Knuckleheads 2017 TTQFA Draft Chronicle

Postby knuckleheads » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:29 pm

Knuckleheads 2017 - TTQFA Edition

As a series, this annual chronical could be titled, ‘How to Thoughtfully Donate Fantasy Baseball Money to Better Teams.’ There are no alternative facts. The Main Event has been a 4-year running disaster for the Knuckleheads conglomerate. Even my former co-owners, the scurvy abandoners, have dropped the flag. So this year it’s a solo mission, and clearly Time to Quit F’ing Around (TTQFA).

Freed of the shackles of collaboration, this draft was setup to be all about Knucklehead’s baseball genius. More than any other year, ADP was disregarded almost entirely. Glances were taken at the ADP of players who I knew I had ranked several rounds higher than they would otherwise be taken. ‘Draft Stops’ were set for this handful of players to make sure I didn’t waste rounds drafting them way too early, while still ensuring they landed on the right roster (mine).

KDS preference was set for 1-2-3-4-8, with the plan to take Trout-Betts-Kershaw if given one of the first four picks, and setting up to take Trea Turner otherwise. I soured a bit on Turner between the KDS deadline and the draft, but as I landed the #2 pick there was no harm. Incidentally, Turner went 7th.

As a preparation exercise, I conducted four 10-round mock drafts using randomly selected draft results that Greg and Tom posted on the message board. This exercise created a lot of certainty throughout the first 6 rounds of the ME draft as I was consistently put in the position of deciding between expected players. I think it ended up being a less-is-more draft preparation.

Pre-Draft Expectations:

1. Would be comfortable going heavy in hitting or pitching in the early rounds.
2. After the first dozen closers, there would not be a lot pick from.
3. Don’t get left wanting on the hitting counting stats.
4. Flexibility is a must.

Draft Strategy: Same as it ever was… Take the best player available as frequently as possible, and disregard position eligibility for as long as possible.

Round 1 Pick #2 – Mookie Betts – Trout is the #1. Period. If you choose someone else #1, you’re doing it wrong. That said, the #1 Drafter in my league did it right. I did my due diligence considering Kershaw at #2, but decided long before the draft that with Betts’ 5-Category skill set, he was the next best thing to Trout. (My Player Rank 2/ADP 2)

Round 2 (#29) – Rougned Odor – He never missed a beat going into his second season. He’s a consistent hitter who has bouts of ‘getting hot.’ Maintained his batting average between .260 and .280 most of last year, despite striking out 30% more often than in his minor league career. That leaves room for immediate improvement. (Rank 18/ ADP 39)

Round 3 (31) – Chris Archer – This pick was going to be a pitcher, and it was likely to be Archer. Last year’s 4.00+ ERA was an aberration. Archer had a 3.67 ERA from April 25th to the end of the year. What’s not a aberration is the mid-200s Ks total, and lack of playoff innings wearing down his arm. Darvish and Arrieta were the other considerations. (Rank 19/ADP 50)

Round 4 (#59) Christian Yelich – This was the first spot of real decision-making required in the draft. Jean Segura, Wil Myers and Yelich were available, but J. Verlander and J. deGrom had been drafted 3 & 4 picks before my turn. I was anticipating a decision between Yelich and deGrom. Instead, by my 34th-ranked player (Segura) and Myers were still available. My highest-ranked remaining pitcher was Kyle Hendricks (#50). Time was running out on the clock while I was evaluating Segura so I selected Yelich, giving the #1 Drafter a shot a Segura, so I could add Myers or Hendricks. Incidentally, that’s a move I will make a few times each draft. Kind of a pass-the-buck form of decision-making. (Rank 42/ADP 56)

Round 5 (#61) – Jean Segura – #1 Drafter was no help. As my roster was constructed to this point, I had three 5-category hitters, and I was trying to remember why I had ranked Segura over Myers. Also, I had to risk letting top starting pitching pass if I took Segura or Myers over Hendricks. The counting stats from Myers were enticing, but it was Myers’ history of injury and his lower batting average that made Segura the choice. (Rank 32/ADP 55)

In my mock draft exercises, Segura never ‘made it back’ to pick #59, and was never considered at pick #32. This tied me up a bit as I had not spent a lot of time considering him for this ME team.

Round 6 (#89) – Eric Hosmer – Justin Upton and Cole Hamels were drafted immediately before this selection. That left Hosmer and Odubel Herrera at the top of my list. I intended to use this pick or the one on the other side of the turn on Quintana. I highlighted Quintana while I rechecked Hosmer and Herrera…and the clock ran out with Hosmer at the top of my queue. (It’s who’s at the top of your queue that gets drafted, not who’s highlighted.) I think I was leaning towards Herrera. Hosmer was one of the players I put a 6th-round Draft Stop on to remind me not to take him too early. (Rank 63/ADP 108)

Round 7 (#91) – Jose Quintana – Roster construction takes priority. O. Herrera was my 67th ranked player and fit perfectly with the developing strategy of stocking up on 5-category hitters. But with only one pitcher on my roster, and my queue nearly empty of upcoming pitchers, I dropped 21 spots in my rankings to select Jose Quintana. (Rank 88, ADP 103)

Last year when drafting Quintana, I wrote this about him, ‘The Vinny Castilla of pitcher consistency, Quintana turns in nearly identical stats each season. Each season we draft him in the 11th round. He’s still at an age that improvement is more likely than decline.’ True again…

Round 8 (#119) – Maikel Franco – Jeurys Familia was the target at this pick, but he was drafted 3 spots too soon. AJ Ramos was considered as the alternative but I decided to let drafter #1 have a shot at Ramos. Franco got the call because I think he’s got more average in his bat than he showed last year. Also, Matt Stairs has been helping Franco with his hitting this spring, and I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong…sigh. (Rank 74/ADP 120)

Note: As I am tracking my player rankings verse ADPs of players at the end of each selection, it’s highlighted just how much I disagree with the group-think. I’ve always talked about ignoring ADP as a philosophy, but as it turns out, if you look at it it affects your opinion whether you want it to or not.

Round 9 (#121) – Addison Russell – Drafter #1 did not miss his shot this time and selected Ramos on the turn. I had Russell’s name scribbled down for round 9 as a Draft Stop, and was glad to select him. Meanwhile, the closer pool was thinning out quickly. (Rank 99/ADP 133)

Round 10 (#149) – Tanner Roark – The top-remaining starter I my board for the third straight round, I pulled the trigger on this pick with some hesitation. My concern is that Roark got good too late in his career. What calmed my fears is that he’s been really good twice in the past 3 years. Also, I figured that I needed a third pitcher now that we were 1/3 of the way through the draft. (Rank 112, ADP 140)

Round 11 (#152) – Matt Harvey – I spent the turn trying to decide between Harvey, Steven Matz and Dallas Keuchel. Matz went on the 2nd pick of the turn, and I decided on Harvey even though I ranked Keuchel two spots ahead of him -- because I’d like to win this event. Not just my league, but the whole thing. And the way this Knuckleheads TTQFA team is constructed, I’m going to need find a late-round ace to have a chance to win. (Rank 124/ADP 158)

Round 12 (#179) – Raisel Iglesias – More than 2 full rounds since the last closer was taken I rolled the dice on Iglesius. He fits the profile of a closer, and while the situation is far from settled in Cincy’s bullpen, this was my best guess for which of the remaining ‘closers’ would succeed…Wait until you see my second ‘closer.’ Making this pick all the more disappointing was that I had Draft Stops set for Ryon Healy and Marco Estrada here. (Rank 157/ADP 192)

Round 13 (#182) – Ryon Healy – I’m a believer. More impressive than the 27 HRs at three levels last year is the 48 doubles. Has hit .300+ at his last four organizational stops. Raking this spring, he was the player who inspired the idea of Draft Stops for guys that I was ranking way higher than they were being drafted. I had Healy ranked 68 spots higher than his ADP. (Rank 131/ADP 198)

Round 14 (#209) – Michael Brantley – I became enamored with Rajai Davis late in my draft prep this year. Even into the draft, I couldn’t stop moving him up my lists. At pick #209 in the draft, I had Rajai ranked #179. Trouble was, I had Michael Brantley and Hernan Perez ranked #149 and #150. I struggled deciding which speedster to take so I selected Brantley to buy a little more time. (Rank 149/ADP 223)

Round 15 (#212) – Hernan Perez – Drafter #1 took Rajai on the turn which made my decision for me. I know the Brewers are saying Perez doesn’t have a full-time position, but when you hit and run like he does, teams tend to find a position. (Rank 150/ADP 188)

Round 16 (#239) – Eugenio Suarez – Lost in my rounds 14-15 research on speed was the 12th-round Draft Stop I put on Marco Estrada to remind me to take him. He was taken two spots after my round-15 pick, so I turn my attention to Suarez, who I seem to like a lot more than everybody else on the planet. I ranked him a full 100 spots ahead of his ADP. (Rank 174/ADP 278)

Round 17 (#242) – Jeanmar Gomez – The decision was between Brandon Maurer and Gomez. I didn’t like either option, but felt a ‘closer’ with a job in the 17th round was better than $400 in FAAB in week 2. Of course, that assumes that I won’t be spending FAAB to replace Gomez in week 2. (Rank 202/ ADP 267)

Round 18 (#269) – Yan Gomes – I had Draft Stops set for Patrick Corbin and Dan Straily at round 18. I then promptly drafted 2 catchers. Gomes is a favorite who was awful last year. I guess I’d have to say I believe he can return to productive hitting. In retrospect, I’m not sure this was the best decision. (Rank 270, ADP 304)

Round 19 (#272) – Austin Hedges – I’m not sure he will hit. But I think he’s got a chance to be better than average. That’s kind of all I am looking for. (Rank 271/ADP 289)

Round 20 (#299) – Dan Straily – Despite having Corbin ranked higher, I decided to try and let him slide two more rounds given his ugly statistics from last year. I selected Straily, with Reddick targeted for the pick after the turn. (Rank 235/ADP 323)

Round 21 (#302) – Josh Reddick – Reddick is going to a much better hitter’s home, and playing with a much better hitters around him. (Rank 245/ADP 304)

Round 22 (#329) – Ervin Santana – As if you couldn’t see that one coming, Corbin made it nowhere near back to this pick. With Harvey possibly missing the start of the regular season, I still had 2 pitching spots to fill out my starting lineup. (Rank 230/ADP 325)

Round 23 (#332) – Melvin Upton – Given the stated need for starting pitching, I throw caution to the wind to add Upton’s 20/20 potential, as Upton had been my highest ranked remaining player for about 6 rounds. In other words, I tried really hard NOT to draft Melvin Upton. (Rank 205/ADP 359)

Round 24 (#359) – Hyun-jin Ryu – Need a starting pitcher? Draft an injured pitcher. I don’t believe in Brendon McCarthy. Ryu’s upside was worth the flier here. (Rank 315/ADP 352)

Round 25 (#362) – Jordan Zimmerman – I have little confidence this risk will payoff, but not too long ago he was very good. (Rank 320/ADP 316)

Round 26 (#389) – Wily Peralta – Yes. He is in my starting rotation to begin the year. Dice roll. (Rank 335/ADP 409)

Round 27 (#392) – Shelby Miller – See Jordan Zimmerman. (Rank 360/ADP 334)

Round 28 (#419) – Hector Santiago – I actually like Santiago. I can’t quite figure out why he is at times dominant and at other times he’s Wily Peralta. (Rank 342/ADP 376)

Round 29 (#422) – Freddy Galvis – Just in case last year’s stats weren’t a fluke. (Rank 255/ADP 346)

Round 30 (#449) – Michael Taylor – Will be starting for Werthin a month. (Rank 276/ADP 396)
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