I went into all of my drafts having some players within the different tiers of first basemen as targets but draft position was really going to determine who I grabbed in the early rounds and how that would shape my entire roster. I wound up drafting 1st, 6th, 8th and 7th in my four snake drafts which meant three of my four drafts would have a lot of familiar faces...so I thought.
But before getting to the snake draft results, I wanted to talk about my online auction draft, which had me aggressively biding for the players I deemed "must have" and produced some interesting results:
Snake drafts definitely allow you to focus in on player tiers a little easier than an auction because most people are choosing from the best available ranked players (minus the ones you know will be autopicked). And here are the results of my four snake drafts for players that currently qualify at first base (draft pick in parenthesis):
- Albert Pujols (1)
- Kevin Youkilis (23), Adam Dunn (34) and Brandon Belt (314)
- Adam Dunn (36), Ike Davis (204) and Brandon Belt (316)
- Adam Dunn (35), Gaby Sanchez (175) and Brandon Belt (330)
The league where the only first baseman I drafted was the best one, Pujols, was a lot shallower than the other three and I was able to grab the versatile Michael Young (97) for my CI slot and heavily invest in quality outfielders in the early rounds; Matt Kemp (24), Ichiro Suzuki (48), Jayson Werth (49) and Hunter Pence (73).
Heavily investing three very late-round picks in Brandon Belt ("sleeper"?) seemed worth the upside risk of him becoming this season's Buster Posey. There's still a chance he will break camp with the Giants and receive a ton of playing time but, if not, June could be more realistic for his arrival. Either way, I was willing to take a shot to see how the first few weeks of the season play out and whether or not Belt will bring me any value on this relatively inexpensive investment.
Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez are similar offensive players (.270/20/80) and the best available to fill a roster need in the middle rounds. Period. I may not be overly excited to own either but I think, at the end of the year, their steady production will prove to be valuable to the overall success of my teams.
Similarly to my catcher targets, my teams have a lot of commonalities on purpose. One, it makes it easier to manage multiple teams when it comes to injuries or slumps and two, these are the players I am most interested in following. The goal of all of my teams is to win (especially the one money league I decided to join) but I also enjoy having fun as a fan of the game of baseball.
What strategies did you use when it came to drafting players that qualified at first base? What unique settings does your league have in place that made some players more favorable than others? Do you change strategies based on a classic rotisserie league versus a head-to-head scoring league? Please feel free to comment on my players or share your personal experiences when looking back on your draft(s) outcomes.