After spending all that time drafting, we now get to sit back and watch our teams rack up WAR and/or break our hearts. Just in time for opening day, here is a quick and dirty review of the Post-Moneyballism League draft (full rosters here). Like Satchel before me, I'll give each team a quick write-up and talk about what I like or don't like about each roster. Good luck to everyone and enjoy the season!
I wrote these all at different times throughout the last two weeks, so they're a little all over the place. If I skip over your favorite pick or write something stupid, feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments. Also, I kinda hate relief pitchers, so don't expect too much analysis on that part.
Bobby's team should be pretty interesting. Looking over his roster I feel like there's a lot of hit or miss talent. Can Bautista repeat his amazing 2010? Will Kelly Johnson go for 6 WAR or 0.6? Can Kendry Morales return to 2009 form? Can Dallas Braden, Phil Hughes, Cahill, and Ian Kennedy be counted on for 2+ WAR each? Can Castro produce in his 2nd season or were his rookie numbers the result of some good luck and a .346 BABIP? Will Kila Ka'aihue finally get some playing time? Longoria, McCann, and Cain should be good for 17 or more wins, and if a decent bunch of these questionable guys live up to their higher expectations, Bobby's team could end up at or near the top of the leaderboard come October.
Jason Heyward is pretty awesome, and so is CajoleJuice's pitching staff. Price, Romero and Lewis are a pretty great top three, and Slowey, Masterson, and Bud Norris should each give some nice production as well. Cashner also looks like a great pick now that he's been given a spot in the starting rotation. The lineup looks pretty solid here too, with a bunch of guys projected for 3-4 wins scattered throughout. Unfortunately, Jesus Montero and Mike Moustakas won't be able to contribute any WAR while they're down on the farm, but some (un)timely injuries or poor play leading to quick call-ups could push team CajoleJuice over the top.
Woah, this is a pretty stacked team. Todmod threw his money around pretty well by picking Zimmerman, Lee, Kinsler, and Tulo but was also able to grab a ton of cheap talent that should give him some pretty great production. I'm pretty high on Gardner and Barton this year, so I love those picks. Those two combined could yield 10 wins for less than $900k. The only really problem I can see is that the back end of the starting rotation seems a little weak, but with a projection for 75 total WAR, that might not be much of a problem
I was a bit surprised to see another projected WAR of 75 here. King Felix, Liriano, and Posey are great, but after that there aren't really any other names that stand out. However, pretty much every guy on epatl's roster is projected for 2+ WAR. The top of the rotation is the obvious highlight of the team, but I also really like the cheap hits throughout the lineup with Posey, Stubbs, Fowler, Mitch Moreland, David Freese, and Jed Lowrie. If everyone performs up to their projections, there will be a lot of wins on this roster.
Looking over McBoyt's roster, it's hard to get too excited. There's no big time superstar (except Manny Ramirez, who could be a real steal at $2 million) or huge money guys, but there are a ton of guys that feel like safe bets to hit their projections, which would put the team in the 65-70 win range. I'd say the pitching staff is the strength for McBoyt. Hanson was a great pick and the whole rotation is pretty solid. It also looks like the bullpen will actually contribute a decent amount of WAR with guys like Matt Thornton, Joakim Soria, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Chris Sale.
Varroa started off strong with Votto and Choo in the first two rounds, much to the delight of Ohioans all around. Then he apparently utilized his network of scouts throughout the NL and AL west to fill up an impressive starting rotation with Lincecum, Anderson, Richard, Bumgarner, Derek Holland, and the token New Yorker Mike Pelfrey. Neftali Feliz seemed destined to be a great pick since we all thought he would slip into the Rangers rotation, but for now Varroa'll have to settle for what he get from him out of the bullpen. And, who knows what Brandon Belt will do?
I tried to go as cheap as possible, thinking that if I had a ton of cash left for the last few rounds that I'd have my choice of the big money guys that went untouched. Rather than spreading that extra cash out a bit on a couple of picks, I decided to throw 20 million at the Doc. Looking back, that definitely wasn't the best way to go about spending the money, but I'm pretty happy with my roster anyway. I LOVE my starting rotation. The top 3 alone could give me 18 or more wins, and Brett Cecil, Drabek, and Zimmermann could bring it up to 25 or better if they turn in nice seasons. My lineup certainly isn't too exciting, but my outfield of Stanton, Pagan, Chris Young, and Travis Snider could end up being pretty productive.
Albert Pujols wants $300 million. Will he have his "contract year" numbers surge? Can his numbers really get any better than they already are? Either way, he's the best player in baseball and might just give Tommy 10 WAR for the $16 million he cost. Dan Haren seems like a bit more of a risk at almost $13 million since he had a bit of a rough year last year. He did put up 4.5 WAR though, and is the head of a really nice looking rotation that could put up 25 WAR. Besides Pujols, the position players look like a bunch of 1-2 WAR players, but Carlos Santana could prove to be a huge value if he ends up being healthy.
I really like this team. CarGo is an amazing deal at an even $1 million, Hamilton is likely to have another huge year, and the pitching staff is also pretty solid. The rest of the lineup is pretty good all-around, with a nice mix of cheap and mid-range salary guys. Eamus might have both ROYs in his roster, with Hellickson already looking like the odds-on favorite in the AL and depending on how well Freeman can do for the Braves (and how awesome Belt ends up being).
Dmm hit up the Evil Empires to grab Gonzalez and Cano to head up his lineup. Bruce and Upton should also provide some pretty good value, and a strong second year from Pedro Alvarez would help too. This is another pretty strong looking rotation with Lester, John Danks (who I think will be closer to 5 than the projected 3.7 WAR), Brandon Morrow, Edinson Volquez, and Jhoulys Chacin. The Ranger's decision to put Ogando into the rotation instead of Feliz should mean a couple unexpected wins if he manages to hold onto his spot.
A ton of money got thrown at Youk, Wright, and Jose Reyes. While the first two should pan out, I can't see the money for Reyes being worth it, but if he makes it back to his 2006-08 level, John can say 'I told you so.' Besides those three, John did a really nice job of filling out his roster with really cheap players with lots of possibilities for great value. His entire rotation costs less than $5 million, and should be fairly productive. Braun and Jeff Keppinger are his only other position players that cost more than a million bucks. There's some nice potential value in Desmond Jennings if he can hit in the bigs and in Domonic Brown if his hand heals nicely.
Paul's team has the lowest projected WAR of the 12 teams, but it certainly doesn't look like his team will be out of the running. While there's no superstar on his roster, he does have a bunch of 3-4 WAR players. Weeks, Uggla, Davis, and Stephen Drew will make for a pretty productive infield. The outfield will also be pretty nice if Torres can reproduce 2010 and if Matt Kemp can return to previous form/luck. The rotation is similarly filled with a good pitchers like Billingsley, Johnny Cueto, and Anibal Sanchez. Michael Pineda winning the fifth starter spot in Seattle should also give them a nice boost.