Fantasy Baseball 2009

If it’s April, then we must have had our fantasy baseball draft by now, right? Right!

Here’s the team I ended up with:

Pos Player Team Round/
Age Comments
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia TEX 5/78 23 Another year with a tandem of two half-decent catchers. At least they’re both young this year!
C Jesus Flores WAS 13/206 24
1B Albert Pujols SLN Kept 29
2B Kelly Johnson ATL 1/14 27
2B Mark Ellis OAK 21/334 31
2B/SS Clint Barmes COL 10/158 30 Wonder how long he’ll have a starting job?
3B Ryan Zimmerman WAS 2/30 24 He’s going to break out some year, right?
3B Bill Hall MIL 15/238 29
SS Derek Jeter NYA 4/62 34 As a Red Sox fan, I’m happy his bat is declining rapidly. If he does have one more great year in him, though, it’d be great if 2009 is it.
OF Daniel Murphy NYN 6/94 24
OF Chris Young ARI Kept 25
OF Josh Hamilton TEX Kept 27
OF Mike Cameron MIL 11/174 36
OF Michael Cuddyer MIN 19/302 30
OF Juan Rivera LAA 22/348 30
SP James Shields TBA Kept 26
SP Hiroki Kuroda LAN Kept 34
SP Zack Greinke KCA Kept 25
SP Edinson Volquez CIN Kept 25
SP Paul Maholm PIT 7/110 27
SP Andy Pettitte NYA 8/126 36
SP Jon Garland ARI 14/222 29
SP Anthony Reyes CLE 16/254 27
SP Ross Ohlendorf PIT 17/270 26
SP Doug Davis ARI 18/286 33
SP Jordan Zimmermann WAS 9/142 23 Should be in the Majors in a few weeks.
RP Jonathan Broxton LAN 3/46 24
RP J.J. Putz NYN 12/190 32
RP Bobby Howry SFN 20/318 35
RP Justin Masterson BOS 23/361 24

The draft this year was really weird: We got down to the end of the draft, where last year I took Paul Maholm and Zach Duke with my last two picks, and the year before I took Josh Hamilton with my last pick. This year, though, there was no one left I wanted, not role players with guaranteed starting time, not second-tier prospects, nothing. So I passed my last 5 picks. I’m not sure whether the player pool is smaller this year for some reason, or if the league as a whole is drafting better. Or maybe I’m just too picky. But I felt I’d do better waiting to see how roles change in April than drafting guys with those last 5 picks.

As usual I ended up with a bunch of quality hitters, and a pretty weak pitching staff. It seemed like the pitchers I wanted kept getting taken just before I wanted them, and there was always a good hitter I wanted more than the next other pitchers. I had especially hoped to get Josh Beckett with my first-round pick (14th overall), but he went 2 picks before me.

I feel like the rest of the league is passing me by in drafting prospects who stick, as it’s been a while since I’ve drafted a young impact player at a premium position, so I keep spending early picks on 2B, 3B, SS and even catcher (although the “two decent catchers in tandem” strategy has worked surprisingly well). And I still haven’t worked out how to draft pitchers.

But I don’t think I have a bad team. And I did finish in third place last year (out of 16), and I finish in the top half more often than not.. So maybe I’m overly pessimistic.