Few things in life are truer than the saying, “No one cares about your fantasy team.” That’s okay, I’m going to write about mine anyway.
I play in a dynasty league, one that’s been around since 1985, although I didn’t join it until 1992. Because it’s been around forever, it has some unique rules, ones that would probably turn off people who didn’t start playing the game until the 21st Century.
One of those rules is that there are no in-season waiver wire pickups, which makes Draft Day a whole lot more exciting. Last night was our draft. Before going into results of the draft, some background information you might find useful:
We have 40-man rosters and you’re allowed to keep up to 32 players. It’s a 12-team mixed league that utilizes a unique scoring system. I finished third last year and I have a solid team except for a serious hole at closer. I entered last year with four closers. Three of them lost their job during the year and the fourth is hanging on by a thread.
I traded up for the second pick, thinking that would allow me to draft Edwin Diaz. Speculation had the guy with the first pick taking a shortstop, a rumor that turned out not to be true. There were a bunch of closers available but they all had warts. The best one was Seung Oh of the Cardinals. The problem there was that he was 34 years old.
Meanwhile, Willson Contreras was also available. I had a solid catching corps, fronted by Jonathan Lucroy, so there was really no need for me to pick a catcher. Yet catcher has always been a comparative weak point of the team. Before trading for Lucroy midway through the 2016 season, the best backstop I’ve had in a quarter of a century had been Jason Kendall.
With great health, something my team enjoys on an equal basis with the Mets, and a standout year from Oh, I’d have a shot at winning the league, something I haven’t done since 2007. But if I had more than my share of injuries again, I’d have wasted a year of Oh, who doesn’t have many years left to waste.
It was a classic case of the guy I wanted (Contreras) to take versus the guy I should (Oh) take.
I ended up taking Contreras. My next two picks I was able to get Blake Treinen and Neftali Feliz, two guys who at least enter the year with the closer’s gig. That shut me out of getting most of the hot prospects who were available, but I was able to snag 2016 top overall pick Mickey Moniak, who for some reason was passed on by every other team multiple times. He had a solid enough pro debut in the GULF last year and could open 2017 in the SAL.
So, I head into 2017 with the following team:
C – Francisco Cervelli, Willson Contreras, Travis d’Arnaud, Jonathon Lucroy
1B – Lucas Duda, Freddie Freeman
2B – Josh Harrison, Daniel Murphy
3B – Nolan Arenado
SS – Brad Miller, Chris Owings, Dansby Swanson
OF – Carlos Beltran, Andrew Benintendi, Ryan Braun, Adam Eaton, Brett Gardner, Mickey Moniak, Christian Yelich, Bradley Zimmer
DH – Evan Gattis
SP – Kolby Allard, Jacob deGrom, Justin Dunn, Zack Greinke, Matt Harvey, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jose Quintana, Tanner Roark, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ervin Santana, Josh Tomlin, Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann
RP – Neftali Feliz, Luke Gregerson, Joe Jimenez, David Robertson, Hector Rondon, Blake Treinen
If Verlander pitches like he did in 2016 and deGrom, Greinke and Harvey are closer to 2015 than 2016 results, I’ll have a chance. But even if I don’t win it all this year, this team still is well-positioned for the future. On offense, only Beltran and Braun are clearly in decline. The starters have the potential to be great. Closer is still a concern but there’s at least the possibility it won’t be a disaster. And with Allard, Dunn, Jimenez, Moniak and Zimmer there are guys in the pipeline to supplement under 25 stars like Contreras, Swanson and Benintendi.
Is it Opening Day yet?