Fantasy Baseball 2007

All about my 2007 fantasy baseball team.

This year is my 15th year playing fantasy baseball, and 9th year in this very tough league. I’ve finished as high as 3rd (out of 14 – now 16 – teams), and as low as 14th. My approach to preparing and my draft strategy keep evolving, but this year I returned to some basic principles that have worked for me before: Keep it simple, and draft for youth.

My returning core was basically what it’s been for a few years: Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Jeremy Bonderman, Brett Myers, and a supporting cast of rookies or second-year players. But I needed to fill some of the “skill positions” (C, 2B, SS) and I desperately needed to draft a better pitching staff; pitching has been my bugaboo for years.

9 hours of draft later, this is what I went home with Sunday night:

Pos Player Team Round/
Age Comments
C Miguel Montero ARI Keeper 23
C Josh Bard SDN 6/87 29
C Dioner Navarro TBA 16/247 23
1B Albert Pujols SLN Keeper 27
2B Orlando Hudson ARI 5/71 29 The 2B pool was very thin this year. I picked Hudson over Jeff Kent, picking youth and a hitter’s park over age and Chavez Ravine.
2B Adam Kennedy SLN 21/327 31
2B Todd Walker OAK 12/177 34 Not sure how much he’ll play, even though he nominally qualifies at 1B, 2B and 3B. The one pick I made that I actually regret.
3B Miguel Cabrera FLO Keeper 24
3B Edwin Encarnacion CIN Keeper 24
SS Bill Hall MIL 1/7 27 Will probably qualify at OF before long.
SS Bobby Crosby OAK 10/151 27 I decided this was a good pick to roll the dice that Crosby can be healthy this year.
OF J.D. Drew BOS 3/39 31 I put my head in my hands when I made this pick. Frankly, Drew is a great player, but only when he’s not hurt.
OF Corey Hart MIL 4/55 25
OF Chris Young ARI Keeper 23
OF Shane Victorino PHI 9/135 26 In another youth-oriented pick, I chose him instead of Ken Griffey.
OF David DeJesus KCA 8/119 27 Another guy I hope stays healthy.
OF Josh Hamilton CIN 22/342 26 My last pick in the draft. Personal problems hae kept him out of baseball for several years, but he made the Major League team and could be good.
SP Brett Myers PHI Keeper 26
SP Jeremy Bonderman DET Keeper 24
SP Chris Capuano MIL 2/23 28
SP Bronson Arroyo CIN 3/35 30
SP Zack Greinke KCA 6/83 23 Comeback player of the year? He had a great spring training.
SP James Shields TBA 7/103 25 I like guys who don’t issue many walks.
SP Joe Blanton OAK 10/158 26
SP Livan Hernandez ARI 14/215 32
SP Mike Pelfrey NYN Keeper 23
SP Esteban Loaiza OAK 15/231 25 Starting the season on the DL
RP Justin Duchscherer OAK 11/167 29
RP Scott Linebrink SDN 13/199 20
RP Cla Meredith SDN 12/183 24
IN Billy Rowell BAL 18/279 18 Orioles’ 1st-round pick in 2006.
IN Carlos Gomez NYN 17/263 21 Mets prospect; reached AA at age 20.
IN Felix Pie CHN 18/286 22 Cubs prospect, probably ready to play this year, but it’s the Cubs.
IN Jacoby Ellsbury BOS 20/311 23 Red Sox center fielder of the future.
IN Luke Hochevar KCA 19/295 23 Royals’ 1st-round pick in 2006.

The big difference between this year and last year’s team (which was awful – I finished 10th out of 16 teams) is that I don’t have Bonderman, Myers, and the four stooges (Javier Vazquez, Matt Clement, Derek Lowe, and Jeff Suppan): Instead I have Bonderman, Myers, and five young guys with some upside, plus a LAIM (League Average Innings Muncher) in Hernandez, plus a top prospect in Pelfrey. So I’m very hopeful that my pitching will be greatly improved this year.

I’m also happy that I managed to execute my draft plan: I picked Bill Hall in the first round, figuring that he should be at worst an average shortstop, and perhaps an All-Star quality shortstop/outfielder. Then I picked two of the four pitchers I was targeting in Capuano and Arroyo (Aaron Harang and David Bush were the other two), and a nice supporting cast.

Certainly I have some risk: None of my pitchers are sure things. J.D. Drew could get hurt. My catchers could potentially all be busts. But on the other hand I have a lot of useful spare parts and if things come together I could actually have a great team.

I enjoyed the prospecting this year. I knew that Tim Lincecum and Homer Bailey would be picked early, but Luke Hochevar could be an excellent pickup as well. And I’m always on the lookout for “the next Miguel Cabrera”, the 20-year-old who’s playing well at Double-A. Carlos Gomez didn’t play nearly as well at AA as did Cabrera, but he did play there, and not badly. He could be a great one.

Last year was a season mired in drudgery. I’m very hopeful that this year’s team will be a lot more fun, and more successful.

3 thoughts on “Fantasy Baseball 2007”

  1. Damn you, Rawdon! How dare you draft my secret weapon! May Duchscherer’s balky elbow finally blow out! (just kidding; I would not wish that on anybody)

  2. Okay, I admit it: I stole your strategy of getting solid, durable setup guys for my bullpen. (I even spent real draft picks on them!) And I don’t even feel badly about it.

    At least this year I won’t be spending April and May trying to assemble a half-decent pen. And I admit I have envied you your ownership of Duchscherer these last few years…

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