Open Mic: Critique This Draft Part 2

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Mic Check, 6 - 4 - 3

Consider this a 2nd open invitation to critique a fantasy baseball draft.  Flay it open, rip into it, and do not hold back.  But…before you do any flaying, ripping, or holding, consider the rules of etiquette.

  • Avoid the low-hanging fruit.  No references to anyone’s mom or a basement.
  • Try to omit words like “idiot”, “moron”, and “clueless”.  You will only receive the “I know you are but what I am” classic retort.  Welcome to the baseball kindergarten playground.  My Tonka truck is over there in the corner of the sand box.  Leave it alone.
  • Just assume that I’m aware of my mental health state, and I’m considered competent to drive a Segway on the sidewalks in my neighborhood.

When I wrote the original “Open Mic” piece, I was in the middle of a slow draft on Twitter for a 5×5 fantasy league.  Now seems like a good time to revisit that draft and bare my baseball soul for all to see.  Here is the end result for all 25 rounds along with a defense for some (if not all) of the picks.

  1. Robinson Cano (2B) – 104 runs, 28 hr, 118 rbi, 8 steals, .882 ops
  2. Jered Weaver (P) – 18 wins, 2.41 era, 0 saves, 198 strikeouts, 1.010 whip
  3. Clayton Kershaw (P) – 21 wins, 2.28 era, 0 saves, 248 strikeouts, 0.977 whip
  4. Asdrubal Cabrera (SS) – 87 runs, 25 hr, 92 rbi, 17 steals, .792 ops
  5. Alex Gordon (OF) – 101 runs, 23 hr, 87 rbi, 17 steals, .879 ops
  6. Shin-Soo Choo (OF) – 37 runs, 8 hr, 36 rbi, 12 steals, .733 ops
  7. Ben Zobrist (OF) – 99 runs, 20 hr, 91 rbi, 19 steals, .822 ops
  8. Aramis Ramirez (3B) – 80 runs, 26 hr, 93 rbi, 1 steal, .871 ops
  9. David Freese (CI) – 41 runs, 10 hr, 55 rbi, 1 steal, .791 ops
  10. Josh Beckett (P) – 13 wins, 2.89 era, 0 saves, 175 strikeouts, 1.026 whip
  11. Jose Valverde (P) – 2 wins, 2.24 era, 49 saves, 69 strikeouts, 1.189 whip
  12. Ricky Romero (P) – 15 wins, 2.92 era, 0 saves, 178 strikeouts, 1.138 whip
  13. Alex Avila (C) – 63 runs, 19 hr, 82 rbi, 3 steals, .895 ops
  14. Ryan Vogelsong (P) – 13 wins, 2.71 era, 0 saves, 139 strikeouts, 1.252 whip
  15. Nick Swisher (1B) – 81 runs, 23 hr, 85 rbi, 2 steals, .822 ops
  16. Jhonny Peralta (MI) – 68 runs, 21 hr, 86 rbi, 0 steals, .824 ops
  17. Jaime Garcia (P) – 13 wins, 3.56 era, 0 saves, 156 strikeouts, 1.320 whip
  18. Vance Worley (P) – 11 wins, 3.01 era, 0 saves, 119 strikeouts, 1.230 whip
  19. Allen Craig (OF) – 33 runs, 11 hr, 40 rbi, 5 steals, .917 ops
  20. Josh Willingham (OF) – 69 runs, 29 hr, 98 rbi, 4 steals, .810 ops
  21. Jason Motte (P) – 5 wins, 2.25 era, 9 saves, 63 strikeouts, 0.956 whip
  22. Jair Jurrjens (P) – 13 wins, 2.96 era, 0 saves, 90 strikeouts, 1.224 whip
  23. Matt Joyce (OF) – 69 runs, 19 hr, 75 rbi, 13 steals, .825 ops
  24. Russell Martin (UTIL) – 57 runs, 18 hr, 65 rbi, 8 steals, .732 ops
  25. Melky Cabrera (UTIL) – 102 runs, 18 hr, 87 rbi, 20 steals, .809 ops

In my own defense, I am just a huge Robinson Cano fan and think he could actually improve on last year.  On the other hand, I am putting a lot of faith in guys like Choo and Freese who lost significant time last season due to injury.  I admit to trying a catch a flyer (or three), but I believe I am taking chances on the right kinds of players.


  • I am already on record as stating that Cano is a stretch at the #1 pick.  However, I went with my philosophy that creating a substantial differential by stocking up on players at positions I deem shallow will help me success in the long term.  I consider Cano and Zobrist to be 2 of the top 8 guys at 2B.  Since snagging both also impacts the pool of available middle infielders (MI), I believe I may have given myself an advantage.
  • In theoretically giving myself an advantage, did I give up too much by not taking a top 3 guy at 1B.  Probably.  Possibly.  Dunno.  Though he is currently listed as an outfielder by Yahoo, Alex Gordan will be the man 1B for my team.  I truly expect him to be a top 10 guy at 1B, and I do not believe that the distinction between top 3 and top 10 at that position is enough to worry me.
  • I am to blame for starting a bit of an early run on starting pitchers, but Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander were both drafted early.  Actually, Halladay went at the end of the first round, and Verlander went in the middle of round 2.  The next two on my list were Kershaw and Weaver, so I took both.  Honestly, I do not regret the move at all, because the pitching staff could very well be the strength of this team.
  • Combining closers Valverde and Motte may be a bit of a gamble, but I tend to favor closers on teams that I believe will win a lot of games.  Drew Storen was a very tempting choice over Motte, but I just do not know what to expect from the Nationals this year.

Stealing Late:

  • There are several definitions of a “steal” in fantasy drafts.  My definition is picking up a player 2 or more rounds later than you expected OR drafting a player so late that you celebrate with a “man giggle”.  (NOTE: It is technically possible for both men and women to “man giggle”, but it is way funnier when a woman does it.)  Maybe I am wrong about Worley, but I was sure shocked to see him still on the board for my 18th pick.  He only started 21 games in 2011 and threw 131 2/3 innings.  If he gets another 8-10 starts, he projects to be a top 30 starter.  The fact that he was still available in the 18th round may only be slightly less surprising than Jurrjens being available in the 22nd round.
  • Melky Cabrera in the 25th round?  At that point most people are looking for a guy who maybe excels in one stat category or had a really off year.  Not this time.  Cabrera is coming off a season in which he posted a .809 ops, and his move to San Francisco does not scare me off at all.   His power numbers might suffer a little, but he may simply fill the stat sheet everywhere else.

That is it.  Have at it, but try to be kind.  If not for me, then do it for the children’s sake.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Marc M Says:

    -I don’t like the Choo pick. Round 6 is great without the lingering concerns from last year- if he does bounce back, great, if not, I’m sure that there was better and more reliable value out there.

    -Freese in round 9- after you’ve already taken a much better 3B the round before? Using Freese to fill a MI position is a waste- 6 rounds later Swisher was still sitting there, and after that Peralta, both of whom are better hitters.

    -Asdrubal over Hanley? Gordon over Hanley (even with another SS taken?)

    -While I can’t argue too much with the early pitchers, it’s a very deep position, especially in an 8 team draft.

    I’d love to see the full draft, but while you got some good value in the later rounds, the early rounds seemed like there were some stretches.

  2. Dennis Lawson Says:

    Marc – I agree with you about Choo. Had I noticed that Zobrist was still available, I would have gone with him ahead of Choo. Then again, it worked out pretty well this way, and I think Choo would have been gone after the 7th round.

    All I can really say about the Freese pick is that I wanted solid insurance at 3B, and I wanted an advantage at the CI/MI positions. That said, I probably should have slowed down and gone with someone like Swisher around that pick. I just had a belief that based on the way the other rosters were filling out that I’d be able to get everybody, even if I had to go in an odd order to do so.

    I did consider Hanley & Asdrubal, but I don’t have a lot of faith in Hanley and his attitude. If his defense is problematic, then I could see him trying to make it up at the plate.

    While there are plenty of quality starting pitchers, I want a top 3 team in wins, era, and WHIP. To get that, I felt it necessary to draft top guys early and often. I believe other teams match my team at the top 4, but I think my advantage is with the bottom 4 starters.

    The whole draft should be available online:

    I would post it, but it makes for an extremely long post. Besides, the format in the Google doc is much better than I can do here.

  3. Somer Billet Says:

    The very root of your writing whilst appearing reasonable in the beginning, did not really sit properly with me after some time. Somewhere throughout the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer but only for a very short while. I however have got a problem with your leaps in logic and you might do nicely to help fill in all those gaps. If you actually can accomplish that, I will undoubtedly be fascinated.

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