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Hello again friends! Another year, another fantasy baseball draft.

This was an especially exciting draft with all of the new members who joined our league. I can see that everyone is really committed to winning, and I am personally looking forward to a very competitive season! For those of you who are new, last year I began an annual tradition of grading our draft. You may be wondering what qualifies me as an analyst (or as Martin likes to call me, a “draftologist”), but those closest to me know my dedication to fantasy baseball. Of course, these grades or completely opinionated, but then again, aren’t all draft grades?

Last year my draft grade format was an overall grade accompanied by a brief explanation for that grade. This year, along with your overall grade will be one category strength/weakness, your best draft choice, your worst draft choice, and your best late-round pick. In regards to your best/worst draft choice, these players may not necessarily be the best/worst players on your team. I’m taking into account the overall value of the pick, along with his ability to help/hurt your team. As for the late-round pick, this player (18th round or later) will have the greatest impact in helping your team despite being chosen in the later rounds.

After you read through the draft grades be sure to check out the updated strength of schedule, and my projected final standings (last year’s were surprisingly accurate, I even shocked myself).

Anyway, enough of this gooey show of emotion, and on with this year’s draft grades!

1. The Beaver Dams (Steve):

Strength: Runs

Weakness: Stolen Bases

Best Draft Choice: Carlos Santana – Yes, you are reading this correctly. A second year catcher who had a season ending injury last season is my best pick. The fact of the matter is that, given his ADP, I couldn’t pass him up in the 9th round. He’s a tremendous talent at a weak catcher position. Had he not gotten hurt last season he’d be a borderline 5th or 6th round pick this year.

Worst Draft Choice: Kelly Johnson – Don’t get me wrong. He was great last year, and technically he was a steal in the 12th round. But still, it’s Kelly Johnson. Last year was the ceiling and this year he could put up similar results. But I wouldn’t count on it….

Late-round Lottery Ticket: Travis Snider – It seems like forever ago that this kid was a highly touted prospect. People forget that he’s just 23 years old. There’s a legit chance for him to hit 30-35 homers this season. Although he may be a batting average liability, he could end up being a steal in the 20th round.

Overall Analysis: I’m very excited about my team this year. Obviously, you could question on some level, not taking Albert Pujols with the 1st overall pick. Yes, he’s arguably the best hitter we’ve seen throughout the past decade. However, due to the glaring scarcity at SS (along with the surplus of great 1st basemen), my choice was to take Hanley “The Bone” Ramirez. I should easily compete for a top 3 finish this year.

Final Grade: B+

2. Hand Jobbers (Dave):

Strength: HR

Weakness: Stolen Bases

Best Draft Choice: Albert Pujols – See career statistics.

Worst Draft Choice: Jose Reyes – He’s coming off two disappointing seasons. I understand SS is the weakest position, and this doesn’t seem like that much of a reach given his ADP, but with other really great players on the board this type of pick can end up being a huge setback for your team.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Jose Tabata – This was a great pick in the 19th round. Even though the Pirates won’t win many games this season, that doesn’t mean there offense hasn’t greatly improved. Tabata will be setting the table for Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez whom are two excellent young hitters. In his first full season you could be looking at .300-90-15–65-30 from this guy.

Overall Analysis: Well Dave, you got Pujols with the second pick. So that’s good. Unfortunately, taking Jose Reyes at the end of the 2nd round could end up crippling your team. He’s no longer the 20 homer and 70 steal threat he was three seasons ago. Although drafting a SS early may seem like a great idea, it hurts you unless you’re getting Hanley or Tulo. Which leads me to the next team….

Final Grade: B-

3. Vinegar Strokes (Marc):

Strength: Batting Average

Weakness: Saves

Best Draft Choice: Troy Tulowitzki – People forget that he missed two months last season when looking at his stats. He’s absurdly talented and he’s a SS. If he can stay healthy over an entire season he could be the league MVP. Even if he does end up missing some time due to injury, you’re still going to get a season’s worth of elite stats.

Worst Draft Choice: Billy Butler – There’s no doubt this kid is great player. Unfortunately he has no one hitting around him and his power numbers have yet to spike.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Jamie Garcia – I know, everyone would probably disagree with me for not picking Raburn as your late-round lottery ticket. However, in 28 starts last season, Garcia had 19 QS and posted an ERA of 2.70. His WHIP was slightly high at 1.32, but it’s serviceable. This is a steal in the 18th round.

Overall Analysis: For the past few years we have constantly bombarded Marc with insults because of his uniquely horrible draft day decisions. I’m pleased to report that this isn’t the case this year. This team is chock full of talented players that could potentially breeze through the playoffs. The only concern would be Josh Hamilton staying healthy for a full season, but I understand why you wouldn’t want to pass up on a player of his caliber. Also, it’s been proven that you don’t need closers to make the playoffs. Marc, this year you may actually EARN yourself a championship.

Final Grade: B+

4. Jeffster (Tony):

Strength: Saves

Weakness: Wins

Best Draft Choice: Matt Kemp – I seriously considered taking him earlier in the 3rd round. Rihanna and Joe Torre are done ruining his life so I expect he’ll get back on track this year. He truly is a multi-category threat at the beginning of his prime.

Worst Draft Choice: Rafael Furcal – He’s too injury prone and now he’s getting up there in age. Don’t expect much production or a full season’s worth of games from him.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Bobby Abreu – Sure, he’s old. Yet, if you look closely at his statistics, they haven’t dropped off that much (with the exception of BA). He’ll be the DH this year which should be beneficial to his hitting. Solid late round choice.

Overall Analysis: Tony, you have an extremely talented lineup. However, the recent injuries to many of your players suggests that you could be in for a long year. The following players have an injury history within the last year: Cruz, Utley, Morneau, Ellsbury, Montero, Zimmerman, and Kendrick. That’s scary. I also suspect that you’ll want to add a few starters to this roster so that you reach the innings minimum every week. All in all, a pretty solid draft. If this team can stay healthy, watch out.

Final Grade: B

5. First Hit First RBI (Jeff):

Strength: E.R.A

Weakness: R.B.I.

Best Draft Choice: Zack Greinke – Yes, he’s coming off a bad year and he has a broken rib. However, let’s not forget how great he was two years ago. He’s an ace. He’s in his prime. He’s in the national league now, with an offense behind him, and you got him in the 8th round.

Worst Draft Choice: Elvis Andrus – Technically you didn’t reach for him with this pick. You drafted him right around his average ADP. The problem with Andrus is he just plain sucks.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Chone Figgins – If you know me, you know that I’m not the biggest Figgins advocate. However, taking him in the 19th round is certainly a bargain. If he can produce the same line as 2009 (.298-114-5-54-42), he’s actually quite valuable.

Overall Analysis: What I like about this draft is that if you’re going to go with pitching early, you may as well dominate it. At the expense of hitting, you’ve drafted the best pitching staff in the league. It should get you a playoff spot. You’ll really have to hope that your hitters can reach above-average potential though. Otherwise, you may miss the playoffs by a slight margin.

Final Grade: B-

6. Vagina Dentata (Martin):

Strength: HR

Weakness: Steals

Best Draft Choice: Colby Rasmus – You may have reached on him by a round or so, but I can’t blame you. He’s a breakout star waiting to happen.

Worst Draft Choice: Brian McCann – He’s a solid player, but not worth burning a 5th round pick on. Catchers don’t typically make or break your team so having a good one shouldn’t be a priority.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Ervin “Johan” Santana – I pretty much could have picked anyone of your last 5 picks for this award. The reason I chose Santana is because he’s still relatively young, he has ace potential still, and he’s now two years removed from surgery. He was also your 22nd round pick. Pretty tremendous.

Overall Analysis: Well done my friend (my so-called friend). In my book, you get this year’s award for “best draft.” Barring an Ian Kinsler injury (It’s bound to happen at some point, however), you shouldn’t finish any worse than 2nd place. No reaches, and solid picks all the way throughout the draft. For whatever it’s worth (I assume not much), you now have my respect as a drafter.

Final Grade: B+

7. Codename Dutchess:

Strength: HR

Weakness: Batting Average

Best Draft Choice: Mark Reynolds – I know he batted .198 last year, but he’s a career .240 hitter that can slug 40 homers, and even contribute in steals. He also plays 3rd base which is nice, and he’ll bat cleanup for a much improved Baltimore lineup.

Worst Draft Choice: B.J. Upton – I think it’s time to face the fact that this guy is overrated. He’ll probably contribute in runs, and give you a nice amount of steals, but it’s not worth the batting average and OPS liability.

Late-round Lottery Ticket: Starlin Castro – He showed a lot of potential last year. It’s unclear how much his stats will increase this year, but you can be sure he’ll improve. He could finish in the 10 overall amongst SS.

Overall Analysis: I’m not a big fan of your earlier draft picks, and you reached on some players in the middle rounds, but you got some potentially great players in the later rounds. At first glance I felt like your team would really struggle, but given further analysis, your team is actually quite well-rounded. Your team batting average will be your Achilles heel, but that’s just one category. Too bad you have to toughest strength of schedule (see results below).

Final Grade: B

8. Harry Doyle Fan Club (Brian):

Strength: R.B.I.

Weakness: K’s

Best Draft Choice: Alex Rodriguez – Good choice with this pick. He won’t put up MVP numbers anymore, but with so few talented third basemen this year it was smart to lock up one of the few elite options.

Worst Draft Choice: Victor Martinez – Not only did you reach two rounds to get him, but his career numbers at Comerica are horrible.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Carlos Ruiz – Because he’s the only late-round pick that you haven’t dropped already. Of course, that could change by the time this is posted.

Overall Analysis: Despite getting last year’s #1 overall player in CarGo, several reaches in critical rounds derailed your draft. Specifically V-Mart, Rios, and Carpenter. It’s not that these players are bad, it’s just that you could have gotten them with later picks. I also noticed that you already began your add/drops which means you noticed the flaws with your late round choices. It’s going to be tough for you, given the strength of schedule you have. I like the dedication you shown thus far though.

Final Grade: C+

9. Who’s Barney Gumble? (Matt):

Strength: E.R.A.

Weakness: Steals

Best Draft Choice: Mat Latos – I can’t believe he slipped to the 8th round. He’s a star and he’s pitching in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league. Expect 200 strikeouts and an earned run average under 3.00.

Worst Draft Choice: Carlos Lee – He’s old and you drafted him six rounds too early.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Jhoulys Chacin – I hate you, Matty V. You stole the biggest sleeper on my board. His strikeout rate is exceptional, and should be good enough to keep down his ERA despite pitching in Coors Field.

Overall Analysis: Another solid draft, V-Unit. It’s not last year’s team, but you had to pick from a difficult spot at the end of the first round. At least you got two great players with your picks of Braun and A-Gon. I was going to criticize you for not picking A-Rod in the 2nd round, but you eventually drafted Michael Young and Pablo Sandoval later on. One of them is bound to be good. Again, it’s not last year’s team, but, with all the quality veterans you have, your team is a lock for the playoffs.

Final Grade: B

10. Nuke The Wilpons (Mike):

Strength: Runs

Weakness: E.R.A.

Best Draft Choice: David Wright – I know some people are scared of him after what happened two years ago, but Wright is still a dynamic player who can produce a line of .300-100-30-100-25. He’s a nice consolation prize at 3rd base after Evan Longoria.

Worst Draft Choice: Jimmy Rollins – Ironically, you made the right choice in selecting Jeter with the very next pick. Rollins is completely overvalued because he’s a shortstop. He’s also injury prone.

Late Round Lottery Ticket: Jason Bay – He was awful last year, but he’s looked solid in the preseason and he’s 100% healthy now. If he’s even 3/4 the player he was in 2009 he’s a bargain in the 20th round.

Overall Analysis: The flaws in your draft are obvious. Jimmy Rollins and then Derek Jeter consecutively in the 5th and 6th round is troubling to say the least. Despite that, you actually made a lot of quality picks. This is a nice team, and based on what you do during the course of the season, you have a legit shot at getting back into the playoffs.

Final Grade: B

Strength Of Schedule (1=Hardest Schedule, 10=Easiest Schedule):
1)Kevin
2)Brian
3)Mike
4)Dave
5)Jeff
6)Matt
7)Martin
8)Tony
9)Steve
10)Marc

Projected Final Standings
1)Martin
2)Steve
3)Marc
4)Matt
5)Tony
6)Jeff
7)Mike
8)Dave
9)Kevin
10)Brian

And there you have it folks. Whether we agree with him or not, we at Jobu’s Rum are very lucky to have such a loyal and knowledgeable contributor. Thank you, Dr. Draft, you crazy bastard.

image courtesy of: http://www.herdofcats.ca

Dr. Draft

About Dr. Draft

Dr. Draft once called a mental institution home. He escaped after 25 years and has been on a rampage ever since. You will heed his draft advice, or the consequences for your fantasy team could be deadly.

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