I was all prepared last night to dominate my first MLB season long draft, then madness happened. I received the #11 pick which is exactly where I wanted to be. I even was able to take Max Scherzer with my #1 pick just as I had planned, then chaos ensued. Thankfully, I will not be drafting the bigger money leagues until closer to opening day. It was like my opponents read my article Sunday and decided to take all of my choices much earlier than I had planned. I ended up scrambling a bit, especially in the middle of the draft.
Bumgarner went #13, Syndergaard #15, and Kluber #18 so I was unable to get pitching in the 2nd round as no one else graded out high enough to grab. I ended getting Corey Seager with my 2nd pick who was my choice for the NL MVP. I was very pleased with this selection. It seemed like an eternity until my 3rd pick and my plan was to take Gary Sanchez. Unfortunately, he went five picks before my selection. This forced me to go pitching as I reached a bit for Aroldis Chapman with pick #41. I was hoping to get Jansen in the 4th round, but he was taken with the last pick in Round 3 which forced me to go with Zach Britton in Round 4 which was fine with me. I had two of the three best relievers in the game. By the time my 5th pick came, I was in a dilemma as no hitters or starting pitchers seemed to deserve this selection so I went with a 3rd relief pitcher in Andrew Miller. His K’s and innings should help immensely with my overall stats. He may also throw in more saves to win that position. I was set up to dominate pitching.
I needed to get serious with my hitting and did that with picks 6 thru 11. I took DJ Lemahieu, Jose Ramirez, Kendrys Morales, Maikel Franco, Andrew Benintendi, and Adam Duvall. This was a great combination of power and average as I hope to get .290 from my first 7 hitters combined. I am looking forward to breakout years from Franco and Benintendi, 40 HR’s from Duvall and Morales, and .320 plus from Lemahieu and Ramirez. Other than speed, I have covered all the bases.
I went back to pitching in round 12 with Julio Urias, but took 5 more hitters in rounds 13 thru 17 which included Dexter Fowler, Tommy Joesph, Sandy Leon, Didi Gregorius, and veteran Curtis Granderson. I was able to add a great young arm and some speed, plus there is a potential for another 100 HR’s from this group. In round 18, I took Ivan Nova who looked great in Pittsburgh last year, followed by my favorite pick Daniel Norris in round 19. I added my second catcher James McCann in round 20 who could hit 20 HR’s and hit .275 if he bounces back in 2017. My goal in the last 10 rounds was to sure up my pitching and get some prospects. I took Chris Tillman in round 21 which I thought was a steal, versatile Chris Ownings in round 22, and Matt Boyd in round 23 who came into his own last season. I added another relief pitcher who will add volume in round 24 with Chris Devenski followed by three more pitchers who could be on the verge of greatness with Robert Stephenson in round 25, Archie Bradley in round 26, and Bruce Rondon in round 27. I went young again to close out the draft reaching for prospects that had a high ceiling. This included JP Crawford in round 28, Scott Schebler in round 29, and Raul Mondesi in round 30.
While I did not get exactly what I wanted, especially in the first 10 rounds, I was able to put together a solid team that should dominate pitching and hold its own with hitting. I am thin at speed, but I hope to fill that in as the season goes on. I should be in the top third of all other offensive categories. It was a good first step towards the 2017 season, but I am sure I will improve as I get more drafts under the belt.
— Chris Bouchard (@CHRISBOUCHARD88) February 20, 2017