Ah, draft day. What a great feeling walking into that big room in the Bellagio. The Bellagio. As a hotel it’s overrated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s splendid enough in its way, but the rooms and the spectacles and the amenities are no better than the Venetian (the canals of Venice on the 2nd floor, gets me every time), to name only one. It’s expensive as hell of course, so I’m glad to say that I came home with $64 more dollars than I left home with. There’s a little piece of it, Alice (Honeymooners line).
So we picked 10th, Johnny Menna and me. In recent years we had our own Main Event teams, this year we decided to partner up, as we have many times. I was last word in the draft, Johnny is last word in the FAAB market. When you partner you have to have an ultimate boss, and that works for us.
I like 10th this year. You’re guaranteed to get two True First Rounders. Johnny agreed, until I told him that there was a chance we wouldn’t get a Big 4 SP. Seems that people have finally wised up – not that long ago you could easily get a Top 5 SP in the 3rd round, and often in the 4th. Not now. I didn’t think it would happen and it didn’t – although in the Ultimate Draft on Sunday all 4 were gone by pick 9. The odds were we would get a choice of two and that’s what happened, and we took Kluber over Sale.
Our hope was that JD Martinez would come back to us at 21 and he did. Our next gambit was to take Carlos Martinez 3rd, because as you know I don’t like most of the next group of pitchers. Furthermore, the hitters available in Round 3 are not substantially different from the next several rounds, a point I will attempt to demonstrate with our next four picks: Pollock, Cano, Miguel Cabrera and Cespedes.
We also knew that we could wait on closers and still get two good ones, or at worst one good one and one acceptable one. By “good” I mean he strikes guys out. Our competitors were more aggressive than the ADPs and we almost got screwed. The original plan was rounds 9 and 10 but by the time we picked in the 8th, 11 closers were gone. But Hector Neris was there and he’s a fave, so that was that.
I was fearful that Garrett Richards was going to be taken. He should be taken earlier sez me, and I consider us fortunate that we got him. Coming back was a no-brainer, I wanted Familia but he went and we took Arodys Vizcaino. That’s out of the way, at least until the season starts.
More draft luck: Conforto in the 11th and then Aaron Sanchez. I am furious that Conforto is starting on the DL. He played, he hit home runs, he hit for the cycle, he played centerfield, WTF does he have to do? Did he pop his shoulder again? No. WTF can he do preparing that wouldn’t also cause his shoulder to pop? What is wrong with those tough New York reporters that they don’t even ask?
Aaron Sanchez is healthy. He was by far the best pitcher available, at least in the realm of reasonable predictability.
So now we needed speed and I accepted Jose Peraza and then reached for Mallex Smith. I took him 62 places above his current ADP and I don’t care: Mallex Smith was the only 30-SB guy left. If I could have taken him four rounds later, great. If I didn’t take him and someone else did I would have had to chase several 10-20 SB guys, forsaking power, and forsaking power is no way to finish off a draft.
And now I made a mistake. I took Greg Bird. I didn’t know he was hurt until an hour after the draft. Well, it’s not like we were going to go injury-free.
I own Wilson Ramos in several leagues but not this one. He was taken with the 7th pick of the 11th and had he still been there I still would have taken Conforto. But no sense getting screwed at catcher so in the 16th I took Iannetta. Nothing great but he should hit 20 HRs. We hope that Coors will put a floor under his BA.
I had already crossed off about 20 SPs beneath Jacob Faria on my list and that told me what to do. Then we took Justin Bour in the 18th, which is fortunate in view of Bird. Then three picks that I love late: Brandon Drury, Jedd Gyorko and Christian Vazquez. That’s settling at 3rd base for sure. I wanted Beltre but he went much earlier, I wanted Eugenio Suarez but he was taken one pick away, and so Jedd it is and he should hit 25 without killing the BA. Vazquez is for BA and a handful of steals at catcher, and he’s in a good lineup.
Then I took Austin Hays, who was sent down right around the same time that Bird was having his cat scan. With Trumbo hurt I though he was the righfielder/DH, but it appears that Colby Rasmus is the RF and Pedro Alvarez (?!) is the DH. Not good for us.
Back to the pitching with Vince Velasquez followed by Tyler Skaggs, who is getting hammered but is apparently healthy. Filled out with:
Heaney is hurt so we dropped him already for Nick Goody, who we will activate for Skaggs in the first half-week and see what happens. Dyson in for Conforto to start, let’s hope he steals 5 bases before Conforto plays in a week. There was nothing more appealing on the FAAB wire than the chance that Nick Williams a) makes the team and b) gets some ABs since the Phils are facing three righties to start.
So it wasn’t perfect. But we love our foundations, hitting and pitching both.