SL2017 Preview by Chris

Six weeks later, while still basking in the glow of a Spit Cup championship, it was time to draft again. Well, not for me, but I had offered to give draft advice, so I needed to make myself available, and familiarize myself with who would be drafted. First half of January is always tough for me at work with spillover from end of year stuff, but after that I generally get more time on my hands. Two more weeks and I would have been fully draft ready. But the draft did not wait for me, nor should it have. I usually get a lot of backup information to reference from preplays which I was unable to do this year as my laptop was broken. But near the end of the draft, my laptop miraculously started working again (not the miracle I was hoping for though) and I was able to study the players a little more for the end of the draft.

Trout was the clear 1-1, and then after that was a group of maybe 5-6 guys that could go in any order, depending on personal preference. Ken asked me after a couple rounds who I was first surprised by, and I mentioned Segura. But Ken took him right before Jim said he was going to take him, and Ken and Jim have combined for a lot of Spit Cups, so I can’t argue with the selection. I think I was just saying I was surprised that he was first round talent. For the most part, the first few rounds probably went as most people thought they would within a pick or two—sometimes there just is a risk you are willing to take with the possibility of a high reward. Maybe I haven’t realized this before, but other than Trout, who else does everything? Like Votto is great, but he is not very fast, and not great defender. Same for Ortiz. You could make a case for Altuve I guess, but he is not a great walker. To me this year just seemed more glaring than usual. Of course maybe that is why I drafted Trout on more than one occasion…

Looking from the outside, there was a few guys that fell a lot farther than I expected, and some that I thought were huge reaches. But that is likely just a lack of preparation on my part than a knock against that GM or specific player. Draft overall seemed to move at a pretty good pace. Having Steve back certainly made for a colorful draft board! Very interesting watching GM’s plans fall into place (or not). I was in constant communication with pretty much everyone, which included giving advice, opinions and just keeping secrets. I tried my best to be impartial throughout and I feel that I did maintain a high level of integrity. I appreciate all of you keeping me in the loop as such.

Please don’t ask me to name names here, but here is what I see. I feel like there are four teams that will likely be fighting for a playoff spot, two teams that will not be, and two teams that I truly have no idea—I cannot get a handle on those teams at all. And here is the thing. Even those two teams may compete for spots. Our playing field is so level right now that Graham, who won 3 Cups in 6 years recently, has the longest playoff drought. So anything can happen and probably will.

Trout is likely MVP, with Ortiz pushing him. Keith will have the Cy Young winner. Play the games, and have fun! See you at Finals (or sooner)