I wrote about my AL-Only keeper league draft results on Sunday morning, and here are the draft results for the UBA NL-only, 4 x 4, $260 salary cap league. I listed my keepers in this article last week, and decided to keep Cubs starter Matt Garza over Giants reliever Sergio Romo after that article posted, leaving me with just $36 to spend on 9 players at the draft.
I had no dreams of drafting one of the top hitters in the draft, but Andre Ethier did go for $27, and I could have bid $28, but am sure the person I was bidding against would have gone one dollar more. I was in the bidding for several hitters, but was limited to a $28 max bid on any one player.
The draft was held last Friday night in NYC, and here is my complete roster:
C - Devin Mesoraco - $5 S1
C - Wilson Ramos - $7 S1
1B - Travis Ishikawa - $1 S2
2B - Dan Uggla -$24 S0
SS - Dee Gordon - $5 S1
The rest of my roster after the jump:
MI - Danny Espinosa -$10 S0
3B - Scott Rolen -$7 S2
CO - Chris Johnson - $4 S0
OF - Giancarlo Stanton - $20 L2
OF - Matt Kemp - $47 S1
OF - Jose Tabata - $10 S0
OF - Gerardo Parra - $3 S1
OF - Brian Bogusevic - $1 S2
U - Norichika Aoki -$1 S2
U - Omar Infante - $12 S2
P -Zack Greinke - $20 S1
P - Cole Hamels - $24 S0
P - Matt Garza - $15 S1
P - Craig Kimbrel - $15 L1
P - John Axford - $15 L1
P - Chris Capuano - $1 S2
P - A.J. Burnett - $2 S2
P - Ted Lilly - $9 S2
P - Randy Wolf - $2 S2
I went starter heavy with the rest of my pitching staff, while many of the other owners in the league went reliever heavy in the auction, so I SHOULD have a staff that will compete in the wins and saves categories. I just have to hold out hope that my closers, Kimbrel and Axford, and top 3 starters-Greinke, Hamels and Garza, can pitch well enough to keep my ERA and WHIP categories at a respectable level as the rest of my staff is full of mid to lower tier starters who could make things difficult in the ERA and WHIP categories. Lilly is capable of winning 10+ games with a solid WHIP, as he hasn't put up a WHIP higher than 1.23 since 2006, so he should be a reliable starter.
Capuano should put up a WHIP around 1.30-1.35, so he may not last on my roster too long if he doesn't perform too well early in the season. Wolf has put up respectable ERAs the last 3 seasons, with his 4.17 ERA in 2010 being the worst of the three, but his ability to put runners on base will be monitored closely, along with Capuano, early in the season.
I drafted Pirates starter A.J. Burnett late in the auction and think he can pitch effectively in the NL, but like Capuano and Wolf, he will be on a short leash early in the season.
To replace the injured Burnett and Lilly on my roster, I added Braves reliever Eric O'Flaherty and Pirates reliever Jason Grilli and either could find themselves retained should Capuano or Wolf not pitch well to start the season.
I was happy to grab Omar Infante at $12 as he is capable of hitting .290-.300 with low double digit homers. He hit two homers on Monday, and has 3 so far this season, so he is on his way to reaching double digits in the HR category.
I grabbed Reds third baseman Scott Rolen for $7 with the hope that he can stay healthy this season and put up double digit home run totals and drive in 60-70 runs. That might be optimistic, but Reds manager Dusty Baker has already stated that he will rest Rolen to keep him healthy this season.
Norichika Aoki, Travis Ishikawa and Brian Bogusevic were end game dollar players and either Ishikawa or Aoki could see more at bats should Mat Gamel not hit. Bogusevic is the Astros starting right fielder, for now, but would be a 4th or 5th outfielder on most MLB teams. Actually, all 4 of these guys are will see limited at bats this season, so I will have to be a hawk on the waiver wire to grab a hitter to replace any of these guys during the season.
I also own Nationals outfield prospect Bryce Harper and am counting the days till he shows he is major league ready and is called up for good. I imagine that will come in May or June, but one never knows when the actual call up may happen. I think he could put up 15 homer, 15 steal season if called up in early June, and a few more homers and steals if called up in May.
I think I have a nice balance of power, speed, starting pitching and two of the better closers in the National League, but like most leagues, I will need plenty of luck to place in the money this season. Injuries happen all the time, with some teams hit harder than others, so escaping a major injury, or injuries, will be tantamount to having a successful season and a chance to repeat my 2011 UBA championship. Like in real baseball, repeating a league championship is not easy. You have to be both lucky and have some things go your way to win back-to-back championships.
I may have to be creative with in-season trades should my roster need some upgrades later in the season. Guys who could bring back solid upgrades include Harper, Mesoraco, Gordon, Ramos, Kimbrel and Axford, so I have some trade chips.