2008 KFFL Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft

Mar 30, 2009


I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in the KFFL Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft.  It is a group of 11 fantasy baseball experts and little old me.  Here is a look at the participants:

  • Derek Carty and Victor Wang, The Hardball Times
  • Scott Engel, RotoExperts.com
  • Todd Farino, Fantasy Baseball Search
  • Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys
  • Steve Gardner, USA Today
  • Paul Greco, FantasyPros911.com
  • Joe Hamrahi, Baseball Prospectus
  • Tim Heaney, KFFL.com
  • Ryan Lester, Lester’s Legends
  • Nicholas Minnix, KFFL.com
  • Jock Thompson, Baseball HQ
  • Pasko Varnica, CREATiVESPORTS
  • Round 1 (5th Overall) – Albert Pujols
    Phat Albert has averaged .334, 118 Runs, 40 HRs, 122 RBI in his brilliant eight-year career.  He’s a bona fide stud.  Though his production has dipped the past two years, he’s still too good to pass up in the five spot.  The drawback is his position.  I figured I’d get Jose Reyes or David Wright in this spot.  However, their production compared to other Shortstops and Third Basemen exceeds that of Pujols compared to other First Basemen.  He was #1 in Yahoo rankings last year.    
    Prediction:  .330, 115 R, 40 HR, 120 RBI, 5 SB

    Round 2 (20th Overall) – Lance Berkman
    I know I already have an elite First Basemen in Albert Pujols, but Berkman was too good to pass up here, especially in a league that has a Corner Infielder slot.  I like that he contributes in Average, Runs, HRs, and RBIs.  He even stole 18 bases last year, though I don’t see him coming near that number.  Since 2001 he’s averaged 101 Runs, 37 Doubles, 33 HRs, 110 RBI, and a hit .303.  As a friend of mine noted, if Pujols goes down for a month, Berkman is the type of player who could carry my team.  He was #7 in Yahoo rankings last year.
    Prediction:  .310, 110 R, 35 HR, 110 RBI, 9 SB

    Round 3 (29th Overall) – Jason Bay
    Bay has scored 100+ Runs with 30+ HRs and 100+ RBI in three of four seasons since 2005.  He essentially has two leadoff hitters in front of him in Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.  His numbers with Boston last year project out to 30 HRs and 120 RBI.   That was with an injured David Ortiz and Mike Lowell.  With the Red Sox Offense firing on all cylinders, Bay is going to rake in 2009.
    Prediction:  .290, 110 R, 35 HR, 120 RBI, 9 SB

    Round 4 (44th Overall) – Joe Mauer

    Having missed out on the top Second Basemen, Shortstops, and Third Basemen, I wanted to get on of the top Catchers.  He has two batting titles under his belt already, and despite a medicore 2007 campaign has averaged 82 Runs, 31 Doubles, 10 HRs, 76 RBI, and 5 SBs over the past three years while hitting .325.  Getting that kind of production in a two Catcher league is very attractive.
    Prediction:  .330, 95 R, 10 HR, 80 RBI, 5 SB

    Round 5 (53rd Overall) – Troy Tulowitzki

    I felt it was time to add a Shortstop.  After an outstanding Rookie season, Tulo struggled with an early slump and a quad inury last year.  He finished strong though, hitting .327 with 31 Runs and 30 RBI in 62 games after the All-Star Break. 
    Prediction:  .300, 100 R, 25 HR, 110 RBI, 8 SB

    Round 6 (68th Overall) – David Ortiz
    With a bad wrist Big Papi still scored 74 Runs and had 30 Doubles, 23 HRs, and 89 RBI in 109 games.  A healthy Papi averaged .304 with 111 Runs, 42 HRs, and 135 RBI from 2004-2007.  I don’t see him reaching those lofty goals, but he should be able to put up much better numbers in 2009.
    Prediction:  .300, 110 Runs, 35 HRs, 120 RBI

    Round 7 (77th Overall) – Chone Figgins
    I decided to inject some speed into my lineup.  Not only does Chone do that with an average of 44.6 Stolen Bases since 2004.  He has also averaged 88.4 Runs and hit .290 over that stretch.  He doesn’t provide much in the HR or RBI department, especially for a Third Basemen, but those are areas I’ve covered with my previous selections.
    Prediction: .280, 90 R, 3 HR, 50 RBI, 40 SBs

    Round 8 (92nd Overall) – Roy Oswalt
    I finally decided to dip my toe in the Pitching pool.  Getting one with a career winning percentage of .668 isn’t a bad start.  His ERA rose to 3.54 last year, but his WHIP was an impressive 1.179.  Plus, he was a completely different Pitcher after the All-Star break going 10-2 with a 2.24 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and a .206 BAA.
    Prediction: 18-12, 3.20 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 160 Ks

    Round 9 (101st Overall) – John Lackey

    Last round I was debating between Roy Oswalt and John Lackey.  Since Lackey made it back to me I didn’t have a tough decision this round.  Aside from last year, Lackey has averaged roughly 33 starts since 2003.  His ERA has been well below the league average in the past four years, and his WHIP has been below 1.300 the past three.
    Prediction: 18-12, 3.50 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 180 Ks

    Round 10 (116th Overall) – Félix Hernández
    I continued to add Starting Pitching in Round 10.  King Felix will turn 23 next month, but is already a season vet. He has been fairly consistent as his WHIP has remained fairly steady between 1.34 and 1.39 the past three years, along with a Strikeout range of 165 t0 176.  I don’t have blinders on.  I know Seattle has a bad team.  However, Felix could still win a moderate share of games with a nice strikeout total and solid ERA & WHIP.
    Prediction:  14-10, 3.30 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 180 Ks

    Round 11 (125th Overall) – Carlos Zambrano
    I continued to assemble my Pitching Staff with Carlos Zambrano, who is 78-40 since 2004.  He faded after the All-Star Break going 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA.  He has worked on his conditioning this offseason, dropping some weight and getting some zip back on his fastball.  With the run support he should recieve from the Cubs, I feel he’s a great candidate to bounce back in 2009.
    Prediction:  18-10, 3.50 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 160 Ks

    Round 12 (140th Overall) – Jorge Cantú
    I went with Jorge Cantú this round so I could move Chone Figgins over to Second and have a decent stick at 3rd.  He was solid last year with 92 Runs, 29 HRs, and 95 RBI.  He had a big year in 2005 with Tampa Bay when he had 28 HRs with 117 RBI, which eases my mind a little on the fluke factor.  Though I dont’ think he’ll match his 2008 production, he gives me good value for this round.
    Prediction:  .275, 80 R, 25 HR, 80 RBI

    Round 13 (149th Overall) – Matt Cain
    Cain won’t likely contribute heavily in the Win category, but he will add to my Strikeout, ERA, and WHIP categories.  Despite averaging just ten Wins the past three years, he does sport a career 3.74 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  I wasn’t enamored with the Hitter options here so I added to my Pitching rotation.

    Round 14 (164th Overall) – Coco Crisp

    Prediction:  12-14, 3.70 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 175 KsWhy did I pick him?  Simple.  I’m cuckoo for Coco Crisp.  Kidding aside, I selected Crisp to add to my Runs and Stolen Bases without taking too much of a hit with his Average.  With some luck he’ll return to the 15 HR potential he showed in his last two years in Cleveland.

    Round 15 (173rd Overall) – Mike Cameron
    Cameron’s batting average leaves plenty to be desired, but he makes up for with his speed and power.  He has hit 18+ HRs nine times and stolen 17+ bases in eleven of the past twelve years.  He’s also a decent producer in the Run and RBI categories.
    Prediction:  .250, 80 R, 20 HR, 75 RBI, 20 SBs

    Round 16 (188th Overall) – Ramón Hernández

    I wanted to add some power from the Catcher position.  Hernández has averaged 15 HRs per year since 2000.  He should have no problem reaching that makr playing in a Hitter’s park like the Great American Ball Park.  Plus, he’s in a contact year, which has been known to motivate players.
    Prediction:  .260, 50 R, 20 HR, 60 RBI

    Round 17 (197th Overall) - Carlos Gómez

    I took Go-Go for speed.  He had a .296 OBP last year and still managed 33 steals.  He’s worked this offseason on being more selective.  If he can cut down his strikeouts and flyouts, he could score a ton or funs and swipe 50+ bases.  Plus, he even has a little pop in his bat.
    Prediction:  .270, 85 R, 10 HR, 45 SBs

    Round 18 (212th Overall) – Jeff Francoeur
    Francoeur had a down year in 2008 batting .239 with just 11 HRs.  He did, however, manage to drive in 71 Runs.  He’s just 25 though, and I’ll take a chance that a slugger of his pedigree (two 100 RBI season) can bounce back.
    Prediction:  .260, 80 Runs, 18 HRs, 85 RBI

    Round 19 (221st) Overall – Jered Weaver
    I added Weaver here to give me another young arm on a good team that can help me with Strikeouts and WHIP.  He should reach double-digit Wins and post an ERA that doesn’t hurt me too badly.
    Prediction:  12-10, 4.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 150 Ks

    Round 20 (236th Overall) – Randy Winn
    In a five Outfielder you need a steady backup.  Winn has averaged 602 At Bats per year since 2002 hitting .294 with an average of 85 Runs, 13 HRs, and 20 SBs.  He isn’t a sexy pick, but you know what you’re getting with him.
    Prediction:  .285, 75 R, 10 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB

    Round 21 (245th  Overall) – Felipe López
    Quite simply I chose Felipe for his versatility.  In our Yahoo league he qualifies at 2B, 3B, SS, and OF.  I’m hoping he can build on his second half from last year when he hit .360 with 35 Runs, 24 RBI, and 4 SBs in 55 games.
    Prediction:  .270, 75 Runs, 8 HRs, 50 RBI, 15 SBs

    Round 22 (260th Overall) – Yadier Molina
    With Joe Mauer’s status for Opening Day in question I decided to take a third Catcher.  He obviously can’t replace Mauer, but he did hit .307 last year.  He’s been trending up the past few year, and at 27 (this July) I see no reason why he can’t progress further.
    Prediction:  .280, 40 Runs, 10 HRs, 60 RBI, 1 SBWith three DL and five Bench spots I decided to stash away John Smoltz for a mid-season shot in the arm.  Even if he gives me 100 Innings, I’d be getting a nice boost across the board.  He hasn’t posted a WHIP above 1.20 sinc 1995 or an ERA above 3.50 since 1994.  In round 23 it’s a low risk, high reward pick.
    Prediction:  8-2, 3.30 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 90 Ks

    Round 23 (269th Overall) – John Smoltz

    Round 24 (284th Overall) – Mark Buehrle
    I went with Old Reliable in Round 24.  Mark has thrown at least 200 Innings every year since 2001 averaging 15 Wins over that stretch with his ERA climbing over 4.00 just twice.  He’s not going to wow you, but he’s steady and very low risk at this point of the draft.
    Prediction:  15-10, 3.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 125 Ks

    Round 25 (293rd Overall) – Edgar Renteria
    I added SS/MI depth with Renteria.  He’s a career .290 hitter that should contribute in Runs and add a few HRs/SBs.  Gone are the days of 20+ Steals, 90+ Runs, and 70+RBIs, but he fits the bill as a steady backup.
    Prediction:  .280, 80 Runs, 10 HRs, 60 RBI, 10 SBs

    Round 26 (308th Overall) – Jack Cust
    You know what you’re getting with Cust.  Power.  He has 59 HRs in 876 the past couple of seasons, which was good enough for fourth in the league for ABs per HR.  He won’t play every day, but if gets 400 ABs he should be able to crank out 25 HRs or so.  His average leaves plenty to be desired, but he should contribute in Runs and RBI.
    Prediction:  .240, 65 R, 25 HRs, 70 RBI

    Round 27 (317th Overall) – Hideki Okajima
    It’s pretty obvious that I’ve punted the Saves category in this draft, focusing on Wins, K’s, ERA, and WHIP.  Okajima should give me about 60 Innings of low ERA & WHIP in case some of my Starters falter.  He also averages nearly a Strikeout per Inning, which is beneficial.
    Prediction:  3-2, 2.60 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 60 Ks

    Round 28 (332nd Overall) – J.P. Howell
    I wrapped up my draft by adding another middle reliever coming off an outstanding, high Strikeout, low ERA and WHIP season.  He showed a knack for picking up Wins in relief as well last year. 
    Prediction:  4-2, 2.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 80 Ks

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