TGIF? Am I right? Totally.
If reading draft recaps tickles your fancy, then, well ... your fancy has been mad tickled this week as both Ray and I have provided coverage and analysis of our teams in the Fake Teams H2H Points League (My team, Ray's team) and I kicked off a three-part series outlining the other team's in the draft (Part 1, Part 2).
Today I bring you Part 3. In terms of third installments of a series, I'd say it's better than The Matrix Revolutions but maybe not as good as Die Hard: With a Vengeance. Or I'd say it's a post about fantasy baseball and has no comparison to those two movies at all. I'll let you be the judge.
Fake Teams H2H Points League team review below:
Old Spice Bauer (OSB):
Position scarcity was the name of the game for OSB in three of his first four picks, selecting Evan Longoria, Jose Reyes and Ben Zobrist. Call me "cray cray," as the kids are saying, but I think Longoria makes a serious run at the AL MVP. If you recall yesterday I said David Price will win the AL Cy Young, so, yeah ... I think Tampa Bay is gonna have a helluva season in 2012. Oh, and Matt Moore, also on OSB's team, has as good a chance as anyone to win AL ROY. But, back to the offense for a minute. I'm expecting a very solid season from Michael Cuddyer and another exceptional season from Mike Napoli, although the BA is likely to regress. But, since Napoli should be in the lineup more often than not, the opportunity for points via HR, RBI, R and XBH should be a plenty. If Jason Kipnis busts out, OSB will be able to slide Zobrist and Cuddyer into his outfield, otherwise the OF should still be a'ight with a bounce-back season from Jason Heyward and solid contributions from Martin Prado and Angel Pagan. Kendrys Morales could be a steal of a deal in the 15th Round if healthy and would slide nicely into 1B for OSB.
Cole Hamels is a good start to what could be a great staff pending the seasons of Yu Darvish and the aforementioned Moore. If Darvish and Moore don't pan out, OSB will still have a solid relief core to lean back on with JJ Putz, Ryan Madson and Jason Motte, although word out of CIN camp is that Madson's elbow might be on the fritz. There is a lot of upside on the back end with Chris Sale, Trevor Bauer and Julio Teheran, but with Bauer and Teheran possibly slated for the minors and Sale expected to be on an innings limit, these three's contributions could be minimal or magnificent throughout the season. Only time will tell.
Biggest Bargain: Kendrys Morales 1B/OF
It might be a little early to proclaim this a bargain, but things are looking up for Morales in LAA as he starts to get into some live action in the Cactus League. Word is Morales would slot right behind Albert Pujols in the lineup and likely before Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells. Yes, please.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Belt 1B/OF, JJ Putz P
Biggest Reach: Michael Cuddyer 1B/2B/OF
While his flexibility is nice, and I do expect a solid season from him, Michael Cuddyer didn't rank within the Top 6 at 2B or Top 20 amongst 1B or OF in 2011. There were better alternatives available and he'll need to at least repeat last season's production if not hit a few more HR as I'm not sure he offers as many SB going into 2012.
Honorable Mention: Matt Moore P
Every draft consists of one team that is just a thorn in your side. In this case, Kemba was my thorn. Big time. There are a ton of players on Kemba's team I had targeted throughout the draft, including Dan Haren, Ryan Zimmerman, CJ Wilson, Billy Butler and David Ortiz. Because Kemba has all of them on his team, along with extremely solid contributors such as Justin Verlander, Robinson Cano, Elvis Andrus, Nick Markakis and John Axford, I'd have to say he is far and away my preseason favorite to win the whole shebang.There's even a little upside with Mike Trout, Logan Morrison and Wilson Ramos. Geez! Don't be surprised if you see Kemba covering H2H Points on Fake Teams this time next year as he could put me to shame.
Haren, Verlander and Wilson all made my Top 10 pitchers in January and I expect Justin Masterson, Vance Worley and Matt Harrison to all be valuable at times as well. RP is a little shallow with only Axford as a proven commodity, but that's not really a concern in a points league and there's the potential that both Vinnie Pestano and Addison Reed are the closers on their respective teams before too long.
Biggest Bargain: David Ortiz DH
It's a tough call between Ortiz and Butler because both are Top 50 players (or close to it) in this points format, but, Big Papi wins as he was selected two rounds later than Butler and could be the higher scorer of the two.
Honorable Mention: Billy Butler 1B, John Axford P, Nick Markakis OF
Biggest Reach: Chris Carpenter P
I'm really only half-heartedly saying this as I think most players on Kemba's team were selected at the perfect time, but with pending concerns about his neck at the time of the draft, there was likely a safer alternative than Carpenter available in the 12th Round.
Honorable Mention: XXX
Another solid team overall, FBV started off with Joey Votto and Dustin Pedroia with his first two picks. Choosing Pedroia over Cano in the draft did spur a few "oohs" and "ahhs" but, considering Pedroia did outscore Cano in 2011 and offers speed that Cano does not, I didn't find it crazy. Brett Lawrie in the 4th Round is a reach in that he will have to reach his potential 2012 ceiling in order to merit that selection, although, I wouldn't be surprised if someone else had selected Lawrie shortly after. Everyone LOVES Lawrie!!! Jimmy Rollins in the 7th Round is a steal as he was the third highest scoring SS in 2011 and Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Jones and Ichiro Suzuki make up a very well-rounded outfield. Suzuki might not completely return to form in 2012, but I'd bet the free oil change coupon in my wallet that he improves. And Corey Hart in the 14th Round?!? Where was I that I didn't draft him? Actually, I never end up with any Milwaukee Brewers on any of my teams and I'm not a big Hart fan, but not 'cause of fantasy reasons. If you recall his AB against Joe Blanton in the first inning of Game 2 of the NLDS vs. the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 you'll know why. Three sliders in the dirt. Three swings and misses. Inning over. Rally over. Hopes/dreams crushed. Copious alcohol consumed.
Jered Weaver is an ace and Madison Bumgarner will be soon. Maybe he is already? That kid looks ridiculous in Spring Training. The rest of the rotation, including Shaun Marcum, Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Carlos Zambrano and Hisashi Iwakuma all have question marks, in my humble opinion, however, Wandy Rodriguez and Tim Stauffer can be useful at times. FBV's RP are legit though with Heath Bell, Sergio Santos and Huston Street.
Biggest Bargain: Jimmy Rollins SS
J-Roll offers mid 400 point potential from the shallowest position in baseball. Good pick. No. Great pick.
Honorable Mention: Ichiro Suzuki OF, Corey Hart OF
Biggest Reach: Brett Lawrie 3B
I sympathize with FBV in that if he really did want Lawrie, he probably did have to draft him where he did or take the risk of not getting him on his team as everyone in the Fantasy Baseball Universe is naming their children Brett this year (girl or boy), but, a kid with some injury history and a sample size the size of a miniature of a miniature poodle probably isn't going to produce 4th Round points and if he does, that's probably his ceiling.`
Honorable Mention: Alex Rios OF, Adam Dunn 1B
Jacoby Ellsbury scored more points than any hitter in 2011 and Jack Attack got him with the last pick of the 1st Round. Nice moves! Will he hit 30 dingers again? Probably not. But, is 20-25 crazy? I don't think so. I also think there could be an uptick in SB and the R and RBI aren't going anywhere in that lineup. With some of the players that were still available, like Cano and Pedroia, I'm not sure I'd have selected Prince Fielder to start the 2nd Rd. Did you know that 24 of his HR last year were hit in Miller Park and nine of those wouldn't be HR in Comerica Park? Not to mention that Kauffmann Stadium is brutal on left-handed hitters and Target Field sucks for everyone with a bat in their hand. I guess what I'm saying is, the power is gonna drop for Fielder in 2012 and he is more of a .270-.280 hitter than the .300 one he resembled last season. Matt Holliday is solid as a rock, but there are some injury concerns with Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Beltran and Joe Mauer. That being said, I like the potential Mauer and Beltran could provide. For me, the book is still out on Dustin Ackley.
Zack Greinke will be in the discussion for NL Cy Young in 2012 but Stephen Strasburg's innings limit will keep him from those discussions and likley from contributing in the H2H playoffs. Ubaldo Jimenez could be in line for a bounce-back as he was uber unlucky last season, but he hasn't done much in Spring Training to silence concerns over his velocity drop and 2011 performance. Where Jack Attack's pitching really shines is with his RP and the likes of Rafael Betancourt, Jim Johnson, Kyle Farnsworth and Chris Perez. Any given week one of those three earns three saves, it's like an additional ace on his staff. If all four of them did? Watch out!
Biggest Bargain: Jacoby Ellsbury OF
I'm a believer in the power (to some extent) and it looks like Jack Attack is as well.
Honorable Mention: Alexei Ramirez SS, Lucas Duda 1B/OF, Daniel Murphy 1B/2B/3B
Biggest Reach: Dustin Ackley 2B
I think Dustin Ackley will be a better MLB player than a fantasy player, at least in the near future. It doesn't seem as though he does any one thing great and he isn't in a lineup or stadium that offers a lot of potential for points. Jason Kipnis in the 12th Round seems like a much better value at this point.
Honorable Mention: Ubaldo Jimenez P, Freddie Freeman 1B
Well, that's it folks. I've recapped every team in the 2012 Fake Teams H2H Points League for you. What do you think of these four teams? What do you think of the league? Are you as smitten with Kemba's team as I am? Please comment below.