Last year BaseballHQ ran four fantasy leagues for the symposium attendees: two NFBC style Draft&Hold leagues, a Rotisserie Auction league and a Scoresheet Sim league. The draft was Saturday afternoon. So, I jumped at the chance to play in one of the Draft & Hold formats.
The rules are a standard mixed-league 5X5 Rotisserie format with a 50-man roster and no free agent access during the season. The leagues are great fun because, well, other than it’s fantasy baseball (so what’s not to like?), the leagues offer an opportunity to think baseball year-round.
As for the draft, my 2012 squad tanked by August. My downfall started with losing Daniel Hudson for the season. I had made a critical mistake of not drafting a sufficient number of pitchers, especially painful as last season was particularly rough on hurlers. Still, I should have had the proper position players to pitchers ratio for drafts held this early in the season. According to Lord Zola that ratio is 24 arms to 26 position players.
This year my strategy was vengeance. The draft is estimated to be completed by mid to late December. By the time we are done, my plan is to hit Lord Zola's ratio; that is, plenty of pitchers.
On Saturday we completed 23 rounds. I had the 11th pick. The first 10 picks were, in sequence: Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, and Giancarlo Stanton. So, I had no choice but to get .Albert Pujols
Braun, Cabrera and Trout were the first three picks in all three leagues, although not always in this order. The experts’ consensus is:
- Ryan Braun: a solid pick
- Miguel Cabrera: could he have an even better 2013 with V-Mart back?
- Mike Trout: was 2012 his career year? He is young and in the future he may have other excellent seasons. However, it is highly probable that 2013 will not be as good as 2012.
Here are a few of the experts’ opinions about players who are on my team that I drafted Saturday as discussed at Arizona First Pitch:
- Albert Pujols: he may have learned American League by now and may not have another slow start.
- Nick Markakis: he is healthy; due to his late season injury he was available in the 12 round.
- Jesus Montero: Yasmani Grandal : I wanted the up-and-coming Padres Yasmani Grandal, but wound up with Montero. After the draft I heard experts praising Montero. Did I luck out?
- Desmond Jennings: he did not have a stellar 2012, but everyone is high on him (drafted in the 5th round).
- Justin Verlander: I drafted him in the second round: I must point out that in the other two leagues Clayton Kershaw went before him.
I would say that the most difficult aspect of an early draft is remembering player eligibility. There are no sites that I am aware of with eligibility updated for 2013 as of yet and a bunch of players had acquired new or lost their 2012 or even their traditional eligibility. For example, Edwin Encarnacion qualifies at 1B and OF and not at 3B anymore.