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Moments of Poise Mixed with Panic

Looking back on the draft in March, it is easy to see where I chose out of necessity rather than the best player available on the board. This is my first time to play in a league with Quality Starts and OBP. I tried to chase reliable bats early, but there are some valuable pitchers that I missed in the process.

I passed on Gerrit Cole for Jose Reyes in round four. I thought that Jose Reyes would be more valuable at SS this year, but his injuries and .315 OBP are not worth a fourth round pick, especially with only 8 Net Stolen Bases. Reyes does not look like a good bet to earn seventh-round value this year and definitely not fourth-round value.

Another bust that I drafted is Jorge Soler in the sixth round. Yes, he is on the DL, but his 19 RBI and 20 Runs are not worth that pick. I could have drafted Kris Bryant or Nelson Cruz instead of Soler, and either player would be a bigger help to my team. I was targeting a young OF, but Cruz's power would've helped my team in Total Bases and RBI. Soler is ranked 894th in the league. I definitely whiffed in the sixth round.

Rounds 7 and 9 brought two more picks of panic. Sonny Gray slipped past my radar in round 7 in favor of Jason Heyward. Heyward's .320 OBP and 23 RBI rank 120th overall in our league while Gray ranks at the tenth most valuable player in We Talk Fantasy Sports. Gulp, I made another huge mistake, especially after having to take Jake Arrieta in the 8th round. (120th overall) I tried to add to my bullpen in the ninth round, but Steve Cishek busted plenty of teams this year. I went from a 30-saves closer to A.J. Ramos' set-up man at best. Gray and James Shields have outperformed both of my players, but luckily I own each in another league.

Andrew McCutchen, as a first round pick, has not lived up to his MVP stats this year. Yes, he is valuable, but he is only the 71st best player in the league, which is thoroughly disappointing as the fifth pick overall. Paul Goldschmidt would have added more power to my lineup and some Net SB.

Every pick in my draft was not a reach. Some valuable players that are part of my team are Chris Archer, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel , and Andrew Miller.

Some of the arms that I drafted have provided the best value so far. I waited until the 14th round to draft Archer, and he is ranked 13th overall in the league. His 116 K's and 2.18 ERA help my team on a weekly basis. Keuchel, taken in the 20th round, is ranked 16th overall, and he leads my staff with 11 Quality Starts. His 2.35 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 107.1 IP have boosted my team in the pitching categories, and he is probably the best pick that I took in the draft. Miller, even though he is on the DL, is ranked 52nd overall with 17 saves. His 43 K's in 26.1 IP gave my team a lift during April and May. Miller was available in the 18th round, and he leads my team in saves, which is not necessarily a good fact (more than Greg Holland, Cishek, and Brett Cecil).

Francisco Liriano and Shelby Miller have offered good value so far, even though their statistics should regress. They have already earned their 16th and 17th round selections, and they have given 20 QS's and a low ERA and WHIP to my starting staff.

The arms are not the only place that I found value, some bats fell my way when I did not overdraft them like Soler and Reyes. Josh Donaldson, a no-brainer pick in the second round, leads the team with 154 Total Bases and 46 RBI's, which is good for the 7th best player in the league. Unfortunately, Donaldson does not have much help from Soler, Reyes, and Heyward. My offense is one of the worst in the league, even though I focused on bats with the first four picks. Freddie Freeman has offered reasonable value, as the 23rd best player in the league, with 132 TB's and 41 RBI's.

Manny Machado's recent hot streak propelled him to the 11th most valuable player in the league with 139 TB's. .361 OBP, 10 NSB and 48 runs. He has earned his 11th round pick, and he has many more good years ahead if he can stay healthy.

Remember not to panic in drafts, and it is important to take the best player available on the board. I'm looking at you Sonny Gray, Nelson Cruz, James Shields, and Manny Machado.