Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why Not Rely On Some Devil Rays?

A Saturday ago I drafted my first and only Fantasy Baseball team for the upcoming season. I, along with 11 others, will be apart of "Show & Tell W/ Sean Salisbury". Seal Clubbers is running the show and scheduled said draft for 5 P.M. eastern time. Until about 2-3 days before the draft I had forgotten all about it. I realize this is irresponsible on my part, but hey, shit happens. With that said I think it's obvious I had no real strategy for drafting my team at all. Instead I just woke myself up an hour or two before I probably would have. (I work midnights, thus I sleep days.) Came to my computer and entered the draft room a minute or two before my first pick. Looking at my team now I can't help but think I'm an idiot. Partially because I paid a little less attention to baseball's off-season than usual. I've been spending all of my free time with my mistress, March Madness. I'm not going to get into the fact that apparently the Braves are solid again, while Arizona and Milwaukee are division contenders. Never mind that let's get the debauchery that is my fantasy team.

I had the 9th pick of the opening round. When the time came just a few minutes removed from my slumber I debated between David Wright and Miguel Cabrera. In the end, I, of course, went with the Marlin. Drafting Cabrera as the cornerstone of my infield.

When my next pick rolled around #16 to be exact I finally landed a player I've wanted for years in Carl Crawford. My favorite Devil Ray will roam left field for this team.

It was a long wait after that and I began to wonder who I might get when pick 33 rolled around. To my surprise one of the best short stops in the league was sitting there, I quickly invited Michael Young onto the team bus.

When pick 40 came up a few moments after that I knew I had to take a pitcher. So I took my NL Cy Young favorite in Roy Oswalt.

The next time the draft pendulum swung my way I picked up Carlos Delgado(57) and John Smoltz(64) to guys I consider reliable. While Delgado isn't necessarily a top tier first basemen he has a lot of protection in the Mets lineup and should produce as usual.

At pick 81 I took my first closer with Huston Street. He should be solid if he can avoid injury and I'm as confident as one can be that he will stay healthy.

My next two picks had me laughing out loud, thankfully without the clever (HA!) online acronym staring me in the face. At pick 88 I went with Scott Kazmir who's fragile body could let me down. But he's got great stuff if his team could back him for once. At 105 I decided to take my first leap of the draft with Delmon Young. While I think Young has the potential to be great he also gave me my official team name. "TossMeTheBatDelmon!" I wanted it to be "Throw Me The Bat Delmon!" but its to many characters for Yahoo! to handle apparently. I wasn't sure what to think at this point having drafted THREE Devil Rays in the first nine rounds. Let alone back-to-back risks in Young and Kazmir.

I followed Young with a hometown favorite of mine (Who's first start I will be on hand to witness Thursday) in Justin Verlander. While I agree he may run into a sophomore slump and face some arm fatigue after last season. This was a leap I had to take as V as I like to refer to him as. Is one of my favorite players. Not to mention I didn't get Carlos Guillen so I have to have my other favorite Tiger, right?

Mike Cameron(129) and Ervin Santana(136) were the next to join my team. While I'm still iffy on the Cameron pick he had a decent year last year if I remember correctly. Santana doesn't strike out a lot of guys usually but he wins and I'll take that.

I decided to take the other half of the Rangers middle infield with Ian Kinsler(153) as my starting second basemen. While Paul Lo Duca(160) gets the honor of being my catcher for the second consecutive year. In Lo Duca's case I expect him to score a lot of runs which is enough. Kinsler should hit for average and I guess that will be enough. Wow. I'm going to finish last or close to it in this league.

Former Marlin AJ Burnett(177) was my next pick as I continued to put together a solid stable of starting pitchers. His injury past is a concern but when he's healthy he's usually good for 7-8 strikeouts a night. Mike Gonzalez(184) though is not the closer in Atlanta. I'll admit I knew that but took him anyway. Forgetting all about Rafael Soriano's presence in the bullpen in case of a Wickman breakdown. Gonzalez is a candidate for release as I need a second catcher.

After this I took one chance after another opting for youth and potential (bad idea) over reliable yet older (more fragile) guys. Below is the rest of my draft picks in order:

201. Stephen Drew
208. Willy Taveras (Has since been released in favor of Luke Scott as I had ZERO RF/LF backups outside of Victorino.)
225. Jhonny Peralta (Could be a steal!)
232. Adrian Gonzalez
249. Nate Robertson (Custom Oakley's anyone?)
256. Anibal Sanchez (Another reach, for sure.)
273. Edwin Encarnacion (He'll battle for the backup spot behind Cabrera.)
280. Shane Victorino (Could take Cameron's starting job.)
297. Nick Punto (One word: Versatility!)
304. Alex Gordon (Encarnacion's competition. Who I think will overtake him.)
321. Jason Jennings (He was solid in Coors. If he can avoid the short porch he'll be fine.)
328. Casey Kotchman (I think this is a steal in the 28th round. )
345. Chris B. Young ( Another ROY candidate on my roster.)
352. Luke Hochevar (Has been released in favor of Dustin Hermanson.)

So I need a backup catcher badly. Theres a good chance I'm going to be starving for saves with Street as my only reliable closer. Though Hermanson should be decent at least. I'm trying to drop Gonzalez for Solomon Torres but he apparently doesn't exist in the parallel universe that is Yahoo! Sports. I want to cut Punto but will then be without a backup 2B and that's not different than not having a catcher. Plus Punto has three position availability which is always nice.

In the end I anticipate my fantasy baseball season going over about as well as Delmon's bat toss did. Like a fart in a salon full of women. I tried to hold it back though. The youth movement that is.

UPDATE: Within minutes of posting this I found out the Reds had cut Dustin Hermanson. I picked up Ronny Paulino to fill the backup catcher spot.

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