61 thoughts on “2020 WGOM Draft: Round 9”

  1. Spoiler SelectShow

    I'm not entirely sure how to evaluate him as a player. But I need a pitcher, and the few stats that do exist suggest this fellow was pretty good at striking people out. Also, it seems he was often the X-factor in decisive, important series. Also, legends abound about him, including that he taught Christy Matthewson how to pitch.

    Also, he must have been a freaking genius for all the stuff he did as a manager and owner and essentially commissioner. A couple summers ago when I visited the Negro Leagues HOF & Museum, he showed up in more exhibits than anyone else I can remember, and his story & presence there made quite the impact on me. So I'm really excited to get him.

    Also, I'm drafting him as a player/manager, and he'll be running things from the dugout on the days he's not pitching, and running things from the mound on the days he is.

    1. I added a manager slot in the spreadsheet too, just in case anyone else wants to drop a player in there.

  2. Spoiler SelectShow

    We're at the point where I think there are a lot of players with similar value. It is difficult to separate them. In this case, I decided the coolest hat in the history of MLB was what sealed it.

  3. I've been considering a few different players for this pick, and struggling on who to go with. As others have said, it's getting harder and harder to pick out the stand-out performers, and to gauge who is more likely to still be available the next time my turn comes around. This isn't who I was initially planning to take, and this could be way too early to take him. But looking at what I'm still in need of, and who's left, and then figuring in my own childhood favorites, I decided to go with:

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    My last pick was a pitcher with a long, consistent career, and this guy is the opposite of that. He's all peak without much consistency, but man oh man what a peak. His 1985 season was worth 13.3 bWAR. That's the 20th highest single-season bWAR of all time, and the only post-1900 seasons above him on the list are two years from Walter Johnson and one from Babe Ruth. Just looking at his picture at the top of this leaderboard page really drives home how much this season stands out. In his first two years in the Majors (at ages 19 and 20!), he won Rookie of the Year, finished second and first in the Cy Young, fourth in MVP (which he absolutely should have won), and posted the most valuable single season in the past 97 years. But, from then on, he was essentially a league-average starting pitcher. That's still valuable, of course, but nothing like what he was or could have been.

    Since this is all for fun anyway, I'm going to up the fantasy angle a bit. This guy's always been one of the biggest "what could have been" players, so I'm taking him in part to pair him with Maddux and Glavine. What if he had these two around to take him under their wings at the start of his career? What if he had Maddux giving guidance/help/advice/etc. on how to get by in the world with so much fame and fortune at such a young age? What if Maddux and Glavine start golfing with him obsessively instead of Smoltz, and it keeps Doc away from the drugs that helped derail his career? So, I'm taking him in part for those first two blazing hot seasons that burned out so quickly, but also with the idea that maybe given a different set of circumstances, perhaps the ensuing drop-off wouldn't have been so steep and there could be a few more dominant seasons left in him.

    1. The fun thing about his 13.3 bWAR season in 1985 is that his FIP was almost half a run higher that year, but his defense was better behind him and he had better sequencing to lower his ERA. His FIP in his rookie year was an unimaginable 1.69

      1. And FanGraphs likes his career a bit more. It's less high on his '85 season (merely 8.9 fWAR) but pegged his '88 and '90 seasons at 6.0 and 6.8 wins respectively.

  4. Spoiler SelectShow

    He was a bit of a late bloomer, but from 2014-2018, he was the best pitcher in the AL: 2 Cy Young Awards and 2 other 3rd place finishes in five seasons with a 151 ERA+. Here's hoping he bounces back after a tough season, but I like that peak dominance.

  5. When looking at the top 100 pitchers by WAR there are a bunch of late 19th Century guys on the list that haven't been picked but it's so hard to decide if they are worth adding to the rotation as the game has changed so much since then. One guy, Tim Keefe, apparently pitched mostly when the mound was 50 feet from the plate! So I went with a more modern guy. Plus I needed an little bit of orneriness on my roster.

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  6. Continuing my "Robbed by Hall Voters" streak, it's the pitcher version. His career reminds me of Scherzer. Hopefully the latter can continue his excellence beyond next year.

    Round 9, Pick 6 SelectShow
  7. Comparing defense between eras is almost as difficult as comparing pitching. Just thinking about the difference in the playing field, as well as the improvement in gloves, spikes, lighting- there's a lot going on there. I guess I'm even less worried about errors as a measure of defense for the earlier guys than I am for current players, and I'm not that worried about errors for current players.

    Round 9, pick 7 SelectShow

    "Old Aches and Pains" is a heck of a nickname, and I am delighted to snag a shortstop with his accomplishments at this point in the draft.

    1. Dang, since only a few teams need a SS at this point, I thought he'd be available when I picked again.

      1. I was looking at pitching, but yeah, knowing only three of us needed shortstops, I knew he would not be there after you guys went.

  8. So, this guy might have started his career a bit late to have a good shot at making the Hall of Fame, but he's made up for a LOT of lost time. He's only 159th in WAR7, but....he's only played 6 years. I'd expect him to be quite a bit higher after this season is over.

    Round 9, Pick 8 SelectShow

    Better career FIP so far than Pedro (FIP- is right around the same). He strikes out tons of people, walks very few, and has shown an unnatural ability to keep the ball in the park at a time where that skill is pretty damned rare. Plus, he's on a streak of two straight Cy Young awards, and neitherof the votes have been all that close, even though there are guys like Scherzer and Strasberg throwing up video game numbers.

    Plus, "the deGrominator" is such a silly, great, terrible nickname.

  9. Damn. Interesting run on pitchers. Which means my guy is available!

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    His omission from the HoF is a major Shanda. Number 8 all-time for 2bs in rWAR, 11th in WAR7, 6-time All Star, 4-time Fielding Grammy. 125 OPS+. A power-hitting 2b with an excellent glove. He led the league in WAR for position players in 1973 and both SLG, HRs and OPS+ in strike-shortened 1981.

    He ensures that I am really, really good up the middle.

    1. Yeah, he's been on my list for several rounds now (especially given my underwhelming defense) but I just kept feeling I had greater needs elsewhere. Highly underrated player, on the long assembly line of players Jim Palmer has to thank for his career.

        1. I think right now you got a bunch of great second baseman available that all had equally great careers so people are picking at other slots

  10. Uffda, that run on starters depleted my list precipitously. There are plenty of guys with bulk innings left, but the elite upside ceiling is starting to lower quickly.

    Round 9, Pick 10 SelectShow
    Rationale SelectShow
  11. Well, I already have a first baseman and I have no idea how this guy would have done if he had played in the major leagues, but I want him all the same. Some projections have him at over 500 homers. One statistician suggested he would have had a higher WAR than Lou Gehrig. Of course, we'll never know. What we do know is that he was dominant in his league in a way that Babe Ruth and Wayne Gretzky were dominant in their leagues. I'll take a flyer on him and he can DH.

    Spoiler SelectShow
          1. Oy, I do not know this about Bass.

            Bass was released by Hanshin in June 1988 when he returned to the United States after his son was diagnosed with brain cancer. Although the Tigers had authorized Bass to leave Japan, they later claimed that no such authorization had been given and fired Bass in absentia. However, Bass produced a tape recording establishing definitively that the Tigers had authorized his leave of absence. In disgrace, the general manager of the Hanshin Tigers, Shingo Furuya, committed suicide.

          2. Part of me thinks, "If Randy Bass can have over a 1.000 OPS in Japan, was Oh really all that good? " But then I look at Ichiro's Japan stats and he never had an OPS as high as Bass. So, shrug emoji

            1. Bass was also a monster in AAA who just never seemed to click in MLB. So, it's either that he was a AAAA player, or he just never really got enough of a chance.

              Besides, Matsui for the most part carried over his OPS pretty well.

  12. Spoiler SelectShow

    Hit 307/397/496 from 1951-60. (Also hit 339/405/539 in AAA in 1950 without getting promoted.) Won three fielding Grammys. Had a late start to his MLB career while starring in the Cuban and Negro Leagues (but definitely not a late finish!). He was somehow both Bob Feller's teammate and managed by Tony LaRussa! More interestingly, two of his HOF teammates were Satchel Paige and Harold Baines. The former started playing for the Birmingham Black Barons two years before the stock market crash; the latter retired a few weeks after 9/11.

    1. Oh, and Baines was a teammate of Big Sexy in 1998, so you can get from any 2017 Twin to Satchel Paige through three teammates!

  13. Spoiler SelectShow

    One of the most entertaining players ever with an absolute cannon and the ability to hit pitches as long as they are, at the very least, in the same zip code? sign me up!

  14. I am overjoyed to be able take this man as my right fielder,

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    From ages 25-32, during baseball’s “second deadball era” he compiled a slash line of .313/.360/.507. He was an 8x all-star, had 4 top 10 MVP finishes, and was rookie of the year. He led the league in hits 5x, batting average 3x and doubles 4x. No slouch in the field, he led AL right fielders in putouts 6x, double plays 3x, and assists 2x. Knee injuries short changed a sure Hall of Fame career at age 32, but in his prime he was one of the most feared hitters in the league. And perhaps most importantly, he is the only player who has ever let me try on his World Series Champion ring!

    1. The second year of Target Field, I went to a game with my family for the only time so far. Trey and I were wandering around the ballpark before the game started and Oliva was taking pictures with fans. Trey and I got in line to take pictures with him. When we were done, I shook his hand. They were huge, strong hands. I'm sure he had really quick hands to help him stay back on pitches. I wish I could have seen him play in his heyday.

    2. Great pick.

      In 1962, Tony O was (allegedly) 23. He hit 350/402/559 in A ball and got a cuppa, going 4-9 in 12 PA. In 1963, he spent the season in AAA, hitting 304/347/519 and got another cuppa. The next year he was an All-star and ROY.

      During those two seasons, the Twins' primary RFer was Bob Allison, who was an All-star and led the league in OPS+ in 1963. But they were playing Harmon in LF and good glove/banjo-hitting Vic Power at 1B.

      The Twins finished 5 games back of the Yankees in 1962 and 13 back in 1963, with 91 wins both years. Oliva would not have mattered much in 1963, but I could imagine plugging him in LF and moving Harmon to 1b might have been worth 2-3 games in 1962, maybe more. Power was worth 1.5 rWAR in 1962, Harmon only 2.8, in significant part because he was such a butcher in the field (he led the league in HR and RBI).

      Weirdly, it was Allison they chose to move to 1b in 1964 to make room for Tony. Allison had his best year at the plate and was an All-star again at age 29.

    3. Great pick, great guy. I met him at a previous joint I managed up here. After he was done eating, the Twins staff that was with him approached me and said our staff and other guests were welcome to come over and chat or get autographs. I still have a hard bound menu that Tony O. signed for me. Just a very nice person.

        1. Yeah, for the most part, up in my neck of the woods people are like that. We did host Brock Lesnar at my past employer 4-5 times per week for the last 7-8 years I was there. For the most part people would leave him alone, but a few times people interrupted his meal and he did not like it much. I ended up having to watch closely for signs of unrestrained fandom and tell people to let him eat in peace. I will say that he is a very nice, generous guy. He used to bring my staff T-Shirts before he left for a big fight, and when I see him around town, he will often approach me and chat for a while. That kind of floors some of my friends when it happens.

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