Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Draft Analysis- Part Two

Time for the second installment in our three-part look at our recent fantasy baseball draft.  Please see the previous post for the first part.

Round Seven

1. Ian Stewart             Dissect Yourself

2. Mark Reynolds       Orc Mischief

3. Justin Verlander      Order of the Phoenix

4. Chris Carpenter       Butt Admirals

5. Willy Taveras          Summer Fox

6. Adam LaRoche       Tossers

7. Javier Vazquez        Screaming Lemurs

8. Matt Cain                The $5 Footlongs

9. Rickie Weeks          Naterade

10. Derek Lowe          The Balls

11. Scott Baker           Adrian's Revenge

12. Milton Bradley      Macafey

Comments: There’s a lot of picks to like here.  I’m glad I got Scott Baker; he’s one of the top pitchers I wanted to get in the middle rounds.  Derek Lowe and Matt Cain are good picks as well.  Mark Reynolds is a solid source of power as a corner infielder, though he will hurt your batting average.  Ian Stewart’s bat will play well due to his eligibility at second base.  I know Weeks has disappointed owners in the past, but he does provide you with double-digit HR and SB as a middle infielder.  He’s only 26, so a breakout year is still possible, but his poor batting average is a killer.  I’m not a Milton Bradley fan, as his production is tied to his health, and his health has never been good.  He can hit for average, but last year was the first time he ever hit more than 20 HR in a season.  At age 30, there’s not much upside here.  Justin Verlander is a good pick as I think he can be good again if he’s healthy.

Best Pick: Javier Vazquez

I think Vazquez is underrated.  He is a great source for strikeouts and he’s very durable.  He hasn’t ever had good ERA seasons, but I feel that the move to the NL can only help him.  I think he’s a great pick here.

Worst Pick: Chris Carpenter

Carpenter has made 4 starts in the last two seasons because of injury.  He has talent and could still be a great pitcher, but I don’t think you can roster the risk he represents when so many other consistent and talented pitchers are still on the board like Vazquez, Cain, Lowe and Baker.  This is a very risky pitcher being added to a staff already saddled with risk.

Round Eight

1. Jim Thome   Macafey

2. Mark DeRosa          Adrian's Revenge

3. Carlos Gomez         The Balls

4. Billy Butler             Naterade

5. Kerry Wood            The $5 Footlongs

6. Matt Garza              Screaming Lemurs

7. Ted Lilly                 Tossers

8. Ryan Dempster       Summer Fox

9. Huston Street          Butt Admirals

10. Kelly Johnson       Order of the Phoenix

11. Brad Ziegler          Orc Mischief

12. Chris Young          Dissect Yourself

Comments: I wish Weeks had made it to me, but he didn’t so I ended up taking DeRosa.  I was hoping that Kelly Johnson would stick around for my next pick, but Mark scooped him up.  Ted Lilly is another underrated pitcher who will give you good strikeouts and a decent ERA.  More closers are taken off the board, though it isn’t certain as of now if Ziegler will be closing over Joey Devine in Oakland.  Jim Thome was a good pick here because he can still provide power.  His stats last year were not far off from Dunn’s, though Thome is a decade older.  Gomez has speed, but he needs to learn how to hit.  Apparently he’s a great defender, so hopefully that will keep him in the field when his bat goes cold.

Best Pick: Ryan Dempster

Dempster is not likely to repeat last year’s numbers, but he has talent and I think he’ll have a good season.  People weren’t buying into last year’s performance, so he slid and the Summer Fox was able to capitalize.  Good value for this round.

Worst Pick: Billy Butler

Butler really hasn’t shown much in the his one and a half seasons in the league; though he is very young and could show growth this year, there were a few offensive players still to be had in later rounds with more proven track records.  Butler will be 23 this year, and he still has time to be a good player, but I’m not sure it will be this year.

Round Nine

1. Michael Bourn        Dissect Yourself

2. Orlando Cabrera     Orc Mischief

3. Fausto Carmona      Order of the Phoenix

4. Brian Wilson           Butt Admirals

5. Mike Napoli            Summer Fox

6. Chris Iannetta         Tossers

7. Heath Bell               Screaming Lemurs

8. Trevor Hoffman      The $5 Footlongs

9. Clayton Kershaw    Naterade

10. Brett Myers           The Balls

11. Orlando Hudson   Adrian's Revenge

12. Yunel Escobar       Macafey

Comments: This round is mostly catchers, middle infielders, and closers as teams try to round out their rosters.  Of the two Orlandos taken in this round, I’d rather have Cabrera, if only because Hudson might not be completely healthy this year.  Carmona solid pick if he can come close to repeat his success from 2007; he’s only 25 and he was hurt last year, so a rebound is definitely possible.  Michael Bourn is similar to Carlos Gomez in that they were both speedsters with batting average issues, but Bourn hit worse last year and he’s probably on a shorter leash since the Astros didn’t give up the best pitcher in baseball to get him.  I’m not a fan of Bourn. 

Best Pick: Chris Iannetta

I think Iannetta is a great value for this round and I think he could possibly be a top-five catcher this year.  I like him better than Mike Napoli, but only because of the Coors Field factor and the fact that Napoli is recovering from shoulder surgery and might not be ready for Opening Day. 

Worst Pick: Trevor Hoffman

I am not a Hoffman fan (even though he is from my hometown); I think he’s too old and I think he’ll miss pitching at Petco.  Hoffman should get saves and is not a bad option at closer because he’ll have the role to himself, but I look at the closers that were taken the next round and I think that Jonathan could have taken a better option.  I think Joel Hanrahan will be better than Hoffman this year, and I think guys like Matt Lindstrom and Joey Devine could be just as good (though Devine is still battling Brad Ziegler for the closer’s role).  Troy Percival went four rounds later than Hoffman and I think he’s a comparable reliever for this season.  There was better value to be had this round.

Round Ten

1. Brandon Morrow    Macafey

2. Joel Hanrahan         Adrian's Revenge

3. Frank Francisco       The Balls

4. Matt Lindstrom       Naterade

5. Kevin Slowey         The $5 Footlongs

6. Chris Perez              Screaming Lemurs

7. Aaron Harang         Tossers

8. Joey Devine                        Summer Fox

9. Bengie Molina         Butt Admirals

10. Mike Gonzalez      Order of the Phoenix

11. Chien-Ming Wang Orc Mischief

12. Chris Volstad        Dissect Yourself

Comments: What began in the previous round has turned into a full-blown run on closers as six closer candidates are taken this round.  I think all of the closers taken in this round will be handed the role for their respective teams on Opening Day.  I think Bengie Molina was a good pick this round; he tends to be underrated, but he had a really good season last year and he’s one of the few decent offensive players that the Giants have, so he’ll get a lot of chances for RBI.  I think Harang is underrated as well this year; he had a subpar season last year, possibly due to overuse, but he did finish the year strong with a good September.  I think he rebounds somewhat this year, probably not to his 2006-2007 numbers, but enough put him among the top 30 pitchers.

Best Pick: Kevin Slowey

I really like Slowey, and I think people look at the 3.99 ERA and don’t realize how good he actually was last year.  He’s a control artist who can still give you good strikeout numbers, and he had a better BB/9 ratio than everyone except Greg Maddux last year.  He’ll be 25 this year and I think he’s going to be at least a top-25 pitcher in 2009.

Worst Pick: Brandon Morrow

Morrow has talent, but I don’t think he’s going to show that talent as a starter, at least not based on his 2008 splits.  He was amazing as a reliever, with a miniscule 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 rate of 11.43, but those numbers dropped 1.46 and 9.00 in his 5 starts last year.  I’m not certain that he’s best suited as a starter, and I can’t advocate taking him over pitchers such as Harang and Slowey.  Though this news wasn’t available at the time of the draft, it looks like Morrow is suffering from a sore elbow and might miss the start of the season.  I can’t penalize Tim for not being aware of this when he picked Morrow since it hadn’t been reported yet, but it does represent some of the risk that comes with drafting starters who are converting from relief.

Round Eleven

1. Chad Qualls            Dissect Yourself

2. Jose Gullen              Orc Mischief

3. Jeff Francoeur         Order of the Phoenix

4. Chase Headley        Butt Admirals

5. Hiroki Kuroda         Summer Fox

6. Travis Hafner          Tossers

7. John Danks             Screaming Lemurs

8. Edwin Encarnacion The $5 Footlongs

9. Randy Johnson       Naterade

10. Gavin Floyd          The Balls

11. Melvin Mora         Adrian's Revenge

12. Jose Arredondo     Macafey

Comments: Edwin Encarnacion was a solid pick by Jonathan this round, and it threw me off as I had to scramble to find someone to fill my CI spot.  I ended up taking Mora, but I should have taken Mike Jacobs.  Kuroda is a good pitcher, and Rogstad made a good choice taking him here.  Qualls looks like he could be a solid choice for saves this year.  I’m not a Chase Headley fan, but I think he’ll have numbers comparable to JD Drew and Francoeur, but with a bit more upside.  Speaking of Francoeur, I’m not really certain what happened to him last year, but he’s young enough to bounce back.  I don’t think he hits .290 with 30 HR, but he should improve on last year’s numbers.  Jose Arredondo won’t be the closer to start the season, but he has a lot of talent and could quickly replace Brian Fuentes if Fuentes falters or is hurt. 

Best Pick: Randy Johnson

I think Johnson has one more season left in the tank.  At the very least he gives you great strikeout totals, and he’ll be moving to a much more pitcher-friendly park this year.  I think Johnson will slip into the top 30 pitchers by the end of the season.

Worst Pick: Gavin Floyd

I think this was a bad pick considering the pitchers that went in the next couple of rounds.  Floyd had great win totals last year, but he gives up too many walks and too many home runs.  That’s a bad combination for a pitcher to have.  I think Brubaker was seduced by his Wins and ERA in 2008, but I don’t think Floyd will be that pitcher in 2009.

Round Twelve

1. George Sherrill        Macafey

2. Gil Meche               Adrian's Revenge

3. Shin-Soo Choo        The Balls

4. Jered Weaver          Naterade

5. Chris Ray                The $5 Footlongs

6. Johnny Cueto          Screaming Lemurs

7. Mark Buehrle          Tossers

8. Jamie Moyer            Summer Fox

9. Elvis Andrus           Butt Admirals

10. Matt LaPorta         Order of the Phoenix

11. Fernando Rodney Orc Mischief

12. JD Drew                Dissect Yourself

Comments: I was happy to take Meche in this round; he’s underrated because of the team he plays for, but he won 14 games for them to go with 183 strikeouts.  He made up for a poor first month by never having an ERA over 3.65 the rest of the season.  George Sherrill was named the Orioles’ closer last week, but Chris Ray will be ready to step in if he blows it.  I have no idea who will have more saves, but I’m leaning towards Sherrill right now since he’s the manager’s choice to close.  Andrus is very young and will probably be inconsistent, but he can run and should chip in 20 steals if he gets a full season’s worth of playing time.  LaPorta is a solid minor-league prospect, but it seems that Mark will have to wait a little while for him to be promoted.  Rodney could be the Tigers’ closer this season, but it seems just as likely that it could be Brandon Lyon. 

Best Pick: Johnny Cueto

I wanted to get Cueto, but he probably wasn’t going to last another round.  Cueto had a rough first season in 2008, causing this once-hyped prospect’s draft stock to fall, but he still has the skills he showed in the minors and I think he’ll improve on last year’s numbers in his second time around.  Cueto had a great K/9 rate last year, and I think he just needs some more major league experience to season his ability.  Remember, he’s only 23.

Worst Pick: Jamie Moyer

Moyer has had a long and successful career, but does anyone really expect him to win 16 games again?  He doesn’t strike anyone out, and last year’s ERA of 3.71 was the first time he’s had an ERA under 4.00 since 2003.  I’m not saying Moyer doesn’t have value, but there were better pitchers available.

Check back tomorrow for our third and final installment in our league's draft analysis.  





Ben P said...

I can sum up this installation in three words:

I Owned Everybody.

There was some indication before the draft that Morrow was hurting, but I think a lot of us are going to get zero value out of guys because we drafted so early and guys get hurt or demoted or what have you.

I think my big loser was the Chris Perez pick. Motte and Ryan Franklin seem to have the edge over him right now.

Ben Westrup said...

Yeah, it is a bummer that we couldn't draft later than that. It seems like Chris Perez still has a fighting chance to get saves in St. Louis. They are usually pretty unconventional with their bullpen over there, so all three could get 10 saves each.

jon said...

ben wtf, you ended both of your draft analysis installments ragging on my picks

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