Yesterday, the East Windup Chronicle Fantasy League conducted its draft. This was the largest and longest draft I've ever been a part of. The league has twenty members and the draft went for 22 rounds.
Just a quick recap of my team and where I think I currently stand in the league.
Catcher - Kenji Johjima, Seattle Mariners. I like Kenji and I wanted at least one of my guys to be of Asian decent. I worry about his lack of OBP, but I'm willing to sacrifice for some power production from my catcher. In a 20 man league, you need all the production you can get.
First base - Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays. I was thrilled to get Big Carlos. I missed out on Howard and Fielder in the first round and I was hoping Texiera would be around in the 2nd, he went a few picks before mine. So, I snapped up Carlos in the 3rd round.
Second Base - Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels. Another guy I was happy to get. I admit, I might've taken him a round or two early, but I was starting to get nervous after someone took a reach on Kelly Johnson. I think this is the year he puts together a full season.
Shortstop- Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies. After missing out on the thumpers in the first two rounds, I was faced with a decision at pick #27. I boiled it down to this, Justin Morneau, Tulo, Victor Martinez or Magglio. I went with the best IF available and took Pena in the 3rd round to get my thumper.
Third base- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays - This one is starting to worry me a little. He has all the talent in the world and he's having a great spring, but will he get the AB's during the 162 games that matter? I think so, but I have no idea what Rays management is thinking. He could be a steal or a bust. Guys like him are usually busts. I'll have to watch this one closely.
Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians. I missed out on the first round thumpers and Johan Santana went right in front of me. I chose to go with the guy that could help me in the most categories and took Grady.
Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox. That's right I get to watch Yer Main Guy! all year. He's a safe pick. You're getting, at minimum, 350. OBA 450 SLG with about 25 homers. He had an .803 OPS last year and that was a bad year. I think the Sox will surprise people.
Jason Kubel, Minnesota Twins. Another boom or bust pick. This is a guy that two years ago was about to put it together. Then he got hurt and lost 1 1/2 seasons to injury. Now he's healthy and protecting two of the best young hitters in the game. Big RBI potential and big suckage potential.
Utility guy - Ryan Garko. Is there any way he doesn't bang out 30 this year? He's a DH/1B in a potent lineup. I just see him as terribly underrated right now.
Bench- Asdrubal Cabrera, Nate Mclouth and Elijah Dukes. I wanted Lastings Milledge, but I waited too long. Elijah is worth taking a flyer on and he allows me to use words like "dawg, "dayum" and "biyatch," all year long when talking about fantasy baseball. Plus my team has instant street cred. A rep goes a long way in fantasy baseball. I like Asdrubal because he's got speed, a good bat and qualifies at two positions. I was a little upset that I waited too long on Yunel Escobar, he's going to be a beast. McClouth is a one and a half category guy. He's a stolen base machine(He's been caught stealing TWICE in over 700 ABs), plus he's adequate at getting on base. He'll surprise a lot of people this year.
My pitching staff...I wish I had more depth, but I think everyone in the league is saying that right now. My ace is Yovani Gallardo. I snagged him in the 7th round with pick 134. It sounds like he's fully recovered from his knee surgery and should be good to go by mid April. I also picked up Randy Johnson. I think the Unit still has something left in the tank. He's playing for a young and hungry Dbacks team and all the reports have been positive. I'm holding my breath with these two. If both pan out, Matt's a genius. If they both bomb I'll know it soon enough that I could do something about it. I also added Boof Bonser in the 15th(pick 294!). He's dropped the weight and sounds like a man on a mission to be more than just a painfully silly name. I also added Jon Garland and John Danks. I like Danks even though no one else does. Garland has at least two fans other than myself.
My bullpen I actually like. I grabbed a top a closer in the 4th round(pick 67). I'm the proud owner of K-Rod in a contract year. Awesome. I also added Troy Percival. Everyone likes the Rays this year. I've heard projections as high as 89 wins. If they do that, Percival will be a big part of it. Does anyone else think Troy is going to pitch for a ridiculous amount of time? I just get that vibe from him. Why take a job with the Rays for just one year. I could see him winning a World Series and retiring after throwing the last pitch or I could see him sticking around for another decade. Those are the only two options. For sentimental purposes and for practical purposes, I grabbed Flash Gordon. Flash! ah! Ah! King of the Impossible! He's "Lights Out" Lidge's setup guy in Philly. He'll be closing by May. I also added a grizzled vet(Mike Timlin) and a guy with a teriffic porn name and fastball(Joey Devine).
I like my team a lot on paper, but I don't remember anything being won on paper. My team needs some tweaking, but I think I'll be in the top ten come September.