I had my big money NL-only league draft last night, a draft that lasted 6 hours. Yes, 6 hours. In this NL-only, 11 team, 5 x 5, 2 catcher redraft league, there is no time limit in between picks. Before the draft, I heard a few owners say that they hadn't prepared properly for the draft. When I heard that, I knew we would be in for a long draft.
This is a draft where we pick numbers out of a hat to determine the draft order. The owner with #1, can elect to pick anywhere between 1 - 11. He elected to pick at slot 11. I had pick 5, so I decided to pick as high as possible, assuming I would be picking at slot 4. That was before the owner with #2 decided to stay at slot 2. The owner with #3 picked slot 3, The owner with #4, picked slot 4. I couldn't believer it. All of these owners, except the guy who picked 11th, were afraid to pick Ryan Braun at pick #1. I wasn't. I decided to take slot 1 and picked Braun. That exercise was not the strangest thing to happen in this draft.
Let''s take a look at the first round draft results:
1. Ryan Braun
2. Matt Kemp
3. Bryce Harper,
6. Joey Votto
9. Justin Upton
And the wildest first round pick ever....get ready.....
10. Ian Desmond
11. Clayton Kershaw
The owner who drafted Desmond at #10 picked Michael Bourn in the same draft slot last season. I couldn't believe my ears when he picked Desmond over all of the picks in the second round. The owner who picked Kershaw at 11 had a specific strategy he was employing where he drafted three stud starting pitchers with his first three picks.
Here is how the second round went, which included two surprising picks as well:
13. Matt Holliday
14. Jay Bruce
15. Starlin Castro
And for the second surprise pick of the draft, from one of the owners I overheard state that he had not prepared for the draft.
16. Chase Headley
17. David Wright
18. Jason Heyward
19. Buster Posey
20. Adrian Gonzalez
21. Carlos Gomez - yes, Carlos Gomez
22. B.J. Upton
So three players were drafted between 10 and 21 that I think should have been drafted in the third round or later.
Here are the rest of my draft results, by position, with round in parenthese:
C - Rob Brantly (Rd. 15)
C - Wilson Ramos (Rd. 17)
1B - Ryan Howard (Rd. 4)
2B - Dan Uggla (Rd. 10)
SS - Hanley Ramirez (Rd. 7)
3B - Pablo Sandoval (Rd. 8)
MI - Steve Lombardozzi (Rd. 21)
CI - Todd Helton (Rd. 20)
OF - Ryan Braun (Rd. 1)
OF - B.J. Upton (Rd. 2)
OF - Shin-Soo Choo (Rd. 3)
OF - Tyler Colvin (Rd. 12)
OF - Chris Heisey (Rd. 16)
U - Nolan Arenado (Rd. 22)
P - Mat Latos (Rd. 5)
P - Kris Medlen (Rd. 6)
P - J.J. Putz (Rd. 9)
P - Matt Harvey (Rd. 11)
P - Brandon League (Rd. 13)
P - Josh Beckett (Rd. 14)
P - David Hernandez (Rd.18)
P - Luke Gregerson (Rd. 19)
P - Cory Luebke (Rd. 23)
I was determined to draft two closers in this 11 team league where only 15 closers are available, thus the reason why I drafted Putz so high. He was the 8th closer off the board with Craig Kimbrel and Jonathan Papelbon drafted in round 6, Aroldis Chapman in round 7, Jason Motte in round 8, and John Axford, Sergio Romo, Rafael Soriano and Putz in round 9.
I developed an affection for Mets hurler Matt Harvey and his ability to strike batters out, so I may have drafted him a round too early, but the owner who drafted right after me stated he would have taken Harvey with the second pick in round 12.
I think you know by now that I think we could see flashes of the old Ryan Howard this season, so maybe I picked Howard too early, but in a room with a handful of Phillies fans, and a need to draft a first baseman, I did not hesitate to draft him. And since I was drafting in the first slot in round 4, I knew he would be gone by the time I drafted with the last pick in round 5. Looking over the rest of the picks in round 4 and round 5, I could have drafted Zack Greinke , Madison Bumgarner, Gio Gonzalez or Adam Wainwright here, but there were no hitters I would have drafted ahead of Howard.
I rarely draft two pitchers in a row, but decided to grab Latos and Medlen in round 5-6, as the first tier of starters had gone dry by the end of round 5 and did not want my ace to be Roy Halladay, Homer Bailey or Tim Lincecum.
Did I reach for Hanley Ramirez in round 7? Maybe. I could have drafted Adam Laroche, Miguel Montero or Michael Cuddyer here, but felt Hanley was the best choice since I preferred Sandoval over Laroche in round 8.
I think Rockies outfielder Tyler Colvin will see plenty of time in the outfield and at first base this season, especially with an old Todd Helton at first base. Yes, I drafted Helton as well, but got him in round 20.
I drafted Dodgers closer Brandon League even though I think Kenley Jansen will take the job this season, but he was the best closer available at that point, and I could be wrong about League pitching poorly enough to lose the job this season. I wanted to grab either Jansen or Kyuji Fukujawa as my closers in waiting, but there were drafted before I was ready to drafted them. Instead, I opted for Putz's backup, David Hernandez and Huston Street's backup, Luke Gregerson. I plan to grab another starter or one of Wilton Lopez or Mark Melancon to replace Cory Luebke on my roster once the season starts.
I like my four starters: Latos, Medlen, Harvey and Beckett, and plan to grab any starters that emerge during the season to fill my 5th starter spot. By midseason, Luebke should fill the 5th starter role for my squad, and by then, I hope to have another starter acquired via the waiver wire.
The Nolan Arenado pick was a huge roll of the dice that the Rockies elect to give him their starting third base job on Opening Day. Normally, in this league, we draft off the 25 man rosters, but due to the fact that we drafted two weeks before the season starts, I was allowed to draft him. If he doesn't make the team out of spring training, I will have to drop him by week two of the regular season and replace him with a utility player off of the waiver wire.
Overall, I have a solid mix of power and speed, albeit with low batting average hitters like Upton, Howard and Uggla mixed in. I only have four starters, but have a plan to fill a few more starters midseason. I like having two middle relievers on my roster, as they will help in the ERA and WHIP categories, and both have a chance to grab some saves should Putz or Street lose the job or get injured this season.
So, how did I fare. Let me hear your thoughts, Fake Teams readers.