Will Overton and I have teamed up to join a new dynasty league (coincidentally run by Sean Agranov). The basic settings for the league, which is being done via a slow draft:
- 5 x 5
- 23 starters, 7 bench, 15 minor leaguers (keep everyone)
The draft has been interesting, to say the least, as teams weigh whether to build for the future or to win immediately. Team Rotoprofessor, as we are known, hedged our bets (especially early on). While we continuously had an eye towards 2013 and beyond, we were never willing to simply through in the towel for 2012. Hopefully we didn’t get caught in the middle, but time will tell. Let’s take a look at our first five selections and our thought process:
Round 1 (7th pick) – Adrian Gonzalez – First Baseman
I was a bit surprised by the start of the draft, with Justin Upton and Troy Tulowitzki being the first names off the board. Things normalized after that, with Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Kemp and Joey Votto being the next four names. That left us with a decision between Gonzalez, Jose Bautista (who ultimately was taken 12th) and Robinson Cano.
We settled on taking Gonzalez, given his age and potential to produce lofty numbers in Fenway Park. We all saw what he did in 2011 despite being banged up a bit (.338, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 108 R). Granted, he’s not going to replicate a .380 BABIP, but he also should hit for significantly more power.
Round 2 (24th pick) – Justin Verlander – Starting Pitcher
We weren’t initially considering a starting pitcher this early, but the way the draft unfolded really didn’t leave us too many options. Just to give you an idea, the final six picks of the second round were Ryan Zimmeran, Jay Bruce, Adrian Beltre, Brett Lawrie, Eric Hosmer and Stephen Strasburg. Would we have loved to have gotten some of those players? Absolutely, but it just felt too early for all of them.
That said, in a league where you keep your entire roster from year-to-year, having a stalwart at the top of our rotation should go a long way in stabilizing our pitching. We initially wanted Clayton Kershaw, but our good friend Sean swiped him the pick before us.
Round 3 (37th pick) – Starlin Castro – Shortstop
It’s a shallow position and we were able to get a 22-year old with two years of experience. To me, it was a no-brainer. He not only is a pick for now, but he has the potential to continue developing and turn into something special. Already a proven .300 hitter, the power should develop (55 extra base hits in ’11) and he could ultimately be a 20 HR hitter. He also stole 22 bases last season and, as he learns and matures, should routinely be at 20+ (and potentially more). Would it surprise anyone if he became a Top 3 shortstop within the next few years?
Round 4 (54th pick) – Alex Gordon – Outfielder
Another pick that made sense both now and for the future. We all know about the hype Gordon had when he originally debuted, and we also know how much of a failure he was. He is still just 28-years old, however, and he’s finally matured into the player that we all knew was possible. While he’s not likely to hit .300 again, he also could be a 20/20 player for the next few seasons.
Additionally, in a five-outfielder format, he was the top name left on our board (the only outfielders taken in the next two rounds after we selected Gordon were Nelson Cruz, Mike Trout, Michael Bourn and Shin-Soo Choo). Thinking about 2012, as well as the future, Gordon was an easy call as outfield is not quite as deep as you would think (especially with 75 players starting, plus if someone wanted to use one as their utility). Getting someone was vital, as we didn’t want the position to be a complete void.
Round 5 (67th pick) – Dan Uggla – Second Baseman
Uggla was a little bit more of a “now” pick, though we also felt that he would still be able to contribute for at least three to four more seasons. A little bit short on power, with Castro and Verlander among our first three picks, Uggla also helped us fill a major need (and we protected ourselves long-term at the position later on in the draft).
C (2) -
1B – Adrian Gonzalez
2B – Dan Uggla
SS – Starlin Castro
OF (5) – Alex Gordon
P (9) – Justin Verlander
We’ll be checking in with our next set of picks later this week. What do you think of our draft so far? Where do you think we went wrong?
***** Order the Rotoprofessor 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, complete with updates from January through the start of the season, for just $6! As an added bonus, if you purchase by 3/15 you will be entered to win a Michael Pineda autographed baseball! To place your order click here. *****
Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: