It was forecast to be a hot, miserable, and humid day, all of which came true. We started at 1 PM, by which time we start to get some shade in the backyard, where we were holding the draft in the interest of social distancing. About the time we started, unforecasted clouds rolled in and provided a bit of cooling, for which we were all grateful. There were also light winds that helped. Even so, it was hot, miserable, and humid.
I was drafting fifth out of eight, so I was fairly certain of getting one of the four pitchers that I had on my list. The thing that was also fairly certain was that I wouldn't get a shot a Jack Flaherty, who I wanted because he was both talented and a Cardinal. I tried dangling bodies for a trade, but nothing came of it, so I settled back to see what would happen.
The opening pick was Christian Vasquez, probably the best catcher available in the draft, but a bit of a surprise to me, as I suspect he will come back to Earth next year. The next pick was Fernando Tatis, Jr., which surprised no one. Then Flaherty went with the third pick, followed by Bo Bichette with the fourth pick. I thought this was a bit of a reach, but this meant that I had clear sailing to pick Walker Buehler of the Dodgers who may have been the best pitcher available in the draft. We'll see. :)
I spent the rest of the draft handling the one fellow who had to draft remotely due to having a family member who is a special risk for COVID. I had him on the phone and he was drafting right in front of me (except in the first round, when he had traded away the pick used for Bichette), so whenever I went to the draft table, I made two picks: one for him, and one for me.
In the second round, I was happy to find Mitchell Garver, catcher for the Twins. He had a breakout year last year. This year, we'll find out if that was a mirage or not. I'm hoping not, as Yadier Molina has a finite amount of career left.
In the third round, I became the second manager to dip into the pile of relief pitching and came out with Will Harris, a fine pitcher for Houston who had been on my team a few years ago.
In the fourth round, it was back to the relief ranks (my bullpen having largely imploded since last season, a not-uncommon occurrance) where I grabbed Cardinal relieve Giovanny Gallegos. This would guarantee that the pen would be fairly solid this season.
With Severino and Taillon both out for this season and next following Tommy John surgery, it was time to add some more pitchers to the starting rotation. I was the first into the pile of unrestricted starting pitchers and pulled Max Fried from Atlanta in the fifth round.
In the sixth round, it was time for more starting pitching with Brandon Woodruff of the Brewers.
There were a number of young position players in the draft that I might have been interested in, but the trigger kept getting pulled on them just a bit before I was ready to take them, so I drafted a lot of pitching. The seventh round finished up the bullpen with Brandon Kintzler from the Cubs. This year, he's with the Marlins. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Marcus Semien of Oakland was another player who had a late breakout last season. I needed more shortstop and when he was still there in the eighth round, he seemed like a really good idea.
And as long as I was drafting shortstops, how about Kevin Newman from the Pirates in the ninth round? He also backs up a number of positions, which is useful.
Tenth round and the end was near. I added Yu Darvish from the Cubs to provide emergency starts in the hope that his performance late last season indicates that he was healthy again.
Eleventh round and my last pick. Oh, look! Because we are not a DH league and he was carded *only* as a DH, so he can't actually play this year, Shohei Ohtani of the Angels had managed to fall off everyone's radar. He had finally arrived on mine. :)
And that was it. The draft wrapped up two rounds later. Everyone packed their stuff out and headed home.
Within a half an hour, the sun came out.
An hour after that, it was raining.
All things considered, the weather here was nice to us today...