Posted March 30, 2013 by DaveGawron in Fantasy Baseball

Ultimate American League Challenge (UALC) 2013 Draft Results


Dave Gawron was very happy to have Albert Pujols fall to him at the sixth overall pick of the draft.

The draft results can help you prepare for any 10 or 12-team AL-only head-to-head total points snake draft league. I went into this draft with the following in mind…

  • Load up on offense. Come playoff time, I want to count on a hitter that plays six games more than a pitcher that makes one start, maybe two.
  • Concentrate more on points over replacement than total points. In other words, you can load up on raw points by taking five outfielders with the first five picks, but how many outfielders will be available later and how many points will they offer? The early middle infielders may score fewer points than equivalent outfielders, but the supply and replacement level are both lower later. Also, there’s better starting pitching available later.
  • Do keep an eye on starting pitching and grab a good lot of them later before they all run out.
  • Closers are valuable, but they do pop up during the season, so don’t reach for them. We do give points to set-up men for holds, and while it’s not much, it’s something, so I could survive without a closer to start the season.
  • Draft with an eye towards the playoffs. Vernon Wells gained value with his trade to the Yankees, but it’s early season value that should vanish when Granderson and Teixeira return. As another example, Madson is much more attractive to me than Freiri in the Angels pen. Pitchers like Pineda and Colby Lewis are worth looking into in case they can provide anything useful come playoff time in this league.

Here is how it all went down, with round-by-round commentary:

Round 1
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Cabrera, Miguel 3B DET
2 New York Minutes Trout, Mike CF LAA
3 Chi-Town Crooks Cano, Robinson 2B NYY
4 Detroit Autobots Verlander, Justin SP DET
5 Los Angeles Dons Hernandez, Felix SP SEA
6 Boston Chowderheads Pujols, Albert 1B LAA
7 Baltimore Crabs Fielder, Prince 1B DET
8 Kansas City Blues Reyes, Jose SS TOR
9 Texas Twisters Bautista, Jose RF TOR
10 Houston Strohs Price, David SP TB

I need a player with a good track record, preferably a solid power/average hitter. Pujols fits that bill for me. Don’t get me wrong, King Felix and Price will score many points in our system, possibly enough above replacement to consider taking in the first round, but after playing this format for so long, I just feel better going with hitting early than relying on one game started from my first round pick in a playoff week. I also like power more than speed early because extra base hits and runs produced seem more consistent than stolen bases from week to week.

Round 2
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Dickey, R.A. SP TOR
2 Texas Twisters Longoria, Evan 3B TB
3 Kansas City Blues Beltre, Adrian 3B TEX
4 Baltimore Crabs Cespedes, Yoenis CF OAK
5 Boston Chowderheads Pedroia, Dustin 2B BOS
6 Los Angeles Dons Ellsbury, Jacoby CF BOS
7 Detroit Autobots *Kinsler, Ian 2B TEX
8 Chi-Town Crooks Sale, Chris SP CHW
9 New York Minutes Darvish, Yu SP TEX
10 Cleveland Spiders Sabathia, CC SP NYY

Everybody loves Cespedes in every league I’m in. There’s good reason, but if you want him, you’ll have to grab him a little earlier than you think. I was very happy to fill my second base slot with Pedroia here.

Round 3
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Zobrist, Ben RF TB
2 New York Minutes Hamilton, Josh CF LAA
3 Chi-Town Crooks Weaver, Jered SP LAA
4 Detroit Autobots *Jennings, Desmond CF TB
5 Los Angeles Dons Shields, James SP KC
6 Boston Chowderheads *Gordon, Alex LF KC
7 Baltimore Crabs Scherzer, Max SP DET
8 Kansas City Blues Encarnacion, Edwin 1B TOR
9 Texas Twisters Santana, Carlos C CLE
10 Houston Strohs Victorino, Shane CF BOS

After hitting a rough patch in his career, Gordon really righted the ship last season. I see him as a consistent producer with upside and a young and improving lineup around him. Otherwise, I like Zobrist, Encarnacion, and Santana best in this round. I like Hamilton better in mixed leagues where he’s most easily replaced if he misses a large chunk of the season due to injury. Jennings could easily hit a rough patch in his development, and at his age, Victorino could fall off a cliff at any point.

Round 4
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Lawrie, Brett 3B TOR
2 Texas Twisters Moore, Matt SP TB
3 Kansas City Blues Jackson, Austin CF DET
4 Baltimore Crabs Jones, Adam CF BAL
5 Boston Chowderheads Mauer, Joe C MIN
6 Los Angeles Dons Cabrera, Asdrubal SS CLE
7 Detroit Autobots *Altuve, Jose 2B HOU
8 Chi-Town Crooks Wieters, Matt C BAL
9 New York Minutes Gardner, Brett CF NYY
10 Cleveland Spiders *Peavy, Jake SP CHW

Filling my catcher slot with a high end producer was a goal of mine, as Mauer scores way above replacement level at the position. I would have loved Adam Jones, though. Lawrie is reasonable here, given the head-to-head with playoffs format. Taking Asdrubal, Altuve, and Wieters was smart, filling those weak positions.

Round 5
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders *Butler, Billy 1B KC
2 New York Minutes Kipnis, Jason 2B CLE
3 Chi-Town Crooks Middlebrooks, Will 3B BOS
4 Detroit Autobots Andrus, Elvis SS TEX
5 Los Angeles Dons Aybar, Erick SS LAA
6 Boston Chowderheads Rios, Alex CF CHW
7 Baltimore Crabs Escobar, Alcides SS KC
8 Kansas City Blues Napoli, Mike C BOS
9 Texas Twisters Fister, Doug SP DET
10 Houston Strohs Johnson, Josh SP TOR

This was another solid round by the league as a whole, totally draining the SS pool as well as grabbing other studs like Butler, Middlebrooks, Rios, and Napoli. If you want a decent third baseman in the AL this year, you have to take them early! Josh Johnson could be huge here if he is healthy for the UALC playoff weeks.

Round 6
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Bourn, Michael CF CLE
2 Texas Twisters Hosmer, Eric 1B KC
3 Kansas City Blues Nathan, Joe RP TEX
4 Baltimore Crabs Lester, Jon SP BOS
5 Boston Chowderheads Granderson, Curtis CF NYY
6 Los Angeles Dons Wilson, C.J. SP LAA
7 Detroit Autobots Cabrera, Melky LF TOR
8 Chi-Town Crooks Holland, Greg RP KC
9 New York Minutes *Seager, Kyle 3B SEA
10 Cleveland Spiders *Trumbo, Mark LF LAA

This is the perfect league in which to take Granderson. Power is king in this league, and I don’t care about April or May in a league with September playoffs. I like Lester and Wilson for bounce-back years. I think Melky will have a good season as well.

Round 7
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders *Hardy, J.J. SS BAL
2 New York Minutes *Kuroda, Hiroki SP NYY
3 Chi-Town Crooks Johnson, Jim RP BAL
4 Detroit Autobots *Markakis, Nick RF BAL
5 Los Angeles Dons Konerko, Paul 1B CHW
6 Boston Chowderheads Jeter, Derek SS NYY
7 Baltimore Crabs Rivera, Mariano RP NYY
8 Kansas City Blues Morrow, Brandon SP TOR
9 Texas Twisters Swisher, Nick RF CLE
10 Houston Strohs Morneau, Justin 1B MIN

I’m very far from a big Jeter fan, but after all the middle infielders flew off the board in the previous rounds, in this format, I figured all I really need is a few good weeks from him in September for our playoffs. In Round 7, I can gamble on that happening instead of settling for a lousy SS later. I do like Swisher and Morneau to finish the round.

Round 8
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Martinez, Victor DH DET
2 Texas Twisters Crisp, Coco CF OAK
3 Kansas City Blues Willingham, Josh LF MIN
4 Baltimore Crabs Perez, Salvador C KC
5 Boston Chowderheads Moustakas, Mike 3B KC
6 Los Angeles Dons Youkilis, Kevin 3B NYY
7 Detroit Autobots *Cain, Lorenzo CF KC
8 Chi-Town Crooks Reddick, Josh LF OAK
9 New York Minutes Davis, Chris RF BAL
10 Cleveland Spiders Cruz, Nelson RF TEX

Third base is very shallow in the AL this year. I figured Moustakas has some upside, so I went with him. The power of Chris Davis is really good in our scoring system. Willingham and Cruz are helpful when putting balls over fences as well.

Round 9
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Sanchez, Anibal SP DET
2 New York Minutes *Moss, Brandon 1B OAK
3 Chi-Town Crooks Ackley, Dustin 2B SEA
4 Detroit Autobots *De Aza, Alejandro CF CHW
5 Los Angeles Dons Kendrick, Howard 2B LAA
6 Boston Chowderheads Ramirez, Alexei SS CHW
7 Baltimore Crabs Suzuki, Ichiro RF NYY
8 Kansas City Blues *Rodney, Fernando RP TB
9 Texas Twisters Parker, Jarrod SP OAK
10 Houston Strohs Bonifacio, Emilio CF TOR

The last of the useful middle infielders were going, so I went for Ramirez. I’m not expecting much, but he does have a high ceiling at this point in the draft, and that’s good enough for me at the MI position. Sanchez is a good SP pick in Round 9.

Round 10
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Doumit, Ryan C MIN
2 Texas Twisters Hammel, Jason SP BAL
3 Kansas City Blues Mastroianni, Darin CF MIN
4 Baltimore Crabs Reed, Addison RP CHW
5 Boston Chowderheads Morales, Kendrys 1B SEA
6 Los Angeles Dons Perkins, Glen RP MIN
7 Detroit Autobots *Dunn, Adam 1B CHW
8 Chi-Town Crooks Martin, Leonys OF TEX
9 New York Minutes *Berkman, Lance 1B TEX
10 Cleveland Spiders Montero, Jesus C SEA

Since it’s a one-catcher league, you see really nice selections like Doumit and Montero going late. The selection of “reliable” offense is really starting to dry up. I like Kendrys two years removed from the leg injury.

Round 11
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Murphy, David LF TEX
2 New York Minutes *Nakajima, Hiroyuki SS OAK
3 Chi-Town Crooks Balfour, Grant RP OAK
4 Detroit Autobots *Wilhelmsen, Tom RP SEA
5 Los Angeles Dons Hunter, Torii CF DET
6 Boston Chowderheads Hanrahan, Joel RP BOS
7 Baltimore Crabs Machado, Manny 3B BAL
8 Kansas City Blues Morse, Michael LF SEA
9 Texas Twisters Cobb, Alex SP TB
10 Houston Strohs Perez, Chris RP CLE

I do like having one reliable closer in this league format, and Hanrahan was affordable because of a poor spring and move to the tough AL East. Morse and Cobb could pay huge dividends being picked this late.

Round 12
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Buchholz, Clay SP BOS
2 Texas Twisters Keppinger, Jeff 3B CHW
3 Kansas City Blues Hellickson, Jeremy SP TB
4 Baltimore Crabs Saunders, Michael LF SEA
5 Boston Chowderheads Myers, Wil RF TB
6 Los Angeles Dons Viciedo, Dayan RF CHW
7 Detroit Autobots Joyce, Matt RF TB
8 Chi-Town Crooks Bourjos, Peter CF LAA
9 New York Minutes Ortiz, David DH BOS
10 Cleveland Spiders Beckham, Gordon 2B CHW

Buchholz is a good value here. I went with the rookie upside, hoping he’ll be an established slugger come UALC playoff time. Viciedo was also a consideration of mine.

Round 13
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Teixeira, Mark 1B NYY
2 New York Minutes Young, Chris CF OAK
3 Chi-Town Crooks Brantley, Michael CF CLE
4 Detroit Autobots Plouffe, Trevor 3B MIN
5 Los Angeles Dons Avila, Alex C DET
6 Boston Chowderheads *Hicks, Aaron OF MIN
7 Baltimore Crabs Rasmus, Colby CF TOR
8 Kansas City Blues Myers, Brett RP CLE
9 Texas Twisters Carter, Chris 1B HOU
10 Houston Strohs Reynolds, Mark 1B CLE

Teixeira’s outlook was just too murky a the time of the draft. Drafting the remaining scraps of offense (Brantley, Plouffe, Avila, Rasmus) was prudent in this round.

Round 14
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Anderson, Brett SP OAK
2 Texas Twisters Iwakuma, Hisashi SP SEA
3 Kansas City Blues Ogando, Alexi RP TEX
4 Baltimore Crabs Chisenhall, Lonnie 3B CLE
5 Boston Chowderheads Harrison, Matt SP TEX
6 Los Angeles Dons Holland, Derek SP TEX
7 Detroit Autobots Janssen, Casey RP TOR
8 Chi-Town Crooks Moreland, Mitch 1B TEX
9 New York Minutes Frieri, Ernesto RP LAA
10 Cleveland Spiders Escobar, Yunel SS TB

This is when I turned my attention to starting pitching, having accomplished pretty much what I wanted to on the offensive side. Wins help in this format, and Harrison should continue to win in Texas.

Round 15
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Chen, Wei-Yin SP BAL
2 New York Minutes Norris, Bud SP HOU
3 Chi-Town Crooks Smoak, Justin 1B SEA
4 Detroit Autobots Milone, Tommy SP OAK
5 Los Angeles Dons Lind, Adam 1B TOR
6 Boston Chowderheads Dempster, Ryan SP BOS
7 Baltimore Crabs Profar, Jurickson 2B TEX
8 Kansas City Blues Roberts, Brian 2B BAL
9 Texas Twisters Infante, Omar 2B DET
10 Houston Strohs Stubbs, Drew CF CLE

I like the chances of the Sox doing better than people think, so Dempster can get me wins and strikeouts, which also help.

Round 16
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Hughes, Phil SP NYY
2 Texas Twisters Lowrie, Jed SS OAK
3 Kansas City Blues Dirks, Andy CF DET
4 Baltimore Crabs Greene, Tyler 2B HOU
5 Boston Chowderheads Vargas, Jason SP LAA
6 Los Angeles Dons Callaspo, Alberto 3B LAA
7 Detroit Autobots *Diamond, Scott SP MIN
8 Chi-Town Crooks Bradley, Jackie CF BOS
9 New York Minutes Maxwell, Justin CF HOU
10 Cleveland Spiders Arencibia, J.P. C TOR

Vargas has a big offense behind him now in Los Angeles.

Round 17
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Masterson, Justin SP CLE
2 New York Minutes *Santana, Ervin SP KC
3 Chi-Town Crooks Peralta, Jhonny SS DET
4 Detroit Autobots *Griffin, A.J. SP OAK
5 Los Angeles Dons Francoeur, Jeff RF KC
6 Boston Chowderheads Parmelee, Chris 1B MIN
7 Baltimore Crabs Santos, Sergio RP TOR
8 Kansas City Blues Davis, Wade RP KC
9 Texas Twisters Wells, Vernon CF NYY
10 Houston Strohs Johnson, Kelly 2B TB

Parmelee seems to be pretty readily available this year. I like him as pretty much the everyday right fielder in Minnesota. I considered Wells, but will he be important to the Yankees in September? Perhaps not, with their injured players all back by then.

Round 18
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Rondon, Bruce P DET
2 Texas Twisters Madson, Ryan RP LAA
3 Kansas City Blues Gomes, Jonny LF BOS
4 Baltimore Crabs Buehrle, Mark SP TOR
5 Boston Chowderheads *Floyd, Gavin SP CHW
6 Los Angeles Dons Pettitte, Andy SP NYY
7 Detroit Autobots *Pierzynski, A.J. C TEX
8 Chi-Town Crooks Ramirez, Erasmo SP SEA
9 New York Minutes *Hanson, Tommy SP LAA
10 Cleveland Spiders Ibanez, Raul LF SEA

I prefer Madson to Rondon in the h2h format with playoffs. Floyd is not a bad pitcher to nab in Round 18. Pettitte may have the better year overall, but I think Floyd is more likely to stay healthy and productive in September.

Round 19
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Jimenez, Ubaldo SP CLE
2 New York Minutes *Worley, Vance SP MIN
3 Chi-Town Crooks Tillman, Chris SP BAL
4 Detroit Autobots *Wallace, Brett 1B HOU
5 Los Angeles Dons Bedard, Erik SP HOU
6 Boston Chowderheads Reimold, Nolan LF BAL
7 Baltimore Crabs Pena, Carlos 1B HOU
8 Kansas City Blues *Colon, Bartolo SP OAK
9 Texas Twisters *Drew, Stephen SS BOS
10 Houston Strohs Kazmir, Scott SP CLE

Reimold has a little upside, so I figured I’d tap that here. Tillman is a potential nice pick.

Round 20
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Smith, Seth LF OAK
2 Texas Twisters *McLouth, Nate CF BAL
3 Kansas City Blues *Danks, John SP CHW
4 Baltimore Crabs Izturis, Maicer 3B TOR
5 Boston Chowderheads *Porcello, Rick SP DET
6 Los Angeles Dons Davis, Rajai CF TOR
7 Detroit Autobots *Boesch, Brennan RF NYY
8 Chi-Town Crooks Harrell, Lucas SP HOU
9 New York Minutes *Cook, Ryan RP OAK
10 Cleveland Spiders Humber, Philip SP HOU

Porcello potentially turned a corner this spring, and if it’s a mirage, he didn’t cost me much.

Round 21
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Raburn, Ryan LF CLE
2 New York Minutes *Saltalamacchia, Jarrod C BOS
3 Chi-Town Crooks Scott, Luke DH TB
4 Detroit Autobots *Gutierrez, Franklin CF SEA
5 Los Angeles Dons Dyson, Jarrod CF KC
6 Boston Chowderheads Donaldson, Josh 3B OAK
7 Baltimore Crabs Doubront, Felix SP BOS
8 Kansas City Blues Nunez, Eduardo SS NYY
9 Texas Twisters Blanton, Joe SP LAA
10 Houston Strohs Carroll, Jamey 2B MIN

I figure Donaldson has a starting gig and some power. That’s an uncommon combination in Round 21. Gutierrez could turn out to be a good pick if he can finally stay healthy.

Round 22
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Getz, Chris 2B KC
2 Texas Twisters Robertson, David RP NYY
3 Kansas City Blues Straily, Dan SP OAK
4 Baltimore Crabs Castro, Jason C HOU
5 Boston Chowderheads Bauer, Trevor SP CLE
6 Los Angeles Dons Roberts, Ryan 3B TB
7 Detroit Autobots *Rivera, Juan 1B NYY
8 Chi-Town Crooks Gentry, Craig LF TEX
9 New York Minutes Smyly, Drew SP DET
10 Cleveland Spiders Carrasco, Carlos SP CLE

Getz is another player with a starting job. I went with the upside possibility of Bauer figuring things out by September.

Round 23
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders Downs, Scott RP LAA
2 New York Minutes *Flaherty, Ryan 2B BAL
3 Chi-Town Crooks Arrieta, Jake SP BAL
4 Detroit Autobots *Veras, Jose RP HOU
5 Los Angeles Dons Hafner, Travis DH NYY
6 Boston Chowderheads Gonzalez, Miguel SP BAL
7 Baltimore Crabs Quintana, Jose SP CHW
8 Kansas City Blues Peacock, Brad SP HOU
9 Texas Twisters *Jaso, John C OAK
10 Houston Strohs Happ, J.A. SP TOR

Gonzalez gets no respect but is the clear #3 starter for the O’s.

Round 24
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs Rodriguez, Alex 3B NYY
2 Texas Twisters *Sizemore, Scott 3B OAK
3 Kansas City Blues Dominguez, Matt 3B HOU
4 Baltimore Crabs Benoit, Joaquin RP DET
5 Boston Chowderheads Guthrie, Jeremy SP KC
6 Los Angeles Dons McAllister, Zach SP CLE
7 Detroit Autobots *Saunders, Joe SP SEA
8 Chi-Town Crooks Ankiel, Rick CF HOU
9 New York Minutes *Aviles, Mike SS CLE
10 Cleveland Spiders *Bailey, Andrew RP BOS

A-Rod is a fine lottery ticket pick here. Benoit is solid. Again, Guthrie has a guaranteed rotation spot, which is nothing to sneeze at this late.

Round 25
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders *Coke, Phil RP DET
2 New York Minutes *Phelps, David RP NYY
3 Chi-Town Crooks Lackey, John SP BOS
4 Detroit Autobots *Beavan, Blake SP SEA
5 Los Angeles Dons Nava, Daniel RF BOS
6 Boston Chowderheads Martinez, Fernando CF HOU
7 Baltimore Crabs Cedeno, Ronny 2B HOU
8 Kansas City Blues Garcia, Leury SS TEX
9 Texas Twisters *Bay, Jason LF SEA
10 Houston Strohs *Norris, Derek C OAK

I figured I could use a little outfield depth at this point, and Martinez should get at-bats for the thin Astros offense.

Round 26
Pick Team Player
1 Houston Strohs *Valverde, Jose RP DET
2 Texas Twisters *Niemann, Jeff SP TB
3 Kansas City Blues *McGuiness, Chris 1B CLE
4 Baltimore Crabs Axelrod, Dylan SP CHW
5 Boston Chowderheads Pestano, Vinnie RP CLE
6 Los Angeles Dons Mendoza, Luis SP KC
7 Detroit Autobots *Correia, Kevin SP MIN
8 Chi-Town Crooks Maurer, Brandon P SEA
9 New York Minutes *Loney, James 1B TB
10 Cleveland Spiders *Ross, Robbie RP TEX

Valverde was a good pick, as he could be earning saves somewhere in September. I went with Pestano, as the better setup men score well in this system, and he does have a shot at supplanting Chris Perez at some point.

Round 27
Pick Team Player
1 Cleveland Spiders *Lowe, Derek SP TEX
2 New York Minutes *Freiman, Nate 1B OAK
3 Chi-Town Crooks Alburquerque, Al RP DET
4 Detroit Autobots *Nova, Ivan SP NYY
5 Los Angeles Dons Doolittle, Sean RP OAK
6 Boston Chowderheads *Rodriguez, Sean 3B TB
7 Baltimore Crabs Lewis, Colby SP TEX
8 Kansas City Blues Dotel, Octavio RP DET
9 Texas Twisters Herrera, Kelvin RP KC
10 Houston Strohs *Bundy, Dylan RP BAL

I’m not a big S-Rod fan, but he does have a little power and some positional flexibility, which are good for this league. Looking back, I was probably better off taking Colby Lewis.

I’m very happy with my draft. My offense is so good, and I ended up with better starting pitching than I expected. I love the idea of Granderson and Myers coming on strong when it really counts in September.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Moore