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Earlier this week, I posted the first two installments of my self-critique of the slow draft NFBC style “Commentary Mock” I have joined at the last minute when some modern day fantasy baseball version of “Cougar” turned in his wings and forced “Stinger” to give me my proverbial “dream shot.” See review, look at Rounds 1-4 with commentary and Rounds 4-8 with commentary.
Your draft is coming soon and having read Ray Flower’s Draft Guide cover to cover, you should get this thing. It is chock full of insights and crisp journalism.
To review, the first 8 rounds for me went as follows: 1.14 Joey Votto; 2.2 Jason Kipnis; 3.14 Hunter Pence; 4.2 Alex Gordon; 5.14 Zack Grienke; 6.2 Jordan Zimmerman; 7:14 Kyle Seager; 8.2 Starlin Castro. Four more rounds are now in the books and they look like this.
Victor Martinez – DH – DET - I usually do not like to fill the UT spot until late but I figure VMart will get 1b eligibility at some point this year. He was just the best hitter out there. This is a guy who was one of the hottest hitters in baseball in the second half, posting a .367 AVG and .937 OPS. Oh, and if you want to talk consistency - VMart hit over .300 with at least 79 RBI in each of the last four years. I think those numbers will continue and the HR number creep back over 20. I am happy shopping at the VMart.
Steve Cishek – RP – MIA - The Colton and the Wolfman SMART system says pick players on good teams if you can. But the rule is not absolute. I need a reliever here as I cannot risk going another 25+ picks without one. Other than Steve Cishek (whose only wart is his team), the relievers out there have serious issues - i.e., Casey Janssen has Sergio Santos as a threat; Grant Balfour has the health question raised by Baltimore failing him in the physical; Rafael Soriano has reduced velo and good backups; Hunter is unproven and Henderson now must contend with KRod. So, given my choices I will trust Cishek and hope he does not get traded in July and transformed into someone's set up guy.
Evan Gattis – C/OF – ATL - I should have drafted a catcher before this. I just should have. Now, there is so little left I almost feel like crying (ok not really). So, though I do not love the pick, I am going to roster Evan Gattis. I feel pretty good that he will provide the HR while hurting the Avg. However, I drafted sure fire .300 hitters in Joey Votto and Victor Martinez to allow me a low Avg power hitter. Now I have one. (ps - since Gattis went in rd10 in labr mixed this week, getting him at the end of round 11 is a little less painful).
John Axford – RP – STL - I think this draft shows that runs do in fact happen in snake drafts. Indeed 8 of the last 20 picks have been relievers. I must respect that run or it will run over me. Being sensitive to runs is even more important when, like me, you are at an end or the snake. I cannot wait another 25+ picks to fill the 2d closer role. Thus the question is which of the deeply flawed closers to roster? My choice: John Axford. We know the results were awful in Milwaukee last year, however, he maintained a 95mph average FB velo for 4 straight years and his worst K rate was 9 per 9. I buy into the fact that he was tipping his pitches and the Cardinals fixed that. I can easily see him notching 80K and 30-35 SV (or at least I hope so).
Strategy lesson learned: Runs on positions happen. Anticipate them or, as Commander Mike Metcalf (aka call sign “Viper”) says “you will be history”!