Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Andrew McCutchen. They have led Los Coches Bomba to three South Division pennants and a pair of league championships and all were acquired in the 2010 draft. No team is more defined by the league’s first draft than Bomba.
Outside of Bomba’s terrific trio of hitters, only Clayton Kershaw has remained with the same fantasy team (Hapamon) through the first six seasons.
Albert Pujols was chosen by the Lower Haighters with the first pick in the initial draft and finished the season as the league’s top-rated player. Ten players chosen in the first round returned Keeper Level value led by Pujols, Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez (Bacon at Mile 11). The first round’s biggest bust – literally and figuratively – was Bailey Penzotti’s decision to draft third baseman Pablo Sandoval. By season’s end, Sandoval had eaten himself out of a starting job with the Giants. Here’s a look at the player’s chosen in the first round of the league’s initial draft.
In terms of total player value, Vicious Fishes GM Vanessa Hodge had the best overall draft. Vanessa’s first two picks, Prince Fielder and Troy Tulowitzki, both ranked in the Top 50 at season’s end but it was the last player she chose that was the best pick of the entire draft. Veteran first baseman Paul Konerko was taken with the 397th pick and finished the season ranked 15th after hitting 39 homers and driving in 111 runs. Hodge also obtained her ace, David Price, with the 244th pick. Price led the Vicious Fishes with 25 quality starts, a 2.72 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
The Jersey Boys and GM Leigh-Ann Wendling had the second best draft based on total player value. Chase Utley, Mariano Rivera and Justin Verlander were Leigh-Ann’s first three picks and all returned Keeper Level value but it was reliever Luke Gregerson who finished as the team’s top-ranked player. Gregerson, who was taken with the 381st pick, had 40 holds, a pair of saves, a 3.22 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.
The Vicious Fishes and Jersey Boys both finished the season above .500 and played in the postseason.
The team with the lowest-rated draft, Bull Durham, did not participate in postseason play. In fact, the team finished with the league’s second worst record. Roy Halladay and Neftali Feliz were the only players drafted by the Bulls who returned Keeper Level value. Of the team’s first 10 picks in the draft, Halladay and outfielder Matt Kemp were the only ones to finish the season ranked in the league’s Top 250.
The draft’s biggest bust was pitcher Josh Beckett. Chosen by the Lower Haighters with the 65th overall pick, Beckett signed a four-year, $68 million extension with the Red Sox prior to the season. He missed more than a month with a lower back strain and finished with a 5.78 ERA in 21 starts.