Anatomy of a Fantasy Baseball Draft

UPDATE: With my next two picks, I took Tsuyoshi Nishioak (19th), and Carlos Lee (20th).  Santana will be on the DL for half the year, but it allows me to bring up an MILB guy of mine (like Jennings) without having to drop a guy I draft.  Next pick, if he's still there will be Johan Santana and probably Jurjens if he's still there.

It is around the time for people to start preparing for their fantasy draft.  For me, I am actually in the 18th round of my Roto 5x5 Keeper league draft.  Last year, this team did not do well, mostly because I was preoccupied with things like the birth of my first child, and work.  Some things just got a little more important.  Because of that, I finished last, and had a craptastic list to choose from for my 9 keepers.  They ended up being the following list:

Prince, Ryan Howard, Mike Napoli, Nick Markakis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones, Yovanni, John Danks, and Gio Gonzales.

I had a lot of work to do, but I did have the first overall pick of the non kept guys.  Lineup construction went as the following- C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 4x OF, 2x UT, 3 SP, 2 RP, 4 P, and 8 BN

So with my first pick, I saw who was kept and not, and being this is a Keeper league, I had narrowed down my choices between Justin Upton, Ichiro, Alexei Ramirez, Mike Stanton, and Roy Oswalt.  I immediately eliminated Ichiro from the list because of age and lineup.  Stanton Ks way too much, but has power that I don't really need with Prince, Napoli, and Howard on my side.  There were a lot of quality SSs left, so I figured leaving Alexei on the board would be alright.  So it came down to Oswalt and Upton.  I went with Upton on upside, ballpark, and superstar potential.  Even though my pitching could use a boost, Upton was the right choice.

So I waited 18 picks before it came back to me.  Ichiro, Alexei, Stanton, and about 3 of the SS I was craving went which put me in a hole there.  I wasn't going to reach for a closer here, but it didn't matter.  OSWALT WAS STILL ON THE BOARD!!! So I snatched him up.

Swinging around, The biggest hole in my lineup, with one semi quality candidate left, I had to snatch up Jeter at SS.  I know he's old, and he may be severely declining, but i didn't want to fall into the Starlin Castro, Steven Drew, Yunel Escobar tier.  So I grabbed him.  It may pay off, it may not.

18 more picks, and I saw closers were starting to go.  The best closers unkept were Marmol, Rivera, Feliz, Wilson, and Heath Bell.  All 5 went after I picked Jeter.  So I figured I could wait a round or 2 and have my choice of established guys like Cordero, Valverde, K-rod, Lidge, and Houston Street.  So I decided to see what good stuff was left.  I saw Tim Hudson sitting there.  I have always been of the opinion that when he is healthy (like last year) he is the quietest Top 20 starter out there.  So I grabbed him.

Swinging around to what is the 14th, I needed a 2B and a 3B.  McGehee, and Aramis were already gone, as were weeks and Zobrist.  So I had the decision between Figgins, and Brian Roberts.  They are pretty even players, roberts having an edge in homers, and Figgins in steals.  It came down to who will score more, and I went with Brian Roberts.  Figgins was taken two players later.  I am already having regrets about that pick.

After another 18 picks, The closers I liked with Street, Cordero, and Valverde were gone, as were pretty much all other options, and I needed closers.  So I grabbed Lidge and K-rod and waited another 18 picks to have to address more team holes.

So here we were in what is essentially the 17th, and I still don't have a 3B.  I looked at my available options, and it was slim pickings.  I narrowed it down to 2, Scott Rolen, and Ian Stewart.  Stewart's relative youth carried the day, though I know he won't hit .275, and average is already a concern with Fielder, Napoli, Upton, and Howard on my squad.   

The next pick, I looked at what was left, and decided a P would be nice to have.  Though my starters were still solid but unspectacular, I wanted a CL so I could be competitive in that stat.  Ryan Franklin, despite his low SO numbers, was the last guy left on a perceived contender, so I grabbed him.

This leaves me with a line up of the following:

C- Napoli, 1B- Prince, 2B- Roberts, 3B- Stewart, SS- Jeter, CI- Howard, no MI yet, OF- Upton, OF- Ellsbury, OF- Markakis, OF- Jones, no UT yet

SP- Oswalt, SP- Gallardo, SP- Hudson, RP- K-Rod, RP- Lidge, P- Franklin, P- Danks, P- Gonzales, no BN or last spot of pitchers yet.

I have 12 picks left, and I think I have replaced 2 keepers with Upton and Oswalt in my lineup.  I'm looking at my lineup and I need average, I could use more wins, and perhaps some steals.  I'm not worried about any of my starters blowing up my WHIP or ERA, but I know W are always a crapshoot with my team. 

Positionally, I will probably need another 2 OF, 2 MIs, a CI, 4 starters, 1-2 closer, and perhaps a C (Yadier or Posada).   

The guys I am targeting in the upcoming rounds are the new Japanese 2B in Minnesota, Marlon Byrd, Placido Polanco, and probably Carlos Lee.  On pitchers, I'm looking at some guys coming off injury like Johan Santana, Brandon Webb, Jair Jurgens and Eric Bedard, along with CJ Wilson, Hiroki Kuroda, and Travis Wood.  I may also add a low end closer like David Aardsma, Jon Broxton, or Leo Nunez.  I also may wait on the closer to the Minors portion and draft Drew Storen, Craig Kimbel, or Jake Magee.

All these options are exciting and fun. 
Tell me what you think

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