March 26, 2006

I'll go quickly, so as not to bore you...too much

It's been said there's nothing more exciting than your fantasy team, and there is nothing less exciting than someone else's. That said, it's my blog, and you can skip this post and head on down to the recipe below this if you're not interested.

We had our live draft yesterday. 16 teams, 21 picks per team. It took almost 2 1/2 hours, which is actually less than I expected, so I was happy. I had the fourth pick, which meant, with a snake draft, I got to typically pick twice in pretty rapid succession, and then I had to do a lot of waiting and planning; watching while my first choice players got scooped up in front of me. Anyhow, this is what I ended up with at each position. My team, called PECOTA is My Daddy, was chosen based on a combination of common sense and the Baseball Prospectus projection system called PECOTA. I sprinkled this with some hunches and some nods to the offensive level of the respective home parks. I like my team better than most of the other teams in the league, as some of the choices were idiosyncratic at best.

C - Jorge Posada, Yankees and Brian McCann, Braves - Posada is clearly declining, but he is also still one of the best catchers in the league. There isn't a lot of top tier offensive talent at catcher, and there's no points for defense. McCann is a good young player who will provide insurance in case Posada's head falls off or something.

1B - Mark Teixeira, Rangers and Nick Johnson, Nationals - Teixeira is young, good, and he plays in one of the best hitter's parks in baseball. All that should add up to a solid season, and it better, as he was my first pick. Johnson looks to hold down the Utility spot in the lineup, as he is a talented hitter, and I'm his injury problems are cured.

2B - Ray Durham, Giants - He's not young and isn't getting younger, but he has power and patience, and I waited a long time to pick a 2B. If Bonds is back for real, Durham could end up scoring a lot of runs. If I get league average production from him, I'll be satisfied.

3B - Troy Glaus, Blue Jays, Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals and Bill Mueller, Dodgers - Glaus hit a lot of bombs last year, and I'm hoping he repeats. He appears to be an old 30, but I'm banking on him having more left in the tank, and PECOTA agrees. Zimmerman is a rising start with Rookie of the Year talent and a starting job to boot. He's had a torrid spring as well, and I'm hoping to cash in on his success in some form. Mueller is on my team because he isn't terrible and has eligibility at 2B as well. Strictly a backup plan.

SS - Derek Jeter, Yankees and J.J. Hardy, Brewers - I really don't like Jeter, but emotion can't play a part here. He can hit, and he will score a truckload of runs this year. If he repeats last season's numbers, I'll be ecstatic. Hardy is a young player with potential on a team full of guys like that. Again, he's an insurance policy in case Jeter falls down the stairs some day.

OF - J.D. Drew, Dodgers, Brad Wilkerson, Rangers, and Jim Edmonds, Cardinals - Drew is devastating when healthy, which is never, but I couldn't leave him hanging out ther anymore. Wilkerson is a good player moving to the bandbox in Arlington, so he should double his HRs and do well everywhere else. Edmonds is one of the top centerfielders in my lifetime, though he is on his way down. Again, if he repeats last season, I'll be pretty happy, though I'd like to see the average come up a bit. If one of these guys goes down, I'll need to scoop up someone off waivers, and quick.

Starters - Carlos Zambrano, Cubs, Javier Vazquez, White Sox, Matt Clement, Red Sox, Greg Maddux, Cubs, and Esteban Loaiza, A's - Zambrano has emerged as the best (and healthiest) of the big 3 on the North Side, and he strikes out a lot of guys, though he'll give up the occasional homer. Vazquez is a good pitcher who's had some bad years. The south side pitching coach should make him pitch like the rest of his team's starters did last year. Clement has good potential if he stays healthy, and he'll get wins in front of that offense. Maddux will be good enough, and Loaiza is durable and effective, if not dazzling. Overall, a solid, if unspectacular group.

Relievers - B.J. Ryan, Blue Jays, Todd Walker, Tigers, and Kiko Calero, A's - Ryan is the projected MLB saves leader, according to PECOTA, Walker is good enough to get the saves, even if he doesn't pitch great, and Calero is a middle reliever with good peripherals who may snipe me a few wins.

I like my team well enough, but we'll see what happens when the games are played.

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