Draft & Follow

Friday, March 21 2003 @ 08:17 AM EST

Contributed by: Coach

Gwyn made Vladimir Guerrero the first pick ever in the BBFL a few seconds after 9:55 pm last night, and a mere three hours later, Spicol took John Stephens to end the proceedings. We drafted 500 players and cracked a few one-liners along the way. I hope everone had as much fun as I did. The file bbfldraft.xls is on the server, and if you can't download it, e-mail me for a copy.

As with any draft, there were surprises. I'm not going to criticize anyone else's choices, but here's what was going through my mind round-by-round as I assembled the Toronto Walrus:

14th overall, I was pleased to find Jason Giambi available in an OPS and SLG league. I wanted an ace in the second, but that rat Snelville took Roy Oswalt one spot before my turn. So I grabbed Carlos Delgado (cornering the 1B market) and hoped a decent SP would fall. Got Matt Morris in the third, then figured if I didn't get a closer early in the fourth, the good ones would soon be gone, and took Billy Wagner.

Lacking an OF, I accepted everyone's charity (they all kept passing on Garret Anderson) in the fifth, then realized that good pitching was already getting scarce, and chose to settle for bargain position players later on. Aubrey Huff (7) was the only hitter I took in the next six rounds -- my Jeff Weaver pick in the sixth and Ramon Ortiz in the eighth disappointed a few people, then I reached a round or two early for Tony Armas Jr., who I have a hunch about this year. Two good closers stayed on the board; I took Jorge Julio in the 10th then got teased for picking Danys Baez in the 11th, but I expect to win the SV category every week, and I can eventually trade from that depth.

I punted steals; I will lose that category every week, but expect to get 4 or 5 pitching points most of the time and hope my sluggers come through. In the 12th, chose Travis Hafner, who I'm hoping will have a big year -- Eric Hinske tabbed him as his RoY successor -- and I was delighted to get Brandon Larson in the 13th. He's listed at OF but will have 3B eligibility soon, and he can hit. Got my second Blue Jay, Cliff Politte, at 14, then addressed my weak OF with Kevin Mench (15) and Milton Bradley (he got game) in the 16th. By this time, the pickings were very slim. Took a chance on Josh Fogg at 17, thought Gary Matthews was worth a #18, and headed down the stretch without a 2B, SS, MI or C -- my other strategery from the start was to wait forever on those spots.

Did it work? Mark Loretta (19) was a steal of Pasqual Coco proportions. He's already 3B-SS eligible, will soon add 2B to his portfolio, will hit at the top of a decent lineup, and can draw a walk. Took Carl Pavano at 20, then returned to filling positional needs with Rey Sanchez in the 21st round. I had wanted a Colorado IF, but Jicks Rays scooped me on Chris Stynes, so I settled for Greg Norton at 22.

Unaware that Aaron Harang had just been sent down (I thought he'd pitched a lot better than Halama this spring and would be the long man if he didn't start) I wasted my #23 and am scouring what's left in the FA pool. Got Sandy Alomar at #24 -- I can't believe Geoff took my man Greg Myers -- and as the first of many candidates I will run through the MI position this year, got Jose Macias 25th.

Let the trash talking begin, and start the bidding on Jorge Julio. First overwhelming trade offer (include a 2B or SS) gets him. Delgado for an equivalent OF is something else I'd consider, but I have a lot of "untouchables," so I guess I like my team.