I’ve decided that I’ll blog this upcoming season of the NACBL Stratomatic Base Ball League (http://flory.net/php/index.php?league=nacbl). My five year plan is looking like it will take 6 years to complete, but hey, nobody’s perfect!
Going into the draft, my woeful NY Mets franchise had a number of significant holes to fill. There was the usual trifecta of pitching, pitching, and pitching, along with a weak outfield, and decided lack of talent at first base. Depth around the field was also an issue, but there is always a back up to be had, and cheaply at that. So, here I was with three 1st round picks, and one in the second round. The #3, #8, and #21 picks in the first round were all mine.
With the #3 pick I selected Astro’s CF Hunter Pence. Bit of a local connection with Penc, as he played for the Valley Cats in Troy, NY a few years ago. Plus he has a nice card and a good number of AB’s, and is good defensively. He was high on my “draft board” anyway, and with Dice-K going #1 over all, I had to settle for my second choice. The #8 pick became a bit of a problem for me. I had two very good offers for the pick (one involved Ichiro, the other Grady Sizemore), but after drafting Pence, an OF was not high on my needs anymore, even for the likes of those two guys. So I passed on the offers, and took Tampa Bay 3B Akinori Iwamura. This allows me to move Garret Atkins to 1B (and keeps his bat in my line up), and is an upgrade defensively at 3B. I had Carlos Pena (a fellow Northeatern Husky) on my list, but couldn’t justify using that high a pick on him. I had hoped he would slide to the #21 pick, but that didn’t happen.
With the 21st pick, I got a bit of a gift IMO, as Hideki Okajima was still available. I was surprised that a reliever of that quality, even if not a full time closer, was still available. Though getting starting pitching was a priority, I couldn’t pass up on Okajima. Plus, with Carlos Pena, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Phil Hughes all gone, it wasn’t much of a choice really.
So I wait for the #31 pick, my first in the 2nd round to come up. Instead of going with youth and potential, I took a solid, if unspectacular starter, Livan Hernandez. Another Cuban refugee whose age is questionable (he’s somewhere between 35-75 years old), but had an OK season last year. He’ll eat up innings for me at the least. I’ll still need at least three more starting pitchers though.
I have two picks in the 3rd round, thanks to a trade with Atlanta just before the draft. It will be interesting to see who’s still around when I pick at #55 and #67.