I'm participating in two leagues this year: an 8-team keeper H2H points-based Sandbox league, and a 12-team keeper H2H roto-based Y! league. Despite the vastly different formats, I expected to draft some of the same players in both drafts. And I did double-draft a few players, just not the guys I expected. Here are the five players that I drafted in both leagues:
Matt Wieters - I got Wieters at a reasonable price in the Sandbox league, especially considering all the hype (and it is a two-catcher league), but by the time the Y! draft came along, my Wieters man-crush was at its peak and I reached a bit. Now, a week later, I can laugh about it (sort of), but I must say I'm really hoping he starts the season with the big league team. It's pretty annoying to have that red "NA" next to his name, as it means I can't slide him into my DL slot. Oh, so why did I draft him? Part of it was getting carried away, sure, but I mostly drafted him because he's the first universally-loved prospect I've ever come across. He also walked more than he struck out last year, and so he'll probably be viable in any points league that penalizes strikeouts (like my Sandbox league). Combine all that with the keeper league format, and you can see why I starting getting excited. In the back of my head I'm thinking, wow, if this Wieters guy ends up being a cross between Mike Piazza and Joe Mauer, how can I go wrong? These expectations are probably completely unreasonable. I know this. But it's fun to own someone like Wieters. It's fun to be able to root for his success. Oh, and propaganda pieces like this certainly help keep the optimism machine buzzing. 3/29 UPDATE: It's official: Wieters sent to minors.
John Smoltz - When all the good SPs are off the board, I find I have a hard time pulling the trigger on the crappy endgame SPs. My brain knows that Mark Buehrle will win 15 games, but my heart won't let me draft him. As a result of this stubbornness, I frequently end up drafting players who have been amazing in the past, but are pretty far down the ranks because of injury or circumstance. For example: I always end up drafting the Carlos Marmol-types over the Kevin Gregg-types. Gregg might play well this year, sure, but the finger I use to draft will only allow me to draft the players who have certifiable talent (sorry Gregg). That's why I stick with H2H, as it doesn't penalize you as much for taking pitchers who are going to miss half the year. So, enter John Smoltz...you know, the SP who hasn't had a WHIP over 1.19 since 1996. He won't be back until June, and so I'll have to slide him into my DL slot for a few months. While it isn't a great idea to stockpile injured players in leagues with small benches, I was able to convince myself that in a head-to-head league, winning in September is more important than winning in April. I'll take the 16th-round gamble that Smoltz will regain his dominant form in Boston.
Brandon Morrow - Morrow walks too many guys (4.73 BB/9). This bothers me. He has been experiencing some arm "tightness" this spring. This worries me. But then I look at his incredible K/9 rate (10.44), and his WHIP (1.14), and I feel much better. Oh, and I'm fine with Seattle turning him into a closer. I love unhittable closers that have SP/RP eligibility.
Roy Halladay - Maybe I was swayed by my own post in which I noted that Halladay will bring a 1083% return on investment if he manages to duplicate his 2008 stats. I know some of you out there think that Halladay will regress to his 2007 form (139 K, 1.24 WHIP), a form that was excellent but not quite as good as his 2008 form (206 K, 1.05 WHIP), but you can count me among the folks that think Halladay will come close to duplicating his stats from 2008. Either way, he's worth a fourth-round pick in mixed league 12-team drafts.
Elijah Dukes - Dukes has been falling in drafts, I think, because he isn't guaranteed a starting gig and he plays for a team that has an incredibly crowded outfield. So, I unilaterally decided that Dukes would win the starting gig in spring training. I'll probably be proven right (please!), but in truth this decision has yet to be confirmed. Anyway, assuming that Dukes does get the starting gig, it is tempting to double his stats from the 286 at bats he has last season and get a gaudy 26 HR, 26 SB season. For what it's worth, Lastings Milledge thinks Dukes will go 30-30 this year. Imagine? And it is not like Dukes is some hacker--the dude can take a walk. Not bad for a 19th-round pick in the 12-team mixed league draft. Very McLouth-ish. (McLouthsian?)