My thoughts on the draftMarch 28th, 2011 by Eric Kesselman in Uncategorized
Baseball is finally here again after another interminable winter absence, and I am very relieved. I barely made it through this offseason by joining Rany Jazayerli's stratomatic league and by playing a lot of simdynasty.com (great site, check it out!).
Anyway, I've been holding off saying anything about the auction until my other AL only league had drafted, but now I can let it rip.
I'm going to go team by team with my thoughts, and give myself every opportunity to put my foot in my mouth. Overall I thought without question it was the toughest auction I've ever been in. The number of times I was mentally rubbing my hands with glee as the bidding went to levels I thought were insane were extremely few and far between. Anyway here we go, my opinions for whatever they're worth-
Derek I think had a solid auction. We differ wildly on valuation, and it sometimes seems to me that he weights batting average as a negative. His rosters invariably are filled with Mark Reynolds types, and he generally feels he bought them cheap by $5 or more. This roster is no different, but I think most of his good buys are his two closers Francisco $13 and Thornton $12. Thornton was named closer after the auction, and I could easily see an $8 win there. I like Jason Donald at $1 and Jeff Mathis at $2. Both seem like you pay for what you get at worst, and have some chance at an upside. Snider at $15 likewise seems likely to me to turn in a range of seasons from $13 to $24. Good buy. I think Alex Gordon at $15 is too much by a lot, although I do have a strange feeling it might pay off. Regardless, I don't like paying for it upfront. I think an $8 Pineda was insane. He's one of the hot guys going around drafts this year (he went $7 in tout Mixed league!) and I don't see it at all. He's a super talented young pitcher. There is no shot he wins a lot of games on that team. At the time Derek bought him, he wasn't even in the rotation. Even if he is good, I think they'll watch his innings carefully. He is obviously not without upside, but I think its about as low reward/high risk a buy as you can get for $8. I'm not convinced by Colby Lewis either, he's at least one more season from me paying anywhere near the $17 mark. I look at the other pitchers in the league who went in the $15-$18 range and I think I'd take every single one over Lewis.
Generally happy with the way things went. From what I had seen from mock drafts, I thought there was a class of valuable player coming off of down or injured years who were going way to cheap. My plan was to scoop up all these guys, the Magglio Ordonez, Manny, James Shields, Bedard, Burnett, Beckett types. Unfortunately, there was no real discount there when it came time to auction, particularly on the hitters. I was pretty happy with my Bedard, Burnett and Beckett prices, but couldn't really clean up the way I hoped. I was even charged $6 for my beloved Ducshererererer. Near the end of the draft, I had a few moments of panic at being stuck with money while I kept waiting for discounts that weren't appearing. I wound up having to pay full freight for Juan Rivera, and was less than thrilled to be the owner of a $7 Desmond Jennings. Sure, he might work out, but I didn't want that kind of hole to start the year, and I really don't want that much variance from that spot. So I have some concerns on offense, with a couple of holes, and a bit too much speed, and a bit too much volatility from my offense, but I *love* my pitching staff. The general consensus seems to be that I'm insane there, so we will see. And other than my holes, I think my offense is pretty killer.
Jason Grey/Paul Jones:
I like their auction a lot. They've already taken a few blows with demotions to Saunders and Outman, and Borbon looking shaky. Solid pitching and solid hitting otherwise. Some serious thumpers and a few top pitchers, with filler mixed in that won't hurt and could get lucky. Very nice draft in my opinion.
He might have done the most gambling in the auction, and I think I dislike some of the pieces. Viciedo $1 was cheap but I don't see any upside for ABs. Rhymes was a big hit at $1, and I liked Reimold at $1 and Sweeney at $2. Sizemore at $14 is a lot of volatility. I don't really like it, because even if he returns to form, I can't imagine he runs the way he did or plays anywhere near as regualrly. Lowrie at $6 might work out, as might Gregg at $8 but I can't say im wild about either. Farnsworth at $6 seems like a huge stretch. I really hate Conger at $3. I just don't see how if they booted Mike Napoli out of town for his defense how this guy has a shot at playing time anytime soon. All in all seems like too much gamble, and even if he hits a few of them I think his team will be left with too many holes for too long. Also hitting gambles on relievers is nice, but relievers are always the hardest commodity to move.
I generally like his draft, as his offense seems very solid, and his pitching might be a bit thin, but probably won't be the kind of guys who will hurt him much (especially once he benches Bruce chen). He had a few holes, but quickly shored one up by snaring Chris Getz, who I thought was one of the better buys in the auction. I'm a bit worried about this team.
Similar to Peter, I think Shawn did a lot of gambling, and I don't like many of his spots. I know he's got quite the record of 'duh, winning' to quote the bard, but I'm very curious to see how this team plays out. It seems to me that Felipe Lopez, Trout, Connor Jackson, Ackley, and Adam Moore is just a lot of holes for an offense, even if some pan out ok eventually. I don't like Edwin Jackson much at $9, and I think Slowey at $9 was insane. His job was unclear at the time, and even if he got a job, or got traded to another team, I don't think Slowey is a $9 buy. Wieters for $18 also seems too dependent on a break out. Curt Suzuki went for $15. Napoli went $20. I like a lot of his other buys like the $2 Ackley, Joba, Tillman. Sale was an interesting gamble at $6.
I generally like where these guys did their gambling. $6 Inge, $2 chris davis, $3 mccarthy, $1 Pie, $3 Lorenzo Cain, $3 Getz, $3 Sizemore. Even $1 Varitek and Kazmir. Thats a lot of low cost guys with real upside. I think they did real well, though I think their gifting of Chris Getz to Larry for Scott Downs was a big blunder. Maybe Downs will win the closer job, but I think they might be a little thin on offense in the meantime. All in all, if they can keep the roster together I think this is a real tough team and they might have the best risk/reward buys in the auction.
This team terrifies me. I think he had a really strong draft, and has only made his team stronger with trades so far. I'm calling bullshit on $23 for Max Scherzer, who I know is another darling of auctions this year. I think you're all insane. Blah blah blah, potential. Blah blah blah, second half numbers. Jered Weaver went for $2 more. Call me crazy, but I need a pitcher to put together a bit more consistent resume before I fire out $23 and hope to make a profit on it. I really hope I'm right, because otherwise this team is my pick for the cream of the league right now.
I generally like everything they did, barring a player or two where we have strong differences of opinion. It's a nice well rounded team, with lots of spots for good upside. I'm not wild about the $5 Thome solely because I don't see how he gets anywhere near consistent ABs. $24 for Morneau is certainly plausible, but I'm just terrified of him. Guy has been concussed for 9 freaking months. You have to figure theres at least a 15% chance he's just never the same right? I love his $3 Moustakas, and sadly so does Chris. All my attempts to pry him loose have failed. I understand all the arguments for paying $14 for Jon Lackey, and I made them myself last year. All I can say is I watched a lot of his games, and that was not easy to stomache. One of Chris or I will definitely be saying 'I told you so' to the other come the end of the season.
I like what he did, but he bought a lot of big guys. His first four roster spots are Mauer $26, Vmart $26, M. Cabrera $34, and Pedroia $29. Left him a bit thin, and to cover holes he had to break some guys up. Hard to do that and dictate terms at the same time. Too many people have holes, and extra players should trade for a premium.
Big fan of this team. We share similar feelings on players I think, and he just got good prices on almost all of them. Nothing truly larcenous perhaps, but I like just about every buy.
I think this was a really solid draft with 3 blunders. I cannot fathom the $12 Montero (Cervelli wasn't hurt at the time either). I just don't see how Russell Martin isn't the Yankee catcher to bet on this year. I'm not convinced Kendrys Morales is worth $26 when healthy, and even as early as we drafted, the reports of lingering foot issues should have been a concern. I'm not sure why the Angels seem to be more deceptive in releasing information than the Pentagon, but Morales was not clearly 100%. While this situation may have turned out far worse now han was likely, I think it should've knocked him down to the $22 range or lower. Lastly I'm going to call bullshit on Morrow at $15. Sure he could be great, but I think at best his distrubution looks like a lot of $12 to $18 seasons. I don't see a $15 bet on him as having much positive expectation.
And that's my view to start the season! If anyone has any thoughts they'd like to share, or just general trash talking of my team, shoot!