Yesterday’s annual drubbing of the NL by the AL marked the unofficial halfway point of the season. Remarkably, Seattle Reign sits atop the league with a 4-point lead and holds a substantial lead in the runs and RBIs categories. Still, it’s early.
Here’s how my draft picks have turned out to date (by position):
Catcher | Rnd 4 – Geovany Soto; Rnd 13 – Chris Iannetta
Neither of these guys has been spectacular. Iannetta got off to a worse start than Soto and in late April I managed to trade him for Johnny Damon to a team that was about to lose Brian McCann to a scary-sounding eye surgery. McCann turned out to be fine post-surgery and Damon has more than made up for Soto’s disappointing contribution, posting a .282/12/34 line with 4 steals on the days I’ve started him.
First Base | Rnd 1 – Albert Pujols; Rnd 6 – Chris Davis
I haven’t benched Albert yet; can’t imagine I will this season. His 10 SBs have been a surprising and welcome bonus. Davis turned out to be a total bust and serious overdraft. I had hoped he’d be Adam Dunn with an average north of .250. Instead he’s ended up somewhere between Rob Deer and Pete Incaviglia and has been reassigned to AAA Oklahoma City.
Second Base | Rnd 2 – Dustin Pedroia; Rnd 19 – Kelly Johnson
Pedroia is putting together another great campaign, justifying his high draft rank. Johnson was ok as an off-day sub for Pedroia. In late April I dropped him and picked up Brandon Phillips who was dropped by an impatient manager after a he got out to a slow start.
Shortstop | Rnd 5 – Stephen Drew; Rnd 20 – Ryan Theriot
Drew was another slow (and injured) starter this year, but Theriot more than filled the void, doubling his career HR total by blasting 7 in the first half while also stealing 8 and batting .302 (when I started him). Drew has come around lately and seems to be healthy so I’ll probably go with him as my starter the rest of the way, but Theriot is a good insurance policy.
Third Base | Rnd 6 – Chris Davis; Rnd 16 – Adrian Beltre
As noted above, Davis was a bust. Beltre, too, was unimpressive before heading to the DL. I brought in Mike Lowell for a while before his health deteriorated. Now Casey Blake is filling the roster spot. I’m hoping he’ll be slightly better than projected if he continues to hit behind Manny.
Outfield | Rnd 3 – Nick Markakis; Rnd 8 – Jermaine Dye; Rnd 10 – Raul Ibanez; Rnd 12 – Vernon Wells
Markakis was a good choice, but I’d hoped for more HRs. Historically he’s had strong 2nd halves, so here’s to hoping that trend continues. Dye has met every expectation, I just hope his legs hold up for the rest of the season. Raul was an absolute steal at 100th overall. He was challenging Albert with Triple-Crown numbers until he went down with an injury. He seems to be back and healthy, so I’m not too concerned. Vernon Wells has been somewhat disappointing in the R/HR/RBI departments and hasn’t figured out how to hit while playing at home. He’s been a bit better (on the road) lately, but I’m not starting him unless the matchup is seriously tilted in his favor.
I drafted Dice-K in the 6th round. Oops. He’s long since been dropped. King Felix seems to finally be pitching to his fullest potential. Oswalt has put up respectable WHIP and ERA numbers but has been unlucky in the wins category. Ted Lilly and Adam Wainwright are doing fine and striking out more than their fair share.
I picked up Chad Qualls in the 14th round. He’s been ok, great when he’s on, and horrific when he’s not. Over the course of the season I also managed to pick up Ryan Franklin and David Aardsma, both of whom have matched Qualls’ save numbers since joining my squad.
I already noted my lopsided Iannetta-for-Damon trade that has paid dividends, and my stroke of luck in picking up Brandon Phillips. Other helpful post-draft pick-ups have included Mark Buehrle (6 wins, low WHIP and ERA), and Manny Ramirez just a couple weeks before he returned from suspension (.379/3/9 for me so far). With Soto heading to the DL for at least a month, I’ve picked up Ryan Doumit, who recently returned from injury. Doumit did well for me last year, so I’m hoping he has a productive and healthy 2nd half.
My league lead is far from secure. I streamed pitchers during April and May and as a result I’ve already eaten up 950 of my 1250 innings for the season. Unfortunately, my Wins, Saves, and Strikeouts aren’t disproportionately high, so I’ve got to focus on productive outings (earning a W or a Save) with low WHIP and ERA (3.80/1.27 team WHIP and ERA so far) if I’m going to avoid bottoming out on the bullpen side of things. Offensively, I’ve got a good shot of running away with Runs, HRs, and RBIs if Albert, Raul, and Manny stay healthy. I should also be able to boost my .281 team batting average, so hopefully those gains will counteract my inevitable decline in pitching.
Looking forward to October!