December 2006

Happy 411 Holidays!

Happy 411 Holidays!

Siano_schwartz_badsanta

Siano Claus

Any wonder why the kid is crying??

Happy 411 Holidays!

Siano is “Hooked on Phonics”

No funny caption required!

Mock Draft Results

Below is the blow by blow of our Mock Draft for 2007. It is only three rounds but there were plenty of surprises. The particpants are as follows.

Neighbor Steve: 411 HOFer
Alex Cushing: MLB.com Fantasy Writer
Mitch: 411 HOFer
Will Carroll: 411 HOFer and Senior Writer for Baseball Prospectus
Cory Schwartz: MLB.com Director of Stats and 411 Host
Mike Siano: 411 Host
Johnny Archive: 411 HOFer
Bruce in GC: 411 HOFer
Joe Sheehan: Senior Writer for Baseball Prospectus
Vinny Micucci: MLB.com Host
Going Postal: 411 HOFer

Looking forward to your comments……………………….Siano

Mock Draft Recap

Round 1

Pick 1  Neighbor Steve  Albert Pujols

Even though he doesn’t have the position eligibility that he used to, big time track record to put up stud numbers and Phat Albert is the closest thing to a guarantee that there is in fantasy…..

AND always has the potential for a record setting year or Triple Crown with a healthy full season.

Pick 2  Alex Cushing   Jose Reyes

Reyes took dramatic steps forward in every facet of the game during the 2006 season, going from a pretty face with raw talent to a mature young man with newfound plate patience and power. Oh, yeah, he also led the Majors with 64 steals. And he’s still just 23 years old.

Pick 3  Mitch “Dr. Stats” Watnik Carlos Beltran

So, give me Carlos Beltran.  He’s should be a 5 category contributor
(his average was relatively iffy last year) and 3 category stud, and,
injury-free, his almost MVP numbers could be MVP numbers.  Plus, having
Delgado, Wright, Alou behind him and Reyes in scoring position equals
number 3 overall.

Pick 4  Will Carroll   Joe Mauer

Ok, this was a tougher pick than I thought. There were three guys I looked at hard for this, but in the end, I went with positional scarcity over positional flexibility or last year’s results. I’m taking Joe Mauer – there’s no other catcher and very few hitters with his type of talent. I can get a power hitting 1B later – I hope.

Pick 5  Cory Schwartz   Carl Crawford

It’s hard to pass up on my beloved Vladdy here, but Crawford’s combination of speed and run production makes him the right choice. He doesn’t have the big run totals of many other burners, but he’s a consistent .300 hitter and has shown that his power development hasn’t been a fluke either. Just a slight uptick in the walk rate, and a more productive lineup around him, could enable him to have a Rickey Henderson type peak, and since he’ll only be 25 on opening day, there’s plenty of time for him to grow into it.

Pick 6  Mike Siano   Alex Rodriguez

A-rod at 6 is pretty sweet. He didn’t live up to his #1 or #2 overall last year ,but I don’t think he will buckle to the pressure of being sixth. This guy is so capable of monster year it’s impossible to ignore. His "bad" year of 06′ is still worth the risk since I believe in my other 24 picks I would have.

Pick 7  Johnny Archive  Alfonso Soriano

Well, my pre-draft board is screwed!!! I had Cushing taking Ian Snell and Siano taking a "Coco"(probably Puffs).  Anyway, after considering all offers from teams trying to move up in the draft — and there were some heated talks…though GP didn’t have to bring my Mom into things — I would like to proudly announce the Archivers have reached a multi-year agreement with ’06 Fantasy MVP, SS (pokes Siano)…I mean, OF, Alfonso Soriano.

Pick 8  Bruce in GC   Chase Utley

With the 8th pick, I’m going to have to take the second baseman that stands out above the rest. This man is a true 5 category contributor at a very scarce position.  I’ll take 28 year old – Chase Cameron Utley.  It’s hard to pass up on a .300 avg., 100+ Runs and RBI’s, and 30+ dingers and 15 swipes.

Pick 9  Joe Sheehan   Miguel Tejada

With all of the obvious choices–and Joe Mauer–gone, I’m left choosing among some older guys, and generally among guys who either steal bases *or* hit homers. The good news is I pick again from this pool in a few minutes.

I’ll take Miguel Tejada, knowing I’ll have to make up the steals later on. If everyone’s healthy and the lineup is done correctly, he could drive in another 150 runs.

Pick 10 Vinny Micucci  Lance Berkman

I decided ultimately to grab a corner IF and take Lance Berkman. My thinking is that here is a guy who will hit over .300 with 40 homers and 130 RBIs and in a bandbox in Houston. Although Ryan Howard’s numbers are attractive, Philadelphia remains in limbo with a backup bat for him and Houston added Lee. If Berkman has those kind of numbers on a poor lineup…imagine if he got some help.

Pick 11 Jeffrey Ma   Ryan Howard

I’m hearing from my good friend Pat Burrell that Howard is determined to be a five category star in fantasy this season and has been training with Ty Law’s trainer this offseason.  His goal is to steal over 40 bases  so he can get VIP treatment at Jay Z’s clubs.  Seriously, I think Howard is a steal with the 10th pick… position scarcity aside, you have to like the reigning MVP, aged 27 playing in a complete hitters park.

Pick 12 Going Postal   Derek Jeter

I had thought about taking Utley with this pick but since he’s already gone I will be forced to gamble down the line on second.

With my 10th pick I select Derek Jeter, he is 32 but certainly looks to be in his prime having played over 150 games nine out of the last ten years. a speed power mix should do just fine
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Round 2

Pick 13 Going Postal   Carlos Lee

With my first pick out the second round, and knowing that I will not select again for 22 more picks I can’t bring myself to pick the best Pitcher in Baeball in Santana. I need a big bat and plenty are left on the table, vlad, manny, papi…. I will also pass on my boy David wright and take C Lee. He could be an offensive monster in Houston in 2007 if he keeps his weight under 300.

Pick 14 Jeffrey Ma   Johan Santana

Just so much better than the next starting pitcher that he is hard to pass up here…

Pick 15 Vinny Micucci  Miguel Cabrera

With already one corner infielder in tow, I will head to the other side and acquire Miguel Cabrera. I contemplated what categories I wanted to attack here and I have decided that Cabrera has a great chance to grab them all. Here is a player that is entering his 5th season in the majors and will battle for a batting title once again. In addition to the homers and RBIs in a surprisingly talented Marlins lineup, he also had a career high 9 steals. I am hoping that number can be more like 15 this season. For the record, had Santana not gone one pick earlier, I would have taken him showing that this is clearly as
far down in the draft as he might fall.

Pick 16 Joe Sheehan   Grady Sizemore

Cabrera was actually the other guy I’d narrowed it down to. Sizemore might be a small reach here, but with Miggy in the first round, I decided to take a shot on some upside rather than grab one of the older hitters still floating around.

Pick 17 Bruce in GC   Vladimir Guerrero

I’m really surprised to see this guy fall all the way into the second round.  I’m going to take Vlad the IMPALER. I’ll be happy to have his .310 AVG. 30+ bombs. 100+ Runs and RBI’s and I’ll top off this Guerrero Cake with a smattering of 10-15 SBs.  I’ll take Mr. Vladimir Guerrero.

Pick 18 Johnny Archive  David Ortiz

My first instinct was to take D.Lee as he could be a nice semi-sleeper after the ’06 injury-riddled season.  However, injuries sometimes seem to just keep happening to some players and for some reason I feel I should go "safer" here.  So…gimme the Big Papi, please

Pick 19 Mike Siano   Travis Hafner

I’ll keep the DH only theme going by picking Pronk. My heart told me Manny but my head said Hafner, he played in one less game then Manny but was overall more productive. Love a guy that scores 100 runs knocks in 117 bats over .300 and hits 42 bombs.

Pick 20 Cory Schwartz   David Wright

Sheehan might think Grady Sizemore is dreamy, but then he hasn’t seen how the ladies swoon over D-Wright. And what’s not to like? He’s only 24 but already has back-to-back stellar seasons of power, run production, strong plate discipline and even 15-20 steals. He’s a borderline first-round pick, making him a steal this late in the second round… the sky is the limit.

Pick 21 Will Carroll   Ichiro Suzuki

Maybe this pick won’t be as roundly taunted … Ichiro Suzuki. Like Cal Ripken ten years ago, he can singlehandedly anchor you. Where Ripken had so many plate appearances that an off year could kill your BA, Suzuki will allow me to look at someone like an Adam Dunn in a later round. Add in the plus steals and Ichiro’s the guy I can’t believe is still on the board.

Now, if Hargrove can just get fired …

Pick 22 Mitch “Dr. Stats” Watnik Matt Holliday

At pick 22, I get someone who hit 34 dingers, 119 runs, 114 RBI, .326
avg. and double digit steals.  Maybe a slight risk, as his track record
isn’t as long as, say Ichiro, but playing 81 games at Coors and his
youth make me think that he’ll justify my faith.  Matt Holiday is my 2nd
rounder.

Pick 23 Alex Cushing   Jason Bay

I can’t decide whether I’d rather own the players taken in the second round or the first. My, how the talent level has evened out in the upper echelon. In Bay, here’s hoping that a little more Pittsburgh protection in his age 29 season will translate into .300-40-120-15.

Pick 24 Neighbor Steve  Manny Ramirez

Since it’s looking good that he’ll be still hitting behind Big Papi, I’ll take the risk with Manny at (ironically his) # 24.  Even though I can’t stand him and now his health is a concern, he’s too much of a VALUE pick to pass up at the end of the 2nd.  A great example of how a top player with a concern or two can fall in drafts and we all know a typical Manny year is 320/35/120+ RBI’s with 500+ AB’s.  I can’t let those possible numbers slip any further in the draft balky knee and all.   If I didn’t have Big AL at 1B already, I would have taken the reigning “AL MVP”.  But, this IS the reason why I like draft days to be on either March 30th & 31st.

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Round 3

Pick 25 Neighbor Steve  Hanley Ramirez

At # 25 I’ll take care of my need for speed and a young stud with Hanley Ramirez.  He blew away expectations and had a Reyes/Crawford type rookie year.  Did I mention…he’s young with a ton of upside.   I REALLY liked the way he finished last season too.

Pick 26 Alex Cushing   Aramis Ramirez

Strange how Manny slipped my mind even though he’s one of the top sluggers of the last 10 years. Speaking of Ramirez’s, I’ll make it a hat trick with Aramis. Another 29-year-old slugger, the Cubs third baseman flashed MVP offense in the second half, hitting .328 with 22 homers, 67 RBIs with an absurd .653 slugging percentage. How surprised would anyone be if he cranked 45 long balls with a .315 batting average in 2007? The mere thought led me away from cornering the market on steals and shortstops by taking Jimmy Rollins.

Pick 27 Mitch “Dr. Stats” Watnik Jimmy Rollins

For my last glorious pick, I’ll take Larry Bowa’s favorite SS…  Jimmy
Rollins.  He *averages* over 120 runs, 17 homers, 35 steals, 70 RBI over
the past 3 years.  Does Horacio Ramirez have that track record?

Pick 28 Will Carroll   Bobby Abreu

I’m going to go with Bobby Abreu. I love the way he fits into the Yankee lineup and a full season of that translates extremely well. I’m a bit worried about the lack of homers, but there’s no more complete player still available. 

Pick 29 Cory Schwartz   Mark Texeira

My options: Derrek Lee, Justin Morneau, Vernon Wells, Michael Young, and many more. My choice: Mark Teixeira, who rebounded from a brutal first half last year to put up second half numbers comparable to his 2005 season. Interestingly, he did this without swinging the bat well in home games, but Ameriquest Field is a very favorable offensive environment so I expect Tex to put together another big season in ’07: .285 with 40+ homers, 110 or more RBI’s and 100 or so runs.

Pick 30 Mike Siano   Justin Morneau

To me it came down to Wells or Morneau and since I ignored speed by taking Hafner I’ll keep ignoring by taking Morneau’s 3 steals to Vernon’s 17. I still don’t have an OF but feel with A-Rod, Pronk and the reigning MVP I am loaded for the gun show.

Pick 31 Johnny Archive  Michael Young

Okay, who would compliment Soriano and Big Papi?  How about a batting champ-type SS?  Sounds good to me…I’ll take Michael Young, please.

Pick 32 Bruce in GC   Vernon Wells

I tend to agree with Cory in the outfield being the position with the most scarcity.  A standard 12 team league will require 60 outfielders.  In 2006, only 32 outfielders hit 20+ HR’s and/or had 10+ stolen bases.  I’m gonna back up my second round pick of Vlady with another stud outfielder hitting in the heart of the lineup.  He is up for free agency at the end of the year provided he doesn’t sign an extension and he’s 28 – a magical year.  I look for Vernon Wells to improve on his numbers from 2006, and go for 30+ HR and 20+ SB.  Give me the double V in the outfield.  Vernon and Vlady taking me to the top.

Pick 33 Joe Sheehan   Rafael Furcal

was hoping to add some speed here, but I just don’t think I can take Furcal, and he’s the only speed guy who wouldn’t be a joke with this pick. The bats have been well picked through–Konerko, Atkins, Andruw, maybe Damon are the top guys. I thought about McCann, too, who’s better than Mauer from a fantasy standpoint.

Argh…VW was the last obvious pick.

Furcal or DLee…I’m going to take Furcal, because I think that I can fill the corners and power more easily than I can fill SBs and my MI spot.

Pick 34 Vinni Micucci   Jermaine Dye

With my 3rd round pick, I will select Jermaine Dye. I am very interested to hear what the response on this pick is. Over the past few months I have had many talks with people about Dye. He is healthy and is only going to be 33 on Opening Day. I do not believe that his numbers last year are a one time thing. I feel that if Dye hadn’t suffered that leg injury with Oakland then he would have been considered one of the premier hitters in the league some time ago. He also had 7 steals which I am always aware of and are gradually building up with my other well-rounded picks in Berkman and Cabrera. Plus, Jermaine is the biggest production bat left on the board using 2006 stats.

Pick 35 Jeffery Ma   Garret Atkins

So after much debate, I’m ignoring steals and going after the player I consider the best remaining player with legitimate upside.  Also, my sources are telling me that they are going to go easy on the humidor next season so Coors offensive numbers should be up again.

Also here’s a list of leaders in balls hit last season over 380 feet…

1. Atkins – 64
2. Big Papi – 61
3. RyHow – 60
4. Sexson – 58
T5. Pujols – 57
T5. Sexson – 57

So Garret Atkins it is…

Pick 36 Going Postal   Derrek Lee

I’ll take the chance, D Lee is my #36 pick. Trainer Mark O’Neal said Lee has not had any issues with his wrist during offseason workouts and  a possible 100/30/100/15/.300 season is great value at #36.

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For more fantasy insight catch us Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at noon ET on the MLB.com Fantasy 411. For more info go to www.mlbradio.net.

For even more fantasy info check out our good friends Jeffrey Ma and company over at www.protrade.com or Will Carroll and Joe Shehan at www.baseballprospectus.com

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