The Yahoo Friends and Family draft took place today. It’s a 15-team 5 x 5 league in the Yahoo format with four OF, two utility spots and only one catcher. It allows first-come first-served waivers, daily moves and has an innings cap of 1400. I picked 12th.
Here are the results:
1.12 Bryce Harper – I hoped to get one of the big four starting pitchers (Kershaw, Scherzer, Sale or Kluber.) In an innings cap format, the strikeout category becomes K/9 if everyone gets to the cap, and that makes the reliable high-K aces especially valuable. But as you can see they were all gone, so I took Harper. I didn’t seriously consider anyone else.
2.4 Noah Syndergaard – I missed out on the big four, and Syndergaard is my No. 5. His upside is as high as anyone’s, but he comes with a good deal more risk. I foreshadowed this pick on the videocast yesterday.
3.12 Luis Severino – I was hoping for Kenley Jansen or Craig Kimbrel, but they went a few picks ahead of me. I needed one more ace, and Severino fit the bill. Like Syndergaard, he’s a young pitcher that throws 98 mph, making him a fairly big risk.
4.4 Aroldis Chapman – It was him or Byron Buxton, but I thought there was a chance Buxton would make it back to me (he didn’t.) I have Chapman at the bottom of the Jansen/Kimbrel tier, so I was happy to get one of my big-three closers in a format where they’re especially valuable.
5.12 Miguel Cabrera – I expect him to bounce back as long as he’s healthy, and he seems to be in good condition early in spring training.
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6.4 Yasiel Puig – I thought about him in Round 5, but figured he’d last around the turn. Puig is still just 27, so his best years might be ahead.
7.12 Brandon Morrow – Closers were flying off the board, and he was my highest ranked one remaining. Morrow could be elite on the Cubs, but he has to hold up.
8.4 Javier Baez – He’s got competition for at-bats, but if he takes another step, the Cubs will adapt to him, not the other way around. There’s a 30-15 season in his range of outcomes.
9.12 Ian Happ – Like Baez he has competition (actually Baez is his competition), but both are better all around players than Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora.
10.4 Jonathan Villar – Another power/speed infield/outfield player. He’s got little competition for the job and should bounce back at age 27 if he stays healthy.
11.12 Mike Moustakas – I like gambling on players who are unsigned because they could wind up somewhere good. It can’t be worse than Kansas City, and he hit 38 HR there last year.
12.4 Chris Devenski – Elite middle relievers are especially valuable in this innings cap format, but this pick was too early. I saw Scott Jenstad take Andrew Miller (a more elite version), and I got some FOMO.
13.12 Chris Davis – He’s still arguably a top-10 raw power hitter in the league, playing in a good park.
14.4 Michael Wacha – pitching was flying off the board, and I needed another starter with K upside. Wacha threw 95 mph last year.
15.12 Michael Brantley – Stephania Bell gave me the green light!
16.4 Keone Kela – I don’t know who the long-term Rangers closer is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not Alex Claudio
17.12 Tim Beckham – The former No. 1 overall pick hit 22 HR in his age 27 season last year, has a full time job and plays in a good park,
18.4 Carlos Gomez – Gomez went 17 and 13 in 105 games last year and is still only 32.
19.12 Victor Robles – I misunderstood a rule wherein we can stash a non-rostered player. Apparently, he needs to be off the 40-man roster, and Robles doesn’t fit the bill. Still, if anything happens to the starting three Nats outfielders, Robles could be up in a couple weeks from Triple-A.
20.4 Yuli Gurriel – He’s hurt and will miss an additional five games due to a suspension. But we have two DL slots, and he’ll hit in the middle of a great lineup when he comes back.
21.12 Emilio Pagan – He’s a quality set-up guy behind a closer that doesn’t have much job security.
22.4 Felix Hernandez – “Pawn” Hernandez as I now call him had good ratios last year, and I thought Zack Greinke was done heading into 2017 too.
23.12 Rick Porcello – This was a nod to the deeper 15-team format this year – there won’t be as much on the waiver wire, and Porcello could be a decent source of wins.
24.4 Tyler Glasnow – post-hype prospect throwing in the mid-to-high 90s again.
25.12 Jose Reyes – He went 15-24 in 501 at-bats last year.
26.4 Tim Lincecum – His velocity is back up to 91 this spring, and the Rangers don’t really have a closer.
One note about this team: it has four Cy Young awards, three MVPs, and Lincecum, Reyes, Gomez, Davis, Cabrera and Harper have all been first-round fantasy picks, while Hernandez, Villar, Puig and Syndergaard have been second rounders. Not that it means anything.
I also didn’t bother drafting a catcher and will pick one up before the year. Finally, while I’m happy enough with this squad, it’s arguably the riskiest one I’ve ever drafted. Almost every player could fall on his face or get hurt, and no one would be surprised.