The World Baseball Classic is in full swing! Congrats go out already to Japan, Cuba, Chinese Taipei, and the Netherlands for advancing to round two! Somewhere around 3:30 AM while admiring the wonder that is the word “honkbal” myself and Jeremy Dorn wondered why we didn’t have a fantasy game for the World Baseball Classic? We’re going to rectify that now with another Mapes vs. Jeremy battle!
1) There is a draft for each remaining round. That means the 2nd part of round one, each grouping of round two, and the championship round will each have a draft that you can find here!
2) Each fantasy team must have at least one player from every country and no more than two from any country. The round two and the championship rounds the totals are upped to at least two from each country and no more than four from any country because there’s only four countries to choose from.
3) Most points at the end of the championship round wins!
C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, OF, OF, Util, SP, SP, RP, RP
Single: 1, Double: 2, Triple: 3, Home run: 4, Run scored: 1, RBI: 1, Stolen base: 1
Out recorded: 1, Hit or walk allowed: -1, Run allowed: -2, Strikeout: 1, Win: 10, Loss: -5, Save: 5
Countries in 2nd half of Round One:
USA, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Spain
Mapes won the toss and elected to pick 2nd/3rd, so Jeremy is up with the first pick!
Pick #1 – Team Jeremy: Miguel Cabrera, 1B (Venezuela)
Do I really even need to explain this pick? Cabrera is fresh off of a Triple Crown, MVP season and is already feasting on pitchers this Spring. It doesn’t matter who is on the bump; Cabrera is going OFF in the World Baseball Classic.
Pick #2 – Team Mapes: Ryan Braun, OF (USA)
I was going to go with a surprise pick at the top, but with you taking a first baseman at the top will let me wait a little. I’ll start off with Ryan Braun who hits for average, has power, and can steal a base. He should be good for quite a few points.
Pick #3 – Team Mapes: Carlos Gonzalez, OF (Venezuela)
Might as well stock up on outfielders and there’s another player who should go in the top 10 of regular fantasy drafts this season. Gonzalez will be a stud in a strong Venezuelan lineup. He’ll rack up runs or RBI’s no matter where he is hitting.
Pick #4 – Team Jeremy: Giancarlo Stanton, OF (USA)
I don’t know how breakable the scoreboards are in Arizona, but Stanton will take his shots. This kid is still incredibly raw, but opposing pitchers are going to find out just why MLB teams dread the inning that he steps into the box.
Pick #5 – Team Mapes: Jose Reyes, SS (Dominican Republic)
I watched the Dominican Republic’s drubbing of the Phillies in an exhibition and was so impressed with Reyes that I wanted to make sure I got him. He’s the best shortstop in this portion of the tournament. I expect plenty of chances for points atop the Dominican lineup.
Pick #6 – Team Jeremy: R.A. Dickey, SP (USA)
It should be a tough match-up for Dickey against Team Mexico, but I’m banking on ten points for a win from the reigning N.L. Cy Young winner. Did you see Stephen Fife of all people shut down Mexico’s offense? Yikes. Good luck with the knuckler, guys.
Pick #7 – Team Mapes: Brett Lawrie, 3B (Canada)
Thanks for grabbing your 2nd American early! Now I know I can wait until the end of the draft and still get the player I was targeting. Here I’ll lock up my Canadian spot with Brett Lawrie. I know Joey Votto is better, but I still have a plan for that 1B spot, which means I’ll grab the 2nd best offensive player from the Great White North.
Pick #8 – Team Jeremy: Carlos Beltran, OF (Puerto Rico)
When has Beltran ever NOT come through in a big spot? (Cue Mets fans everywhere grumbling about 2006 NLCS…) Beltran is one of the most decorated postseason hitters ever, and he will have no problem handling the best of international competition, either.
Pick #9 – Team Mapes: Yadier Molina, C (Puerto Rico)
Every time we do these battles you always end up with Yadier Molina. NOT THIS TIME. Molina might be the best offensive weapon on Puerto Rico and knowing you can’t take Joe Mauer at catcher, so this will put you in a nice little bind!
Pick #10 – Team Jeremy: Pablo Sandoval, 3B (Venezuela)
I hate taking Giants players, but who am I to pretend that Sandoval isn’t one of the most rapidly improving hitters in the game right now? He dominated the Winter Leagues and will put up some big points for my team over the next couple weeks.
Pick #11 – Team Mapes: Anthony Rizzo, 1B (Italy)
Here’s the player that I almost took first! The drop from Rizzo to the 2nd best player on Italy is such a big drop that I wanted to make sure I grabbed the Cubs future superstar and stick you with the Alex Liddi’s or Nick Punto’s of the WBC.
Pick #12 – Team Jeremy: Carlos Santana, C (Dominican Republic)
Silly Mapes. You thought I’d be “in a bind” with my catcher pick? How about I just snatch up a powerful, switch-hitting, on-base percentage machine in a stacked lineup? That’s the sound of points ringing up in my register, buddy! Cha-ching!
Pick #13 – Team Mapes: Robinson Cano, 2B (Dominican Republic)
Sometimes in draft plans change! I was going to try to grab Spain’s 2B Paco Figueroa for this spot and then take the best player available for my utility, but I realized that best player might be Robinson Cano anyway! I love locking up the D.R.’s double play combo, hopefully Cano knocks in Reyes a ton.
Pick #14 – Team Jeremy: Angel Pagan, OF (Puerto Rico)
I KNOW. Really? Two Giants players on my squad? As much as I hate to admit it, Pagan is in his prime and will only get better in 2013. Hitting atop a good lineup for Puerto Rico will give Pagan plenty of stolen base and run-scoring opportunities.
Pick #15 – Team Mapes: Sergio Romo, RP (Mexico)
Neither of us have grabbed a reliever yet and I needed a player from Mexico, so I’m grabbing the guy with the nastiest slider in the game. There’s potential for him to get saves points for me against Italy and Canada. Plus, I know you can’t counter with the closer for USA or Venezuela.
I’m hoping that Gallardo gets the nod on the mound against Italy in Mexico’s first game — otherwise, I’m pitting my two starting pitchers against one another. Either way, I’m going to get a good chunk of points from the righty hurler.
I need a Spain guy. I’m going to go with the one that is regarded as the best hitter on the team and even had a cup of coffee with my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves.
This has absolutely nothing to do with Punto being a member of my favorite team, the Dodgers. None whatsoever. Zero…correlation…OKAY FINE. But I needed an Italian representative and all the good second basemen are gone, so why not?
Pick #19 – Team Mapes: John Axford, RP (Canada)
I wish I could take Fernando Rodney, but I’ve already met my maximum of Dominican players. There’s a limited amount of closers on teams that could get wins left, so I’m going to snag John Axford and hope he closes a win against Italy.
I was very worried I had run out of options for relievers at this point, but after scanning the rosters one more time, it was like Christmas morning seeing the American League’s best closer from 2012 still available. I’ll be sure to see a few arrow poses in the WBC.
The American I was able to wait on! There’s one reason I’m going with Vogelsong over the other Americans, he gets to pitch against Italy. He’s economical with his pitches and should get through enough of the game to get a win vs. the Italians on Saturday.
Strikeouts for days! I’ve got to assume that Grilli will be Team Italy’s closer, given that he’s the best reliever on the roster. If Italy is in a save situation, it will be a mini miracle, but Grilli is still going to rack up some K’s for me and steal some points.
While you grabbed to Venezuelans early, I was able to wait and get one of my favorite players in the league to complete my outfield. Prado’s going to want to play so I know he’ll get at-bats, which hopefully will result in points. I’ll take my outfield of Braun, CarGo, and Prado over yours any day.
This is my Spain representative, and I think it’s a big-time steal! Sanchez is mostly unknown, but he did push the team into the WBC against Israel in qualifiers with a huge, three-RBI game. He’s got some pop in that bat!
I had to go with a starter from Puerto Rico, Spain, Italy, or Mexico for my last pick. Since I’m not entirely sure who is going to pitch against Spain for Mexico, I’m going to take my chances with Alvarado pitching in his team’s first game against Spain on Friday.
This will be the first and last time in the history of fantasy drafts that Joey Votto goes with the final selection. Team Canada’s best player is going to be providing most of the offense on that team, and I will be the benefactor! By the way, Mapes. Don’t pretend you didn’t just pick that Spanish rep to have someone named “Giancarlo” on your team…
Our first World Baseball Classic is complete! Feel free to use this as a guide for your own! Players like David Wright, Adrian Gonzalez, Craig Kimbrel, and Edwin Encarnacion, we’re sorry. It’s just fantasy business. What picks would you have made? Let us know in the comments!