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0 Subject: RIBC 2008: Draft Rationales (Rounds 1-6)

Posted by: Guru
- [330592710] Fri, Mar 07, 2008, 10:48

This thread will be for managers in the RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge to provide the rationale for each pick.

Here are the ground rules:
1. Only managers in this league should post here. If you want to provide feedback (either from other league managers, or from those not in the league), put it in the discussion thread. (Non-conforming discussion in this thread will be deleted.)

2. Try to keep the pick rationales in the same order as the draft. We'll attempt to keep this thread 2 rounds behind the actual draft. With the lag, most comments should not have an impact on the draft in progress. However, if there are aspects of your pick that you feel need to be kept under wraps, feel free to protect that information. In particular, please avoid mentioning the names of any players who are still undrafted at that time of the post.

Please post your ( 2 round lagged) comments at the time you make your pick. For example, you should post your comments for your round 1 pick when you make your round 3 selection. If you are not ready to post at that time, then create a "placeholder" so that the next person is able to go ahead in sequence. When your post is ready, simply post it in the draft discussion thread and a moderator can copy it over.

If possible, please draft your rationale at the time your are making that pick. Not only does that allow you to remember your thoughts "in the moment", but it also makes it simple to copy and paste it when it is due, avoiding unnecessary delays and/or placeholders.

If your rationale is due and intervening placeholders have not been inserted, please insert them before posting your rationale. Simply post something like "2.10 placeholder for Guru". This makes it easy for me (or any moderator) to splice the eventual rationale in the proper place.

3. If you are providing rationales after a placeholder has been inserted, then post it in the draft discussion thread, and someone will copy it over.

4. Once the draft is over, each manager is also encouraged to provide a general draft recap, at which time you can discuss your overall strategy, mention any undisclosed factors, comment on what worked out well and what didn't, etc.

The general format should be:
1.01 Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY
Several sentences of rationale.

In addition, along with your first player rationale, please comment on your rationale for your selection of draft order.
Only the 50 most recent replies are currently shown. Click on this text to display hidden posts as well.
48Tosh
Leader
ID: 057721710
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 22:15
3.14 ~ Magglio Ordonez, OF, DET

I really struggled with this pick. All the players at the top of my draft list are all 1B and OF Ö both of which I have covered. Players I considered were Figgins (low SLG), Cano (low OBP), and various SP & RP (plenty available later). Magglio Ordonez is getting pretty old, but had a great 2007, with a batting title and runner up in the AL MVP voting. I donít expect him to give me .434/.595 like he produced in 2007, but hitting cleanup in a stacked Detroit lineup should produce solid numbers. More solid than anyone I saw on my draft sheet Ö so I drafted him.
49Slackjawed Yokel
ID: 425869
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 22:52
3.15 CC Sabathia, SP, Cle

I went ahead and picked up one of the top-tier starters here. Thought about getting Carlos Pena, but figured he or a similar 1B would make it back to me. If CC can stay healthy and continue to go 220+ innings, it should give me a leg up in K's.
50dror
Leader
ID: 01584348
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 23:26
via trade with JeffG
3.16 Carlos Pena, 1B, TB
4.01 J.J Putz, RP, SEA

I will start with the trade... basicly, I came into the draft planning to take Pena and a top closer in the 3rd and 4th rounds. With 4 of the 5 teams that I droped below of in the 3rd round allready having a 1B, I was pretty sure Pena was a safe bet to make it to 3.16. What I wan't sure about at all was that I will have a top closer at 4.06, because I figured the beginning of the 4th round is usualy where closers start to go.

As for the players themselfs... Pena comes off a monster breakout year, finishing 2007 with 46 homers and 1.037 OPS. A great example for his evolution into a top power hitter can be taken by checking his month-by-month walk rate: in April, it was a lousy 4.0%, in May 11.5%, and in the following 4 months 19.6%, 20.8%, 19.5% and 23.2%. This guy is not a secret anymore, by the end of last year pitchers feared him and he was pitched around more and more often while still slugging 13 homers in september. I beleive he is a notch below Ortiz and right on par with Fielder, Howard and Tex as far as 1B go in our format.

Projection - .390/.610/110/120/0

I know a lot of people don't like taking closers early because there are always some guys who come out of nowhere and provide saves from the WW. My problem is, that in such a large and active league, I really don't like my chances of actually getting some of those cheap saves, especially considering that I live overseas and usualy sleep when most of the action is happening. My top tier of closers this year is only 2 deep, Papelbon and Putz. With Papi taken earlier, my choise was easy.

Projection - 70 IP, 3 W, 40 S, 80 K, 2.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
51Slackjawed Yokel
Leader
ID: 057721710
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 23:32
4.02 Nick Swisher, 1B, CWS
52Tosh
Leader
ID: 057721710
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 23:32
4.03 ~ Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY

Cano is another player that is a free-swinger, often unwilling to take a BB. To his credit, Cano made strides in that department last season and is trending in the right direction, so a .365+ OBP seems likely. He has good power (I project a .510 SLG), but little speed (I only project 5 SBs this year). Cano has shown improvement every year in MLB, and there is no reason for him to stop showing continued improvement across the board.
53Slackjawed Yokel
ID: 425869
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 23:35
4.2 Nick Swisher, OF, CHW

I didn't really pay attention to the trade between JeffG and dror, so expected Carlos Pena would make it back to me as Jeffg already had a first basemen. When he didn't, I debated getting a closer - namely Joe Nathan. I picked up Nathan early last year in AAA thinking that would solidify my saves, and he did do good, but I finished very low in saves cause my other closers got hurt. So, with that in the back of my mind, I looked at the position players out there. I thought about Cano, but went back to the 1B spot that I was planning anyway with Nick Swisher. Swisher is moving to a hitter's park in Chicago, so stands to improve over his solid year last year.
54Taxman
Leader
ID: 01584348
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 00:44
4.04 Torii Hunter, OF, LAA

The story of Hunter becoming my 4th pick begins with dror, who owned pick 3.11, before trading 3rd/4th round picks with jeffG, who promptly drafted my 3.13 draft target Tulowitzki, requiring me to draft Carlos Guillen to assure credible SLG% and OBA from the SS position, which I had decided suffered the highest degree of scarcity behind Catcher. Problem is that my distorted mind, had targeted Guillen as my 4.04 pick for my MI creating more scarcity. With a little research, put together new plan of action and set a 5 player queue which turned out to be picks 3.14 through 4.02, albeit in different order. That sequence was unsettling. I had either become very adept at reading minds or done admirable research on valuing available talent and the competition in the big leagues (RIBC) was going to be pretty damn good (ďYou are no longer in Kansas DorothyĒ). Hunter jumped out as a durable, probable 4 category producer as the LAA cleanup hitter. Hunter move to LAA results in better hitters in front of him (more RBIí) and behind him (more runs). I project Hunter to plate triple digit RBIís and Rís (110 and 100 respectfully), hit the 20-20 club as he will have more ďgreen lightĒ time than he did in Minnesota, with a 475% SLG. Drawback (huge) is low OBA which has been in the .330 range the past 4 years, but Iím still pleased with this choice.
55blue hen
Leader
ID: 01584348
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 00:45
4.05 Miguel Tejada, SS ,HOU

I could have gone in a few directions here. I could have gone for scarcity with Weeks or Tejada, or I could have gone for more firepower, with Hawpe or Helton. Or I could have gotten a closer, with Joe Nathan at the top of my list. In the end, I went with Tejada, knowing he'd give me some nice power from the middle infield. I fully expect him to thrive in Houston.
56JeffG
Leader
ID: 01584348
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 00:46
via trade with dror
4.06 Josh Beckett, SP, Bos

Dropping 5 slots unfortunately put JJ Putz out of reach and I did consider K-Rod here, but decided to let him go and perhaps still get a same level RP on my next pick. Also considered similar pitcher Cole Hamels and MI eligible Chone Figgins in this spot. My RIBC track record with early pitching picks is not good, almost as reliable as the "Maddon Curse". I'd list the woes here but cannot mention undrafted players, lets just say my top P pick for several years running barely produced or had April season ending injuries. Josh Beckett should reverse this trend (and if he does not, hey even better for me as a Yankee fan). Becket is a safe pick and should win 15+ games easy, keep his ERA in the 3.5 range and should deliver about 170 Ks in 200 IP. Among only a dozen or so SPs with 200+ IP will deliver a sub 1.20 WHIP.
57for Dave R
ID: 53123191
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 13:35
4.07 Todd Helton 1B Col

Hoping for Swisher at this point I was thwarted again. Helton is more than likely a bit of a reach at this point. I was a little fearful that the first baseman's well was running dry, although there are some serviceable players still left.

Todd's days as a feared RBI's producer seem long gone and he hasn't driven in over 100 runs since 2003, nor scored more than 100 runs since 2004.
But what he still does well is shore up the % cats. His 3 year OPS average is .923 and I see no reason that shouldn't still be the norm.

Rumors are that Todd and Holliday will flip positions in the lineup with Todd batting 3rd. With Holliday protecting him from the 4th hole, maybe Helton can reach the magical 100 runs and RBI's and if so I think this pick will turn out just fine
58RoBoGuRu
ID: 53123191
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 13:35
for JL
4.08 Chone Figgins, 2B, LAA

I was shocked once again to see a player fall this far, which means that I'm either getting great value...or that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I almost took Figgins with my 3rd round pick because I was certain that he would picked before he made it back to me. When he was still available at this point, I was starting to get worried that he had an injury in spring training that I hadn't heard about. He's a MI that steals 50 bases while only killing you in slugging. I'll take it.

59RoBoGuRu
ID: 53123191
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 13:53
4.09 Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Was

I almost let history repeat itself. I waited way too long last year and had a revolving door at 3B for the whole season.

I'm hoping he picks up where he left off in the second half last year. I'm also hoping that the new stadium provides a bump to his RBI and SLG. I think it is very reasonable to predict 100+ RBI and Runs, an OPS that could approach .900, and a couple SB.

I considered jumping for a top level RP here, but that is why I took this draft spot. I don't want to start a run, just want to be able to respond to it when it happens. I had my eye on a certain 1B as well, but was pretty sure I could wait at least a round there.
60Flying Polack
Sustainer
ID: 378582811
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 14:15
4.10 Corey Hart, OF, MIL
I didnít really consider anyone else. I was actually willing to trade up and get him, but I never got an offer. Corey will contribute in 5 categories, and finished 39th overall in hitters last season, in spite of only 500 ABís. Thereís no question about his playing time this season, and Iím very excited to have Corey back. Hereís to 650 PAís.
61Guru
ID: 330592710
Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 14:37
4.11 Francisco Rodriguez, RP ANA
My plan had been to take my first closer in round 4. Last year, the run on closers started in round 3, but so far, only two have been taken. I imagine that several of the five teams picking twice before my 5th rounder will grab a closer, so I think Iíll stick with the plan.

With Papelbon and Putz already gone, my short list was K-Rod, Nathan, and Wagner. Saito seemed to be comparably ranked, but his age gives me pause. Ditto for Mariano.

KRod is still young, so although his 2nd half in 2007 showed some areas of concern, Iím going to assume it is of no lasting consequence. The Angels should continue to present him with plenty of save opps. His K-ratio of 1.3 will be very helpful. Since my typical strategy is to wait until later to pick up starters, itís important that I have some solid closers who can provide a good foundation for strikeouts and the ratio cats. Rodriguez fits that bill nicely.
62Uptown Bombers
† † † Donor
† † † ID: 035616416
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 15:55
for Bash Brothers
4.12 Joe Nathan, RP MIN
Well, Guru got me lose some sleep here. I was planning to take an OFer in this round and a closer in round 5. When Guru's pick was up at around 2 am local time here, I was satisfied that things were going my way. I figured I could take Rios in round 4 and either K. Rod, Nathan, or Saito would be available for me in round 5. But Guru caught me off guard by choosing K. Rod (something I should have foreseen but inadvertently missed). After thorough meditation, I decided that I didn't want any other closers except these three, yet I could afford to use some OFers with inferior talent to Rios. So I picked Nathan (and as expected, Rios disappeared quickly).

As of Nathan, we are talking about one of the game's best. Like Jeter, he is consistently excellent and durable. The departure of Santana might decrease his save chance, but a mid-season trade could avert that. The return of Liriano does not hurt, either.

63Uptown Bombers
† † † Donor
† † † ID: 035616416
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 15:56
for Coldwater Coyotes
4.13 Russell Martin, C LAD
I couldn't believe that he was still available. An absolute steal at pick 61...his ADP is 30.
64Uptown Bombers
† † † Donor
† † † ID: 035616416
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 15:56
4.14 Alex Rios, OF, TOR
As this pick approached, I had 3 OF listed at the top of my list, Rios, Hart, and Pence. I really wanted to land one of them, as my rankings showed a drop in quality after them. I didnít want to fall that far behind with OFís since we need 4 of them to start. If all three went before my pick, I was leaning towards going with 2 SP. But of course Rios did make it me, and I feel like his is a good value pick here on top of filling a team need. He fits the typical mold of players that managers in these leagues covet. He is already a solid contributor across the board and he is entering that ďmagicalĒ age range when players hit their peak. Rios has teased at superstardom the past two years. If he can finally deliver on that potential, then Iíve scored well here. If not, and he produces an average of the past two seasons, Iíd still be happy. With that as my thinking, this pick was a no-brainer for my team.
65StLCards
† † † Dude
† † † ID: 31010716
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 19:31
4.15 Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD

I spent hours looking over this pick and finally settled on Alex Rios. I went to add him to my queue and all of a sudden he wasn't there. Then I found out why, he had just gotten taken right as I went to take him. Having missed out on Figgins earlier I decided I should start looking towards middle infield options. There were a couple of 2nd basemen I would be happy with so I decided to wait until my next pick on them and took Furcal. Hopefully he will steal bases and get runs without hurting my slugging % too much. I never like having Furcal except in h2h leagues, but I guess I'll have to make do.
66Building 7
† † † ID: 48033121
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 20:07
4.16 Justin Verlander, SP, DET

At this point it was 53 hitters, 6 SP, and 4 RP. Last year it was 45 hitters, 9 SP. and 9 RP. Half your stats come from pitching. I feel a run on pitchers coming. Already my staff is better than last year when I started over 30 different pitchers. Verlander should get good run support.

5.01 Chris Young, SP, SD

Sometimes I have to tell myself that I must pick a pitcher with my next pick. Or next two picks. Even if Babe Ruth is available, or, in this case, Thome, Kinsler, Mauer, Pence. or Hawpe. You must take two pitchers. Otherwise I may never pick any SP. I was hoping Nathan or K-Rod would make it to me. They didn't. After that there was a dropoff IMO. So I decided on two starters to jumpstart my staff. There were some other choices that were very close....Hamels.....Lackey......Harang......Kazmir.etc. I hope I picked a couple good ones. Chris has had some injury problems, but not to his arm. Back, oblique. He's working with Tiger Woods' trainer. Some recent stats:

2006 179 innings, 134 hits, 164 K's, .206 BAA, 1.13 WHIP
2007 173 innings, 118 hits, 167 K's, .192 BAA, 1.10 WHIP

Most rankings....the free ones anyways, have this guy rated many SP later. I don't want to take the chance of him not making it back to me. Expert, Schmexperts, I'm taking this guy.




67StLCards
† † † Dude
† † † ID: 31010716
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 21:17
5.02 Ian Kinsler, 2B, TX

Keeping with the MI theme I wanted to grab a 2B here. I thought about waiting but there were 2 guys left that I thought had a shot at pretty good years. Kinsler had a foot problem last year which slowed him down but he should be running more now. He also has decent pop with 14 and then 20 HR so I think his slugging could go up a bit this year as well. He won't get me great numbers in any category but should be a consistent player. I feel like he will improve this year and even if he stays the same as last year he won't be an awful 2B to have by any means.
69Uptown Bombers
† † † Donor
† † † ID: 035616416
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 21:20
5.03 Cole Hamels, SP, PHI
Curses, a stinking Phillie has made my team! Other than that, there wasnít much to not like about Hamels at this spot for this Mets fan. I knew I wanted a top SP to anchor my staff. There were still plenty of good choices available, but I wasnít sure who would have made it back to me in round 6. So I took the one that I thought was the best. I also considered Lackey who is very steady and reliable. But Hamels is electric and if he can channel his frustration over his contract situation then heíll give me a great start in the pitching categories.
70Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 22:02
for coldwater coyotes
5.04 Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY
I didn't feel that I could wait any longer for a closer. At 39 years he is still an elite pitcher on a team where he will get the opportunity to give me 40 saves.
71Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 22:25
for Bash Brothers
5.05 Rickie Weeks, 2B, MIL
When I was "forced" to take Nathan and let Rios slip to Uptown Bombers, my plan for round 5 pick was also changed. I was looking at Brad Hawpe and Hunter Pence, but thought they were just not as appealing. I decided to turn to Weeks, the 2B I'd targeted prior to this draft. Kinsler was gone 3 picks earlier, and I believed there was a huge drop-off after Weeks in this weak position. His 2007 season was marred by injury, but his number was still decent. Although his batting average was low (.240), the high walk rate made his OBP respectable. He also stole 25 bases, including 16 for 16 in the bottom half of the season. The long ball power (16 HR in ~ 400 AB) he displayed last year was also encouraging. If he stays healthy and improves his BA a bit (quite a possibility considering the meager .240 he had), he might have a huge breakout year. I am expecting 100R, 60RBI, .380/.440, and 30+ SBs. Quite an accomplishment from this difficult slot for fantasy owners.
72Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 22:26
5.06 Brad Hawpe, OF, Col

Iím a bit surprised that not more closers disappeared since my last pick. Wagner is still available, and itís very tempting to nab him here and really foul things up.

But Iíve had my eye on Brad Hawpe, and I think Iíll follow through with the plan. If he could only hit lefties, heíd have been taken earlier. The risk is that he ends up in a platoon situation, although I guess if that happens, he still canít hit them and it may be a blessing in disguise. In spite of his difficulty with southpaws, heís played in at least 150 games in each of the last two seasons, so itís clear that the Rockies arenít benching him too much Ė even though some of those games might reflect pinch hitting roles. Last year, I have him ranked as the 35th best hitter in this format, and Iím picking him as the 55th hitter in this draft. So I feel like Iím getting a bit of a discount. Hopefully, he doesnít get traded away from Coors field. At age 28, he should be in his hitting prime.

Last year he put up 80-116-.387-.535, and Iíd settle for a repeat, although some modest improvement isnít far fetched.
73Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 22:29
for Flying Polack
5.07 John Lackey, SP, ANA
All along I was targeting Rickie Weeks in this spot. Unfortunately he was selected two picks before me. There were still a couple OF worth considering, but I decided to get my rotation anchor. I didnít want to go into the last 20 rounds only need 1 OF, itís a good position for sleepers.

Once I decided on SP, the debate was between Lackey, Haren, Smoltz and Kazmir. I decided Lackey was the best bet to win 20 games, while keeping sufficient upside in the other 3 SP categories.

74RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Sun, Mar 09, 2008, 23:45
5.08 Dan Haren, SP, Ari

I had 3 potential directions with this pick. First was to take one of the OFs that I felt had lasted too long. But in my mind there were a few of about equal value so rather than picking one, I disregarded that option. Second was the 1B that I considered the previous round. However, after looking at the teams that had to draft before my next pick, I saw they all had 1B already and decided that I had a really good chance to get him with my next pick (unfortunately, JL grabbed inexplicably took gonzalez with the pick b4 me). So I went with the 3rd option, a second top SP. I decided on Haren because I like his potential for a good win total, close to 180-200 Ks, and very solid ERA and WHIP numbers. I think his move to the NL should help all of those.
77JL
† † † ID: 14250923
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 02:00
5.09 Michael Young, SS, Tex

I felt like there was a huge dropoff in the SS position after Young and it was difficult for me to gauge exactly when some of the remaining shortstops would get picked. I didn't want to be left with garbage at this position and no other hitter stood out, so I felt this was the time to take Young. With Felix, Kazmir, Smoltz, and Oswalt still available, I expected as least one upper second-tier to be available with the next pick.
80Dave R
† † † Leader
† † † ID: 057721710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 02:05
5.10 Hunter Pence OF HOU
I resisted the urge to grab a pitcher here. I felt SP's could wait, RP's may end up being another matter.

Pence seemed like to good a value to pass on here. It was somewhat comforting to see him under consideration a round earlier when reading some of the rationals.

In 456 AB's last year, Pence batted .322 with an OPS of .899, driving in 69 runs, scoring 57 and adding 11 SB's. Solid across the board. Rotowire seems to be a little more liberal with their 2008 projections than Rotoworld, so I like their numbers better ;)

In either event, 100 RBI's, 90 runs, 15-20 SB's and an OPS around .890 should be forthcoming my way.

81dror
† † † Leader
† † † ID: 057721710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 02:06
5.11 Joe Mauer C MIN
Last year in AA, I picked Russell Martin in the 12th round, and it ended up being one of the biggest reasons why I got to play in this league. This year, I didn't recognize a single catcher who can prvoide positive value in the later rounds, so I decided to spend an early pick on the position.

Mauer comes off a tough year, he suffered an early injury in and even once he returned he just didn't look like his 2006 self. He is still very young, and I'm hoping that with a full offseason to rest and a new spot in the order (#2), he will come back and give me strong all around numbers from a position where strong numbers are very hard to find.

82blue hen
† † † Leader
† † † ID: 057721710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 02:06
5.12 Takashi Saito RP LAD
From the second I took Tejada, I knew I'd be gunning for a closer at this spot, and my targets were Joe Nathan and Billy Wagner. I figured Nathan would go earlier, but I'd probably have to live with Wagner as my first closer. I was fine with that because Wagner gets his K's, plays in a good park for a good team and I used to like him when he was on the Phillies. So when it came to my turn, I was about to go get Wagner, but I saw Takashi Saito was available. Rotowire seems to think quite highly of Saito and it's certainly founded - he has a great track record. I held [undrafted] last year in hopes Saito would get hurt but it never happened. If nothing else, this pick could cause 2008 to be Saito's first long-term injury. All the Dodger fans around here can thank me. Or else he stays healthy and effective, at which point, he's great value for a 5th round pick. And perhaps Wagner will still be around for the 6th round...
83Taxman
† † † Leader
† † † ID: 057721710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 02:07
5.13 Scott Kazmir SP TAM
Kazmir, like most choices after the first 3-4 rounds, has a lot to like and a few warts. What jumps out at you is his age: 24. Baring injury, most SP donít peak until age 26-28, usually their 3rd/4th year in the Show. Entering his 4th ML season, Kazmir should continue to improve. His numbers for 2007 are tantalizing with a mid 3 ERA and 10.4 K/9 innings, and a wart = WHIP close to 1.40. However, 2007 was 2 seasons for Kazmir. His post all star numbers were elite:1.21 WHIP, 2.73 ERA and 11.4 K/9 winning 8 games. Ignoring the elbow strain this spring, I am looking for season long numbers comparable to his 2007 2nd half. 15 wins, 3.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 225 K.
84Tosh
† † † Leader
† † † ID: 057721710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 02:09
5.14 ~ Aaron Harang, SP, CIN

After taking hitters the first four rounds, I should either take a SP or RP this round. I was hoping to get Saito, but he was nabbed by BlueHen just before me. I canít decide between Wagner or Jenks as closer, so Iíve decided to wait, and take whichever one is available at pick 6.03. It turns out this was a bad choice. Iíve narrowed my selections to Harang, Smoltz, Oswalt, and King Felix. Smoltz is pretty good, but is getting up there in years. Oswalt doesnít give me the Ks that I would be looking for. And as much as I like Felix, I think itís a little too early to pick him. So Harang is the pick. For convenience, here is a copy/paste of my 2007 rationale for picking Harang (with just a couple 2008 edits). :-)

Harang's been a starter for three four years, and he's improved each year. He led was second in the NL in Ks last season, and has a k/9 of over 7.5 about 8.5. Heís got control too: his K/BB is above 4.0. If he is able to keep a few more of his fly balls from leaving the ballpark, heíll have a real another breakout season. I expect continuing development from this 28 29 year old.
86Slackjawed Yokel
† † † ID: 425869
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 08:08
5.15 Chris Young, OF, Ari

At first, I wanted to grab my first closer here, but couldn't pull the trigger on Wagner. I guess I felt he was too much of an injury risk. Looking through who was out there (Saito was who I really wanted but he went several picks earlier), I liked Bobby Jenks as a backup option. Since, I have another pick after JeffG, I'll let him help me make my decision and go with a hitter here instead. I actually had Mike Lowell's name typed in, but started to have serious second thoughts. I started to worry about his lack of speed (and like, Wagner, his age), so looked at who was out there and Young looked like a decent option. He exploded on to the scene last year with his combination of speed and power - and low batting average. Hopefully, he'll continue to develop and improve on his OBP from last year while maintaining his power/speed combination.
87JeffG
† † † Leader
† † † ID: 01584348
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 08:08
5.16 Billy Wagner RP NYM

I had it in my pre-draft plans that I was going to take a RP with my 3rd or 4th round pick, but waiting paid off as I have a good one in Wags. He should save close to 40 on a Met team that should give him many opportunities, and he throws more than a strikeout per inning. At age 36, there is a little concern about what he has in the tank as illustrated by the way things fell apart in September for him, which lead to the Mets historic downfall, but then I noticed the two other closers taken this round are each 2 years older.


6.01 Jorge Posada C NYY

I was looking at the best couple of players on my board several other positions. John Smoltz, Gary Sheffied and Adrian Gonzalez were also considered. However, there is a large drop off at C between Jorge and still undrafted McCann and the rest of the field. Jorge's not coming near last year's .426 OBP or .543 SLG but should settle in the .370 and .470 range. He's also as good for R and RBI production compared to any other 5th or 6th rounder.
88RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 13:49
6.02 Bobby Jenks, RP, ChW
Like I said with the 5.15 pick, I was going to take a closer here. JeffG did pick Wagner, so I grabbed Jenks. Last year, I remember Jenks fell a bit in my drafts as the thinking was his 2006 was a fluke, but last year he was even stronger with a sub 3.00 ERA and a sub 1.00 WHIP. I don't necessarily expect the same, but 35-40 saves aren't out of the question.
89RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 13:50
for Tosh
6.03 Brian McCann, C, Atl

So Iím in a couple AL-only leagues, but no NL-only. So to be honest, NL catchers are pretty far off my radar. How did I decide to choose McCann? First off, I was completely distracted when my turn came up right in the middle of ďgame nightĒ with the buddies. I was going to draft either Jenks or Wagner here, but both just got picked. I just drafted a SP, and Smoltz, who I heavily considered the previous pick is still available Ö but my pre-draft plan was to only get 1 SP in the first 7-8 rounds, so I decided to stick to it. I also know that there is going to likely be a closer run before my turn comes up again, but I decided to wait until the next turn to pick through the left-overs and add more hitting to the lineup. As Iíve discovered in previous rounds, most of the players at the top of my draft list are 1B and OF Ö which I donít really need right now. Reaching for a SS or 3B doesnít prudent, as I can get comparable players in a couple more rounds.
note Ė in the 26 picks between McCann and my next pick, only 5 closers were taken. No closer run.

But Brian McCann is available. He is the last of the top-tier catchers available, and there is a significant drop to the next grouping. Iím projecting a .365 OBP, .520 SLG, 90 RBIs, and 65 runs scored. Iíve never had a top (or second)-shelf catcher in a fantasy league. I always draft a schwag player towards the end. I wonder how this strategy will play out for me?

90RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 13:50
for Taxman
6.04 Roy Oswalt
Always need SP who can win games, deliver Kís and carry a reasonable ERA and WHIP. The veteran Houston pitcher has delivered these qualities consistently since the turn of the century. Houston added offense over the off season and the added run support will help achieve more wins. Although his WHIP slipped last year, I project him to deliver 18 wins, 3.25 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 170 Kís. A very consistent SP.
91RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 13:50
for blue hen
6.05 Rafael Soriano, RP, Atl
Well, Wagner didn't make it back to me, but there was still some great closing to be had. Soriano could be the best closer in baseball this year, and there aren't a lot of guys who can make that claim. Tons of strikeouts, plays for a pretty good team, and was just nasty last season. I'm buying.
92RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 13:51
for dror
6.06 Felix Hernandez, SP, Sea
Last year in the 6th round, I picked a young pitcher from a semi-contending team, who has shown flashes of greatness before but couldn't really stay consistent for a full season. It worked out so well (Sabathia), that I decided to try and pull the same trick this year.

Hernandez is considered one of the most promising young starters in baseball for years, and I'm hoping that in his 4th season in the majors (and for the 1st time with a true ace keeping some pressure off him) he will find a way to pitch like everyone in baseball expect him to, and finally live up to his nickname and become a king. I know it's a gamble, but I feel it's the kind of gamble that if you want to win a league you just got to take.

93RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 13:52
for Dave R
6.07 John Smoltz, SP, ATL
It was time to finally address pitching. I have never waited this long before, so time will tell how it pans out.

13 starters had been nabbed at this point and Smoltz was the highest on my board. As a matter of fact I had him ranked overall as the 10th best SP. I would have considered Oswalt or Harang, but they had just been chosen, and I think Smoltz was my guy in any event. Matsusaka was an option and may win more games, but I think Smoltz's other stats will be better.

True, he will be over 40 early in the season, but it didn't seem to affect him last year. Smoltz won " only " 14 games and I look for improvement there.

He struck out nearly a batter an inning, and posted an excellent ERA of 3.11 and a WHIP of 1.18. I expect a few more wins, but maybe some " slippage " in the other stats, but that would be fine.

95JL
† † † ID: 572501014
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 17:03
6.08 Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, SD

This was an odd pick. I had several needs at the time and 1B wasn't one of them. I needed a SP, a closer, 3B, and another OF. While looking at 3B options, it became apparent that there wasn't anything worth taking any time soon. I noticed that 1B was about to get very thin with AGon and Konerko to go off the board, and with that I'd be left with a weak 3B AND and weak CI. And part of me wanted to punish those that had waited so long to take a 1B and were going to be lucky enough to grab someone of AGon's caliber this late in the draft.

Pitching-wise, Halladay, Zambrano, Matsuzaka, Valverde, Street, and Cordero remained. I expected one of those to be available at my next pick, but I knew that AGon/Konerko would be gone by that time. Based on that, I closed my eyes and pulled the trigger.

Gonzalez and Konerko have very similar numbers, but Gonzalez has more potential, in my opinion.
96RoBoGuRu
† † † ID: 53123191
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 17:04
6.09 Paul Konerko, 1B, CWS

And this is the pick that I alluded to twice now. Except this isn't the pick I wanted it to be. I had targeted Gonzalez for a couple rounds and assumed that since everyone below me already had a 1B I could let him slide one more. I was wrong. When it came time to look at plan B, I still thought my most pressing hole was 1B, so I took Konerko instead. He was just below Gonzalez on my list so I don't feel too bad about it. I'm assuming that last year was a down year for him and he should rebound to his prior self(he was the #8 1B in 2006). I still like his home park and now he has Swisher in front of him to help his RBI totals.

Projection: 100R/110RBI/0SB/.370OBP/.530SLG seems reasonable...and I'm optimistic for slight better numbers all the way across.

I also considered switching gears and grabbing an OF(byrnes...who i got a round later) or a RP...but I couldn't convince myself that it was time for either.

97Flying Polack
† † † Sustainer
† † † ID: 378582811
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 18:15
6.10 Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, BOS
Dice-K was a guy I really wanted to get heading into the draft. The dilemma was where to draft him. In two of the other RIBC drafts he went in the fifth round, in the third he went exactly at 6.10, and in the fourth he went late in the seventh round. I thought about waiting Ďtil the 7th, but decided against it. When looking at the rosters of those teams drafting between my picks, I donít see many pitches. I figure as many as 6 could go. That sealed my decision.

Why do I want him? Last year he threw 200 innings, with 200Kís and 15 wins. Those are my minimum expectations for this season, but I think thereís a good chance he adjusts in his second season and really lowers his ERA and WHIP.

I almost took Halladay instead, but his K/9 dropped to 5.5 last season, so he more so than other top pitchers relies on his defense. Unfortunately the Blue Jays downgraded their SS D significantly when the signed a former World Series MVP, relegating a Gold Glove caliber SS to 5th infielder. That drop off in middle infield defense was enough to scare me away from Halladay.

I also looked at Kelly Johnson. With 4 of the 6 teams ahead of me set at 2B, I thought there was a better chance of him dropping to the 7th round. Weíll see if it works out.
98Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 18:41
6.11 Huston Street, RP, Oak

I had hoped hoped to land either Konerko or Adrian Gonzalez with this pick, but as usual, they were snatched up at the last moment. I really donít see any non-outfielder hitters that interest me for a 6th round pick. And since I already have two outfielders, I donít feel pressed to take a third now.

Iím sticking with my plan to defer until later for starting pitching, but that still leaves a second closer as a viable option. Frankly, Iím a little surprised that other teams have not pushed harder for closers, especially in light of the experience of recent seasons. That suits me just fine, since by deferring my starting pitching choices, I can really use closers with good ratios and strikeouts. The two leading candidates appear to be Street and Jose Valverde. Both have some history of injuries, but seem to be healthy for now. I think itís essentially a coin flip, so Iíll go with the younger one. And if Valverde is still there in round 7, I might take him too! (He wasn't.)
99Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 18:44
for Bash Brothers
6.12 Matt Kemp, OF, LAD
With my infield set, I was looking for OFers in round 6 and 7. I really wanted Kemp. The problem was that I did not know when to select him. The other players I was looking for included Wells, Sheffield, and Matsui. After some tough struggle, I suddenly figured out the solution. It's very likely Kemp would be gone in round 8, and he might even be drafted between my round 6 & 7 picks. I could simply select Kemp in round 6 and chose whoever of the 3 other OFers left for me in round 7. So I pulled the trigger for him.

Speaking of Kemp, I admit he is a bit of a reach here (The jaws might be dropping everywhere). He is young and has yet played a full season in the majors. But as a Dodger fan, I've followed him through the past few years. He is a 5-tool player and plays like a young Bobby Abreu. His 2007 number provided a glimpse of a forthcoming promising career. I am not going to predict his number, but I am sure it will be fruitful at the end of the season. I remember picking up Fielder in 2007 at the same slot, and I can't stop myself imagining that Kemp would play all his way to be a first rounder in RIBC 2009.

100Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 18:44
for coldwater coyotes
6.13 Jim Thome, Util, ChW
OPS of .950 and 100 RBIs. With that I can live with giving up my Util slot.
101Uptown Bombers
† † † Donor
† † † ID: 035616416
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 19:01
6.14 Jason Bay, OF, PIT
I was really confused with this pick and my round 7. Originally, I thought I would go with two pitchers, a closer and starter. But as round 6 moved along I began to talk myself out of that plan, and onto the idea of taking another hitter (preferably an OF) and then a pitcher in the next round. Obviously, I went with the latter plan and Iíll have some careful picking to do if I want to keep competitive in the pitching cats. I have three pitchers in mind, and I expect one to make it back to me.
After some research, I choose Bay. Last year he was a major disappointment and his team stinks. But Iíve convinced myself that his troubles last season were the result of his knee injuries and that he is healthy again this year. Many articles I read pointed to this year being a bounce back year for Bay. Hereís hoping they are right. In the case he gets traded during the season, it would likely to be to a contender, which should help him as he slots into a better line-up.
102StLCards
† † † Dude
† † † ID: 31010716
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 19:10
6.15 Alex Gordon, 1B/3B, KC
What a difference a year makes! Last year I drafted ARod in the first round and didnít have to worry about 3B the rest of the draft. This year I took Pujols in the first round, but now the 3B options are looking a bit thin. I really should go with Lowell, the proven vet on a run scoring team, but this Alex Gordon kid is still intriguing to me. He didnít perform up to par last year, but it seems like the hype surrounding him has considerably diminished which should allow him to go out and play baseball.

This pick could turn out to be a complete bust or it could turn out really well. Gordon failed to live up to projections last year even with more at bats than projected. This yearís projections are actually worse than last yearís projections when you consider the extra at bats and Iím not buying that. A .320 obp and .445 slg is not what Iím expecting for Gordon this year. Iím not expecting huge numbers by any means but I think heís capable of the .340 obp and .470 slg that was projected for him last year and to get near 85 runs and rbis while throwing in 15 steals. I also think he could do more than that, but projecting youngsters too high usually only brings pain and misfortune.
103Building 7
† † † ID: 48033121
† † † Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 20:18
6.16 Edgar Renteria, SS, DET

It's looking thin at SS. Time to pick up someone average so I don't have to play someone below average. Cabrera was also looked at. I used to not like this guy because of what he did to the Indians.
But that's been so long ago, I pretty much forgot about it. Plus after Mesa blew the save it was pretty much inevitable that Florida was going to win. Now, I'm his biggest fan, plus I like the Tigers, anyways. Sorry, that's not much of an analysis.

104Guru
† † † ID: 330592710
† † † Wed, Mar 12, 2008, 11:04
Rationales for rounds 7-12
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