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 Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
Paul Sporer and Mike Gianella, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
We still needed a second baseman, and I liked Utley a lot more than the other choices left on the board. Anthony Rendon might do better, but I didn't want to bet on the upside. Utley should be good for 120-130 strong games, and even in a deeper mixed league finding a replacement for 30-40 games who isn't a complete zero at middle infield isn't impossible.
2) 1B Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
Josh Shepardson, The Fantasy Fix | Roster
Someone bets on Starlin rebound
Belt is one of my favorite middle-tier first base options. He had a huge second half of last season hitting .326 in 247 plate appearances, and he "Belted" seven homers. His run production should see a substantial boost this year as the Giants' No. 3 hitter, a spot he occupied from early August through the end of last season. A .290 average with 17-20 homers and 6-9 steals is well within reach.
3) SP Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds
Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys | Roster
Back-to-back pitchers after going hitter for the first seven rounds. Bailey has been extremely stable the last two seasons and last year he posted a 3.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 199 K's. All he needs to join the elite is to up his victory total.
4) SP Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
For the second straight season, Weaver's innings dropped, but at least the reason this time was a fluke injury to his non-throwing elbow in April. Once he returned, Weaver's peripherals matched those of 2012, suggesting he's established a new baseline. From a real baseball perspective, Weaver is still quite effective as he limits base runners by exhibiting excellent control and being a fly-ball pitcher in a big park.
5) SP Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
Michael Stein, Fantasy Judgment | Roster
This pick caused me some angst as I was torn between Lester and Masahiro Tanaka. I assumed whichever one I passed on would not make it back to me, so I had to go with the devil I know versus the devil I don't know. Lester has a proven track record and is pitching for a contract this year. Tanaka may end up being great, but I had to feel comfortable with my third pitcher.
6) SP Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
Drew Silva, Rotoworld | Roster
I felt like I needed to grab a second starting pitcher here, and Wacha was my favorite of the available options. Including the playoffs, the 22-year-old right-hander posted a 2.74 ERA, 1.038 WHIP, and 88 strikeouts over his first 95 1/3 major league innings last season. I love an elite-level changeup.
7) 3B Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers
Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
Wanted to take a much younger CI, but Ramirez's value, even at his age, was too much to pass up. The consistent BA and RBI stick is coming off an injury, which helps his price. He's not a 30-HR guy, but 20? He doesn't need a full season for it.
Click for the rest of Round 9!
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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