But, I was also able to trade for Bud Norris, Jordan Pacheco, Carl Crawford, and Shaun Marcum, which really suggests I am hoping the bulk of my puzzle pieces come back to life in 2013, giving me a killer core next year (for rebuilding is not really an instant process).
With the second pick of the draft I grabbed Matt Harvey, and then nabbed Norichika Aoki, having swapped a third first-round pick for Crawford and Marcum.
Then I traded Mark Ellis for Alexei Ramirez, Erik Bedard, and the rights to Derek Norris.
Now normally I would not have been so enamored with Bedard or Aoki, but making sure there are enough innings and at-bats on a team is crucial to avoiding those overuse demerits that killed me this past season.
Which brings me to the free-agent draft, where after freezes and rookies, we get to pick over the bones of "lesser" players to fill out a roster. For, as I have written before, in this league the Paul Bakos and Jeff Suppans - the latter being my sixth pick in the free agent draft - are critical to limping through the season with a full roster and without those demerits.
In fact, the seven players I have drafted so far, in order via the free agent draft, are Nick Vincent, Eduardo Escobar, Mike Gonzalez, Cord Phelps, Omar Vizquel, Suppan, and Darnell McDonald.
Of course, none of these players - save maybe Vincent - would ever find themselves on a roster in 99 percent of fantasy rosters of any team for 2013, but that is precisely why I love the MidWest League, for guys like Suppan are essential for survival in the league.
And, no matter what team you follow, from struggling Miami to overpaid Los Angeles, over the course of the season those teams will not make it without the Emmanuel Burrisses and Jamey Wrights, for that is the way of things.
Now, I have to admit this year is still a transition year, but with some younger gambles like Harvey and Norris, Domonic Brown and Trayvon Robinson, and a bit of a rebound from Crawford, I am hoping to come out of the 2014 draft with a team that will make my opponents in the MidWest League - and particularly the NL West division, where Berkeley plays - nervous.
Like I said: Rebuilding is the most fun. Especially when it works.
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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
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