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2014 Fantasy Baseball: FSWA Expert Draft – Team Recap (Part Two)

brett gardner
Photo Credit: NJNetFan

During a draft, you must plan ahead and acquire the right pieces to build a winning team. There are times when you go in with a plan, and for one reason or another, that plan changes. The idea is to look at this draft in hopes to apply it to others. Not so much the results, but the way we go about making our decisions.

Yesterday, I published part one of my FSWA fantasy baseball 12-team draft experience. Be sure to check it out for my thoughts and selections, as well as the league settings. If you remember, we left off with my team needing help in the middle infield and address my stolen bases. I also needed to fill out the rest of my starting staff and ensure I feel comfortable with my closer situation. The overall plan was to build a strong team in the OBP and SLG categories (no HR), while being conscious of all the counting stats, keeping tabs on my steals and saves, and selecting high strikeout pitching.

My team after 12 rounds:

C- Joe Mauer                                                    P- Gerrit Cole
C- Jason Castro                                                P- Alex Cobb
1B- Paul Goldschmidt                                     P- Glen Perkins
2B-                                                                     P- Danny Salazar
SS-
3B- Adrian Beltre
CI- Brandon Belt
MI-
OF- Justin Upton
OF- Yasiel Puig
OF- Jayson Werth
OF-
OF-
UTIL-

Let’s proceed with discussing rounds 13 through 28 and see how everything turns out.

ROUND 13

145

Brett Lawrie, Tor 3B

ESPN Becquey

146

Coco Crisp, Oak OF

Jason Collette

147

Sonny Gray, Oak SP

Greg Jewett

148

Will Venable, SD OF

Mike Wollschlager

149

CC Sabathia, NYY SP

Nick Raducanu

150

Francisco Liriano, Pit SP

Jonathan Stulberg

151

Patrick Corbin, Ari SP

Renee Miller

152

Jed Lowrie, Oak SS  

Rich Migliorisi

153

Andrelton Simmons, Atl SS

Mead Loop

154

Curtis Granderson, NYM OF

Michael Florio

155

Steve Cishek, Mia RP

Michael Rathburn

156

Jon Lester, Bos SP

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 14

157

Ernesto Frieri, LAA RP

Dennis Farrell

158

Casey Janssen, Tor RP

Michael Rathburn

159

Jonathan Papelbon, Phi RP

Michael Florio

160

Jim Johnson, Oak RP

Mead Loop

161

Jim Henderson, Mil RP  

Rich Migliorisi

162

Jason Grilli, Pit RP

Renee Miller

163

Alexei Ramirez, CWS SS

Jonathan Stulberg

164

Kris Medlen, Atl SP

Nick Raducanu

165

Tony Cingrani, Cin SP

Mike Wollschlager

166

Leonys Martin, Tex OF

Greg Jewett

167

Grant Balfour, TB RP

Jason Collette

168

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle SS

ESPN Becquey

The Plan:

Draft a middle infielder. Watch the closer situation.

Initial Round Thirteen Targets: Jed Lowrie/Brad Miller

Initial Round Fourteen Targets: Ernesto Frieri

Results: Jed Lowrie, Jim Henderson

And I finally select my first middle infielder. I love Brad Miller, but I had my reasons to go with Lowrie in this spot. One, I believe Lowrie (when healthy) is a better fit for my team. He is eligible at both shortstop and second base, which is a definite plus, since I lacked both positions coming into this round. If Lowrie stays healthy, he should be a top-12 shortstop. Another reason was that I believed Miller could come back around to me.

That closer run finally did happen and I took Henderson as my second RP, missing out on Frieri. I considered Grilli, but I worry about his health and he lost some velocity last season when he came back from his injury.

Surprising Selections: CC Sabathia, Kris Medlen

Again, this comes down to preference, but I can’t expect Sabathia to outperform Cingrani, Masterson, and even Lester. Injury risk Johnny Cueto is still on the board, as well as Hiroki Kuroda. Believing in a modest bounce back is fine, but the timing is what’s most surprising.

Medlen was a serious red flag entering the draft and again, not sure he should be taken before the likes of Cingrani. It now appears he will be undergoing a second Tommy John surgery.

ROUND 15

169

Justin Masterson, Cle SP

ESPN Becquey

170

Brad Miller, Sea SS

Jason Collette

171

Addison Reed, Ari RP

Greg Jewett

172

Alfonso Soriano, NYY OF

Mike Wollschlager

173

Rafael Soriano, Wsh RP

Nick Raducanu

174

Evan Gattis, Atl C

Jonathan Stulberg

175

Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SP

Renee Miller

176

Brett Gardner, NYY OF  

Rich Migliorisi

177

Nelson Cruz, Bal OF

Mead Loop

178

Zack Wheeler, NYM SP

Michael Florio

179

Christian Yelich, Mia OF

Michael Rathburn

180

Johnny Cueto, Cin SP

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 16

181

Clay Buchholz, Bos SP

Dennis Farrell

182

C.J. Wilson, LAA SP

Michael Rathburn

183

Fernando Rodney, Sea RP

Michael Florio

184

Adam Lind, Tor 1B

Mead Loop

185

Chris Archer, TB SP  

Rich Migliorisi

186

Jurickson Profar, Tex 2B

Renee Miller

187

Josh Reddick, Oak OF

Jonathan Stulberg

188

Torii Hunter, Det OF

Nick Raducanu

189

Mark Teixeira, NYY 1B

Mike Wollschlager

190

Jedd Gyorko, SD 2B

Greg Jewett

191

Matt Garza, Mil SP

Jason Collette

192

Khris Davis, Mil OF

ESPN Becquey


The Plan:

Look at acquiring another middle infielder or outfielder with steals in mind. Target a starter.

Initial Round Fifteen Targets: Brad Miller/Brett Gardner

Initial Round Sixteen Targets: Chris Archer/Khris Davis

Results: Brett Gardner, Chris Archer

The plan is becoming more and more need and player specific as each round passes. Although I am always trying to maximize value, the middle to late rounds give us an opportunity to land players we may be slightly higher on than others. When we do this, however, we still need to keep our team needs in mind, as well as not to completely over reach (you don’t want to lose too much value). Brad Miller fit this scenario, but he was unfortunately taken a few picks before my selection. Brett Gardner was plan B, and he also happened to fit this scenario.

If you picked up our wonderful draft guide (and we hope you did – need to pay da bills), Gardner can be a nice alternative to his teammate Jacoby Ellsbury. I was ripped for the pick in another league (took him about 20 picks earlier than this selection in a 15-teamer) for reaching, but I disagree. When you get to the later stages of a draft, it isn’t a terrible thing to take a player you believe helps round out your team, 10-20 picks earlier than the ADP would otherwise indicate. Gardner doesn’t hurt my OBP, but he should give me 30+ steals and may not even be too harmful to my slugging percentage.

If you are wrong on a player at this point, the thorn in your side is much less sharp compared to the earlier rounds. If you are incorrect in the fifth round on a player such as Billy Hamilton, it may very well sink your season. An early selection that fails could cost you in a number of ways. One, you missed out on a better player in that particular round. Two, you tend to build around your earlier picks, so if you happen to be wrong, your foundation may start to crack. In Hamilton’s case, if you draft him, you are likely going to depend on him to carry you in the stolen bases, but if he fails, you may end up tanking that category. His bust rate is too high for where he was selected. There were safer alternatives and you could select speedsters much later in the draft. The other issue is it becomes difficult to cut bait, preventing you from making the proper roster decisions.

As for my next selection, I am happy to land Chris Archer. I am a believer. Keep cutting that walk rate buddy. You could argue that A.J. Burnett was the better pitching choice, but I felt he could have made it back to me by my next draft choice. Garza was also considered, but he may have trouble staying healthy again and his K-rate has been declining.

Surprising Selections: Rafael Soriano

Surprising may not be the right word for this selection, but there are some major red flags with Soriano and I am staying away. You can always take issue with some picks here and there in a draft, but we are approaching the point where there will be less and less surprises.

ROUND 17

193

Bobby Parnell, NYM RP

ESPN Becquey

194

John Axford, Cle RP

Jason Collette

195

Huston Street, SD RP

Greg Jewett

196

Austin Jackson, Det OF

Mike Wollschlager

197

A.J. Burnett, Phi SP

Nick Raducanu

198

Corey Hart, Sea 1B

Jonathan Stulberg

199

Drew Smyly, Det RP

Renee Miller

200

Nate Jones, CWS RP  

Rich Migliorisi

201

Will Middlebrooks, Bos 3B

Mead Loop

202

Norichika Aoki, KC OF

Michael Florio

203

Nolan Arenado, Col 3B

Michael Rathburn

204

Brian Dozier, Min 2B

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 18

205

Neftali Feliz, Tex RP

Dennis Farrell

206

Michael Bourn, Cle OF

Michael Rathburn

207

Rex Brothers, Col RP

Michael Florio

208

Carl Crawford, LAD OF

Mead Loop

209

Adam Eaton, CWS OF  

Rich Migliorisi

210

B.J. Upton, Atl OF

Renee Miller

211

Lance Lynn, StL SP

Jonathan Stulberg

212

Nick Swisher, Cle 1B

Nick Raducanu

213

Jarrod Parker, Oak SP

Mike Wollschlager

214

Dexter Fowler, Hou OF

Greg Jewett

215

Anthony Rendon, Wsh 2B

Jason Collette

216

Alejandro De Aza, CWS OF

ESPN Becquey

The Plan:

Keep an eye on the closers and pounce on another if it gets thin. Target the best available starter or speedster.

Initial Round Seventeen Targets: Bobby Parnell/Nate Jones

Initial Round Eighteen Targets: Brian Dozier/A.J. Burnett/Adam Eaton

Results: Nate Jones, Adam Eaton

Once three more closers went off the board in front of me, I thought it would be wise to try and pick up a third closer in this spot. Now, he hasn’t locked up the job just yet, but it really does seem inevitable.

As for my second pick, I partially regret it. I feel Eaton could develop into a solid 4th fantasy outfielder in this format (he would be 5th on my team), but Anthony Rendon may have been a better selection in that spot. I lack a middle infield outside of Lowrie, so it would have made sense to snatch up Rendon. Even Swisher may have been better. Again, I was too focused on speed and got tunnel vision.

Regret.

Surprising Selections: Adam Eaton.

Sigh.

ROUND 19

217

Colby Rasmus, Tor OF

ESPN Becquey

218

Marco Estrada, Mil SP

Jason Collette

219

Chris Carter, Hou 1B

Greg Jewett

220

Tommy Hunter, Bal RP

Mike Wollschlager

221

Jose Veras, ChC RP

Nick Raducanu

222

Angel Pagan, SF OF

Jonathan Stulberg

223

Chris Tillman, Bal SP

Renee Miller

224

Corey Kluber, Cle SP  

Rich Migliorisi

225

A.J. Pierzynski, Bos C

Mead Loop

226

Ryan Howard, Phi 1B

Michael Florio

227

Yan Gomes, Cle C

Michael Rathburn

228

David Freese, LAA 3B

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 20

229

Tim Lincecum, SF SP

Dennis Farrell

230

Kyle Lohse, Mil SP

Michael Rathburn

231

Ervin Santana, FA SP

Michael Florio

232

Rick Porcello, Det SP

Mead Loop

233

Ben Revere, Phi OF  

Rich Migliorisi

234

Michael Brantley, Cle OF

Renee Miller

235

Dan Straily, Oak SP

Jonathan Stulberg

236

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mia C

Nick Raducanu

237

Russell Martin, Pit C

Mike Wollschlager

238

Devin Mesoraco, Cin C

Greg Jewett

239

Scott Kazmir, Oak SP

Jason Collette

240

George Springer, Hou OF

ESPN Becquey

The Plan:

Punt my middle infield and acquire another starter and lock up some more steals for a possible future trade.

Initial Round Nineteenth Targets: Corey Kluber

Initial Round Twentieth Targets: Ben Revere

Results: Corey Kluber, Ben Revere

I’m part of the World Kluber Friendship Society. I think he can deliver K’s with a high three ERA and a decent enough WHIP. If he didn’t get hurt last season, his ADP would likely be higher. He can certainly make strides off of last season, but even if he doesn’t change too much, he can still provide value here.

Once I realized how much more I botched my infield situation, I decided to lock up stolen bases via another outfielder. Yes, this makes my Eaton selection look even worse, but I am not going to compound the mistake my passing on Revere. This is a daily league, allowing me to carefully watch the standings. If my SLG begins to slip, I will be sure to bench my weaker SLG players, in this case, Revere. I should have enough stolen bases, so I can trade one of the three if need be.

My team after 20 rounds:

C- Joe Mauer                                                     P- Gerrit Cole
C- Jason Castro                                                 P- Alex Cobb
1B- Paul Goldschmidt                                     P- Glen Perkins
2B-                                                                       P- Danny Salazar
SS- Jed Lowrie                                                  P- Jim Henderson
3B- Adrian Beltre                                              P- Chris Archer
CI- Brandon Belt                                               P- Nate Jones
MI-                                                                       P- Corey Kluber
OF- Justin Upton
OF- Yasiel Puig
OF- Jayson Werth
OF- Brett Gardner
OF- Adam Eaton
UTIL- Ben Revere

ROUND 21

241

Justin Morneau, Col 1B

ESPN Becquey

242

Erick Aybar, LAA SS

Jason Collette

243

Dan Haren, LAD SP

Greg Jewett

244

Travis d’Arnaud, NYM C

Mike Wollschlager

245

Jonathan Villar, Hou SS

Nick Raducanu

246

Nick Markakis, Bal OF

Jonathan Stulberg

247

Danny Farquhar, Sea RP

Renee Miller

248

Omar Infante, KC 2B  

Rich Migliorisi

249

Rajai Davis, Det OF

Mead Loop

250

Taijuan Walker, Sea SP

Michael Florio

251

Howie Kendrick, LAA 2B

Michael Rathburn

252

Melky Cabrera, Tor OF

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 22

253

Derek Jeter, NYY SS

Dennis Farrell

254

Josh Johnson, SD SP

Michael Rathburn

255

Marlon Byrd, Phi OF

Michael Florio

256

Ian Kennedy, SD SP

Mead Loop

257

Neil Walker, Pit 2B  

Rich Migliorisi

258

Michael Saunders, Sea OF

Renee Miller

259

John Lackey, Bos SP

Jonathan Stulberg

260

LaTroy Hawkins, Col RP

Nick Raducanu

261

Joakim Soria, Tex RP

Mike Wollschlager

262

Justin Ruggiano, ChC OF

Greg Jewett

263

Chad Qualls, Hou RP

Jason Collette

264

Oscar Taveras, StL OF

ESPN Becquey

 

The Plan:

Draft the best remaining middle infielders, keeping in mind OBP/SLG

Initial Round Twenty-First Targets: Omar Infante

Initial Round Twenty-Second Targets: Neil Walker

Results: Omar Infante, Neil Walker

Oddly enough, this selection order should be reversed. I was fortunate to land Walker, who should have the better season between he and Infante. Walker is actually a pretty good value here, so hopefully my team won’t be in dire need of much more infield help.

If I wasn’t so desperate at the MI position, I could have snatched up Josh Johnson. However, with the position getting thin, I couldn’t take the chance on not having starting caliber infielders.

ROUND 23

265

Dioner Navarro, Tor C

ESPN Becquey

266

Alex Avila, Det C

Jason Collette

267

Carlos Ruiz, Phi C

Greg Jewett

268

Joaquin Benoit, SD RP

Mike Wollschlager

269

John Jaso, Oak C

Nick Raducanu

270

Matt Joyce, TB OF

Jonathan Stulberg

271

Mike Zunino, Sea C

Renee Miller

272

Welington Castillo, ChC C  

Rich Migliorisi

273

Kole Calhoun, LAA OF

Mead Loop

274

Michael Pineda, NYY SP

Michael Florio

275

Nick Castellanos, Det OF

Michael Rathburn

276

Ubaldo Jimenez, Bal SP

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 24

277

Josh Willingham, Min OF

Dennis Farrell

278

Jesse Crain, Hou RP

Michael Rathburn

279

Jhonny Peralta, StL SS

Michael Florio

280

Brandon Beachy, Atl SP

Mead Loop

281

A.J. Griffin, Oak SP  

Rich Migliorisi

282

Avisail Garcia, CWS OF

Renee Miller

283

Yovani Gallardo, Mil SP

Jonathan Stulberg

284

Kendrys Morales, FA 1B

Nick Raducanu

285

Ryan Cook, Oak RP

Mike Wollschlager

286

Ivan Nova, NYY SP

Greg Jewett

287

Tyson Ross, SD SP

Jason Collette

288

Ricky Nolasco, Min SP

ESPN Becquey

The Plan:

Lock up a third catcher. Finish off my pitching staff.

Initial Round Twenty-Third Targets: John Jaso/Welington Castillo

Initial Round Twenty-Forth Targets: A.J. Griffin/Ivan Nova

Results: Welington Castillo, A.J. Griffin

In two-catcher leagues, I normally like to lock up a third starting catcher. I chose Griffin over Nova because of his home ballpark. Looking back, Tyson Ross may have been the better pick here just to see if he can hold the gains he made last season. If so, then wowza. At this point in the draft, it probably pays to find out.

ROUND 25

289

Wily Peralta, Mil SP

ESPN Becquey

290

Kelly Johnson, NYY OF

Jason Collette

291

Kevin Gausman, Bal RP

Greg Jewett

292

Jimmy Rollins, Phi SS

Mike Wollschlager

293

Junior Lake, ChC OF

Nick Raducanu

294

Adam LaRoche, Wsh 1B

Jonathan Stulberg

295

Alex Wood, Atl SP

Renee Miller

296

Stephen Drew, FA SS  

Rich Migliorisi

297

Eric Young Jr., NYM OF

Mead Loop

298

A.J. Ellis, LAD C

Michael Florio

299

Byron Buxton, Min OF

Michael Rathburn

300

Carlos Martinez, StL RP

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 26

301

Brian Roberts, NYY 2B

Dennis Farrell

302

Matt Davidson, CWS 3B

Michael Rathburn

303

Chris Young, NYM OF

Michael Florio

304

Jake Peavy, Bos SP

Mead Loop

305

Tyler Clippard, Wsh RP  

Rich Migliorisi

306

A.J. Pollock, Ari OF

Renee Miller

307

Cody Allen, Cle RP

Jonathan Stulberg

308

Gerardo Parra, Ari OF

Nick Raducanu

309

Bartolo Colon, NYM SP

Mike Wollschlager

310

Mark Melancon, Pit RP

Greg Jewett

311

Marcus Stroman, Tor RP

Jason Collette

312

Yordano Ventura, KC SP

ESPN Becquey

The Plan:

Find some future value. Acquire infield depth.

Initial Round Twenty-FifthTargets: Stephen Drew

Initial Round Twenty-Sixth Targets: Tyler Clippard/A.J Pollock

Results: Stephen Drew, Tyler Clippard

One of these days, Drew will sign a contract and join a team…hopefully in Major League Baseball. When he does, I will have another useful bat to play at shortstop. Not too spectacular, but serviceable.

I decided to go with Tyler Clippard because that is how little I believe in Rafael Soriano. The writing is on the wall. I’m not sure he lasts past June.

ROUND 27

313

Alexander Guerrero, LAD 2B

ESPN Becquey

314

Chris Johnson, Atl 3B

Jason Collette

315

Gregory Polanco, Pit OF

Greg Jewett

316

Justin Smoak, Sea 1B

Mike Wollschlager

317

Hector Santiago, LAA SP

Nick Raducanu

318

Trevor Plouffe, Min 3B

Jonathan Stulberg

319

Sergio Santos, Tor RP

Renee Miller

320

Andre Ethier, LAD OF  

Rich Migliorisi

321

Adam Dunn, CWS 1B

Mead Loop

322

Jonathon Niese, NYM SP

Michael Florio

323

Kelvin Herrera, KC RP

Michael Rathburn

324

Jacob Turner, Mia SP

Dennis Farrell

ROUND 28

325

Todd Frazier, Cin 3B

Dennis Farrell

326

Oswaldo Arcia, Min OF

Michael Rathburn

327

Dee Gordon, LAD SS

Michael Florio

328

Heath Bell, TB RP

Mead Loop

329

Carlos Quentin, SD OF  

Rich Migliorisi

330

Mike Moustakas, KC 3B

Renee Miller

331

Pedro Strop, ChC RP

Jonathan Stulberg

332

Dillon Gee, NYM SP

Nick Raducanu

333

Tim Hudson, SF SP

Mike Wollschlager

334

Yasmani Grandal, SD C

Greg Jewett

335

Jose Quintana, CWS SP

Jason Collette

336

David Hernandez, Ari RP

ESPN Becquey

The Plan:

Consider a third baseman. Try to find some a bat that can offer high SLG (and solid OBP), as well perhaps help in the counting stats.

Initial Round Twenty-Seventh Targets: Trevor Plouffe/Andre Ethier

Initial Round Twenty-Eighth Targets: Carlos Quentin

Results: Andre Ethier, Carlos Quentin

When Quentin is healthy, he will likely be in my starting lineup. He offers a nice OBP/SLG combo. I’m not sure how many at-bats he can give my team, but I would be thrilled with 400.

Andre Ethier gets hated on because of his contract, but if you use him against righties, you have yourself a pretty nice hitter.

DRAFT RESULTS

Final Roster:

C- Joe Mauer
C- Jason Castro
1B- Paul Goldschmidt
2B- Neil Walker
SS- Jed Lowrie
3B- Adrian Beltre
CI- Brandon Belt
MI- Omar Infante
OF- Justin Upton
OF- Yasiel Puig
OF- Jayson Werth
OF- Brett Gardner
OF- Adam Eaton
UTIL- Carlos Quentin
B- Ben Revere
B- Stephen Drew
B- Welington Castillo
B- Andre Ethier

P- Gerrit Cole
P- Alex Cobb
P- Danny Salazar
P- Chris Archer
P- Corey Kluber
P- A.J. Griffin
P- Glen Perkins
P- Jim Henderson
P- Nate Jones
B- Tyler Clippard

Final Thoughts:

My favorite pick was Joe Mauer in the 5th round (pick 56). I usually don’t draft catchers so high, but I think he was of great value in that spot. I feel I got a pretty good deal on Alex Cobb (pick 104) as well. One other selection that could really work out is Yaseil Puig. There is some risk, but at pick 41, it seems like I paid a lot closer to his floor price. If he comes close to his upside this season, he would likely be a top-20 player, perhaps higher.

I think Walker and Lowrie can do well as my primary middle infielders. I don’t love it, but they should be solid. I like the upside of my pitching and the strikeouts they should deliver. There is some concern with relying on pitchers so young, but I don’t believe I overpaid for any of them.

Despite a few mistakes, I think the draft turned out fairly well for my team. I think I can compete for a title.

As usual, health is key.

I hope these recaps were helpful and gave you a better sense of how to work through a draft.

I would love to hear what you guys think in the comments. You can also hit me up on Twitter @Rich_Migs.

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2 Comments

  1. costaricanchata
    March 14, 2014 at 1:41 am — Reply

    nice article .
    liked hearing about your thoughts and your plans .
    feel your team would have been better served @ 176
    with gyorko instead of gardner .
    a little surprised to see last year’s nl stolen base champ
    last until pick # 297 .

    • March 17, 2014 at 11:03 am — Reply

      Thanks for the compliments.

      Fair point on Gyorko. But at the time I was worried too much about his OBP. If things break right, he can give me .330 in that department, but it could also end up in the low 300’s. Plus he has plenty of HR power, but the league doesn’t count HRs, so someone like Lowrie could give me similar SLG%. And it is also a redraft league, not a keeper league.

      I do happen to like Gyorko a lot, however. In 5×5 leagues, he is in my top-5 for the second base position. Maybe just based on that belief, I should have snatched him up. I do like Gardner’s OBP potential however.

      I think as the draft went along, more managers became concerned about OBP and SLG, which was the reason for some slips with SB type players.

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