In previous years, I’ve been the owner of three to five fantasy baseball teams. It was to the point where I couldn’t keep track of my players well enough, so this year I decided to focus on only one team. So far, it’s been a pretty good year, and I wanted to give you a glimpse of my team’s make up and how I’ve found success in a very mediocre league (I think half of the league doesn’t even check their teams on a daily, not even weekly, basis).
If you don’t know how fantasy teams run, here’s a run down. Basically at the beginning of each season, you draft a certain amount of players in order to fill up your roster (the order of the draft is randomized, or so it seems…). For the most common type of play (head to head), teams face off each week, rotating around the league. A team can win each statistical category (strikeouts, pitcher’s wins, total runs, total home runs, batting average, etc.) and this score is tallied up at the end of the week to give an idea of which team is statistically better than the other. And there you have it.
Here’s who I drafted at the beginning of the season:
I’ll admit that some of these picks (okay, a lot) were pretty far-fetched from hindsight. But I think I had a solid core of hitters (Longoria, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Pena) to build around, along with two stellar aces (Jon Lester, King Felix). For reference, this is not how my team looked like on opening day. For starters, I got rid of a lot of the lower picks and picked up on waivers guys like Adam Jones (surprisingly, and ended up being an All-star), Edwin Jackson (another all-star pitcher) and Rafael Soriano. It might have just been luck to have grabbed these three solid players, or skill (you decide). But honestly, you really do get lucky or not in fantasy baseball. Things could go so wrong for you, or very right. It was just one of those years where I won on the waiver wires (which is a place you can add players not already owned by other teams).
I also believe I made two very critical trades towards the mid-season mark. As you can see, I drafted three first basemen. Obviously I can only play two of them at the most, so I used Votto as trade bait. I got one team to give me a solid closer (Francisco Cordero) and a young, somewhat streaky pitcher in Jered Weaver. Luckily for me, tides turned and Votto ended up being injured for a month, while Weaver gave me really great outings in June and half of July, while Cordero gave me clutch saves.
Another trade I made gave away my number one pick, Jose Reyes, who had not played in 3 months. Having given up on a really great, but injured player, I needed a solid catcher. Luckily I traded for a young guy named Pablo Sandoval (the Panda Bear of the Giants) who doesn’t even play catcher, but he’s eligible for the position. Catcher is a really interesting position. I feel like drafting a catcher high is really a waste, when there isn’t much variation in a catcher besides the top 2, or 3. Thus, why waste a top 10 pick when you can grab a solid pitcher? Anyways, what’s good about guys like Sandoval is that he can play catcher, but in real life he’s an infielder, which allows him to mentally and physically focus more on his offensive game.
So now I’m in the playoffs, in a heated semifinals match up with my friend Josiah. So far, I’m winning 7-3, hopefully I have enough to get through the week. Maybe I’ll write more later about what I think fantasy baseball should look like in the near future.