Tuesday, March 12, 2013


When I joined the league I knew the team was going to be a rebuild project. I looked at all the available teams and they all looked relatively alike. I figured this one had the best chance at rebuilding quicker because of the aging vets that could get extra picks in the draft. I think I had a pretty good draft for that matter.

Once you find a game you love it is hard to give it up. Matter of fact, you get carried away with it and the next thing you know, you have three or four teams or more. It is fine if you have nothing else better to do, most don't have that luxury however. Believe it or not, most days you need to spend an hour a day with a team on the average. In a rebuild you don't have to spend that much time in all reality. Why? Because you don't have to look at other teams rosters looking for a player that can help put your team over the top or delve into stats to figure out if a change is in order. Trust me, it can be exhausting among other things in the end. Real world problems tend to have an effect also, most times at the worst possible moment, I have had my lions share the last couple years.

I also like to write about it. Never figured that one out, as a kid I deplored writing anything. Maybe with computers it is so much easier than with pen and paper. Don't have to worry all that much about several things, like spelling, grammar, etc. The best part is I always have a good topic of discussion at hand..lol.

Anyway, back to the original line of thought after that drivel. I had the 10th pick of the draft and needed to find a player that could be the cornerstone of my rebuild. Chances of getting a #1 starting pitcher is pretty remote as the best ones have already been taken off the board by then. Middle relievers are a good choice in this spot, you know the ones that have great pitching stats but just don't have the stamina or durability to handle a starting pitching role except in emergency situations. A shutdown closer is not a bad idea either though it is really hard to take one this early normally.  With the 10th pick you usually get a shot at one of the best four position players on your board.

I am not sure how everyone views position players when ranking but this is how I do it. I imagine most may do it the same way one way or another.  I usually look at the top 100 by position to create a pool, selecting the best hitter(s) then the best fielder(s) at that position. I do it that way because a player may be listed as a SS but can't play the position, but can hit like a champ.  I am a bit of stickler for defense so I am not going to have a sub par fielder anywhere if I can help it. Believe it or not, most generally this only nets about 15 players in the pool. Once I have the pool then I rank them by judgement normally, like, how well does he hit and what position(s) he can or will be able play. I look for key positions first (SS, CF, 2B, C).

After all that it came down to 3 position players, Marshall Barker, Neil Sinclair and Denard Booker. If you look at the draft history you will find out they were selected, 9th, 10th, and 11th. I had Barker ranked higher because of his power and being left-handed was a plus, he was listed as a RF but because of his glove couldn't be anything better than a 1B in my books. Sinclair would be a good choice but the best place he could play was 3B not SS which isn't all bad. I had some problems with Booker though as he would be best at LF.  Barker is who I ended up with and I had him ranked second though I wasn't guaranteed he would be there either.

I do pitching last because it is easier to get them back into the fold. I had Wil Ray ranked in the #1 spot because he was the best starter on my board but knew he would never make it to the 10th spot. I had Paul King ranked 3rd, the reason was his 3rd pitch but his overall told me he wasn't likely to be there at 10 either.

Max Rondon was in the 4th slot because I liked what he had to offer out of the pen, I really don't expect him to be a starter. he was actually selected about where I thought he would.  I was surprised to get York Carew with the 29th pick and had him in the 5th slot. I think he could be a good 5th starter or work well out of the pen. Harley Bixler and Alex Jarvis were a steal also. Arthur Hansen with the 30th pick may not seem all that great but it isn't easy finding a potential GG CF/2B and maybe a little 3B thrown in.

Knowing I had lots of money coming out of the budget for the draft, had to be careful about going after the Internationals. Rafael Vazquez  while maybe not super great was for the right amount of money at $7.5M. Another end of rotation starter or pen help. Renyel Hernandez was a bargain at $2.4M. No superstar for sure but definitely has value.

Just about everyone overlooked Tsuyoshi Shibata.  I wouldn't have spent much more of my budget on him myself as he is nothing more than a career minor league DH maybe. The catch is, he is a good one. Hard to rebuild an organization if you can't get to the playoffs in the minors. Many will disagree with that but it has its perks especially when in rebuild mode.

So that is how the rebuild starts in old El Paso. I think that gives us about 10 total players for the future with the one or two already in the system. It is a start, next season, have to find a few more key players. The hardest part is getting them developed.

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