It’s Fantasy Baseball Time

With the bitter disappointment of my dismal-looking NCAA Tournament brackets still fresh in my mind, I turn my attention to another potentially frustrating hobby – fantasy baseball.

I recently drafted in a 10-team, 5×5 mixed league, and I think I did OK. Here are the 2005 Knife Island Rebels in the order in which they were drafted:

Miguel Tejada, SS – Hard to go wrong here
Roy Oswalt, SP – Ditto
Pedro Martinez, SP – A move to the NL may prolong his career
Hank Blalock, 3B – He’s 23 and only getting better
Adam Dunn, 1B/OF – Promises to run more to go with 35+ homers
Chone Figgins, 2B/3B/OF – Mr. Utility, and hopefully a good source of steals
Richie Sexson, 1B – Power hitter coming off shoulder injury
Mark Mulder, SP – Bad second half last year, but will pitch for NL contender
Mark Prior, SP – Get healthy, dude
Brian Roberts, 2B – Not special, but he’s fast
Paul Konerko, 1B – Led the AL in homers last year
Braden Looper, RP – I needed a closer
Joe Mauer C – If he’s healthy, he’ll be a .300 hitter
Dave Roberts, OF – Old, but fast
Latroy Hawkins, RP – Somebody has to save games for the Cubbies
Mike Adams, RP – Ditto for the Brewers
Rodrigo Lopez, SP – Hey, he’s only my third Oriole
Luis Gonzalez (ARI), OF – I thought I stole him in round 18
Craig Wilson 1B/OF – I know I stole this guy in round 19
Chin-Hui Tsao, RP – OK, this may be a really bad pick
Jason Phillips, C – Thanks to a bad league rule (see Foster, Skip), I needed another catcher
Taduhito Iguchi, 2B – A real sleeper who can hit and run

A few unbiased reviews from fellow league members who clearly have too much time on their hands:

From Star editor Skip Foster

“I like this team. Lots of nice pieces. I’m not sure they quite fit together yet (Figgins has more value playing in the infield; Iguchi is weak as a Utility player), but with some deals and other maneuvering, this could be a title contender.
The only real problem I see on offense is you’ve got two guys that are all steals, no power. It’s hard to make up the power at other positions with Figgins and Roberts hitting 10 HR between them. But, some real strengths here: Catcher — I love Phillips as a late pickup; the left side of IF with Tejada and Blalock is super; Some big time names in the starting rotation. I think Pedro is overvalued, but still nothing to sneeze at. Obviously, if Prior pans out, this will be the best staff in the league. But, if not, and if Mulder hasn’t figured things out, there is some bust potential here.
Relievers are serviceable, but not a strength.
Best pick: Craig Wilson 19.1
Worst pick: Richie Sexson, 7.2 (Hafner is better and was taken more than one round later)
PREDICTION: Title contender”

Drew Loftis, one of my predecessors

“Weak on saves, but otherwise a stout squad. SP looks
good, especially if Mulder and Prior revert to past
form. Batting lineup anchored by Tejada, Blalock,
Dunn, Sexson and Konerko. Has some SB in Figgins and
the Roberts boys (Dave and Brian). Shallow at C, with
Phillips a likely backup. A deal or two away from
being a real contender. If things go right with his
starters, and he finds a way to land a reliable
closer, Knife Island will be a contender. Otherwise,
he’ll be mired in mediocrity.”

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