2018 Rankings and Draft Grades

10.) Dobis PR

Offense: A year after finishing dead last in home runs, Peter Francis made a point to invest in guys that were going to get their money’s worth at the plate. By that I mean between Wil Meyers, Brian Dozier, Kris Davis and Greg Bird (RIP), there is going to be a ton of balls uppercutted into the seats. That said, for every ball donated to the second deck, almost one in every three AB’s is going to end in a violent strikeout.

I felt like the focus on power maybe caused some reaches. For example, Wil Meyers is a nice piece with his ability to get steals at 1B, but the 4th round was too early.

Grade: C+

Pitching: Okay, THIS is the year Chris Sale wins a CY Young. I’m sure of it this time. I think 500 strikeouts should get it done.

When I look at all the lefties on this staff with histories of shoulder problems, I can’t help but think of it as a tribute to me. Thank you, Peter. I noticed.

At their best, Alex Wood, Gio Gonzalez and Sean Manaea can be top 20 starters. They all had dominant stretches last year. That said, I would feel better about Wood as my #4 starter. #2 is a little too risky for my liking.

Grade: C

9.) Sleeping Monkeys

Offense: Mike Trout has had some historic seasons. Acknowledging that, I think we’re about to see another level this year. Good start for the Sleeping Monkeys.

Here’s my issue: I have no problem with Dee Gordon in the 3rd – he comes with a high average, tons of runs, and you never have to worry about steals again. But, with a specialty guy like Gordon going that early, the rest of your roster needs to account his .700ish OPS. The Sleeping Monkeys may not have two guys over 30 home runs.

Grade: C-

Pitching: With keepers like Kershaw and a late round Archer already in the stable, it wasn’t going to take a lot to get the Sleeping Monkey’s into the A range. Grabbing Darvish in the 4th solidifies what should easily be a top 3 staff.

Speaking of Japan.. It’s Shotime!! 13th round was good value for Japanese Babe Ruth after an up and down spring.

Bonus points for locking down the saves category. Smart move to buy closers while their stock is low leaguewide.

Grade: A

8.) Yels Bells

Offense: Out with the old, in with the young! Yels Bells has a whole new look this year. And to be honest, this was one of the harder offenses to evaluate. Avg will be an issue with Gallo on board, but overall it’s hard to say anything negative. Just a very solid lineup up and down. Not spectacular, just a bunch of guys who are going to hit .265 with 25-30 home runs.

Grade: C+

Pitching: This is where Yels Bells gets fun. Going Strasburg over Rizzo, and then Carrasco in the 2nd, gave Witchger a pretty fucking formidable top line. That’s three of the top 10 horses. Grabbing Clevinger late gives Wask another guy with upside. Add in three closers and it’s going to take a microscope to see Pepe’s WHIP.

This staff is head and shoulders above the rest of the East.

Grade: A

7.) Marseille MMMMMMalveys

Offense: From catcher to 1B/3B, this is amongst the league’s best infields. I think a healthy Xander Bogaerts is in the keeper conversation next year as a 5th rounder. If we don’t blow it all up that is.

Outfield is good not great, but that’s okay because good is better than half of the league.

Grade: B

Pitching: Thankfully, Carlos Martinez doesn’t ride dirt bikes. He is undergoing a lawsuit for allegedly beating up a guy outside of a strip club though. Hopefully that doesn’t affect Martinez’s ability to throw strikes, like it appeared to last year. Arrieta and his improved Spring velocity completes a solid top line trio.

Grade: B

Note: Watch out for even-year Falvey. I might be low here.

6.) Sabermetrics

Offense: Did I take some risks? You better fucking believe I did. That’s what the bp meds are for. It’s the sabermetrics way. We predict the future. Even for me though, there isn’t a lot of proven track records here to put in the bank.

The upside is tremendous. There are six guys in this lineup that should easily surpass 30 home runs, with potential for 40.

The downside is equally scary. Any regression or significant injury is going to hit me harder than most. But as you may have guessed, I’m willing to take on that risk.

Last season I ended up almost completely overhauling my outfield. I’m fine drafting in anticipation of a long season with at least 10 undrafted outfielders poised to break out.

My one regret is passing on Acuna in round 12 and not immediately trading him to Brian Falvey for Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant.

Grade: B-

Pitching: In all honesty, I did at least 50 mock drafts. And not a single one did I ever take Kenley Jansen. In the 7th round though, he was too good to pass up.

Gerrit Cole was another pitcher I didn’t have a lot of in my drafts. I went with Cole over Paxton because I’m buying in on 200 innings with the Astros, who make a point to emphasize an off-speed predominant approach with great success (See: Lance McCullers, C. Morton, Brad Peacock).

I would put my pitching staff, top to bottom, up against anyone in the league and feel confident.

Grade: A

5.) Cubs Mascot Dong

Offense: When you miss out on the top pitching tier, you better have a strong offense and Bobby has one of the best. Between Altuve, Freeman, Blackmon, Rendon Hosmer, Inciarte, even at catcher with Realmuto, this team is has a real chance to challenge Bower’s ridiculous Season AVG record (.287) set last year.

CMD is going to rack up more hits than the Biebs and produce more runs than Brent after a night eating Taco Bell sauce packets.

I thought Bob came in with a plan and executed it beautifully.

Grade: A

Pitching: Robbie Ray is the clear ace of the staff. He comes with 250 strikeout potential and he gets the humidor this year! The walks can’t get worse right? The rest of the staff follows a similar theme. Heavy strikeouts with some volatility.

Everyone has “their guys”, Kevin Gausman with his rex specs and triple digit fastball is the man who gets Bobby’s blood headed south.

Looking around the league, I think Bob will need to add another starter before we can believe in CMD as a favorite in the East.

Grade: C

4.) The Fighting Moles

Offense: Uncle Deezy had the best outfield in the league before the draft started, adding Acuna just made it all the sexier. With two guys poised to slam 40+ baseballs into neighborhoods all over the Bronx and the white Barry Bonds, Bryce Harper, this offense has the potential to blow anyone away on any given week. Power is abundant, surely.

I was less thrilled with the final product though, if only because I’m not a big proponent of punting batting average. I have a hard time projecting anyone outside of Harper and Lindor hitting .280+ again in this lineup. All said, pray you catch the Moles on a down week, but just be prepared to see multiple weeks where the HRs and OPS are silly.

Grade: B

Pitching: It was always going to be somewhat of a challenge for the Moles drafting next to me, as we tend to like similar types of players. Though you wouldn’t know it looking at this staff. They are very deep and very talented.

If you could take the Fighting Moles’ top four starters and say with complete certainty they were going to pitch 180 innings, there is potential here for the Moles to finish as a top 3 unit. Until we see that though, a smart man is going to bet the under.

Grade: B+

3.) Marvin’s Room

Offense: I expected Marve to come prepared and I wasn’t disappointed. Having Rizzo fall to the second pick in the 2nd round however, that was just a nice stroke of luck. Benintendi was another guy at the end of a position tier that ended up falling into Marvin’s Room.

Marve, like me, is counting on a few of the young studs to take a step forward this year. Should they struggle though, power could end up being a weakness. I liked the Schwarber pick for that reason.

Marvin’s Room brings to the table a lineup stacked with 5 category contributors. If bluechippers like Benintendi and Buxton evolve into their next form, this team is going to fill up the box score.

Grade: B+

Pitching: Pitching is a Marvin’s Room staple. This year shouldn’t be any different.

Bumgarner was a good buy in the 8th. He’ll be back before we know it. Degrom, Nola, Bumgarner looks nice enough on paper.

The rest of the rotation is deep with Kyle Hendrix, Garrett Richards, Cole Hamels, Jameson Taillon and Renayldo Lopez bringing a nice mix of consistency and upside.

Grade: B

2.) Orbit’s Woody

Offense: I thought our defending champ had one of the more interesting drafts. I was watching Nelson Cruz closely to see if he would fall now that he’s lost OF eligibilty, but Bower wasted no time slotting in those 38+ HRs and plus average into the utility spot. I like it.

Orbit’s Woody rolls out one of the league’s most intriguing outfields. No one will touch Bower in steals this season. Top to bottom, one of the better offenses in the league.

Grade: A

Pitching: Klubot is going to do his thing. Jose Quintana is as steady as they come. Bower knows he needs work on this side of the ledger. Kluber and Quintana are good building blocks. The good news is, the rest of the East isn’t much better.

Grade: B-

1.) Donald J Trumboners

Offense: I’ll say it. Purdleball 2.0 was a massive disappointment…. No random middle reliever in the 15th round…Only one catch.. well at least until the end. For the most part very conventional, very boring. Shay must run a tight ship over there.One thing remains the same… The Trumboners are loaded on offense. I’m going to say on the record – This is the best offense in the league. And that may be underselling.

Grade: A+

Pitching: Last month, the IMWT governing body passed legislation to banish Purdleball until the end of time. That didn’t stop the mad scientist Stoven from waiting until the 9th round to take his first starter. The difference from last year: A plan!

After McCullers, Purdle slurped up David Price with his next pick – giving the Trumboners two guys late who could very easily jump up to ace status. Add in Lester and Cueto as former aces looking to rebound, with young sabermetrics darling Dinelson “3 pitches now” Lamet sprinkled in late.. and all of a sudden we have a staff capable of competing with the more pitching centric teams in the league.

Grade: B-

Purdle has the Mr. Magoo thing going on where you’re sure he’s senile but somehow he ends up falling down the stairs and finding a clue. The Trumboners are going to be good this year.

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