Friday, October 31, 2008

2009 CBS League of Champions Roster and Analysis

The 2009 CBS League of Champions Mock Draft is finally completed as of Friday afternoon. What I am going to do is post my roster first by position, then by round. I think this is most manageable for analysis purposes, because eventually I'll have to explain why some people went undrafted in certain rounds.

Although I made reference to it in an earlier post, let me first lay out the ground rules. This League is mixed league with 23 standard slots (14 hitters and 9 pitchers). There are 12 teams and no reserve list. The categories are standard 5x5.

C Soto
C Towles
1B A. Gonzalez
2B Pedroia
SS Tulowitski
3B Encarnacion
1/3 Votto
2/S Hill
O Braun
O Victorino
O Rios
O Ethier
O Delmon Young
DH J. Upton
P Price
P Garza
P Baker
P Jimenez
P Carmona
P Jurrjens
P Slowey
P Cueto
P Maholm

I went into this draft with a specific plan. Let's see how it went in theory.

GOAL: I did not want to draft a player over the age of 28. This is essentially the high risk/high reward strategy based on the likelihood of break out years at age 27 and before.

RESULT: I did well here and fulfilled this goal.

GOAL: I did not want any player to have less than 1 year of major league experience. Generally speaking, players with less than one year of major league experience can struggle during their first "full year" in the majors. Moreover, those players are sometimes on short leashes and can lose their jobs.

RESULT: I did pretty well in this category as well. Price was my first pitcher taken, but I made a specific exception for him because he's special. Towles was my last player taken and, frankly, he fit the profile better than the remaining catchers.

GOAL: I did not want to draft a pitcher earlier than the 10th round. Why? Well, the idea here is that pitchers are easier to replace than hitters. You can churn the free agent pool as I did this year in winning the CBS NL Expert League, and find replacement level players on the pitching side more easily than the hitting side. Moreover, I knew that this was a mixed league with only 12 teams, meaning that pitching would be easy to come by in the later rounds. The top hitters are the top hitters. Period.

RESULT: I took my first pitcher in the 11th round. It pained me to see some good young pitchers go off the board, but I tried to take advantage by drafting those top tier positions.

GOAL: Draft an infield, then track down the outfielders.

RESULT: Ding. I hit the nail on the head here. While I mistakenly took Braun as a 3B with the first pick (ah, if I had only been reading my e-mails, I would Longoria there), I did put my starting infield, including catcher, together prior to drafting a pitcher.

Two key components of any draft (or auction) are preparation and follow-through. Preparation is not limited to numbers. Instead, you must go into each draft and each auction with a plan. You may have a backup plan (or two), but you must have an initial plan.

Once you have the plan, you need to carry it out. If you don't follow through on your plan, well, you didn't need to waste your time. Now, there are a ton of variables: inflation, auction prices, position in draft, other owners in the room and their respective strategies, etc. Nonetheless, carrying out your plan is the only way to go. If you were wrong and lose badly, at least you know that you planning was sound; your execution, on the other hand, may need some work.

Next post, I'll talk about some individual players and what I saw to lead me down the path of selection.

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