Cory and Mike’s All-Surprise Team for 2006

On today’s show me and Schwartz unveiled our all surprise team for 2006. Below is the lineups with some comments. Tomorrow we give you our all-disappointment team and on Friday the all-fantasy team for 2006.

Feel free to post your team and I will read some postings on the show tomorrow.


C: Cory and I both agreed on Brian McCann (Drafted in 21st rd of listener league)

1B: We both agreed on Ryan Howard. Even though he went in 4th round this kind of year was maybe expected by his grandma and that’s it!

2B: Both agreed on Dan Uggla (On 4/26 was picked up in Listener League and never dropped, but he was undrafted.)

SS: Both agreed on Hanley Ramirez. Insane year period. (He went undrafted but was picked up April 1st)

3B: Cory went with Joe Crede. I went with Freddy Sanchez who was undrafted and did not stay on a roster for good until June 17th. Garret Atkins got honorable mention. (Atkins went in 13th round)

OF: Cory went Raul Ibanez, Gary Matthews Jr. and Jermaine Dye. I agreed on Dye who amazingly went in the 17th round, but I took Michael Cuddyer and Cory Patterson. Maybe a reach on Patterson, but he 40 steals is 40 steals.

SP: We both agreed on Chien- Ming Wang who amazingly did not become a full timer in Listener League until July 28th! My second starter was 24th rounder Justin Verlander. Cory packaged Jason Jennings and Jeff Francis for their success in Coors.

Closer: Cory went with Papelbon (25th round). I went with Joe Borowski (20th round). Once Papelbon got the job officially I thought he would not lose it. Borowski I was shocked to see do so well and stay on the Marlins.

Utility: Frank Thomas.

Cory’s biggest surprise was Ryan Howard. Mine was Hanley Ramirez.



In a 9 team 8×8 mixed I got Howard in the 11th round and Dye in the 17th….which saved me cause my number one pick was Derek Lee!!!! winning the league by 8.5 points in the last week…team name Fistacuffs(Dave Chapelle skit)

1b Howard (Swisher)
2b Uggla (Phillips)

ss H. Ramirez (Hall)

3b Cuddyer (Sanchez)

c McCann (Martin)

OF Dye

OF Ibanez

of Matthews

sp Arroyo

sp Harang

rp Papelbaun

rp Putz

as noted above:
3B: …. Garret Atkins got honorable mention. (Atkins went in 13th round)

Additional note – this pick was autodrafted, I had Atkins targeted for the 15th round…


Sanchez 84 6 83 3 .342

Atkins 109 27 114 3 .321

Crede 76 31 94 0 .287

What buys from 24th round (undrafted) to the 15th round?

How about 20 runs, 30 rbi’s, 21 homers, but minus 20 points batting average = total ++2 categories over Sanchez. 30 runs, 20 rbi’s, and .034 points in average with 3 sb’s washing with 4 hr’s = total +++3 categories.

I vote for Atkins…to bad my stupid — traded him for Eddie Guardado 1 save before he was removed in Seattle (panic because the autodrafter gave me one closer – Gordon). Live and Learn. Down year for the Havalina’s. Zack – Philly

Happily, in one of my leagues (the one I’ve been leading almost from the beginning) I drafted Atkins in the 11th round; I’ve been quite pleased with him.

A couple of pitchers who were big surprises–Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders. Whatever expectations there were for their major league careers, I don’t think anybody thought they’d even make the big league team this year, much less be this good.

C McCann
1B Howard

2B Uggla

3B Atkins

SS Hanley

OF Dye

OF Holliday (compared to last year, +44 R, +13 HR, +20 RBI, -5 SB, +5 AVG)

OF Matthews

U Big Hurt

SP Arroyo

SP Wang

RP Papelbon

Too bad this wasn’t my team. Everyone on my team got hurt right after acquiring them: D Lee (draft), Sheffield (3/20), Manny (7/19), Liriano (7/22), Kazmir (8/17), Hafner (8/18).

Craig – Dayton

How about the Marlins starting rotation? Now there is a suprise…. Josh Johnson and Anibel Sanchez got those save chances for Borowski!

Note for Mike/Cory: On today’s show you speculated about what round Gary Matthews went in most drafts.

Gary Matthews started the season out on the Dl so chances are he was not drafted in most vanilla leagues.

C: McCann
1b: Agree with Howard, but Mourneau is up there, too. Who would’ve thought: .326 34-129?

2b: Alfonso Soriano(could put him in the OF…). Don’t people remember everyone saying RFK would rob him of his power this year? He went 3rd roundish and was probably the #1 player in fantasy. 45-40 doesn’t come around often.

3b: Atkins

SS: HanRam

OF: Dye, Ibanez, Byrnes

DH: Thomas

SP: Arroyo, Mussina(isn’t he like 50 now?), Harang

RP: Putz, Papel

Could’ve easily drafted this team.******.

C-Miguel Olivo, FLA
1B-Ryan Howard, PHI

2B-Dan Uggla, FLA

3B-Garrett Atkins, COL (Hon. mention Ryan Zimmerman)

SS-Hanley Ramirez, FLA

OF-Matt Holliday, COL; Jermaine Dye, CHW; Michael Cuddyer, MIN

SP-Chien-Ming Wang, NYY (Hon. mention Kenny Rogers, DET – I seriously thought he was done)

RP-Jonathan Papelbon, BOS

Ut-Gary Matthews, TEX

I had both Olivo and McCann on my roster most of the year, but I added Olivo as an FA (to replace Jason LaRue) while I reserved McCann from last year. … Howard is probably the most popular person in Philly right now since, well, since…Harry Kalas? … One of my last picks in our auction, Uggla ($5) was supposed to be just a middle infielder for me to sub for MGiles, Bill Hall, OHudson or Jose Reyes. Instead he helped me cover when I lost DLee and had only Lance Niekro and Scott Hatteberg in reserve. I eventually traded Josh Johnson ($3, FA salary) and Andre Ethier ($3) for Adam LaRoche ($14) and Jason Schmidt ($22) in July ($260 team salary). … Hon. mention at SS for Bill Hall, who also helped me make up for DLee’s absence with his 32, yes, 32 dingers.

Without a decent first baseman for half the season and with no closers left active from the start of the year (Turnbow, Valverde and Gonzalez), I’m leading our two-week head-to-head championship game in our eight-team NL-only 6×6 keeper auction league (33-man rosters, 25 active) and on the verge of my first title since my college 4×4 NL Rotisserie league in 1990, when Chris Sabo and Eric Davis paved the way to a championship.

I barely made the playoffs last year, and upset the top two teams to reach the final, where I got hammered. This year I was on top most of the way and finished tied for first with the guy I’m in the final with for the second straight year (he had the tiebreaker, going 3-0 against me in the regular season). I owe a lot of my success to the advice I’ve gotten from you guys over the course of the season thanks to finally breaking down and buying an iPod. The 411 has become an addiction I can’t break. Thanks for making such a great (and entertaining) show.

Scott in South Jersey

This is an all surprise team composed of players that neither Mike nor Cory identified…

C Mike Piazza – I thought this would be a disaster going to PETCO…huge jump in avg/obp/slg and hr.

1b Nomar Garciaparra

2b Robinson Cano – I guess 18 walks ALL SEASON is acceptable when you hit .342!!!

SS Bill Hall – 32 HR…wow.

OF – Alfonso Soriano – see Mike Piazza

OF – Marcus Thames – 26 HRs out of completely NOWHERE.

OF – 45 out of 51 on SB attempts…nice.

DH – Jim Thome – Thought he would never be healthy again.

Not Including List of 12 or any of the great rookies…

SP – Erik Bedard – Stayed healthy and 15 wins on a terrible team, solid in other stats.

SP – Kelvim Escobar – Stayed healthy and had his best season by far.

SP – Nate Robertson – Made jump comparable to List of 12 guys.

SP – Josh Johnson – From the bullpen to fantasy ace

RP – J.J. Putz – Where is the love…2nd in the MAJORS in K/BB (1st among relievers, right above my boy Neshek!!)

RP – Akinori Otsuka – Sick, Sick season.

Wiki Zubin

Athens, GA

Cancel Josh Johnson…forgot he was a rookie.

RP – Takashi Saito – Gagne-esque from a 37-year-old who was not good enough for Japan.

I think I got very lucky with my draft as I got quite a few of these guys in my draft and they are probably the reason I am winning my 12 team AL only yahoo league. It was an auto draft and when I first looked I thought I was in a lot of trouble as I drafted Ibanez, Dye, Verlander and I picked up Corey Patterson early in the season. I ended up dropping Ibanez fairly early so I didnt get a lot from him but Dye and Verlander helped me a lot. I must say I think one of my best moves was trading Hideki about 3 days before he got hurt for Ichiro, GENIUS! =)

I like the lists that Mike and Cory came up with. Great choices all around.

Some other honorable mentions (pretty much my first choices are on your lists):

C – Willingham – not sure if he qualifies

C – David Ross – 19 HRs in 233 ABs

1B – Swisher – 16th round in my league

1B – Morneau – dropped and then picked up by me🙂

2B – Wigginton – 24 HRs in 421 ABs

3B – Teahen – .290/18 HRs/10 SBs in 393 ABs

3B – Lowell – thought he was dead in the water, though he might have been helped by Fenway, somewhat

SS – Aurilia

OF – Thames – 26 HRs in 344 ABs

OF – Rivera – .309/22 HRs in 434 ABs

SP – Josh Johnson – amazing to see a rookie dominate like he did

SP – Jered Weaver – expected him to be good, but not this good, this soon

SP – Anibal Sanchez – didn’t expect him to be good

SP – Arroyo – you could expect him to do better when moving from the AL to the NL, but THIS much better, especially in that park?

RP – Saito – though I’m not a major fan of this category, since it’s dependent upon closers losing their jobs, Saito has been awesome even without the saves, and as someone else noted, he wasn’t so hot these past years in Japan….

Some of these choices are obviously dependent upon playing time issues.

But look at it this way. If you can know when they’re not going to be in the lineup, think about how much performance they garnered you ON TOP OF another player’s performance who you could substitute in when they weren’t playing.

Also, to me any pitcher who has shown flashes before while being injured and stays away from the DL shouldn’t belong on the all-surprise team (e.g., Bedard, Escobar).

I’m kind of surprised people picked pitchers like Harang and Mussina (I drafted them both in my league). They along with Loaiza and Vazquez were my late-round (talking late-teens)/good upside picks for my starting staff. Loaiza and Vazquez, I eventually ditched for Arroyo and Weaver the Younger, though both have shown flashes of what I thought they might do later in the season. I guess the surprising thing for Harang is his K/9 level. Other than that, his ERA and WHIP are around the same as last year. Mussina, OTOH, has done this before and has been serviceable in the years when he didn’t do as well….



The 45 out of 51 SB OF was Dave Roberts

And my 3b was Mark Teahen – MVP-like numbers after AAA stint.

Not much of a difference from me:

C McCann

1B Morneau (I had given up on him)

2B Uggla (Translates into owl in swedish!)

SS Ramirez (Although Reyes was surprising as well)

3B Atkins

(3B) Sanchez

OF Dye

OF Ibanez

OF Cuddyer

(OF) Cameron

SP Liriano (Despite shortened season)

SP Verlander

(SP) Mussina

RP Papelbon

(RP) Putz/Otsuka


Bertil from Sweden

Most surprising of all:

I wanted to choose players that neither of you chose and come up with an all surprise team, so here it goes.

C – Martin – Started the year in the minors and has been a double double player this year

1B – Morneau – Most likely drafted, but late, and maybe dropped or reserved early in the season, but rebounded for a great year.

2B – Phillips – very good all around player that was not drafted most likely

SS – Reyes – I know he is a stud but could you have predicted him to be a 20 – 80 – 65 player with 120+ runs scored and a .300+ BA?

3B – Zimmerman – 19 homers, 107 ribbies and a .286 average, from a rookie

OF – Beltran – after his fall from grace last year he should be back in the first round next year. Great value pick.

OF – J Rivera – .311-23-84 and a great hot streak during the summer.

OF – DeRosa – Can’t get him out of the lineup in TEX.

SP – A tandem a la Cory Schwartz – Arroyo and Harang. Where would Cincy be without them, and Harang’s K totals have been awesome.

SP – Bedard – The number 1 list of 12 guy for next year as you put it, has had a very good year with 15 wins and a sub 3.75 ERA.

RP – Putz – A waiver wire pick up that struck out over 12 per 9 and recorded 34 saves. Add 4 wins and a 2.15 ERA to that and you’ve got something.

Thanks for everything this year. I listen to the podcast every day and you have gotten me through many hours of grass cutting and Honey – Do’s this season. Keep up the good work.

Mike in CT

Just a quick note: Cory, you said that no one would have expected a 60-homer year by Howard… Well, Baseball Prospectus did. In fact, they predicted that – with a 10% chance – Howard would have almost exactly as valuable a year as he is actually having.

Meanwhile, their most favourable prediction for Uggla was something along the line of: .268, 15 HR, 70 R, and 57 RBI.

So who’s the biggest surprise?

Mikkel from Denmark

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