Auto Draft Strategy 1: The Low Maintenance Team

By at 8 March, 2009, 1:13 pm

David Wright - AP Photo/Ed Betz

As indicated in my last post, I’m auto-drafting two teams in Yahoo Fantasy Baseball. Here’s the first team, which I hope to run largely on auto-pilot this year.

I’m really happy with this draft. My opinion is there are few question marks and the scoring needs are pretty obvious. Here is the auto-drafted roster.

  • Catcher: Bengie Molina (2008: 46 Runs, 16 HR’s, 85 RBI, 0 SB, .292 BA)
  • First Base: Lance Berkman (2008: 114 Runs, 29 HR’s, 106 RBI, 18 SB, .312 BA)
  • Second Base: Robinson Cano (2008: 70 Runs, 14 HR’s, 72 RBI, 2 SB, .271 BA)
  • Third Base: David Wright (2008: 115 Runs, 33 HR’s, 124 RBI, 15 SB, .302 BA)
  • Short Stop: Miguel Tejada (2008: 92 Runs, 13 HR’s, 66 RBI, 7 SB, .283 BA)
  • Outfield 1: Jason Bay (2008: 111 Runs, 31 HR’s, 101 RBI, 10 SB, .286 BA)
  • Outfield 2: Curtis Granderson (2008: 112 Runs, 22 HR’s, 66 RBI, 12 SB, .280 BA)
  • Outfield 3: Adam Dunn (2008: 79 Runs, 40 HR’s, 100 RBI, 2 SB, .236 BA)
  • Utility Player: Adrian Gonzalez (2008: 103 Runs, 36 HR’s, 119 RBI, 0 SB, .279 BA)
  • Starting Pitcher 1: Scott Kazmir (2008: 12 Wins, 0 Saves, 166 K’s, 3.49 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
  • Starting Pitcher 2: Brandon Morrow (2008: 3 Wins, 10 Saves, 75 K’s, 3.34 ERA, 1.14 WHIP)
  • Relief Pitcher 1: Mariano Rivera (2008: 6 Wins, 39 Saves, 77 K’s, 1.40 ERA, 0.67 WHIP)
  • Relief Pitcher 2: Jose Valverde (2008: 6 Wins, 44 Saves, 83 K’s, 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
  • Pitcher 1: Matt Capps (2008: 2 Wins, 21 Saves, 39 K’s, 3.02 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)
  • Pitcher 2: Chris Carpenter (2008: 0 Wins, 0 Saves, 7 K’s, 1.76 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
  • Pitcher 3: Ted Lilly (2008: 17 Wins, 0 Saves, 184 K’s, 4.09 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
  • Bench Player 1: Pablo Sandoval (2008: 24 Runs, 3 HR’s, 24 RBI, 0 SB, .345 BA)
  • Bench Player 2: Xavier Nady (2008: 76 Runs, 25 HR’s, 97 RBI, 2 SB, .305 BA)
  • Bench Player 3: Ian Stewart (2008: 33 Runs, 10 HR’s, 41 RBI, 1 SB, .259 BA)
  • Bench Player 4: Melvin Mora (2008: 77 Runs, 23 HR’s, 104 RBI, 3 SB, .285 BA)
  • Bench Player 5: Cameron Maybin (2008: 9 Runs, 0 HR’s, 2 RBI,4 SB, .500 BA)

The Positives
Barring injuries, this team has a great blend of power, run scoring and run producing potential. 8 of 9 hitters figure to hit in the top half of their respective lineups. My three closers have incredible job security going in and Scott Kazmir – my top starting pitcher – has the highest WHIP of the entire pitching staff (I’ll throw Carpenter out of the discussion since he did not even pitch 20 innings).

I’ll end up juggling the catcher position between Molina and Sandoval and have Dunn available to backup OF, 1B and UTIL; all positions I like having a solid HR and RBI contribution from. Sandoval will also provide depth at 1B and 3B, so all I really need is depth in the middle infield for security purposes. Since Sandoval is C eligible but really plays first or third, I also will not lose potential AB’s from the C position as well (assuming he hits well of course).

I’m hoping Robinson Cano bounces back from a relatively disappointing 2008. If he comes closer to his 2007 scoring line (and everyone else stays consistent from last year), he could be a steal as my 8th round pick. Finally, it’s just my preference, but I enjoy having a solid HR/RBI guy in the Utility Position and was really happy to get Gonzalez when Yahoo had already given me Berkman for 1B.

The Negatives
Injuries could kill this team’s pitching staff. There is no guarantee Carpenter will last an entire season and Brandon Morrow already has tightness in his forearm (I sense an elbow injury by mid-season). Kazmir, Valverde and Capps could all implode at some point as well.

I’m weak in the stolen base department and am counting on Cameron Maybin to develop rather quickly. Also, I’m not a Tejada fan but hope he does just enough to not damage any categories I need him for – runs, RBI and average, with around 15 – 20 HR’s.

Finally, my hope in decent seasons for Cano and Sandoval may not end up happening. Cano could continue to regress and Sandoval (and Maybin) are largely unknown quantities right now; neither with a history of ML experience. Things could go really bad for them, really quickly.

The Needed Adjustments
Here’s how I foresee running this roster in 2009:

  • I’ll need to pick up a starting pitcher at some point early on. Experience says that you need 5 decent starting pitchers to remain competitive. Kelvim Escobar is a free agent and may be worth waiting for (and plugging into my DL slot) in May.
  • I’m actually going to bench Adam Dunn in favor of Cameron Maybin to start the year, using Dunn for OF and UTIL substitutions. only I’m not willing to chance Dunn’s BA and believe I have enough power to compensate. Also, I need Maybin’s stolen base potential. If Maybin does not work out I may need to field trade offers, but am not going to worry about that for at least a couple months.
  • More than likely I will make 2 – 3 initial moves. That includes dropping Melvin Mora for a starting pitcher, replacing Ian Stewart for a backup that is eligible at 2B and SS (Lopez if currently available) and either trying to trade Nady or replace him with a shutdown reliever at some point early on in the year.

Other than the moves above, I feel this team is ready to go and has the right blend of talent to win this season. What do you think about this fantasy baseball roster?

Categories : 2009 Fantasy Baseball | Draft Strategies
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  • orleanscardinals

    A few updates from March:

    Knowing that I needed help with pitching, I dropped Xavier Nady for Kelvim Escobar and Ian Stewart for Wandy Rodriguez. Dropping Nady may have been a mistake.

    On March 19th I dropped Melvin Mora to pick up Jason Motte, however I am considering other options now that Brandon Morrow may slide into the closing role in Seattle.

  • orleanscardinals

    Update: 4/11/2009: I picked up Justin Verlander and hope he can become my 5th starter (Carpenter, Kazmir, Lilly and then I’ll choose 2 from Wandy Rodriguez, Kelvim Escobar and Verlander)

    I dropped Motte for Scott Downs. Hope this will be my last move with relief pitching, barring injury

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