Thursday, 18 March 2010

Fantasy Baseball - My First Ever Draft

So Tuesday the 16th of March was the night of my first ever fantasy baseball draft with some of the fine folks at the UK MLB Supporters forum ( I’ve played fantasy football (NFL) for a good few years now and finally made the jump into my first rotisserie league for Major League Baseball. I felt my draft was relatively successful, but time will tell how my team performs over the marathon that is the MLB season. So let’s take a look at the results; my mighty team for the 2010 season:


SP - Zack Greinke KC (2nd pick)
SP - Cliff Lee SEA (4th pick)
SP - Jake Peavy CHW (11th pick)
RP - Andrew Bailey OAK (8th pick)
RP - Ryan Franklin STL (14th pick)
RP - Scott Downs TOR (21st pick)
P - James Shields TB (13th pick)
P - Ted Lilly CHC (17th pick)
P - Kevin Slowey MIN (22nd pick)

Zack Greinke, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, is the jewel of my pitching crown. I’m quite pleased about grabbing him when I did; let’s just hope he has a similar season to last year. Cliff Lee and Jake Peavy (hoping to get some form back in Chicago) round out the rest of my starters, but if things go wrong I’m counting on Ted Lilly and James Shields to pick up some of the slack. Lee has just been suspended for the first 5 games of the season, so Shields might step in for him there as he’s projected to be the Ray’s number one guy this year. I’m particularly pleased with the addition of Bailey, who is undoubtedly the finest pitcher on the Oakland roster.


C – Jorge Posada NYY (16th pick)
C – Carlos Santana CLE (20th pick)
C – Bengie Molina SF (23rd pick)

As you can see, the catcher position was not one of my top priorities in the draft and I left it late to get someone. I’m hoping Posada, who is only in the Yankees’ starting lineup for his bat now, can take advantage of the hitter’s paradise that is the new Yankee Stadium. Santana was a homer pick, and I had to get the Indian’s top prospect before anyone else did. He won’t be called up to the bigs for a while but I’m saving him for later, when I'm hoping he can put up some good numbers. Molina is strictly a backup if we get hit by injuries.


1B – Kevin Youkilis BOS (3rd pick)
2B – Ben Zobrist TB (6th pick)
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera CLE (7th pick)
3B – Alex Rodriguez NYY (1st pick)
1B/3B – Michael Cuddyer MIN (12th pick)
2B/SS – J.J. Hardy MIN (18th pick)
DH – Hideki Matsui LAA (15th pick)

My first pick of the draft was the always powerful Mr Rodriquez, whose consistency and numbers didn’t give me any choice but to get him. If he stays healthy all year, he should put up better numbers than 2009, which wasn’t half bad. I took another homer pick with Asdrubal (currently my favourite Indians player) and I’m expecting him to have a solid year. Youkilis, as everyone knows, is an on-base machine and can play third base too, so he is expected to have another good season in Boston. The rest of my infield is pretty solid, but I’m intrigued by Zobrist who is a player I don’t know too much about but is ranked rather high amongst MLB second basemen.


OF – Shin-Soo Choo CLE (5th pick)
OF – Jay Bruce CIN (9th pick)
OF – Cody Ross FLA (10th pick)
OF – Marlon Byrd CHC (19th pick)
OF – Matt LaPorta CLE (24th pick)

Choo, who had a very successful 2009 season, is the key to my outfield. He should keep improving, and I fully expect him to be even better this year. Bruce and Ross are decent and should put up good numbers, and Byrd is a bit of an unknown quantity but is expected to start in the Cubbie’s outfield this year so he’ll get his chance to shine. LaPorta was my last pick of the draft, and not a bad pickup at all, as he’s expected to start at either 1B or LF for the Indians and so has a great opportunity to flash some of that potential we’ve all heard about.

So that is my team for 2010. No doubt there will be some chopping and changing throughout the season, as injuries and frustration (namely mine) takes its toll. Good luck to everyone else out there playing fantasy baseball this year; I’m just hoping my rookie season is respectable!

Thanks for reading.

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