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Did I have a good 2011 draft?

 | September 4, 2011 3:27 PM

Recently I posted about how poorly I drafted in 2010.  What has become a habit is every year I think I had a good draft but when I look back on it few months later I realize I had a bad one.

This year I am going to blog my initial thoughts about my 2011 draft.  And then in a few months I can look back and review it.

Round 1

Hanley Ramirez #2 SSUnlike last year when I intensely disliked my #6 slot this year I was quite pleased with my #2 slot.  Shortstop this season is incredibly shallow so I wanted either Hanley Ramirez or Troy Tulowitzki.  At #2 I knew I could get either of these guys or Pujols if the unexpected happened and he wasn’t drafted.

I used Fantistics to help me draft and it rated Tulowitzki higher than Hanley.  But 99% of every other fantasy baseball site rated Hanley higher.  In the end I had to go with Hanley, he’s more durable, he has a longer track record, he still has a lot of potential.

Tulowitzki ended up being drafted at #10 which I thought was a good price.  I thought Adrian Gonzalez being drafted at #4 and Carl Crawford at #5 was a bit too high.  Carlos Gonzalez at #14 seems like a good deal too.

Finally I am glad I did not have the #3 slot because Miguel Cabrera’s alcohol problems scare me.  He should be okay but I think if I had the #3 slot it would have taken me hours to decide whom to draft.

Round 2

Chase Utley #26 2BIn the second round I was expecting to get Dustin Pedroia to complete my middle infield.  However I was a bit surprised to see Chase Utley fall to me, my #1 pick from last year.  There are concerns about knee tendinitis which is keeping him out of spring training.  I hope he doesn’t become my 2010 Ian Kinsler.  In fact I hope he doesn’t become my 2010 Chase Utley.

Jose Bautista was the story of the second round.  He was taken early by the same team that took Troy Tulowitzki.  I had targeted him for the third round.  Though it was a bit early I think Jose will end up doing very well especially considering he qualifies at 3B and OF.

I thought Tim Lincecum and Kevin Youkilis were taken a little early and should have been taken in the third round.  But overall a pretty solid round.

One final note on this round was the run on 1B and 3B players.  I did not participate in it and I am not sure if that was a mistake.

Round 3

Justin Upton #10 RFIn the third round I was targeting Nelson Cruz or Adam Dunn but Dunn was taken just before I took Utley and Cruz was taken right after I took Utley.

I was thinking of taking Pedroia but decided I did not need another 2B.  Plus as of this writing I am hoping to get Aaron Hill as my second 2B.

I then considered these three outfielders, all who have the chance to be in the top 20.

  • Justin Upton
  • Jason Heyward
  • Andrew McCutchen

Different people have different opinions about whom to take.  I decided not to take Andrew McCutchen because I decided I did not need the speed since I already drafted speed in the first two rounds.  Also I thought he would be hitting leadoff but now it looks like he will be hitting third.

Jason Heyward is very attractive because of his great eye.  I gravitate towards players with strong plate discipline.  But in the end he just does not have a track record.

I ended up choosing Justin Upton because his 2009 was so great and he is still so young.  Also he will be hitting 3rd vs. Heyward hitting 2nd.

Rounds 4 – 5

In the fourth round I was planning on taking Justin Morneau and in the fifth round I was planning on taking a starter.  However Morneau was taken early in the fourth round.  Considering reports I read later about his still not being completely recovered from his concussion I am glad I did not.

I did consider Kendry Morales but was spooked by reports that he is still not putting full weight on his ankle.  I can just imagine the end of year reports saying Kendry Morales had a bad year because of his ankle.

I considered Billy Butler but thought it was far too early to take someone who hit 15 HR’s last season.  I considered a 3B but decided I could wait on them.  I considered an OF but the only one I wanted was Curtis Granderson and thought I could wait on him (he got drafted early in the sixth round who admitted he thought he was taking him early).

So against my better instincts I decided to take two starting pitchers. I considered six different starting pitchers who I considered could be top 10 starters.

  • Josh Johnson
  • Francisco Liriano
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Ubaldo Jimenez
  • Cole Hamels
  • Jered Weaver

I then made a spreadsheet where I recorded on a scale of 1 – 6 where they ranked on ESPN, The Fantasy Man, Razzball, Rotoprofessor, Fantasy Baseball Insiders, Roto Hardball, CBS, Fantistics, Yahoo! and Fangraphs.  Ubaldo and Josh Johnson were #1 followed very closely by Jered Weaver.  The next tier was Cole Hamels and Liriano.  Gallardo was the consensus worst.

Ubaldo’s second half scared me and I love Josh Johnson so I picked Josh.  Then I picked Jered Weaver though Cole Hamels profiled quite similarly.  I decided that if Cole Hamels was available in the 6th round I would take him.

Later I learned of Josh Johnson’s injury problems at the end of 2010.  I don’t know why I never knew about that before but when I read that I regretted not taking Weaver and Hamels instead of Josh and Weaver.

Rounds 6 – 7

I was targeting Aramis Ramirez for awhile as my next third basemen.  I was considering Mark Reynolds instead but his low average made me think he’d end up batting low in the lineup.  When I saw Hamels taken I took Aramis because there really weren’t any good third basemen left.

I was hoping to get Granderson in the 7th round but he was taken in the 6th.  I was wondering if I should have taken him earlier and forgot what a Yankee lover Mark is.  I ended up taking Delmon Young because he’s young and still has upside.

Rounds 8 – 9

At this point I unfortunately dropped out of HRBL.  It was a bad decision to have joined.  On the family side we were in the middle of selling our home and packing.  On the personal side I just had a bad fall and hurt my knee considerably.  On the business side I was over my head trying to incorporate.  It was an extremely stressful time and I realized I could not devote any more time to HRBL.

I regret tremendously causing turmoil for the league and so much trouble for the commissioner.  I wasted a lot of peoples’ time and energy because of my bad decision to join HRBL.

I was planning on drafting Carlos Quentin and Carlos Pena next.

Update 09-04-2011

I wrote most of this post during the draft.  Since I did not have time to finish the draft it is obvious that I would not have time to finish this post. Smile

Looking back now it was another disastrous draft for the Funky Kimchees.  Hanley Ramirez was the biggest bust of 2011.  Chase Utley came back sooner than I expected but was still a bust for a second rounder especially considering the depth at 2B this season.  Josh Johnson was fantastic for a few weeks and then was out the rest of the season.  Delmon Young was horrific.

Justin Upton and Jered Weaver were the shining stars of my draft and were almost good enough to overcome my other busts.

It would have been a large uphill battle to win HRBL in 2011 and I doubt I would have.  But considering that the team that I started is now in 3rd I think I would have finished top 4.


Now that is about time to start the 2011 fantasy baseball draft I thought I would look back on my 2010 draft.  Every season I have drafted poorly and unfortunately last season was no exception.  I actually thought I had a very good draft but a mix of bad luck and questionable valuations led to another failed draft.  Fortunately I still won the league. Smile

Position Scarcity Chart 2010

My 2010 Position Scarcity Chart – it wasn’t very good

Round 1

I disliked my #6 slot and tried to trade to a different position right until the draft started.  I thought having the #1 or #2 pick or a bottom pick would be optimal.  I really wanted Tim Lincecum but didn’t want to pay a high pick for him.  Or I was hoping to get Tulowitzki and Kinsler with my first two picks.

As it became my turn I agonized for hours about whether to take Utley or Lincecum.  I finally chose Utley and it turned out to be disastrous because:

  1. Utley had a major injury in 2010.
  2. When healthy Utley had a below average season.

Lincecum though would not have been that much better of a pick.  Though he was solid he was nothing compared to 2009.  And throughout the season I was able to find reliable free agent starters.

If I was to do it again I still would have taken Utley.  Everyone who gave me unsolicited advice told me to take Utley.  It was just bad luck he had such a poor season.

Round 2

I was targeting getting a shortstop, most likely Reyes, and was surprised when Kinsler fell to me.  One person sent me an IM saying it was a no-brainer.  I took Kinsler pretty quickly.  However Kinsler ended up having a disastrous 2010 for the same reasons that Utley did.

If I was to do it again I would have taken Kinsler again even with his injury history.

Round 3

I was hoping Reyes or Rollins would fall to me but they did not.  Jason Bay was by far the highest rated batter left.  I was concerned about his move to the NL and Citi Field but thought his five category potential was too much to ignore.

Immediately afterwards a Red Sox fan said that was a terrible pick and he turned out to be right.  I knew Bay would have less power but I did not expect 6 homeruns.  Also did not expect him to have a concussion that would wipe him out for the rest of the season but fortunately I had traded him at that point.

If I was to do it again I may have taken Ryan Zimmerman or Kevin Youkilis.  3B was shallow last year as it will be this year and I struggled for most of the season to fill my 3B slot.  My hope was that someone like Sandoval would be available in the 4th round.

Round 4

I was hoping there would be a good 3B available but when there wasn’t I took the next best player available in my opinion, Nelson Cruz.  This pick turned out to be decent.  Nelson Cruz was one of the best players per at bat.  However he only had 399 AB’s.

Round 5

I wanted to continue taking batters though at this point starters were looking like very good values.  I needed a 1B so I took Derrek Lee who was just awful.

Immediately after my pick I regretted it because I realized Brandon Phillips was still available.  A 2B with almost as much value as a 1B is much more valuable, even if I already had 2 2B already.  If I was to do it again I would have taken Brandon Phillips.

Someone suggested that I take Adam Wainwright.  I stupidly responded that I did  not believe in him.  If I had taken a starter I would have probably taken Javier Vazquez or Josh Beckett which would have been disastrous.

If Brandon Phillips wasn’t available and I was to do it again I would have taken Adam Wainwright.  Maybe this is a good round to take your first starter but you had better be sure he will be an ace.

Round 6

Continuing my strategy to only take batters I took Carlos Lee.  I was actually not that high on him, thinking he was kind of old.  However I did not expect him to be there in this round so I took him.

The person who had suggested Adam Wainwright to me in round 5 also suggested Carlos Lee.  He was not happy to see me take him in round 6 because he realized that if he had not said anything he might have grabbed him in round 6.

Regardless Carlos Lee was awful.  If I was to do it again I may have taken Josh Hamilton.  Obviously that is easy to say in hindsight but maybe for my 3rd OF I should be looking at upside.

Round 7

This was my last round to take a batter.  I took Hunter Pence and immediately after regretted it, wishing I had taken Bobby Abreu.  I consoled myself by the fact that Hunter Pence is much younger.

Turned out this was only my second good pick of my first seven.  However Abreu also had a pretty good season.

Round 8

Now I started taking starters.  It is interesting to note that soon after my pick a lot of closers began being taken.

I took Jake Peavy and overall he was bad.  He started turning around his season and then tore his shoulder.

I actually was eyeing Ubaldo Jiminez and Ricky Nolasco but they were taken just before my turn.

I had concerns about my #1 starter being someone injury prone and pitching in a small AL park.  Turns out I was right.

I am not sure what I could have done otherwise.  Maybe waiting this long to get a #1 starter was too long.  In hindsight I could say I should have taken Carlos Gonzalez but I had no idea.  Maybe I should have taken a closer.

Round 9

Stubbornly continuing with starters and ignoring closers I took John Lackey.  I didn’t love his move to the AL East but I trusted the Red Sox knew what they were doing in signing him.  Turns out I was wrong.  In fact I became so alarmed by his spring training numbers that I traded him before the season started for Brett Anderson.

If I was to do it again I think I would have taken a closer anticipating there would be a run, probably Brian Wilson.  But Brian Wilson was the last guy left in this tier and I think I would have preferred grabbing closers from the next tier.

Or I could have taken Brett Anderson so I wouldn’t have had to trade for him.

At this point the draft becomes really hard.

Round 10

Another starter, this time A.J. Burnett.  This was a case of my valuations overvaluing K’s and undervaluing WHIP.  I realized this mistake much later in the draft.

Not sure whom I would have taken instead.  Maybe Roy Oswalt.

Round 11

Roy Oswalt was probably my second best pick of the draft.  He became my ace and was phenomenal after he was traded to the Phillies.

Round 12

Ryan Dempster was my last starter and a decent pick.  His K’s were higher than expected but so were his BB’s.  A pretty decent #3 starter.

Rickie Weeks was taken in this round, probably one of the best picks of the draft.  However I would never have taken just because I already had two 2B.

Round 13

Geovany Soto had just been taken so I thought there would be a run on catchers.  I took Russell Martin who was horrible.

This was in the midst of the second closer run.  In hindsight I should have taken a closer like Carlos Mármol.

Round 14

Almost all the closers were taken at this point so I reluctantly took Bobby Jenks.  As I feared Jenks was fat and bad.  He actually wasn’t as bad as his numbers looked, he just had bad luck.  Still he drove me nuts because he kept losing his job.

In this round Adrian Beltre was taken.  In hindsight I should have taken him because I needed a 3B but I felt like I had to have a closer.

What’s funny is I could have had Beltre.  I originally asked for Billy Wagner, not Jenks.  The next team’s owner then announced he wanted Adrian Beltre.  When I found out Billy Wagner was taken I could have taken Beltre who I had been eyeing.  In the end I am glad I didn’t because that would have just caused weird feelings all season between that team’s owner and me.

Round 15

I had been eyeing Garrett Jones for awhile because of his speed and power and the fact he would be hitting third or fourth for the Pirates.  I felt like a genius when he hit 2 HR’s on opening day and another on the second day.

But then he went downhill.  I should have taken Leo Nunez but Eric Karabell scared me about him.  Leo had a pretty good season and was the last surefire closer.

Round 16

I took Dice-K hoping for a repeat of 2008.  Again I made a mistake overvaluing K’s and undervaluing WHIP.  He was a pick I regretted soon afterwards like A.J. Burnett.  Not sure whom I would have taken instead.

Round 17 – 20

JJ Hardy was just taken so I took Jhonny Peralta, the last decent SS.  He was pretty bad.  SS is a tough position and I did not have a good SS until I picked up Infante in August.

Next I took Drew Stubbs for his speed and potential power.  Too bad he was terrible for me so I dropped him.  Turned out to actually be a good pick but unfortunately someone else enjoyed him.

Then I took Vernon Wells which was my best pick of the draft by far.  I read reports that he was feeling healthy and that his wrist had strengthened.

Round 21 – 26

The last rounds are just crapshoots.

Mark DeRosa because I needed a 3B.  He was hurt all season.

Homer Bailey because I always liked him.  He was terrible and didn’t turn it around until the end of the season, long after I dropped him.  Should have taken Kevin Gregg but I thought he wouldn’t get the job.

Kevin Kouzmanoff because I thought he could hit 25 HR’s.  I was wrong.  Should have taken Brett Gardner but was worried about his playing time.

Luke Gregerson as a backup closer.  Hoping that Heath Bell would be traded which never happened.

Jermaine Dye because I was hoping someone would sign him.  Never happened.

Marc Rzepczynski was a trendy sleeper and a Blue Jay.  He got hurt in spring training and really never recovered.

Elijah Dukes was my final pick.  Soon after he was waived by the Nationals and never picked up by anyone else.


I had a pretty awful draft and I am not sure how I could have done better.  Some possibilities:

  1. take more closers
  2. have better projections
  3. stay away from AL East starters
  4. fill scarce positions earlier

In the end there’s a lot of luck in the draft.


HRBL 2010 Champion

 | February 26, 2011 8:06 AM

Once again the Funky Kimchees have maintained their dynasty and again won HRBL (Highrock Rotisserie Baseball League) in 2010.

HRBL 2010 Final Standings

This season proved to be the most challenging because of all the injuries my team suffered.  My first four picks spent significant amounts of time on the DL.  But in September everyone became healthy and I ended up running away with it.

HRBL 2010 Standings

I did not have a real MVP.  My favorite pitchers were Brandon Morrow and Brett Anderson.  My favorite batter was Nelson Cruz.  It used to be Buster Posey until I traded him to David Kwon. Smile