Anatomy Of A Draft: Vegas Style
This is the final piece of my three part series reviewing the FSTA Draft that was held in Las Vegas last week (ah, how the good times fade fast don't they?).
Part I - I gave a review of the team I drafted in Vegas Baby, and the FSTA.
PART II - I discussed why I chose Carl Crawford over Troy Tulowitzki in the first round in Pick Your Poison: Crawford or Tulo.
In PART III, thanks to the work of Jason Collette of Dock of the Rays, we have the answer as to who made the best selections in the FSTA Draft compared to the current ADP data (you can see the entirety of Jason's work in the spreadsheet he put together of the draft). In what follows I'll discuss some of the key selections that stood out, either players that I got on the cheap or guys I might have reached for according to ADP, and give my thoughts on why I made the decisions that I did.
Carl Crawford (taken 7th, ADP of 16): You can click in the link above for PART II to see why I think Crawford's current ADP mark is way off.
Jimmy Rollins (taken 33, ADP of 42): The last of the elite shortstops on the board was my second choice with my third round pick with the first one being Ryan Howard (he was taken 32nd). For my thoughts on Rollins see Top-10 SS for 2011.
Brandon Phillips (59 taken , ADP of 35): A nice value given where he was drafted, and because he was the last of the top shelf second sackers left on the board. Coming off a "down" year he still scored 100 runs, hit 18 homers, stole 16 bags and batted .275. I'll take a repeat of that while knowing that he went .276-20-98-78-25 in 2009.
Aramis Ramirez (taken 85, ADP of 104): Aramis is scaring some people off with his down 2010 effort that included a bunch of time on the shelf (he had just 465 at-bats). Would it surprise you to know that he still had 25 homers, the same total as Ryan Zimmerman and three more than Evan Longoria? Heck, his RBI total of 83 was only two less than Zimmerman and Mark Reynolds.
Dan Haren (taken 98, ADP of 52): The steal of the draft? I almost took Haren in the 6th round, then the 7th, before finally selecting him in the 8th. From 2008-10, Haren is only of only three hurlers to win at least 12 games, with an ERA under 3.95 and at least 200 Ks each season. The others are two pretty strong hurlers - Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay.
Joakim Soria (taken 111, ADP of 78): Drafting at this point of the year is tricky, you don't even know who the 9th inning arm will be for some clubs, and that was reflected in the draft as most of the experts waited on taking their first closer. I still remember being burned last year when I took Joe Nathan early "knowing" he was a lock for 35 saves. Hopefully this call works out better.
Aaron Hill (taken 124, ADP of 180): I needed power, so I'm not worried about having overshot Hill's ADP by so much. With guys like Chone Figgins, Brian Roberts and Howie Kendrick the best options left on the board at second, and already having a roster loaded with speedy guys, I needed pop and Hill was the best option left to fill that need. After all, Hill is second at the second base position the last two years with 62 homers and third with 176 RBI.
Carlos Lee (taken 163, ADP of 132): A solid choice for two reasons. First, he also qualifies at first base giving me some depth behind Prince Fielder and another option as a corner infielder. Second, while his bat is slowing, Lee still hit 24 homers with 89 RBI last season. That makes it 11-straight years with 24 homers and at least 80 RBI.
James Shields (taken 189, ADP of 173): He might have been the unluckiest pitcher in baseball last year. Shields went 13-15 with a 5.18 ERA despite a career best K/9 mark of 8.28 and a superb K/BB ratio of 3.67. If things normalize he should be back on track and that means posting an ERA of about 4.00 with a 1.25 WHIP and about 175 Ks, a point I made, in depth, in Breaking Down: James Shields.
Scott Baker (taken 228, ADP of 183): He may never put it all together, but we've all have a crush on someone that doesn't really make sense (I don't even want to hear who some of you have fantasies about). Still, I can't help but think if he ever put it all together that he could be a difference maker. If we take the best numbers of career and combine them we end up with 15 wins, a 3.45 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and 162 Ks.
Carlos Zambrano (taken 241, ADP of 331): I guess no one is buying his unbelievable finish to 2010 (8-0, 1.58 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 64 Ks over 74 IP)? There are valid concerns about his workload and his absolutely bonkers personality, but the guy can still pitch when he's healthy and motivated.
Ryan Madson (taken 280, ADP of 400): One of the best right-handed setup men in baseball. Madson is second in line to take over the 9th inning in Philadelphia, and you can argue that he is coming off his best season with career bests in K/9 (10.87), BB/9 (2.21), K/BB (4.92) and WHIP (1.04). Now if he can just avoid trying to beat things up when he is angry.
Nate McLouth (taken 293, ADP of 400): The man gets no respect. The Braves say he will open the year as the starter in CF, he is just 29 years old, and he went 26/23 in 2008 and 20/19 in 2009. You can hear more of my thoughts on McLouth in Around the Horn: January 21, 2011.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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