I'm in the midst of an important fantasy draft. Not football - but baseball. I play in a sim league that in near-real time re-creates seasons. We started in "1982" and have progressed to the start of "1992." Knowing the future raises interesting questions - do you try to build a consistent winner, or aim for one year to stack things up? Does it pay to tank your season and get the highest pick? (There is a lottery, so it's not without risk.)
The league includes a bunch of names you'd know - guys like Baseball America's Kevin Goldstein and Jim Callis, former Baseball Weekly guy Mat Olkin, and several STATS guys. So I like to win, like I did back in "1989."
So, knowing that we have some smart people here at The Juice, I figured I'd ask for your help. I have the seventh overall pick, not the best thing in a draft that is insanely top heavy (Pedro and Piazza). The rule is that a player must go 75% of PA/IP to be brought back for next season. Here's my team:
C: Ivan Rodriguez, Damon Berryhill, Jim Leyritz
** I'm loaded here. Pudge is a long-term guy who'll be well above average. Berryhill's a replaceable backup, while Leyritz is a nice backup who has a great split.
1B: Will Clark, Tino Martinez, Eric Karros, Gene Larkin
** It's hard to call this "loaded." All are above average, but 1B is stacked and none of these will get anything special back. It's also impossible to get them all "gruntled" (enough PA to keep). I'd like to trade Clark while he's still good for a team making a one-year run. Larkin serves no purpose.
2B: Mickey Morandini, Joey Cora
** Here's a clear weakness. Morandini is league average and there's no depth. Eric Young and Bret Boone would be available at the #7 pick possibly. Jeff Kent will be gone at #4 after Pedro, Piazza, and Javy Lopez.
SS: Shawon Dunston, Jose Hernandez
** Umm, ick. Dunston's past his marginally useful period and Hernandez isn't quite to his. Cora can scoot over here if need be. There's not much available in the draft, so I'll stick these to in the 8 slot and hope for the best.
3B: Vinny Castilla, Mike Pagliarulo, Chris Donnels
** It's 1992 and Castilla is about to head to Colorado. Pags is a near worthless backup who helped me last year. Donnels is nearly as worthless - think of him as a Triple-A guy called up to take PAs.
LF: Greg Vaughn, Glenn Braggs
** Vaughn begins our parade of "can't hit lefties" but at least he'll be useful in the future. Not good, but useful. Braggs can theoretically hit lefties, but it's not a pretty sight.
CF: Vince Coleman, Turner Ward
** Coleman has his last productive season, but has to be platooned with someone that can hit lefties. Ward's not helpful, but is a useful spare part in the future.
RF: Jim Eisenreich
** Eisenreich also can't hit lefties, surprise!
Starters: Randy Johnson, Jose Mesa (160 IP), Pete Schourek (140 IP)
** Unit's a year away from being UNIT. Mesa's still a couple years from being a closer. His '93 is brutal, so finding a team willing to let him suck would help. Schourek's horrendous in '93, but had a big '95. Do you get the sense that Johnson's breakout '93 is going to get wasted?
Future Help: Darryl Kile (125 IP), Dave Burba (75 IP), Arthur Rhodes (95 IP)
** All three slot in as part-time starters and relievers. Not bad for rebuilding.
Fading Fast: Russ Swan (104 IP)
** The swingman had a 1:1 K/BB ratio. That's never good.
Other: Tony Castillo (50 IP), Dan Plesac (80 IP)
** Nothing to see here. Roster filler, though Plesac is consistently adequate for a long time.
So that's what I have. I don't have a link to the available players, so just assume that almost anyone worth having is gone. The '92 debuts and some lesser lights are really the only hope for shoring up a team aimed squarely at mediocrity. I'll be looking for players that can help in '94, for starting pitching to take innings behind my staff of one big ace and a bunch of spare parts staff, and looking squarely at sucking mightily through the next two seasons.
So, your task is to let me know what you think. Where should I go? What should I do?