'James Shields' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The fellas over over at KFFL.com have a fantasy baseball league nicknamed K-BAD, for Baseball Analysis Draft, and for the 5th straight year I'm honored to have been asked to participate (the proceeding link takes you to an analysis by every participant on the league). In Part III of this three part review I'll break down how my squad turned out.

C: Yadier Molina (7th round), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21) 1B: Kevin Youkilis (18), Mark Reynolds (23) 2B: Dustin Ackley (19) 3B: Miguel Cabrera (1), Martin Prado (6) SS: Hanley Ramirez (2), Starlin Castro (3) OF: Austin Jackson (4), Shin-Soo Choo (5), Nick Markakis (10), Mark Trumbo (11), Dexter Fowler (12), Ben Revere (13), Michael Brantley (25), Domonic Brown (26)

STARTING PITCHER: James Shields (8), Yovani Gallardo (9), Jon Lester (14), Dan Haren (15), Shaun Marcum (22), James McDonald (24), Francisco Liriano (28)

RELIEF PITCHER: Steve Cishek (16), Kenley Jansen (17), Bobby Parnell (20), David Robertson (27

For a review of my selections in rounds 1-14.

For a review of my selections in rounds 15-28.

MY MISTAKES

My team is too outfield heavy. There's just no reason why, especially with a short bench of five players, that I should have added so many outfielders. So why did I? I was sucked into the value the players represented. The problem wouldn't have been as acute as it is if I hadn't gone with Brantley and then Brown back-to-back in the 25th and 26th rounds. I took Brantley who I think has the makings of a strong 5th outfielder but I was really tempted to take a shot on Brown's talent at the same time. When it came around to me again and Brown was still there, I just said what the heck and took Brown too. There's trading in this league which will help me to move a piece or two, and a handful of outfielders will certainly get hurt before Opening Day (see Curtis Granderson).

My other mistake in this league also revolved around the outfield (maybe subconsciously I was trying to make up for it late in the draft?). I took Ben Revere in the 13th round. I commented at the time I made the selection, and you can read that comment in Part I (linked to above), that I was likely taking Revere too early given how “like” players were often slipping in drafts. I should have listened to my gut. Instead of Revere in the 13th I could have had Coco Crisp in the 18th or Juan Pierre in the 18th round. Learn from my misstep – speed can be had late in drafts this season.

PLAYERS I MISSED OUT ON BY ONE PICK

I have never, not once in a my life, had more players that I was ready to roster taken one pick ahead of me than this draft. In 28 rounds there were eight instances where “my guy” was taken the pick directly ahead of me. Is that some kind of record? Here's the list of players I missed out on. Dustin Pedroia, B.J. Upton, Madison Bumgarner, Corey Hart, Neil Walker, Russell Martin, Tyler Colvin, Erasmo Ramirez

I can therefore say one of two things. If I win this league perhaps my initial thoughts on players were wrong since I ended up going with my “backup” plan so often. If I finish in 10th place I'm going to blame others for taking “my guys.” A built in excuse already. Honestly, I can't remember this happening to me so much. It should be noted as well that this was a “slow” draft conducted over days. It's one thing to want a player in the heat of battle where there are seven minutes between selections. It's totally another when you have seven hours between your picks to plan your strategy and then you lose the guy you were targeting. Getting snaked in this set up hurts even worse.

Just for the heck of it - beautiful women.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

As I noted in my initial pick-by-pick review, this team started out nails in the average column. After seven offensive selections my team could legitimately be looked at as a club that could hit .300. That cushion in the average category allowed me to take shots on guys like Saltalamacchia, Trumbo and Reynolds who aren't going to do anything for me in the average department. However, that Trio of batters could go deep 80+ times fairly easily with health. That power allowed me to feel fine about guys like Revere, Fowler and Markakis being part of my club. I'm a big fan of the mix I've got on offense. The key for the squad will be how Youkilis/Reynolds and Ackley perform. If the two corner guys return to “normal” and Ackley shows just a little improvement, this offense is going to impress.

On the hill there are questions. Shields/Gallardo are an impressive top-2 (even if many would disagree). Lester/Haren/Marcum are a trio of risky selections cause of health and down performances last season, but that's a lot of talent. I defy anyone to tell me that Shields/Gallardo/Lester/Haren couldn't all be 180 strikeout guys, and let's not forget about McDonald who could get there too. As I've noted many times as well, Marcum never gets the respect he should because of his constant time in the doctor's office. Liriano's DL stint at the start of the season will also allow me to add another hurler as soon as he is officially place on the disabled list, so I'll get to add another potential hurler at that time (Joe Blanton, Kyle Lohse, Bud Norris, Clayton Richard are all on my radar). As for the bullpen, I really like the skills there. Cishek is my only true “closer” to start the year, but as we saw last year when literally two-thirds of clubs ended up changing their 9th inning arms, it's unwise to read too much into relievers roles at this point. Remember, do what I always preach – target the skills and not the roles. To that end Cishek, Jansen, Parnell and Robertson have elite skills. Elite. I'll work the wire hard early in the year when the inevitable bullpen shenanigan’s start.

We'll see how things go, but overall I'm a fan of how this team turned out, even if so many of the guys I had targeted ended up on other clubs.

Thanks to KFFL.com for the invite yet again.

For a PDF copy of the entire K-BAD-Results, click on the link.

 

 

By Ray Flowers




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About Ray Flowers

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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