2006 Out Of Our League
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Last updated: 19 March 2006

Off-season Moves

It was a pretty brutal off-season, as keeper years were in short supply and quite costly. I managed to trade Morgan Ensberg for the years I really needed, and turned a 12th-round pick into one more.

My big decision was whether to keep prospects like Carlos Quentin and Tom Gorzelanny or not, but I decided that my core keepers are strong enough that I need to be making runs now, not spending too much energy building for the future. So when the fust had settled, I ended up keeping the following players:

This is a very strong nucleus of young star players, although I got my first "uh-oh" today with a rumor that Bonderman is "feeling something" in his elbow. But clearly it's my offense which is going to carry the day so I think I can weather it if he goes down. But hopefully not.

Draft day is soon... wish me luck!

My strategy going into the draft was pretty simple: My infield rocks, so I wanted to get one of the top starting catchers and 4 starting pitchers with my first five picks. After that I'd start filling my outfield and bullpen. After 10 hours of drafting, here's what I ended up with:

Pos Player Team Round/
Age Comments
C Jason Varitek BOS 1/13 34
C John Buck KCA 10/157 25
1B Albert Pujols SLN Keeper 26
2B Marcus Giles ATL Keeper 28
2B Jose Castillo PIT 21/331 25
3B/OF Miguel Cabrera FLO Keeper 23
3B Edwin Encarnacion CIN Keeper 23
SS Jhonny Peralta CLE Keeper 24
SS Jack Wilson PIT 19/301 28
OF Milton Bradley OAK 4/61 28
OF Jeremy Reed SEA 7/109 25
OF Aaron Rowand PHI 9/141 28
OF Casey Blake CLE 17/269 32
1B/DH Adrian Gonzalez SDN 12/184 24
SP Brett Myers PHI Keeper 25
SP Jeremy Bonderman DET Keeper 22
SP Ryan Madson PHI Keeper 25
SP Javier Vazquez CHA 2/29 29
SP Matt Clement BOS 3/45 31
SP Derek Lowe LAN 5/77 33
SP Jeff Suppan SLN 6/93 31
SP Claudio Vargas ARI 18/265 28
RP Juan Rincon MIN 22/345 27
RP Ryan Dempster CHN 15/237 29
RP Ricky Nolasco FLO 14/221 23 Starter filling a bullpen role to start the year
IN Miguel Montero ARI 20/319 24 C Prospect
IN Gerald Laird TEX 24/371 26
IN Gary Matthews Jr. TEX 25/382 31
IN Chris Young ARI 8/125 23 OF Prospect
IN Brad Snyder CLE 20/317 24 OF Prospect
IN Cody Haerther SLN 26/392 23 OF Prospect
IN Alexander Romero MIN 27/398 23 OF Prospect
IN Zack Greinke KCA 23/359 22
SP Tom Gorzelanny PIT 16/253 23 SP Prospect
IN Mike Pelfrey NYN 28/404 22 SP Prospect

My first big decision came in the first round: I had hoped to draft one of Jason Varitek, Jorge Posada, Kenji Johjima or Mark Buehrle, but was prepared in case all four of them were drafted before my first pick (13th overall). The league often has a run on catchers in the first round, so imagine my surprise when all four players were available for my first pick! I dithered a little between Johjima and Varitek, but decided that my "win now" strategy required that I draft the best-hitting catcher I could, which I judged to be Varitek.

Then I turned to the pitchers. Buehrle went well before my second pick, and the quality dropped rapidly. I had a choice among Clement, Livan Hernandez, Barry Zito and Doug Davis for my third-round pick, and I chose Clement who at least throws hard. I may regret that.

Quality outfielders disappeared in a big hurry, hence my pick of Bradley in the 4th round. I like Bradley a lot, and I hope his untapped potential might result in a career year now that I think he's landed in a pretty good situation in Oakland.

My rotation overall is a lot weaker than I'd hoped, which is disappointing. It seemed like pitching depth was very shallow this year, or maybe I just drafted poorly. My rotation seems like it has more downside than upside, that I drafted more to avoid sucking than to excel.

My outfield is the opposite: A lot of upside, but not a lot of proven value. Bradley and Reed are both servicible at worst, but I like them both for their potential to break out. A lot of my other outfielders are of the "lot a lot of secondary skills, but they can mash" variety, which I think is the best hedge for 4th and 5th outfielders, and if they have a good year in the batting average category, then so much the better!

I have an interesting slate of outfield prospects, and a couple of pitching prospects I like a lot. I'm also hopeful that the Rangers will replace Rod Barajas with Gerald Laird sooner rather than later.

Overall it's not a world-beating team, I'm afraid. But hopefully my superstars will help me make a run.

hits since 6 April 2006.

Home Email me © 2006 Michael Rawdon (rawdon@leftfield.org) http://www.leftfield.org/~rawdon/