I had the first of my three drafts yesterday, and I think it went pretty well. I had some mistakes, but based upon the way that the draft was going, people were taking a lot of guys who I considered "sleepers" in early rounds.
There were some players that I really have a feeling for this year, and I had a few people scratching their heads.
Round by round (I had second pick):
Guy with the first pick goes with A-Rod. I was a bit surprised. A-Rod was my third pick (behind Vlad #1, and bad-footed Pujols #2).
Round 1: Vlad Guerrero
Round 2: Jason Schmidt, Melvin Mora
Round 3: Brad Lidge (Gagne went two before; someone in the league picked Mariano Rivera before both Gagne and Lidge), Pedro Martinez
Round 4: Mark Teixiera, Mark Prior (yes, Prior went that low; he wasn't really someone on my must have list because of the elbow, but how could I let him go here?)
Round 5: Joe Mauer (please stay healthy), Carlos Guillen (I have him rated #1 in my personal 5x5 SS rankings based on last years stats)
Round 6: Jose Reyes (I need SBs), Jason Isringhausen (yah, I was surprised he was there this late, too)
Round 7: Johnny Damon, Travis Hafner (DH only eligibility for draft purposes, and I think he was forgotten by quite a few in the league as a result)
Round 8: Kelvim Escobar (here is the most serious, potential mistake, but I have a real good feeling about this guy; I'm thinking low 3 ERA, decent whip, great strikeouts; there were other guys out there -- not many -- but I decided to pull the plug). It might have been the three shots of blackberry tequila talking that I had slammed during the previous hour. David Wright. I eventually made a mistake here because I hadn't properly kept track of positioning, which was later complicated when I picked a 1/3 in Derrek Lee. I had to later drop Wright, who I replaced with 20 game SS eligibility Pedro Feliz.
I know Pedro doesn't appear to have a starting job, but his multi-position eligibility and that wonderful year were too good to pass up.
Round 9: Aaron Rowand (again, I needed SBs; 0 in 2003, 17 last year); Derrek Lee. Couldn't resist all around great numbers this late.
Round 10: Mike Piazza (oh, how the mighty have fallen, but I'll take him as my SECOND catcher -- especially when he is in the AL by July, sitting on the pine waiting to take his next DH at bat). Jeremy Bonderman (how can I call a guy with nearly a 5.00 ERA a sleeper)?
Round 11: I need to fill up some OF, and I find Larry Walker. bad back and all. Stats (and potential) too good to pass up. Just gimme 450 Abs, Larry! Austin Kearns (what the hell).
Round 12: Greg Aquino (all good closers washed up, gonna cross my fingers with this pick, as he may not keep the job). Scott Shields. This was an interesting pick because it was the ONLY write-in of the day. Our commish had a fantasy draft package from CBS Sportsline, containing printed STICKERS of the top expected fantasy players.
There was no Scott Shields in the stickers. I liked my starting rotation of Schmidt, Martinez, Prior, Escobar, and Bonderman. I wanted to look for middle relief with high strikeout numbers and potential cheap wins on a pretty good team (even if I can't stand his team). How about the best middle reliever in the game?
At this point, the draft took a break... which I thought strange because I had an empty middle infield spot. It was then that I figured out that Wright was the odd man out, so I had to dump him... and I picked up Feliz.
The Wright debacle resulted in another problem.
I was able to get him back with my first pick of the 5-man reserve (three position players and two pitchers). This wasn't my plan.
Believe it or not, there was a young man named Justin Morneau still out there. He was at the top of my desired reserve pick list, but I felt sort of an obligation to snag David Wright back...
We reversed the serpentine for the reserve, so I was going to get my first pick, then a pick two players later. I thought Morneau might slip under the radar.
Unfortunately for me, the player behind me was the knowledgable Commish, and he took Morneau immediately. Resetting my plans, I went with that 97-mph throwing leftie Scott Kazmir with my second pick.
Third pick came around, and I took the questionable Miguel Batista. Hey, maybe he will fare well as a closer.
I decided at this point to just look for some potential sluggers who were fairly decent in at least 4 categories. I went with my previously mentioned (in a previous post) sleeper Craig Monroe.
Then, true to form, I took another from my sleeper list: Jeff Davanon (he just has to get playing time; unfortunately, he isn't starting on the ANA depth chart). Yes, ANA, you bastards.
All in all, I think I will finish at least top 3 with this group.