Thursday, July 2, 2009

Revisiting the First Round

Since we are halfway through the 2009 season, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the first round of our draft. With such a long season, it can be easy for fantasy owners to forget what their strategies were and the players they had pegged as "can't miss" picks heading into the draft. It's possible that in looking back at our draft moves, we can learn from our successes and mistakes and apply those lessons to future drafts. Let's take a look back at that first round.

For those who aren't in our league and find themselves confused by the lack of fantasy studs such as Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, and David Wright in this round, this is a 12-team H2H keeper league in which we are able to keep seven players each year without any restrictions. I will list each owner's place in the league standings and their pick, along with the player's current stats and Yahoo ranking. (Stats listed in BA/Runs/HR/RBI/SB and Wins/Saves/K's/WHIP/ERA formats.) Click here if you would like to read the original post along with some of the opinions of the other owners in the league.

1. Dissect Yourself (4th)
Chris Davis (1B/3B)
Stats: .203/31/15/33/0
Yahoo Ranking: 466
It's hard not to take a 23-year-old player who hits .285 with 17 HR in 80 games during their major league debut, but Davis has been very disappointing this year. The power is there, but the average is a killer. With Justin Smoak crushing the ball in the minors, there's a possibility that Davis's future playing time may be in question, and Micah may be wishing that he had taken Alexei Ramirez or Kevin Youkilis instead.

2. Orc Mischief (7th)
Alexei Ramirez (2B/SS/OF)
Stats: .272/36/10/39/12
Yahoo Ranking: 113
The Cuban Missile was looking like a bust after a horrendous April, but he's turned things around to hit .282 over the past two months, including 7 HR in June. He's on pace to outdo most of last year's numbers, especially in steals, and he should be one of a handful of second basemen to reach the 20/20 level. Clint should be happy with how this pick has turned out for him.

3. Order of the Phoenix (12th)
Francisco Liriano (SP)
Stats: 4/0/80/5.62/1.52
Yahoo Ranking: 1283
Though Chris Davis hasn't produced at the level that many expected of him, he's not nearly the bust that Francisco Liriano has been. Davis will only hurt you in one category each week, while Liriano has hurt owners in WHIP and ERA all season long. The strikeout numbers are nice, but Liriano has been far worse than I or anyone else expected. Liriano's season did improve in June when he posted a 3.77 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in five starts, a small hook to hang your hopes on for a midseason turnaround, but I'm pretty sure that Mark would rather have had Yovani Gallardo instead.

4. Butt Admirals (6th)
Brad Lidge (RP)
Stats: 0/14/28/7.57/1.94
Yahoo Ranking: 906
Brad Lidge is on pace to get to 28 Saves this year, but he's been anything but lights out and I wouldn't bet on him getting there. He's missed time due to injury but he hasn't been that effective when healthy, and I'm not sure how secure his hold is on the Phillies' closer role. It's possible that they may use his injury woes in order to DL him as a roundabout way of demoting him without the public humiliation if he doesn't turn things around. Kimball was counting on Lidge to anchor his bullpen, but Lidge has been anything but, and I'm sure that Kimball would like to have this pick back.

5. Summer Fox (10th)
Kevin Youkilis (1B/3B)
Stats: .314/49/14/47/4
Yahoo Ranking: 40
Our first player to find themselves ranked in the top 100, Youkilis has been a solid offensive contributor all across the board. A .300/100/30/100 season is within his reach, numbers which look very good compared to the rest of the hitters in our first round. Youkilis slumped in June, hitting .244, but he still managed to produce a .860 OPS. Rogstad should be very pleased with this pick.

6. Tossers (3rd)
Roy Oswalt (SP)
Stats: 4/0/83/4.02/1.30
Yahoo Ranking: 781
Roy Oswalt has not been his usual dominating self this season. If the season ended today, this would be the worst ERA and the second-worst WHIP of his career. Oswalt has been having problems with the long ball and free passes, which can kill any momentum that a pitcher has in a game. Oswalt did have a stellar June with 2 CG, a 3.14 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP, and he has been more of a second-half pitcher the past two years, so there is hope that he can regain his past dominance. Still, I think Troost wishes he could have this pick back.

7. Screaming Lemurs (5th)
Adam Dunn (1B/OF)
Stats: .260/36/20/56/0
Yahoo Ranking: 76
Adam Dunn is Mr. Consistent. He's on pace for his fifth straight season of 40 HR and I bet he gets it. His average is better than it has been in recent years thanks to a hot April, but even if he hits .235 the rest of the way, it's palatable thanks to his power output. Ben P. wanted a power hitter and he got him. I don't think there's any regret with this pick.

8. The $5 Footlongs! (1st)
Rafael Furcal (SS)
Stats: .240/35/3/17/4
Yahoo Ranking: 665
I originally thought that Furcal was the best pick this round, as I thought that he was going to rebound to previous years' numbers of 30 steals and double-digit HR. I was very wrong about that. Furcal has been bad all year and his batting average appears to be in decline. Furcal's poor performance has him ranked behind quite a few shortstops this year, and I'm pretty sure that Jonathan would like a redo on this pick.

9. Naterade (2nd)
Robinson Cano (2B)
Stats: .300/49/12/42/4
Yahoo Ranking: 62
After a very hot start in April, Naterade used Cano as part of a package to get Mark Teixiera. Cano hasn't been quite as hot the past two months, hitting .271, but he is on pace to set career-highs in HR, Runs, and RBI. This isn't any concern of Nate's since he doesn't have Cano anymore, but I think he's fine with that pick since it got him Teixiera.

10. The Balls (11th)
Aubrey Huff (1B/3B)
Stats: .270/33/10/52/0
Yahoo Ranking: 149
Aubrey Huff has been a solid source for RBI this season, but his other offensive totals leave much to be desired. Huff is hitting .270 after hitting .304 and .280 the past two years, and Brubaker probably isn't happy with the 20-HR pace Huff's on right now since he thought he was getting the 30-HR hitter from 2008. Huff raised his average by hitting .291 in June, but his power numbers are on a downward trend. This is a disappointing performance for Brubaker, who was hoping to get a power hitter with his first pick. Huff hasn't been terrible due to his RBI's, but Bru did a lot better with his second pick, Jermaine Dye.

11. Adrian's Revenge (9th)
Magglio Ordonez (OF)
Stats: .260/29/3/24/3
Yahoo Ranking: 592
Magglio Ordonez has been a giant disappointment for me and the Tigers, and he's ridden the bench at times for both our teams. With the second-to-last-pick in the first round, I knew that all of the players with upside would be taken, so I wanted to get a dependable veteran bat. I wavered between picking Ordonez and Dye, but ultimately I went with Ordonez. I knew that he wouldn't hit more than 20 HR this year, but I reasoned that he was a solid hitter who could help my team by hitting .300 and driving in 100 RBI. Ordonez did hit .315 in May, but he also hit .235 in the other two months. In retrospect, I should have picked Dye.

12. Macafey (8th)
Matt Wieters (C)
Stats: .247/8/2/7/0
Yahoo Ranking: 978
I didn't like this pick when Tim made it because he already had a young catcher on his team named Geovany Soto. Tim reasoned that he could always trade one of them. Wieters has only been in the majors for a little over a month, and we can assume that he's still trying to figure out major-league pitching, but so far the returns on this pick have been small and Tim has yet to move one of his catchers. This was a pick towards the future and it's hard to make judgement on it yet with such a small sample size.

In looking back at our first round, most of us did poorly with our picks. Only three are currently ranked in the top 100 fantasy players, and quite a few aren't even ranked in the top 300. It would be interesting to look back at our drafts from previous years and compare them to this one, in order to see if this year was a fluke or if we really aren't good judges of fantasy talent, but I'm too lazy to do that work. One thing I do believe is that things can change from half to half, and we could be looking at this round very differently at the end of the season than from how we view it today. Maybe the first round isn't as important as we believe it to be, and it could be that your best hope is to get a player that won't hurt you as you build your team's strengths from the middle rounds of the draft. Next year I'm going to just throw a dart at a player list and see what comes up.


micah said...

Couldn't agree with you more about my first pick. I am soooo disappointed in Chris Davis this year. I am actually shocked that he still gets to play everyday. If this weren't a keeper league i'd drop him in a heartbeat. Should've gone with Youk. I hate his goatee tho...

micah said...

Looks like I win the award for, which first rounder will get sent to AAA first. Shit. And they called up Smoak from AA so now Davis and Smoak are competing for the promotion. And everybody knows what Davis is good at. Don't worry Mark Reynolds, your K record is safe...