WGOM Draft: Round 25

As a reminder, here's how I think this is playing out, sans objections:

-- Draft whomever you like this round.
--Round 26:  Draft someone who played for the Twins
--Round 27:  Draft a skipper
--Round 28:  Draft a stadium
--Mags drafts all 28 rounds at once


The board



Previous round.

71 thoughts on “WGOM Draft: Round 25”

  1. We wanted to finish before the season started. Little did we understand the consequences.

  2. Admittedly, I'm having a harder time with this pick than I anticipated. I miscounted the men, and there are at least 2 players I really want to draft here... and also, I'm nervous about having the last pick for the Twins round. I have a good half dozen possible picks for that, but I'm sure they'll all be gone.

    1. I'm really hoping someone takes the only pitcher in history to throw a magical zoomball.

  3. Alright, I've made up my mind. Or maybe I haven't. Eh, what the heck. It's a fictional team. I was writing out one choice, but then, in a trademark Monty Burns unpredictable change of heart, I've decided to flip them around. I really don't need another outfielder, but this player simply deserves a chance:

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    Fun, right?

  4. Time to draft my last pitcher. This was a tough one as two of the guys that seemed to be the most deserving had some major marks against them. One was definitely qualified but he was a Yankee cheater. I'll pass. Another was a local World Series hero but he's so insufferable that I don't want him on my team.

    I decided I wanted this pick to be fun. What's more fun than a guy that wore my favorite baseball cap and is a super hero!

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  5. Sorry for being the speed bump this round. I had my last pick planned out since March, but then found out two days ago that my reason to pick him was from a joke article. Bah.

    Then, I considered some more relievers to fill out my bullpen. I just came here to pick John Wetteland, then thought, "Maybe I should double check to make sure he hasn't done anything awful since leaving baseball." One quick google search and he's clearly out. Yuck.

    So, I'm going with who I considered for last round before trying to add some speed. My bullpen is pretty right-handed, so this guy should help even things out a bit, considering facing lefty batters was his specialty. I didn't know much about his younger years, and always just thought of him as being that really old pitcher. But, looking at his career, he was better than I ever gave him credit for. Career ERA+ of 126, and four seasons with ERA+ better than 150 (plus three more between 140 and 150). Third place in Cy Young voting in 1983. Plus, batted 1.000 in the post season!

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    1. Oh, and he very briefly played for the Twins. That earns some bonus points in my mind, even if he didn't play well.

    2. I'd been considering him for the last few rounds. Wasn't he also drafted by the Twins?

      1. Evidently yes. Drafted by the Twins in 1978, then sent to the Mets as the player to be named later in the trade for Jerry Koosman.

        1. Yep. I sort of expect anyone I‘m thinking about right now will be gone before my turn comes back around. C’est la vie.

  6. Time for the last pitcher in my bullpen, someone who just proved he can pitch fine in either role. Plus he's left-handed.

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  7. I have no idea if my lineup is strongly left- or right-handed, but with more than 2500 hits and 500 homeruns, his bat will play either way.

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  8. Let's have some fun.

    This guy barnstormed all over west central Minnesota (including 5 seasons playing for Alexandria, a few seasons with Bertha, and a season with Browerville) he also played in a number of the legendary "All Nations" teams alongside early greats like Jimmie Lyons, Cristobal Torriente, and my backup catcher. He was teammates with Oscar Charleston and Satchel Paige, and was a player on the very first Kansas City Monarchs team (there are rumors that he was actually the one that came up with the name). He once struck out 31 of Humboldt Iowa's finest in an 18 inning game while barnstorming. Plus, he's a lefty.

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    After more than 30 years of playing baseball, he became the first full time black talent scout in the big leagues.

    Here's a pretty interesting page devoted to his accomplishments.

    1. I saw Peter Gorton (I think) give a presentation about him about a decade ago, and it was great.

  9. Given my need for some left-handed bats and the fact that the next round is all Twins Territory, I am nabbing this guy now. And I am truly shocked he lasted all this way.

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    I am going to have a strong bowling/fishing/beer drinking clubhouse.

  10. This was a hard choice. There’s a really good position player I’ve had my eye on for a while, but I probably could use one more pitcher. Three caught my eye, all guys who split their time between two professional leagues. All three were extremely efficient, striking out batters at rates well above the rate the gave up walks. All three limited homers in offensive-heavy environments. Those seem like important characteristics given the hitters in opposing lineups.

    The first pitcher was pretty much a full-time reliever; the third a full-time starter. The player I chose split his time between both roles. He was a contemporary of both the others, whose careers did not quite overlap themselves. My pick retired from professional baseball at the end of the 2019 seasons, after pitching two final seasons back with the club that originally drafted him. He pitched 21 seasons, hanging it up after his age 44 season. His rookie year was one for the ages — he won the Quadruple Crown, leading his league in strikeouts, ERA, wins, and winning percentage — and was named both rookie of the year and the best pitcher in the league. He never quite reached that level again, but was a very effective starter through his age 31 season. He injured his arm the following year and moved to the bullpen. He was back in the rotation the following year, then switched leagues and pitched in his new team’s rotation for one year.

    In his mid-thirties, he finally became a full-time reliever. His save numbers aren’t gaudy because he spent only a few years as a closer. He didn’t throw hard — his fastball sat at 88–89 mph and barely scraped 92 mph at max effort. Fortunately, he possessed a fantastic splitter. His pitching coach described it as an “invisible fastball,” which he wielded with such precision it gave him the lowest WHIP, highest K/BB ratio, and seventh-best K/BB% among relievers, all-time. During these years, his home ballparks were all hitters’ parks. Combine his stats from both his leagues, and he’s got 1982 K with a 0.984 WHIP across 2082 innings.

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    1. Nice.

      You have a lot of diversity in your roster, which is fun.

      while my position players are diverse, my pitching staff (save for Pascual) is not. I've certainly not intentionally segregated my pitchers, but it does look kind of odd to me.

      1. Thanks, Doc. When I picked Carlton, I didn’t realize who he was off the mound. I saw a great pitcher who threw tons of innings & matched up well with Blyleven from the other side of the rubber. If I’d known about his beliefs, I would have picked someone else. (I knew well enough to look into Tris Speaker’s biography, so there’s really no excuse on Carlton.) Looking at him on my roster, even now, makes me feel gross.

        What I tried to do after that was think about the kind of team I was going to build around Carlton (& Speaker). I definitely tried to read more about the players I was considering before making a pick. I had a couple goals in mind: I tried to choose some players who seemed to be good people outside the ballpark. I sought all-time greats who were unfairly excluded by segregation, or devalued by post-WWII jingoism. And I tried to choose players who would make things more complicated for their teammates. Ted Williams fought in the Pacific Theater of WWII and in Korea, and he’s teammates with a Russian guy who lost his Japanese teammate to the war and a Japanese player who had the reputation of not liking foreign-born players when he became a manager. They’re going to have to find a way to work together.

        So, apart from the goal of drafting a good team, I guess this became an exercise in demonstrating a commitment to what I learned by picking Carlton.

        1. Hey, I picked Cap Anson without knowing anything about him, so...

          I was also eyeing your pick earlier, by the way. If he was a lefty, I would've scooped him up.

          1. I hope my comment didn’t come off as virtue-signaling or an implicit comparison to anyone else. That wasn’t what I was trying to do. It seemed like a good time to acknowledge my motivations now that this part of the draft was over for me.

            1. Not at all. This is supposed to be fun, and part of the fun is deciding what kind of team you want to pull together. You obviously put a lot of outside-the-box thinking into your selections, which has been fun for me to see. I expect others agree.

              I choked a little on taking Clemens for my squad. He's the only out-and-out a-hole (I think) that I knowingly picked. Others took great players with personality or character flaws as well. All part of the long discussion we've developed around this exercise.

              1. Yup. Lots of different approaches. And, admittedly, I probably reached a bit on my last pick for non-baseball reasons.

                1. and some of the fun actually comes from the exposure of the flaws and foibles.

                  A: picks dude X.
                  B: reveals awful truth about X.
                  A: " wut?"

        2. I picked a couple of curmudgeons who definitely needed to be surrounded by people who would challenge them (Mike Schmidt, Dave Stieb) and I have a couple of roiders are well (A-Rod, Sosa), but I'm satisfied with who I put around them. Between Stan Musial, Buck Leonard, five Japanese players, Kershaw, and Greinke, I think our team will likely figure out how to make things work. Plus with all the talent they shouldn't lose a game!

  11. Wasn't the plan, but I managed to land a bunch of Japanese players on my roster. I have a team of about 13 staff and about half are POC and a quarter are Hmong, and one thing I've noticed is that my Hmong staff definitely feel more confident and supported having Hmong teammates. I imagine baseball players feel similarly and am excited to have Oh, Darvish, Nomo, and Ohtani on my roster. I need one more pitcher. Uehara was near the top of my list, but I think I need another starter.

    Considered Tanaka and Iwakuma, but going to go with this guy who had a huge peak and was burnt out from throwing too many 400 inning seasons. Had a career WHIP of .989.

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  12. I added a new tab to the spreadsheet, which is just the roster tab transposed. I thought it would be a little easier to visualize lineups by Citizen or by position this way. YMMV, but the option is there now.

  13. I've been tempted to draft Trevor Bauer because putting him in the clubhouse with Curt Schilling would be... something. I also was tempted by a player who was chosen best at his position in the NPB nine(!) times, but he's only 120 pounds and I just don't think that will translate well. I thought about a third catcher, but I hope to get one next round.

    I'll get another super-utility guy to pair with Tony Phillips. He played all over the infield and had a Maueresque left handed swing known for slashing line drives to left field. Defensively, he was known for bypassing his glove and knocking down balls with his chest before throwing the runners out. He got his nickname from the sound from his hits smashing into the outfield fence.

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  14. I'm not exactly sure how he fits on my team, but it doesn't really matter because I just have to take him:

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  15. I'm going finish off my bullpen with this guy. Bill James says he's the 15th best reliever of all time, so he can't be too shabby.

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    He was known for an unusual delivery in which he tapped his toe on the ground before releasing the ball. His signature pitch, a slider, was nicknamed "The Terminator." It looked like a fastball until it broke straight down at the plate at a velocity of up to 92 mph. In addition to the slider, he had a fastball that reached the upper 90s. A splitter rounded out his pitching arsenal. The unusual delivery aspect means he will fit in well on a staff that already includes Luis Tiant & Kent Tekulve!

    1. I like that article, because it confirms my biases. 🙂

      7) The guy who always gets screwed in these discussions is Joe Nathan; it was actually just in the last iteration of the system that he dropped to sixth. Until then he was third or fourth. People talk about Billy Wagner as a Hall of Fame candidate and K-Rod and Lee Smith and Franco and Quisenberry; Sutter and Wilhelm are actually in the Hall of Fame. But Nathan had a LOT more impressive seasons than K-Rod did or most of those other pitchers, really more high-impact seasons as a reliever than almost anyone other than Rivera, but somehow he always gets left out of those discussions.

      1. He loses in longevity. He was one of the best for 2004-2009 but that's almost it. Brief resurgence for 2012-2013 before replacement level seasons until retiring.

        1. I see six very good seasons ages 29 to 34, then he missed his age-35, was bad at age-36, then quite good ages 37 and 38. That's eight quality seasons as a closer. How many guys can say that?

          1. The mentioned Rodriguez had 11 seasons of at least 1 WAR. Nathan has more career WAR but his career started slow, did great, and then petered out. Rodriguez started with a notable run in the postseason then did pretty well for the same number of years as Nathan, but then hung around and had a few more useful years. Their careers had different shapes and I think Nathan's lends itself to less fame.

            1. certainly, there was more national media hype around Rodriguez. In part, I suppose, because he exploded onto the scene as a 21-year old rookie, was an all-star as a 22-year old, and, as you say, had that notable postseason run as a 20-year old (as a late call-up and, I guess, "pre-rookie").

              I think Rodriguez had 12 seasons with at least 1 rWAR (combining 0.9s with both NYM and MIL in 2011), but only five above 2 (two above 3) compared to seven for Nathan (five above 3). For a reliever, a 3+ rWAR season is a pretty big year, no?

              If, if, if. If Nathan hadn't melted down in his third inning of work in Game 2 of the 2004 ALDS (the 12th inning), the Twins would have been up 2-0 in that series, the Twins would likely have won that series to face the Red Sox in the ALCS. In which case, who knows? The Twins had such a thin margin that year--led the league in team ERA, FIP, RA/9, BB allowed) , but were 10th in runs scored.

              so, uh, what you said, more or less. Nathan never got the hype that Rodriguez received due to his playoff exploits at a tender age. He actually had a much higher peak (21.7 WAR7 vs 17.6 for Rodriguez) and nearly the same career duration as an average-or-better pitcher.

              1. by fWAR, Nathan had 8 seasons that were top-10 for AL relievers (5 top-5). He ranked ahead of Rodriguez on fWAR in 7 of those seasons, although the one was 2004 when Rodriguez led the league.

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