Sunday, March 15, 2009 Draft Recap Part II

Yesterday, in part one of the draft recap, we looked at the first six teams participating the 2009 SportsJudge Fantasy Baseball Classic. Today we will finish with the teams that drafted seven through 12. Kicking us off is Mike Colligan.

Mike Colligan - Mike recently joined in October of 2008, but has quickly risen to Managing Editor of the Blog. Recruited for his football knowledge, Mike has shown excellent leadership and creativity in his rise with If you ever want to hear a good story, ask him about the dynasty in his Washington and Jefferson Fantasy Football League.
Mike has a well rounded team. Its solid everywhere, but excellent no where. His biggest strength is speed, but he is equally bad in the power department. Mike will definitely need to move some speed for power at some point this season. His pitching staff is anchored by Lincecum and has good depth, but his second and third pitchers, Dice K and Dempster are questionable. Both had great stat lines last season that weren't supported by the sabremetrics and peripherals. He could face a decline from each of them. He will definitely be solid at closer and, if he can find saves in free agency, will be able to make a move for help elsewhere. My favorite pick is Jair Jurrjens in the 18th round. Jair had a great first half, but in his first full season he seemed to fatigue down the stretch. A worst case scenario would be Jair matching last years numbers and in the 18th round, those numbers would be a great reward. I don't mean to be critical, but I hate Ortiz in the 4th round. On average, Ortiz is being drafted 20 spots later, he is now 34, coming off of a wrist injury that sapped his average and a lot of power, and he is fighting Sabathia and Fielder for king of the buffet. I think we are witnessing Mo Vaughn part deux.

Joe Romano - I began as a fantasy hockey columnist for in 2007 and have settled into the role of Editor in Chief of I am a third year law student, coach ice hockey for Shady Side Academy, and hate Justin Verlander and his knucklecurve for costing me a fantasy championship. Ask Colligan about that one too.
I am pretty happy about my team, but I certainly have a slight weakness in speed and will need to scour the waiver wire for saves. I took Sizemore and Kemp early and felt all draft I had good speed until I looked at my whole roster and realized it was a weakness. Don't let this happen to you, always be evaluating your team during your draft. I like my staff and have great top end depth, but Maine, Meche and Snell could leave a little more to be desired. Yes, Marcum is out for the season, it was a brain freeze. My closers are pretty weak, but I never spend big on closers. Street looks to be a big mistake, as he already has lost the job to Corpas, but I got nervous when Simon stole Qualls from me. My favorite pick is by far Greinke in the 13th round. Many agree that Greinke is a top 15 pitcher, but since he plays in KC his perceived value is much less. He has an abundance of talent, but he is a slight headcase. My lease favorite pick is Ordonez. Its not horrible value, but it isn't good value either. I like to take upside and Ordonez is definitely on his down swing. I wish I would have looked longer and harder at a short stop or second baseman here.

Play Ball with Amanda and Melissa - Amanda and Melissa are the hosts of the ESPN podcast Play Ball with Amanda and Melissa. They are avid fantasy sports fans and both have a background in law, making them a natural fit for the league.
The duo did a great job of focusing on offense early and building a good pitching staff late. You can't really argue with most of their first eight picks as they have built a strong foundation on offense and filled it in with some high upside players like Jayson Werth and Delmon Young. They could struggle with power if Bruce doesn't continue to develop, but all signs point to him building off of his strong performance last year. At first glance, you may pass on their pitching staff, but if you dive deeper, there is real potential. I expect both Vazquez and Carmona to improve upon last season and they have plenty of back end depth in Kuroda, Buerhle, Smoltz and Cook. Their bullpen isn't great, but it isn't bad. Gonzalez is the most likely candidate to close in Atlanta and Sherrill will have to lose the closer job in Baltimore. My favorite pick is Javier Vazquez in the 12th round. He is a sure bet for 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. He is also coming off horrible luck with his BABIP and is moving to a better pitcher's park. I am not a fan of Russell Martin in the 4th round. Sure, Martin gives them the best speed at catcher, but there were players with much better numbers available in the 4th round.

Darren Heitner - Darren is a law student at Florida Law school and is the founder and Editor in Chief of Sports Agent Blog. Darren is also the founder of a Sports and Entertainment agency. One has to wonder, with Darren's contacts, does he know something we all don't?
Darren was my worst enemy during this draft, he stole a number of picks out of my queue. He has excellent speed and solid average, but is clearly lacking power. Sure, Howard may hit 50, Hamilton will probably get to 35, but other than Choo and Soto, he doesn't have anyone else who will even get to 20. He will eventually have to cash in that speed for power. What he lacks in power he makes up for in a very good staff. He doesn't own a pitcher who had an ERA of 4.00+. The big question remains with David Price, there is still a small chance he gets the 5th spot in the Tampa rotation, but a minor league start is more likely. He definitely has pitchers that can pitch, but does he have enough of them? His bullpen is very strong with Nathan and Jenks anchoring it and Hanrahan following them as the likely closer in Washington. My favorite Pick is Choo with the 16th pick. It is looking like Choo is a sure bet for 20-25 home runs and a .300 average. In the 16th round, that is exceptional value. I don't really dislike any of his picks, but I have to question the selection of Crawford and Ichiro back to back. They are essentially the same player and Darren definitely needs more power. I'm just still frustrated that he took Soto, Halladay, Choo, Jeter, and Hanrahan out of my queue.

Brian Doyle - Brian is a rising star and a do-it-all author at and is also the league's defending champion. Brian recently returned from the Dominican Republic where he taught English and learned the ins and outs of Dominican baseball.
Brian has built himself a solid foundation to defend his crown, but his pitching will have to carry his offense a little. Brian has solid power and average, but lacks speed, RBI, and runs. Votto, Ethier, and Upton have room to grow in these departments, but, for the most part, the rest of his offense has already peaked. Brian's weaknesses on offense are far overshadowed with his starting pitching, as he may have the top one/two punch in the league. However, the recent news concerning Ervin Santana has to be disheartening, elbow issues are always worrisome. Beyond the front three, Garza, Floyd, and Galarraga are all solid options. It will be interesting to see how Morrow acclimates to his new role as a starter and if Saunders can defy his sabremetric numbers and produce another good season. Brian will need some luck with his bullpen, Valverde is solid, but, as I mentioned earlier, I don't think Percival keeps the Tampa job. My favorite pick is Andre Ethier, he has improved every season and should continue that trend. He could hit .300 and approach 30 home runs. My least favorite pick is a toss up between Santana and Morrow. Santana was a stretch in the 8th round with concerns surrounding his elbow and Morrow's move to starting pitcher could back fire. There were too many questions surrounding each player and too much value elsewhere in these rounds.

Scott Simon - Last, but not least, we have Mr. Simon. Scott is's resident baseball expert. He sniffed big time baseball while playing amateur and college baseball with future major leaguers. Scott is a third year law student, and, in his spare time, still coaches baseball in Pittsburgh.
As I expected, Scott has one of the stronger teams in the league. He has very good power, and decent speed and batting average. His biggest offensive issue is owning three identical players, Burrell, Giambi, and Jacobs. All three will hit 30 home runs, but hit .250. It is almost scary how identical their stats are. Scott needs to move one or two of them to help with his speed and batting average. Scott has a very good pitching rotation with the best three pitcher combination in the league. Hamels, Liriano, and Billingsley are all filthy. He should make a solid run for the strike out crown as all his pitchers hover around one strike out per inning. Scott's bullpen consists of two first time closers, but both are two of my favorites. Scott stole Qualls from my queue and caused a panic pick. Scott made some excellent late round picks, but my favorite is Ubaldo Jiminez. I know, Jiminez pitches in Colorado, but he shined at many times last season and has looked filthy during the WBC. As much as I like Scott's team, I hated the Beltre pick. Beltre is a sure thing for 25 home runs, but his peripherals will struggle in a very weak lineup and his average will really hurt. He was a bit of a reach in the 10th round.

I hope you have enjoyed the draft recap and learned a little from it too. Let me give you one last piece of advice for your draft, don't go crazy taking a pitcher too soon. There are a lot of really strong pitchers that were available later than I expected. You can take positional players through the first five or six rounds and still build a very strong staff. As always, please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. If your fantasy draft is coming up, be sure to prepare and check out Scott Simon's position by position previews at the links below:

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Darren Heitner said...

I will take my lack of power and raise you with all my other strengths.