My home league is a 6×6 Roto league with holds as the extra pitching category and walk-to-strikout ratio as the extra batting category. We’re allowed up to four keepers at the cost of up to the first four picks. This year I elected to keep no one, but there were a few teams that had maneuvered last season with trades to get a nice selection of keepers.
With holds counted, pitching is deeper since set-up men also have value. With BB/SO counted, players like Kevin Youkilis get a boost in value at the expense of guys like Ryan Howard. Adam Dunn goes from rather solid and predictable to somewhat risky. He used to post a solid BB/SO rate, but last season his rate sunk. Since he strikes out so often, even small changes in his ratio can have big changes in a team’s overall numbers.
With that in mind, here’s my draft from this year, with the round in which each player was selected shown after his name. I had the sixth pick in a 12-team league. We drafted on Sunday, March 13, so Kendrys Morales‘ setbacks hadn’t occurred yet. I’ve listed the lineup I would set it if Opening Day was today.
C Geovany Soto – 12
1B Ryan Howard – 3
2B Rickie Weeks – 9
3B David Wright – 1
SS Jose Reyes – 2
CI Edwin Encarnacion – 22
OF Matt Kemp – 4
OF Coco Crisp – 14
OF Rajai Davis – 10
OF Manny Ramirez – 17
DH J.D. Drew – 25
Top offense players were scarce in the draft as many of them were kept. Because of this, for instance, Alex Rodriguez was chosen as the last pick in the first round. This scarcity forced me to reach a bit with Reyes. Also, most of the top first basemen were kept. By my first-round pick, the best remaining first base boppers were Howard and Justin Morneau. So I went with Howard, but that forced me to be especially cognizant of batting average and BB/SO for the rest of the draft (neither Reyes nor Wright help with the latter, either).
I think I’ve setup my starting pitching with three great strikeout pitchers. Obviously, Greinke will miss some time, but I was willing to take that hit in the seventh round. Bud Norris is the kind of upside player that is worth a late-round flyer: he already has shown some elite skills and is going to get plenty of time to figure out the rest.
All my closers have tenuous grips on their positions, but many of my setup men (Venters, Jenks) may see some save opportunities, too, so I should get some scoring out of all them throughout.
I’m particularly happy with Encarnacion in the 22nd round. I wanted a corner infielder to back up Morales, and I can move him to DH when Morales gets healthy. As I see it, the most important thing about Encarnacion is that he’ll be batting in the heart of the order, which will help his RBI and Runs totals.
Actually, lineup positions were a point of emphasis for me throughout the draft. Brett Gardner went ridiculously high (fourth round). In Davis, I got a player much later who has the same speed and is going to get at least 10 percent more at-bats as long as he bats leadoff. Same with Coco Crisp. In fact, the only players I have that will probably bat lower than fifth are Drew and Soto. Even Aviles as my backup second baseman bats should bat leadoff.
Please, let the comments fly.