Thanks to a couple late additions and the benefits of advertising the league on Yahoo's custom leagues list, the Pipeline fantasy draft went ahead as scheduled Wednesday night. I'm pretty pleased with my haul -- not completely, but mostly. I probably should have prepared more, even tho there's no money riding on it. I ended up with the 10th pick of 12 in the random order. Here's my drafted team....
For one thing, I waited too long to grab a closer, plus kept wanting to fill other positions, so only got 1. Hope Billy Wagner can stand the pressure and rack up some saves for the Mets. Only two of us were there for the majority of the draft, as either people forgot, preranked their guys or just didn't show up. That was disappointing, but I was glad a couple of the guys that didn't show had preranked. If you'll notice, there's only 1 Royal on my list -- John Bale -- and that's because the owner of the Fantasy Geeks team pre-ranked for Royals and got Greinke, Meche, Bannister, Gordon, Butler and Soria before I was ready to pick 'em. I figured I had to have a Royal, tho, so grabbed Bale. Believe it or not, Jose Guillen was still on the board at that point so I probably should have gone with him. I probably could have used the power hopefully Jose will provide KC this season. (Fingers crossed).
Went for speed and defense with most of my picks, including taking Rollins over Miggy Cabrera and Ryan Howard in round 1. I was hoping to maybe get Soriano on the way back for round 2, but he went one pick ahead of me. Ryan Braun (Milwaukee version, of course) went with the first pick of round 2, but I'm not sure I would have taken him anyway because of his paltry D. I like to fill my starter slots early to get some good guys so I grabbed Peavy, who was awesome for me last season in a couple leagues. Plus you've gotta love Petco Park for pitchers. I took Martin in round 3 because I hate having a catcher that can't hit, which if you wait too long you end up with. I didn't want John Buck, I should say. Kept my starter filling going with Webb in round 4, one pick ahead of C.C. Sabathia. I just wonder about his durability with his build. I'll probably also wish I'd taken Josh Beckett there, altho his durability is just as much a concern. Round 5 is probably when I shoulda grabbed my closer, but Markakis was hard to pass up. He's a solid all-around player -- hit .300 with more than 40 doubles and 18 SBs while driving in 100 last season. I hope he keeps that up. Carlos Pena was on the board but I hoped he'd fall to me in round 6. But no, he went the pick ahead of me and I again passed up a closer like KRod or Takashi Saito to take Chris Young from the D-Backs. That may be my first mis-step of the draft, but hopefully Young has another good season. I took King Felix in round 7 just because he's one of those guys I wanted the last 2 seasons, but didn't get. Plus he's a good power pitcher. On the way back I filled one RP spot with Wagner, thinking for sure I'd grab another closer in the next couple rounds.
By the time the draft came back to me, I had realized Dice-K was still out there (preranked low on Yahoo's list) and decided to grab him instead for my fourth starter spot. Picking Loney in round 10 over Trevor Hoffman or Huston Street, or Joakim Soria thanks to Fantasy Geeks, may be another misstep, altho Loney did pretty much rake when the Dodgers let him play last season. Now I have to hope Joe Torre doesn't screw around with him. LET HIM PLAY. When the picks rolled back around, Chad Cordero was still on the board but I had to pick Kosuke Fukudome, as I'm hoping he plays well for the Cubs. I'm a sucker for the Japanese imports from year to year. Last year I had Johjima on a couple teams. This year, Fukudome's the guy, plus I like his last name -- it's fun to say. And he can hit, at least in Japan. I took Youkilis with the hopes Jacoby Ellsbury would make it back down the row but, of course, he didn't. I couldn't pass up Youk, who has some pop plus knows how to get on base. He also plays solid D at first. Picked up Pedroia to try and fill out my IF and then I began to take a few chances. I was happy to get both Longoria and Bruce, plus Justin Upton and Cameron Maybin. If it ends up being a keeper league, I'll be overjoyed. Of course, in the midst of all this, whatever other closers were still available went by the wayside, so I decided to shoot for holds with Bell and Qualls. I thought Garza was a steal for my fifth SP, as the Rays should have a decent young rotation this season. Bill Hall was a late pick for his flexible position play. Grabbed Bale in hopes he pitches solidly for the Royals either in the rotation or as a set-up type. I also figured this might be the year Adam Jones breaks out after getting traded from Seattle to Baltimore. With the dust settled, I've already made three moves to drop Bradley, Bailey and Gonzalez and add Dan Wheeler of TB (more holds, maybe saves if Percival flames out and Reyes does the same), A's C Kurt Suzuki (another young guy that could stand out this season) and SP Scott Baker of the Twins (good performance last year, more reliable than Bailey, I thought). All in all it was a decent first draft of the fantasy season for me. I have two more tomorrow night, so hopefully I can do better on rounding out the pen in those.