Friday, January 30, 2004

MBSBL Draft - Running Commentary 

Here is the Optimist's commentary on the Mariners Blogsphere Simulated Baseball League draft. Remember that a player's performance in 2003 will determine how that player performs in this Diamond Mind league. There is no need for projections. This is about building the best team knowing exactly how your players will perform.

And here is FAQ 1 posted on 2/7 and FAQ 2 posted on 2/17 (better late than never!)

Rounds 14-16 (waiting for last two picks)
Well, as I wrote in my summary of my LIMA time strategy, it looks like Fire Bavasi is in good shape, as Johan Santana can start games even though the MBSBL website only lists him as a reliever. Essentially, any pitcher who started a single game may be a starter. This certainly strengthens FB in my eyes, and probably moves them into the top 3.

Rounds 14-16 were all about pitching, primarily picking up relievers. Of the first 28 players taken, 14 can only be used as relievers, 8 starters, and only 6 were position players. Even three of the starters acquired were primarily relievers.

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 16 (Ranking after Round 13 in paren) with commentary on their 14-16 round picks.
1(2). SanShin - Kevin Gregg, Matt Mantei, Tim Spooneybarger. Gregg's OBP against of 278 was the lowest value for a starter (other than the reliever/starters who had not been identified yet), and Mantei has a stellar 259 OBP against. San Shin definitely continues to weigh OBP over SLG against, while I'm taking the opposite approach, so it will be interesting to compare the stats of our bullpen at year end. Spooneybarger had the top splits in a reliever (190/245/254/499) and I can't believe he lasted this long. Interesting that he is a Righty who gets lefties out MUCH better (417 OPS vs 567 OPS). Very nice pick.
2(1). SodoOhNo - Eddie Guardado, Joe Borowski, Julio Mateo. Two of the top relievers out there, gives Sodo a nice closer in Borowski and a lefty setup guy in Guardado. Guardado was the third best lefty reliever and the top two were taken just before, so Sodo closed the run on lefty relievers nicely. Mateo is a stretch with his 220/257/382/640 line. That SLG against makes me nervous and the difference between Mateo & Spooneybarger cost Sodo Oh No #1 in my book. They're that close.
3(4). Fire Bavasi - Ryan Klesko, Matt Morris, Scot Shields. Klesko's righty mashing completes a very nice 1B platoon. Shields and Morris are two of the top starting pitchers available and round out a frightening 5-man rotation with Prior, Santana, and Webb for the FB.
4(5). Cracking - Damaso Marte, Byung-Hyun Kim, Brian Jordan. Well, I beat him to Rheal Cormier (245 OPS against), so he settled for the #2 lefty reliever in Marte (270 OPS against). But got revenge by snagging Kim and his beautiful 221/288/341/629 line to probably be his staff ace. Jordan's 1131 OPS against lefties and outfield flexibility make him a fantastic addition that, of course, I hoped would fall to me next round. Cracking and I are using the same cheat sheet :-)
5(3). 116ers - Brendan Donnelly, Miguel Batista. Donnelly was the best righty reliever on the board at the time (maybe behind Ryan Wagner), but there were better options than Batista. Donnelly may act as the 116ers closer.
6(8). M.O. - Rheal Cormier, Oscar Villarreal, Ryan Wagner. The top lefty reliever in Cormier (182/245/269/514), top righty reliever in Wagner(173/284/267/551) and the top starter in Villarreal (222/306/310/616). The big risk is that Villarreal's ONLY "start" lasted only 3 innings and I don't know if Diamond Mind has a fatigue factor.
7(7). What The? - Miguel Cabrera, Latroy Hawkins, Doug Waechter. Cabrera mashes lefties (364/397/655/1052) and plays a decent 3B, but might need a platoon partner for his 739 OPS against righties. Latroy was probably the second worst reliever taken, but he's still pretty good. Waechter is a very nice starter with a 225/310/364/675 line and who can forget how he shut down the M's in September.
8(6). Musings - Darrell May, David Riske, Mike Bordick. May is solid and while his 246/290/435/725 does not look as good as some others, he does pitch in Kaufmann stadium. I need to find some ballpark-neutral splits. Riske (196/256/336/592) is a solid reliever. Bordick hits lefties to the tune of 347/441/537/978 and plays great defense at three positions, but Musings will need a platoon partner to avoid his 600 OPS against righties.
9(10). Weekly - Rafael Furcal, Vicente Padilla, Paul Quantrill. Furcal is the weakest starting shortstop in the league, but he's fast. Padilla was the worst starter taken (251/313/413/726) but is a very solid #5, and Paul Quantrill is a top reliever (227/271/290/561).
10(9). The Safe - Matthew Lecroy, Shigetoshi Hasegawa. And here is the worst reliever taken so far. Not only is Hasegawa's 235/283/337/620 line 20 points worse in OPS than anyone else, but it was also put up in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks, and should suffer further in a neutral field. Lecroy was the best catcher available, but the worst catcher that will start for any team.

Rounds 11-13
The Mariner Optimist had a plan. Load up on offense where every player in the lineup had an OPS of 900 or better. To do this would require a platoon. Looking at where we stand after 13 rounds, I'm almost there.

The more subtle part of my plan was to wait and hope that after I had acquired my offense, that my top pitching picks would still be on the board. And they would be the best pitchers in the league. Why? Because they had pitched so few innings, most people would overlook them as relievers, or worry about injuries. But this simulation is specifically set up to make anyone rated "starter" eligible to start all season long, and no injuries will occur. Will they tire quickly? Maybe, that is certainly the risk.

Unfortunately, San Shin and Sodo Oh No beat me to the punch, first grabbing Wilson Alvarez, and then a mere three picks before I was ready to strike grabbing my #2 and #3 choices in the brothers Jose - Acevedo and Contreras. So I settled for choices #4 and #5 in Tony Armas and Eric Dubose.

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 13 (previous ranking in paren) with commentary on their 11-13 round picks.
1(1). SodoOhNo - Contreras, Bagwell, Clemens. Clemens is a nice pitcher with 694 OPS against, 1.22 WHIP and great K/9, and he is Sodo's #4 starter. Bagwell fills their one hole at 1B perfectly, moving Giambi to DH where he belongs. This team is stacked, and other than catcher has no need for platoons.
2(2). SanShin - Acevedo, Jason Phillips, Jose Valverde. Its a Jose run for San Shin, who goes for the top OPS against reliever (a meager 489) as I predicted they would. Hopefully, I throw a wrench in their plans by grabbing the top OPS lefty reliever in Rheal Cormier, but I'm sure they will survive.
3(6). 116ers - Mike Piazza, Mike Sweeney, Eduardo Perez. Perez kills lefties to a 1200+ OPS and plays 4 positions so he's nice to have around and he'll probably platoon at DH with Sweeney to make a potent hitter. Piazza has been the top catcher on the board for awhile now and will remain healthy in simulation.
4(3). Fire Bavasi - Mike Cameron, Cliff Floyd, Octavio Dotel. Dotel is a great reliever (552 OPS against), but if FB was planning on starting him, they may be in trouble. Floyd moves Chipper nicely to DH and Cameron will have a lot of ground to cover to make up for being the worst offensive player taken in the draft with a 775 OPS.
5(7). Cracking - Mark Redman, Keith Foulke, Luis Castillo. Redman was a fantastic pick as the best lefty starter available and Foulke is a good closer. Castillo had some pop last year, but was caught stealing in almost half his attempts. Will be interesting to see if that is used against him.
6(5). Musings - Mike Lieberthal, Larry Walker, Kip Wells. No complaints here - a top catcher, DH and pitcher are all solid picks for Musings. Looking forward to seeing him finally pick up a shortstop.
7(8). What The? - Orlando Cabrera, Carl Everett, Guillermo Mota. Cabrera was the top SS on the board, has speed, good D and no need to platoon him. I hope the M's make a run on him next year. Everett is a nice basher in the outfield and Mota is one of the top relievers with a 552 OPS against.
8(10). M.O. - Armas and Dubose form a nice 1-2 Righty-Lefty punch in the rotation and Phil Nevin will partner with Matt Stairs to create a Bondsian platoon at 1B.
9(9). The Safe - Ray Durham, Tike Redman, Edwin Jackson. Edwin had a nice 669 OPS against but the others fail to impress enough to move the Safe up.
10(4). Weekly - Aaron Boone, A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Grudzielanek. A team that looked great three rounds ago looks a lot less formidable. As opposed to outfielders ManRam and JuanGone, these infielders can field, but they are the worst hitting infielders in the league at this point. But all three still hit better than Cameron.

Round 10
Team - Actual Pick (my guess) - commentary
Fire Bavasi - Craig Wilson (Craig Wilson) - got one, and I think this is a nice pickup for F.B.
Mariners Weekly - Andruw Jones(Jay Payton) - Jones is probably better than Payton, but I wonder if Podsednik is not better than both. Either way MW needs to make his pick quicker as this one took about 18 hours.
Mariners Musings - C.C. Sabathia (Mike Piazza) - steals the top VORP starting pitcher from San Shin. Good to know someone is reading this :-)
Mariner Optimist - Bobby Abreu(Bobby Abreu) - will this guy ever take a starting pitcher? The lineup will have no weak spots from top to bottom.
Cracking The Safe - Jason Kendall(Keith Foulke) - I meant, starting a catcher run, but why Kendall - there are several catchers with better EqA, OPS..
Sodo Oh No - Greg Myers (Matt Mantei). Catcher run/Closer run, what's the difference? Best catcher out there against righties but needs platoon-mate.
San Shin - Edgar Martinez (C.C. Sabathia) - I like that Edgar guy - thought he would go to the Safe in round 11.
What the? - Placido Polanco (Rafael Furcal) - positional flexibility with similar OPS as Furcal.
116 - Scott Podsednik (Eddie Guardado) - Finally, someone has been reading my picks, but this team needs
The Safe - Jay Payton (Jay Payton) - Hmm.. I had Payton going twice in this round but only once I was wrong. We'll see how he translates outside Coors.

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 10:
1. SodoOhNo(SS ARod, CF Edmonds, SP Schilling, RF Hidalgo, LF Gonzalez, 3B Ensberg, 1B Giambi, 2B Kent, SP Alvarez, C Myers) - 2 pitcher
2. SanShin (RF Bonds, SP Schmidt, SS Mora, LF B.Giles, RF Ordonez, 2B Soriano, 3B Lowell, SP Zito, 1B NJohnson, DH Edgar) - 1 pitcher
3. Fire Bavasi (SP Prior, RF Vlad, 3B Rolen, SP Santana, SS Jeter, 2B Vidro, C Varitek, SP Webb, LF Chipper, 1B CWilson) - 3 pitchers
4. Weekly (LF Manny, SP Pedro, 1B Thome, SP Vazquez, RP Wagner, DH Ortiz, SP Oswalt, RF JuanGone, SP Zambrano, CF AJones) - 4 pitchers + closer
5. Musings (RF Sheffield, 2B Boone, CF Wells, 1B/DH Thomas, 3B Chavez, SP Mulder, SP Wood, LF Drew, RP Rivera, SP Sabathia) - 2 pitchers + closer
6. 116ers (1B Pujols, SP Hudson, 3B Mueller, SS Nomar, SP Beckett, RF Sosa, LF Jenkins, 3B Loretta, SP Livan, CF Podsednik) - 3 pitchers
7. Cracking (1B Delgado, SP Halladay, SS Renteria, RF Huff, CF Anderson, LF/RF Sanders, CF Bradley, 1B Sexson, SP Nomo, C Kendall) - 2 pitchers
8. What The? (1B Helton, SP Loaiza, RP Gagne, SP Mussina, LF/CF Berkman, 1B/3B/LF DYoung, C IRod, CF PWilson, SP Colon, 2B/3B Polanco) - 3 starters + closer
9. The Safe (RF Ichiro, RF Nixon, SP Brown, SP Moyer, SS Tejada, 1B/2B Blalock, RP Soriano, 1B DLee, SP Willis, OF Payton) - 3 starters + closer
10. M.O. (C Lopez, DH Posada, 2B M.Giles, CF Beltran, RP Smoltz, LF/RF Guillen, SS/3B/2B Cintron, 1B/LF/RF Stairs, 3B Koskie, RF Abreu) - closer

Round 9

Team - Actual Pick (my guess) - commentary
The Safe - Dontrelle Willis(Carlos Zambrano) - Willis may have been the best lefty out there after Alvarez.
116 - Livan Hernandez(Scott Podsednik) - Admittedly my guess was a throwaway - and 116 probably saw that WTTH was gonna take Livan, so he scooped him up.
What the? - Bartolo Colon(Livan Hernandez) - Livan was gone, so went for next best WHIP out there in Colon.
San Shin - Nick Johnson(Mike Piazza) - Catchers get no love here, and Jeff scoops up the top 1B against RHP. Nice pick.
Sodo Oh No - Wilson Alvarez(Greg Myers) - May be the best pitcher in the league, depending on how Diamond Mind handles fact he only pitched 95 innings - 2.37 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Very nice.
Cracking The Safe - Hideo Nomo(Placido Polanco) - Its officially a pitcher run!
Mariner Optimist - Corey Koskie(Chipper Jones) - Couldn't grab Chipper when there are still lots of OF, but the drop off against RHP between Koskie and #2 Aaron Boone was 147 OPS points.
Mariners Musings - Mariano Rivera(Orlando Cabrera) - We have our fourth closer.
Mariners Weekly - Carlos Zambrano(Jay Payton) - back to the pitcher run. Pitchers? Who needs em?
Fire Bavasi - Chipper Jones(Cliff Floyd) - I guess I'll end up with Floyd in a round or two...

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 9:
1. SodoOhNo - Wilson freakin Alvarez for MBSBL Cy Young?
2. SanShin - May need a platoon-mate for Nick Johnson at 1B.
3. Fire Bavasi - Chipper has no glove, but a great bat for round 9.
4. 116ers - Livan had a helluva season last year.
5. Weekly - Zambrano had worst WHIP of the 6 starters taken this round.
6. Musings - Mariano a damn nice closer.
7. Cracking - Nomo best ERA of the 6 starters taken this round.
8. M.O. - Koskie continues strong offense
9. The Safe - Don't like Willis over some of the other pitchers here.
10. What The? - No harm in adding Colon

Round 8

Team - Actual Pick (my guess) - commentary
Fire Bavasi - Brandon Webb (Brandon Webb) - best pitcher out there. Great pick.
Mariners Weekly - Juan Gonzalez (Matt Stairs) - Fields like Stairs without the errors, hits lefties & righties
Mariners Musings - J.D. Drew(Bartolo Colon). A healthy J.D. Drew for a year... I think that even with injuries off, Drew will pull a hammy...
Mariner Optimist - Matt Stairs(Chipper Jones). Great OPS, but only hits lefties. Looking for platoon-mate.
Cracking The Safe - Richie Sexson(Jeff Kent). Gets a DH when he need a 2B. Odd pick.
Sodo Oh No - Jeff Kent(Mike Piazza). Thrilled to have Kent fall into his lap, and it moves them into favorite role.
San Shin - Barry Zito(Richie Sexson). Sexson gone, so gets the best lefty available.
What the? - Preston Wilson(Larry Walker). Right team, wrong player, and this team still needs a RF.
116 - Mark Loretta(Preston Wilson). Preston & Kent gone, go for the best 2B on the board.
The Safe - Derrek Lee(Scott Podsednik). Picked up speed and a first baseman they needed who is also an awesome fielder. Nice pick.

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 8:
1. SodoOhNo - Kent pick rounds out stellar hitting infield of ARod, Kent, Giambi
2. SanShin - Schmidt and Zito anchor staff.
3. Fire Bavasi - Webb may be the staff ace.
4. Weekly - chemistry issues with Juan Gone and Man Ram in same outfield
5. Musings - Wells, Drew, Sheffield a solid OF.
6. 116ers (1B Pujols, SP Hudson, 3B Mueller, SS Nomar, SP Beckett, RF Sosa, LF Jenkins) - 2 pitchers
7. Cracking - Sexson a big bat, but will regret not picking up Kent.
8. The Safe - since Ichiro, nothing but nice picks so time to start moving them up.
9. M.O. - will need platoon-mate for Stairs to work this out
10. What The? - Left and Center fielders galore...

Rounds 5-7
Wow, what a weekend - a Friday Night beer buzz leads to me picking up John Smoltz as my closer when I could not decide on the next hitter to take, and a Saturday/Sunday of pink eye hitting my family leads to no blogging over the weekend. In case you missed it, Mike at San Shin has posted the following updated FAQ about the rules. After the Smoltz mistake, I went for some positional flexibility grabbing top-hitting outfielder Jose Guillen, who also rates a 4 (out of 5) in both left field and right fields. Then, in Round 7, I picked up Alex Cintron who was the top OPS SS or 3B and can play both, as well as 2B.

Most everybody is feeling good about their teams right now. I have to get a 1B, SS/3B and LF/RF and fill my pitching staff at this point. San Shin continues to get the best value per pick, but the simulation aspect means that The Safe may have grabbed the best closer in Rafael Soriano, and Johan Santana should be a stud for Fire Bavasi. Milton Bradley and Morgan Ensberg are other relative unknowns that look like good picks given that their reduced playing time in 2003 will not reoccur in simulation.

I feel like mixing things up a bit so I'm gonna punish the 116'ers for picking Josh Beckett and move myself up a bit. I'd rather have most other teams for their 2004 possibilities, but I like mine for 2003.

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 7:
1. SanShin (RF Bonds, SP Schmidt, SS Mora, LF B.Giles, RF Ordonez, 2B Soriano, 3B Lowell) - 1 pitcher
2. SodoOhNo(SS ARod, CF Edmonds, SP Schilling, RF Hidalgo, LF Gonzalez, 3B Ensberg, 1B Giambi) - 1 pitcher
3. Weekly (RF Manny, SP Pedro, 1B Thome, SP Vazquez, RP Wagner, DH Ortiz, SP Oswalt) - 3 pitchers
4. Fire Bavasi (SP Prior, RF Vlad, 3B Rolen, SP Santana, SS Jeter, 2B Vidro, C Varitek) - 2 pitchers
5. Musings (RF Sheffield, 2B Boone, CF Wells, 1B/DH Thomas, 3B Chavez, SP Mulder, SP Wood) - 2 pitchers
6. M.O. (C Lopez, DH Posada, 2B M.Giles, CF Beltran, RP Smoltz, LF/RF Guillen, SS/3B/2B Cintron) - 1 closer
7. 116ers (1B Pujols, SP Hudson, 3B Mueller, SS Nomar, SP Beckett, RF Sosa, LF Jenkins) - 2 pitchers
8. Cracking (1B Delgado, SP Halladay, SS Renteria, RF Huff, CF Anderson, LF/RF Sanders, CF Bradley) - 1 pitcher
9. What The? (1B Helton, SP Loaiza, RP Gagne, SP Mussina, LF/CF Berkman, 1B/3B/LF DYoung, C IRod) - 2 starters + closer
10. The Safe (RF Ichiro, RF Nixon, SP Brown, SP Moyer, SS Tejada, 1B/2B Blalock, RP Soriano) - 2 starters + closer

Round 4
Four pitchers, three outfielders, Nomar, Aubrey Huff, and Frank Thomas. All of the position players, with the exception of Huff were the player I had rated highest at their position when they were picked. Huff has the advantage of playing three positions, 1B, 3B, RF. San Shin continues to impress, grabbing the best player on the board for the third time in four rounds (with the exception of Mora). It may have been early for Hidalgo, so I'm knocking Sodo down a notch. I like the Johan Santana pickup by Fire Bavasi.

I predict San Shin picks up Magglio Ordonez because that's who I want next.

Mariner Musings and I remain firmly off the pitching bandwagon.

Roster/Predicted finish after Round 4:
1. SanShin (RF Bonds, SP Schmidt, SS Mora, LF B.Giles)
2. SodoOhNo(SS ARod, CF Edmonds, SP Schilling, RF Hidalgo)
3. 116ers (1B Pujols, SP Hudson, 3B Mueller, SS Nomar)
4. Fire Bavasi (SP Prior, RF Vlad, 3B Rolen, SP Santana)
5. Weekly (RF Manny, SP Pedro, 1B Thome, SP Vazquez)
6. Musings (RF Sheffield, 2B Boone, CF Wells, 1B/DH Thomas)
7. What The? (1B Helton, SP Loaiza, RP Gagne, SP Mussina)
8. M.O. (C Lopez, DH Posada, 2B M.Giles, CF Beltran)
9. Cracking (1B Delgado, SP Halladay, SS Renteria, RF Huff)
10. The Safe (RF Ichiro, DH Nixon, SP Brown, SP Moyer)

Round 3
The first closer is taken in Eric Gagne, as the 23rd pick overall by What the Hell. I can't argue with the pick because I don't know whether pitching or hitting will win out in these simulations (does good pitching beat good hitting?), and it is their second pitcher. But I still have a problem using my 3rd round pick on a guy who won't pitch more than 70 innings. I also have a problem with closers making $8M per season, too, so that's just me.

Melvin Mora had the second lowest OPS of any hitter taken in the round, but his positional flexibility covering 2B, SS, LF, and CF may be very valuable in this league. With only 25 players, and having to cover injuries, flexibility may be critical. Mariner Musings and I remain the only two teams without a pitcher, so we continue to work from the same playbook (if Marcus Giles, had been taken, I would have grabbed his Vernon Wells).

I probably should have taken Scott Rolen over Giles, as Rolen was by far the best 3B hitter and fielder. I hoped that he would return to be, but unfortunately, Fire Bavasi beat me to the punch. Now, 3B slides down in priority as the next bunch of players at 3B have similar abilities.

Predicted Standings after Round Three: 1. SanShin, 2. SodoOhNo, 3. 116ers, 4. Musings, 5. What The?, 6. Fire Bavasi, 7. Weekly, 8. Cracking, 9. M.O. , 10. The Safe

Round 2

Damn, Peter White and I must use the same cheatsheet, as I was wanting to pick Bret Boone, but he snatched him before me. I'm about to do something silly, but the website is down for the moment giving me time to reconsider. I'm about to claim Jorge Posada as my second catcher, knowing I'll have the only two catchers with OPS over 900 on my team, I'll do what the Orioles considered doing, rotating them between catcher and DH.

What the heck?!?

Yup, I did it. I will be the only owner with a silly strategy like cornering the catcher market in the first two rounds.

Pitchers start to go in the second round with Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay, Jason Schmidt, Esteban Loaiza, and Tim Hudson going in that order. You can't argue too much with any of these selections, but I would have taken Hudson or Kevin Brown as my first pitcher (Brown goes early in 3rd round to The Safe who begins to redeem himself nicely). I'm not sure how pitcher health is gonna factor into this season. Will Pedro again only pitch 180 innings, or might he go longer? Or shorter? Hard to know for sure and that weighs heavily on deciding between Halladay (266 IP, 3.25 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) and say, Pedro (186, 2.23, 1.03).

The other three picks were outfielders - Vladamir Guerrero, Jim Edmonds, and The Safe finishing the round with Trot Nixon. I would not have picked Nixon this early, and The Safe now has two rightfielders, so maybe they are cornering the market in RF as I did at C. Four RF's are gone (Sheffield, Vlad, Ichiro, and Nixon), so this may put pressure on teams to grab a RF early. I don't know if Diamond Mind will allow these guys to be moved to LF or CF and if so, what the effect on their fielding will be. Otherwise, The Safe has got their DH early. Anyone with answers, add your comments below!

Round 1
The Mariners Blogsphere Simulated Baseball League draft has begun. You can see the draft unfold at its current glacial pace by clicking on the link. I'm going to comment on my picks and those of others here. Click on the link on the right to get back to this post where it will be updated as it continues. And please feel free to add comments to this blog entry to discuss what you would have done differently.

First, remember that a player's performance in 2003 will determine how that player performs in this Diamond Mind league. There is no need for projections. This is about building the best team knowing exactly how your players will perform.

With that knowledge, it is stunning that Ichiro Suzuki was the first pick by The Safe. Now Ichiro is a nice player and his defensive rating in RF of 5e36 (format is XeY where X is a range factor from 1-5 and Y is the percentage of an average player that errors occur, so the lower the better). But with a 2003 OPS of 783, he is shaky as the man to build your team around.

The first round had several other surprises. Barry Bonds, and his obscene 1271 OPS slid all the way to 4th where San Shin smiled and said 'Thank you very much.' This allowed the 2003 AL MVP, Alex Rodriguez, to go to the host Sodo Oh No squad. This happened because Albert Pujols went 2nd and Todd Helton went 3rd to the Onesixteeners and What the Hell Happened respectively. Hard to argue with either pick on its own except when Barry Bonds is available.

Mark Prior was the only pitcher taken in the first round, going as the 10th pick to Fire Bavasi. If I'm building a team, I've got to get a few hitters before I go after a pitcher unless they are far and above the rest of the crowd. Prior is nice, but its hard to differentiate him from other top pitchers like Pedro, Brown, Schmidt, etc... Because this is a snake draft, and the 10th pick in one round is the first pick in the next, I might have considered starting a pitching run and grabbing two pitchers. We'll see if The Safe has those thoughts when it gets back to him.

Your Mariner Optimist was considering Gary Sheffield (who was picked right after my pick by Mariner Musings), but eventually decided to go with positional scarcity at catcher and took Javy Lopez and his 1067 OPS. Jorge Posado is the next best hitting catcher with an OPS of 915, so the differential was more substantial than Sheffield vs other outfielders. I was concerned with taking a catcher when they get 100-150 fewer plate appearances than other positions. We're hoping that in a DH league, we can give Lopez extra at bats in the DH slot. Like many of the owners, I'm hindered by my lack of knowledge as to how Diamond Mind works, but I think this will be possible.

Predicted Standings after Round One: 1. SanShin, 2. SodoOhNo, 3. 116ers, 4. What The?, 5. M.O., 6. Musings, 7. Weekly, 8. Cracking, 9. Fire Bavasi, 10. The Safe

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