Sixth pick (R1 P6): When you're drafting fifth or sixth, you go in knowing that you'll come out with a solid overall contributor in the first round. Initially, I chose the sixth spot to take Teixeira specifically. Then I came to my senses and narrowed it down to Braun or Utley. Position scarcity is the paramount factor in a fantasy draft. You can safely assume that 12 teams will finish a draft with a capable first baseman. Of course, you can argue that you could then fill your Util with another masher, to which I say, why not fill it with a complementary player there, a 5-tool cat? There's depth later in the draft at Util.
Ultimately, I went with Utley. Teixeira, in my mind, projects as a late first rounder. You can wait on first (base).
R2 P7: Jose Reyes. Going power-speed in rounds one and two is a classic strategy, one I employ often. You complement a big bat with a burner and you have balance. I'll be honest, I tried looking for any tidbit on Reyes regarding his recovery and found nothing up until this pick was made. If he's fine in spring training, landing him in the second round looks like a remarkable steal (no pun intended).
R3 P6: Justin Upton. On draft day, you'll have to fight others and pay a premium. I will literally sacrifice my well-being and start altercations to get to this guy. He'll likely go earlier than this. I have him in front of Bay (who went the pick before); Rollins, no doubt (three picks before); and Sizemore (four picks ahead of Upton). There's a lot to love here. You're at the point in the draft where you want to start filling up those outfield spots. Three can look daunting if you miss here. The kid has the ability and pedigree to finish the season as a top 20 player. And he hits in a potent lineup in front of Mark Reynolds. In front of Mark Reynolds. Nuff said.
R4 P7: Adrian Gonzalez. I'm always willing to overbet my hand on Gonzalez. He's a consistent source of power. Come draft season, he'll go higher, of course. Morneau went at R4 P1; I was flipping through each cornerman's player page, alternating at break-neck speed. Youk was also up for consideration here (surprisingly the two Boston fans skipped on him and he went R4 P12).
R5 P6: Curtis Granderson. He has the ability and lineup support to post a top 30 season. The short porch, formidable lineup and track record are all intriguing. I've never really been a Grand fan but there's a good shot he'll outproduce his ADP. I wouldn't overbid but at this juncture, passing on Grand would be doing injustice to one's draft.
R6 P7: The first five rounds were simple. No troubles. Picks made without hesitation. Here's the pick I regret. I'm a fan of his; been drafting him for years, and have had considerable success with him on an a-mak15 roster. Carlos Lee. The note I made here was: "a. ramirez will not drop that far [in this year's drafts]. settled for lee." It's not that I don't expect solid production - because I do, but ... well, keep reading.
Middle of the sixth: "carlos lee taken too early. filled up outfield when considerable value was to be had later in the draft."
R7 P6: Josh Johnson. "see? ibanez still would be there. felt i should start building a rotation. came down to peavy v. johnson." In hindsight, it shouldn't have been a debate.
Middle of the seventh: "six more picks until my turn. beckett would be an easy selection here approaching the eighth."
"three more picks; beckett still there."
"crap. taken in front of me."
R8 P7: Cole Hamels. With Beckett
R9 P6: Brian Fuentes. I generally never draft closers before the 10th round. No matter how impressive the stats, I push the saves aside until usually the 11th or so rounds. I follow that rule because I know that come May, porous relievers will show their true colors and a couple of studs will hit the IR - it happens every year. Every season roughly half of the closers in the majors will either lose their job due to injury, sheer ineffectiveness, a combination of the two or will be overtaken by an productive reliever in the pen. Fuentes will get saves, though. This was a go-with-the-reliever-run type of pick, followed by subsequent feelings of intense self-loathing. "into the ninth, peavy still there. terribly tempting but sprung for closer Fuentes. grabbing a util was an option. billingsley and chipper targets."
Middle of the ninth: "hey, lilly's still down here. perhaps billingsley can and should wait."
R10 P7: Torii Hunter. Hunter fills my Util spot. He was coveted and considered in the ninth as well. Hunter, Ibanez, Damon and Abreu are perennially overlooked in the roto game. They're not flashy, no, but they deliver the numbers required to win championships. Hunter in the tenth round is tremendous value. "we're into the tenth. torii hunter is good value here. regrets of lee resurface. can't quit the guy, evidently."
R11 P6: Chipper Jones. Here's where I wished I had Aramis Ramirez back in the sixth. Chipper is vanilla. He'll give you a quality 100 games and change, but often, you'll be forced to fish the waiver wire for talent at third and in competitive leagues, you're stuck with scrubs. Good luck. Well, good luck to me; I see a lot of Chipper in my future. I draft him almost subconsciously, likewise with Lee. I have a spot to fill at third, though, and Chipper is a modest pick in the eleventh. "i know damon has yet to sign with a ballclub but in a roto league, he's money. outstanding value still available in the eleventh."
Middle of the eleventh: "i look at lee. i look at the available kubel. i die a little inside. i chose chipper at R11 P6 almost without hesitation. billingsley was given some thought here but lilly's still out there."
R12 P7: Ryan Franklin. Another closer who will notch saves if based solely on the team they play for. Franklin's ratios will take a hit, but he was one of the last remaining dependable relievers. I trust him more than Billy Wagner, Mike Gonzalez and David Aardsma (though Aardsma led me to three or four titles last season and was impressively consistent by my recollection). "quite a few starters remain so franklin was a logical choice. i need a starter next round, without question."
Middle of the twelvth: "i'm convinced you could build a formidable staff from here on out if you're playing the h2h format. baker goes, lilly goes, and i autoselect garza."
Take a catcher somwhere around the 14th round. You don't want to be stuck with underwhelming options and the uncertainty that is Doumit.
I know baseball drafts are won in the latter rounds but this is when I excused myself for personal obligations. Apologies.
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