Woohoo!! First pick, easiest pick of the draft. Mike Trout is the only choice here, so I let auto-draft take the reigns for the first pick. When picking at the turn, I usually try to split the picks between a position of need and whoever is best available. Since it’s like 18 picks between my turns, I sometimes have to reach for players because they just wont be there when my turn comes again. At the first turn, I took Sale and Desmond. I think Desmond is the best SS this year. His production may not match peak Tulo, but he’s also a less likely injury risk. Although previously I said that pitching wasnt really worth taking early in drafts this year, I took Sale here. Of the SP I consider the tip-top (Kershaw, Scherzer, Felix, and Sale) I think Sale has the most injury risk. From what little I have seen of him, his delivery is pretty violent and his frame is a little slight. But, the dude can pitch and I really wanted to have him on at least one of my squads this year, so I snagged him here.
Next, I grabbed a pair of OF in Brantley and Upton to go with Trout. Brantley should provide more of the power/speed combo that Trout and Desmond do whereas Upton a little more in the power department. Learning from my last draft, I reached (by ESPN standards) on Arenado and took Kipnis as well next, filling needs are 2B and 3B. It seems I’ll be counting on Crush Davis for power on a lot of my H2H teams this year. Arrieta, Ross, Carrasco, and Wood should all beef up the K #’s. I actually managed to get Storen in round 15, after I had filled most of my main positional needs. Later in rounds 20+, I added Cecil/Clippard/Gregerson to keep myself competitive in SVs while not investing too much into the position. Since I did this draft almost immediately after draft #3, I still hadnt done any research into sleepers, hence why Wright, Hosmer, Myers are on this team as well. I think taking a year off from baseball has left me more susceptible to drafting the names Im more familiar with like those three and Chris Davis since Im not traumatized by their previous season. Ozuna, Bogaerts, and Tomas are young guys that could be interesting this season. It also helps when these players have unique names, making them easier to remember… I have also been hearing good things about Pineda this spring. A bit of a homer pick on my part (Im a Yankees fan :P), but in the 17th, its not that damning even if it doesnt work out. I picked Wieters as my catcher, but it seems he’ll start the season on the DL. Im not sure if I’ll put him on my DL or just drop him for another catcher.
Overall, I really liked this draft. Again, I think it faltered a bit in the latter third of the draft where I became more unfamiliar with the players. Im happy I waited on SP and still managed to field a nice rotation. I think I was lucky to have Storen there in the 15th as well and backing him up with the trio of late-round closers should be excellent value.
This may be my last ESPN Std H2H draft recap. I know I planned to do five of these, but some friends of mine have expressed interest in playing fantasy baseball this year, so I may save that last free league spot open for that league. If I cant scrounge up enough people, I’ll draft another free league. From here on out tho, I’ll be drafting RCLs and bringing y’all the recaps of those.