Daily Categories League Draft

This is a 12-team snake draft for a daily categories league. The categories are the normal ones with Errors and OPS added for hitters, while Quality Starts, Holds and  SO/9 are added to the pitching side.  With the 8th pick I was able to construct this roster. 

1.(8)Mike Trout (LAA – OF)
2.(17)Manny Machado (SD – 3B,SS)
3.(32)Alex Bregman (Hou – 3B,SS)
4.(41)Whit Merrifield (KC – 2B,OF)
5.(56)José Abreu (CWS – 1B)
6.(65)Gleyber Torres (NYY – 2B,SS)
7.(80)Nick Castellanos (Cin – OF)
8.(89)Jose Altuve (Hou – 2B)
9.(104)Ian Anderson (Atl – SP)
10.(113)Chris Paddack (SD – SP)
11.(128)Sonny Gray (Cin – SP)
12.(137)Yasmani Grandal (CWS – C,1B)
13.(152)Jordan Romano (Tor – RP)
14.(161)Alex Verdugo (Bos – OF)
15.(176)Richard Rodríguez (Pit – RP)
16.(185)Dallas Keuchel (CWS – SP)
17.(200)Jordan Hicks (StL – RP)
18.(209)Germán Márquez (Col – SP)
19.(224)Justus Sheffield (Sea – SP)
20.(233)Ryan Mountcastle (Bal – 1B,OF)
21.(248)Nate Pearson (Tor – SP)

The priorities in this league were to take stable well-rounded hitters and grab value/upside on the pitching side. Offensively my roster has depth that should score runs, hit homers, drive in runs and have a high OPS. I should have the power advantage at most positions each week.  Strikeouts and lack of steals could be my downfall.  Merrifield is my main stolen base threat.  I’m banking on around 10 steals each from Bregman, Altuve, Machado, and Verdugo.  That could be wishful thinking.  Altuve in the 8th round is a steal if he stays healthy.  I’m banking on 2020 playoff Altuve instead of the .219 regular season numbers.  At soon to be 31, I don’t see Altuve falling off that far from his previous great seasons.  Alex Verdugo is my pick for the biggest breakout of hitters this season. Verdugo was solid in 2020, but will be an All Star in 2021.      

Pitching is more volatile than hitting so I tend to load up on hitters and weave my way through pitchers.  I can afford to have a high draft choice blow out an elbow and miss the season. I was the last person to take my first pitcher and did so in the 9th round.  Anderson, Paddock, and Keuchel all pitch on playoff contending clubs. Anderson and Paddock are emerging pitchers that won’t get drafted this late next season. Gray will miss the first few weeks of the season which I believe made his draft stock fall. Marquez has 3 consecutive seasons WHIP’s under 1.3. (1.20, 1.20, 1.26)  At age 26 and multiple years under contract Marquez could be a valuable track chip for the rebuilding Rockies.  The career home ERA of 5.10 and road ERA of 3.51 would tell you to stream Marquez carefully.  Entering his 6th big league season, I’m willing to gamble an 18th round pick that he figures it out.  The Yankees will regret giving away Sheffield.  I don’t anticipate a high win total pitching for the Mariners, however I believe he will give the team  Quality Starts and help with ratios.  Pearson is a lottery ticket with a high SO/9.  Because my starters didn’t have as high of a SO/9 as the frontline starters, I tried to bridge that gap with high velocity relief pitchers.  Romano, Rodriguez, and Hicks should help to win that category.  I love Romano as a breakout pitcher for this season.  Hicks may not close right away, but I believe he will soon enough. If not,Hicks should help in the Holds category.  

The best part of drafting pitchers late is there’s no emotional attachment, so cutting bait is easy.  There’s a good chance most of this pitching staff will not be on my roster by the end of the season.  I funnel through pitchers every season and have had success doing so. 

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