Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Drafts, Drafts & More Drafts (Part I)

The BoS League Logo.
Okay, there was actually only two Drafts. But during a span of 7 days (February 15-22nd), I would be involved with two drafts consisting of a total of 57 rounds, involving 1056 picks, and 44 teams. During that span I also had to work 6 nights compared to my usual 5 nights, and had a dental appointment on top of that (got 2 crowns). I want to say I have the most supportive wife in the history of mankind, who completely supports my APBA Lifestyle that consists of updating boards, purchasing season sets of cards, BBW, APBA Online, subscriptions to Baseball America & S.I., purchasing old teams on E-Bay. She completely understands my love for the game, but it was even starting to test her buttons as well. Safe to say, Monday & Tuesday I was all hers, and a night out to Chili's was in order.

The weeks leading up to the 14th, I was preparing for the drafts -- both my Boys of Summer APBA Online League and Stray Corrado's Mid-West Baseball League. My League was not as in-depth with the prospect hunting as his league was, I was in the middle of a rebuilding project with my Traverse City Crusaders team. In the off-season I traded Miguel Cabrera, won't go into details, but you can go back and read one of the earlier posts "Trading Miggy". Plus I was loading & learning the cool Draft Manager option in that league, that really makes you feel like Billy Beane. For my league, I changed my team name of Crusaders to the Panthers, a shout out to my cat, who believes she's a real-life jungle panther.
Mike Trout: The Face of the League? 

We were rearing to go 9:30 ET on the morning of February 14th in my Boys of Summer APBA Online League. The site has had it's glitches, so there was plenty of butterflies, also I have heard of the computer's selections in other leagues, and about how things could go haywire. So we were anticipating that, what we were not anticipating is that the Draft Room for the site to go chaotic, it got stuck on the 4th or 5th pick, and then the site definitely froze the site on the 8th overall selection of Justin Verlander by the Carolina Eagles. We were able to joke about it later, that not only does Verlander bring the heat on the mound, but he even brings it into the draft room. Everyone got scattered, I was talking to a couple of the guys, and they brought up the point that we are all available to continue it (The Draft) elsewhere, we decided on the facebook messenger/conversation area. We gathered up the troops, and we were starting to draft by 10:40 ET, and really didn't get started until 11:15 am ET. We ended up pulling together and getting 14 rounds done, not the 30 rounds I was hoping to shoot for -- all in all, it was a victory none the less, and I couldn't be more prouder of my guys for dealing with the chaos that pursued, everyone played a role.

Entering the draft there was only one question on everyone's minds, does the Portland Microbrewers take the kid Mike Trout or the best player in the game, in Miguel Cabrera? He couldn't go wrong with either one really, but he went with the player who is just starting his career off & has more upside -- and that is Mike Trout. I think it was a fantastic choice, and I love seeing how these Start-up Drafts kick off leagues. In high school, we started an APBA League with the 1991 MLB Season, and the #1 overall pick was Frank Thomas, and in the service it was 1997, and the #1 overall pick was Ken Griffey, Jr. I feel for a start-up draft, that #1 overall pick, who has the highest ceiling? Who's the new kid on the block? There could not be more perfect of a #1 pick to kick off the Boys of Summer League, than Mike Trout.

A Look at the first round....
1.     Portland - Mike Trout, OF
2.     Buffalo - Miguel Cabrera, 3B
3.     South Shore - David Wright, 3B
4.     King Road - Clayton Kershaw, SP
5.     Bronx - Robinson Cano, 2B
6.     Washington - Yadier Molina, C
7.     Carolina - Justin Verlander, SP
8.     Chicago - Felix Hernandez, SP
9.     Sacramento - Andrew McCutchen, OF
10.     Boston - Craig Kimbrel, RP
11.     Fairgrove - Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
12.     Urbana - David Price, SP
13.     Seattle - Max Scherzer, SP
14.     Hannibal - Buster Posey, C
15.     Holland - Bryce Harper, OF
16.     Traverse City - Yu Darvish, SP

Verlander: Responsible for the crash?
I'm not going to go negative on anyone's picks, because who am I to do so? Sure, it's a blog, and in a blog, you want to be speaking what's on your mind -- but I am also in the position where I am the Commissioner of this league, so I don't want to offend anyone; Overall I think the first round is loaded with guys we expected to see.

I will point out the surprise, and great picks -- Paul Goldschmidt falling to #11 was a shocker to me, if he fell down to me, I would have loved to have picked him. Goldschmidt in my opinion was a top 5 pick, taken in the first 8 rounds for sure, but to fall to Fairgrove at #11 -- STEAL! Andrew McCutchen, another guy I could see reach the top 5, fell to #9. I'm glad everyone else felt the way I did about Justin Verlander, after the draft everyone mentioned they would have wanted the chance at him, if he fell past #7, the fantasy magazines have been cruel to him entering 2014. #8 Starting pitcher? In one of the mag's mock drafts he fell to their 4th round, #52 overall! That to me, is total disrespect to a guy I feel is going to comeback with a vengeance in 2014 and win the A.L. Cy Young.

Second Round

We are doing the serpentine style, so it's back with me, who had just selected Yu Darvish for my ace. The two guys I was hoping for was Verlander & C-Buster Posey (who Hannibal took #14 overall), so I went with a slugger, a beast with tremendous upside in Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton's 2013 had me a bit weary entering the draft, but now that Verlander & Posey are off the board, and I got a young pitcher in Darvish, I went with Stanton as well.

17.     Traverse City - Giancarlo Stanton, OF
18.     Holland - Stephen Strasburg, SP
19.     Hannibal - Troy Tulowitzki, SS
20.     Seattle - Prince Fielder, 1B
21.     Urbana - Adrian Beltre, 3B
22.     Fairgrove - Adam Jones, OF
23.     Boston - Matt Wieters, C
24.     Sacramento - Ryan Braun, OF
25.     Chicago - Joey Votto, 1B
26.     Carolina - Dustin Pedroia, 2B
27.     Washington - Zack Greinke, SP
28.     Bronx - Hanley Ramirez, SS/3B
29.     King Road - Chris Sale, SP
30.     South Shore - Joe Mauer, C
31.     Buffalo - Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
32.     Portland - Cliff Lee, SP

Stephen Strasburg & Bryce Harper are together again for the Holland Hitchhikers, while Seattle did a reunion with Prince Fielder joining 2013 A.L. Cy Young Winner - Max Scherzer. You can't go wrong with Adrian Beltre at #21 overall (Urbana). The Bronx Bombers team up Hanley Ramirez as a double-play partner with Robinson Cano. Plus I'm not looking forward to going on the road to start the season against the Kings' one-two punch in Clayton Kershaw & Chris Sale! I can say good things about that entire round actually...

Jason Kipnis would be a great back-to-back pick (#33 overall) following Portland's choice of Cliff Lee. Sign of the times, Albert Pujols falls to 3rd Rd (#39 overall) to Carolina. Hannibal Cavemen snag future Gold Glover Manny Machado at #46 overall / near end of 3rd Round. Portland looking solid early with another big pick in Freddie Freeman at #65 overall to kick off 5th Rd, as Traverse City kicks off the 6th Round with a intriguing / injury pick in Matt Harvey.

Check out the rest of the Draft at 2013 Boys of Summer Inaugural Draft.

TO BE CONTINUED / The MWBL Draft in PART II of this article...

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