Fantasy baseball draft and hold ... and hold ... and ... right there

      February 3, 2012 @ 10:57:47 PDT


Have you ever taken part in a 15-team fantasy baseball league that has a draft which lasts for 50 rounds? Me neither, until a couple of months ago.

At Baseball HQ's First Pitch Arizona, the National Fantasy Baseball Championship, with the help of Greg Ambrosius, held three drafts in conjunction with the event. The winner of each of the three draft-and-hold leagues will receive free registration for this autumn's edition of the fantasy baseball seminars hosted by HQ proprietor Ron Shandler.

Chicago White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo
Viciedo gets a shot, has a spot

I - reluctantly at first - slipped into the last chair available, after the draft for what became my league had already begun, and I was armed with only a sheet of players arranged in order of Roto 500 values. It's hard to pass up the excitement of a live draft in which you wade in so much uncertainty. Plus, Ron was kinda relieved that he no longer had to participate.

On that first Saturday in November, we completed 22 rounds. We didn't pick up the draft up again until the beginning of last week, in an online draft room and with an eight-hour limit per pick.

A bit surprisingly, no player's demand between then and now had really skyrocketed thanks to an injury, a transaction or a team declaration. I still felt pretty fortunate to make my first pick of Phase 2. I can live with my draft results - counting backward, because there's just more suspense that way - but I wish I could share the entire draft board. Settle.

Rd
Ovr
Player Team
Pos
Comment
50
737
Fernando Rodney Rays
RP
Will you really be shocked if Tampa Bay fixes him and he ends up with 10 or 15 saves?
49
734
J.B. Shuck Astros
OF
High-energy contact hitter who could be fourth OF in outfield full of players with faults.
48
707
Casey Kelly Padres
SP
Prospect was solid in first full campaign as pitcher in 2011, can't beat the environment.
47
704
Chance Ruffin Mariners
RP
Two-pitch hard-tosser with some BB/9 problems could close after trade deadline.
46
677
Jake Arrieta Orioles
SP
Hope: Removal of ping-pong-ball-sized bone spur he's had since college makes difference.
45
674
Daniel Descalso Cardinals
3B
Versatile infielder with solid BA skills could easily find another 375 PAs - or more.
44
647
Paul Maholm Cubs
SP
Maybe Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer get lucky, are right about this one?
43
644
Deck McGuire Blue Jays
SP
High-strikeout RHP could be on fast track through pitching-rich Toronto's farm system.
42
617
Dustin McGowan Blue Jays
SP
Hail Mary: Lengthy comeback from shoulder problems was success, still throws hard.
41
614
Kyle Drabek Blue Jays
SP
Endured 2011 season full of adversity. To bounce back, start with throwing strikes.
40
587
Alex Liddi Mariners
3B
Has 30-HR power, lineup lacks it, plays position with no long-term roadbloack.
39
584
Ryan Sweeney Red Sox
RF
Quality hitter, solid fielder could slot at bottom of potent lineup, play fairly often.
38
557
Carl Pavano Twins
SP
In 38th round, no-K Pavano is an acceptable play for depth, reliability.
37
554
Taylor Green Brewers
3B
Breakout 2011 (.336/.413/.583 at AAA), plays 2B and 3B, is an alternative to 1B Mat Gamel.
36
527
Bartolo Colon Athletics
SP
Great trade-in on home park, willing to chalk up 2nd-half fade to fatigue - missed 2010.
35
524
Joe Blanton Phillies
SP
Backend starter maintains excellent K/BB, reduction in HR/9 could result in quality line.
34
497
Fautino De Los Santos Athletics
RP
Hard-throwing, wild RHP will receive consideration for ninth-inning duty.
33
494
David Carpenter Astros
RP
Hard-throwing, semi-wild RHP should get shot at SVOs if Brandon Lyon fails.
32
467
Chone Figgins Mariners
3B
Hey, why not. What if? He could play all over. He's 34, not 38. (Sorry, Ichiro.)
31
464
Jason Castro Astros
C
Warm body, for depth. Could receive majority of ABs at C in return from knee surgery.
30
437
Brandon Lyon Astros
RP
RHP is fav to close. Probably won't end it that way, but what the hell.
29
434
Charlie Morton Pirates
SP
Learned Roy Halladay windup, was effective. What if? Had full offseason to hone it.
28
407
Jonathan Sanchez Royals
SP
Undervalued high K/9, high BB/9 LHP has nice chance to rebound in KC.
27
404
Joey Devine Athletics
RP
A's best choice to close if he maintains health. Of course, that's a big if.
26
377
Luke Hochevar Royals
SP
Post-break performance says a lot: Really, this RHP is set for breakout in 2012.
25
374
Alex Gonzalez Brewers
SS
Can't beat this play for MI depth in everyday SS who could hit 15-18 HR.
24
347
Jake Peavy White Sox
SP
Contract year, 1 1/2 years removed from back-shoulder operation: time to stay healthy.
23
344
Dayan Viciedo White Sox
OF
Carlos Quentin trade cleared way for everyday job in RF. Not bad here: .275-20.

From this point backward, it was all in the fall.

Rd
Ovr
Player Team
Pos
Comment
22
317
Rafael Furcal Cardinals
SS
Figured he'd re-sign with Cards. Really hoped Albert Pujols would, too.
21
314
Aubrey Huff Giants
1B
Under gun after letdown in first year of three-year contract. Wasn't lazy in offseason.
20
287
Jose Tabata Pirates
OF
With 600 PA, he hits .290, swipes 25-plus, scores 85-plus. Hope he stays healthy to get them.
19
284
Carlos Ruiz Phillies
C
An adequate No. 2 C in very deep mixed league who won't hurt, might help.
18
257
Pedro Alvarez Pirates
3B
Hits (or misses) keep on comin': Muted risk here, rebound gives me shot at title.
17
254
Yonder Alonso Padres
OF
Took him with expectation of winter trade. LHB will fall victim to Death Alley in right-center.
16
227
Ben Revere Twins
OF
Solid SB play who could have least trouble keeping PT in Minnesota's outfield.
15
224
John Danks White Sox
SP
Some concerns since he received that extension, but LHP was on point from June 1 on.
14
197
Jason Bay Mets
OF
Realized immediately: This was a reach. Some vindication if Citi Field changes pay off.
13
194
Ubaldo Jimenez Indians
SP
Why he collapsed remains a mystery, but why he rose isn't. That RHP is still in there.
12
167
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
1B
Sought booming upside at 1B after realization earlier in draft. Goldschmidt has that.
11
164
Jason Kipnis Indians
2B
Could be steal of 2B pool, more upside in counting marks than Dustin Ackley.
10
137
Colby Rasmus Blue Jays
OF
Another on which I cross my fingers, hope this is a difference-maker. Not confident.
9
134
Gaby Sanchez Marlins
1B
Point at which I realized that distribution of 1B pool makes it a scarce position. Will take it.
8
107
Adam Wainwright Cardinals
SP
I'm high on RHP with elite K/BB who'll have had more than full year to recover from TJS.
7
104
Alex Avila Tigers
C
Wasn't expecting a repeat of 2011, but at that point, without a C, was a quality pick.
6
77
Alexei Ramirez White Sox
SS
Had a down campaign in disastrous year for ChiSox - just fickleness of baseball stats?
5
74
David Price Rays
SP
Price grew, out-pitched his indicators in 2011, hoping for a bit bigger things in 2012.
4
47
Nelson Cruz Rangers
OF
Rarely do I consider Cruz, but felt this was good value in league where gambles win it.
3
44
Brandon Phillips Reds
2B
Was searching for something reliable in middle infield. Phillips easily fit the bill.
2
17
Carl Crawford Red Sox
OF
Guess this meant I was a believer that LHB with long track record will rebound.
1
14
Evan Longoria Rays
3B
Sat down, heard it was my pick, recalled initial fear of 3B pool, settled on Longoria. Darn.

We make no transactions for the rest of the season. We play with what we have. I think I have the kind of diverse roster it takes to survive in this format. But having never played in it, I have little idea. We'll see. It can't be good that I have so many Astros.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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