Okay time to break down my Main Event Roster pick by pick with the thinking behind each. I was drafting out of the 8th spot.:
Pick 1 - Jimmy Rollins, SS - My thought process here was posted earlier, but basically I wanted to start out with 5 category players in the first 3 picks, passing up the Top 1B and trying to nab either Chris Davis or Joey Votto in Round 4. I chose Rollins over Kinsler, Utley, Teixeira and Howard.
Pick 2 - Matt Kemp, OF - Kemp was a player I was targeting before the draft, and I knew that he would never make it back to me in the 3rd. Pedroia, Soriano and Crawford go before I pick leaving me to decide between Evan Longoria, Kemp, Fielder, Mourneau or J Santana. I think I took the whole minute to decide to stick with my plan and take Kemp. I projected him for 20/20 , but obviously I am hoping for more across the board this year.
Pick 3 - Nick Markakis, OF - I was thinking Alex Rios or Nate McLouth with this pick. Possibly Alexie Ramirez. The guy right before me at #7 gets me back for gifting him Longoria by grabbing J Ellsbury dropping Markakis into my lap. He needed the speed after getting none in the first two Rds. I gladly scoop up Markakis and now set my sights on Rd. 4.
Pick 4 - Chris Davis, 1B/3B - My plan coming in was to grab a 1B this rd - either Davis or Votto. Both were still on the board, but if McLouth somehow made it to me I would grab him. He doesn't so I grab Davis over Votto. This is a pick I might regret, but I like Davis' power potential more than Votto's, although Votto has already gone through a full season while Davis has only 117 AB's to his credit.
Pick 5 - Jonathan Papelbon, CL - I stuck to my plan and drafted 3 of my targeted players and grabbed Markakis at a discount. So I was feeling very good about my start. With conservative projections for Kemp and Markakis I had myself at 90 HR's'/75 Sb's, with considerable upside particularly in the power department. The second phase of my plan was to grab a top Closer, Catcher and Ace. I orginally thought I would wait til the 6th to grab the last of the Top Tier Closers and either grab a C or SP in the 5th, but the Top 4 Catchers all were off the board and Mauer was hurt, so I was going to wait on C's. I was going to implement my own version of the Papelbon Plan, so when the best closer on my board slid to me in the 5th, I gladly grabbed him.
Pick 6 - Chad Billingsley, SP - Jay Bruce was the player I was hoping would slide to me. Once he was picked I started looking at SP and C. Mauer and Ryan Doumit were both available - but I went Sp choosing Billingsley over Roy Oswalt to anchor my rotation. His Whip is a little high for a staff ace, but that is the reasoning behind using the Papelbon Plan.
Pick 7 - Ryan Doumit, C - I gambled that Doumit would make it back to me and he did. I considered Robinson Cano and Aubrey Huff here, but again decided to stick to the plan and grab a Top C. After Doumit the position drops off quite a bit with only Chris Iannetta and Bengi Molina offering offensive upside. After 7 picks, my draft was proceeding as planned and I had even gotten 3 players (Markakis, Papelbon and Billingsley at value prices).
Pick 8 - J.J. Hardy, SS - I was thinking about grabbing another SP here and 3B and 2b were still needed. The choices at 3b and 2B were unispiring as were the OF choices at this point. Joba Chamberlain and Javier Vazquez were guys I was targeting. Vazquez went, but Joba was there. I took a last look at my board and saw one player that had somehow slid, Hardy. The second group of SS went off the board as expected in Rds 6 and 7. Hardy somehow was there. He shouldn't have been. Sometimes you take what the draft gives you and I will gladly slide Hardy and his 20+ HR's into my MI slot.
Pick 9 - Brett Myers, SP - It was time to get another SP, and I gladly tabbed Myers. I am hoping that the reports of his off season workouts are not just "noise", but I love the team and his strikeout ability. The only other guy I thought about was OF Adam Jones, who I would try to slide around the turn. He went in the 10th prior to my pick unfortunatly.
Pick 10 - Brian Fuentes, CL - I had been targeting Lastings Milledge and Adam Jones for this pick. Alas, both got chosen higher than I anticipated. Usually the second group of closers is already gone by the middle of the 10th, but this draft still had many guys on the board and many teams without a Closer yet. Fuentes was easily my Top ranked CL, and his problems in ST and bad back news apparently have scared off other owners. Jose Lopez is the other guy I wanted, and if I could do it again I would've grabbed him as he went two picks later. But, Fuentes gives me another CL on a playoff caliber team. I don't want to have to chase saves this year on the wire and with two of the Top 10 Closers, I should be good to go.
Pick 11 - Mike Napoli, C - Rickie Weeks, Alex Gordon, Placido Polanco and Pablo Sandoval were all considered. I talked myself out of all four to gamble on the power potential of Napoli. If he stays healthy, I should have the best C tandem in the league and a clear advantage at that scarce position.
Pick 12 - Max Scherzer, SP - Must to my dismay all of the above targets fly off the board. I am upset that I don't get one of them and still have open 3B and 2B slots. Looking at my sheets I decide I must now wait on both positions and go for a SP with strikeout potential. I love Scherzr's upside and I'm happy with having rostered him.
Pick 13 - Cameron Maybin, OF - Maybin was my fallback plan after missing out on Milledge and Jones. I decide to grab him now and his power/speed combo fits into my plan in the OF. Tremendous upside with this pick and I like him more than others do this season.
Pick 14 - Johnny Cueto, SP - Another high strikeout SP. Cueto slots into the middle of my rotation and I like his chances of taking a big step forward this season with a much improved Reds team.
Pick 15- Rick Ankiel, OF - I was looking for a power boost with this pick and was glad that another player I liked slid to the point where he was a tremendous value. I can easily absorb his BA, and people are forgeting that after hitting 20 HR's by the All Star break in '08, he battled injuries the rest of the way. 30 HR's seems certain, and there just weren't many of those kind of bats left.
Pick 16- Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B - After passing on other 3B, I decided I could wait no longer. Kouz offers me enough production at 3B that I am glad that I waited. 3B is top heavy this year - but after that you will see little difference between the guys who went 7 rounds earlier and Kouzmanoff. Add in the fact that the Padres will likely look to trade him to a contender and you are looking at even better numbers if he ever gets out of Petco.
Pick 17 -Jair Jurrjens, SP - I have decided that I am going to wait on 2b at this point. I have Hardy at MI, so I can wait. I grab some pitching, and Jurrjens is a great guy to slot into my #5 spot. He has to prove that last year wasn't a fluke and that he can do it again. I am happy to gamble on an Atlanta starter at this point.
Pick 18- Kendry Morales, CI - I needed to address this position and I really likje Morales this year. He isa finally going to get an extended look after hitting over .300 for three straight years at AAA. He had a monster offseason and should be a nice BA booster for my squad. He won't be eligible at the CI spot for two weeks so I will have to fill in until he is.
Pick 19 -Paul Maholm, SP - More pitching with one of my favorite sleepers for this year. Maholm is a former top prospect who made great strides last year for the Bucs. He is their #1 starter this year and brings a nice ERA and WHIP to the back of my rotation.
Pick 20 - Colby Rasmus, OF - I still needed another OF and the picks were slim here. I decided to grab Rasmus with hopes that he can make the team out of camp. I like the speed upside with Rasmus and I don't think that Chris Duncan can hold him off for long. I am rewarded when Rasmus indeed makes the team and looks to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day. He could be a big plus for me this year.
Pick 21 - Dan Wheeler, RP - It is always nice to get three closers if you can, and I like Wheeler to at worst have a share of the job in TB this year.
Pick 22 - Felix Pie, OF - Another gamble here, but Pie will finally be given the chance to deliver on his 20/20 upside as Baltimore will give him eavery chance to play this year. He fits the bill as I was looking to grab as many power/speed OF's as possible.
Pick 23 - Kenshin Kawakami, SP - I saw that Kawakami went much higher in almost every draft out there. Somehow guys fell asleep on him in my league and he was too good to pass up at this point. He is my 7th SP, and he has plenty of upside at this point of the draft.
Pick 24 - Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B - After waiting on 2B-men, I am happy to come away with Cleveland's Cabrera. As an Idians fan, I needed to get at least one of my boys. I think Cabrera has 10/10 upside. He could easily outperform many of the guys taken ahead of him.
Pick 25 - Carlos Villaneuva, RP - He was a speculative saves pick, who will likely be in my starting lineup in Week 1 as he will be filling in for the injured Trevor Hoffman. He has huge upside if Hoffman flops as I think he will. In any case 10 saves seems all but certain.
Pick 26-30 - Dallas McPherson, Matt LaPorta, Jorge De La Rosa and Pedro Alvarez
These picks figure to be the first guys to get dropped from my squad for free agents. I like De La Rosa's K/9 numbers and Alvarez was picked just to bring him into the player pool. I will hang onto LaPorta as long as possible, because I think Hafner might be done and the Tribe will turn to LaPorta sooner than later.
Well, that was my draft. I was happy with my team. Hit all of my targets and luckily avoided injuries. McPherson didn't win the 3B job, so I will need to address that in Week 1. Up next will be Week 1 FAAB bids and Opening Day. Can't wait for the season. Good Luck to all of you with your teams this year.