The 2014 IKBL Draft Review
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Old Dirty Bastard
Solid pick with SP-J. Zimmerman in the 1st
Bad luck with SP-P. Corbin in Second. Out for season,but can’t count that against him.

OF-Rios is a question mark in Third, I don’t get the facsination.

OF-Choo is a solid pick and surpirsing he slipped that far, great value.
SP-Kluber in 5th when SP-Salazar, Ryu and Lynn still available, a poor pick.
1B-Rizzo in 6th is OK.
3B-Machado in 7th might be a solid steal if he regains his swing and form after a bad injury. Potential keeper buried in 7th round.

C-Wieters is OK in 8th

CL-Axford is a third tier closer but strategically was fine.

10th SP Alex Wood is solid and a real sleeper and a steal of a pick.

SP-Kazmir is a stretch in 11th.

1B-Butler is an OK and good value pick for 12th.

13th SP-Ogando looking like a really bad pick considering he’ll only be a middle reliever now.

14th OF-Brantley is OK value here.

SP-H. Santiago in 15th is good value.

2B-B. Phillips in the 16th is a flat out steal if he can regain his magic stroke.

17th OF/1B-Swisher…meh.

SP-AJ Griffin is hurt and not exactly worth a pick at 18

19th SP-Arroyo is a stretch, also hurt to start season.

When all is said and done, I don’t like some of The Godfather’s picks, but he could have done much worse considering. At the top and with some strategic spots, he did very well for himself in trying to rebuild from going from Championship team to finishing dead last year. I don’t like his pitching depth, but considering what he has on board he could’ve done a lot worse.
Strategy: B
Picks for value: C+
OVERALL: C+

BDM
CL-Rosenthal 2nd over all is a real stretch considering Kenley Jansen and Greg Holland still on the board.

SP-Liriano in the 2nd is also a stretch with solid talent left in top tier, poor pick for value.

3rd OF-Pence is value for the spot, but Choo still left on the board was better pick.

4th CL-Robertson is not good for value here.

SP-Ryu is at this point great value in Fifth, could be a flat out steal.

6th 2B-Gyrko is great value for position and could be a real surprise here.
7th 3B-Seager is OK value

SS-E. Cabrera was more for need than value.

9th is good value for SP-Bucholz.

10th SP-Lackey is OK.

OF-Beltran he could have done worse for positional value.

11th OF-Soriano might mash, but if he doesn’t want to work hard might be a flop, one way or another poor value for pick position.

OF-Crisp is OK in 12th.

OF-Yellich in 13th when he might go undrafted is a stretch.

14th SP-Wandy is an injury risk but again if he over-achieves decent value.

SP-J. Fields of Houston is a poor pick in 15th

SP-Vogelsong is a a stretch in 16th poor pick.

CL-Benoit is a value pick at 17th considering he might be Pads closer.

3B-Aranado is a steal for the 18th pick.

BDM decided he needed pitching at the top, in particular for closer. He could have done worse than Rosenthal, but could probably have had him in the second round or at worst one of the top guys. In between poor picks for value, he did find some diamonds in the rough. His last two picks were his best for value/position. Ryu and Gyrko are very good picks early on. Overall, I wasn’t that impressed though.
Strategy: C+
Picks for Value: D
Overall: C-

ZIM (by Brian)

1st Stanton solid pick, SP-Tanaka will be good, great value with twin picks.

2nd Zobrist, OK pick.

3rd Myers is good value by 3rd round, amazing he slipped that far.

4th SP-CJ Wilson is a veteran pick over Ryu or Salazar but again could be value for pick, but poor for position/tier.

5th CL-Balfour was a stretch pick over some of the talent on the board.

6th C-Gattis and SP-Soriano are OK if not spectacular, again value for double pick via earlier trade.

7th SS-Simmons is a good value for position pick.

8th SP-Ross is a stretch at this position, perhaps taken a few rounds too early.

9th SP-Hudson again a veteran pick instead of SP-Archer, bad pick if he cannot rebound from last year’s injury.

10th 1B-Abreau is good value and could be a really good sleeper if he mashes, a super star in waiting for a 10th rounder isn’t bad.

11th SP-Smyly was good value for spot, young talent could blossom this year.

12th 1B/OF-Moss is a meh pick.

13th 1B-Napoli might be a stretch at this point, just a bat.

14th OF-K. Davis might be real sleeper considering pick for position.

15th SP-Bradley for Minor league spot good pick considering he might actually be in rotation sooner than later.

16th SP-M. Gonzales is filler for roster.

17th DH-Dunn was a miserable, wasted pick.

For strategy, Zim got what he wanted out of the draft and for value did pretty well. Making a team deep in pitching better, the only question is if there is enough offense in the bats of early picks like Gattis, Simmons and in particular Zobrist. Overall, could have done a lot worse and definitely quality.
Strategy: B-
Pick for Value: B
Over all: B

SHITTY

Not having a 1st round pick will hamper Jimmer this year.
2nd Pujols is old and busted and a poor first pick.

3rd 2B-Kipnis is great value considering he should have been a keeper.

4th OF-D. Brown is a bad pick for bad Phillies team.

5th 1B/C-Lucroy is good value here, surprising he didn’t go sooner.

6th 3B-Zimmerman is a good value pick for position.

7th SP-CC might be a sleeper pick for a guy who can still bring it.

8th OF-Kemp. Bad pick, Kemp is hurt, Dodgers OF confusing.

9th CL-Feliz is a bad pick considering he wont’ be closer.

10th OF-Granderson is a turd.

11th CL-Street is an injury risk poor pick.

12th OF-Eaton was an autopick mistake.

13th SP-Walker could be good but he’s been dinged this spring and is unproven.

14th OF-Springer Astros hot prospect will not make club. Good ML pick?

15th SP-Gee is a quality pick consiering how late, opening day starter.

16th UT-Middlebrooks should rebound for a solid season, good pick here, especially for value.

17th SP-Alvarez is a meh pick.

18th 1B-Howard is a turd, but if he hits at all might be OK.


Jimmer did well with what he had considering he traded away so many draft picks. While he had the occasional good sense and fortune to draft some gems, the bottom line is he’s got a very turdish draft class including some guys that make you scratch your head.
Strategy: D
Pick Value: D
Overall: D

TEAM EASY
1st SP-Cobb is OK, safe pick.

2nd 1B-A. Gonz is a solid pick, but talent lingering on the board with 1B deep makes this pick not my favorite.

3rd CL-Nathan is an OK pick considering run on closers.

4th SP-Masterson is good value for position.

5th 2B-Utley is a stretch with better talent left on the board inc. Gyrko was available, could have had better talent at other positions.

6th SS-Hardy is a meh pick.

7th SP-Gallardo is a stretch with better talent on board, he was more like an 11 or 12th round guy.

8th CL-Pappelbon is a good pick for value.

9th OF-Gordon is an OK pick.

10th OF-Hunter is old and busted, could have had him later.

11th SP-Leake is a turd for the most part not good value here.

12th 1B-Morneau is a turd plus he had 1B covered needed SP’s.

13th 2B-Dozier is a below average pick.

14th SP-Strailey is an OK pick.

15th UT-K. Johnson is a quality utility pick.

16th SP-Wood was good last year but might be a train wreck on horrible Cubs team, the pick isn’t that bad over all.

17th SP-Vargas is a meh pick.

18th OF-Eithier is meh.

19th SP-Chen is an OK pick.

What a wide range of ups and down for Schoof and Team Easy. Like a few other teams on the board, he drafts to need vs. talent and I think that will hamper him in the end considering some of the guys he took. A good start gave way to an awful middle of the draft and some serious “Turd Alert” picks. In the end, I think it’s an average to below average group.

Strategy: C-
Pick for value: D+
Overall: C-

HYLER

1B-Freeman is a solid 1st pick considering he had him as a keeper, paid the price of a 10th rounder for the chance to draft which in the end might not be too high.

2nd CL-Holland is a solid pick and great value considering.

3rd SS-Andrus could have done much worse, solid if he’s healthy.

4th CL-Romo could be a solid pick while 2B-Altuve was a good need pick and decent value. Of course Romo has been a disaster this spring.

5th OF-Werth is solid, if he produces and doesn’t break his wrist…again.

7th OF-A. Jackson is a meh pick

8th OF-D. Jennings is good value here.

9th 1B-Adams is a quality pick and could be a sleeper this year, he can mash.

11th CL-Brothers might be a sleeper if Rocks are any good.

12th C-Perez is decent quality here.

13th SP-Peavy is…old and busted but should contribute innings.

14th P-Clippard is a curiously bad pick here.

15th 1B-Texiera might be good value if he comes back from injury.

16th SP-Pineda is a quality pick here.

17th OF-Polanco might be a super star for Minor League pick.

18th SP-Harrison is a really bad pick here, as he’s hurt.

19th CL-Green is another poor pick

20th SP-Floyd might pay off long term but is re-habbing to start the year.


With exception to a few curious picks here and there, this was a stealthy and solidly good draft for John. A shrewd move to start the draft off sliding in from on Zim to bad 1B-Freeman cost him only a 10th rounder and he made good strides in the first half of the draft. He got good late value on a few players too in between some big whiffs. As a group this is a pretty good class.

Strategy: A-
Picks for value: B-
Overall: B

DRINKY
CL-Jansen is a solid pick at #1, good luck having him fall here.

2nd C/3B-C. Santana is a solid pick and great value due to his UT ability.

3rd OF-Heyward, might be early for a player that has not been very good the last few seasons, not a stretch, but not my favorite pick.

5th 2B-Desmond is OK.

6th 1B/OF-Craig is a solid pick for value here and could be very good.

7th CL-Grilli is an OK pick if he remains healthy.

8th 3B-Lowrie is OK.

9th SP-I. Santana might be a very good pick, especially for value.

10th SP-Garza is a questionable pick if he can’t find his old magic, not the best pick for value.

11th 3B-Headly is a good value pick here.

12th CL-Hunter is a meh pick.

13th CL-Parnell is a curious pick but depth for pitching strategy is wise.

14th OF-Tavares might be very good value for his Minor League spot.

15th C-d’Arnaud is a little stretch and a curious pick.

16th 3B-Moustakis might be a good late pick.

17th 2B-Kendrick is an OK pick.

18th SP-Morton is a poor pick.

19th OF-Buxton is…filler.

20th SP-Bundy is a stretch.

Kenny is typically pretty efficient come draft day. There are a few curious picks here and there and a few reaches but for the most part, I liked his draft class and how he went about putting it together. With a lack of pitching talent on the board later on he went the route of picking up closers to fill his need for depth there. A couple of sleeper picks here and there could pan out making his team a real threat. A good class.

Strategy: B+
Picks for Value: B+
Overall: B+

HIGH AND TIGHT
SP-Anibel in the 1st is a quality pick and he’s fortunate he slipped here.

2nd SP-Cueto was a round or two too soon, poor value.

3rd SS-Segura is a trendy high pick, but I think he was taken too soon.

4th SP-Hamels is a risky pick due to his awful season a year ago and injury issues this spring, poor pick for value.

5th C-McCann is a sturdy pick could mash in the Bronx this year.

6th DH-V. Mart is a bit early but if his stick returns might be good value.

7th OF-J. Hamilton is a meh pick, could be a sleeper if he decides to hit.

8th CL-Jones is a bit sketchy for poor team.

9th OF-B. Hamilton made sure he had all Hamiltons in MLB, could be a STEAL if he learns how to take a walk. Pun intended.

10th CL-Jansen is an OK pick, perhaps early.

11th 3B-Sandoval might be good quality if he doesn’t eat all of SF.

12th SP-Haren is a turd.

13th SP-Hughes is a turd.

14th SP-Colon might be OK here.

15th SP-Stephenson is his minor leaguer.

16th SP-Noris is a turd.

17th SP-Skaggs is a decent pick, good value.

18th SP-Billingsley is awful.
19th SP-Maholm is awful.

Marty has been very competitive the last few seasons but the return to the days where High and Tight was a bottom dweller could return considering this rather odd collection of talent and how he went about the draft. Perhaps the alcohol was talking to him to take all those Reds players, including stretching on SP-Cueto too early, but it definitely had to be the cause of his miserable second half of the draft. Sure, sure, sometimes its about a few players that can carry you, but man, the second half of his draft was brutally bad.

Strategy: D

Picks fof value: C-
Overall: C-

CRAZY MIKE
1st SP-Weaver is solid, but other talent on board was better.

2nd 2B-Hill is way too early with better talent on board, absolutely made no sense to pick him here.

3rd SP-Gray is OK.

4th CL-Rodney was too soon for a guy who was at times bad last year, now with worse team.

5th OF-Trumbo is good value and he could mash.

6th SP-AJ Burnette might be out of gas with terrible Phillies team, too early, bad pick.

7th SP-Ubaldo is a poor pick, too early for sure.

8th C-Rosario is a good pick here.

9th SP-Estrada is a walk machine, horrible pick here.

10th SS-Peralta might be a sleeper pick here if he hit minus PED’s.

11th OF-Melky is a meh pick (ditto for him not getting suspended).

12th 1B-Morelas isn’t even signed to a team. This could be the single most awful, terrible, miserable pick EVER.

13th SP-Nolasco is awful has been terrible all spring, bad pick.

14th SP-Lohse is a OK.

15th SS-Miller is a poor pick for value.

16th OF-Span is OK.

17th SP-Porcello is OK here.

18th SP-Miley might be a blind squirrel finding a late nut here.

19th SS-Alexei is an OK pick.

Crazy Mike apparently let the booze talk and it told him to draft nothing but turds. This is by far the worst draft in the league on every level. Whether it was taking players out of context to their over all value, taking horrible players no matter what really. Seriously, Kendry Morales has absolutely no value whatsoever! A few bright spots include UT-Trumbo and SP-Weaver if he manages to return to pre-2013 form.
Strategy: F
Picks for value: D
Overall: D-

DERON
1st OF-Holliday is a good pick at the end of the round.

2nd SP-Samardzija is a solid pick here too.

3rd 2B-Murphey is a real stretch here, poor value for pick.

4th CL-Uehara is a solid pick here and a bit of a sleeper where closers are concerned.

5th SP-Wheeler is a good pick here if not a little bit of a stretch to soon.

6th UT-Profar is a stretch here too, could have gotten him later, but he does have UT eligibility.

7th SP-Iwakuma is OK, couldhave done worse.

8th CL-Johnson is an OK pick here.

9th C-Castro is a bit of a stretch here, poor value.

10th SP-Kuroda is solid, loaded with Asian talent isn’t he?

11th UT-Bogarts might be a real steal here.

12th SP-Buhrle is a poor pick and way too early for him.

13th OF-Cuddyer is OK.

14th SP-Syndegaard is his Minor Leaguer

15th OF-Calhoun is a solid pick.

16th OF-Cruz is solid here for value too.

17th SP-Fausto Carmona is a terrible pick no matter how late it was!

18th OF-Martin is a meh pick.

19th OF-Pagan is a meh pick.

Deron’s draft was solid but not spectacular. He went about getting what he wanted and got for the most part very good value for position and for talent. Over all there weren’t any grand slams, but he could have done a lot worse especially since the team in front of him absolutely was picking poorly and he had No Talent Ass Clowns right behind. Solid draft for the long season.

Strategy: B

Picks for value: B
Overall: B

NOT TALENT ASS CLOWNS
1st C-Mauer is solid pick.

2nd 1B-Hosmer is an OK pick.

3rd 3B-Donaldson is a solid pick, great value slipping to 3rd round.

4th SP-Cashner is a little early, but is a solid pick.

5th CL-Perkins is a good pick for value here considering closer picks run.

6th CL-Cishek is a bit early for him but decent for depth.

7th OF-Victorino is a meh pick.

8th SP-Lincecum is a stretch, head scratcher with better talent on the board.

9th SP-Archer is a solid pick, great value.

10th CL-Reed is a solid pick, again good strategy.

11th OF-Aoki meh…I don’t get everyone’s fascination with him.

12th SP-Neise is below average.

13th 1B-Belt sucks.

14th OF-Crawford is a stretch considering he’s hurt, but could be good value if he rebounds to healthy later this season and hits.

15th SP-Kennedy is a poor pick.

16th SP-J. Johnson is also poor but a late gamble could make sense.

17th 3B-Aramis might be very good value for position at this point in the draft…then again he is old.

18th SP-Ventura might be a really, really good sleeper late round pick.

19th SP-Beach is out for the year WTF?

Rick is usually pretty solid and he didn’t disappoint yet again. Good value and good strategy has him having one of my favorite drafts despite a spell of odd picks in the middle of his selections. Slam dunk picks early on make up for the fact that he grabbed a few possible duds before rallying with very good value picks later on. Over all, few stretches or misses on value though.
Strategy: A
Picks for value: B+
Overall: A

BRIAN
1st UT-Prado is a little early but might be solid if his bat returns.

2nd SP-Miller is a solid pick for a young arm.

3rd SP-Lester is good value for the pick position.

4th SP-Fister is a solid if not spectactular pick.

5th SP-Salazar is a real steal for the spot, could have been a keeper.

6th SP-Lynn is also a good pick here for value.

7th OF-Marte might be a great pick if his maturity level comes up and he hits this year.

8th CL-Frieri is an OK pick.

9th CL-Henderson also a good pick for value here.

10th SS-Castro is a turd.

11th SP-Tillman is a quality pick, especially for value.

12th SP-Nova is very good late value for pick position.

13th CL-Veras is a poor pick here.

14th SP-Quintana has been a mess this spring, but good value for pick position if hs returns to form.

15th SS-Lowrie is solid pick for value.

16th OF-Markakis is a good pick here.

17th SP-Doubrant is OK.

18th C-Ramos is a need only pick at this point.

19th 3B-Castellanos is a quality pick for value for this spot, might be a surprise.

Once again, you don’t win the league if you don’t draft well and Big B did just that last year. Again this season, he did well considering the tough task of picking from the last spot on the board each round. There are no big whiffs and few spots where I could point out that he stretched too much. Very few bad picks for value and a bevy of good picks make this another draft I like and think will turn out to impact the season.
Strategy: B
Picks for value: A
Overall: B+

 

If you’re scoring at home, Braun’s night was worth 28-points

Yeah, the guy isn’t on roids.  Nooooooo.

If you were wondering what Ryan Braun’s night was worth last night for going 4-for-5 with 3-homers and a triple, well, that was 28-points worth of awesomeness.  Braun’s performance against San Diego on Monday night included 15-total bases and the guy had a legit shot at 4-homers but instead of dogging it or swinging  just for the fences, in his final at bat poked a shot deep to the gap for a Triple!

Mr. Barrett who has been boo-hoo-ing for the last couple weeks since his team has fallen to (2-2) after reeling off 19-straight from last year to this year, will wake up with a team that is now only trailing by 9-points because Braun put up in one night in a huge ball park the kind of numbers a starting pitcher puts up for the week.  Boo-hoo indeed.

 

 

Big B’s streak ends at 19

Speaking of Mr. Barrett and the Cape Coral Spaghetti Cats, that achievement of winning 19-in a row needs some kind of applause.  I failed to mention it in recent weeks as I have been knee deep in planning a Kentucky Derby Party (this Saturday, all owners are welcome!) and enjoying my own winning team.  But the feat is pretty impressive.

After ending the 2011 season on a 17-game winning streak that stretched back to June of last year, Big B’s team hadn’t lost until he ran into D-Spot’s buzz saw in week 3 of this season.  Hard to think that a team can beat 19-straight games this year!!!


IKBL Preview: The Contenders

Continuing the preview of the International Kegerator Baseball League brought to you by ZIMCO Industries, it’s time to take a look at the contenders, the teams I think will be contending for the title.  There are six teams that make the play-offs and these are the teams in reverse order who I think will finish in the top half of the league in 2012.

Once again…
The vaunted Zimmer 2-to-11 scale Scoring system:
A+  = 11          B+ = 8      C+ = 6.5     D+  = 4
A = 10             B  = 7.5      C  =6         D  = 3
A- = 9              B-  = 7      C- = 5        D = 2

#6. SW Florida Braves (Mike Zimmer)
Hitters:
As a returning team, much of the band is back together for the SW Florida Braves including multi-talented 2B/OF-Ben Zobrist.  Funny to think that last season, Zoby was the top performing offensive player on the SWFB’s.  Also back is C-Brian McCann and 1B/3B-Kevin Youkalis and Adam Jones.  The typically pitching heavy Braves actually focused on getting more pop in the line-up during the draft and the result was adding Pablo Sandoval and Freddie Freeman to try and increase the offensive production.  A healthy Carl Crawford might help too, as would a free-agent year Andre Ethier.  This is also a team with inter-changeable line-ups and many multiple position players.  However, it’s a line-up that is still minus a reliable power source and lacking one guy that scares you.  Despite that, from top to bottom, the line-up in improved from the league runner-up team of last year.
Grades:  Line-up:  B-   Depth/Intangibles: B

Pitching:
Typically the strong point of the Braves clubs of the past, the pitching staff took a hit when CJ Wilson was lost to free-agency.  However, David Price is back as is stalwart C.C. (stands for Candy and Cake) Sabathia who are proven aces.  There is top-end prospect Matt Moore and highly touted Vance Worley who had a nice break out season with Philly last year.  Also back is Ivan Nova that very quietly won 16-games last year.   Oh, and the innings eating veterans are well positioned too including Mark Buehrle who once again is on the Braves roster.  The bullpen which was a mess last year got an instant goose when Mariano Rivera returned to the club after a 2-year absence to be the hammer in the bullpen that had been missing for SWFB.  However, there is not another option out back to protect the club.  However, the upgrade of Rivera should make them solid while there is hope another closer can present himself.
Grades:  Rotation: B+   Bullpen:  B

Owner/management:
Moving at a glaciers pace when it concerns trades, SWFB did pull off an early swap and has vowed once again to be a viable, mover and shaker in an effort to win.  The proof is in the punch, play-offs are typically in SWFB’s season plans and last year despite the miserable second half where they went from (8-2) to finishing at just (13-10), this team made it to the championship game.  Expectations are high.
Grade: B

Overall Grade: B

#5.  High and Tight (Marty Ritzel)
Hitters:
There are parts of the H&T’s that I like and hate.  Like: Joey Votto, Shane Victorino.  Hate: Derek Jeter and Tori Hunter.  Really?  Tori Hunter?  Isn’t he 104-years old?  The rest of the line-up is a good mix but nothing too spectacular that makes the panties drop.  Though, Ian Kensler being able to play just about every position and a couple guys like Jay Bruce and Miguel Montero could just be the best value for draft spot on the board when Marty picked them up, make for good positives.  If Nats 3B Ryan Zimmerman is healthy, Gabby Sanchez hits for power, this is a team that looks good on paper.  He’s even got a couple of stud prospects on the bench he hopes he gets to use.  Of course his team is doomed as he signed Adam Dunn who just about single handily destroyed the SWFB’s last season.
Grades:  Line-up:  B-   Depth/Intangibles: B+

Pitching:
Having King Felix the cat of the M’s and rubber armed stud Jared Weaver of the Angels as his twin aces, the pitching staff has some rocks.  But apparently Marty has high hopes for the enigmatic Ervin Santana and a bunch of Reds and former Reds.  Johnny Cueto should be good and you never know, Edinson Volquez may just benefit from a nice change of scenery out into that huge yard in San Diego.  But Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman?  Marty, we get it, you like the Reds but come on man!?!?!  I do like Jhoulys Chacin as a late round flyer though.  The bullpen?  Heath Bell is a hammer and there are worse options than Sean Marshall who was very effective last year with a horrible Cubs team as a set-up man and closer.
Grades:  Starters: B-  Bullpen: B-

Owner/management:
Knock him if you want for being a homer for picking all those Reds players, but this is once again a team that will compete.  Marty is resourceful with what he drafts and finds on scrap heaps.  I don’t know what the plan is for the team we used to call The Bastards this year, however, I expect to see him in the play-offs again.
Grade: B

Overall Grade:  B

#4. Drinkslinger (Ken Chaney)
Hitters:
After a disappointing finish last year, a former league champion, Ken has high hopes once again this season and there’s no reason not to think they’ll finish in the top end and in play-off position.  The offense is built on the back of Albert Pujols who has been on Ken’s team for years now.  NL MVP Matt Kemp as well as Matt Holliday should provide even further power to this line-up as well as highly touted Giancarlo Stanton who is quickly becoming a stud in Miami.  The club also swindled Hanley Ramierez away from The Shit Storm while also stashing Chase Uttley on his bench.  All-in-all, the makings are there for a very good offensive team and I’ve not even mentioned Jose Montero at Catcher or even what I think are weak links like Billy Butler or his bench.
Grades:  Line-up: B+  Depth/Intangibles:  B

Pitching:
Though after Tim Lincecum there is no other “ace” by typical definitions, the entire staff of the Drinkslinger is pretty respectable and tight.  Tommy Hanson as a #2 isn’t too shabby if he stays healthy, neither is Zack Grienke.  Chad Billingsley and Jeremy Hellickson are solidly good and innings eaters in their own right and he has Tim Hudson and Ricky Nolasco tucked away on his bench.  The bullpen is the real party piece though with Angels closer Jordan Walden and Carlos Marmol, both wildly inconsistent while both having very good numbers at the back end.  That will either be what puts him over the top or is his grease fire that burns down the house.
Grades:  Rotation: A-  Bullpen: B

Owner/management:
Kenny is talented at making the right trade at the right time and moving his roster where it needs to go to make it win.  I expect nothing else this season as he tries to get back to Championship form.
Grade: B+

Overall grade: B

#3. Crazy Mike the Cannuck (Mike Seeger)
Hitters:
With exception to Alexei Ramirez (who isn’t all that bad at all for a SS), the entire line-up for Crazy Mike is pretty stellar.  From Mike Napoli at Catcher who hits for power to DH David Ortiz who had a bunch back season last year, he’s solid.  A blend of veteran power in 1B-Mark Texiera and Carlos Beltre and young up and coming talented Desmond Jennings and Nick Markakis, there isn’t a weak spot in the line-up.  Even Rickie Weeks coming back from an injury should be stellar.  There is also ample depth with pop and usefulness.  Crazy Mike might be a rookie, but he’s got a real chance to compete with the returning veterans.
Grade:   Line-up:  A   Depth/intangibles: A-

Pitching:
Leading off with Roy Halladay as your ace and innings eating ace James Shields at the top does not hurt your cause even as a rookie.    Matt Garza and Ricky Romero were on Big B’s championship team a year ago as solid if not spectacular #2′s and oh yeah, Bud Norris and Doug Fister are up and coming fire ballers.  For a rookie, this is a steller bunch of arms for a rotation that could be very, very good.  The bullpen is another strength even if outside of Craig Kimbrel, the names are Matt Capps, Grant Balfour and Frank Francisco.  The depth of arms should make this team very dynamic.
Grade:  Starter: A    Bullpen:  A-

Owner/management:
If it weren’t for the fact that he is a rookie, The Cannuck might be higher rated.  However, being that this is the first year in the league and the season is a marathon and not a sprint, we’ll just have to see how he works his roster and his team produces this season.  His baseball IQ isn’t in question (though he is Canadian) either, and this could be a brave new world with Crazy Mike challenging for king of America’s past time.
Grade: B+
 

#2. Cape Coral Spaghetti Cats (Brian Barrett)
Hitters:
Pulling off the biggest trade of the year in acquiring OF-Ryan Braun and 3B-Evan Longoria, he vaulted his line-up by leaps and bounds, it came at a price but added to his other big hitters 2B-Dustin Pedroia and Eric Hossmer gives him tons of power and point production.  Adding Starling Castro and Matt Wieters in the draft also gives him more potential top-end producers.   Big B’s depth is rather good too and the rest of his line-up including the inter-changeable Martin Prado due for a rebound season this year.  The bench is deep and this team will be able to mash.
Grade:  Line-up: A   Depth/intangibles:  B+

Pitching:
At the cost of all that hitting, Brian had to give up Clayton Kershaw.  However, in the draft, the value he got was pretty decent.  What he was able to assemble is very functioning parts including the Nats Gio Gonzalas who should have a better season with a winning team while his former teammate Brandon McCarthy is due to return to form and be a big contributor.  While not sexy picks or even well known, Daniel Hudson and Derek Holland had great seasons last year for Arizona and Texas respectively.  Meanwhile he’s got a couple of flame throwing Tigers pitchers who will get plenty of run support and wins in the Motor City.  The bullpen is also, not very sexy but stable with definate closers Brandon League and Sergio Santos who could be a break out star in Toronto.  It’s a fairly balanced and high end rotation.
Grade:  Starters:  A-   Bullpen:  A-

Owner/management:
Already with one big deal under his belt and not averse to dealing talent to get talent, Big B has quickly made his mark as a solid contender for the championship.  He’ll be defending his crown this year and protecting a 17-game winning streak dating back to last season.  A good draft made the team whole while not being overly sexy.  Then again that Evan Longoria is a sexy beast ain’t he?
Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A-

#1. No Talent Ass Clowns (Rick Barker)
Hitters:
Once again, the evil genius of Smoke and Mirrors has a team able to compete for the championship.  From top to bottom, the line-up for NTAC isn’t overtly flashy but very, very good.  Carlos Santana should have a rebound season of big numbers for the Tribe now that he’s going to play more first base.  Cargo (Carlos Gonzalas) goes from Drinky to NTAC this year and should be considered the real deal for power out in Colorado.  If Kendry Morales is healthy, that potent line-up for the Angles will only help him hopefully regain his form of a few years ago.  Robinson Cano is solid for power and 3B Brett Lawrie might just be the rookie of the year this year if he hasn’t surpassed the number of games it takes to win that award already.  Shin Soo Choo also is a guy that must be taken seriously.  But one guy that is buried on the NTAC bench is a guy I think might have a monstrous break out year.  Paul Goldschmidt crushes and hit 30-some homers in the minors last year before having a good run for the D-Backs after a mid-season call up.  That line-up is good, though the bench is thin.
Grade:  Line-up: A-  Depth/Intangibles: B-

Pitching:
I might have thought Rick was crazy for trading away both stalwart 3B Evan Longoria and OF-Ryan Braun for SP-Clayton Kershaw if I didn’t know how good he really was by the numbers.  Sure, he traded a lot, but Kershaw can single-handedly carry a team let alone a rotation.  Throw in former ace Adam Wainwright, and potentially nasty Francisco Liriano and you have the basis for a good top end.  Oh yeah, Trevor Cahill and Anibel Sanchez tucked on the bench.  Nice.  As for the bully, again, this team is fortunate to have an abundance of relievers.  John Axeford is stable and then NTAC went out and got pretty much every other guy available that has a chance to close.  Good enough.
Grade:  Starters: A-   Bullpen:  B

Owner/management:
Rick and his GM Michael Bolten have pulled bigger rabbits from smaller hats in the past.  However, for all the winning and great regular seasons, post-season success is what matters and he’s desperate for a winner this year I’d say.  Rick is a wheeler and dealer and is capable of managing this team and pulling off necessary trades to make this team a challenger for the title.
Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A

There you have it, the run down of each team in the league.  Look forward to more thoughts on teams and what goes on during the season on This Week In Kegerator Baseball (TWIKB).   

The IKBL Preview: The bottom six
Here’s your preview of the teams I think will finish 7th-thru-12th in the IKBL this year

Hey everyone, instead of doing a draft review, I’ve done a season preview for each team.  I’ll start at the bottom and work my way to the top, giving a brief over-view of how I see the teams to start the season.  For your consideration, I offer you this synopsis.

The vaunted Zimmer 2-to-11 scale Scoring system:
A+  = 11          B+ = 8      C+ = 6.5     D+  = 4
A = 10             B  = 7.5      C  =6         D  = 3
A- = 9              B-  = 7      C- = 5        D = 2

#12.  The Shit Storm  (Jim Bellmore)

Hitters:

Looking at the Shit Storm’s line-up, big question marks should be placed after a couple of guys he’s counting on; 1B-Justin Morneu, fellow Twin C-Joe Maurer and OF-Yeonis Cecspedes.  The fact is, no one knows how the former AL MVP is going to rebound after a lost year in the fog of post-concussion
syndrome.  Can he regain his form?  Can he find the power?  Speaking of lost power, Maurer has yet to
find his post-injury either.  The other issue is, Morneu and Maurer will split time at first base and DH on what really is a bad Twins team that itself is a question mark.  They look to be very mediocre to me.  The A’s Cescpedes is an interesting cat and I’m intrigued if he is the real deal or not.  The problem is, it would seem too much emphasis on his success is being counted on and how good can he be on what
might be a dreadful Oakland squad?  The bench/depth of Logan Morison (hence forth LoMo) and Jason Heyward (JeyHey) are good gambles while perhaps Alex Gordon was overpaid for.  His 2B/SS/3B spots are in my estimation weak, with David Wright a possible exception if he can stay healthy and the Mets
actually better than expected.  Wright is a franchise cornerstone but has been derailed of late and whether he has a good year or not will decide if Shit Storm has some pop.  Rayburn, Aviles and Escobar would be marginal to poor back-ups on other teams.
Grades:    Line-up: C-   Intagibles/Depth:  C-

Pitching:
Once again more questions than stable elements.  Picking SP-Jordan Zimmerman over a work horse
like James Shields in the draft and not having another proven front line guy is going to kill the Shit Storm this season.  While Ian Kennedy and the fore mentioned Zimmerman are intriguing young arms which much is expected from this season, unless they have stellar over-achieving years, the U.S.S. Shit Storm is doomed.  Clay Bucholz is a serious injury risk and not proven for an entire season, mid-to lower end pitchers like Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, Jason Vargas (all of which are on what should be miserable White Sox and M’s teams) and an oddity in Neftali “am I a starter or reliever” Feliz
don’t add too much hope.  While there are cagey vets with some intrigue though, the acquisition of Ryan “Cum Dumpster” Dempster and the crazy Big Z Carlos Zambrano add some possible zing, this is
not a good staff.  The Bullpen is iffy, only because of Brian Wilson’s dead arm late last year and the O’s Jim Johnson not exactly cemented as the closer in B-more.
Grades:     Starters:  C-     Bullpen:  C

Owner/Management:
The Shit Storm was severely punished in the run-up to the season.  This alone causes great concern for this team and how it can function during the season at such a disadvantage.  I know that Jimmer is a competent baseball knowledge guy with some savy about the game and it’s players.  However, thus far he has not shown much promise in assembling this team.
Grade:  D
Overall Total: D+

#11. The Old Dirty Bastards  (Jeff Minks/Karl Hehr)
Hitters:
This team is curious in it’s design and it may be due to it’s rather old rookie owners.  The hitting line-up isn’t all that bad, but it’s poor planning in carrying four, count em’ 4, First Basemen
and only having one in their regular line-up in outfielder Lance Berkman.  The fact that this team is counting on Berkman to deliver another career year though is troubling.  The only accomplished and reliable hitters in their line-up are OF-Hunter Pence and 2B-Brandon Phillips.  While they do have some good hitters mixed in here and there and have options and intangibles, the likes of SS-Zack Cozart
and 2B-Kelly Johnson shouldn’t normally be regular starters on many other
teams.  The fact that the team still carries 2B/3B Lonny “Jizz in the hall” Chisenhall despite his being demoted to AAA over a week ago is also disappointing.
Grades:   Line-up: D    Depth/Intangibles: C

Pitching:
By reaching for SP-Chris Carpenter in the keeper draft, the team was exposed as
novice.  The fact that Carpenter is now hurt and there isn’t a real set in stone return time for him or whether or not he’ll have more trouble with his shoulder this season is damning.  It wasn’t too hard for them to draft Justin Verlander first over all and he alone can carry a pitching staff.  But the worry over injuries and wins coming for Mat Latos and Stephan Strasburgh should be huge.  Yu Darvish is intriguing, but unproven.  The bullpen is a mess.  I’m not sold Joe Nathan will ever be the same
and Andrew Bailey, is, as expected, already hurt.  Kyle Farnsworth gives them great depth at this
spot but the Rays have not been closer-centric in their bullpen even on their good teams and Farnsworth still isn’t completely proven as “THE Guy”.
Grades:   Starters:  C+   Bullpen:  C+

Owners/Management:
The duel ownership of Minks and the guy known affectionately as Uncle Karl isoff to a rough start.  GM Jeff Minks hasnot exactly shown a ton of attention to details thus far with no roster moves
to cover obvious draft mistakes.  The question of how long Uncle Karl goes as silent partner might be interesting to follow too.  This duo has far to go but has the talent to be much better.
Grade: D+

Over all grade:  C-

#10. Double H (John and Justin Hyler)

Hitters:
While this team does not lack potential and potential serious lumber, the fact
is, a couple of these guys are either past their prime or mediocre fodder.  Sure, is A-Gon going to hit plenty up in Boston?  Yes.  Was he worth the #1 pick by this team?  Meh, sure.
Is he the capable of an off-year just like the rest of the Boston Red Sox team he plays for?  Maybe.  Troy Tulowitzski is going to hit too, but the Colorado line-up isn’t as potent which could beg the question of him too having a back-sliding season.  A-Fraud is past his prime and now that he’s not using the purple lipstick steroids any longer isn’t the feared hitter he once was.  While the whole outfield for this team excites me, with Jacoby Elsbury, Andrew McCutcheon and Michael Bourne all top notch, high end components, you could argue all of them had over the moon seasons a year ago and could be just so-so
this season.  This team did stash 1B-Ryan Howard and has a big bat in 1B-Carlos Pena on the bench, it’s curiously overly-deep.  It only shows the rookie lable that this team is wearing this season.
Grades:  Line-up:  B-  Depth/Intangibles: C-

Pitching:
Starting with the bullpen, the fact that this team can put in 3-relievers, allof which are good, is advantageous.  Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates and Jose Valverde of the Tigers were very good last
season and shouldn’t disappoint this, while Johnny Venters is a proven set-up guy and fall-back for Atlanta at closer. However, there is NO depth on this team in the pitching realm.  And, there is no ace in the bunch with Josh Johnson, who was hurt for most of last year being the #1 guy.  Jair Jurrjens was hurt too and hasn’t been the same, Justin Masterson is on a poor Indians team as is the case with Wandy
Rodriguez.   This team is flawed.
Grades:  Starters: D+   Bullpen: B+

Owners/management:
They’re owning their rookie stripes here with a flawed roster and a team that
is oh so good here, oh so bad there.  I will be intrigued to see how father and son duo adapt this year.  They have a line-up that could carry them or offer them value in attempting to adjust to their mistake of not having enough pitching.
Grade: C-

Overall Grade: C-

#9. BDM Ballers (Mike Anderson)

Hitters:
Back Door Mike’s Ballers are put together in a unique way too.  With big power via Prince Fielder and some scrappy, proven starters in both Jimmy Rollins and Ichiro, he doesn’t have a completely empty cupboard.  The problem is, the line-up gets ugly after that and I’m not sure it’s enough to keep pace
in the league this year.  Trusting that A.Ram, Melky Cabrera and Cody Ross to put up points for you is seriously worrisome if it was my team.  It’s just an average to below average bunch and I’m not impressed. Grades:  Line-up: C-    Depth/Intangibles: C-

Pitching:
Conversely, this team’s pitching staff is pretty decent.  With aces atop his rotation in Madison
Bumgarner and CJ Wilson who both should have stand out seasons, he’s got two hammers scoring points week in and week out on top of reliable Jon Lester.  Some cagey veteran arms capable of eating
innings load up the back-end with Edwin Jackson reliable and Shawn Marcum while injury prone, typically pretty good to above average.  The addition of Jeff Samardzidja as apossible break out pitcher is intriguing.  The bullpen meanwhile is, well, it is.  I think he over-reached and over-paid for Phillies closer Jonathan Pappelbon, but the guy is on a winner and proven a winner.  On the other hand, BDM like so many other teams is rolling the dice with a few questionable relievers for their second
spot in a very thin market.  Grades:  Starters:  B-   Bullpen: C

Owner/management:
Another newbie BDM is probably limited to the middle of the pack this year.  However, savy and knowledgible, once he gets his feel for this, I expect bigger things.  This team is flawed but the owner isn’t.  Grade: B-

Overall Grade: C

#8. Switch Hitters (Pat Siefert)

Hitters:
It’s not an impressive unit, but it’s a workable and able unit that Pat has installed as his line-up.  Catcher/1B-Buster Posey is a key component but a huge question mark in coming back from injury
and not having a full proven season under his belt at the major league level
yet.  He has three things though that can make an average line-up work for you and still allow you to win games: #1-power, #2-a top scoring middle infielder and #3-flexibility.  With Paul Konerko and Justin Upton as the power source with 30+ homers each, SS-Elvis Andrus able to hit, steal and score
runs and the ageless Michael Young more or less plug-and-play anywhere in the
line-up, Pat has an above average talent pool for his line-up.  The bench and other intangibles are doable
and if anyone like OF-Drew Stubbs or OF-Cameron Maybin has a break out season, it will only help.Grades:     Line-up:  B      Depth/Intangibles: B-

Pitching:
For all the right decisions he made in the newbie/keeper draft in taking 4-solid starters, Pat virtually ignored his pitching staff in the general draft and that will cost him.  It’s a good unit
mind you, but too shallow a pool.  SP’s Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Dan Heron are as good as anybody’s best.  Josh Beckett is on the backside of his career though and an injury risk, Ubaldo Jiminez just may have lost his mojo and Scott Baker wasn’t that good before he was hurt.
After that?  Well, there isn’t really an after that.  The bullpen is no
better.  While Drew Storen is good, he’s had a sore arm and Jason Motte was an absolute grease fire at times last year for the Cardinals.  It could be a wild ride for the Switch Hitters this year with a roller coaster-like up and down from week to week.  Grades:  Starters: B-   Bullpen: C

Owner/management:
Perhaps there is some method to the madness with Pat’s decision making.  Was the talent just not there for him in the draft to address his pitcing?  Does he think his big 3 will carry him and hope for the best with the rest?  Pat’s MLB acumen is in question, he’s a football guy.  However, I expect that
this team should at the very least compete for the middle pack IF, and it’s a big IF he adjusts on the fly well. Grade: C-

Overall Grade: C+

#7. D-Spot (Deron Freatis)

Hitters:
This team has some serious lumber and the fact that he was able to steal so
much heavy hitting in the newbie/keeper draft was amazing.  Seriously, getting both Miguel Cabrera and
Jose Bautista will give this team a real shot at making a play-off push.  He also has a possible potent line-up of other potential sluggers with Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson in
the outfield.  Asdrubel Cabrera is also a stellar addition and I believe as does Deron and Big B that Ike Davis is capable of a break out season.  The team is over-loaded with depth on the offense too, with all sorts of component parts scattered over the bench.  This though is actually a negative however as it hurts his pitching staff.  It’s a potent line-up sure, but it’s also a line-up with plenty of K’s and injury concerns as well.   Grades:  Line-up: B+   Depth/Intangibles: C

Pitching:
Again, this team did very well at gaining top-end talent in this department too.  Cliff Lee and Yovani Gallardo are true aces.  The latter round draft of Johan Santana was a steal and he might have a really good season for the Mets or be dealt to a competitor.  However, after that, it’s a horror show and extremely thin horror show.  There is no depth here and relying on Colby Lewis and Erik Bedard shows it.  The big slider and fantasy baseball toxic pick, Michael Pineda also came back to haunt
Deron too, as he’s on the DL and might be slated for the minors.  He gambled and it seems he lost.  The bullpen is a huge gamble too.  Until last season’s break out year for J.J.
Putz, he’d been the occasional grease fire.  Can he duplicate last season?  I’m not buying it.  Neither am I buying the Padres will get Huston Street many opportunities before he eventually gets hurt and finds
himself in a familiar spot on the DL. Grades:  Starters:  C   Bullpen: C-

Owner/management:
Deron is a quick study.  His baseball knowledge isn’t in doubt either.  So, I
figure Deron will figure all of this out quickly.  And, with such depth on offense, he may be
able to spare some for pitching.  The likes of Cliff Lee and Gallardo are solid guys who can carry a staff, but it’s not guarantee for him though.  I like D-Spot to push for the play-offs.
Grade: B-

Overall Grade: C+

FEED BACK?!?!?!?!  Let’s get some chatter going!!!

 

Free Agency to open at Midnight tonight, Waivers suspended briefly

At the conclusion of tonight’s draft and no later than midnight, free agency will open with all un-drafted players available for pick up.  This is an effort to allow those that may not be able to wait for the usual 2-day waiver period to sign players to round out rosters.  As the season opens in Japan this week, there won’t be able to be the typical 2-day waiver wait and allocation of waiver priority, thus it will briefly be open as a free-for-all, first come, first served basis.

Remember, you’ll need to set your line-up ASAP as games do start early this week.  Brian and I will notify the league of any changes if we can manage to skip the Japan Series games, but as of now we don’t see a way around it.  Please keep this in mind and stay tuned for more information.

 

Pre-Draft Day Trade as Jimmer’s Shit Storm move up and collect a 2nd rounder for SS/3B-Hanley Ramirez after shipping him to Kenny’s Drinkslingers


Han Ram

The first trade of draft picks took place today when the league pushed through the movement of Han Ram who was briefly a member of Jimmer’s Shit Storm was moved to Kenny’s Drinkslingers for his 1st and 2nd round draft picks.  The two teams swapped first round spots so Jimmer moved up to the #7 pick and Drinky drops to #12 for round one.

The move allows Shit Storm to move up and grab more talent after severe penalties were enforced against him for his Keeper Draft debacle.  It allows him to grab some more talent in a loaded and curious draft that is sure to bring some excitement to the league tonight.

Drinkslinger didn’t pay a very high price for what essentially is a player that should have been a keeper in most instances.  The fact that he was passed over in the Newbie draft was a strange occurance considering he’ll have duel position eligibility shortly after the seasons starts as he moves to Third Base.  Drinky is a perenial competitor for the IKBL championship every year and earned what could be keeper for him for the future in the league while only giving up in essence is a 2nd rounder.

Look for a Draft wrap up in this space once we’ve completed the IKBL