I went into the NFBC main event draft well prepared. I had a game plan ready but like so many other drafts, the plan quickly went out the window. I had planned on not taking too many outfielders early, only to end up with four after just nine rounds.
Picking from the seven spot in NYC league 2, I was hoping for Ryan Braun to be there in round one, and he was. From that point on things pretty much went differently than I thought they would; and that may have been a good thing.
Below is my draft and what I was thinking through out the nearly five hours (including two 10 minute breaks) of drafting.
Round 1- Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers. I was hoping for Braun but thought it would be Miguel Cabrera there for me. Cabrera went with pick 5 and Grady Sizemore went number 6 and I got my man.
Round 2– Matt Holliday, OF, A’s. The plan was Carl Crawford here but two things happened that changed that. 1) Carl Crawford went the pick right before me and 2) Matt Holliday was still available. I know he has moved from a hitters park in Colorado to a pitchers park in Oakland, but I never thought he would still be there at pick 24 over all.
Round 3– Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles. After picking Holliday in round two I was hoping for Roberts to make it to me and he did. I got the speed I was hoping for from Crawford and one of the better second basemen.
Round 4– Carlos Quentin, OF, Whitesox. My plan was to take Dan Haren here and he was still on the board, but I couldn’t pass the big bat here. Haren went with the very next pick in the draft.
Round 5– Brad Lidge, RP, Phillies. The plan was a top shelf closer here and for a change I stuck with the plan. I was thinking about taking a starter here since I passed on Haren but figured I would wait one more round to take a starter and grab the closer before all the top ones were gone.
Round 6– James Shields, SP, Rays. Got my staff ace and a pretty good one. He maybe a notch below Haren, but I’ll bet their stats will be pretty close at the end of the season.
Round 7– Carlos Pena, 1B, Rays. He should get me 30+ HR and 100+ RBI & RS. Would love to see him hit .260+.
Round 8- AJ Burnett, SP, Yankees. Ryan Ludwick was still on the board and I really thought about taking him but felt I needed another starting pitcher and already had three outfielders at this point. If any other pitcher put up the numbers Burnett did in 2008, he would have been drafted already. Everyone is afraid of the injury history, I think he is well worth the risk here.
Round 9– Ryan Ludwick, OF. Cardinals. I was very surprised when he made it back to me and considered him a no brainer here. I don’t think last season was a fluke and see 30+ HR from him.
Round 10– Edwin Encarncion,3B, Reds. He seemed like the last of the good third baseman on the board, I needed one and took him. I wouldn’t mind another 25 homerun season.
Round 11– Heath Bell, RP, Padres. Grabbed my second closer here. This will be his first year at the job and I think he is ready.
Round 12– Carlos Zambrano, SP, Cubs. He had a few issues with his shoulder last season but is still just 27 years old and could have a nice bounce back season.
Round 13– Willie Taveras, OF, Reds. Part of my plan coming into the draft was to wait on my final three outfielders. Obviously that didn’t happen as I took my fifth outfielder here. I felt the need for speed and should get over 50 with Taveras.
Round 14– Ramon Hernandez, C, Reds. I felt it was time to take a catcher and I really like Hernandez hitting in the great American small park in Cincinnati. Looking for 15-20 home runs from him this season.
Round 15– Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Rockies. While spring training games mean very little, watching him pitch in the WBC made me think this could be his break-out season. If he can just cut down on the walks he will be a stud.
Round 16- Brad Zigler, RP, A’s. Could start the season as the A’s number one closer with Joey Divine dealing with a sore elbow this spring. Even if Devine is ready to go on opening day Zigler should his share of saves.
Round 17– Gavin Floyd, SP, Whitesox. He won 17 games last season, with a 3.84 ERA but many people are down on him coming into this season. While I wouldn’t take him much earlier than this, he could be a good value here.
Round 18– Jeremy Hermida, OF, Marlins. Getting a clean up hitter this late, no matter how disappointing he has been so far in his career, is a good thing.
Round 19– Ryan Garko, 1B, Indians. My corner infielder should see plenty of at bats between first base, DH, and outfield this season. Would love to see him repeat his 90 RBI from last season.
Round 20– Randy Wolf, SP, Dodgers. I like him as a Dodger, pitching in their ball park. He gets to face the Padres and Giants weak lineups in their pitcher friendly parks often too.
Round 21– Orlando Hudson, 2B, Dodgers. A nice MI player who should give me a .290 BA and about 10 HR & SB.
Round 22– Kurt Suzuki, C, A’s. Getting a number two catcher that actually helps you and doesn’t hurt you in a 15 team league is always good.
Round 23– Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, Mariners. Wasn’t planning on waiting this long to get a shortstop but every time I was ready to take one, he got pick just before me. He is having a very nice spring, maybe he can carry it over to the regular season.
My last seven round were spent on bench players that I feel can be helpful.
Round 24– Mark Lowe, RP, Mariners. Maybe some saves?
Round 25– Marco Scutaro, 2B, SS, 3B, Blue Jays. Multi-position eligibility leadoff hitter.
Round 26– Brad Penny, SP, Redsox. He could a very nice sleeper.
Round 27– Kosuke Fukudome, OF, Cubs. Starting in CF and hitting second.
Round 28– Carlos Villanueva, RP, Brewers. May get some saves right at the start.
Round 29– Mat Gamel, 3B, Brewers. Very good hitter, could get called up.
Round 30– Nick Adenhart, SP, Angles. With all the injuries, he should be in the rotation.