Anatomy of a Keeper League: The Draft Part 1

I’ll be breaking the draft up into 4 parts, with 5 rounds in the first 3 parts; part 4 will be the minor league draft. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but the draft is worst to first from the previous year for the first 5 rounds; it then snakes in round 6. I felt this was something that could help the weaker teams. I hate the fact that a last place team only gets 1 pick in the first 19; they need more help than the first place team and this helps with the competitive balance.

(All team names are being abbreviated to protect the poor drafters, except for Chad since he writes here too; he’s the Bizkits)

Round 1
My goal was Billy Wagner with the 3rd overall pick; it may have been a little early but I wanted to solidify my closer situation because I don’t think they would last.

1. Team C – Carlos Zambrano, SP, Cubs
2. Team HC – Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Mets
3. Short Bus All Stars – Billy Wagner, RP, Braves
4. Team SC – Carlos Pena, 1B, Rays
5. Team B – Mark DeRosa, 3B, Giants
6. Team H – Gordon Beckham, 2B, White Sox
7. Team C – J.A. Happ, SP, Phillies
8. Team OWS – James Shields, SP, Rays
9. Team VSB – Brian Wilson, RP, Giants
10. Team 25A – David Aardsma, RP, Mariners

So, I don’t know if Wagner would have gone, but 4 closers went total. I think it was a safe gamble here. Team C tries to get as many first rounders as possible (he had pick 6 as well, but traded it for Alfonso Soriano); I was surprised by the Zambrano pick initially, but it fits his draft strategy of getting past their prime players. DeRosa, who I mentioned last time, wasn’t much of a surprise, since Team B tends to draft Rangers and Cubs. One player I really liked but knew he wouldn’t drop to me is Gordon Beckham; I though he’d go at the end of the first, but went a little earlier.

Round 2
My next pick here was Erik Bedard; I’m thinking he’s going to have a solid season even with starting on the DL. Again, it’s probably an overdraft, but I have certain guys in mind for my team.

1. Team C – Mike Gonzalez, RP, Orioles
2. Team HC – Hunter Pence, OF, Astros
3. Short Bus All Stars – Erik Bedard, SP, Mariners
4. Team SC – Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, Red Sox
5. Team B – J.J. Hardy, SS, Twins
6. Team H – Yunel Escobar, SS, Braves
7. Bizkits – Trevor Cahill, SP, Athletics
8. Team OWS – Kerry Wood, RP, Indians
9. Team VSB – A.J. Burnett, SP, Yankees
10. Team 25A – Leo Nunez, RP, Marlins

3 more closers here; I’m liking that Wagner pick better now. I’m not worried because I didn’t have any of these guys on my lists. Escobar was a possibility, but I ended up passing on him for another player. I’d been burnt by Hardy in the past, so even with the move to Minnesota, I wasn’t high on him.

Round 3
I decided to go with someone other than planned here, which I don’t remember the original pick (may have been Chris Perez or Jaime Garcia). I saw another website mention Nolan Reimold and remembered that he was supposed to be a starter for Baltimore.

1. Team C – George Sherrill, RP, Dodgers
2. Team HC – Jose Lopez, 2B, Mariner
3. Short Bus All Stars – Nolan Reimold, OF, Orioles
4. Team SC – Nate McLouth, OF, Braves
5. Team B – Geovany Soto, C, Cubs
6. Team H – Ryan Dempster, SP, Cubs
7. Bizkits – J.D. Drew, OF, Red Sox
8. Team OWS – Torii Hunter, OF, Angels
9. Team VSB – Phil Hughes, SP, Yankees
10. Team 25A – Michael Young, 3B, Rangers

Reimold was a solid pick, even with being slowed with injuries in spring training. I considered Lopez for a later round pick if he was still there; he’s worth more now that he’ll qualify at first, second, and third. Phil Hughes was another guy that had burnt me in the past and I wasn’t interested in (plus I didn’t know if he’d ever live up to his potential).

Round 4
With Sherrill being taken early and another middle reliever being taken before I picked, I jumped to Chris Perez; he’s got closer stuff and will be available in the 8th inning until Wood is out (either injury or trade). I’m also without a 5ht rounder, so I’ll need to jump now to get him.

1. Team C – Takashi Saito, RP, Braves
2. Team HC – Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins
3. Short Bus All Stars – Chris Perez, RP, Indians
4. Bizkits – Erick Aybar, SS, Angels
5. Team B – J.P. Howell, RP, Rays
6. Team H – Trevor Hoffman, RP, Brewers
7. Bizkits – Ricky Romero, SP, Blue Jays
8. Team OWS – Ryan Franklin, RP, Cardinals
9. Team VSB – Joe Saunders, SP, Angels
10. Team 25A – Matt Capps, RP, Nationals

More closers; Wagner is definitely better than Hoffman, Franklin, or Capps. Saito was the one that made me select Perez. I really wanted Liriano and probably would have taken him in another pick or 2, so I was not wanting him picked here.

Team 5
I traded my 5th round pick, so I had to sit this one out.

1. Team C – Jeremy Affeldt, RP, Giants
2. Team HC – Johnny Cueto, SP, Reds
3. Team 25A – Jorge de la Rosa, SP, Rockies
4. Team SC – Alexei Ramirez, SS, White Sox
5. Team B – Michael Wuertz, RP, Athletics
6. Team H – Matt Thornton, RP, White Sox
7. Bizkits – Joba Chamberlain, RP, Yankees
8. Team OWS – J.J. Putz, RP, White Sox
9. Team VSB – Fernando Rodney, RP, Angels
10. Team 25A – Stephen Drew, SS, Diamondbacks

A lot of middle relievers here; I thought about Rodney in the previous round since he’ll probably get save opportunites with the Angels. Most others here I didn’t care about. I will say that Team C, which you’ve seen, takes guys off what they did rather than what they could do. Team OWS is a White Sox fan, so he’ll take some chances with their players.

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