Another day, another dollar (isn't that what the kids say?), another great fantasy team put together by yours truly. Well, maybe.
The first of two Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio Experts Draft's included yours truly and was completed Monday March 10th. As I'm want to do, I changed things up a bit with my draft. I took a player I never take in round two (I was on the turn to I changed up my strategy a bit), and though I continued my mantra of waiting on pitching, you might be surprised to learn that while I took no starting pitchers in my first 10 selections that I actually ended up with two closers. You're interested to see what I did now, aren't you?
12 teams, mixed league
7 bench spots
1 Tom Kessenich
2 Greg Ambrosius
3 Walter Kuberski
4 Matt Deutsch
5 Kyle Elfrink
6 Rick Wolf & Stacie Stern
7 Drew Dinkmeyer
8 Dr. Roto
9 Peter Schoenke
10 Cliff Floyd
11 Jeff Rickard
12 Ray Flowers
Yes, there was a conspiracy as both STATS guys went #1 and #2 while the Oracle was given the 12th selection.
Here's the team I put together.
Catcher: Carlos Santana (5th round), Alex Avila (23)
First Base: Joey Votto (1)
Second Base: Howie Kendrick (15)
Third Base: Pablo Sandoval (9)
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki (2)
Middle Infielder: Alexei Ramirez (16)
Corner Infielder: Kyle Seager (10)
OF: Shin-Soo Choo (3), Giancarlo Stanton (4), Desmond Jennings (8), B.J. Upton (17), Michael Brantley (19)
Utility: Nick Markakis (21)
Pitchers: Craig Kimbrel (6), Greg Holland (7), Johnny Cueto (11), Shelby Miller (12), C.J. Wilson (13), Tim Lincecum (14), Bobby Parnell (18), Corey Kluber (20), Neftali Feliz (22)
BENCH: Neil Walker (24), Brandon Morrow (25), Corey Hart (26), Todd Frazier (27), Wily Peralta (28), Jarred Dyson (29), Jemile Weeks (30)
I took Votto in the first. Some don't like that because they are worried about a lack of RBIs given his desire to talk the walk. I like the pick because he's a .314 career hitter and that allows me to do something like take the .260 hitting Giancarlo Stanton in the 4th round. Remember, all picks can be picked apart one by one, but it's about how you construct your team that matters.
The first curveball I threw was taking Tulowitzki in round two. Normally I would take Jason Kipnis in that spot (yes Kipnis > Robinson Cano in my book). Why the different move here? Not really sure to be quite honest. The safe money is on Cano or Kipnis, totally believe that still. Tulo though, if it all comes together – wink, wink – could be the best of the trio. Let's also not forget that Jose Reyes and and Hanley Ramirez aren't exactly bastions of health at shortstop either, so you're taking a risk if you tab any of the elite SS options.
Shin Soo-Choo is a great get in the 4th round and gave me that 20/20 threat I always want at the top.
With Choo, Tulo and Votto on my squad for average, I was able to take the aforementioned Stanton in the 4th and Santana in the 5th. He's an elite option at catcher, at least in the counting categories. I wanted to take like eight other catchers through the draft, but they kept going off the board in the round I wanted to take them, so I ended up settling for Avila. Not ideal, but he's passable.
I grabbed Sandoval to be my third sacker. If it all comes together a .300-20 season is totally doable. He's motivated too as he shoots for that long-term contract. To back up Sandoval I grabbed Seager (Player Profile). I've got Seager to turn to if Pablo once again goes down to injury. I also made the choice to grab Seager for his stability to fill my corner slot as the first basemen that were available all had risks associated with their names.
Up the middle I took my favorite... Mr. Kendrick. Why is it that no one respects him? He's not elite, but he's really solid. He's a career .292 hitter who the last five years has averaged 14 home runs and 12 steals. I'll take that in the 15th round. I needed some speed so I took a shot on Ramirez to handle shortstop. He's a career .277 hitters who has averaged 25 steals the past two seasons.
I waited longer than I ever do in the outfield, but it still turned out well. Choo and Stanton have already been discussed. I added Jennings (Player Profile) and Upton as my third and fourth. Six months from now I will look like a genius or an idiot. Brantley was three steals, two RBIs, four runs and one hit from going .285-10-75-70-20 last season. He's my fifth outfielder. My 6th option, and my utility batter, is Markakis. He's always overlooked, a point I made in ADP Talk: What Are You Missing?