Head to Head Categories Draft Strategy

Team 10 Head by Head Categories Draft Analysis

I just participated in a 10 Tm H2H categories draft with my girlfriend.  The league is a little bit unusual, and has added IP and TB(total bases) to the 5 standard scoring settings.  We had the 6th overall pick, and will provide our picks and thoughts on individual players and building our roster.

Round 1 pick 6 – McCutchen – We were praying that a couple people would reach for Kershaw or Verlander, or some of their home team favorite players so that Cano could fall to us.  He didn’t so after the big 3, Cano, and Kemp went off the board we took McCutchen.  I am not too worried about regression for McCutchen because I think he has been showing these skills for several years now.  Now that it has come together for him, let’s enjoy the ride.

Round 2 pick 15 – Adrian Beltre –I do consider third base to be a deeper position this year, however there is a lot of questions and current injuries plaguing the position.  And in a head to head league where consistency has value we were more than pleased to fill in Beltre at our 3B spot.

Round 3 pick 26 – Dustin Pedroia – After missing on Cano, I am not overly excited about any of the 2B after Kinsler and Pedriia.  So we pulled the trigger on Pedroia.  I do think last year for Boston was just such a weird year I expect bounce backs for many of the Red Sox.

Round 4 pick 35 – Bryce Harper – I have typically not been one to take Harper in the early rounds that I have seen him going.  But I think he is one of the more likely players outside of the top 3 rounds to perform like a first rounder.  When given the choice last year to pick up free agents Harper or Trout, I chose Harper last year (sigh).  I mention that because it was commonly believe that Harper was the bigger star that would emerge.  It could come as early as 2013.

Round 5 pick 46 – Billy Butler – I clump A-Gon, and Craig in the same group as Butler.  Both went around Butler.  With the added category of Total Bases in this league I feel even better about owning Butler, if some of his homeruns regress back to double we will still benefit in this format.

Round 6 pick 55 – Cliff Lee – What?  Yes Cliff Lee.  We were very excited to pick up Cliff Lee as our ace in the 6th round at the 55th pick.  I have Lee as a top 10 starter and the fact that he fell to us was great.  I do think his 6 win total from last year was flukey and his other numbers all reflect an elite level pitcher.  We were content waiting on pitching till this area of the draft, and were even more happy about it when we got a true ace in that spot.

Round 7 (66) – Jimmy Rollins – Shortstop is another position I am not that excited about.  I like Reyes and Zobrist this year, and had missed out on them.  In past seasons I have owned Tulo when he has almost single handedly won me H2H leagues in September.  But by this time in the draft I wanted to fill SS and do view Rollins as a tier about Asdrubal, and the rest of the guys after him.  We also were starting to want a little bit more speed on our team at this point.

Round 8 (75) – Aramis Ramirez – This league has 2 UTL spots, so even though we took Beltre in the 2nd slotting in Aramis in one of our UTL was a great move here.  I think Aramis is very much underrated this year and aside from some slow starts he is one of the most consistent hitters in the league.

Round 9 (86) – Yovani Gallardo – We were more than happy to slot Gallardo in as our second pitcher.  In a league that coints innings I think Gallardo and his 200 IPs and high strikeouts is a solid number 2.

Round 10 (95) – Shin-Soo Choo – Choo fills out our third OF slot almost completeing our Offensive starters.  I really like his move to CIN where I think his power numbers can be bolstered as well as his run total hitting on a much better team.

Round 11 (106) – Ian Kennedy – With our offense set except for C and our last UTL it was time to start bolstering our pitching staff.  If Kennedy can get back to 2011 Cy  Young type form we have struck gold, but even if he meets us in the middle he should be a solid number 3 on a team that could surprise this year.

Round 12 (115) – Jon Lester – Lester was a guy I thought would own a CY Young by now, and 2012 was far from that.  His strong spring has enforced my initial love for Lester, and Could potentially be adding another ace to our staff as our #4.

Round 13 (126) – Jake Peavy – Obviously the concern here is health.  If we can get another 190 IPs out of Peavy I expect similar numbers to 2012.  The big question will be if he hits those IP again.  In a 10 team mixed league, I don’t mind taking the risk on a pitcher like Peavy.

Round 14 (135) – Nick Swisher – This may have been my least favorite pick of the draft, but I wanted to make sure our team had enough power, because I knew we could get speed guys late in the draft.  I also had to choose Swisher over David Ortiz and made the call based on injury concerns for Ortiz.

Round 15 (146) – Aoki – Here one of the speed guys I knew we could get later.  But calling Aoki a speed guy isn’t doing him justice.  He can contribute to all categories.

Round 16 (155) – Chase Headley – By round 16 I am more than willing to take Headley here and stick him on our DL.  I do think his power is very likely to regress in 2013, but the fences did come in as well at his home park.  When healthy he will be our third 3B that could be starting on a lot of other owners teams.  But this late in the draft I was more than willing to take the missed time for Headley.

Round 17 (166) – Jesus Montero – We had planned to be one of the last teams to draft a catcher.  Montero was actually the number 12 or so Catcher off the board which we found strange because teams were drafting more than one catcher.  But like Headley the fences are coming in for Montero which could benefit his power numbers.  He is still young and entering his prime and has had enough MLB plate appearances to potential take another step forward.

Round 18 (175) – Addison Reed – in  a 10 team league I knew we could wait all the way to the final picks of the draft to even get 3 closers.  With the next three picks that is what we did.  This late in the draft I only care that my closer is contributing to the saves category.

Round 19 (186) – Grant Balfour – He appears to be healthy, and sure he could get traded (because he is an A’s closer) but until then he should be getting saves.

Round 20 (195) – Steve Cishek – We wanted one of these 3 closers to be Chris Perez but missed out on him.  With that said I have no problem taking 3 closers in the last picks of the draft knowing that saves often come and go in the free agent pool should any of these guys get hurt or lost their jobs.

Round 21 (206) – Ben Revere – I am a big fan of Revere’s speed and batting average ability.  Having him and Aoki might be a little much trying to cover our speed, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Revere approach 60 SBs this year.

Round 22 (215) – Josh Beckett – Again I think a lot of Red Sox from 2012 rebound this year, and Beckett has looked good this spring.  Was also wanting Cobb in this area and he was taken prior to Beckett.

Round 23 (226) – Julio Teheran – The former top pitching prospect in all of baseball has one a starting spot for the Braves with an outstanding spring.  With last pick of the draft, it is a great high ceiling low risk pick.

Conclusion – So the plan was to wait on a catcher, wait at least until Round 5 for a pitcher, wait on closers till the end, and wait on stolen bases.  We absolutely executed this strategy.  We took 3 closers at the end of the draft, got Revere and Aoki late in the draft to provide speed.  And assembled a strong pitching staff while bolster our hitter in the early rounds.


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