Draft Season Review III

Paul Bourdett AKA “The Pick-up Artist

AOL FanHouse Fantasy Sports Writer

Nice digs you got here, MDS! I see you’re doing big things lately. Got the blog, doing podcasts… what’s next for the Million Dollar Man? And what’s up with Virgil? Haven’t heard from him in a while. Remember back in the day when you used to be my biggest critic? Man, seems like ages ago. Now we’re contributing to each other’s blogs!

Anyway, I’m in five leagues this year. I could’ve been in like 20 but at some point I had to learn to say no. I still think five is too many but I think it’ll be manageable. Between my 9-to-5, my work for FanHouse, and family obligations (wife, two-year-old, and another on the way), it’s going to be tough to keep up with them all AND stay competitive at the same time. But that’s part of the challenge.

All mixed leagues this year, all different sizes – 11 teams to 15 teams. One with the fellas over at FanHouse, the infamous Blog Wars league you created, Eno SarrisFantasy Lounge League that includes a few guys from Fangraphs, a league with a bunch of Tweeps (for the technologically impaired, that’s people who follow you/you follow on Twitter), and my favorite of them all – my longstanding home league.

I think I own Jason Bay in four of those leagues. I simply couldn’t pass on the chance to acquire one of the better bats in the game, especially when he was available in the fourth round or later of every draft (Blog Wars excluded). Think about it – Bay’s done nothing but hit 30 homers with 100 RBIs, 100 runs scored, and 10 or more steals in four of the last five years! The only reason why he didn’t reach those benchmarks in 2007 was because he was playing through injuries the entire year. That’s another thing – he’s one tough Canadian. People can talk about Citi Field or the Mets lineup all they want, but he had two of those 30-100-100-10 seasons in Pittsburgh, where he had absolutely no run support in a park that’s every bit as homer-friendly as Citi (for those not in the know, Citi was actually slightly above average for homers in its inaugural season according to Park Factors; don’t let the HR totals of the Mets minor league lineup last year fool you). He’s also a career .280 hitter, despite hitting .247 in ’07.

Other guys I’ve targeted in most leagues are Matt Kemp (who I think really breaks out this year hitting in the top half of the Dodgers order), Travis Snider (who I believe could be special in his first full season), and Ricky Nolasco (for reasons most everybody is aware of). I don’t have any teams with all three but they’re sprinkled pretty much throughout.

One guy that did find himself on almost every one of my rosters was Octavio Dotel. I’ve never been a guy to pay for saves but it was crazy how late he was still available in every league. Middle relievers were getting taken ahead of him in non-holds leagues and that’s just ridic. The guy could legitimately strike out 90-100 guys back in the NL to go along with 30 saves. Who cares about his WHIP?

I tried to get Liriano, Butler, and Carlos Gonzalez in all my drafts but they were going way too high for my liking in most. Obviously, it’s no secret these guys are all young and uber-talented but I was shocked at their price tags on draft day. I’m always looking to profit off my selections. Apparently, there are a lot of guys willing to just break even. Hence, why Carlos Gonzalez isn’t on a single team of mine, despite the fact that I adore his skills.

All in all, I try to diversify my teams so that I’m spreading the risk. Having the same guys on every team is a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion. It’s sort of like rostering Fausto Carmona.