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SnakePit Fantasy Baseball: Ready For The Off

By now, you should be just about ready for the off on Sunday, with your fantasy team all streamlined, sleek and ready to go to work on your behalf. How did your draft go?


Mine seems to have gone relatively well, particularly considering a) I wasn't there at the time, being at the D-backs game, and b) my pre-draft planning consisted entirely of putting Derek Jeter on the "exclude" list. I didn't appear to pick up anyone with missing limbs, avoided players I openly despite (I hope the manager, who will remain unnamed by me, that picked Ryan Braun, is unable to sleep at night, because his liver is being eaten by an eagle. Or something) and don't seem to have any Biogenesis clients. That they know about. Yet. Here's how the first round of the Division 1 draft went down on Sunday afternoon.

1. Mike Trout (LAA - OF) CompleteGameShutout.
2. Miguel Cabrera (Det - 3B) Mizzoula Osprey
3. Ryan Braun (Mil - OF) MyWieterGetzLongoria
4. Robinson Cano (NYY - 2B) Don Quixotes
5. Andrew McCutchen (Pit - OF) Waffles
6. Matt Kemp (LAD - OF) The Fighting Amish
7. Carlos Gonzalez (Col - OF) Alabama Slammers
8. Joey Votto (Cin - 1B) Space Wizard
9. Albert Pujols (LAA - 1B) Moved Upton
10. Giancarlo Stanton (Mia - OF) Blonde Streaks
11. Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP) Phoenix Platypi
12. Prince Fielder (Det - 1B) Sofa King Juiced
13. Justin Verlander (Det - SP) Got Grittiness?
14. Stephen Strasburg (Was - SP) AZ SnakePit

Nothing surprising there, I think. Pujols and Kemp went a little bit lower than expected, Stanton higher, but the top 14 players were all to be found in the top 14 overall for Yahoo! drafts this season. Things got more off-book in the second round, with streaks picking Harper at #19, a full ten places ahead of his average slot, and Justin Upton also went, to Moved, higher than expected. The real surprise, however, was the first D-back going off the board in Round 2, Mizzoula snagging Paul Goldschmidt, when he hasn't typically been going in the first fifty selected. Let's hope Keith Law doesn't hear about that.

It's not too surprising. I think all fans probably value the members of their teams a little higher than an external view will; it's likely some kind of subconscious wish-fulfillment. Also, it makes fantasy baseball more fun if you have players you like on it, rather then having to feel dirty by rooting for the likes of Braun. Certainly, my auto-draft was entirely free of Diamondbacks, each one having been picked before reaching the top of my list. Here are all the Arizona players selected by Division 1 teams, along with the position at which they were picked, and the average spot to date across all Yahoo! leagues.

Player Our draft Avg. draft
Paul Goldschmidt 27 52
Aaron Hill 57 70
Martin Prado 76 92
Miguel Montero 108 125
J.J. Putz 118 129
Ian Kennedy 124 114
Brandon McCarthy 172 216
Trevor Cahill 190 206
Jason Kubel 201 226
Adam Eaton 219 216
Wade Miley
227 201
David Hernandez 249 247
Cody Ross
274 254
Tyler Skaggs
281 N/A
Patrick Corbin
Gerardo Parra

In the majority of cases, there's an apparent boost of 15-20 places over the consensus, when Diamondbacks players are being drafted by Diamondback fans. There are a couple of notable exceptions. Eaton didn't get any bump, in part because our draft took place after the injury which ensured he'll start the season on the DL. Ian Kennedy and, in particular, Wade Miley both ended up going lower in our draft than normal: I can see regression fears for the latter, but would probably have picked Kennedy, given the chance. Unfortunately, the snake draft and my position right at the end meant I had no pick between #99, well before his slot, and #126, two after he was taken.

It was interesting to see Skaggs - who certainly won't be on the Opening Day roster - picked two rounds before Corbin, who probably will. It's a slight improvement for Skaggs, who went with the sixth pick in round 23 last year, compared to the opening pick in the 21st round this time. And Parra's value has certainly increased, as a result of the injuries to both Eaton and Ross. Last year, the best D-back for fantasy purposes was Hill (final rank, #26), followed by Goldschmidt (#60) and Miley (#87). We'll see how things shake up as the season progresses, and whether that order holds true again in 2013.

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