The league welcomed me back by drawing me the 8 card for the draft. So I automatically felt back at home. After taking the last two Summer Leagues off from running a team, I thought a team name to include the word "Prodigal" and was pretty much settled on Prodigal Sons Of Baseball Moms but after seeing a concert at House Of Blues and the Elvis impersonator singing "Shake, Rattle & Roll", I went with that in memory of where it began for many of us. Two dice in a yellow tumbler being shaked, rattled and rolled out. The song was written by Jesse Stone and I see I have misspelled his birth town of Atchison, Kansas. Not Atchinson as I have it. If I can not pronounce it, I can spell it. If I can pronounce it, I can not spell it. Atchinson Shake, Rattke & Rollers it is.
Early draft analysis had me thinking Altuve, Segura and Ortiz would be there for me in the first round swing and I was comfortable with any of those names amongst a handful of others I had on my list. I knew Trout, Freeman, Murphy and Votto would be gone by 8 and thought if Ortiz was there at 7, Ken would select him. Jim out of the blue offered me a trade that was fair but I turned it down as I did not want to move up and give some compensation. Then when I reanalyzed and really wanted Donaldson above anyone else, I emailed Jim and he changed the first offer to something a little more tilted his way. I first declined but then asked if it was still agreeable to him and it was. So Jim and I made our trade and I had the #2 pick of the draft and Donaldson.
I really liked how the draft went for me and really like the team I drafted. I was able to follow up Donaldson with Dozier, Carpenter and Lindor. Carpenter in the 3rd I thought was a very good selection as I had first base as a down position this draft and Carpenter is a 4 defense at first with good power and on base ability. I debated Lindor/Machado for shortstop but I did not think Machado's card would produce the 37 homeruns he hit and went with Lindor's better defense, SB ability and speed. So after 4 rounds my infield was complete.
Round 5 had a reliever run and I felt fortunate to draft a high grade reliever in Jansen. With this draft not having so many higher grade relievers, I said to Chris watch how I manipulate a reliever run and selected Oh to start the 6th round. I was concerned that the remaining high grade relievers would be drafted before getting back to me in the 7th round. Oh was the last reliever selected until Keith took Chapman in the middle of the 8th round. In hindsight maybe a Z starter or Joyce would have been a better selection then Oh to start the 6th round.
I liked Myers and thought that for the GM's that simulate performances, he probably performed better then Goldschmidt. Plus he can play outfield along with being a 5 at first and a very good stolen base rating and attempts. I wanted him to cover the 33 games at first Carpenter has to miss and could not get a handle at how other GM's valued him. Especially Keith as I thought Keith would be attracted to Myer's abilities. I made a trade with Graham and selected Myers in the 9th round. I do not know if Keith would have selected him or not but I believe from memory Matt said Myers was a name on his list at 9 or he would have selected Myers. Regardless. I was glad to make the trade and ensure having Myers on the roster.
The 15/16 swing had me on the clock at a Whole Foods on a late Sunday morning. I had announced Allen P* but was now looking at selecting Owings. Quite a few times I said to myself, "Owings" only to still internally debate the choice. I am glad I did because I ended up announcing Kiermaier (Draft board shows Kiermeier. Maybe I did write Atchison? All I know is Greg does so much and so much more then me and for me and Summer League. Thank you, Greg!). I was hoping people felt I selected Kiermaier to be my starting center fielder but I did not. He was selected to pinch run and play defense late. Owings was still there for the 17/18 swing and I selected him. I was hoping for Stanton during that swing also but Ken took him before me. Maybe I should of traded up again but with Stanton gone, we got a 13 non Z starter Hamels late in the draft.
Sixth starter Hill in the 20th. Kang in the 22nd round to be my primary DH paired with Drew in the 23rd round I felt really good with those selections late. I ended my draft by selecting my starting outfielders and while usually not a great idea to select high offensive producers such as outfielders late, the talent in the outfield was not overwhelming and pretty much all had limitations. So I was fine selecting Bautista, Saunders and Upton and to pair them with Myers, Kiermaier and Owings off the bench. My last selection was my centerfielder Martin and I am hoping he out produces or comes close to put producing Tonk's centerfielder selection of Herrera that he took in the 9th round versus the 27th round for Martin.
I am writing this with the benefit of having played 20 games. Injuries had Carpenter missing 8 games. Kang 10 games. And Drew 10 games. There were a couple other one game injuries sprinkled in. I made line up adjustments after 10 games and feel the line up has a better flow but I still have some concerns. Primarily with Lindor batting 5th but for now that is how it is. I started 3 and 7 before going 7 and 3. Sitting at 10-10 after 20 games.
I like my team a lot. No team is perfect and I do have concerns but more then that, I hope for consistency. It's easy to love your team when they are getting on base and you are getting the big hits while the other team can not get on base or when they do, can not get the big hit. Like Greg says and we all know, "Rollz."(Although the talent you have at bat, on the mound or in the field also plays a part in the outcome but nothing bigger then what number was rolled.). When do you get them? I haven't disliked my team yet other then I felt like a black cloud was hanging over them and me at times during the 3 and 7 beginning with injuries and late comebacks. But then the "rollz" reversed for my next 10. I believe we will be competitive and fighting for a playoff spot. We'll play the game and hope to out "rollz" everyone else :)
Good luck to all the teams in Summer League 2017!