Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My Draft 2018

I decided to continue the tradition of recapping my results from the annual fantasy baseball draft since it is one of my favorite days of the year. It starts the 13th year of our league and I have known some of the others through work, playing softball or both for much longer than that. The format was changed to head-to-head but that didn't change my draft approach. We have a $300 cap and I had $137 available to fill 15 spots.

Going into the draft my core team was Joey Gallo at first, Kris Bryant at third, Carlos Correa at short, Austin Hedges at catcher, Mitch Haniger, Trey Mancini and Hunter Renfroe in the outfield, Alex Bregman for CI, Trea Turner for MI, and CJ Cron, Matt Olson, Ryan Rua, Eugenio Suarez and Eric Thames available for flex. The initial pitching staff to build on was Alex Wood, Luke Weaver, Mike Clevinger, Sean Manaea, Robbie Ray, Mike Foltynewicz, German Marquez, Edwin Diaz, Corey Knebel and Chad Green.

Needing a second baseman that had to be one of the priorities along with building depth at catcher, outfield and the pitching staff. I also intended to pick up a handful of farm eligible players to build on the future and to be able to bring players like JD Davis, Austin Hays and Gleyber Torres up when necessary. My top prospect target would be Scott Kingery.

The first round consisted of the usual big names plus the typical screwball pick. Clayton Kershaw started off the draft at $37. He was followed by Jose Altuve ($43), Chris Sale ($37), Yu Darvish ($29), Sixto Sanchez ($2), Bryce Harper ($38), Jose Abreu ($26), Evan Gattis ($18), Dee Gordon ($30), Charlie Blackmon ($38), Carlos Santana ($14) and Kenley Jansen ($29). I did some bidding but didn't land anyone. It was bittersweet to seeing Kershaw, Altuve, Harper and Gordon from my team last year go off to new owners. At the draft I said Harper was one of my babies since I had drafted him before the MLB did.

This year I didn't keep track of what round I took players but the first player I took was Tyler Wade of the Yankees for $6 which filled a need at second base. My second pick was Justin Verlander ($29) which immediately gave my pitching staff an upgrade. Took a chance on Matt Harvey ($3) and Alex Avila ($3) who might do good things at the Arizona launch pad. The rest of my first ten picks were Carlos Gonzalez ($4), Tyler Naquin ($5), Adam Eaton ($12), Delino DeShields Jr ($11), Cole Hamels ($15) and Jarrod Dyson ($5).

I had then picked up Jake Odorizzi ($10) and Roberto Perez ($1) when I realized someone had thrown out Kingery for bidding. Ronald Acuna had set a new league record for a farm eligible player a bit earlier going for $22. I wasn't pleased that I was in a bidding war for Kingery but landed him at $17. My initial intention was to start him on the farm but since he already impressed enough to stick with the Phillies he's going to be my second baseman over Wade.

After drafting Kendall Graveman ($1) for the fourth year in a row I filled my final roster spot with Kyle Tucker ($7). Tucker will be the only player I drafted sent to the farm. Truthfully I lost track of how many spots I had because I put Verlander in the wrong spot on my sheet. There is one more farm player I will be secretly tracking this season as he develops.

Draft is over. Fun as always. Now time to enjoy their performances.

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