Monday, March 23, 2009

Transactions Analysis: The 2009 Draft

We have two choices: we can go several weeks without a TA, or we can do an impromptu analysis of the first couple of rounds of our draft. I say (b). Plus, our mock draft columns were hideous, so why not instead take a step back after the picks were made and say something about it? (El Angelo)

#1. Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis (Mission Accomplished)

I gave Jose Reyes some thought because I'm a Met fan, but this was easy. (El Angelo)

No brainer picks like these don't really lend themselves to commentary. (Teddy)

#2. Jose Reyes, SS, St. Louis (AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS)

The hump who screwed this all up. And no, I don't mean Jose. (El Angelo)

Another no-brainer. This one, though, is notable, if only because it represents the fastest keeper benching in league history. AAAA kept both a shortstop and a DH, meaning that there is no place for him to put Reyes without benching one of his keepers. If there has been a less efficient use of a keeper slot in league history, I can't think of it. Good player, though. (Teddy)

#3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, Detroit (Elder Your Zinicola?)

The only "odd" thing about this pick is that the team is set at the corners come May with Subway Ryan Howard and A-Rod, and Fat Miggy might be a right fielder in 2010. Still, he's too good to pass on. (El Angelo)

Cabrera has already eaten his way off of 3B, and looks to be making a game effort to eat himself off of 1B as well. Once Detroit gets Sheffield off the books next year, Cabrera could be a DH-only guy, which takes away some of his value. But even with all that, it's not enough to pass here.

This is considerably less fun when good players are available. I miss the days of Curtis Granderson going first overall. (Teddy)

#4. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee (Recalcitrant Cobbler)

Run on fat guys! (El Angelo)

I think you mean waddle. (Teddy)

#5. Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philly (The Spam Avengers)

The absolute worst break for a team that already boasted Stephen Drew at SS and desperately could have used a first baseman. Long-term it's probably the right pick, but this team's starters were with enough question marks (Cliff Lee's inevitable regression, Roy Oswalt's old ass, and Dice-K's Walkarama) that a Beckett pick here may not have been the worst idea. (El Angelo)

Another case of a team's first round pick forcing it to bench of one of its keepers. The question here is who sits: Drew, or one of the 4 talented OFs? I assume Drew will start the year on the bench, though we'll have to see. It's tough to argue with adding a top-3 middle IF to your team, though I agree that either an SP or a trade down would have been tempting here. There were guys targeting Rollins. (Teddy)

#6. Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago/NL (Unenviable Position)

Third easiest pick to make in the draft. How happy were you to see him fall, Mr. Portagee? (El Angelo)

Not at all. He's an aging hacker--if his SB totals go down he'll be a starter, but not a franchise guy. I was hoping for Rollins to fall so I could fill in my SS opening. (Teddy)

#7. Josh Beckett, SP, Boston (Wu Tang Financial)

The starters already here were solid enough (Prozach, Javy V, Kazmir), but Beckett at #7 is a steal. Correct pick. (El Angelo)

Beckett is the correct pick for a win-now, though Mauer has a better chance to provide elite value over the full 3-year keeper period (his current injury notwithstanding). We're standing at the edge of the chasm here, talent-wise, so there really weren't a ton of viable options. I mean, do yo really want to spend a first rounder on somebody like, I dunno, Carl Crawford or Shane Victorino? (Teddy)

#8. Carl Crawford, OF, Tampa Bay (ARoids Anonymous)
#9. Shane Victorino, OF, Philly (Mission Accomplished)

Call this Me Defending My Own Pick, but let's compare the stat lines between these two players last year:

Crawford: .279/.319/.400, 8 HR, 25 SB
Victorino: .293/.352/.447, 14 HR, 36 SB

Now I'll grant that Crawford wasn't healthy last year and Victorino was. That's fine. Let's combine 2007 and 2008, where they've had almost exactly the same combined plate appearances.

Crawford: .297/.337/.437, 19 HR, 75 SB
Victorino: .288/.367/.437, 26 HR, 73 SB

Conclusion: either Crawford was taken too high, or Victorino was a good pick here. (El Angelo)

Third option: they both suck. Dudes slug .437! (Teddy)

#10. Rafael Furcal, SS, Los Angeles (Evil League of Evil)

It took me about 5 minutes to figure out what team he was in. In fairness, it also took Frank Wren that long. (El Angelo)

Full disclosure: I had a fallback plan for missing out on Rollins. After careful consideration of injury profiles, team offensive characteristics, and player aging curves, I concluded that Raffy Furcal was going to have an only slightly sub-Rollins year. I prepared myself to grab him in round 3 or 4, then cackle at my own brilliance.

Then this pick happened.

Unsurprisingly, I have very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, love the player this year. On the other hand, 10th overall? For a player who can't possibly be better than 4th-best at his position? On, well, I'm out of hands, so I guess it would be the other foot, I might just be jealous. It's all very complex for March. (Teddy)

#11. Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota (Recalcitrant Cobbler)
#12. Big Papi, DH, Boston (Le Dupont Torkies)

Heroes of 2006 round out the first round. I'm torn. I think both of these guys can contribute this year, but wonder if they're really going to live up to where they were taken, and whether they'll be worth having on their respective teams in 2 years. (El Angelo)

They'll have great overall numbers, but I'm not sure that either one is going to rank that highly among their positional peers. (Teddy)

#13. Kelly Johnson, 2B, Atlanta (Mission Accomplished)

I've been ridiculed for this pick, and perhaps rightly so. My entire defense is summed up in two points: (1) he's a mile better than every other available second baseman, and (2) he wasn't going to last until the third round. I'm just saying. (El Angelo)

For all the crap I've been giving Ang here, I actually don't mind the pick. 2B is shallow as hell (unless you share BP's enthusiasm about Ricky Weeks). I might have gone with another arm here and looked to cobble together a double play combo later on, but the pick looks worse than it is. (Teddy)

#14. Alex Rios, OF, Toronto (AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS)

The boy's a good player and all, but this team's best pitcher is Gavin Floyd. Wouldn't a starter have been a better idea here? (El Angelo)

On my list, I have little red marks next to players who I think have been overvalued by the list-making authority. I have three red marks next to Rios. I am probably undervaluing him as a result, but he's mostly useful for SB and R, categories that this team shored up with the Reyes pick. Waiting for a Raul Ibanez-style run produced might have been the way to go. (Teddy)

#15. John Lackey, SP, Anaheim (The Loose Bowels)
#16. Victor Martinez, C, Cleveland (Recalcitrant Cobbler)

#17. Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota (The Spam Avengers)

A broken pitcher, a flopping catcher, and a potentially broken catcher. I'm meh on the first two picks and actually dislike the last pick because Mauer's not going to be a catcher in 2011. When he's a right fielder, he'll be Paul O'Neill. (El Angelo)

I like all three picks more than my esteemed co-author. I think Mauer and VMart will each end up on the Brandon Inge path of catching just enough games each year to stay eligible at C, thus preserving their values. There are questions on each--can Mauer stay healthy, is VMart just cooked?--but C is another position where the bottom of the barrel can get pretty ugly.

Lackey is a nice bet to be keepable, and as such offers value here. And as we'll see, his lack of immediate availability will be somewhat mitigated by this team's later decision to draft every other available starter at once. (Teddy)

#18. Brett Myers, SP, Philly (Unenviable Position)

Don't love my own pick here, given Myers bizarre season last year, but I'm betting that his wife-pimping hand is still strong. (Teddy)

He's a mile better than a lot of other pitchers available, including 3 that are going to be taken in about 8 lines. (El Angelo)

#19. Jayson Werth, OF, Philadelphia (Wu Tang Financial)

In PECOTA they trust; its projected line for Werth? 85/22/69/15/.380, or, in other words, better than either Victorino or Crawford. (Teddy)

Given that 10% of his homers last year came against the Jays' bullpen and he hasn't been traded to the O's, I'm still not impressed. (El Angelo)

#20. Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago/NL (Aroids Anonymous)

#21. Derek Lowe, SP, Atlanta (The Loose Bowels)
#22. Justin Duchsherer, SP, Oakland (The Loose Bowels)

A party foul here, as a rhythm was established and then ignored. Successive picks of "Derrek" and and "Derek" should have been followed by a pick of someone named "Deek". We'll grant you that "Duke" is close, but we like to think that we hold ourselves to higher standards around here. (Teddy)

Lee, Lowe & Duke sounds like a Savannah law firm that does mass tort litigation. I suppose there's some upside to that. (El Angelo)

#23. Theodore Roosevelt Lilly, SP, Chicago/NL (The Loose Bowels)

Indeed. (Teddy)

We're just annoyed that TR was the only president who we could reference. Are there no players named Woodrow? Or Dubya? (El Angelo)

#24. Vlad Guerrero, OF, Anaheim (Le Dupont Torkies)

Possibly the only time in history that a second round pick has been used on a player who aged two years in one offseason. (Teddy)

And lost a position: I have to think that he'll be a DH this time next year. Still, I wish he were still an Expo patrolling the outfield with Yamil Benitez. (El Angelo)


Anonymous said...

In my defense, I took Joe Mauer, not V-Mart.

Corey said...

I'm disappointed in your research... you failed to note that Crawford is now on my team for the third time (picked him up as a prospect in year 1, traded for him last year, and now this draft). If only I could have drafted Pujols back, tho :(