him, grabs the next big thing at SS in Lindor, and nabs the always underrated Jordan Zimmerman. Heyward will have a career year in Chicago, Dozier is a lock top-five second baseman, and Jansen closes games for a World Series contender. This run of picks might put you in the playoffs. Excellent work.
Rays Those Cowbells: Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony Rendon, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Carlos Gomez.
Normally, I hate bragging about myself. But looking at it from an objective point of view, these picks are all slam dunks. Carrasco was my favorite pitcher in this draft. With better Cleveland defense, he’ll compete for the CY Young. Syndergaard has no innings-limit, throws 100 MPH and pitches for a World Series Contender. Rendon was the best young hitter in baseball in 2014. With better health, I’m counting on a serious bounceback. Gomez should bounce back nicely on an elite Astros team, and Ortiz will slam 35 HRs on his retirement tour. Is Cano washed up? Maybe, but it’s still 20 HRs and a .290 average from your second baseman in round 8. This run put me in the playoffs.
The October Boys: Lorenzo Cain, Masahiro Tanaka, Dee Gordon, Charlie Blackmon, Albert Pujols, Michael Wacha.
While all we talked about is Ginger getting Votto every year, Dennis is sneakily drafting Tanaka every single year. He’s a solid mid-rotation arm. Dee Gordon stole like a million bases last year and lasted until round 7. Made no sense to me. Blackmon was a poor man’s AJ Pollock last year, and Pujols still has his power if nothing else. Cain and Wacha seem to get better every year. This is a really great run of picks.
Picks I Really Love, Rounds 11-21
Round 11: Wade Davis by SM. Might be the best closer in baseball this year. Craig Kimbrel by RTC. Might be right behind him.
Round 12: Raisel Iglesias by LBC. A heavy RTC target. He’s good.
Round 13: Patrick Corbin by YH. Everyone seemed to be targeting him. Ken Giles by RTC. Electric arm on an elite team.
Round 14: Luis Severino by LBC. The hype is real, he’s gonna be great. Byron Buxton by Stogies. Last year was a fluke, if he gets the time, he’ll show what he can do.
Round 15: Matt Wieters by BTH. I totally forgot about this guy. He can hit 20 HRs. Carlos Santana by RR. This guys walks a ton. How did we forget about him in a points league?
Round 16: Prince Fielder by SM. I get that he has no position, but he still hit .300 last year and plays in an elite hitters park.
Round 17: Victor Martinez by RD. Says he’s healthy, although Dylan autopicked him, so whatever. Good pick I guess. Joe Ross by LBC. He was my next pick, so that sucked.
Round 18: Billy Hamilton by TOB. He kinda sucks, but he’ll still steal 1000 bases.
Round 19: Aroldis Champman by Stogies. Still a top 5 closer when his suspension ends.
Round 20: Alex Gordon by BTH. In a points league, he still has value as a backup OF.
Round 21: Jonathan Schoop by YH. Dave waited until the final round to grab his second baseman and got a player with potential, so he gets some credit for that.
Picks I Really Hate, Rounds 11-21
Round 11: Yan Gomes by Stogies. The dreaded auto-draft. There were much better catchers on the board here.
Round 12: Yasiel Puig by BTH. You’ll never fool me again. The most overrated player in baseball in my lifetime.
Round 13: Evan Longoria by RR. I’m over him. You’re making 100 million dollars, do better.
Round 14: Logan Forsythe by SM. Huge regression coming. He’s simply not that good.
Round 15: Good round everyone.
Round 16: Ditto round 15.
Round 17: Corey Dickerson by SM. I don’t hate the pick, I just wanted to point out that I knew Mike would take him.
Round 18: Jamie Garcia by YH. His arm hasn’t fallen off left?
Round 19: Ian Kinsler by RTC. An abysmal pick. I ran out of time and auto-drafted him. He’ll be cut when waivers start.
Round 20: Anibal Sanchez by RTC. I simply ran out of ideas at this point.
Round 21: Alex Rodriguez by Willis. (Barfs on keyboard)
Have you stuck with me this long? I really appreciate it! The draft recap is the biggest grind of the season, but I really enjoy writing it because this is the best league in the world and everyone is really passionate about our league and the game of baseball. I plan on once again writing the weekly fantasy review, every single Monday. Hopefully you’ll be reading along with me throughout the year! Now for the moment of truth….
The Final Four
Love Boat Captains
Rays Those Cowbells
The October Boys
Thanks for reading! Is it opening day yet?