This is a 5x5 12 team keeper league where we keep up to 5 players. The rosters are expanded and include 2 C, MI, CI, 5 OF, and have plenty of bench spots for speculation. I won the league last year so I sat on the wheel at the end of rounds 6/7 and so on.
1. Ryan Howard - keeper
2. BJ Upton - keeper
3. Brandon Webb - keeper
4. Alex Rios - keeper
5. Jacoby Ellsbury - keeper
6. Dan Uggla - I was feeling short of power and wanted to work on MI
7. Mariano Rivera - I like having one money-in-the-bank closer so Mo is my guy
8. Michael Young - I never imagined I'd take Young/Jeter back to back to finish off my SS and MI spots but I was feeling short on BA and hoped I could get a .305 BA out of 1200 ABs with these picks. Both of them were a little dinged last year and I think there's some gas left in the tank with both. I also like the lineup situations they're in and hope for 100 runs from each.
9. Derek Jeter
10. Lastings Milledge - This is a pick I regret. I've fallen in love with 20/20 types in the past and now I leave myself open for a power deficiency with the last 3 picks. I also had 3 OF kept and could have waited longer to take another one.
11. Yovani Gallardo - I love Yoga this year and am happy to have him as my #2 SP
12. Alex Gordon - Gordon, like Milledge before him and Cruz after him, is a guy I think will begin breaking through this year after getting his feet wet. It's time for him to hit 25-30 homeruns and after looking at the rest of my roster, I hope it happens this year. I'm already saying HOPE and IF way too much!
13. Nelson Cruz - I took him a little early because I knew I needed his pop. I love that he's hitting 4th in that lineup and think he'll get 100 RBI easily if he gets 550 plate appearances.
14. Ryan Dempster - Here's to hoping he can come close to matching his '08. An okay 3rd SP.
15. Mike Napoli - It's a 2C league so I couldn't wait much longer. I'm worried about his health a bit but didn't want to miss out on his power.
16. Matt Garza - His series against Boston last October was a little too fresh in my mind with this pick. I wish I'd gone with Carpenter, Unit, or Lilly who were taken right after him.
17. Elijah Dukes - Another 20/20 guy. I love his skills and will probably throw him in my UT spot most of the time. Take note of his splits day (.467 OPS) to night (1.010 OPS). Apparently the freaks do come out at night!
18. Kevin Gregg - Although this is the 18th/19th round wheel, I took a big risk here on two relievers that lack dominant skills but may have closer jobs this time next week. Marmol went in the 12th and Street in the early 18th so I feel like I could get nice value if they both come through. If neither do . . . . then I'll have to take advantage of the fact that I'm online all day/every day to pick up closers.
19. Manny Corpas -
20. Hank Blalock - I needed a CI and think he could make a nice bounce back. I was hoping Mora would fall till the 20-22 round but I'm happy with another Ranger here.
21. John Smoltz - We have 2 DL spots so I happily picked up Smoltz here.
22. Jeff Clement - Looking back, this is where I made my biggest mistake. Yahoo has some nice 2nd catcher options at the very end of their catcher rankings that I didn't see. I wish I would have waited till the very end of the draft to pick up Pudge or Laird.
23. Ryan Spilborghs - This was a head scratcher to most in the room but, I really like Spilz this year. I see .300 with 15/15 while batting leadoff and playing CF 5 days a week.
24. Oliver Perez - 180+ Ks is hard to turn down in the 24th round
25. Gary Sheffield - More endgame speculation here. If he bounces back then great, if not I cut him.
26. Mike Fontenot - I think he fell through the Yahoo ranking cracks for everyone. I love him here and think he'll hit 2nd against righties.
27.Rick Porcello - I couldn't resist him in the 27th
28. Ryan Franklin - I think there's a 20% chance he'll get named the closer despite being awful. If Motte gets the job then I dump Franklin the same day. If he somehow gets it then maybe I get 20+ saves from my 28th round pick.
Writing this out makes me dislike this draft a little more than I had done initially. I'm worried about BA if Young and Jeter don't bounce back this year. I'll also need to trade away some speed for a power bat if Gordon, Upton, and Rios don't take a step forward with power this year. I'll continue to tinker with pitching all year but like the top 4 of Webb, Yoga, Dempster and Smoltz come July. Then one of Garza, Perez, or Porcello exceed expectations I'll be alright.
I'm mainly worried that I liked my last 5 picks, in terms of value, more than all the others. But then again, I'm a pessimist by nature.