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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

2010 Louisville Sluggers

Do you live vicariously through my fantasy baseball teams and didn't get enough information from my recent post on the Bolts from the Blue of the Hardy House League? If you are among those readers, then let me tell you now about the Louisville Sluggers of the Original Bitnet Fantasy Baseball League.

The OBFLB crowns champions for both the "A" first half and "B" second half of the baseball season, divided by the All Star game. For obvious reason, I can only report results of the draft in preparation for the first half season. As I describe the team, keep in mind that the OBFLB is a 24 team head-to-head fantasy baseball league using 10 categories: HR, SB, batting average, runs produced average, plate appearances, innings pitched, wins, saves, ERA and "ratio."

Here are the 2010 Sluggers (players in red were retained from 2009). Since I retained 14 players, I started the draft in round 15:

C: Taylor Teagarden (TEX) (21st round)
1B: Joey Votto (CIN)
2B: Aaron Hill (TOR)
3B: Gordon Beckham (CHX)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
OF: Carlos Beltran (NYM)
OF: Adam Jones (BAL)
OF: Lastings Milledge (PIT) (15th round)
DH: Billy Butler (KC)

SP: Tim Lincecum (SF)
SP: Josh Beckett (BOS)
SP: Rich Harden (TEX)
SP: Ricky Nolasco (FLA)
SP: Jonathan Sanchez (SF)
RP: Rafael Soriano (TB)
RP: Brandon League (SEA) (20th round)
RP: David Robertson (NYY) (23rd round)

C: Ronny Paulino (FLO) (26th round)
C: Derek Norris (WAS) (27th round) (class A)
3B: Alex Gordon (KC) (16th round)
IF: Ty Wiggington (BAL) (19th round)
IF: Willy Aybar (TB) (24th round)
OF: David Murphy (TEX) (17th round)
OF: Justin Maxwell (WAS) (18th round) (AAA)
OF: Felix Pie (BAL) (22nd round)
OF: Ben Francisco (CLE) (28th round)

SP: Wade Davis (TB)
RP: Todd Coffey (MIL) (25th round)

I took so many outfielders because Beltran is injured and I need to find some young five category OFers for the long-term of my team. Milledge, Maxwell, and Pie are all candidates for that role. Because I took so many OFers, I picked Wigginton and Aybar for their ability to cover so many infield positions.

The Norris pick indicates the premium my league puts on talented young prospects, especially at skill positions (C in this case). In other words, I was drafting for the even longer-term future -- or perhaps for a mid-year trade in case I have an injury. Last year, I picked Beckham in the spring and he's now my starting third baseman even though he barely had any time in the minors. Since he's being shifted to second base, however, I picked former hot prospect Gordon as a potential long-term solution for third base.

You may wonder why I have 6 starting pitchings retained in a league that uses only 5 per week. Last season, I made a disastrous pre-season trade, dealing talented SP Josh Johnson (FLA) for RP Chris Perez. When I made the deal, most analysts thought Perez was going to be the closer in St. Louis. Instead, he pitched in AAA Memphis before being traded to Cleveland. Despite that deal, I had a good second half draft in 2009 and thus still had lot of depth at starting pitcher; yet, I couldn't get any value in trade talks for Wade Davis or Rich Harden.

This season, of course, Perez has been named the closer in Cleveland in light of Kerry Wood's latest injury. Sigh.

I'll probably be looking to move one of my starting pitchers, Aaron Hill, and perhaps Carlos Beltran before the second half season begins. My greatest needs are at catcher, outfielder, and potentially relief ace since Soriano's career has been riddled with injury.

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