2014

Gonos 30-For-30 League Draft Recap

Draft

After receiving some great responses from the 30-For-30 series at davidgonos.com from readers, and writers alike it was decided to form the Gonos 30-for-30 league. It would be be filled with 12 contributors to the series, including myself representing the site. It is a Rotisserie League which is 5×5 with standard scoring (Average, HR, RBI, Runs, Stolen Bases, ERA, K’s, WHIP, W, Saves). Thanks to CBS Fantasy Sports for hosting the site, and leading to a smooth draft. Be sure to look in to cbssports.com for all your Fantasy Sports needs.

Invites were sent out out, and the speed of replies, and excitement to be a part of this was astounding. I have been in several different leagues over the years, and it seems to be the leagues that haven’t changed which take the longest to fill. Nagging emails are sent, fees are never paid on-time, or whatever the issue may be.

This was vastly different. I sent an email to the 20-plus contributors who may have been interested and received “YES” responses from 10 owners in 15 minutes! Unbelievable. The league filled overwhelmingly, and what resulted was a great draft, a league filled with talented Fantasy Contributors, knowledgeable owners, and an inaugural league that should provide fodder, trash-talk on Twitter, and most importantly a tool our readers can utilize as well.

Let’s start with the help and incorporate this in to the draft strategy serie. I know most of you have already drafted, or done several mock drafts already as well, but maybe not paid attention to other owners picks as much, or thought a certain player went too late, or too early.

I like to utilize Mock drafts, but not rely on them. I also, prefer to look at drafts from “REAL” leagues. Leagues where something is on the line. Don’t get me wrong, Mock Drafts are important, and a great tool, but owners admittedly test strategies, take risks, or even muck them up intentionally for reaction.  So, although I will do them and use them, I prefer to look at played out league results for my draft prep. If you want to do a Mock Draft of your own now try  Mock Draft Simulator.

In case you haven’t drafted yet, or even if you have, feel free to use the results below. Make note of when your targets are getting taken, or some of the late round flyers that went in our draft and consider them yourselves. Stay tuned for more updates from the league in the future as well. Feel free to follow along with us this season as well http://gonos30for30.baseball.cbssports.com

I also asked for the owners to provide some recaps if they felt inclined so I wrapped up the Draft Summary with those. Enjoy!!!

The Draft

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Image from wingwire.com

Image from wingwire.com

The Breakdowns

Roto Analysis- Greg Jewett @gjewett9  with Pick 1

Drafting from the one spot is wonderful for the sole purpose of owning Mike Trout. But in a twelve team league there are so many wonderful possibilities later in the round. For example, the Roto Rankers with the sixth pick ended up with Carlos Gonzalez and Bryce Harper in the first two rounds. With there being no bench spots I took pitchers much earlier than I am accustomed to and it could be the downfall of my team. It started in round two when I was watching Edwin Encarnacion in a free fall and still on the board after 22 selections. I love power guys who can steal a few bags and EE is a player I would target at the wheel. But it was not meant to be as Bretsky Ballers grabbed him the pick before me and this sent me into a tailspin. I took Max Scherzer and Alex Rios which are not awful picks but not my usual targets. Getting outfielders early never hurts and guys who can hit twenty home runs and steal thirty or more bases like Rios are solid, but it was a reach this early.

Waiting twenty-two picks between each round is difficult as the queue usually runs dry, especially with players of this caliber. Another bounce back player I like is Pujols and Bretsky struck again taking him ahead of me. I turned to Chris Sale and Jason Heyward who both fit the profiles above. Strikeout pitcher and versatile outfielder, I do regret taking Sale over Madison Bumgarner but the team was taking shape. Now was about getting value guys and filling needs. Yoenis Cespedes was not a specific target for me but when he fell to me in the sixth round I was happy to take him and grabbed some power at 2B with Jedd Gyorko to Chris’ dismay. I did not realize he and I shared the same unhealthy obsession with the “Gyerk” but after conversations with Nando DiFino, it was clear that he can hit 25 or more home runs and his minor league pedigree suggests his average will go up this year. Rounding out the middle rounds I was able to get my first closer in Koji Uehara whose strikeout and WHIP help is welcome for a league with no bench. Mat Latos is also a bargain with the concerns about his health but at a SP3 in the ninth round, welcome to the team.

Knowing this is a Gonos league it has to have two Catchers, because otherwise that is just un-American. I did miss out on Jose Abreu and Anthony Rizzo in the tenth round but was able to grab two players I love this year in Wilson Ramos and Brandon Belt. I did have a glaring hole at 3B so I started to plug guys into the queue and was happy to take Brett Lawrie and the undervalued Brandon Moss in the 12th and 13th rounds. Matt Adams continues to go ahead of Moss in drafts with the hope that he can be Moss this year. But Moss has done it before and if his adjustments in the second half carry over, may even raise his average in 2014. I know was looking for a fourth pitcher, shortstop and possible upside plays. Brad Miller was still there in the 14th round and is a poor man’s Ben Zobrist. With his potential of a 14/14 season, I grabbed him for SS and Yan Gomes as my second catcher. This draft happened prior to the dearth of pitching injuries that happened in the past week and I selected A.J. Griffin and Alexei Ramirez as my middle infielder. Rounding out the team were Jon Lester, Jim Henderson, Nick Markakis, Jose Quintana, Kevin Gausman and Justin Ruggiano.

My team may be a bit light in power and this is something I may have to address. Moving up to grab Jose Abreu instead of Mat Latos may have been a mistake. I hate to get on the chasing saves train, but I was at the wrong end of the draft each time a run cropped up. I won’t overvalue closers and will be looking for opportunities to grab them as opportunities occur this year. I like this team, but I do not love it. Drafting with these great Fantasy players will only help me going forward, and it definitely helped in my FSWA draft the next night. Thanks again to Chris for putting this together and to David Gonos for the opportunity to do the Astros preview.

Nick Rosa- Team Heisenberg with Pick 4

Overall I thought I did a solid job with pitching but my offense could have been better as I chose some risky veterans.  The draft has so much depth this year that just after the first three picks , Trout, Miggy, McCutch, you have to ask yourself who do you really pick? Goldschmidt, Cargo, Cano, Kershaw? There’s so many good players from rookies to sophomores, to veterans. The waiver wire will be very busy in 2014 for Fantasy Baseball. I ended up with Goldy at fourth overall ,which I’m happy with because he can provide all categories including stolen bases for a power first baseman. I neglected my SS and landed Jeter. With no bench this is going to be a risk and  I hope he plays 140+ games with a .275 average. I’ll be content with that.
Two catchers from the NL that I snagged is one of the best in the game, Mr.Buster Posey. My second  is the new everyday Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamachia. Jarrod had a good year with Boston in the AL in 2013 and expect him to be a great number 2 with the NL transition. We all know what Posey is capable of.
Some other prized processions poised for good years are: Mike Moustakas, Mark Trumbo, Wil Venable, Nelson Cruz, Kelly Johnson, and with my last pick in the draft The Big Donkey, Adam Dunn for my UTIL.
My pitching is what I’m proud of. My main three are: Yu Darvish, Jose Fernandez, and Michael Wacha.  The secondary unit consists of: Masahiro Tanaka, Tim Lincecum, and Ubaldo Jimenez. My two closers to shut it down are: Joe Nathan and Trevor Rosenthal who I am pretty confident will each have over 42 saves. My rookie pitcher who I didn’t draft but bid $1 dollar while dropping Bronson Arryo for the Royals phenom that hits 100mph with his fastball. Already having a great spring Yordano Ventura was a steal and is going to be filthy in Kansas City. Keep an eye out for him in all leagues.
I also drafted Altuve, Bourn, and Gardner for my speed and hoping for 30+ from each. I believe Bourn can have a comeback year on the bases especially with Cleveland looking a little more improved since last year.
My veterans do make me nervous however,  Jeter, Brandon Philips, Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Adam Dunn but if they have average years and are consistent to what they normally do, I’ll settle with it. I believe in veteran presence and Dunn is there for 30 homers and as a last pick can’t go wrong right? Jeter and Philips each hit .275 with 60/70 RBIs, 10-17 homers, and 70+ runs ill call that a win, especially for how late they all fell. Lincecum is poised to be better than 2013 and he got hot in second half just as Jimenez did. Jimenez was one of the best after the All-Star game last year. Now with a better offense around him, I hope he carries over.
Overall I think I did a solid job and filled enough of each category to compete with the best. Just got to hope my risks become rewards!
Look for Kelly Johnson and Will Venable to knock 25 homers! You heard it here first.

Roto Rankers with Pick 6: 

Our Favorite Picks: Jason Kipnis (30th overall) and Ryan Zimmerman (91st overall). We could not believe these guys were available where we got them! We see Kipnis as the #1 2B and Zimmerman as a top 5 3B.

Worst Pick: We really like all our picks but if we HAD to choose one as our worst, it would be Swisher at 222. Not bad value at all, but we now see some guys who are still on waivers that we like just as much. Maybe we could’ve grabbed Rick Porcello at 222 and got “waiver guy” with our last pick instead of Ervin Santana, although we NOW like Santana since he subsequently signed with the Braves. Corbin looks like a bad pick now at 150 overall, but we obviously had no idea a UCL injury was coming. Bummer!

Steals: Some of our steals of the draft happen to also be our favorite picks (go figure). Our steals: Jason Kipnis (30th overall), Stephen Strasburg (43rd overall), Ryan Zimmerman (91st overall) and Ben Zobrist (115th overall). We are still scratching our heads trying to figure out why these guys were available where we got them. At Roto Rankers we value Kipnis as the #1 2B and as a borderline top 15 player. We were truly shocked he was available at #30 overall. We also got Strasburg, Zimmerman and Zobrist dozens of picks later than where we value them.

Overall Observation: Power was so hard for us to find! We were desperate for power many times in the draft and it was just not there for us. Thankfully we were able to get McCann, Napoli and Hardy to help a little, but it was astonishing how little power was available (at value) whenever we were on the board. We see ourselves as having a complete team with power being our only potential deficiency.

Peoplezperspective.com- Andy Singleton with Pick 7

When I got the approval to do the Kansas City Royals for DavidGonos.com’s 30-for-30 Team Preview, I knew it would be a great feather to add in my writing cap. I did not know that we would assemble a league with the writers, so a huge Thank You to Chris Meyers for putting this together. The term “bragging rights” has never had as much importance for all of my years of fantasy play, as I truly respect the work of those I am competing with. It is an honor to call them colleagues, and rewarding to know I will beat them all. Keep in mind when reading the results, I drafted while simultaneously editing six other articles, eating dinner, and had an eye on the True Detective season finale. Also, I did not realize it was a two Catcher league until midway through, but I very much believe in Jesus; Montero that is. I would never mix religion with sports. The following are my picks, with a note about each one. I hope it is helpful for you when drafting your team this year.

1.7 (7) Hanley Ramirez – someone has to draft him, I’ll take his risk

2.6 (18) Prince Fielder – could finish year as top 1B’man; will rake in Texas heat

3.7 (31) Justin Upton – year one in ATL was BAD; year two he earns his keep

4.6 (42) Felix Hernandez – revamped offense gets him more Wins; Top 5 SP

5.7 (55) Matt Carpenter – I like him better than Kipnis in 5×5; eligible at 3B as well

6.6 (66) Wil Myers – a full seasons worth of his capabilities would equal Top 10; high risk/reward

7.7 (79) Jordan Zimmerman – the best SP in a loaded rotation; what’s not to like

8.6 (90) Matt Cain – again, the best SP in a loaded rotation; rebound year in sight

9.7 (103) Carlos Beltran – return to NY scares me, but short porch in right negates those fears

10.6 (114) Danny Salazar – a reach, but the only way I get him on my roster; huge potential

11.7 (127) David Robertson – this many saves this late should be criminal; handles role just fine

12.6 (138) Jason Grilli – arm trouble and age drop his ADP, but he is among best closers in the game

13.7 (151) Lance Lynn – always the bridesmaid, never the bride; I think that makes sense :/

14.6 (162) Andrelton Simmons – best MI on the board; regression worries me but at bats are a given

15.7 (175) Aramis Ramirez – if his hot start to spring is real, he is back to top level production at Third

16.6 (186) Devin Mesoraco – could be a lite version of Wilin Rosario; fingers crossed

17.7 (199) Drew Smyly – my favorite SP sleeper of 2014; bound for a big breakout

18.6 (210) Kole Calhoun – low risk as OF4 with potential to be an OF2

19.7 (223) Nolan Arenado – he should not be available here; gets no love but is a stud

20.6 (234) Avisail Garcia – possibly a year early, but his time is coming

21.7 (247) Neftali Feliz – too much upside this late if he can nail down the closers gig

22.6 (258) Jesus Montero – “in the third year, Jesus rose again…”

23.7 (271) Adam Eaton – best option left to help with steals; shouldn’t hurt other categories

Dave Albin- Davo’s Dodgers (davo_mcflavo@yahoo.com) with Pick 9

I recently participated in a twelve team ROTO draft on CBS with eleven other baseball writers and bloggers featured on DavidGonos.com. I entered the draft with goals for each category, and wanted to leave the draft “winning” Homeruns and RBI. I ended up leaving the draft hitting my targeted numbers for Homeruns, RBI, runs and batting average. I accomplished this by waiting on pitching. I actually ended up waiting a little too long on pitching and had to take several risks, hoping that they would pan out and I would be competitive in pitching as well. The first 8 round I took hitters and then addressed my pitching needs for the next four picks. These pitchers ended up being Hamels (9th round), Iwakuma (10), Wilson (11), and Dickey (12). The following are my favorite picks, worst picks, and steals of the draft.

Favorite Pick: Matt Holliday 5th round. I was happy to get Beltre in the first round, but a favorite pick coming out of the first round is a little boring. Speaking of boring, Holliday is a little boring, but in a very consistent safe kind of way. Holliday went after outfielders Kemp, and Heyward and before Dominic Brown and Starling Marte. An interesting grouping of outfielders, but I was happy to take the low floor of Holliday.

Worst Pick: David Ortiz 4th round. Don’t get me wrong I really like Ortiz this year. This is more about what I could have gotten had I not taken Ortiz. What I could have taken was an ace. Hernandez, Strasburg, and Sale all went after my Ortiz pick and before my next pick. This eventually resulted in my taking the currently injured Hamels as my ace.

Steals: CJ Wilson 11th round. The ranking I used had Wilson just below, Zimmermann, Minor, Tanaka, and just above, Latos, Bailey and Greinke. The majority of those guys went in the 7th or 8th round. Granted this could be an indication that I need to revisit my rankings, but I loved the value here. With Hamels and Iwakuma being my 1 and 2, I will need Wilson to perform well to start the season.

Towards the end of the draft I took some upside gambles. I actually found out about Medlen’s walking off the mound holding his arm in the draft lobby. I decided drafting him in the 20th round was worth the gamble that he would not need Tommy John. I also took Morales in the 21st, hoping he finds a team relatively soon. Without bench spots in the league I don’t know how long I can hold onto an unsigned Morales.

 Fantasy Sports Locker Room- Jon Collins with Pick 11

Overview: Unique league settings caused me to adjust my draft style a little bit. With two catchers required, I valued the position much more than I typically would, noting that it would get scarce as catchers 15-24 came off the board. Further, with no bench I wanted two players at the position that I could trust to play 140 or so games and with Joe Mauer’s move to first base I feel that I have that. He and Yadier Molina each came cheaper than I’d expected, but I was happy to get on the position before it dried up. With Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee, I’m top heavy with my rotation and happy to be and the remaining starters all have upside, though I’ve got a precarious looking group of closers as a result. I’m all over Jurickson Profar’s upside this season, though I’d be happier in a typical league with him as a backup to start the season, rather than a starting 2B who can’t be hidden on the bench. Otherwise, I think my roster came together nicely.
Steal of Draft: There were a lot of picks to like, but I think when we look back on this draft there is a real chance that Neil Parker getting his hands on Chase Headley in the 17th round could be the pick of the draft. He’s had a minor setback this Spring, but appears to be fully healthy and is just one year removed from a huge 5 category season (17 steals, .286 and run production numbers galore). At a league where an already thin position was made thinner by the need for a corner infielder, the time was right to take a chance on Headley.
Reach of Draft :  I won’t say it was a reach, because it includes a player I would like to own a lot of this season – but I haven’t seen Matt Adams go as early as round 9 in any draft I’ve been a part of. This hastened my round 10 pick of Jose Abreu which also can be construed as a bit of a reach. A big ceiling in his first year, but if he has trouble transitioning we could see a low average and a lot of strikeouts.
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