Draft Pontifications: The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational Edition Part One


The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. You like that? I was trying to come up with an attention-grabbing intro, so I figured I might as well steal my all-time favorite. That’s from Stephen King if you didn’t know. I stole that from the book The Gunslinger, and not that abomination of a Dark Tower movie. Guess I’m still a little bitter about that one. At any rate, I’m the new guy. Greetings to all the Fighting Chance Fantasy readers out there, as well as those who accidentally clicked the wrong link while searching for porn or cat videos.

Normally I write in-season Fantasy Baseball columns, but I figured since draft season is upon us that I’d introduce myself to the Fighting Chance Fantasy universe with a draft-themed column. I remember once being asked to write an article about draft strategies, and I kept thinking about a Mike Tyson quote. When asked about his opponent’s fight strategy, he said “everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.” That’s my second-favorite Mike Tyson quote. My favorite will always be “my offense is impetuous and my defense is impregnable. I will eat your children.” He actually said that. Out loud.

Anyway . . . when it comes to Fantasy Baseball drafting you can have a great plan, but you must be able to react when you get punched in the metaphorical face. During a draft, unexpected/weird/crazy/borderline psychotic things can happen. If you’re locked into any unbreakable set of rules, you’ll more than likely miss significant opportunities. You need to able to adapt your analysis and act accordingly when draft insanity takes over.

Picking a player should not simply be taking the highest rated player on a sheet. Although that can happen, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that if you really believe it’s the best pick. Each draft pick should be the result of a thought process. With that in mind, I decided to look at my own process in making my draft picks for The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational.

I’ve seen people live tweet drafts, but I don’t do the social media thing. I’ll save that rant for another time. As you can probably guess by now, long-form writing is my particular idiom. I’ve also read draft diaries and draft manifestos, but one sounds too much like a cheesy romantic comedy and the other sounds like I should be locked in a cabin with a typewriter somewhere. I figured I’d go with something original-sounding.

In this column, I’m going to give my thoughts for each of my picks in the draft. To break things up, I’ll be writing a separate column for picks 1-10, 11-20, and 21-30. Hopefully, reading this might give you some ideas about how you make your own selections as you prepare for your drafts. Maybe there are some things you can integrate into your own process, maybe there are some things you haven’t considered. Maybe I’m just full of shit. I’m not saying this is the right way to do things; these are just the things I think about during a draft. That’s the beauty and fun of it. Go with what works for you. And if I give you something you can use? Glad I could help. Remember – good artists borrow, but great artists steal.

The draft I’ll be writing about is The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. In its second year, it is hosted on NFBC this season. There are 21 leagues and 315 teams. It’s an All-Star roster of Fantasy Baseball writers, analysts, and broadcasters as team owners. How did I get in? I’m neither confirming nor denying there was a case of scotch, some strippers and whipped cream involved. I’m just kidding. Maybe.

So buckle up, put the kids to bed, hold down the fort and keep the home fires burning. And if I’m not back by dawn, call the President. Jack Burton everybody!

Before we get to the actual draft, here are the whys and wherefores of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational:

THE FORMAT

Since The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational is being hosted on NFBC this year, the leagues are using the NFBC scoring format. It’s 15-team leagues with 5x5 roto scoring. Teams have 30-player rosters with the following positions: 2 C/1 1B/1 2B/1 3B/1 SS/1 MI/1 CI/5 OF/1 UTIL/9 P/7 BN. That’s right; 2 catchers is a thing. Can’t say I’m enthused about it considering the Fantasy talent pool at the C position this year. It’s like the last 15 minutes of Unforgiven. Pretty brutal.

THE RULES

No trades at all. Weekly FAAB waiver wire bidding for free agents ($1,000 season budget). Weekly lineups set Sundays, except hitters may be also swapped on Fridays. No DL spots. Sorry; I meant no IL spots (my MLB terminology cortical implant hasn’t been updated for 2019 yet).

THE DRAFT

Each league has a snake draft. It’s a slow-live draft with 4 hours per pick. Drafts for all leagues started on February 24, 2019. I drew the 1st overall pick in my league, which means back-to-back picks from the second round on. Works for me.

Enough with the introductions; let’s get to it. Here are my picks for rounds 1-10:  

● 1st Pick – Round 1, Pick 1 (#1 Overall): Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

I wanted to be at the turn and I would’ve taken 15, but drafting numero uno gives me the luxury of not having to expend much mental energy on my pick. Why? Because it’s Mike Trout and I’m not going to overthink this. No need to give stats or projections with this one. I’ll take my five-category contributor and do the happy dance. Just shut up and take my money.

● 2nd Pick – Round 2, Pick 15 (#30 Overall): Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, Chicago Cubs

Since I’m not picking again until the end of the 4th round after these next two picks, it’s a lock that all the top tier SPs will be gone before I pick again. I want a top tier SP and I think there’s some still available, so that makes another easy decision. My next two picks will be a combination of the best hitter and SP available.

Since the order of these two picks is really irrelevant, I decided to go with the hitter first because I saw his name first on the draft board. I went with Kris Bryant despite some safer options out there and even though he’s been charged with attempted Fantasy Baseball homicide for the 2018 season. Were Fantasy owners disappointed by Kris Bryant last season? No more than Liam Neeson was disappointed when someone kidnapped his daughter in Taken. I thought he handled it well.

Full disclosure, I’m a Cubs fan. And yes, I was a Cubs fan before 2016. In 2013 and 2014, I was more interested in Kris Bryant’s minor league performance than I was for the rest of the Cubs’ organization. Of course, this was back when the Cubs were still in tanking/rebuilding mode, so most of the Cubs’ MLB players at that time might as well have been wearing “Placeholder” or “Opponent” on their jerseys.

This is not just a homer pick combined with blind optimism, however. Let’s not forget that Kris Bryant was a consensus top-15 pick last year, and many thought he was a steal if you got him at the end of the first round. He’s also only two years removed from becoming the first human in the history of baseball to win College Player of the Year, Minor League Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and MVP in four consecutive seasons.

So why did Kris Bryant’s 2018 performance send Fantasy owners into Ron Burgundy’s glass case of emotion? He got hurt and never fully recovered. Simple as that. He injured his shoulder on a slide and tried to play through it. He wound up on the DL in June, came back too soon, and went back to the DL in July. He altered his swing to try and compensate for the injury, which as any golfer will tell you, really only makes things worse. When he returned from DL in September, you could tell just by watching that he still wasn’t right.

Surgery was deemed unnecessary in the offseason, and Kris Bryant went with rest and rehab instead. Having lived through years of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, you could imagine Cubs fans were a little nervous about Kris Bryant’s health. Kind of like Rick Vaughn was a little nervous after finding out who Mrs. Dorn was.

It’s only one game, but in his first spring training game Kris Bryant launched a monster HR with his normal effortless-looking swing. At least for one day, he looks healthy to me. This is where spring training is actually useful from a Fantasy perspective. Forget the stats; you’re watching how players recover from injury, how position battles work out, and how pitching roles and lineups are determined.

Everything about Kris Bryant screams bounce back season, and the talent is undeniable. This is potential top ten production for the last pick in the second round. Kris Bryant also has eligibility at both 3B and OF this season, and players with multi-position eligibility have added value by creating roster flexibility. Those players create more draft and waiver wire options, and owners are better able to adjust their rosters to injuries during the season.

Is Kris Bryant a risk? Definitely. But often times great reward requires great risk. He just turned 27 in January, and even if 2016 was Kris Bryant’s ceiling, that’s a great looking ceiling. Maybe this blows up in my face, But Kris Bryant has won me Fantasy Baseball championships before. I’m taking the risk. And not just because I’m a Cubs fan.

● 3rd Pick – Round 3, Pick 1 (#31 Overall): Walker Buehler, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

As anticipated due to the continued decrease in top tier MLB SPs, pitching is disappearing in this draft faster than half the universe’s population at end of Infinity War. Don’t worry kids; pretty much everyone will be back (for Endgame at least). There is a greater power out there than the Infinity Gauntlet. Movie studio contracts.

By the time my Round 2-3 picks came up, Max Scherzer (5th overall); Jacob deGrom (10th overall); Chris Sale (11th overall); Blake Snell (22nd overall); Justin Verlander (24th overall); Aaron Nola (25th overall); Gerrit Cole (27th overall); Luis Severino (28th overall); and Corey Kluber (29th overall) were all off the board.

I say Walker Buehler is a tier one SP, and I also think he’s the best SP on the Dodgers. And that was before Clayton Kershaw got shut down with “kind of an arm kind of thing” (Dave Roberts actually said this) which apparently is now “renewed soreness” in his left shoulder. But they still say he’ll be fine. Picture Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House screaming “all is well!” while a riot is going on behind him.

But we’re talking about Walker Buehler here. He’s got a 99 MPH fastball and filthy breaking stuff. After being promoted in May, Walker Buehler finished 2018 with an 8-5/2.62 ERA/0.96 WHIP/151 K stat line in 137.1 IP. He also posted an 0-1/3.80 ERA/0.85 WHIP/29 K line in 23.2 IP during the postseason, including an absolutely dominant start in the World Series. If not for Ronald Acuna and Juan Soto last season, Walker Buehler would’ve been a shoo-in for NL Rookie of the Year.

There are some workload concerns after Walker Buehler doubled his IP from 2017. The Dodgers, however, say he’s going to have no innings restrictions. We’ll see on that one. Walker Buehler has had Tommy John surgery, but that’s hardly a disqualifier anymore. Tommy John surgery has basically become a fashion trend. Everybody gets one. Kind of disturbing actually. But that’s a screed for another time.

Walker Buehler doesn’t turn 25 until July, and he’s a contender for the NL Cy Young this season. He’s pitching for the defending NL champions in a good environment. Although last year was his first MLB season, someone doesn’t pitch like that in the World Series unless they’ve got the goods.

I always try to land an ace SP early in the draft, and I think I’ve got one here.           

● 4th Pick – Round 4, Pick 15 (#60 Overall): Jean Segura, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

The next two picks are a rinse and repeat of the strategy for the last two. Best Hitter and SP available. Pitching continues to fly off the board, and I want another solid SP to build up the pitching categories. On the hitting side, I wanted another player who can contribute SBs.

SBs are becoming Fantasy Baseball’s version of unobtainium. I’ll be writing a draft column about lower-ranked players who can generate SBs where I’ll discuss the extinction of the stolen base. You may not like it, but it’s just the way it is. If I’m choosing between two hitters to draft and everything else is equal, I’m most likely going with the guy with better speed. Power is everywhere. 20 HRs is the new 10. Speed, however, is disappearing faster than a high schooler when the cops show up.

Jean Segura may not be a sexy pick, but he’s got speed and consistently provides good production across the board. In the last three years, Jean Segura hit at least .300 AVG/80 R/10 HR/20 SB every season. He’s also had at least 20 SBs the last six seasons. In 2018, he was one of only six hitters with a .300 AVG and 20-plus steals.

Jean Segura has elite contact skills, and going from Seattle to Philadelphia should improve his power numbers. He’s also going to hit in a lineup which went from dangerous to downright terrifying with the addition of Bryce Harper. There’s a possible .300 AVG/100 R/20 HR/25 SB season here depending on lineup positioning.

What’s most important to me, however, is that Jean Segura not only contributes SBs, but he also provides solid numbers in other categories. Drafting Billy Hamilton might put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to SBs, but he’s giving you nothing else. I may not dominate the SB category, but I should be competitive without having to sacrifice the others. Gimme those counting stats.

● 5th Pick – Round 5, Pick 1 (#61 Overall): Jose Berrios, SP, Minnesota Twins

Like Jean Segura, this is another less-than-sexy pick. Just like Jean Segura, however, Jose Berrios should provide solid production in multiple categories. I’m looking for numbers, not big names.

You might worry about Jose Berrios getting Ws pitching for the Twins, but there’s an axiom when it comes to Fantasy Baseball pitching: “Chase skills, not wins/saves.” Wins and saves are subject to things beyond a pitcher’s control. Pitchers with solid skills, however, produce in the other categories even when the wins and saves aren’t there.

And I’m actually not all that worried about Jose Berrios getting Jacob deGrom’d (to prove my point, he only went 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA in 32 starts in 2018) this season. The Twins have some interesting pieces and could be sneaky-good this year, and Jose Berrios gets the added benefit of pitching in the AL Central. Have you checked out the AL Central this season? You’ve got three teams with 64 wins or less last season, and Cleveland doesn’t exactly look like an offensive juggernaut. Seriously, name someone in that Indians lineup other than Francisco Lindor (who’s injured) and Jose Ramirez. Go ahead, I’ll wait. The rest of that lineup is as barren as the planet Arrakis. Fair warning for everyone involved with the new Dune movie – this is holy scripture as far as the fanboys and girls are concerned. Things can get really ugly. Just saying.

As for the skills, Jose Berrios improved his K/9 rate from 8.6 to 9.5 last season, improved his swinging strike rate to 12%, and showed decent control. He struggled some in the second half, but that can be explained as fatigue from his first full MLB season. Jose Berrios finished 2018 with a 12-11/3.84 ERA/1.14 WHIP/202 K line in 192.1 IP. There’s a lot to like there.

Jose Berrios has solid skills, and he turns 25 in May. He’s still improving, and the 192.1 IP last season demonstrates durability. I think I’m in good shape with my #1 and #2 SPs.

● 6th Pick – Round 6, Pick 15 (#90 Overall): Nicholas Castellanos, OF, Detroit Tigers

It’s getting a little repetitive, but I’m going best available hitter and SP again. Since it’s roto, I wanted to stockpile pitching early. That’s not a problem for me since I’m also in a daily league where that happens every year. Like a golfer having local course knowledge, it’s good to know the tendencies of your different drafts.

After the risk I took with Kris Bryant, I’ve been looking for players with stable health and production. Nicholas Castellanos fits the bill.

He’s not an exciting selection on draft day, but Nicholas Castellanos is just a good hitter. He might be Edward Scissorhands defensively, but that really doesn’t matter in Fantasy Baseball. For the last two seasons he’s been consistently productive in every offensive category except SBs.

Since Nicholas Castellanos is currently consigned to the baseball purgatory known as the Detroit Tigers, you may not have noticed his last two seasons. Don’t worry; you can’t be blamed for that. After losing 98 games in each of the last two seasons, watching Tigers baseball is probably a form of criminal punishment in some countries.

Despite the less than ideal circumstances, Nicholas Castellanos has become a solid Fantasy Baseball asset. His .298 AVG/88 R/23 HR/89 RBI/2 SB stat line in 2018 was his second straight season with 20+ HR and 80+ RBI (101 in 2017), to go along with a .280 career AVG. He has a stable 75% contact rate and always hits the ball hard. It might seem like he’s been around forever, but Nicholas Castellanos just turned 27. He’s entering his prime and still improving.

You might worry about his stats being depressed on a bad team, but it’s not like he’s been playing for the 1927 Yankees the last two seasons, and he still put up strong numbers. It’s also more likely than not he gets traded to a better situation at some point this season. Nicholas Castellanos may not be a superstar, but he’s another contributor in multiple categories.

● 7th Pick – Round 7, Pick 1 (#91 Overall): Zack Wheeler, SP, New York Mets

Remember when Zack Wheeler when a top prospect? I sure do. As the Mets have demonstrated in the last few years, stockpiling pitching prospects is a much riskier proposition than accumulating hitting prospects. It’s kind of like DC movies. Sound good on paper, but can backfire spectacularly. In the after-credit scenes of Deadpool 2, Ryan Reynolds pretty well sums up everyone’s feelings on Green Lantern.

For several years, Zack Wheeler looked yet another pitching prospect cautionary tale. Drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft, Zack Wheeler was a top pitching prospect when he was traded to the Mets in 2011. He looked like a future star when he finished his first full MLB season in 2014 with an 11-11/3.54 ERA/1.33 WHIP/187 K stat line in 185.1 IP.

And then (cue ominous music) Zack Wheeler got bit by the injury bug. Repeatedly. He had Tommy John surgery in 2015, and didn’t pitch at all in 2015 or 2016. In 2017, Zack Wheeler hit the DL in June with tendinitis and went back on the DL for the rest of the season in July with a stress reaction in his right arm.

He was healthy in 2018, but started the season in the minors and had a 5.40 ERA in his first nine starts for the Mets after being recalled in April. In his last 20 starts, however, Zack Wheeler was just as good as Jacob deGrom, if not better. In those 20 starts, Zack Wheeler posted a 10-3/2.52/0.99 WHIP/126 K line in 132.1 IP.

So, what flipped the switch? Better control was definitely a factor (2.2 BB/9 in the second half compared to 3.2 in the first half), but I think it was mostly mental. For the first time in years, Zack Wheeler was healthy again and it took some time for him to trust his body and relax. His velocity is back up to 95-96 MPH, and an 11% swinging strike ratio shows the Ks are no fluke.

The health is definitely a concern, but this is another of those risks with a great potential reward. If he can stay healthy and maintain his improved control, Zack Wheeler has the talent to be a top 20 SP, and his total 182.1 IPs last season hopefully demonstrate all is well on the health front. This could be one of those feel-good baseball redemption stories, and I’ll take a chance on that.

● 8th Pick – Round 8, Pick 15 (#120 Overall): Kirby Yates, RP, San Diego Padres

Yup, it’s closer time! Can you tell how excited I am at the prospect of spending one of my first ten picks on an RP? In case you can’t detect the sarcasm, I’m laying it on pretty thick.

Normally, closers are like kickers in Fantasy Football for me. They’re fungible goods; one is essentially the same as another. No matter how talented a closer might be, SV opportunities are subject to all kinds of factors beyond their control. Every season, some random closer drafted in the last round or picked up off the waiver wire winds up one of the top SV guys in MLB. For example, anyone who predicted Blake Treinen would tie Kenley Jansen with 38 SVs last season raise your hand. Anyone? If you raised your hand, you’re a dirty rotten liar. Not to mention the annual trading deadline bloodbath where good closers on lousy teams become setup guys on contenders.

Trying to predict SVs is like to trying to predict the next big reality tv/game show. It just doesn’t work. Seriously, who in their right mind would’ve predicted the Masked Singer? I never watched it and I don’t get it. It’s basically a televised game of “guess who’s under the mask?” That’s it, right? Is the next big thing going to be a celebrity version of “guess how many fingers I’m holding up behind my back?”

Sorry about that. I’m bitter about the continued decline of quality scripted tv. I figured since I was ranting about closers, I might as well get in a two-for-one. But I digress. In auction drafts, I never pay more than single digits for a closer. In most leagues, I’ll wait until after the draft to grab at least one closer off the waiver wire. In a 15-team roto league, I really can’t go that route. You can’t just punt a category in roto, and 12 closers are already off the board in this draft. There are 30 MLB teams out there. You do the math.

That’s not to say I’m reaching just to take a closer, however. Like I said before, when it comes to pitching: “Chase skills, not wins/saves.” I like what Kirby Yates brings, and where I’m drafting him is appropriate based on his ADP.

Although Kirby Yates didn’t take over as the Padres’ closer until Brad Hand was traded last season, his 12.9 K/9 was certainly closer-worthy. The Ks are backed up by a ridiculous 17% swinging strike rate. He might only have limited experience closing games, but he’s got a dominant splitter and he finished 2017 with 42 Ks in his last 25.1 IP.

The real risk with Kirby Yates heading into this season was him getting traded at the deadline if the Padres weren’t going anywhere. I’m guessing that’s not going to happen now since the Padres are looking a little more competitive this season. I heard they signed some free agent or something.

● 9th Pick – Round 9, Pick 1 (#121 Overall): Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals

I was going to talk about why Salvador Perez was a good pick here, but now I get to lament the perils of drafting this early in the season. Normally, I prefer to draft as close to the start of the season as possible so that position battles have been resolved, pitching roles and lineups have been determined, and something else. What is it? Oh yeah, so I know who’s been injured in spring training. I might be a little bitter right now.

This draft started on Sunday, February 24. When I drafted Salvador Perez on Tuesday, there wasn’t a peep anything was wrong. According to a statement by the Royals, he suffered an arm injury during a workout on Wednesday, and an MRI revealed UCL damage. As of March 3, Tommy John surgery and a missed season is predicted. Salvador Perez is apparently getting a second opinion, but when it comes to arm injuries that roughly translates into “kiss of death.” Since the injury, Salvador Perez went from the third-ranked C on RotoWire to 61st.      

I learned this while I was working on this column. Give me a minute to look on helplessly and then shake my fists at the baseball gods. Maybe for an encore I’ll get struck by lightning or impaled by a corked-up bat. This is definitely not a good omen for me this season. Considering the lack of depth at the C position and the draft capital I’ve already expended, I might be in deep shit now. Just maybe.

Ok, enough self-pity. That’s Fantasy Baseball and that’s life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about that for a while. The key here is not to panic. I’ll just rant for a minute and then deal with it. Oh wait, I just did that. Who knew this column would be therapeutic?

If Salvador Perez is out for the season, which looks likely as this column is being finished, I figure I can at least show some love for the six-time All Star and 2015 World Series MVP with the write-up I had planned:

I can’t remember the last time I drafted a closer and a catcher during the first ten rounds of a draft. It made sense, here, however. Closers are flying off board and the C position is dreck from a Fantasy Baseball standpoint. Have you seen the C projections this year? Yikes. I think a shambling corpse from the Walking Dead is a backup catcher somewhere. And I still have to draft another C in this 2-catcher format. Good times.

This is not to suggest that I’m drafting these guys based solely on positional scarcity. I think that’s a panic move to be avoided. Both of these players are at or near the average ADP I had for them (Yates – 129.4; Perez – 117.6). I’m still getting good value here, but I’ve also factored in the realities of this particular draft when looking at remaining available players.

Salvador Perez isn’t just a good C with power, he’s a decent overall hitter. He’s always made solid contact, and he’s improved his HR total every season. In 2018, he was tied for 15th in AL HRs with 27 and was just outside the top 20 in RBI. 

The .235 AVG last year is a red flag, but the career-low .245 BABIP (.283 career) suggests some bad luck. Even if the best-case scenario for Salvador Perez this season is a .260 AVG, I’ve already drafted some consistent AVG hitters (Trout, Segura, Castellanos) to offset that. Like the Force, it’s all about balance.

Also, don’t forget the overall MLB AVG in 2018 was .248. You read that right. This might make me sound old, but I can remember when an AVG below .275 was basically disqualifying from a Fantasy Baseball standpoint. And get off my lawn. Considering the state of the C position this year, a top-3 C who can actually contribute is worth a ninth-round pick in my opinion.

Looking at this now, I’m sad all over again. Just give me another minute. Woosah. That’s better.

● 10th Pick – Round 10, Pick 15 (#150 Overall): Eric Hosmer, 1B, San Diego Padres

I like where I’m sitting with pitching, so the next two picks are going to be best hitters available.

If you’re a Padres fan, you’re either laughing hysterically or unleashing a stream of obscenities at this pick. It’s ok, you have the right to be bitter. Signed to an eight-year, $144 million contract by the Padres last February, Eric Hosmer didn’t exactly live up to expectations. With a .253 AVG/72 R/18 HR/69 RBI/7 SB stat line for 2018, you can understand why Eric Hosmer voodoo doll night replaced bobblehead night as a promotion. I’m just kidding about that. I think.

There is hope for the Padres faithful, however. Was that a pun? Discuss. Anyway, if you look at Eric Hosmer’s career numbers, you notice something strange. Here is Eric Hosmer’s AVG each year since his MLB debut.

YEAR   AVG

2011    .293

2012    .232

2013    .302

2014    .270

2015    .297

2016    .266

2017    .318

2018    .253

Anyone else notice a pattern? In even-numbered years, Eric Hosmer has a roughly .255 AVG. In odd-numbered years, it’s .302. There’s no logical explanation for this, but this is baseball. Logic doesn’t always enter into the equation. By the way, is this an even or odd-numbered year? Just asking.

In addition, Eric Hosmer is only one year removed from consecutive 25 HR seasons. He can provide a few SBs, is usually solid in Rs, and the RBI total should improve. He’s still 29, and doesn’t turn 30 until October. The Padres should be better offensively this year, and Eric Hosmer should benefit from the lineup protection provided by the Padres’ new free agent acquisition. What was that guy’s name? I think it started with a “M” or something?

Eric Hosmer may never live up to that contract, but it’s not his fault the Padres paid him. He can be a solid contributor, and his history points to a rebound this year. I’ll take that chance with the 150th pick.

 

So there you have my first ten picks in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. I went more pitching heavy than usual, but that is what the ebb and flow of this particular draft dictated. There’s no question MLB has way more hitting depth than pitching depth right now. It’s a natural byproduct off the modern Moneyball/chicks dig the long ball MLB offensive philosophy. I’m curious to see if the draft will swing back towards hitting in later rounds.

As for the Salvador Perez injury, I just got punched in the face like I discussed at the beginning (and maybe kicked in the nuts as well). I’ve still got 20 picks to go, however, so I better get over it in a hurry. As Woody Harrelson so aptly put it in Zombieland, it’s time to nut up or shut up.

Tune in next time when I cover my picks 11-20 in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. Like an episode of Rick and Morty I have no idea where this is going, but it should be interesting.

Until next time, it’s all in the reflexes.


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