Nothing like your first draft of the season being completely bizarre. I ended up with the third pick which I hate, especially on Yahoo, because they rank Johan Santana second leaving me with choices like Reyes, Rodriguez, Howard and Soriano for my selection.
Well, didn’t have to worry about that. The first guy picked Rodriguez and then the second picked Howard, leaving me with a huge gift, Albert Pujols.
So here are my picks and some reasoning on takng them:
1. Albert Pujols, 1B – Top-ranked player in baseball. Easiest pick of the draft.
2. Grady Sizemore, OF – Five-category superstar and current man-crush 🙂
3. Travis Hafner, DH/UTIL – The Indians are primed for a big season and he is probably the team’s top masher. 40HR/110RBIs almost a given.
4. BJ Ryan, RP – A flame-thrower who even though showed a slight drop in Ks last season showed more control (fewer walks and hits) should have more opportunity on an improving team.
5. Jermaine Dye, OF – Least favorite pick of the draft but was top player available and thought could be good trade bait for guys that may be in love with last year’s numbers.
6. Julio Lugo, 2B – Ugh, the guy before me grabbed Brian Roberts and didn’t want to get caught picking from the third tier of 2Bs. The change of scene to Boston and at the top of a great lineup could make him a really lucky (and good) pick.
7. JJ Putz, RP – The only position where I got both of my "guys." Should probably be worried about loving a guy whose last name opens up too many jokes.
8. Alex Rios, OF – This is one of my "guys" in all the draft this year. Has five-tool capabilities and at 26 years old is coming into his breakout prime as a pitcher.
9. Dan Haren, SP – Exactly the guy I wanted, in the round I wanted. At 26, he is coming into the pitcher "prime age." He has also shown great durability (a rare feat recently for A’s pitchers) while putting up great K numbers (163, 176 last two years) and lowering the walks (53, 45).
10. Erik Bedard, SP – Had a great second half last year and continued to show great K/BB ratios. Also pitching for another ’07 improving team. Is it just me or does the AL East look like an absolute beast this year?
11. Brad Lidge, SP – Two reasons for taking a third RP – will probably have a good bounce-back season in ’07 and more importantly trade bait. If he starts well I can possible grab some of the guys I missed drafting.
12. Michael Barrett, C – Was focusing on Piazza as my C pick but waiting too long. With Lee healthy and Soriano in the lineup, the offense should click pretty well this year. That’s my story at least.
13. Willy Taveras, OF – Was good in ’05, stunk it up last year but a move to Colorado should help him and with Atkins, Holliday and Hawpe batting behind him there could be a lot of SportsCenter highlights of Taveras crossing homeplate.
14. Jon Garland, SP – 18 wins in each of the last two seasons and good K/BB splits. Turns 27 this year, prime year for pitchers, especially those on good teams.
15. Josh Willingham, OF – All the predictions I’ve read have him at 24HR/90RBI. Good addition for late rounds.
16. A.J. Burnett, SP – Taking a flier on a oft-injured pitcher that showed good promise in the second half of last year.
17. Felipe Lopez, SS – Great stolen base numbers and consistently posted 90+ runs. Great value for late rounds.
18. Chad Tracy, 3B – Was a sexy mid-round pick last year but struggling with power and average. Plays in a great offense park on a rapidly-improving team. Numbers should be there for him to impress.
19. Dave Bush, SP – Have you seen his K/BB ratios? Last year Bush had 166Ks to 38BBs. Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab a future star.
20. Alex Gordon, 3B – Top-rated prospect in baseball.
21. Jonathan Broxton, RP – Literally throws fireballs. A simple call to Tonya Harding and he’s the Dodgers closer.
Overall I am pretty happy with my team. Think I need to strengthen the middle of the infield. Stay tuned, trade offers going out tonight.