March 8, 2007

Fantasy Baseball: The Second Year

OK, last year I tried my hand at a round of fantasy baseball. It was something that I never quite understood the fascination with it, yet I found myself filled with axiety as the draft day rolled around. I sat there, at the keyboard, praying that the players I wanted wouldn't be snagged out from under me. It happened a few times, but I ended up with a halfway decent team. I would log in daily and figure out what changes I had to make, but a few months in, I slipped off and found my team slip off to the bottom of the pile. Well, it is a new year, and a new baseball season is nearly upon us. I got the invite, this time at ESPN's fantasy leagues as opposed to Yahoo. The biggest difference being we play 20 man teams against Yahoo's 25 man team. Will this year be any different?

This year there was no question that I was going to sign up, unlike last year's tentative entry. My thoughts swirled as I wondered who I would choose, or who would be left to be drafted. Dreams of Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Alfonso Soriano, and Johan Santana danced in mind. Oh, to know what picks I would have. Would I be high up in the draft? Would I be languishing in the shadows of the rest of the league? Would I stock up on players from my favorite team? The combinations were staggering.

Suddenly, draft day was upon us and I hadn't even done any pre-ranking. I was so bad that I hadn't done any research on the lesser of the big names. As I went through the work day, I could not help but think I was a lost cause for the big selection. My dreams of All-Stars fell to dreams of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Kansas City Royals.

Fortunately, I was able to do some quick checking and a little bit of pre-ranking, and I think my team looks better this year than it did last, when I made a few hasty choices. This year I missed out on a few names that I really wanted, but I feel I have a better chance at ranking higher this year. Now, I am not getting ahead of myself and thinking I have any shot at winning it all, but definitely thinking of a higher placement.

When the draft started, I found myself at the south end of the action, number 7 of 8. At least the order reversed in round two. Well, that turned out to be sort of good, with better placement also came less time to look through the remaining players looking for the next pick, that was followed by a long and agonizing wait as you peruse the lists with almost too much time on your hands.

Without further ado, let's take a look at this years team versus last year's choices:

Position2007 Team2006 Team
CatcherPaul LoDuca (NYM)Jason Varitek (Bos)
1st BaseCaros Delgado (NYM)Lance Berkman (Hou)
2nd BaseDan Uggla (Fla)Tadahito Iguchi (CWS)
3rd BaseTroy Glaus (Tor)David Wright (NYM)
ShortstopJose Reyes (NYM)Derek Jeter (NYY)
OutfieldCarlos Beltran (NYM)Andrue Jones (Atl)
OutfieldJermaine Dye (CWS)Johnny Damon (NYY)
OutfieldNick Swisher (Oak)Cliff Floyd (NYM)
UtilityRamon Hernandez (Bal)Jim Edmonds (StL)
UtilityPat Burrell (Phi)Preston Wilson (Hou)
BenchAdrian Gonzalez (SD)Melvin Mora (Bal)
BenchJD Drew (Bos)Bobby Crosby (Oak)
BenchOmar Vizquel (SF)Placido Polanco (Det)
BenchLuis Castillo (Min)Paul LoDuca (NYM)
BenchNick Johnson (Was)
Starting PitcherRoy Oswalt (Hou)Dontrelle Willis (Fla)
Starting PitcherAaron Harang (Cin)Tim Wakefield (Bos)
Starting PitcherRoger Clemens (Hou)
Relief PitcherBilly Wagner (NYM)Trevor Hoffman(SD)
Relief PitcherTakashi Saito (LAD)Aaron Heilman (NYM)
PitcherCC SabathiaBen Sheets (Mil)
PitcherAndy PettiteNoah Lowry (SF)
PitcherKevin Millwood (Tex)
PitcherMatt Cain (SF)
PitcherJoe Borowski (Fla)

There you have it, my 2006 team. You will probably immediately notice that there are a lot fewer pitchers in this league, and overall, I think I made a few better choices this time around. I did not make any silly choices like Roger Clemens, and I decided to stick to starters and closers, avoiding long relievers like Aaron Heilman. I am not sure if that was wise, but it is the direction I started to go in.

You may also notice that my backup catcher last year is my started this year in my only carryover from last year's team. I am also willing to bet that you can tell who my favorite team is by checking out my roster!

Also, if you are curious, my first few rounds looked like this: 1. Carlos Beltran 2. Jose Reyes 3. Carlos Delgado 4. Paul LoDuca 5. Roy Oswalt. I will also say that I had hoped that David Wright would make it to round 3 for me to draft, but he was selected at the end of round 2. I had to decide between him and Reyes, ultimately choosing the star shortstop. I think the only choice I wasn't that crazy about was Nick Swisher, not sure why though.

And to show who was most popular, here are the first two rounds order: Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Howard, Johan Santana, Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Ichiro Suzuki, Chase Utley, David Ortiz, Carl Crawford, Vladimir Guerrero, and David Wright. Goes to show who the stars are!

That brings this years draft to a close. Hopefully I will do better this year than last.


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