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Wednesday, March 23, 2005


What can I say? The baseball season begins in less than two weeks and I've been staying up late working on my fantasy drafts. It undermines my political blogging.

In fact, one draft is already underway.

Today, I picked Colorado Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe. I've never really had a regular Rockies player on my fantasy team as they are quite valued and are rarely released into the free agent pool. Coors Stadium inflates offense about 20%, so a good hitter looks like a great hitter in the mountains.

Last year, in AAA Colorado Springs, Hawpe hit .315 with 28 homers in only 314 ABs. He doesn't have a lot of speed, but seems like a great bet for lots of offense if he wins the starting job. Recent reports suggest he's going to platoon with Dustan Mohr, but Hawpe is the left-hander and will see most of the plate appearances against the league's predominantly right handed pitching.

Hawpe was born a couple of months after I graduated from high school (baseball is a young man's game and can make one feel old). He helped LSU win the College World Series in 2000 and was a second team All-American that year. Hawpe was named MVP of the Series, partly because of his big homer against Mark Prior in the semifinal game.

Oh, I also picked starting pitcher Darrell May today.

Don't laugh.

He's now pitching for San Diego, in PETCO park which reduces scoring by about 20%. It also reduces homers, especially by right handed hitters (by roughly 1/3). May is a lefty and has a big problem with homers. Otherwise, he's a pretty solid pitcher who had a very good year in 2003.

If you want to see the rest of my team, click here. In a 24 team league, I have a nice mix of stars and youngsters.

My other league holds an auction draft on April 10 -- in Chicago.

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