I love Nelson Cruz to be impactful. Cesar Hernandez has been a crush of mine for several years, would have taken him much earlier if the GM on my shoulder hadn't traded for Matt Olson. Inciarte and Vazquez and Pina, even a Chisenhall ... those players need to reward my faith in them for me to have the offense I think I can have.
Years past has been less batting average and ISO focused than my team is this year, I expect everyone will have a better ISO than in previous years because of the HR boost, but I believe I will have significantly better XBH totals than I normally put up, The goal here is always to score runs, hoping less emphasis on OBP vs. batting average and ISO does lead to that end goal.
We shall see.
Stroman is the 3rd starter I envisioned, happy to take Otero when I did, thankful Alexander was there when he was compared to when other W relievers went. Does Leake kill me at a 7.00 ERA-pace for 110 innings? Or even worse, do Avilan and Hernandez and Otero kill me just as bad with a 5.00 ERA-pace?? The other worry is that my "top" relievers of Albers-Giles-Morrow don't give me traditional top-end quality, which could mean bad ERAs or blown saves or just plain semi-effectiveness.
Minus Smoltz-Gagne, and not taking into account the HR prevention this staff is a lot like my SL 2004 staff. The problem with that team was more or less how my 5th starter or relievers 3-6 performed. I sure could hit the same trouble, but I think I took a decent amount of good opportunity-costs relative to the spot.
Drafting pitching is easier than drafting offense, I will always believe. Just less variables to consider, more straightforward impacts. At the same time as I consider how I did drafting pitching, when I pick a late-round reliever and see that a guy on a ski-lift is making as good or better pitching picks than I am, I wonder how effective my staff as a whole will be.
We shall see.
I do love Vazquez as an 8+5 but moreso as an 8+5 who might be able to hit for an above league-average batting average, I do love the Seager 9, I do love the Ramirez 3B/2B defense, and I will plan to have the majority of my games with 3 3's in OF, which in my mind I have done about twice in my time in the SL.
One of the biggest things I see year-to-year are corrections, and even over-corrections. Jim talked about this in his review -- took relief much too early in 2017, so he perhaps over-corrected and neglected relief in 2018. I continually do this with platoon ratings and specific relievers and things like that from year-to-year, but going into 2018, I know I hated a ton of things about my defense in 2017, so I was planning to over-correct my defense at the expense of some offense and some pitching. Again, that was in the works, then it fell out the window like turkeys being dropped from a helicopter on Thanksgiving in a 70s sitcoms. Will my defense be that awful, or can I manage the defense in a way that highlights the positives and reduces the negatives.
We shall see.
I was going through a lot at work from December 1st on, especially with one client of mine that is always in Go-Live or Burn-In mode and with one other "special project" I was managing for my department. So when the normal "Let's draft way earlier than we said we would because ..." emails started, it just pissed me off. Just seems to me we do this dance every year based on how excited two or three SLers get, and whether their CAPS LOCK key is stuck on or not. There is nothing wrong with voicing opinions in the SL, and there is nothing wrong with taking the feedback from those opinions. When the initial "Let's draft way earlier than we said" emails stopped and the second wave of "Can we draft now?" emails started, most of us were in a better spot, and it made for one of the smoother and faster drafts in recent years (2007 took maybe one day less w/ 2 more GMs).