From The Fantasy Oracle

2014 Experts League: K-BAD

KFFL invited me to participate in their experts league yet again. Did I draft a squad that can get me over the hump in that league?

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Every year the fine fellows over at KFFL.com invite me to participate in KFFL's Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft (BAD). Every year my team fails to impress. In fact, this is likely the outlet I've been saddled with my worst fantasy baseball results the past three years. Not really sure why that is. I can put my finger on two things. (1) Sometimes your teams just stink because players under-perform or are injured. (2) This is a slow draft, and by that I mean we draft at a pace of a couple of picks a day for a few weeks versus sitting down and pounding it out in one three hour time frame. Perhaps I analyze things too much in this setup with all the extra time is available to think about the direction the draft is going, whereas I just let 'er rip when I'm doing a draft at one time? Perhaps I just stink at drafting no matter the format. OK, we all know that last one isn't remotely possible, so it must be #1 or #2.

Regardless of my past failures, I'm back again to make my mark, hopefully in a positive way this time, in the 2014 K-BAD event. In what follows you will see how my team came together (thanks to KFFL for letting me post all of this info in one spot). If you want to see how the entire draft played out here is the link for that. Before getting to my team analysis, here's the type of league you will be reading about.

15 teams, 28 rounds -- Rosters
Mixed league -- MLB player universe
5x5 rotisserie -- R, HR, RBI, SB, BA; W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP

HITTERS (14): 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS, 1 CI, 1 MI, 5 OF, 1 UT
PITCHERS (9)
BENCH: Five players
2 DL spots


How did Team FantasyAlarm/BaseballGuys turn out? Let's find out.

Round 1 – Ray Flowers
OF, Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

Many will go with Paul Goldschmidt at #3 overall. The reason I didn't? I'm not sure we should be counting on 15 steals from Paul, and I could see his batting average dipping into the .280-290 range pretty easy. McC also has a monster season in him. I know it.

Round 2 – Ray Flowers
OF, Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves

Some might see this as too early. While it might be, I'm still a believer in the talent and I'm comfortable with his track record of durability. Let's not overlook that he is only 26 years old, and he's been pretty damn effective despite failing to fulfill expectations. For more see his Player Profile.

Round 3 – Ray Flowers
OF, Alex Rios, Texas Rangers

Two homers from a 20/40 season last year Rios is a fairly dynamic option, and this selection gives me three elite level outfielders in my first three picks. I really wanted Jose Reyes here, I considered grabbing him in Round 2 actually, but I lost out on him by one pick. Damn it, though Rios is an excellent fall back choice.

Round 4 – Ray Flowers
3B, Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

After taking three outfielders it was time to look to the infield. I had four players to take at this spot – Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana, Elvis Andrus or Zimmerman – and it's obvious which direction I went. Hopefully one of the other three will fall back to me in Round 5 since there are only four more selections before my next pick.

Round 5 – Ray Flowers
SS, Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers

All three of the guys I wanted ended up falling to me in the 5th. We start two catchers and that made the backstops very enticing, and there were still plenty of decent SS options left but it really came down to my personal preference for the stability of Andrus over Mauer.  

Round 6 – Ray Flowers
OF, Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays

This was a tough puck. I love the upside play of Jennings, a 20/20 season is possible, and he is  my 4th outfielder (see his Player Profile). I took the chance that one of the two catchers I wanted – Matt Wieters and Jonathan Lucroy – would still be there in Round 7.

Round 7 – Ray Flowers
C, Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers

This might be a bit early to go in on Lucroy, maybe not (see his Player Profile). The fact is that catchers are likely to start to go, and in a 15 team league I don't want to get shut out since we start two. Not an overly crazy stretch to think a .290-20 season is possible for Lucroy who has a very stable skill set.

Round 8 – Ray Flowers
SP, Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves

My first starting pitcher of the draft, an a good one at that. Many seem to miss the fact that over the last two years not many have been better in the ratio categories as Medlen owns a 2.47 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 335 innings.

Round 9 – Ray Flowers
SP, Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds

Back-to-back pitchers after going hitters for the first seven rounds. Bailey has been extremely stable the last two seasons and last year he posted a 3.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 199 Ks. All he needs to join the elite is to up his victory total.

Round 10 – Ray Flowers
SP, Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds

Could have gone with Matt Moore for the Ks, but Cueto is a nice get at this point. If he stays healthy, and IF should be in caps, he has the skills to be a top-15 option in ERA and WHIP, and that slots in pretty nicely as my third starting pitcher.

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Round 11 – Ray Flowers
OF, Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers

Why a 5th outfielder this early in the draft? Wasn't a plan, but Jackson was the best player on the board and you know I'm a fan (see his Player Profile). By making this choice I've almost certainly relegated myself to having to take long distance shots at second, corner infield and closer.

Round 12– Ray Flowers
2B, Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

A need pick. Others at 2B that were still left: Rendon, Lowrie, Dozier, Infante, Walker. It was time to grab Howie. Hopefully Fernando Rodney or Jim Henderson falls back to me.

Round 13 – Ray Flowers
RP, John Henderson, Milwaukee Brewers

Time to grab my first closer with the pickins' getting slim. The hope is that I'll be able to fill my first base slot and grab another hurler in Rounds 14 and 15.

Round 14 – Ray Flowers
1B, Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies

My corner infield is going to be a battle this year. With health, Morneau could easily hit .280 and push 90 RBIs playing half his games at Coors Field.

Round 15 – Ray Flowers
SP, Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

An ideal 4th starter, Kluber had an 8.31 K/9 mark, only walked 33 batters, had a 1.60 GB/FB ratio while throwing his heater 93.2 mph in 2014. Me like.

Round 16 – Ray Flowers
SS, Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals

Things were starting to get a bit thin so I tabbed Peralta for my MI spot. He will realize a batting average dip but a 15-60-60 season is well within reach. Solid but boring.

Round 17 – Ray Flowers
SP, Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners

I missed out on all the closers, and thought it was too early to go middle reliever route. Success of all those young arms last year helped lead to this selection – though I was a bit upset to learn that his arm woes might keep him out longer than expected when the pick was made.

Round 18 – Ray Flowers
3B, David Freese, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Totally uninspiring pick. It was Freese or Matt Dominguez for my corner infield spot. Let this be a waring – first/third gets thin pretty quick in 15 team leagues.

Round 19 – Ray Flowers
SP, Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles

My expectations aren't very high for Ubaldo, but if I can get league average ratios and 185 Ks from my 6th starting pitcher I will be satisfied (see his Player Profile).

Round 20 – Ray Flowers
RP, Vic Black, New York Metropolitans

Bobby Parnell will handle the 9th for the Mets if he's healthy. Currently, he isn't at 100 percent health. Black would likely get first crack at the last three outs if Parnell is down. Reason enough to take Black here given my lack of relief arms.

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Round 21– Ray Flowers
RP, Joaquin Benoit, San Diego Padres

After passing on the majority of closers, I only have Jim Henderson and Black, I'm targeting strong pen arms that could emerge. Huston Street: less than 60 IP each of last four seasons and always hurt (currently his groin is acting up).

Round 22 – Ray Flowers
OF, Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres

If healthy Maybin could easily go 10/30 with even more to give. Of course, he's been unable to consistently remain on the field which is why he was still available in the 22nd round. There's also this little wondrous development. Maybin was literally injured four days after I drafted him and will now miss upwards of 2-3 months with a biceps injury. Hurray.

Round 23 – Ray Flowers
RP, Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians

John Axford is no lock to hold on to the Indians closer gig and Allen is likely next in line. Over 77 outings last year Allen had a 2.43 ERA, 1.25 WHIP an an off the charts 11.26 K/9.

Round 24 – Ray Flowers
1B, Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

I have Justin Morneau at first and David Freese at corner infield so I felt like it was worth the risk to roster Dunn for some coverage at this later stage of the draft.

Round 25 – Ray Flowers
1B, Ike Davis, New York Metropolitans

I have Morneau at first, Freese at corner infield and Dunn to support. I'm hoping either Dunn or Davis takes off so I can deal one of the duo to bolster my squad. If not, I'll hit the waiver-wire.

Round 26 – Ray Flowers
RP, Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals

A moderate starting pitcher or an elite reliever? It's obviously which way I went. An advantage Tyler has over other relievers is innings – an average of more than 80 the past four years.

Round 27 – Ray Flowers
C, Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics

Doumit, Soto, Arencibia... rough going when you wait a long time for that second catcher. Hopefully John Jaso is the full-time DH for the A's leaving lots of at-bats for Norris at catcher.

Round 28 – Ray Flowers
C, Geovany Soto, Texas Rangers

Soto is injured, so I will slot him onto the DL and then hit the waiver-wire the first week I can to add another player to to the party (we have two DL spots in this league). He'll battle with J.P. Arencibia for at-bats when healthy.

To sum things up I'll just list the squad as currently constructed. Luckily I have a couple of DL spots to play with and you can bet I will be active for our first run through of FAAB on March 29th.

C: Jonathan Lucroy, Derek Norris
1B: Justin Morneau
2B: Howie Kendrick
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
SS: Elvis Andrus
MI: Jhonny Peralta
CI: David Freese
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton, Alex Rios, Desmond Jennings, Austin Jackson
UT: Adam Dunn

PITCHERS: Kris Medlen, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Jim Henderson, Corey Kluber, Taijuan Walker, Ubaldo Jimenez, Joaquin Benoit, Tyler Clippard

BENCH: Ike Davis, Geovany Soto, Cameron Maybin, Cody Allen, Vic Black


COMMENTS

  • 64x64

    Ernest Barton 07 Mar 18:01 / Reply

    Ray, I really like the way you broke down this draft. Analysis on each pick and a little tidbit of your thought process. This is alot better than an article with your overall thoughts. Hope to see more like this!


  • 64x64

    Nick 05 Mar 12:57 / Reply

    Pretty solid, Ray! I think if Zimmerman stays healthy you'll compete this year! I like what you did at OF...I'm sure other owners OF suck because you took 3 elite options...throw in Jennings, you are set!


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