CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox hits a grand slam home run in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians on September 08, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
As it stands now, I've really ignored OPS, Saves, and Holds, and I'm not really set to focus on that just yet. I should be very competitive in the starting pitching categories, home runs needs some work, but I think I'll be fairly decent in runs scored, runs batted in, and stolen bases. I'm really looking to acquire a couple run producing bats at this stage of the draft, and like I said before, I'd like to fill those three pitcher spots with guys whose roll is to be determined. My main objectives here, were to execute the "Konerko Plan", snag a top prospect or two, and fill out my offense with some bats that are being undervalued because of age and or injury.
Daniel Bard- Bard was the number one of the three players I tabbed as in TBD column, so when I made the decision to go this route instead of offense the decision was pretty easy. People who point to his '07 minor league results are clueless, he's simply not the same pitcher he was back then. The Sox altered his arm slot back then so he was experimenting on the fly, he then reverted back to it after the results were so disappointing, and that is why he's the dominant pitcher out of the pen that he has been. As for the pitches, his command of the fastball wasn't what it is, the slider was not nearly as sharp, and the changeup was essentially non-existent. Whether or not it will all translate can't be predicted but I'm a big supporter of the attempt and at this stage it makes perfect sense for him and the team. My thinking is if Bard doesn't work as a starter he goes back to set up or closes. I look at this as a win-win. He's either good enough to stick in the rotation further boosting my starting pitching, or my relief categories get some much needed help.
Other Players Considered: Shane Victorino, Dexter Fowler, Matt Joyce, Peter Bourjos
Matt Joyce- Everyone that I previously considered went in this round, so when it was down to me and Joyce was the last man standing it wasn't that difficult. He's the type of player I normally target at this stage of the draft anyway. A former top prospect, who just received his first real shot and was thoroughly impressive in his first full season. I don't project much more than his 2011 numbers from Joyce, maybe a slight tick in HR and BA but even if he holds the line I'm comfortable with him in my starting lineup.
Other Players Considered: None, they were all taken!
Aroldis Chapman- Not having a pick in the 13th kind of hurt, there were several guys I would've taken in that round. And considering I have the last pick in the 14th the wait was getting to me. I took Chapman here, going back to that TBD plan of mine. To be honest, I'm not really a fan of him in the rotation but I really want it to happen so his value is raised and I can deal him to fill some gaps. Worst case scenario, he goes back to the set up role and hopefully becomes a dominant reliever. Maybe I'm relying on too much luck with this pick but I feel the gamble is worth it, and the guy I really wanted, Joakim Soria, went just a couple picks before.
Other Players Considered: Zack Cozart, JJ Putz, Lucas Duda
Dylan Bundy- This was my first selection of a prospect with no MLB experience. Bundy seemed right to me in this situation, I need some long term depth and I didn't want to completely miss out on all the A pitching prospects. I liked it even more considering Jameson Taillon went in the 8th round and I like Bundy more, a lot more. I expect him to move quicker than most, in my opinion he could even reach the majors before Taillon does so I'm really loving this selection.
Other Players Considered: None, it was Bundy all the way.
Carlos Beltran- Here's one of the veterans I was alluding to. Since I don't expect Trout to start the year in the majors, I needed another outfield bat. Beltran seemed to be one of the better ones on the board, and while he does come with injury concerns, he also has a history of production. If he bats in the .280 range, gets me 20+ home runs and maybe 80-85 in the runs and rbi categories then I'll be happy. But there is a level of risk taking him here, and I know I'll have to find another bench bat that could essentially replace that same production if need be.
Other Players Considered: Dave Robertson, Kendrys Morales, Grady Sizemore
Zack Cozart- When I missed on the first two tiers of shortstops, I decided I'd wait and take Cozart. He's shown some power and speed in his minor league career, the batting average leaves something to be desired but at only 26 years old and a full time job all to his own, I like the productivity he can provide right away. I might be able to snag a better SS prospect later on in the draft, so he could have the same structural value as Konerko. Too early to take any guys on my SS prospect list but I'm comfortable going to battle with Cozart over the next few seasons.
Other Players Considered: Same as above + Mark Melancon
Andrew Cashner- The last of the three TBD pitchers, Cashner I like a lot more than Chapman. I was big on him entering 2011 so it was disappointing to see his season end in the matter that it did. With this selection my belief was the Cubs would slot in in the bullpen, if they dealt Marmol then Marshall would move up to closer and Cashner to set up man. I saw him moving to closer as a long shot, but a possibility. I figured one year in the pen to build strength and innings and then a move back to the rotation, so he was mainly a pick that I hope would bear fruit later down the road.
Other Players Considered: Mike Adams, Rafael Bethancourt, Gavin Floyd
David Ortiz- I finally pulled the trigger on another power bat. Ortiz will fill my utility slot and give my lineup some much needed RBI, R, and HR production. If he bats around .300 then it's a steal at this point. He really should boost my OPS too, something that I've really ignored. I see players like Ortiz as very useful in dynasty play, he should out produce his draft position for the coming year, and if for some reason I'm not in the playoff picture come the deadline, I should be able to get a good return for the slugger.
Other Players Considered: Gavin Floyd, Gary Brown, Jonathan Singleton
Matthew Adams- This is exactly what I had in mind when I took Konerko. He showed very good power last year when making the jump to Double-A. He has the ability to be a solid run producer, a middle of the order bat that can hit for average. Given that Pujols was no longer in the picture he seemed like the perfect pick at this point. Berkman is on a one year deal so he could be a full time MLB first baseman as early as 2013. Singleton was selected with the 6th pick in this round so there was some concern that someone would take Adams off the board, but I guess his name isn't grand enough for the mainstream, yet.
Other Players Considered: None, "Konerko Plan" Executed!
So now my starting lineup doesn't look so bad. I've got some power from Ortiz, found an outfielder to tentatively replace Trout, and I added the three TBD guys to my staff. Cozart filled the final spot for my infield, I must say it's one of the better ones I feel, and now the only starting positions that aren't complete are the relief pitchers. I still don't know when I'll make those selections, I guess it'll just happen. I plan on using the next set of 10 to add high profile prospects and some quality bench depth for my offense. I need a couple guys that can step in should the vets struggle and I've got my eye on one former top prospect who hasn't had a real opportunity yet. I don't expect myself to be a division winner, but as it stand the playoffs are a reasonable goal. Many teams took prospects often and early so while their long term value may currently be higher, I'm projecting a stronger 2012 season, that said there's lots of quality prospects still on the board.. Some teams have also loaded up on spects that are 3 seasons away at least, I'm not understanding their plan which appears to be competitive in 2015. There is one team I see as the favorite, he's some how managed to load up on a lot of top pitching prospects, but he could also struggle this year and I'm assuming he's aware of that with an eye on 2013 and beyond.
My roster as it stands now:
C - Wilson Ramos
1b- Paul Konerko
2b- Jason Kipnis
3b- Evan Longoria
SS- Zack Cozart
OF- Michael Bourn
OF- Carlos Beltran
OF- Matt Joyce
U - David Ortiz
SP- Clayton Kershaw
SP- Ian Kennedy
SP- Cory Luebke
SP- Justin Masterson
P - Daniel Bard
P - Aroldis Chapman
P - Andrew Cashner
1b- Matthew Adams
OF- Mike Trout
SP- Dylan Bundy