This is the second year that hornface.com has had a fantasy league for its baseball Examiners. The first go around had so much participation that it spawned two leagues and unfortunately that watered down the competition. Hoping for a more active league this year.
Here are some of the more interesting picks (good and bad) from this year’s draft:
Round 1: No Alex Rodriguez. I know there are plenty of sites and folks with him ranked fourth among third basemen, but how many years would we need to go back to find the last time A-Rod was not a consensus first round pick? Evan Longoria (pick #6), David Wright (#11) and Ryan Zimmerman (#12) were all picked in the first round. A-Rod was the 17th pick overall.
Round 2: Brian McCann is the first catcher off of the board. I have not seen any rankings in which Joe Mauer isn’t the #1 catcher in fantasy baseball. In our league McCann went in the second round, Victor Martinez in the third and Mauer was still available in the fourth (and selected with the first pick in the fourth round).
Round 4: The reach on McCann is shown in the fourth round. In the fourth catchers Mauer and Buster Posey are both selected. Posey was drafted 23 picks after McCann.
Round 5: In the head scratcher of the draft the same team drafts Jimmy Rollins and Derek Jeter back-to-back. First of all both of these two picks are a reach this early in the draft and secondly why do you need two shortstops? The league does have two utility spots but those are usually better served by slotting in a big bopper, not a risky shortstop (both of which are aging rapidly all of a sudden).
Round 7: Some nice picks at pitcher. Yovani Gallardo (73rd overall), Tommy Hanson (75th) and Shaun Marcum (84th) all were picked in the seventh round and all three could be top line pitchers.
***Note, just read that Marcum is starting the year on the DL with a muscular strain in his forearm. Reports are that if it was the playoffs he could pitch, but will take a few weeks off since it is early in the season. So much for that vaunted Brewers pitching staff.
Round 8: Just because I cannot get over the McCann reach; Carlos Santana was picked in the eight round with the 94th pick in the draft.
Round 10: I pick Nick Markakis. I remember not too long ago when Markakis was going to be an outfielder who would hit around .300 and deposit 25-30 balls over big league fences. Now he is commonly compared to guys like Marlon Byrd: a batter who will hit closer to .280 and will be lucky to get to 15 home runs.
Round 12: Ian Stewart is selected. Stewart, with the 133rd pick, is the fourth Rockies player selected. Troy Tulowitzki (3rd overall), Carlos Gonzalez (9th) and Ubaldo Jimenez (55th) are already on fantasy rosters.
Round 13: Jonathan Sanchez is a steal! I love Sanchez, he and Gio Gonzalez. If you can get guys who could strike out 200 batters in 2011 in the 13th round – DO IT!
Round 15: Not going to K 200, but Tim Hudson in the 15th round is also a steal.
Round 16: Did you know Brett Myers threw 223 innings in 2010? In the second half he struck out eight batters per nine innings pitched? He will be the Opening Day starter for Houston? He was drafted in the 16th round. Good pitching can be had late.
Round 18: I wonder if Jim Hendry wishes he could go back in time and not sign Alfonso Soriano? Once upon a time he was a sure-thing-top-5-pick and in our draft he was 206th player selected. And if we counted defense he would be drafted even lower.
Round 24: Along the same lines of Soriano, Chipper Jones was the last man selected in the draft.
Round 22: What is wrong with John Lackey? He was my pick in the TWENTY-SECOND round in this draft. I believe he will pitch the second game of the year for the Red Sox. One bad year = no good?
All in all it was a good draft. There were some head scratchers, but there always are. Some picks look like major thefts late in the draft but let’s look again in July and see if we still think that.
Here is my team:
1B: Paul Konerko
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Mark Reynolds
SS: Cliff Pennington (yes, I waited a long time for SS and hopefully got a lot of steals)
OF: Colby Rasmus, Corey Hart, Markakis, Nick Swisher, Dexter Fowler (two of them will fill utility slots)
Bench: Ty Wigginton (1B, 2B, 3B eligible and might end up OF eligible), Tsuyoshi Nishioka
SP: Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Jimenez, G. Gonzalez, Clay Buchholz, Colby Lewis, Myers, Jordan Zimmerman, Lackey and Carl Pavano (I plan on streaming my pitchers since there is not an innings limit)
RP: Joel Hanrahan and Rafael Soriano (essentially punted “saves” because I refuse to draft RP earlier than the last few rounds)
Check the National Fantasy Baseball Examiner, Shawn S. Lealos, for more information and updates on the league throughout the season.