For those of you who don't care about my APBA fantasy draft, this report is cut-tagged for your protection. :)
Salient details about our APBA league:This is a cards-and-dice game (which I play all of on the computer with an auto-manager; half the league plays half of the season face-to-face with cards and dice, but I don't have that much time any more). The cards are based on last year's player performances.
But this is also a continuous ownership league, so you can keep any player who is on your team next year, which gives you an incentive to draft for the future as well as the present.
And we only have eight teams, but draft from all of the 30 major league teams.
Finally, we have imposed an artificial cap on quality starting pitching so only one starting pitcher was available to draft under the cap. (Due to previous good/lucky drafting, I had a full rotation of "quality" starting pitchers. On average, there are three per team.)
Anyway, I had offered to move a starting pitcher some time ago, but had gotten only one serious nibble and that deal collapsed last night. (Shelby Miller for Starling Marte; he didn't like the way Miller had started the season, while Marte had gotten off to a hot start.) And Lanny came back to take over the River Forest team that Guth and I had been managing and drafting for lack of a permanent manager, so we were off the hook for any decisions there. (Lanny also moved the team to Olympia, his historic team's home town.)
In fact, Lanny had executed a complex three-way deal with George and Allan the night before that had left him devoid of shortstops. However, Lanny had the second overall pick in the draft and two stud shortstops were (unusually) available, so...
Also, Rich H. had been talking trade with Gordon, who held the number four overall pick, but hadn't been able to work anything out. (Yet.)
The draft order was: Rich H. (Cocoa Beach), Lanny (Olympia), George (Madison), Gordon (Kaskaskia), Guth (Quad Cities), Rich R. (San Antonio), Me (Evanston), Allan (Las Vegas). As usual, I was towards the tail end of the draft, which is good in the sense that my team played well, but bad in the sense that it keeps me away from a lot of top talent.
In no great surprise, Jake Arrieta went to Rich H. with the first overall pick, exhausting the supply of available quality starting pitchers. Lanny followed and drafted Kris Bryant, somewhat to my surprise, as I'd expected he'd take a shortstop. But Bryant was the player he wanted and it's a choice that's hard to argue with.
George drafted next and grabbed off Cleveland stud shortstop Lindor.
And I looked up at Gordon and said, "We should talk. Now."
See, the one player that I really wanted to grab in the draft was Houston's stud shortstop Carlos Correa. And he was still available. And I had things that Gordon could use.
After a short negotiation, I sent him quality starter Shelby Miller, third baseman Todd Frazier, and slick fielding (and poor hitting) shortstop Andrelton Simmons for his first round pick, which I used to select Correa. The fans of the Evanston Express went wild.
(The Kaskaskia fans weren't at all unhappy with the situation either, as they'd plugged three holes with the single pick.
The San Antonio fans were in mourning, although I don't know how they would have expected Correa to fall to the sixth overall pick. But hey.)
Anyway, I still had my natural pick at seven and used it to pick up a half-season worth of Randal Grichuk, a Cards rookie outfielder who had pounded the cover off the ball when healthy. And I needed more outfield, because I had a lot of mediocrity scattered out there after Harper and Heyward.
In round two, I filled the hole I had created in my rotation by nabbing pitching prospect Taijuan Walker one pick ahead of Allan, who would have taken him one pick ahead of Rich H. who would have taken him... Timing. Timing is everything.
I needed to fill at least two bullpen slots and took care of the first in round 3, adding grade A control reliever Ryan Madson.
Catching is problematic for most of the league. Yadier Molina is aging out on me and was sort of playable this year, but between him and Travis d'Arnaud I had barely enough at bats to cover the position. I added young Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart in round 4 to pad out at bats while hoping that he'll be called back from the minors later this season. We'll see how this works out.
In round 5, I made a correction to the rotation, pushing Walker down to the sixth (emergency) starter slot by adding Tampa Bay's Erasmo Ramirez ahead of him. Ramirez is a better pitcher than Walker this year and may well be an asset going forward if I'm lucky.
I needed to cover at bats at first base behind injured Freddie Freeman, but I was very unhappy with the available first basemen. So I kludged the situation by drafting Cardinals OF/1B Stephen Piscotty in round 6, giving me enough ABs to get through the season and another outfield prospect going forward.
The bullpen was still a man short, so I added grade A&C no-control reliever Will Harris in round 7.
In round 8, I decided to upgrade the bullpen, trading in B-grade control reliever Luke Gregerson for A-grade no-control reliever Trevor Rosenthal.
In round 9, I added Michael Moustakas to replace Evan Longoria as my backup third baseman behind Manny Machado. Longoria's career didn't take quite the trajectory that I might have hoped when I drafted him and he was unlikely to improve any time soon, based on history. We'll see if I regret that later.
In round 10, I added some more outfield at bats with Kevin Pillar, who lacks the power and on-base percentage I'd like to see, but was better than the available alternatives. At least he can field well. :)
In round 11, I thought I was done and pencilled in that I was keeping Adam Wainwright (who is uncarded this year and cannot play), cutting Rick Porcello to make room. I have chased Porcello's promise for a long time, got one quality year out of him last year, and then he unraveled completely in Boston.
And then I realized that I had made a mistake. Because as much as I am a Cardinals fan boy for Kolten Wong, Baltimore's Jonathan Schoop was still available and would suit my team so much better. If only no one took him before it came back around to me.
Happily, no one did, so I grabbed Schoop in round 12 and cut Wong.
In all, I replaced 12 of the 32 players on my roster, which was a lot deeper than I'd expected to go. Of course, trading three guys away in the first round had something to do with that.
Holdovers are: Molina, d'Arnaud, Freeman, Zobrist, Machado, Bogaerts, Harper, Heyward, J. Upton, Calhoun, Polanco, Greinke, Kershaw, Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Gausman, Samardzija, Wainwright, Watson, Thornton.
And that's the way it went.
Now I just need to get used to looking for a bunch of new players in the box scores. :)