‘Tis the season to be drafting

Fa la la la la, la la play ball!

I’m optimistic. Was I last year? Let me check… I was, and then I finished in fifth. But we’ve been through that already. Enough with the past!

Introducing the 2011 Angels with Crystal Balls, along with my estimates of future performance which may or may not prove indicative of results:

C: Yadier Molina: .280, 5 HR, 50 R, 45 RBI, 5 SB
C: Ryan Hanigan: .275, 5 HR, 25 R, 25 RBI, 0 SB
1B: Lance Berkman: .265, 15 HR, 65 R, 60 RBI, 5 SB
2B: Jose Lopez: .290, 20 HR, 70 R, 85 RBI, 5 SB
3B: David Wright: .295, 25 HR, 90 R, 95 RBI, 15 SB
SS: Miguel Tejada: .285, 10 HR, 50 R, 60 RBI, 0 SB
MI: Ronny Cedeno: .245, 10 HR, 50 R, 45 RBI, 10 SB
CI: Adam Laroche: .265, 25 HR, 70 R, 80 RBI, 0 SB
OF: Matt Holliday: .305, 20 HR, 70 R, 70 RBI, 10 SB
OF: Matt Kemp: .270, 25 HR, 85 R, 85 RBI, 20 SB
OF: Jay Bruce: .265, 30 HR, 80 R, 85 RBI, 5 SB
OF: Aubrey Huff: .280, 20 HR, 70 R, 75 RBI, 5 SB
OF: Raul Ibanez: .275, 20 HR, 65 R, 70 RBI, 0 SB
U: Nate McClouth: .235, 20 HR, 70 R, 65 RBI, 15 SB
U: Ryan Ludwick: .255, 25 HR, 65 R, 75 RBI, 0 SB

That lineup has many familiar faces, and I don’t mean the four keepers of Wright, Holliday, Kemp, and Bruce. Laroche, McClouth, and Ludwick rejoin the team through the draft; so does reserve infielder Jeff Baker. Keeping Baker company on the bench for now is Donnie Murphy. One thing that is not familiar is the runs category, which we added along with pitchers’ total strikeouts.

Other than Ryan Hanigan (who thumped two of his expected five homers this afternoon), every hitter has a full-time job. I estimate final team totals of .280 batting average, 260 HR, 965 runs, 1010 RBI, and 95 SB. Adding the runs category drives down the value of stolen bases, which drop from 25% of a team’s score to 20%. My team is not going to be running wild and will probably finish around seventh in that category. On the other hand, I expect this team to sew up home runs and RBI. Runs will be a top three finish, let’s say third, and the .280 average will also finish high – again, let’s say third. It seems I’m relying on 40 points, which is good but not great. Last year, I predicted I’d get 36 points in hitting in only four categories. (I wound up with 33, which led the league.)

Pitching can’t help but be better than last year’s 15 measly points. I can’t possibly have a collapse as quick and as dreadful as 2010’s, can I? I definitely won’t finish fourth in WHIP and tenth in ERA again. that’s just crazy.

SP: Mat Latos: 13 W, 155 K, 3.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
SP: Chris Carpenter: 15 W, 135 K, 3.25 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
SP: Roy Oswalt: 15 W, 155 K, 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
SP: Wandy Rodriguez: 12 W, 160 K,4.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
SP: Randy Wells: 12 W, 125 K, 4.30 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
SP: Barry Zito: 12 W, 125 K, 4.45 ERA, 1.45 WHIP
RP: Kyle McClellan: 11 W, 95 K,3.90 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
RP: Sergio Romo: 5 SV, 4 W, 60 K, 2.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
RP: Sean Burnett: 10 SV, 3 W, 50 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
RP: Corey Luebke: 10 W, 105 K, 4.55 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

I loaded up on starters and their strikeouts at the risk of a low finish in saves. Closers were popular at the draft, and went way before I was willing to pick them. That suited me fine, as I loaded up on hitting and starting pitching. My estimated final stats are 14 saves, 106 wins, 1175 strikeouts, 3.78 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.29. I’ll finish first in wins and ninth in saves. I have no idea about the strikeouts, but let’s say fourth. The ERA and WHIP are good enough for third place in an average year. That comes out to 35 points – a bit weaker than I thought my calculation would produce.

Ahh, well – pitching’s volatile. I have Chris Capuano and Sam Demel on the bench. Let’s see what happens.

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