Chris SL2012 Preview

Coming off the whirlwind that was SL 2011, the draft was somewhat of a welcome respite. I did my usual amount of scouting--no more, no less-- and I truly believe at this point that I spend the least amount of time of anyone to scout. Sometimes that is evident, definitely in 2012 it was. Drafting 9th, at the end of the curve offers many challenges, and I suffered through them horribly at times, and I have my lack of preparation to blame for some of them. I kept missing runs, and several times overreached for players, which were things that ppossibly could have been avoided had I spent more time "studying". Regardless, I am OK with what I have. Great job league wide in finishing in under two weeks, and in also making this more difficult to get the guys I want.

Kemp was not the guy I envisioned at #1. I was certain he would be gone significantly earlier. Halladay I did want, and was planning on getting either Votto or Verlander to go with him. But Kemp became what I thought was the obvious choice, and I will now be patient with his SA3. Cueto may have been a bit of a reach, but he should lead the league in HR/9, and has the coveted +3. I was also hoping to start a run on pitchers, but that didn't come until much too late.

I have a jumbled mix of speed, power and on base guys. Now my job is to sort it out to match them together properly, kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. Kemp and Howard should be big homer guys. Ramirez and Young should get a lot of hits. McCutchen, Santana and Escobar should be good on base guys. Everybody on the team can run, at least a little bit. I liked that I was able to platoon my big lefty SA5 guys--Howard and Joyce, even if Cruz will suck (except power). Hundley and Santana should provide a lot of offense at catcher. Not as much as Ken, but a lot. I predict 4th in runs/game and 3rd in homers.

I should have a top 3 starting rotation, and a bottom 1 bullpen. Starting, I have 3 G, 3 Z, and 3 +3 guys. Bullpen also has some home run prevention, walk prevention and positive moves, but at the cost of higher grades. We will see how that works out. I told Steve that on the 5-6 swing, I should have taken Kennedy and Sabathia, which would have given me like 4 of the top 8 starters and really made things interreting. But no cajones here. Put me down for 6th in ERA.

There is none to talk about, other than Kemp. Ichiro can fill in admirably. Back to last in team defense, just like the old days. 9th overall

Best values
I would say Young, Hundley, Worley, Craig, Howard, and Escobar.

Biggest Stretches
I would say Ramirez, Buehrle, Motte, Alburquerque and Castro.

Spit Cup hangover? Shrug. I think (sorry Jim and Keith), I will contend for division title, but wildcard will come from another division. As always 81 wins is the realistic mark to shoot for, and hopefully I can stretch this team to win 4 or 5 above that. And obviously anything can happen once you make the playoffs......