Battle of the Fantasy Gods Expert League Draft: Rounds 8-15

This past Monday, took part in the official draft of the 2011 Battle of the Fantasy Gods. Created by Mike Kuchera and hosted at CBSSports.com. It is a 14 team rotisserie league that uses the standard 5×5 categories and daily roster moves. You can find a list of the participants (in draft order) as well as the draft results for rounds 1-7 here.

On we go…
Round 8
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Rivera, Mariano RP NYY
2 RotoExperts.com Desmond, Ian SS WAS
3 FB Tonight Castro, Starlin SS CHC
4 Tony Cincotta Beckham, Gordon 2B CHW
5 FantasyBaseball.com Lee, Derrek 1B BAL
6 Razzball Cain, Matt SP SF
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Feliz, Neftali RP TEX
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Scherzer, Max SP DET
9 The Fantasy Man* Bell, Heath RP SD
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Posada, Jorge C NYY
11 CBS Sports Soto, Geovany C CHC
12 FB365 Nathan, Joe RP MIN
13 TPFSers Oswalt, Roy SP PHI
14 Fantasy Alarm Napoli, Mike 1B TEX

I’ll take Joe Nathan here and be happy with it. He has looked great early in spring training with a fastball in the low 90’s that could increase as he continues to build his arm strength. Billy Wagner came back from Tommy John Surgery to have a dominant 2010 season. I don’t see a reason the Nathan can’t do the same.

Round 9
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Buchholz, Clay SP BOS
2 TPFSers Montero, Miguel C ARI
3 FB365 Reynolds, Mark 3B BAL
4 CBS Sports McGehee, Casey 3B MIL
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Young, Delmon LF MIN
6 The Fantasy Man* Markakis, Nick RF BAL
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Billingsley, Chad SP LA
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Lidge, Brad RP PHI
9 Razzball Pena, Carlos 1B CHC
10 FantasyBaseball.com* Carpenter, Chris SP STL
11 Tony Cincotta Suzuki, Kurt C OAK
12 FB Tonight Young, Michael 3B TEX
13 RotoExperts.com Morrow, Brandon SP TOR
14 RotoRob Hill, Aaron 2B TOR

I knew that there would be a run on mid-tier third basemen before long and at this point, knowing there would be 22 picks before I was up again, I had to go ahead and grab Mark Reynolds here. While I think both Casey McGehee and Michael Young are fine picks, Reynolds has the most upside of the group. I’m not counting on much AVG, obviously, but a healthy Reynolds should crack 35-40 homers, drive in 90-plus and steal a hand-full of bases. It’s harder to find that type of power upside as the draft goes on.

Round 10
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Swisher, Nick RF NYY
2 RotoExperts.com Sanchez, Jonathan SP SF
3 FB Tonight Sizemore, Grady CF CLE
4 Tony Cincotta* Roberts, Brian 2B BAL
5 FantasyBaseball.com Hunter, Torii CF ANA
6 Razzball Valverde, Jose RP DET
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Putz, J.J. RP ARI
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Hudson, Daniel SP ARI
9 The Fantasy Man Pierre, Juan LF CHW
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Hudson, Tim SP ATL
11 CBS Sports Figgins, Chone 2B SEA
12 FB365 Thornton, Matt RP CHW
13 TPFSers Anderson, Brett SP OAK
14 Fantasy Alarm Bailey, Andrew RP OAK

This is the risky part about drafting so early in the spring. While Ozzie Guillen claims to favor Matt Thornton for the closer’s role on the south side, nothing has been set in stone just yet. If he is named the closer, Thornton is certainly a top 10 pre-season closer. If not, I’ll get the strikeouts and ERA/WHIP, but at a heavy cost. My money says he closes this year and my pick is justified.

I really do not like Grady Sizemore in this round. His knee injury could very likely bother him on and off all season — or even for the rest of his career. A lot of his value came with the stolen bases, which don’t occur so often if one is dealing with knee pain.

Round 11
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Granderson, Curtis CF NYY
2 TPFSers Molina, Yadier C STL
3 FB365 Lewis, Colby SP TEX
4 CBS Sports Axford, John RP MIL
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Rodriguez, Francisco RP NYM
6 The Fantasy Man Bay, Jason LF NYM
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Bourn, Michael CF HOU
8 Fantasy Pros 911* Ramirez, Manny LF TB
9 Razzball Marcum, Shaun SP MIL
10 FantasyBaseball.com Davis, Rajai CF TOR
11 Tony Cincotta* Perez, Chris RP CLE
12 FB Tonight Street, Huston RP COL
13 RotoExperts.com Rodriguez, Wandy SP HOU
14 RotoRob Ortiz, David DH BOS

At this point I had only two starting pitchers, Jon Lester and Francisco Liriano. I like what I saw from Colby Lewis last season and think he has a chance to improve upon his 2010 2.9 BB/9 this season. Some may be deterred by the low .275 BABIP, but consider the fact that he allowed a low 17.2 percent line drive rate.

Round 12
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Gonzalez, Gio SP OAK
2 RotoExperts.com Cordero, Francisco RP CIN
3 FB Tonight Hellickson, Jeremy RP TB
4 Tony Cincotta Tabata, Jose LF PIT
5 FantasyBaseball.com Furcal, Rafael SS LA
6 Razzball Jones, Adam CF BAL
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Walker, Neil 2B PIT
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Kimbrel, Craig RP ATL
9 The Fantasy Man Davis, Ike 1B NYM
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Abreu, Bobby RF ANA
11 CBS Sports Lind, Adam DH TOR
12 FB365 Guerrero, Vladimir DH BAL
13 TPFSers Cuddyer, Michael 1B MIN
14 Fantasy Alarm LaRoche, Adam 1B WAS

While I’m not going to tout Vladimir Guerrero as a single digit round pick, I’m more than happy to plug in his offensive numbers at a round 12 value. At this point in the draft, he doesn’t need to hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBI to have value.

Round 13
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Quentin, Carlos LF CHW
2 TPFSers Nunez, Leo RP FLA
3 FB365 Wells, Vernon CF ANA
4 CBS Sports Huff, Aubrey 1B SF
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Lee, Carlos LF HOU
6 The Fantasy Man Stewart, Ian 3B COL
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Storen, Drew RP WAS
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Loney, James 1B LA
9 Razzball Lilly, Ted SP LA
10 FantasyBaseball.com Hardy, J.J. SS BAL
11 Tony Cincotta Jaso, John C TB
12 FB Tonight Johnson, Chris 3B HOU
13 RotoExperts.com Franklin, Ryan RP STL
14 RotoRob Span, Denard CF MIN

While there’s nothing sexy about Vernon wells, the guy has been a good hitter when healthy. Leaving the Toronto turf behind him should help with that aspect of his game in 2011. As my third outfielder in a 14 team league, I’m fine with the pick.

The J.J. Hardy pick caught me off guard a bit here. Not so much because I think Hardy will have a bad year, but because of the round he went in.

Round 14
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Kubel, Jason LF MIN
2 RotoExperts.com Volquez, Edinson SP CIN
3 FB Tonight Scutaro, Marco SS BOS
4 Tony Cincotta* Bumgarner, Madison SP SF
5 FantasyBaseball.com Kuroda, Hiroki SP LA
6 Razzball Morrison, Logan LF FLA
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Dempster, Ryan SP CHC
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Raburn, Ryan LF DET
9 The Fantasy Man Hughes, Phil SP NYY
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Gregg, Kevin RP BAL
11 CBS Sports Beckett, Josh SP BOS
12 FB365 Hanrahan, Joel RP PIT
13 TPFSers Pagan, Angel CF NYM
14 Fantasy Alarm Garza, Matt SP CHC

I couldn’t be happier to get Hanrahan, my third closer with pick 194 in the draft. He has the closer’s role already, he has top-notch strikeout ability and improving control/command.

Round 15
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Rodriguez, Sean 2B TB
2 TPFSers Jackson, Austin CF DET
3 FB365 Aviles, Mike 2B KC
4 CBS Sports Lyon, Brandon RP HOU
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Danks, John SP CHW
6 The Fantasy Man Fowler, Dexter CF COL
7 Fantasy Sports Empires McGee, Jake RP TB
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Headley, Chase 3B SD
9 Razzball Jackson, Edwin SP CHW
10 FantasyBaseball.com Cueto, Johnny SP CIN
11 Tony Cincotta* Cahill, Trevor SP OAK
12 FB Tonight Rodney, Fernando RP ANA
13 RotoExperts.com* Myers, Brett SP HOU
14 RotoRob Freeman, Freddie 1B ATL

I was waiting for the right time to grab Mike Aviles and I fee lucky that he lasted this long. My team is in need of some help in the AVG department and I believe Aviles will provide that along with double digit home runs and steals. He might even gain third base eligibility sometime in April, which ill make him even more valuable.

Trevor Cahill lasted until pick 207. Goes to show what we all think of him this season.

I’ll be going over rounds 16-22 tomorrow and then finishing up through round 28 in the following post.