At the considerable risk of undermining my credibility, I’ll share the results from the Fantasy Pros 911 (.com) Expert Draft, the invite to which was passed along to me by Derek Carty. As I won’t be continuing as a writer in this column after Opening Day, any further discussion of the season will take place at Baseball Daily Digest.
|Nick Swisher in Spring Training (Icon/SMI)|
It’s not an excuse, in the sense that I knew the draft was coming a month ago, but I was only able to take about 60 minutes to prepare, and—despite that—I thought I was in great shape after taking Neftali Feliz, as having $53 remaining put me almost in control of the auction as people had been splurging early. Sure, I was pitching-heavy, but I was set to grab some guys I thought would hit well and be underpriced, such as Daric Barton, Travis Hafner, Carlos Guillen, and Magglio Ordonez. Instead, I made a rookie mistake and got into late-auction bidding wars on a couple players who were replaceable, Scott Downs and Nick Swisher. I was trying to handcuff my Jason Frasor position as best as possible, and I think Swisher will be great this year, but the inflation in the draft at that point meant that I shouldn’t have been paying more than 65% for anyone.
Here is my draft, with the “Value” column coming from the convenient $ valuator at lastplayerpicked.com, using combined projections:
Having discussed the land mine I stepped on, here are some things I think I did do well:
1. Pitching is budgeted at 30% (approximately) in most drafts, due mostly to the fact that it’s amazingly unpredictable. I feel like I invested in three pitchers who are among the least likely to crater: Felix, with that park and defense supporting his amazing skills; Papelbon, with more than his share of easy saves available, due to Boston getting big leads more than most teams; and Lackey, for the run support he’ll receive in Boston.
2. Aaron Hill—I’ve reviewed Hill in this column in the past, and discussed his power/contact combination, and how he’s similar to Aramis Ramirez in that regard. The lack of walks may hurt the Blue Jays, but I think the typical projections—which put him around 20 HR—are pessimistic.
3. Asdrubal Cabrera—Usually, I like taking a 2B/SS type early so that I have flexibility, but I already had Hill in this case, so there’s no excuse. Except that he hits really well for a shortstop.
4. Brendan Harris—Sure, he’s not very good, but he’s slated to be the starting third baseman for the Twins.
5. da Aza—Don’t ask. I figured that I’d need some $1 guys eventually, and didn’t have a nominee queued up. But he’s young, and probably has more core ability than Juan Pierre, and is crushing the ball in spring training, so you never know.
Anyway, it was a long draft, and it’s NCAA Tourney time (except for Georgetown). Here’s the league link; happy to field questions: FantasyPros911.com Expert League
Rob McQuown is a lifetime Cubs fan, longtime SABR member, and former STATS, Inc. employee. He also writes for Baseball Daily Digest and other sites and can be reached via email (
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