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Thursday, February 17, 2005

ROUND SEVEN
My pick: Ray Durham.
Why I made this pick: I had a list of second basemen I'd be happy with, and Durham's name was the last one on it. Felt I had to fill out my infield before I got a free trip to Boone city.

Best value of the round: Francisco Rodriguez. This is the player I really wanted last round, but felt I had to take Durham instead due to position scarcity. Tons of strikeouts, few baserunners, and a killer OPS against.

Biggest surprise: Ross Gload. He can hit, but he's not even the best available first baseman from the White Sox, let alone the best one left overall. Gload going before Paul Konerko, Carlos Delgado or Lyle Overbay is a shock.

ROUND EIGHT
My pick: Tom Gordon.
Why I made this pick: Relievers are going surprisingly fast. The Optimist already has a killer tandem of Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge, and the top-tier talent is leaving in a hurry. Gordon had a fantastic year, allowing less than a baserunner per inning, getting lots of strikeouts and giving up few extra base hits. There are lots of relievers left that meet some of those criteria, but Gordon's among the last meeting all of them.

Best value of the round: Chipper Jones is a ridiculously good value. Assuming he didn't qualify at third base -- and if he did he'd have a horrible defensive rating -- I'm embarassed to say I didn't even check. But his defense is better than Aubrey Huff's, and his bat's not that far off. Ken Griffey is also a nice value here, since there are no hamstring tears in Diamond Mind.

Biggest surprise: Nothing stands out as a real reach. I did want to mention, however, that the Torii Hunter pick intrigues me. I had my eye on Hunter for the later rounds because he's the top-ranked defensive center fielder. It will be interesting to see how taking an elite defensive player turns out compared to taking players (like Griffey) with much bigger bats.

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