No matter how much I plan, every live draft throws me for a curveball (baseball phrase!) at some point. This past week, I participated in a 12-team H2H draft and I like to go back and see where I did well and what I can learn from going forward.

Draft results are a very good resource to get a feel where players are being drafted. Especially in a league like this where the managers are veterans and good players rarely slip.

The results are posted by round with my pick in italics and my analysis between each round. Let me know in the comments where I went wrong or if I actually got a few right.

The second half of this draft will be posted soon after. On a side note: The Ricky Gervais Show on HBO is dynamite. It also works well for parents because kids think it’s a cartoon.



Round 1
1. Albert Pujols (StL – 1B)  
2. Hanley Ramírez (Fla – SS)  
3. Miguel Cabrera (Det – 1B)  
4. Troy Tulowitzki (Col – SS)  
5. Carlos González (Col – OF)  
6. Joey Votto (Cin – 1B)  
7. Evan Longoria (TB – 3B)  
8. Álex Rodríguez (NYY – 3B)  
9. Robinson Canó (NYY – 2B)  
10. David Wright (NYM – 3B)  
11. Ryan Braun (Mil – OF)  
12. Carl Crawford (Bos – OF)



My pick: Taking Troy Tulowitzki  is a great start to taking elite players at scarce positions. I had SS and C as the thinnest position to be drafting this season.

Best pick: Ryan Braun—He is a player that could have gone around the fifth pick and would have been fine.

Reach: A-Rod—With an ADP of 16, it is a bit of a stretch at No. 8, however taking him before fellow 3B David Wright is a head-scratcher.


Round 2
1. Adrián González (Bos – 1B)  
2. Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)  
3. Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B)  
4. Roy Halladay (Phi – SP)  
5. Matt Holliday (StL – OF)  
6. Mark Teixeira (NYY – 1B)  
7. Matt Kemp (LAD – OF)  
8. Josh Hamilton (Tex – OF)  
9. Dustin Pedroia (Bos – 2B)  
10. Félix Hernández (Sea – SP)  
11. Tim Lincecum (SF – SP)  
12. Nelson Cruz (Tex – OF)  


My pick: Dustin Pedroia—I had a glimmer of hope that a power 1B would fall to me, but that ended with Teixeira going several picks before. I then decided to switch back to position scarcity with the best second baseman on the board.

Best pick: Nelson Cruz—I have a feeling Nelson Cruz is going to bring the pain this year in Texas.

Reach: Matt Holliday—I found it odd that Matt Holliday started the OF run in this round. I would rather have Kemp, Hamilton and Cruz. His production is consistent but the others have much higher ceilings.


Round 3
1. Cliff Lee (Phi – SP)  
2. Ryan Zimmerman (Was – 3B)  
3. José Reyes (NYM – SS)  
4. Kevin Youkilis (Bos – 1B)  
5. Ian Kinsler (Tex – 2B)  
6. Dan Uggla (Atl – 2B)  
7. Joe Mauer (Min – C)  
8. Shin-Soo Choo (Cle – OF)  
9. Adam Dunn (CWS – 1B)  
10. Brandon Phillips (Cin – 2B)  
11. Andrew McCutchen (Pit – OF)  
12. Clayton Kershaw (LAD – SP)  


My pick: Kevin Youkilis—With Cruz off the board, I decided to take Youkilis for my third baseman. He’ll start the year with only 1B eligibility, but should soon gain 3B. I made the decision to go with him based upon his stellar play when healthy and the newly-revamped Boston lineup.

Best pick: Ian Kinsler—Three second baseman went off the board this round as people tried to avoid the drop-off. I have Kinsler much higher than the others.

Reach: Brandon Phillips—I understand the pick, but he would have probably been on the board in the next round. Sometimes you have to go earlier than players are rated to grab them in the last tier of good ones.


Round 4
1. José Bautista (Tor – 3B,OF)  
2. Rickie Weeks (Mil – 2B)  
3. Jimmy Rollins (Phi – SS)  
4. Ichiro Suzuki (Sea – OF)  
5. Derek Jeter (NYY – SS)  
6. CC Sabathia (NYY – SP)  
7. Justin Upton (Ari – OF)  
8. Buster Posey (SF – C,1B)  
9. Víctor Martínez (Det – C,1B)  
10. Jayson Werth (Was – OF)  
11. Jon Lester (Bos – SP)  
12. Brian McCann (Atl – C)  


My pick: Victor Martinez—I wanted a good catcher this year and when I saw Posey and Martinez available to the drafter before me, I knew I could grab one. Martinez will have the edge on all other catchers due to the fact that he will be primarily in the DH role for the Tigers this year.

Best pick: Jon Lester—Grabbing an ace in the fourth round is never a bad thing and, in this case, the team paired him up with Tim Lincecum to form the best twosome in the league.

Reach: Jayson Werth—Picking Werth in this round is paying for his last year, not his upcoming year.


Round 5
1. Zack Greinke (Mil – SP)  
2. Justin Morneau (Min – 1B)  
3. Jason Heyward (Atl – OF)  
4. Justin Verlander (Det – SP)  
5. Ubaldo Jiménez (Col – SP)  
6. David Price (TB – SP)  
7. Cole Hamels (Phi – SP)  
8. Billy Butler (KC – 1B)  
9. Tommy Hanson (Atl – SP)  
10. Josh Johnson (Fla – SP)  
11. Adrián Béltre (Tex – 3B)  
12. Alexei Ramírez (CWS – SS)


My pick: Justin Verlander—Needing my first baseman so I could slide Youkilis over to 3B, I targeted Justin Morneau, but he was drafted two picks before me. Not liking any of the OF at this price, I decided to start building my pitching staff. I decided between Verlander, Price and Hanson here.

Best pick: Adrian Beltre—I thought it was a great pick all the way in the end of the fifth to get the last 3B in the upper tiers. A lot of good SP went in this round which shows it’s fine to wait on pitching this year.

Reach: Zack Greinke—I like him this year but wouldn’t take him before any pitcher in this round, especially with him out for the first month of the year.


Round 6
1. Drew Stubbs (Cin – OF)  
2. Carlos Mármol (ChC – RP)  
3. Álex Ríos (CWS – OF)  
4. Jered Weaver (LAA – SP)  
5. Hunter Pence (Hou – OF)  
6. Brian Wilson (SF – RP)  
7. Mike Stanton (Fla – OF)  
8. Carlos Santana (Cle – C)  
9. Mat Latos (SD – SP)  
10. Shane Victorino (Phi – OF)  
11. Andre Ethier (LAD – OF)  
12. Michael Young (Tex – 3B)  


My pick: Matt Latos—Watched a few OF I had in mind fly off the board, I decided to take another SP. When Weaver went earlier, I went with Latos. He was a bonafide fantasy stud last season but lacks the track record of the guys taken around this time. I decided between him and Haren.

Best pick: Carlos Santana—I already mentioned Weaver, so I’ll go with the trendy pick of Santana. He represents the last catcher that could be a real difference maker for teams.

Reach: Brian Wilson—I’m not a fan of early closers anyway, but I definitely wouldn’t have taken one that will start the year on the DL. News of his injury was out before this draft occurred.


Round 7
1. Francisco Liriano (Min – SP)  
2. Mariano Rivera (NYY – RP)  
3. Chris Carpenter (StL – SP)  
4. Dan Haren (LAA – SP)  
5. Jacoby Ellsbury (Bos – OF)  
6. Yovani Gallardo (Mil – SP)  
7. Neftali Feliz (Tex – RP)  
8. Martín Prado (Atl – 2B,3B)  
9. Roy Oswalt (Phi – SP)  
10. Matt Cain (SF – SP)  
11. Max Scherzer (Det – SP)  
12. Shaun Marcum (Mil – SP)  


My pick: Dan Haren—The fact that I almost took him last round was enough for me to add him to my staff. Haren was dynamite last season when Napoli wasn’t catching him. I am a self-professed SP hoarder anyway.

Best pick: Max Scherzer—He’s a guy that has the potential to take the leap to the next tier this season. It would have been Marcum weeks ago but his velocity has me worried.

Reach: Jacoby Ellsbury—Tough to go against the expert crowd, but if he is batting ninth it’s going to be hard for him to put up numbers besides steals.


Round 8
1. Chris Young (Ari – OF)  
2. Daniel Hudson (Ari – SP)  
3. B.J. Upton (TB – OF)  
4. Heath Bell (SD – RP)  
5. Gio González (Oak – SP)  
6. Jay Bruce (Cin – OF)  
7. Brett Anderson (Oak – SP)  
8. Chase Utley (Phi – 2B)  
9. Paul Konerko (CWS – 1B)  
10. Joakim Soria (KC – RP)  
11. Kendrys Morales (LAA – 1B)  
12. Delmon Young (Min – OF)  


My pick: Paul Konerko—Finally got the first baseman, even if it isn’t who I wanted. The fact is that Konerko hits for power and with the addition of Dunn, should be in a great position again to make a run at 30-35 HRs.

Best pick: Delmon Young—Several breakout guys in this round (Bruce, Anderson, Gonzalez, Hudson) but Young has a chance to be one of the top RBI men in the league. His home run ceiling probably isn’t very high but he’s still great for fantasy.

Reach: Kendry Morales—A few weeks ago this would have been an absolute steal. However now, I don’t want any part of this guy. He still isn’t running and this is starting to sound like a problem that could persist most of the season.


Round 9
1. Elvis Andrus (Tex – SS)  
2. Jonathan Papelbon (Bos – RP)  
3. Francisco Rodríguez (NYM – RP)  
4. Brett Gardner (NYY – OF)  
5. Mark Reynolds (Bal – 3B)  
6. Aramis Ramírez (ChC – 3B)  
7. Vladimir Guerrero (Bal – OF)  
8. Curtis Granderson (NYY – OF)  
9. J.J. Putz (Ari – RP)  
10. Corey Hart (Mil – OF)  
11. Geovany Soto (ChC – C)  
12. Kelly Johnson (Ari – 2B)  


My pick: Brett Gardner—I had sorely neglected my OF to this point. This is part of the strategy since OF are easier to find and I’d rather take a chance on breakout players. Gardner fits the bill. If he can somehow bat leadoff this year for the Yanks as is being discussed, he will be fantasy gold.

Best pick: Geovany Soto—Good value on a productive catcher here. Honorable mention goes to Mark Reynolds and his tremendous power.

Reach: Jonathan Papelbon—Vlad went a few rounds too early here but Papelbon is the chic selection to lose his job this year and always reliable K-Rod was still available.


Round 10
1. Wandy Rodríguez (Hou – SP)  
2. Brandon Morrow (Tor – SP)  
3. Juan Pierre (CWS – OF)  
4. Stephen Drew (Ari – SS)  
5. Ricky Romero (Tor – SP)  
6. Nick Swisher (NYY – OF)  
7. Matt Wieters (Bal – C)  
8. Jonathan Sánchez (SF – SP)  
9. Pedro Alvarez (Pit – 3B)  
10. Ben Zobrist (TB – 1B,2B,OF)  
11. Colby Rasmus (StL – OF)  
12. Jonathan Broxton (LAD – RP)  


My pick: Pedro Alvarez—I have mentioned Alvarez in previous columns and he seemed the logical choice here for my UTIL spot. I’ll also need him for the first few weeks to fill in at 3B. I probably should have taken an OF, but sometimes you go with who you like, not what you are supposed to do.

Best pick: Colby Rasmus/Jonathan Sanchez—Rasmus bats in one of the best spots in all of baseball and Sanchez should have around 15 wins with 200 Ks.

Reach: Nick Swisher—Always gets hot for a week and then goes away for a month.

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