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RotoWire's AL LABR Squad
Posted by Chris Liss at 3/3/2008 9:01:00 AM
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Drafted my AL LABR Team on Saturday night. Here it is:

CJoe Mauer22
CDoug Mirabelli1
2BJose Lopez10
3BAlex Gordon21
SSCarlos Guillen30
CIMike Lamb9
MIJhonny Peralta16
OFJ.D. Drew11
OFTravis Buck14
OFJacque Jones8
OFBarry Bonds2
OFCraig Monroe1
UJason Giambi8
PFausto Carmona19
PA.J. Burnett19
PAndy Pettitte8
PNate Robertson7
PBobby Jenks21
PGio Gonzalez1
PGavin Floyd1
PGlen Perkins1
PJoey Devine1
RAndy Marte0
RBen Francisco0
RJeremy Reed0
RJacob McGee0
RJeff Larish0
RDan Meyer0

I'm happy with this team, but I made a couple mistakes.

What I did wrong

(1) I should have gone $11 on Pudge Rodriguez and skimped on Travis Buck. Mirabelli is a zero, and for $3 I could have gotten a part-time OF.

(2) I like Carlos Guillen a lot - especially because the two positions he plays (1B, SS), are extremely scarce in the AL this year, but I wish I had gone $30 on Jeter instead because he's more durable. If Guillen plays 150 games, this will be okay.

(3) I should have let Robertson go at 6 - I like him to bounce back given his ground ball tendencies and good K/BB numbers over his career, and the good lineup behind him, but it was a lot for a player coming off a down year.

(4) I went $8 on Giambi late, cause I had $16 left, and $9 was my max bid, and I wanted to deter bidding. Which worked, and it's a good value, in my opinion, but I was told later that people with money had their UTIL slots locked up, and I could have gotten him for less. That might have cost me Joey Gathright, who went for $6, and my team is slow and will need to acquire speed somewhere.

(5) The Giambi and Buck bids left me stuck with four $1 pitchers, though I think I got pretty good ones. Devine could close if Huston Streen gets hurt or is dealt, and Gio Gonzalez could be solid in that park if he wins the job. Floyd pitched better down the stretch last year and could take a leap forward - I tend to like struggling touted prospects as they mature.

(6) When Mauer was at 8, I said 22 and heard crickets. That might have been a mistake or it might not have. Vic Martinez went for 25, and Jorge Posada went for 18. And had I gone dollar for dollar, someone might have said 23. When you take a big leap, people can be paralyzed and not have time to decide before a player's sold. Of course, the incremental bidding might have stopped at 19. Still, happy with the value there.

(7) Same thing with Burnett. It was at 14, and I said "19" assuming he'd be low-20s. Crickets. I'm happy to have Burnett, but I wasn't necessarily targeting him. Injury history is the ONLY thing that worries me with him - otherwise, he's as good as any starter in the AL.

What I did right:

(1) I got top players at scarce positions like Mauer, Morneau, Guillen and Peralta.

(2) I have a lot of at-bats on my team with the only holes being C2, Bonds (who could be a steal) and Monroe (who could hit 12-15 HRs anyway).

(3) Jacque Jones (8) was a steal, and that he won't face lefties will only help his batting average.

(4) I got a top closer, which will allow me to compete in saves - if I just get anything else via the waiver wire or trade.

(5) Pettitte (8) was a steal.

(6) I did a decent job of $1 pitchers - Perkins, Gonzalez, Floyd and Devine are all upside plays. If they're terrible I can cut them, but all four have profit potential unlike an innings-eating mediocre vet who many people settled for with their $1 players.

(7) Francisco could see at-bats while I wait for Bonds. Marte is still young enough to pull a Brandon Phillips, i.e., forgotten top prospect makes good. Jeremy Reed is buried in Seattle, but he's also a former big-name prospect who's still young enough to emerge somewhere. Dan Meyer, too, if he can stay healthy. Larish and McGee are excellent prospects, though McGee's pretty young to make an impact this year.


I like aggressive bid escalating in a limited fashion, occasionally forcing the other owners to think quicker than they want to. An underrated little part of the dance.
Posted by spianow at 3/3/2008 9:13:00 AM
It doesn't get any uglier than having to draft a catcher in an AL only league. It's funny, you mentioned on your radio show how you didn't want to get stuck with someone like Mirabelli and he is on your roster.

You have really put yourself out on a limb with Jose Lopez. Hope he works out for you. The Prospectus sees "sub- .300 OPS hi-jinks through 2010 (end of contract)"

I agree with you on Pettitte. People are overreacting to the whole Clemens debacle. For 8 bucks, you got tremendous value. I like the rest of your pitching staff as well, even if it is a given Burnett goes to the DL once.

That is a rough looking outfield, but then again it is AL LABR.
Posted by bwitt at 3/3/2008 10:10:00 AM
I'm intrigued by Lamb. It looks like he's the unquestioned starter, and his stats in recent years, projected over 500(+) at bats, look great. Plus he'll be eligible at 3B, 1B, and OF. But why would a rebuilding team like the Twins give a guy like him 500 at bats?
Posted by MPStopa at 3/3/2008 6:39:00 PM
To me, your best bargain is J.D. Drew at $11. With anything approaching a full season, he could earn well over $20. It's hard to envision you losing money with that buy.

Carmona is a risky guy to me this year, but at $19, I can't complain about the price.
Posted by Erickson at 3/3/2008 7:40:00 PM
Good Job, Liss.

I like the Joe Mauer pick up at 22 UNITS...
Posted by Telly405 at 3/3/2008 11:03:00 PM
I'll take the over on Jose Lopez's .300 OBP. One thing you have to remember about young players gaining major-league experience is that they don't learn linearly - they grow in fits and starts. Look at the leap Curtis Granderson made last year - it happens all the time. If Lopez repeats last year, he's worth almost $10. If he takes a leap forward, he could be worth $15-$20. Mirabelli is pretty ugly - I think scarcity matters less in a league this deep, but it still matters. Hard to find catching help on the waiver wire. Lamb can hit - hopefully he can keep the job. Agree that Drew, if healthy, will earn $11 just by showing up. HRs are tough for lefties in Fenway, though. Even David Ortiz hits a lot more on the road. Carmona would be Brandon Webb if he pitched in the NL.

Posted by cliss at 3/4/2008 9:29:00 AM
By the way - we've podcasted a discussion of the LABR draft between Dalton Del Don and myself: (Dalton was at the AL draft and drafted our NL team).

Posted by cliss at 3/4/2008 12:48:00 PM

This is Eric Hinz from Heard about this on your XM show. You've got a productive infield and I like the two reserve hitters. If Bonds signs in the AL, no one will remember the crickets following your Mauer bid.
Posted by faketeams at 3/4/2008 4:58:00 PM
I was pretty surprised that Bonds went to me at 2 - my max bid at the time. You have to think he'll sign in the AL if at all, so unlike Corey Patterson, there wasn't much risk of him going to the NL. And I'm fine with Mauer at 22, otherwise I wouldn't have called it out, but it's a question of whether I could have got him for less. And we'll never know. Had I said 19. maybe someone says 20. I say 21, and they say 22. So I might have had to go 23. Or maybe I get crickets at 19 or 20, and still get him. Definitely makes it more fun to take some chances. The other thing everyone should do is call out odd players early. I called out Buchholz early, and he went for 11. If you just do ARod, Miguel Cabrera, Sizemore, etc., it's very predictable. Everyone knows roughly what they go for. No idea why a group of seasoned experts feels they have to call out players in the order they'd draft them. Call out some weird players you want people to spend money on while the money's still out there, or call out some players you like for cheap early and see if they stick. Much more interesting.
Posted by cliss at 3/5/2008 12:01:00 AM

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