Tuesday, July 15, 2008
We Play Fantasy Too!!!!!!!! (part 1 of 2)
Ha! F*** you Rollins.
Co-writer Walsh and I co-own a CBS NL-only 10 team roto money league team (2 C, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss, 5 OF, 2 UTIL, 9 P) and as we sit here at the All-Star Break, we are in first with 82.5 of the 100 possible points and the second place team is sitting at 72.5 pts.
The reason for this post is not only to boast about Walsh and I's dominance this season but also to highlight some of our best and worst decisions. We will analyze our draft strategy, current status and everything in between. We want to put ourselves on the map, we're human (heeeeeeeeeeeeeyoooouuuuummmmaaaaaannnnnn) too (ro-bot) and make mistakes. And so now it beings with Walsh writing the draft strategy and me writing the rest. Enjoy...
Year In and year out fantasy baseball pundits say largely the same thing: draft hitting in the early rounds and target sleeper pitchers starting around the sixth round. In years past of my doing fantasy baseball, I have always followed this strategy with tremendous success, I generally never THINK of pitchers for the first bunch of rounds. This year, however, when examining the NL-Only player pool, Alon and I noticed that there was an unusual depth of hitters. We similarly noticed the lack of depth at starting pitching. We saw lots of sleeper hitters we loved and not a whole lot of sleeper pitchers, which is something that neither of us have ever encountered. As such, we decided that we were going to put a heavy emphasis in the early rounds on starting pitching over hitting. I've never drafted pitchers so early before, but it seemed to us the most logical thing to do this year. You will see how this unfolded when Alon talks about the draft.
In mixed leagues, we both never, ever, under any circumstance draft closers early, but in NL-only, and AL-only, for that matter, you have to do whatever is necessary to grab 2+ in the draft. This strategy should *only and always* be for public leagues where it is sososo hard to trade. We didn't want to have to rely on trades to try and middle in the saves category.
So, basically, get a good base of our pitching staff early, and get as many of our sleeper hitters that we targeted during the mid-later rounds as best we could. Also, react to closer runs and get at least two. Continue ahead for Alon's draft coverage, transactions and such.
We had 8th pick. Going in we were thinking, oooooookkkkkk, lets take Santana if available and if not we'll have to see. Santana of course goes the pick right before us so we'll make what turns out to be an extremely easy selection with the best second basemen in baseball: Chase Utley. Next pick we are thinking hopefully Peavy, who ended up getting taken three picks later, so we go with the next best pitcher available and that is Brandon Webb. Things are looking shfine. Again, we want to stack heavy on the starters so for the next bunch of picks until ours, we're eyeing guys like Haren, Zambrano and Hamels.
At pick 28, hello Dan Haren. Simple pick... On a side note CBS has this funny thing where you can see how long each pick took you... Webb took us 10 seconds and Haren took us 12 seconds. Hah. Anyway. Next pick is a surprise one, a starter! Yay! Fool. Ok so Zambrano got taken 23rd so some guys left are Hamels (who goes next pick), Harang (who goes the pick before us) or who we ended up with at 33: Roy Oswalt (Roy O by the way has finally stepped his s*** up in June and now has at least decent numbers).
At this point in the draft we started getting a little lulululu concerned. There had only been eight starters taken in total and we had three of them, which means that exactly every other team in the draft is going way heavy on hitting and if someone plays their cards just right they might be able to take all pitchers they like a little later on in the draft and also have a super stacked lineup. We had to now start taking some hitters.
I remember during the draft we wanted Francoeur (thank god we didn't get him) but he got taken two picks before us so we ended up with our fourth rated shortstop (behind obviously Reyes, Hanley and Rollins who can be seen above ahhaha) Miguel Tejada. How good did we feel with our Tejada pick at the beginning of the season when he hit .339 with 4 dongs and 22 RBIs in April and .291 with 2 dongs and 15 RBIs in May, I'll tell you how good... Genius f****** amazingly good. Unfortunately since then he has been in a bigbig slump, but he is too good a hitter to keep slumping so I expect a good second half from him. Buy low? Yep.
Next pick Brad Hawpe who was a nightmare in April and May, even to the point where they were platooning him but, welcome back sir... In June Hawpey hit .316 with 8 dingers and 17 RBIs. We. Are. Fine.
Following Mr. Hawpe, some guys we liked passed us by. Smoltz, Maine, Gonzo, Glaus but we made an instinct draft-day move which led to possibly our best pick of the draft at 68: Jason Bay (.287, 19 dongs, 53 rbis, 6 sb) followed by probably our worst pick of the draft Rich Hill at 73 who I'm embarrassed to say we took over, Billingsley, Lincecum, Waintwright, Cain... yeah yeah yeah, kill me, worst pick ever, we are retarded, whatever, we're owning everyone and our 8th round pick is pitching decently in rookie ball... Blow me.
So at this stage we're still feeling very content with our staff anchors considering the rest of the leagues pitching is evenly spread out, so everybody is thin, as expected. We needed some thievery and with some other speedsters already gone, we took Michael Bourn at 88. We loved Bourn going into the season and although his average is junk, he's provided us with the steals we needed (and now we're gonna trade him but thats a whole different story).
Nothing too exciting happened during our next two picks. There was a closer run so we ended up snagging Kevin Gregg and Brian Wilson who have been getting the job done for us.
Going into the season I had a complete love affair with Carlos Ruiz who ended up being our next pick, but that hasn't worked out at ALL, he sucks. Here's what I'll do to redeem myself... I'm going to guarantee that next year if given the chance to play, Ruiz is the sleeper catcher of the year. God damnit. He's so good. Just not this year, which sucks for us.
Next pick Conor Jackson at 128 who we both LOVED going into the season and he's been our boy all year hitting .300 with 8 dongs, 47 RBIs and 6 steals. That was followed up by another horrible catcher pick Ronny Paulino... So as of right now we still needed a 3B, some more OF and some more pitching and we had eight picks left to do it. Next pick: Pedro Feliz.
Feliz started off a little bit slow in April but his first half totals are looking good at .270, 12 dongs and 45 RBIs. He was another sleeper genius that we both loved based mostly on the Phillies' ballpark and lineup versus San Fran's weesh. And yeah, sleeping on him has been paying off.
We still really needed an OF because at this point in the draft it was SOSOSO thin so we ended up snagging up Mike Cameron with our next pick even though he was suspended for the first 25 games. Since his return his average is doodie at .231 but for 216 ABs he's given us a very nice 14 dingers, 35 rbis and 8 steals so it ended up being a brilliant pick this late (153rd pick overall).
There was pretty much only horse manure left at this point except for some serious sleepers of ours so our next three picks we all dropped very, very quickly... Anthony Reyes, Jose A. Bautisa and Jim Edmonds. And you know what, f*** the Cubs and f*** Jim Edmonds.
Ok. NOW. Take back everything I said about Bay being anything close to our best pick in the draft because to my extreme pleasure at pick 193 overall, round 20, we landed the NL ERA leader Edinson Volquez. Hahahahahahaha! Yes Volquez, you own. Except in the all-star game! Eoh. Damnit. Fine. Relax.
Ok. Final two picks: Kevin Frandsen, JOKE, and Brian Fuentes who was also dropped almost immediately...
In the second and final post of this "series" I will go over our insanely good transactions of the course of this season, how we climbed to the top and where we are headed. I'll see ya there!