World Baseball Classic Fantasy Baseball: Pool A/B Round Two
We couldn’t just stop with the opening round of pools C and D! Jeremy and Mapes of course had to delve into the 2nd round of pools A and B. It will give Mapes something more to root for than just saying the word “honkbal” over and over and over. The first WBC fantasy draft and rules can be found here.
There are only four teams in this round two so the rules change to where we need at least two players from every team and a maximum of four from each team. The same positions and point scoring system applies! We’re choosing from Cuba, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands. Jeremy had the first pick in the pools C and D draft so, Mapes will take the opening pick in this draft Let’s roll!
Pick #1 – Team Mapes: Jose Abreu, 1B (Cuba)
Cuban. Barry. Bonds. Let’s just move on.
Pick #2 – Team Jeremy: Shinnosuke Abe, C (Japan)
Did you really have to go the “Barry Bonds” route? Why not the Cuban Babe Ruth? In any case, this guy is the Japanese Buster Posey. No, seriously. He won MVP on the champion team, named the Giants. And he’s just as good with the bat, better with the glove.
Pick #3 – Team Jeremy: Alfredo Despaigne, OF (Cuba)
What more do you want? This guy has a 1.636 OPS in the World Baseball Classic so far, which was capped off by an absolute monster three-run homer against Japan in the opening round. Despaigne is en FUEGO right now.
Pick #4 – Team Mapes: Chien-Ming Wang, SP (Chinese Taipei)
I really loved what I saw from Wang in his first start of the WBC. His sinker ball was really working and I expect him to go for a full six innings and contend for a win in this round.
Pick #5 – Team Jeremy: Danny Betancourt, SP (Cuba)
My team will be stocked full of Cubans. There’s good reason. Yes, these guys can mash on offense, but if you watched Danny Betancourt’s first round performance (eight strikeouts, by the way), you know this dude is straight filth.
Pick #6 – Team Mapes: Andrelton Simmons, SS (Netherlands)
Homer pick! I wasn’t letting Simba get away from me with my love of the Braves. He hit over .300 in the first round, plus gets plenty of at-bats atop the Dutch lineup.
Pick #7 – Team Jeremy: Diegomar Markwell, SP (Netherlands)
Depending on Markwell’s matchup in the quarterfinals, this could come back to haunt me. But he was downright nasty in the first game of the tournament against a powerful Korea team, so I’m hopeful he’ll score me some big points.
Pick #8 – Team Mapes: Jose Fernandez, 2B (Cuba)
I wanted to ensure that I was strong up the middle and also take as much of Cuba’s powerhouse lineup. I’m doubling down on those with Fernandez, who led Pool A and B in the first round with a .625 batting average. I hope it carries over to round two.
Pick #9 – Team Jeremy: Yoshio Itoi, OF (Japan)
Itoi had a big first round, hitting .300 with four RBI and two stolen bases. He has a unique blend of speed, power and contact hitting abilities, which I hope he will continue to ride into round two for my team.
Pick #10 – Team Mapes: Dai-Kang Yang, OF (Chinese Taipei)
I thought about going symmetry and taking the other “Ching-Ming” on Chinese Taipei, but instead I’ll go with Dai-Kang Yang who played in all three games for Chinese Taipei. He led the team in total bases in round one, which is what I need to rack up points!
Pick #11 – Team Jeremy: Frederich Cepeda, OF (Cuba)
My outfield is just unfair. Itoi, Despaigne, and now the latter’s Cuban teammate, Cepeda. He tied for the team lead with 9 total bases in their first three games, including two doubles and a triple. The .500 batting average and .615 on-base percentage sealed the deal for me, though.
Pick #12 – Team Mapes: Kazuhisa Makita, RP (Japan)
Can’t resist a submarine-throwing closer. Just can’t do it.
Pick #13 – Team Jeremy: Loek Van Mil, RP (Netherlands)
This picture is not photoshopped. Van Mil is 7’1″ and comes at the hitters from seemingly inches away. He got the job done for the Netherlands in the first round, and I expect him to close out any games that they lead in round two.
Pick #14 – Team Mapes: Hung-Wen Chen, RP (Chinese Taipei)
I needed to grab another reliever, with Van Mil gone and my strategy of only grabbing Cuban offensive players, that leaves me with Hung-Wen Chen who picked up a save in round one.
Pick #15 – Team Jeremy: Curt Smith, 1B (Netherlands)
I think this is a big sleeper pick. I love this guy filling in at first base. If there’s one player who was unknown among other big names on this team’s roster, it was Smith. He only had seven at-bats in the first three games (thanks to four walks), but hit .286 in that span.
Pick #16 – Team Mapes: Yulieski Gourriel, 3B (Cuba)
I know, I know. Gourriel went 1 for 13 in round one, but he still hits in the heart of the Cuban lineup. I’ll gladly take his upside, when I need a third baseman anyway this late!
Pick #17 – Team Jeremy: Xander Bogaerts, 3B (Netherlands)
You can have your Cuban missile launcher, I’ll take my all-around stud in Red Sox top prospect Bogaerts. If defense counted, he’d be even more valuable. But so far with the bat, Bogaerts has been relatively quiet. That won’t last long for the career .296 minor league hitter. I hope he breaks out when he’s on my team.
Pick #18- Team Mapes: Hisayoshi Chono, OF (Japan)
This is where I panicked, but I like Chono’s upside. I think he bounces back after hitting .200 in round one, but will get all the time in left field for team Japan.
Pick #19 – Team Jeremy: Chih-Sheng Lin, SS (Chinese Taipei)
At this point, I’m still in need of two Chinese Taipei representatives. With middle infield to fill, I looked at Lin to provide some offensive pop for my team. He hit .300 in the first round, and also got on base quite frequently (.417 OBP).
Pick #20 – Team Mapes: Andruw Jones, OF (Netherlands)
My other Braves homer pick! I love that Netherlands has control of Curacao so they can use Simmons and Jones in the WBC. I can’t resist not having a player I grew up watching in Atlanta on my team and he was even pretty good in round one.
Pick #21 – Team Jeremy: Alexei Bell, OF/Util (Cuba)
With my utility pick, I had to go back to the bats of Cuba. I could have closed my eyes and picked any of the hitters, but I settled with Bell because I still can’t get his ridiculous homer the other night out of my memory. Hopefully there’s more where that came from.
Pick #22 – Team Mapes: Erisbel Arruebarruena, SS/Util (Cuba)
The guy can hit and I really just took him so I would have more reason to learn how to pronounce his last name.
Pick #23 – Team Jeremy: Tadashi Settsu, RP (Japan)
I ruled out the Cuban closer by selecting Bell with my previous pick, but that’s all fine and dandy. I don’t know if Settsu will get me any saves, but he did lock down one of Japan’s two wins in round one. He’s unhittable and could score me a few sneaky points.
Pick #24 – Team Mapes: Dashenko Ricardo, C (Netherlands)
Well I have to take a catcher and Ricardo hit .400 in round one. Honk if you love honkbal!
Pick #25 – Team Jeremy: Yen-Wen Kuo, 2B (Chinese Taipei)
Well, I wasn’t going to leave his double play partner alone on my roster! I fill out the team with a necessary pick of the Taipei second baseman, and can’t complain about his .333 average in round one!
Pick #26 – Team Mapes: Masahiro Tanaka, SP (Japan)
With Jeremy taking his starting pitchers super early it let me take my choice of Japanese starters to round out my team. I like Tanaka’s upside, even though Kenta Maeda had the better numbers for Japan in round one. Plus, this opens me up to plenty of “you have no marbles” jokes like Tanaka from Major League 2.
Now all four pools are represented, even if we showed up a bit late to the party (Can you blame us? We’re still waiting for Jose Abreu’s home run ball to land, okay?). We have our teams and will let fate dictate this the rest of the way. Follow along with us on Twitter at the tags below, and don’t forget to vote for who you think has the best team below!
– Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) & Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)