I entered my NL-Only 4x4 keeper draft with the most money I had ever entered a draft having - $169 for 14 players. Unfortunately, this wasn't the year to have lots of money to spend. The depth of quality hitters was very shallow, but the starting pitcher depth was the opposite - Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Dan Haren, John Smoltz, Carlos Zambrano, Aaron Harang and Roy Oswalt. After that, though, the drop-off went to Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux and a bunch of pitching sleepers - Manny Parra, Jair Jurrgens, Edison Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Hiroki Kuroda and Carlos Villanueva.
As a result, I entered the draft with the intention of landing three of the elite hitters/pitchers and fishing for sleepers. This was opposite my typical intentions of landing five or six $20-$30 players and then fishing for sleepers. I just didn't think the mid-tier hitters would provide the certainty of across-the-board production I'd feel comfortable with.
I executed the strategy as well I could expect. I paid $41 for Johan Santana and $46 for Chase Utley. Johan was the most expensive pitcher with jake peavy second at $37. The other top-tier SP went for $21 to $26. However, Chase utely was not the most expensive hitter. Matt Holliday went for $50, and Jimmy Rollins went for $54!
Those were the top three hitters available, and I believe I read the room correctly as three more went for $41 or $42 (Mark Teixeira, Carlos Lee and Carlos Beltran), and there were three more that went for $30 or more - Derrek Lee at $36, Aramis Ramirez at $35 and Miguel Tejada at $34.
After that, Pat Burrell went for $28. Did I make the correct decision to grab two of those elite hitters or should I have fished amongst the Pat Burrell's of the draft? I say, "Yes, I made the right call."
Do you agree? Did I get good sleepers? The players I drafted are in bold.