Holy crap. I just realized that I've been heavily involved in fantasy baseball for almost an entire decade. I have been playing for more than a decade, but I have been at the "way too involved in fantasy baseball, to the point of occasionally sacrificing a social life to set my pitching rotation" level for nearly an entire decade.
At any rate, Tom Herrera from Fanhouse came to FanIQ looking for someone to participate in their Experts Draft, and I was the lucky representative.
Here are my thoughts on the first 3 rounds of the draft. Enjoy my musings, and feel free to comment on your thoughts. I will bring you the rest of it tomorrow.
Ramirez, Hanley, SS [RotoExperts_Doug]
Reyes, Jose, SS [Fantasy Baseball Sherpa]
Wright, David, 3B [Herrera]
Pujols, Albert, 1B [RotoSavants.com]
Sizemore, Grady. OF [Scott Ridge, Fanhouse]
Cabrera, Miguel, 1B [RotoExperts.com/Diamond Draft]
Braun, Ryan, OF [AccuScore.com - Tim Williams]
Utley, Chase, 2B [Matt Snyder, FanHouse]
Kinsler, Ian, 2B [Lackey- FanHouse]
Rollins, Jimmy, SS [FanIQ - Pat Gordon]
Teixeira, Mark, 1B [KFFL - Bryce McRae]
Pedroia, Dustin, 2B [AL LUPLOW, AKA Nando Di Fino]
My Pick: Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
I have a rather simple philosophy when drafting in the early rounds. First, I go with the obvious. This applies to every round, and it's rather obvious. I always pick the best available player at his specific position. That's clearly a no-brainer. The next step to narrowing down your pick is to grab the player who has the biggest advantage over other players at his position, and will give you the best opportunity to still get the best available player at a few other positions, hopefully.
The way I saw it, these were the best players available at their particular positions:
OF Josh Hamilton, 1B Mark Teixeira, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Jimmy Rollins, 3B Evan Longoria, P Tim Lincecum, C Brian McCann.
For my money, Rollins is the one guy who really stands out the most among available players at his position. Also, SS is a real feast-or-famine position, so getting an elite SS is important. Solid players at other positions can be found all over the place (with the exception of 2B).
Steal of the round: It's the first round. I honestly don't believe there's any such thing as a steal, with VERY few exceptions.
Biggest reach: This one is a no-brainer for me. Ian Kinsler is a nice player, and a solid 2B, but no one will ever be able to convince me that he is worth a #9 overall pick.
|AL LUPLOW||Soriano, Alfonso||OF|
|KFFL - Bryce McRae||Beltran, Carlos||OF|
|FanIQ - Pat Gordon||Longoria, Evan||3B|
|Lackey- FanHouse||Howard, Ryan||1B|
|Snyder - FanHouse||Hamilton, Josh||OF|
|AccuScore.com - Tim Williams||Berkman, Lance||1B|
|RotoExperts.com/Diamond Draft||Fielder, Prince||1B|
|FanHouse.com - S. Ridge||Lincecum, Tim||SP|
|FanHouse.com - T. Herrera||Phillips, Brandon||2B|
|Fantasy Baseball Sherpa||Santana, Johan||SP|
|RotoExperts _Doug||Ramirez, Alexei||2B|
My Pick: Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays
Much like Rollins, I felt that Longoria was the most appealing option. Howard and Berkman were tempting, but there are plenty of 1B out there.
Steal of the round: Johan Santana will almost definitely be a top 3 pitcher, and should get a couple extra wins, with the Mets' improved bullpen. To get him with the 23rd overall pick is definitely good value.
Biggest reach: Prince Fielder. This wasn't criminal by any stretch, but Fielder's numbers dipped across the board last year. He's still young, but he's not in the best shape in the world, and he has also lost a bit of protection in the lineup as well.
|RotoExperts _Doug||Youkilis, Kevin||1B, 3B|
|Fantasy Baseball Sherpa||Holliday, Matt||OF|
|FanHouse.com - T. Herrera||Crawford, Carl||OF|
|FanHouse.com - S. Ridge||Morneau, Justin||1B|
|RotoExperts.com/Diamond Draft||Markakis, Nick||OF|
|AccuScore.com - Tim Williams||Ramirez, Aramis||3B|
|Snyder - FanHouse||Lee, Carlos||OF|
|Lackey- FanHouse||Ramirez, Manny||OF|
|FanIQ - Pat Gordon||Quentin, Carlos||OF|
|KFFL - Bryce McRae||Suzuki, Ichiro||OF|
|AL LUPLOW||Webb, Brandon||SP|
My pick: Carlos Quentin, OF, Chicago White Sox
This was a guy who would have been the MVP last season, if not for a late season injury. If he even approaches the same production level, this is a steal.
Steal of the round: Kevin Youkilis. I'm a bit biased, as a Red Sox fan, but Youk has 2-position eligibility, and will contribute to every stat category except steals. His production and versatility make for a great choice.
Biggest reach: Nick Markakis. I like the guy a lot, and I feel a little bad for picking on the same guy 2 rounds in a row, but at that spot, there were a few OF who I think would have been better choices.
Keep your eyes peeled for some more info about the rest of the draft, and feel free to give your input on the early rounds.