The 2015 version of your baseball commish is now playing catchup at his new gig, requiring much more actual work throughout the day and any free time at home that used to be spent punching out a few paragraphs are now dedicated to making sure my son's stomach is full and his diaper is not. Unfortunately, it is you the fellow fantasy baseball owner who suffers when the commish makes a selfish decision to improve his resume and build a family and for that, I am sincerely sorry. I know this draft day recap is entirely too late for anyone hoping to waste 10 minutes of their day and I have to warn you that this could be an ominous sign for the rest of the season. I kept starting and restarting this draft grade post repeatedly since we drafted a few weeks ago and I hope the wait is almost worth it. I can't guarantee that this or any future recaps will be on time or even halfway amusing or informative but I will make every effort to spit out occasional analysis and nonsense on this site in an attempt to make this league worth your time and money. Now that the DeFelice mea culpa is complete, let's go back to a time back when Kris Bryant was toiling away in the minor leagues, Carlos Gomez was healthy and we were all huddled around out laptops on Opening Day eve, waiting to see what presents we would open.
1. Fred McGriffey Jr.
If there was ever a team that needed an early pick in the draft, this was the one. Anthony Rendon was almost the worst keeper option in the league and when he hurt his knee after the keeper deadline, it meant Jerome's bad two knees would be buckling under the pressure on draft night. The commish stuck with his usual draft day strategy of targeting power hitters and waiting for pitchers, which more or less went according to plan throughout the night. Much like his over consumption of Coors Light that night, Jerome probably should've cut himself off before drafting his 9th low average/high power/high injury risk player. The two week hangover of this crappy early season for the commish is evidence of that. DeFelice started the season with four players on the DL but has already swung a trade, which means he will work late nights in the GM office to get this thing right.
Best Pick: Gio Gonzalez
Worst Pick: Oswaldo Acria
Keeper Grade: F (Anthony Rendon)
Draft Grade: B-
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Kevin Maas
In Season GM Level: Expert
Predicted 2015 Finish: 8th
2. Harry Doyle
The defending champ looks locked and loaded to defend the throne in 2015. When you finally put the crown on your head, you know that the rest of the league will stop at nothing to end your reign but Matty has armed himself with plenty of weapons to fend off any threats to win the Shocker League Game of Thrones. I can tell that Matt did his offseason homework because he's got more than a few popular sleepers on his roster such as Dickerson, Betts, Soler, Cashner, Pollock, and Ken Giles. It probably wasn't intentional but 21 of the 25 players on Matt's roster on draft night play in the National League, which is kind of funny. This team has a NL feel to them as they are going to get on base a lot, steal some bags, and pitch great for most of the season. A strong draft and a strong work ethic will undoubtedly make this team a contender and I'm going to predict that Matt will be the first back-to-back champion this league has ever seen.
Best Pick: Jake Arrieta
Worst Pick: Neil Walker
Keeper Grade: A- (Kershaw)
Draft Grade: A
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Greg Maddux
In Season GM Level: Expert
Predicted Finish: 1st
3. The Balloon Knots
This team's batting balloon could soar to great heights or fall like the hindenburg but they should encounter minimal turbulence from the mound with a well formed pitching staff. Tulo, Bryce Harper, Dozier, Arenado, and Mesoraco will tantalize Jeff when they're healthy and frustrate him when they are not, which will be often. If they can stay on the field, this team is going to win a lot of games and Jeff is going to have a very entertaining team to watch. J. Petty also has a killer 1-2 pitching punch with King Felix and Zimmermann along with nice value picks of Sonny Gray and Alex Wood to round out the rotation. Jeff is going to witness a lot of highs and lows this season but I think it will even itself out and J. Petty will end up somewhere towards the middle when his wild ride ends.
Best Pick: J.D. Martinez
Worst Pick: Sean Doolittle
Keeper Grade: B (Tulo)
Draft Grade: B-
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Dwight Gooden
In Season GM Level: All Star
Predicted Finish: 5th
4. Heads UP
Tim Downs decided to inject some youth into his front office right before the draft when he asked Zachary Skul to help him out this year and although there's another brain to help run this team, it will need plenty of ibuprofen all year. I see a lot of headaches for these two as the talent level isn't high and neither is the potential. Han-Ram will probably be better in 2015, Rizzo is a stud, and Cueto is excellent but overall there's just not much to get excited about with this team. If Springer cuts down on his K's, Billy Hamilton continues to evolve, and Jay Bruce bounces back, this team has a chance to be exciting and formidable but questionable draft picks like Rosenthal, Jansen, Rusney Castilo, Wieters, and Verlander will give Downs the familiar feeling of being out of contention by Independence Day.
Best Pick: Jake Odorizzi
Worst Pick: Rusney Castillo
Keeper Grade: D (Hanley)
Draft Grade: D
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Brian Bohanon
In Season GM Level: Novice
Predicted Finish: 11th
5. Foot Pussy
I felt bad that I didn't help RIch and Pep out when their computer crashed late in the draft but shouldn't we all have predicted that this team would have the battery go out on their computer at some point? Based on the name of this team and the history of these two owners, you might assume that they will be losing a lot of power and asking for help all season long. Stanton's going to treat baseballs like the Ferguson Police treat black people all year, Kluber was a nice third round pick, and Nelson Cruz is already proving that last year was no fluke, which is reason for these guys to be excited. Everyone in the draft room was pissed when these guys took Kolten Wong in the 7th round and they could get a nice value in Yadier Molina if he bounces back. We can't deny the history of this team which means that the injury threats of V-Mart, Wainright, Gardner, Molina, Latos, Choo, and Belt will miss chunks of the season and history tells us that the players these owners pick up won't do much to compensate. Rich went back to the Clay Buchholz well once again for some retarded reason which means Rich either enjoys watching that grease ball get lit up every five days or Rich is trolling all of us. These two have a lot of bad history to overcome and I'm guessing this chapter will go about as smooth as a Jon Lester pickoff attempt.
Worst Pick: Adam Wainright
Keeper Grade: A- (Giancarlo)
Draft Grade: C
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Steve Balboni
In Season GM Level: Rookie
Predicted Finish: 10th
6. Finger Betters
You could argue that Carlos Gomez was the best non-keeper available when we started the draft so you would think Kevin would be ecstatic to grab him in the 6 spot. That's certainly what I thought up until day 10 of the season when he shipped him off for players drafted in the 15th and 25th round. I know Gomez is a walking, talking, tampon but...geez that seemed a bit rash to me. Keven really Kevined it up later when he grabbed a bevy of closers like our league just voted to change the Save category to a Saves+Holds+Bullpen pitches format. There are some things to like about this team like Cano's steadiness, Sale's filthiness, and Chapman's dominance and we all know this roster will likely look much different in three months, rendering this draft grade meaningless for the most part. Drafting two guys that started in AAA at the time won't help and with the high risk players on this team, K. Petty will probably lead our league in players traded and f-bombs muttered.
Best Pick: Carlos Gomez
Worst Pick: Steve Cishek
Keeper Grade: B (Cano)
Draft Grade: C
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Rod Beck
In Season GM Level: Expert
Predicted Finish: 9th
7. Ninja Blacksox
I swear Castillo was sitting on my couch throughout the draft but looking at his roster, I have to assume that it was Mike Castillo's evil twin brother, Moises Castillo who was on the couch, making picks for the Blacksox. That's the only way I can comprehend this team's GM taking David Ortiz, Puig, Pablo Sandoval, and Jonathan Papelbon, which I had thought Castillo hated with the fire of 1,000 suns. The rest of Moises's picks were aimed at the best player available for the most part, which was the right selection more often than not and has set this team up to be a contender. This team has a lot of very talented players and I think that even though right now Mike wants to strangle his evil twin Moises, these two will share a loving embrace when this team is challenging for a regular season title in early September.
Best Pick: Dee Gordon
Worst Pick: Melky Cabrera
Keeper Grade: A (McCutchen)
Draft Grade: A-
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Barry Bonds
In Season GM Level: Veteran
Predicted Finish: 3rd
8. Stroke My Shaft
Zach has already gone all George Steinbrenner on his team as it took about 10 days for him to complain about and then drop his 8th and 9th round picks after slow starts. I was a bit surprised that Z kept CarGo over Puig and we'll know by June if that was smart or not once we know if CarGo suffers yet another hand injury or is sending baseballs to Greeley at full health. If Zach actually holds onto his players, I think he's got a pretty decent lineup that will age like fine wine with Bumgarner, Adrian Gonzalez, Adam Jones, Longoria, and Kemp providing some stability. We all laughed when Zach took Alex Rodriguez (which was a joke by him) but so far Alex and his bum hips are getting the last laugh.
Best Pick: Chris Archer
Worst Pick: Dellin Betances
Keeper Grade: D (CarGo)
Draft Grade: B
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: David Justice
In Season GM Level: Veteran
Predicted Finish: 6th
9. The Hot Corner
Arch has never shied away from taking pitchers early and often on draft night so it was a little surprising to watch Arch ignore pitcher after pitcher as they walked by. Much like when Rocky switched his style against Clubber Lang, I think Arch will surprise his opponents and land enough punches to make his opponent wobbly by the late rounds. Paul Goldschmidt is constantly underrated but the dude blisters baseballs and can steal a few bags, which is rare for a big first baseman. Jose Reyes will be a threat on the bases for this team but will also threaten Arch's sanity when he's constantly in the trainers room for one of his 79 nagging injuries. There's lots of young batters like Heyward, Machado, Polanco, and Bogaerts, who have teased potential and if that is realized in 2015, Arch will have a formidable lineup that already has plenty of pop. Even though the pitching staff lacks it's usual ferocity in years past, Arch made no egregious mistakes on draft night and is an astute enough GM to make sure this team is in a position to win it all when the playoffs roll around. Arch runs the premiere sports book in the greater Wheat Ridge area and if Arch were to set the line on this team winning a title, I'd think he'd have to be pretty confident in posting them amongst the favorites at 7/1.
Best Pick: Howie Kendrick
Worst Pick: Jason Heyward
Keeper Grade: A- Paul Goldschmidt
Draft Grade: B+
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Chipper Jones
In Season GM Level: All-Star
Predicted Finish: 2nd
10. Fightin' Buck Showalters
Meyer waltzed into the draft room nonchalantly about three minutes before draft time and appeared to be a man in total control of his draft day emotions. Calm, like Adam Jones blowing a bubble in the batter's box,
Best Pick: Max Scherzer
Worst Pick: Marlon Byrd
Keeper Grade: B+ (Miguel Cabrera)
Draft Grade: C+
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Daryl Strawberry
In Season GM Level: Veteran
Predicted Finish: 8th
11. Arvada Astros
The first two months of the season is crucial to Lance "Laser" Perez because we've seen this franchise limp out of the gates a few times before and then put it on autopilot for the second half of the season. The good news for Laser is that his team looks very good so far in the year and if his pitching staff can stay healthy, this team should keep Lance's interest most of the season. It doesn't hurt that this team has the best baseball player on planet earth in Mike Trout and Lance is going to have to hope Trout gets some protection in this lineup because overall, it's average at best. Perez will have no trouble getting wins on the pitching side of the scoreboard with big arms like Strasburg, Harvey, Wacha, and McHugh, who are going to humiliate batters all year and give Lance reason to stay invested in this team. I'm a little worried about Jon Lester's slow start and Evan Gattis is going to wear a golden sombrero plenty this season but with the help of Lance's son in the GM office, this could be a team that finally gives Laser and our league reason to pay attention to the Arvada Astros late in the year.
Best Pick: Collin McHugh
Worst Pick: Huston Street
Keeper Grade: A+ (Trout)
Draft Grade: C+
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: Nolan Ryan
In Season GM Level: Intermediate
Predicted Finish: 7th
12. New Dalai Big HItters
Colin and Jon might not have the extensive fantasy baseball background the rest of our league has but they didn't look totally overwhelmed on draft night with stupid reaches and questionable decisions. Most of the time it looks like they stuck with the BPA (Best Player Available) method, which is a sound strategy no matter how many times you've participated in a draft. Players like Altuve, Marte, Ozuna, Sal Perez, and Liriano were good value picks on draft night and they'll have to be patient and hope the late round pitching picks hit their stride fairly soon. I was certain Rich would extend himself for Kris Bryant but it was these two that took the Spring Training MVP about three rounds too early. It could pay huge dividends when the season ends or teach us another valuable lesson that hitting a major league baseball pitch can be really difficult for anyone no matter what your prospect status is. This team isn't necessarily weak overall but they have suffered some injuries early in the year to go along with some slow starts, which is why these guys might be wondering if they are going to look like an expansion team that gets humiliated on a weekly basis. Having five relief pitchers on their roster currently isn't helping their case, either. If the injuries and slumps subside, this team could work its way into the playoffs but so far it looks like the assortment of draft day picks and early season acquisitions will make for a rough inaugural season for the Runge-Luciano faction.
Best Pick: Salvador Perez
Worst Pick: Jayson Werth
Keeper Grade: B+ (Jose Abreu)
Draft Grade: C-
Fantasy Team to Former Big Leaguer Comparison: David Neid
In Season GM Level: Rookie
Predicted Finish: 12th
Again, I apologize for the tardiness of this post and apologize for future quiet times on this site. Hopefully once budget season passes at work and I can find ways to carve out an hour or three at my desk, I'll try to keep the content flowing like the diarrhea out of my son's poop chute at night. We'll try to stick with the monthly recap formula and throw in the occasional post about random baseball events and hopefully that gives everyone a reason to stay on top of their rosters and talk as much trash as possible when we gather for a cold beverage. I can't guarantee anything, though as these recaps take more time than I would like to produce so maybe there will be more Recap Light's for us to consume or I'll have to figure out another way to fool around with y'all in this league.
Even though my Yankees and fantasy team appear to have the same vigor as snuffleupagus on quaaludes, I am excited for another season of baseball and another reason for me to gamble on sports. Good luck to your teams in Two Thousand and Fifteen and we'll end this post with some shots in the dark about how our season awards will be passed out in six months because who doesn't like more pointless predictions about a fantasy baseball league.
Regular Season Champ: Arch
Shocker League Champion: Matt Suer
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
Batter of the Year: Paul Goldschmidt
Pitcher of the Year: Max Scherzer
Batting Bust of the Year: Edwin Encarnacion
Pitching Bust of the Year: Cole Hammels
Streaming Pitchers Picked Up by Kevin: 116
Calendar Date Lance Stops Caring: July 22nd
Excuses Jerome Makes for Dumb Fantasy Baseball Posts and Struggling Baseball Team: 26
Slow Pitch Softball Leagues Zach Suer Participates in: 6
Times That Wrigley Field Looks Like Westminster Mall: 39
Disapproving Looks from Jeff Petty's Co-workers When His Computer Screen Shows the Balloon Knots vs. Foot Pussy:7
Times I want to say "TIM DOWNS FOR WHAT?!?!?!?!?" When the Song "Turn Down For What" is On: Every single time
Matt Suer's Hours Spent on Construction of Home in the Summer: 100
Matt Suer's Hours Spent on Construction of Fantasy Team in the Summer: 101
Michael Peppel's Total Career Slow Pitch Softball Home Run Distance: 275 ft. 1 inch.
Times Castillo and Luciano will Get the Answer "No" from Me When Asking to Play Golf This Year: 9
Minutes of Guilt You Will Feel While Drinking a Coors or Bud Light in the Presence of Arch and Meyer's Distinguished Beer Palates: 72
Worthwhile Words You Read In the Last 10 Minutes: 0