KFFL's Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft (BAD) and League is unlike most expert fantasy games. First, this isn't a mock draft. At end of the 2014 season, we'll crown a champion of this rotisserie baseball league. Second, our 15-team, 28-round fantasy baseball draft doesn't come with post-game summaries. It provides you with each participant's mindset at the time he selected.
1) 2B/3B Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
After three fairly easy picks (Adrian Beltre, Ryan Braun, Cliff Lee), I had a hard time with this one. I really wanted Jean Segura to make up for a lack of stolen bases, but Howard Bender sniped me again. Carpenter was my highest-ranked player and I chose him over Albert Pujols (didn't want a fourth 30+ HR player) and Elvis Andrus (Rangers x2). My batting average is now rock-solid, which will give me more freedom to take category-specific players later.
2) 1B Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Andrew Martinez, RotoWire | Roster
A normal Pujols season, or something close to it, would make this pick a steal. I thought about waiting on 1B, but with 26 picks between now and my next selection, I didn't want to wait any longer. I really didn't consider any other players and was going to be crushed if Steve Gardner took him on the wheel.
3) 1B/OF Mark Trumbo, Arizona Diamondbacks
Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
Young gun now among aces
There ain't no time to wait on Trumbo, a rattling 'round the cage. The batting cage that is. Why? Because once people understand the type of power he's about to deliver this year, his ADP is going to skyrocket and this fourth-round pick is going to look like a steal. After two straight 30-plus home run seasons where he called pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium home, he now moves to Chase Field which has a home run park factor for right-handed batters that's about 8 percent higher. And he gets to hit behind that Paul Goldschmidt character. His batting average? I care about that about as much as I care about how many home runs Segura hits this year. 40 bombs, baby. 40 bombs.
4) SP Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
One of my goals was to get an elite starting pitcher in the first four rounds of the draft and I did that with this pick. Fernandez might get fewer wins than some of the top guys but his ERA, WHIP and strikeouts will be as good as any in the game. He is a young player on the rise with huge amounts of upside for the 2014 season. I also looked at Chris Sale and David Price but thought Fernandez was the better overall package for me.
5) SP Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
Ryan Bloomfield, Baseball HQ | Roster
With aces flying off the board, this was my last chance to grab a legitimate rotation anchor. Outside Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish at 1-2, this year's top SP class (between #3 and #10) is very interchangeable, so my strategy was to wait and let the draft decide which ace I get. That played out with this pick, as I was left with Sale, Madison Bumgarner or Justin Verlander. I would've been happy with any, but decided to with Sale. His raw skills are as good as any starter in baseball and he's proven to be durable thus far in his young career. Now I'll just hope the White Sox offense is half-awake this season.
6) OF Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
His production is slowly -- I hope very slowly -- losing its sex appeal, especially when indicators light the way. But he had about the highest-projected earnings remaining on my cheat sheet. Holliday, 34, has an incredibly stable skill set. It was difficult to ignore the nagging feeling that I'd regret passing up Allen Craig, I'll admit. I'll need to address infield needs in the next several rounds because of my roster's makeup to this point, too. None of the options to do so now had this earning potential.
7) SP Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Mark Bloom, RotoExperts | Roster
I was eying one of the remaining top starters here and was hoping that one of Fernandez, Sale and Bumgarner would fall to me. Now with Wainwright and Bumgarner, I have two of the top 10 pitchers in fantasy.
Click for the rest of Round 4!
Love a pick? Hate a pick? Like the way a team is rounding out? Think a team should throw in the towel already? Share your feedback on the page of each round and on Facebook and Twitter (#BADfantasy)!
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