Monday, March 10, 2008

Mock Draft 2008, Part I

Since last year's Mock Draft was about as insightful and funny as a funeral oration delivered by Lee Iaccoca, we've eschewed faux narrators and instead did an actual mock draft. Results and commentary are posted forthwith. Ready for commentary on stupidity, in two parts? (El Angelo).

This represents a new nadir for the GRBG: not only are we writing about fake teams, we're writing about a fake draft involving those fake teams. We're pretty well through the meta-looking glass here. For those unfamiliar with the league, (a) why are you reading this?, but (b) know that this is a keeper league, meaning that in any given year there will be a limited pool of players available to be drafted, so that this mock will differ significantly from the average single-season league draft.

Finally, many thanks to our fearless leader and league commish Proud Papa Andy for help with the mock and commentaries. (Teddy)

Yes, I'm doing this thing, too. 'Cause I've got nothing better to do right now. (Andy)

1. Presidential Timber: Roy Oswalt, SP, Houston Astros.

There are four potentially elite starting pitchers in the draft (Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Scott Kazmir, and King Felix), though I don't know if any two people would rank the four in exactly the same way. We flipped a coin and landed on Oswalt, as he is still on the younger side, but unlike Felix and Kazmir, is also already through the injury nexus. Your mileage may vary, especially if you're a Blue Jays fan . . . (Teddy)

Well, since there are only 48 possible combinations for those guys to be ranked, I'm sure in a room of 50 you'd get 2 identical opinions. Still, Oswalt's by far the safest pick here, and also the shortest. (El Angelo)

Oswalt will be shipped in a wooden box labelled "Fragile" on the side. When Corey opens it in front of his wife and kids, he will be heard to say, "Fra-gee-lay -- must be Italian." (Andy)

2. 54°40' or Fight!: Scott Kazmir, SP, Tampa Bay Rays.

Now that Fitty-Fo-Fotie has traded Josh Beckett away, he needs to find another more cost-controlled ace to replace him. While Felix would be a defensible pick here, Kazmir finished up near the top of the league in K's last season, giving him the tiebreaker. He should also benefit from improved Tampa Bay defense this season. Also, if our league is to properly reflect reality, Kazmir needs to spend a few years marooned on a hopeless team. Ahem. (Teddy)

If our league is to reflect reality, I would trade away Kazmir for the modern day Victor Zambrano. No, I'm not bitter. (El Angelo)

3. grundleman's bond: Travis Hafner, DH, Cleveland Indians.

It's debatable who the best hitter is that's available, but I have to think it's the Hafner hitting machine, his down 2007 aside. The real negative on him is that he only qualifies as DH, but it's somewhat a minor quibble for having a stud hitter. (El Angelo)

Predicting what Sahil will do at the draft is quite a stretch for Angelo. In other news, Angelo will be drafting for Sahil. Is this the right guy for Big Brown? Feels more like he should be taking Granderson here, since the Healer seems unlikely to compete this year. But that's just me... (Andy)

4. The Spam Avengers: Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners.

With the offense mostly taken care of through keepers, TSA takes a run at the (still) only 21 y/o potential ace. Between Felix, Eric Bedard, and Ichiro!, TSA finds itself long on Seattle Mariners. Ask the guys over at USS Mariner how that's been working out for them, recently. (Teddy)

Have we determined whether the Ewing Theory works in fantasy sports too? The real life Mariners won 116 games after they jettisoned the Eunuch, A-Rod and Griffey, and had their staff lead by Paul Abbott. I query whether there's a similar ratio of fantasy wins versus lack of star Mariners. (El Angelo)

I didn't even know there was still a team in Seattle. Doesn't it rain there all the time? I think the year they won 116 games, it was because they built a big boat while all the other teams drowned. (Andy)

5. Wu Tang Financial: Curtis Granderson, OF, Detroit Tigers.

Nice to see WTF back in the league; this team's mascot is significantly more intimidating than last year's model, christened as it was after a fat golfer. With some uncertainty in the outfield, we have WTF reaching up for Granderson, who put up a fine breakout season last year. If he ever learns to hit lefties, he'll be a stud. If not, well . . . less so. (Teddy)

Like the Wu-Tang Clan, Jon's team ain't nuttin' to fuck with. That said, they really could use some more reliable hitters. That said, the best hitters out there seem to be bad fits for Jon. It'll be interesting to see what he does here. It'll probably involve an over-the-hill, big, slow, slugger-type. Screams for Thome. (Andy)

6. The Fighting Isaiahs: Brian Roberts, 2B, Baltimore Orioles.

Over the years, the Isaiahs have been refusing to trade Roberts for anything less than A-Rod, Johan Santana, and Ted Williams' frozen head. Love is a many-splendored thing, and it's lovely to see the two reunited again this year. (Teddy)

The crop of available 2B's is the one area that's actually deep in this league, but Roberts shines above the Ruben Gotays of the world. Can't argue with the HGH injections and 30+ steals you get with him. (El Angelo)

What to do, Jake?!? If both Roberts and Manny are available, Jake's head is going to explode. If Roberts is available, I just can't see him getting past Jake. (Andy)

7. Evil Empire: Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees.

Here's a frightening thought: if Jeter slips by here, Teddy, Mr. BoSox, may have to consider taking him. How's that gonna feel, Teddy Boy? (El Angelo)

I formally repealed my no-Yankees rule after the Sox won in '04, but breaking camp with Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Phil Hughes could lead to a distressingly complex love-hate relationship with YES network telecasts this season. (Teddy)

Here's the thing - clutch hitting isn't worth anything extra in fantasy. Jeter's getting old and losing steps. I think Will's got better options, but if he's following his Yahoo printouts, he won't let Jeter fall past him.

8. Decatur Commies: Manny Ramirez, OF, Boston Red Sox.

Well, this at least keeps the team alive. They need power hitting like a hole in the head, but he's still such a good player, worst case is you can think about flipping him to an out of it team in May for steals. (El Angelo)

Interesting. Manny would put my OBP rate into a safe enough place where I could take a speed-only guy later if need be. Juan, how are the hammies feeling? (Teddy)

9. Decatur Commies: Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago Cubs.

By far the best 1B in the draft. Yes, I'm laughing at you, Conor Jackson. (El Angelo)

Apparently, I'm operating under the assumption that the first team to 300 HRs wins the league. (Teddy)

Chad's going to lose the rest of his hair if Granderson and Roberts are off the board when he picks back-to-back here. Neither of these picks really makes sense for him, but he can't take a steals guy this early. Seriously, people -- he's about to get married. Throw the guy a bone! (Andy)

10. Frank the Tank: Roy Halladay, SP, Toronto Blue Jays.

The Other Roy is a steal at the 10-slot, you could argue he could go first overall. There's some injury risks with him and the fact he has 10 starts against the power lineups of the Yanx, Sawx and Rays, but still, can't argue with his talent. (El Angelo)

It's no secret that I'm going to be looking for pitching. Roy Halladay strikes out about 6 guys a year, but his ERA/WHIP may compel me to take him. Still, Shields will bring a lot of Ks. This will be a tough pick if things end up this way. (Andy)

11. Le Dupont Torkies: James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay Rays.

This fits right in the mold of the guy that drafted Rich Hill early last year and starts the year with 1 starter. (El Angelo)

Wait, do the Torkies drink the Baseball Prospectus Kool-Aid as well? Man, that's pretty well everyone at this point. Anyway, I support this pick, as the higher Shields goes, the more likely it is that his owner will get frustrated with his performance and begin referring to him as Panty Shields. We're in need of a new go-to insulting nickname around here, and that would go a long way towards helping the cause. (Teddy)

12. It's Enrico Pallazzo: Andruw Jones, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers.

The fact that he's a Dodger broke the tie between him, Kosuke Fukudome, and Moises Alou's hernia. (El Angelo)

The extra "W" in Andruw is for "What the fuck is he doing getting drafted this high?"

I could swear Andruw Jones has been in the league since the Jetsons were on. He's gotta be older than McCain. (Andy)

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