Fantasy Baseball 2008

Ah, another year of fantasy baseball. Last year was extremely frustrating, since I came out of last year’s draft with what I thought was one of the best teams I’d drafted in this (very competitive) league, and then my pitching imploded and various other things went wrong. Mid-way through the season I decided that if I didn’t finish in the money that I’d drop out of the league. I ended up finishing 7th (out of 16 teams) which was the last spot in the money, so here I am, back again!

As always, the draft was held at Chris’ house down the street. I got there at 11 am to set up the wireless, which ended up going flawlessly – it worked the first time! Internet connectivity was actually great, and the draft went very smoothly. We were doing each round in about 25 minutes for the first 10 or so rounds, and it speeded up after that. It took us a little less than 9 hours to do the whole draft, which is about average. A long day, but it’s a lot of fun – which is why I do it!

Pos Player Team Round/
Age Comments
C Gerald Laird TEX 14/218 28 My catching really stinks.
C Dioner Navarro TBA 15/234 24
1B Albert Pujols SLN Kept 28
2B Kelly Johnson ATL 2/26 26
2B Ron Belliard WAS 19/296 33
2B/SS Erick Aybar LAN 18/281 24
3B Miguel Cabrera FLO Kept 25
3B Melvin Mora BAL 20/310 36
SS/1B Carlos Guillen DET 1/10 32
SS Jhonny Peralta CLE 6/90 25
OF Corey Hart MIL Kept 26
OF Chris Young ARI Kept 24
OF Josh Hamilton CIN Kept 26
OF Jacoby Ellsbury BOS Kept 24
OF Jason Kubel MIN 16/250 26
OF Carlos Gomez MIN Kept 22
OF Melky Cabrera NYA 22/345 23
SP James Shields TBA Kept 25
SP Joe Blanton OAK Kept 26
SP Jeff Francis COL 3/42 27
SP Hiroki Kuroda LAN 4/58 33 A new Japanese import, reportedly an extreme groundball pitcher.
SP Zack Greinke KCA 5/74 24
SP David Bush MIL 7/106 28
SP Kevin Millwood TEX 9/138 33
SP Edinson Volquez CIN 10/154 24
SP Paul Maholm PIT 23/356 26
SP Zach Duke PIT 23/364 25
RP Rafael Soriano ATL 11/170 28 I have the all-Rafael bullpen!
RP Rafael Betancourt CLE 12/186 33
RP Rafael Perez CLE 13/202 26
IN Carlos Gonzalez OAK 8/122 22 The key prospect in Oakland’s trade of Dan Haren to Arizona.
IN Gio Gonzalez OAK 17/266 22 One of the prospects in Oakland’s trade of Nick Swisher to the Chicago White Sox.
IN Brent Lillibridge ATL 21/323 24
IN Matt Antonelli SDN 21/334 23 Heir apparent to second base in San Diego.
IN Justin Masterson BOS 23/368 23 Well-regarded sinkerball pitching prospect.

My biggest regret of the draft was not taking Kurt Suzuki when I had a chance, as that left me with the true dregs for my catching slot, without even much upside. I also regret just missing out on prospect Brandon Wood. But those are fairly small regrets; overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I expect I’ll have a middle-of-the-road pitching staff with some upside, and a potent offense. My team is generally young (which is typical of my teams in recent years) so it could be better than I project.

It takes a fair amount of luck to win this league, not to mention a better pitching staff than I usually have. But I still have a fun time putting the team together. Hopefully the dice will roll more in my favor than they did last year.