Saturday, April 9, 2016

My Draft 2016

We held our draft last weekend in our keeper league and I went in with deeper pockets than the previous few years. Yet in typical fashion the majority of the other owners had dismantled their teams and had much bigger bankrolls available. We have a $300 cap and I had $104 available to fill 22 spots.

Last season I finished in third as my pitching collapsed to drop me out of second in the last month.. I finished at the top of three of the five offensive categories. Most of my core offense remains intact and I didn't have to worry about that in the draft.

Going into the draft my core team was Paul Goldschmidt at first, Jose Altuve at second, Kris Bryant at third, Carlos Correa at short, Jacob Realmuto at catcher, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Delino DeShields, Randall Grichuk and Anthony Gose in the outfield, CJ Cron for CI, Dee Gordon for MI, and Kyle Seager for flex. The only pitching staff I retained was Jose Fernandez, Michael Wacha, Jake Odorizzi and Shawn Tolleson.

The broad strokes goals of the draft was to build a pitching staff and to add catcher and outfield depth. The specific goal was to attempt the Clayton Kershaw gambit since he was available. If Kershaw was secured it would mean shopping in the bargain bin the remainder of the draft. That was something I was used to. My top prospect target would be AJ Reed and I planned on making an attempt while I still had the funds.

The first round was typical with some high dollar players and a few owners trying to throw early curve balls. Andrew McCutchen went first for $38 followed by Jonathan Lucroy ($13), Russell Martin ($5), Clayton Kersaw ($45). Felix Hernandez ($28), Eric Hosmer ($21), Johnny Cueto ($20), Justin Verlander ($12), Yan Gomes ($7), Byung-ho Park ($7), Jeff Samardzija ($16) and Troy Tulowitzki ($24).  It was surprising to see so many catchers and pitchers go in the first round but in a keeper league each team has their own agenda to add to their roster.

I had been the one that grabbed Kershaw at $45. It was one of the highest amounts played for a player in the history of our league. I was willing to go as high as $51 to get the number one elite pitcher in the MLB.

With my third pick I did snag Reed for ($10) and was willing to go as high as $12 because I think he will be Paul Goldschmidt minus the speed. My fourth and fifth pick ups were catchers  Alex Avila ($1) and JR Murphy ($3). With my 15th and 21st picks I got outfielders Avisail Garcia ($3) and Tyler Naquin ($3). My 22nd and last pick of the draft landed me the Royals top prospect Raul Mondesi for $1. Reed and Mondesi will be starting the season on my farm team with Joey Gallo, Trea Turner, Peter O'Brien, Matt Davidson, Richie Shaffer, Steven Moya and Rob Refsnyder.

I had picked up Joe Kelly with my second pick for $2 to start assembling my bargain bin pitching staff. The rest picked up in the sixth thru 20th range were John Danks ($1), Robbie Ray ($1), Sean Manaea ($4), Brandon Morrow ($4), Anibal Sanchez ($1), Kevin Quakenbush ($1), Gavin Floyd ($2), Phil Hughes ($1), Kendall Graveman ($1), Keone Kela ($3), Nathan Eovaldi ($2), Shae Simmons ($1), Matt Cain ($2) and Derek Holland ($5). Some may only be place holders until someone on the waiver wire is available but some may turn out to be hidden gems. Maneaea will also be starting the season on the farm.

I didn't go into depth on each individual player like in previous year but that would have made this extremely long with 22 picks. The 2016 season is under way and in six months we'll see which moves paid off.

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