Cracking "The Safe"
Cracking "The Safe": The Seattle Mariners
~ Everything to do with the Seattle Mariners ~
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Pitchers and Catchers Report Soon.....

Which means that I will have something other than the Mariners Blogosphere Simulated Baseball League to write about.

Listening to Groz and Gas on 950 KJR this afternoon reminded me that February is the most boring month of the year for a sports fan. Is anybody excited about who gets a minor league invitation to try out for a major league team in Spring Training? What about those Sonics? No? I didn't think so.

The aforementioned MBSBL draft continues at its lovely pace of about a round every day. If so, we still have two weeks to go. The commentary is plentiful but I should point out that now that the obvious "big names" are off the board, we get to see some rather strange picks.

For instance, The Mariner Optimist has yet to pick a starting pitcher through Round 9. IN stark contrast, MarinersWeekly made Carlos Zambrano their 9th Round selection, giving them FOUR top notch starters (Zambrano, Pedro, Oswalt, and Vasquez), but they have yet to obtain anyone for C, 2B, 3B, SS, and CF. I would love to have their pitching staff, but I shudder to think who they will be running up to the plate.

Fire Bavasi made the best, and worst picks simultaneously. Picking Chipper Jones to end the 9th Round was a clear steal, but in a strange twist, he made a move that could ironically be called "Bavasi-esque" (sorry, I couldn't resist), and picked Craig Wilson with the first pick of the 10th Round. Craig Wilson? He has nice splits against LHP granted, and some positional flexibility, but FireBavasi already used a 7th Rounder on Jason Varitek. Do you really want to use a 7th Round pick on a platoon candidate? These moves are head scratchers for me, but Craig Wilson indeed looks to be the first bench player selected.

posted at 2/11/2004 10:46:00 PM

The Mariner Optimist thinks my selection of Richie Sexson is odd. Surely I would take the best 2nd baseman available right? Well, my answer is that Jeff Kent (at least the 2003 version) is incredibly overrated.

Outside of Boone, Giles, Soriano, and Vidro, I didn't think that any second baseman warranted a high pick.

Jeff Kent posted a nice .860 OPS, sure, but his EQA last year was .284. Compare that with the the other four guys I mentioned and the dropoff is a trend.

Boone: .311 EQA
Giles: .310 EQA
Soriano: 296 EQA
Vidro: .291 EQA

Kent had enough question marks attached to make me take a pass. Sexson was just too good to pass up. He will make much more of an impact on my lineup. I actually plan on playing him at 1B were he has more range than Delgado. I'm avoiding platoons wherever possible. I'll take the 2002 Kent anyday, but not the 2003 Kent.

posted at 2/11/2004 02:26:00 PM

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Gabe over at the "well worth your reading time" The Safe has my team ranked third out of 10 through 6 rounds. He likes my "underappreciated" stategy as well. He was a little baffled by my pick of Reggie Sanders though.

Well Gabe, quite simply, Reggie Sanders was the best RF prospect left. He mashes LHP to the tune of a 1.015 OPS. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough RH hitters so I took Sanders over Bobby Abreu.

Here's a better sneek peek at the splits of my team thus far:

Key: Versus LHP and Versus RHP

Carlos Delgado: .284/.395/.475/.870 .310/.439/.649/1.088
Edgar Renteria: .391/.503/.670/1.173 .316/.364/.434/.798
Garret Anderson: .310/.329/.504/.833 .318/.353/.562/.915
Aubrey Huff: .318/.353/.477/.830 .308/.374/.596/.970
Reggie Sanders: .301/.368/.647/1.015 .278/.335/.533/.868
Milton Bradley: .402/.500/.634/1.143 .287/.387/.445/.832
Richie Sexson: .279/.448/.557/1.005 .271/.359 /.545/.904

Balanced splits are the name of my game.

posted at 2/10/2004 02:08:00 AM

Taking a cue from The Mariner Optimist, I thought I might give my own predictions for what each team in the MBSBL Draft will pick. In a sense, I will be donning the "Draft Guru" hat.

Here we go:

Round 8

- Sodo Oh No just took Jeff Kent who I would have selected with my next pick. All the impact 2B are now off the board. Half the teams will now turn to secondary options to fill this spot.

San Shin: Jeff Bagwell - This team needs a first baseman and would have snagged Sexson if I had let him slide. Bagwell isn't far behind on the numbers. Jeff might gamble that Bagwell or Derek Lee will slide back to him in the next round, but by my tally, The Safe needs a firstbagger and has two picks before Jeff is up again. I wouldn't bet that Bagwell slides and he is the better pick.

WTHH: Chipper Jones: OK, so defensively he stinks according to Diamond Mind. But Chipper is the only outfielder left with a .900 or better OPS. He posted an awesome .402 OBP as well. WTTH has many positional needs, but Chipper is the best player on the board to fill one of those needs.

116: Andruw Jones: Jones plays Gold Glove centerfield. Defensively, nobody else on the board can touch him. Other options like Preston Wilson and Jay Payton should be avoided due to the obvious park inflation of their stats.

The Safe: Derek Lee: The Safe should take Derek Lee. Lee is a great fielder, has nice power, can steal bases, and sports a nice OBP. After Lee, the pickins are slim.

Round 9

The Safe: Carl Everett: The best option left in the OF actually hit better in the second half of 2003. He can play any of the outfield spots and is a switch hitter.

116: Barry Zito: Zito would complement Beckett nicely and give the 116'ers a nice 1-2 punch in the rotation. Zito is a great pick here.

WTTH: Bobby Abreu: Abreu slid this far, he shouldn't last through the 9th round. His EQA for 2003 was very nice. Abreu doesn't do any one thing amazingly, he does each thing well. Very well. How can you complain about a .300 hitting, 20 base stealing, .409 OBP pulling guy? You can't. Larry Walker is another option but the dreaded Coors effect might hurt Walker enough to make that pick risky. But WTTH did take Todd Helton first so maybe that reasoning doesn't scare him....

San Shin: Jeff could go any number of directions but I think he will go back to pitching here and take a strong look at Roger Clemens. If not, there are always a number of top closers left. Mariano Rivera would make a nice addition here. The more I think about it, Rivera sounds like a good bet.

Sodo Oh No: Edgar Martinez: The Sodo boys bring the best DH in baseball home and solidify a fierce lineup of hitters. Gar drives in runs with the best of 'em. Oh No is what opposing pitchers will say to this pick...

Cracking The Safe: I've got needs to address and many directions to go. A lot of the aforementioned players would be good in consideration if they slide. Which way I go depends entirely on those picks.... We'll see what happens.

Fantasy Drafting is so much fun because it puts the average joe in a GM's shoes for a day. Agonizing hard over these picks should give some people pause before they criticize GMs to harshly.

posted at 2/10/2004 01:27:00 AM