$125K Beat Chris Liss NFBC RotoWire Online Championship Draft

I just wrapped up my first draft of the year, a 12-team, 5 x 5 NFBC Online draft with an overall component that pays $125K to the top team (out of about 2500.) I picked from the seventh slot. Here are the results:

1.7 Ronald Acuna – I was either going to take him, or if he went in the top six, Jacob deGrom. I think you want to get two aces early, but it doesn’t have to be in the first round, and the sky’s the limit for Acuna in Year 2.

2.6 Justin Verlander – This was my least favorite pick of the draft. I was two picks away from getting Chris Sale (which I knew wouldn’t happen), so it was my next pitcher or Freddie Freeman. I went with Verlander over Luis Severino because I thought I might get the latter on the way back.

3.7 Luis Severino – Which I did. Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco were also available, but I prefer Severino given his team and elite stuff.

4.6 Xander Bogaerts – I missed Vlad Guerrero by two picks, so it was Bogaerts or Carlos Correa who I expect to bounce back. But Bogaerts runs a little, has been more durable and plays in a far better hitting environment. Because I went pitching in Rounds 2 and 3, I didn’t want to screw around here.

5.7 Yasiel Puig – I thought about Ozzie Albies (speed), Gleyber Torres and even David Dahl, but Puig has as much upside as any of them in that park and should steal a few bases too.

6.6 Corey Seager – It was Dahl or Seager, and when Dahl went one pick before me, the choice was made. Seager seems to be healthy finally, and he should be a .290-ish hitter with power if that’s the case.

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7.7 Kenley Jansen – Four closers had gone off the board, so it was time. I like getting a top guy in the middle of the seventh this year.

8.6 Josh Donaldson – He’s apparently healthy again, and he’s in a loaded lineup. I needed a corner bat, and I was a little light in power with three pitchers in seven rounds, and no 40-HR bat.

9.7 Sean Doolittle – This might have been jumping the gun on a second closer, but when I missed out on Victor Robles and Nelson Cruz, I felt he was one of the bigger difference-makers on the board. He was the ninth closer taken.

10.6 David Price – I didn’t really need a fifth pitcher, but he was by far my top player remaining overall, and in an overall contest you have to be aggressive in the double-digit rounds. Plus, I was trolling Dalton Del Don who picked first, went hitting heavy and was going to take starting pitching starting in Round 11.

11.7 Michael Brantley – A favorite of mine. I love players who hit for average, steal and don’t kill you in power. He was the player I had my eye on the whole time.

12.6 Yu Darvish – Another aggressive pick that wasn’t a “need,” but trolling DDD was important, and Darvish had the most upside of the remaining players on the board. I was getting dangerously light in power and speed, though.

13.7 Yoan Moncada – He went 17/12 as a rookie, and I can take some batting average pain if he strikes out another 200-plus times with my other bats.

14.6 Miguel Cabrera – Maybe he’s a flat tire now, but Hall of Fame hitters usually keep hitting in their mid-30s during the years they stay healthy. Not having to play the the field should help too.

15.7 Rich Hill – Again the top guy on my board, and a borderline ace for the 140 innings or so he provides. No reason to let up on the pitching categories even though power and speed are still light.

16.6 Harrison Bader – The Hill pick cost me Austin Meadows who I had queued up, but my second choice was Bader who went 12/15 last year in 379 at-bats.

17.7 Ramon Laureano – Another modest power-speed combo player who should see a full season of at-bats. I avoided the Dee Gordons and Billy Hamiltons and opted to spread my steals out.

18.6 Joey Lucchesi – Whenever I didn’t love the hitting options, I hammered the pitching. Lucchesi missed a fair number of bats, and now gets improved defense with Manny Machado in town.

19.7 Nick Senzel – I almost took him the round before but figured I could wait one more pass. Another power/speed combo player if he does indeed win the starting CF job out of camp.

20.6 Willians Astudillo – This might be a reach now that the Twins signed super-utility man Marwin Gonzalez, but Astudillo qualifies at catcher and has raked at every stop. If he can see 30 games at catcher and 40-50 elsewhere, he’ll be a nice source of batting average at the very least.

21.7 Tyler White – He hit well during the second half of last year and could be the Astros full-time DH.

22.6 Brad Boxberger – He’s slated to close, and it’s always good to have a third potential closer.

23.7 Tucker Barnhart – Another catcher that isn’t likely to harm my batting average.

24.6 Scott Kingery – He had eight homers and 10 steals in a disappointing rookie year, but he’s a top prospect and should improve. He’ll either win the third base job or function as the super-utility player again.

25.7 Niko Goodrum – Another 16/12 player in 441 at-bats last year. He should have the first base job with Cabrera moving to DH.

26.6 Sonny Gray – I’m going all in on Reds for some reason. I think a fresh start will do him good, and the velocity was fine last year.

27.7 Orlando Arcia – He was terrible last year, but he was once a decent prospect and a 15/14 guy in 2017, though everyone hit for power that year.

28.6 Ryan Zimmerman – He raked while briefly healthy last year, but he can never stay healthy.

29.7 Mike Soroka – He’s got more shoulder problems, but he’s a big-time prospect, it’s not structural, and if he doesn’t get healthy by Opening Day, I’ll drop him.

30.6 Chris Iannetta – I looked more into Astudillo’s tenuous roster status and took the Coors guy. Iannetta’s splits are extreme so I can use him only in homestands if necessary.

Roster By Position:

C: Tucker Barnhart/Chris Iannetta

1B: Miguel Cabrera

2B: Yoan Moncada

3B:  Josh Donaldson

SS: Xander Bogaerts

CI: Tyler White

MI: Corey Seager

OF: Ronald Acuna/Yasiel Puig/Michael Brantley/Harrison Bader/Ramon Laureano

UT: Nick Senzel

SP: Justin Verlander/Luis Severino/David Price/Yu Darvish/Rich Hill/Joey Lucchesi/Sonny Gray

RP: Kenley Jansen/Sean Doolittle

B: Niko Goodrum/Scott Kingery/Ryan Zimmerman/Orlando Arcia/Willians Astudillo/Brad Boxberger/Mike Soroka

This team is still light in power, and it’s counting on a lot of younger, developing players and veteran bounce-backs. But I’m happy with the result – it feels like it has the requisite ceiling should things break my way.