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Yes it is that time of year again. This is the 2nd coming of the SoB Fantasy Baseball League and tensions were high last Sunday as 12 teams (five SoB writers) took part on draft day. Included among our readers and friends was last year’s league champion who had no hesitation about defending his prestigious title. I, myself, am trying to avenge a painful 2008 that saw me miss the playoffs by just one game. Redemption is a cruel mother (Woah, that was deep). How did each team do? Luckily, I am in a position to judge harshly so lets get to it.
NOTE: League format is 12×12 with categories as such…
OFFENSE: R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, BB, K, TB, AVG, OPS
PITCHING: IP, W, L, CG, SV, HR, BB, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9, QS
SoB Dan aka Illume (former contributor Dan)
What I Liked: A-Rod in the 2nd round? Who would have thought? Yes, the hip surgery dropped his value, but if he returns on schedule, then Dan’s offense is through the roof. I love Curtis Granderson. In this league, he is a goldmine due to all his across-the-board contributions. Leading off in Detroit will ensure the runs and his increased walks from ’07 to ’08 (increase of 19) means more runs scored and more stolen bases.
Questionable Decision: Dan really stretched for Chris Davis in round five. In two other leagues, Dan did the same thing so I guess he really has high expectations for him. He will be good, just not fifth-round good.
SoB – Jeff
What I Liked: Ricky Nolasco in round 13. He was a very quiet 15 game winner last season and struck out over 180 batters. He posted sub-3.00 ERA’s in August and September while compiling a 5-2 record during that time: a great bargain pick.
Questionable Decision: Jeff’s bias toward Atlanta got him stuck with four Braves including the abysmal Jeff Francouer. Just keep in mind, when Atlanta has a bad offensive night, so will your team. David Price being optioned to Triple-A hurts too.
SoB – Chris
What I Liked: Corey Hart was on my list of must have players and Chris took him with the pick before me. Hart is having a ridiculous Spring where he is slugging .885 with 6 HR, 15 RBI and 3 SB. Usually Spring means nothing, but you can’t ignore these numbers.
Questionable Decision: I am sorry, but I am just not sold on Alex Rios as the next 25-25 guy. At most, he will barely reach 20 HR. However, the SB will be plentiful. Just don’t over bid or reach expecting a premiere power and speed guy.
SoB – Pete (Yours Truly)
What I Liked: Jayson Werth in round 14. He finally has the starting job locked down in Philly and was 24-20 last season. A potential 25-25 player that late is incredible
Questionable Decision: Friggin’ Chone Figgins! I didn’t even want to draft him, but my timer ran out in the draft room and I was stuck. It is my fault for not having someone ready to go in that situation. This better not bite me in the ass. Erik Bedard better come through in his contract year too!
Falcones (our friend Dave)
What I Liked: Troy Tulowitzki’s value took a hit after an injury-plagued 2008. Don’t be scared off though, he is still legit. When he returned from injury after the All-Star break, he hit .327 with 5 HR. He ended the season on a very high note hitting .330 with 14 RBI in 24 September games.
Questionable Decision: Right after drafting Tulowizki, Dave took Derek Jeter. Why he took two starting SS back-to-back is a mystery because he could have used the pick to address other position vacancies.
Juiceheads (our friend Gregg)
What I Liked: Matt Weiters is being hyped up like the second coming of Jesus Christ. He is said to be the next Mike Piazza, but with great defense. He’ll start the year in Triple-A, but with Greg Zaun holding down the fort for Baltimore, Weiters may arrive sooner than you think.
Questionable Decision: Matt Weiters is also a gamble. What if he spends more time than expected in the minors and now you have a player taking up valuable bench space. Even worse is what will happen if he doesn’t live up to the hype.
A-Roid (last year’s champion, Fu)
What I Liked: I don’t care if I am biased towards my favorite players. Two words: Adam Dunn.
Questionable Decision: B.J. Upton means crap to me. He is ranked higher than he should be for a guy who hit 9 HR last season. Yes, the 44 SB are great, but he is being over-valued and is being expected to deliver close to a 30-30 season. Sorry, he will not do that and without the 2B eligibility, he is just a middle-of-the-pack outfielder.
SoB – Mike
What I Liked: Jorge Cantu is being called a fluke after his great ’08 season of 29 HR and 95 RBI. I hate to tell you, but he has done this before. In 2005 in Tampa Bay, he had 28 HR and 117 RBI. It is not like he had a sudden explosion of talent. It has always been there.
Questionable Decision: Edinson Volquez was a tale of two seasons in ’08. He was a top 5 pitcher in baseball in the first half with a 12-3 record and 2.29 ERA. Post break was a different story when he went 5-3 with a 4.60 ERA. His WHIP shot up to a staggering 1.46 in that time which means hitters finally figured his stuff out. Don’t expect to see amazing stuff in 2009.
A Bay Bay (former SoB writer Dev)
What I Liked: If Ryan Zimmerman bats in front of Adam Dunn then we will forget about his numbers from last season. Nelson Cruz is also good since he is slated to bat third in that incredible Rangers’ lineup.
Questionable Decision: I think Russell Martin is incredibly overhyped because he is a catcher who steals bases and now had 3B eligibility. I guess the stats are good for a catcher, but he is just being drafted too early.
wheredidyoucomefrom (our friend Ryan)
What I Liked: Even though Ian Kinsler was universally ranked to go in the first round, Ryan got lucky and was able to snag him at the start of round two. Hopefully he plays a full season this time.
Questionable Decision: Where do we start? In his defense, he had to leave the draft room early for personal reasons and left his fate up to the auto draft. It rewarded him with a crap load of closers and terrible starting pitching (except for Ben Sheets…who is still a free agent). Good luck this season!
On a Boat (a new face to our league)
What I Liked: Paul Konerko’s overall numbers looked bad, but look closer. After the break he hit .270 with 13 HR and nine of those came in September where he had 15 RBI. He adjusted his approach after a bad start and hopefully it can carry over to this season.
Questionable Decision: Can Alexei Ramirez hit 20+ HR again? I say no. His low K total (61) combined with abysmal BB total (18) means that he hacks at and tries to make contact with anything that comes across the plate. When pitchers exploit this, the power and average will drop.
SoB – KC
What I Liked: Jermaine Dye may be turning 35 this season, but he can still bring the power and he is in a contract year. Randy Johnson moving to the pitcher-friendly confines of San Francisco can only help his numbers.
Questionable Decision: Dice-K’s BB total (94) suggests that his fantastic 2.90 ERA can’t hold up. If you allow that many free passes, then it will eventually catch up to you and he has allowed over 170 of them over the past two seasons. He won’t stay lucky for another full year.