Tagged: draft

Mapes vs. Jeremy Returns: 2013 Home Run Derby Draft

HR Derby 2013We’re back! And what better way to break back on to the scene than with a joyous barrage of 500-foot home runs? In case you missed our first Home Run Derby Draft last year, check out the teams here. We see a couple familiar names in there, including A.L. captain Robinson Cano. But how will the results turn out in 2013?

Just like last season, this is all based on points. Whoever hits the most home runs accumulates the most points for his team, and determines the winner of this Mapes vs. Jeremy challenge. The draftees are Cano, Yoenis Cespedes, Prince Fielder, and Chris Davis on the A.L. side. The senior circuit rolls with captain David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, Bryce Harper, and Pedro Alvarez (who recently replaced Carlos Gonzalez).

The scoring system is simple. For each home run by a player on our team, we get points. In the first round, it’s one point per home run. In the second round it’s two points, and the third round is three. The bonus for drafting the winning slugger is five points, and could make or break this battle.

So check out our draft, and vote in the polls below. Who is going to win the 2013 Home Run Derby, and which of our teams will be crowned 3U3D champions?

*If anyone pulls out of the competition, their replacement will be added to that team’s roster.*
1st pick: Prince Fielder, Tigers (Team Mapes)
I want revenge for losing to you last year and taking the safest pick on the board, two-time Derby champ Prince Fielder.  Only him and Robinson Cano understand the preparation in between rounds to take home the title.  Prince will be launching them over the Pepsi Porch in right field all night.  He’s the clear favorite to become the 2nd three-time Home Run Derby champion, joining Ken Griffey, Jr.  I’ll be in attendance and I’m really hoping to be able to track down a Fielder home run in my glove.
2nd pick: Bryce Harper, Nationals (Team Jeremy)Harper HR Derby
There are many who think Harper doesn’t deserve a spot on the squad this year. Nonsense. Harper was pinging the top of the scoreboard (yes, the one behind the right-field bleachers) at Tropicana Field in HIGH SCHOOL. He’s young, aggressive, and has a powerful home run swing. He’s also aching to win this thing. I’d be shocked if Harper isn’t at least in the second round.
3rd pick: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates (Team Jeremy)
I got my wish. When I found out Carlos Gonzalez hurt his finger, I crossed mine and hoped that “El Toro” would replace him. It may be true that Alvarez isn’t the best all-around hitter, but this is a home run contest, and there are few who can hit a ball harder or further than the Pirates’ third baseman. I have a feeling he’ll rack up a big number, but if not, he will at least put on a good show.
4th pick: Chris Davis, Orioles (Team Mapes)
Harper is going to be boom or bust, but I would’ve taken him if I have picked 2nd/3rd.  That being said I’ll gladly take the current MLB home run king in Chris Davis, who I thought about taking at #1 overall.  Davis has always been a batting practice show since he was a rookie and the home run derby is pretty much glorified batting practice.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis hits the longest home run of the night.
Chris Davis HR Derby5th pick: Robinson Cano, Yankees (Team Jeremy)
Cano has been there, done that, with his suave attitude and sweet swing. He’ll be hitting in a mostly friendly atmosphere at Citi Field (because Mets fans don’t actually exist, amirite?), and might find himself repeating his 2011 win. Like everything he does, Cano will calmly sail into the second round and will be the overwhelming favorite to go to the finals. I’ve already seen one pundit (okay, so it was just a dude on Twitter) predict a Fielder vs. Cano final. And yes, I know he hit zero last year. Shut up. He’s due.
6th pick: Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics (Team Mapes)
Speaking of guys that put on shows in batting practice, Cespedes certainly fits that bill.  I’ve never seen a ball be hit into the 3rd deck of left field at Citi Field, but if someone can do it, it’s Cespedes (or Evan Gattis).  I am a little worried that he’ll just let it rip and wear himself down to where he won’t go deep into the competition.
7th pick: David Wright, Mets (Team Jeremy)
There is a reason we saved the three right-handed batters for last. Since 2003, Miguel Tejada (20o4) and Vlad Guerrero (2007 – at AT&T Park vs. Alex Rios…REALLY?? No lefties in the final with McCovey Cove sitting there, hungry? Sigh.) are the only righties to win the Derby. Wright has been golfing low and away pitches out all year, so he won’t have to be picky, and has a familiarity with this stadium. He’s the best bet of the right-handed hitters in my opinion, and we all know he comes up clutch.
8th pick: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies (Team Mapes)The Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Céspedes hits a two-run homer against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo
Oh come on, you knew from the start Cuddyer was being picked last.  Domonic Brown or Paul Goldschmidt might have been better picks.  But, you have to respect David Wright for sticking to his guns and taking his friend and fellow Virginian in Cuddyer.  Now, we’ll see if Cuddy makes Captain America look smart.
There you have it! Vote in the polls below, and don’t forget to watch the 2013 Home Run Derby on Monday.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook for all your 2013 MLB news!

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The 2013 MLB All-Bloodline Prospect Team

2013 draftFor those of you living under a rock, or maybe hiding behind Scott Van Slyke’s mustache, the MLB amateur draft starts tomorrow. While it lacks the glitz and glam of the NFL draft (thank god), and bust potential is very high with so many picks (where ARE you Tim Beckham?), it’s still an exciting event for baseball nerds like us.

The stars of tomorrow (if you’re Bryce Harper…but more likely the stars of 2016) are all waiting in the wings of this draft. Follow along on MLB Network or MLB.com tomorrow, starting at 6 p.m. EST, to see which young player you need to know as he tears up your farm system over the next couple seasons.

So what is this nonsense we are spamming your timeline with tonight? Oh, just the dream team of MLB family genes! Using this article as a reference, we’re picking the all-bloodline team of the prospects who could get drafted this week, purely based on how said family member performed in his career. We probably won’t find the next Barry and Bobby Bonds or either of the Griffey’s, or any of the Boone’s, but it will be fun either way.

Enjoy:

Catcher: Kean Wong (brother of Cardinals #3 prospect Kolten Wong)

As much as this Warriors/Dodgers fan wanted to pick Ryan McCarvel (nephew of former NBA first-round pick Chris Mills) or Chad Wallach (son of current Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach), you can’t deny the exceptional talent that is evident in the Wong family. Kolten is one of the best prospects in baseball, and that alone made this an easy choice. We’ll see if Kean (I’ll give you a bag of corn nuts and a fist bump if you can tell me how to pronounce this name) lives up to his brother’s reputation.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Lidge (brother of former reliever Brad Lidge)

First base: Cameron Berra (“relative” of Yankees legend Yogi Berra)

I almost went with Manny Ramirez (yes, it’s the dreaded one’s son) here, but word on the street is that he’s joining pops in  Taiwan to ensure that the family dominance continues there. That’s a completely made up rumor. But how can you pass on the relative–even if the connection looks sketchy–to one of the greatest personalities and players in baseball history? I mean, the man has a World Series ring for each finger. And, yes, he has all 10 fingers. If Cameron is even one-fifth as successful, somebody made a good draft selection.

Honorable Mention: Preston Palmeiro (son of former slugger Rafael Palmeiro)

Second base: Cavan Biggio (son of snubbed Hall of Famer and lifelong Astro Craig Biggio)

Dad joined the 3,000 hit club, retired, and was immediately left out of the Hall of Fame this year. I’m over that. Totally. Can’t you tell? Anyway, I’m less concerned about why Craig named his son “Cavan,” than I am about the offspring actually matching Dad’s success. It’s a tall order, but even if he plays good defense and is a HBP magnet, we’ll be saying “like father, like son.” Too bad the ‘Stros already have a franchise second baseman. It would have been nice to see that name on the back of an Astros uni again.

Honorable Mention: JJ Franco (son of former reliever John Franco)

Third base: Luke Borders (son of former catcher Pat Borders)

To be honest, I was never a huge follower of Pat Borders’ career. I knew who he was and it seemed like he was around forever. So at the very least, if Luke can give that longevity, he’s worthy of this spot. His dad was extremely average, but enjoyed two rings and some good years defensively in Toronto. And with all apologies to Ruben Amaro and his hot-corner-handling nephew, I had to give the ‘stache potential points to the Jones family in the honorable mention category.

Honorable Mention: Alex Jones (son of former reliever Todd Jones)

Shortstop: Dillon Moyer (son of MLB’s father time Jamie Moyer)

Imagine my disappointment when I found out Jay Buhner’s son Gunnar qualified here but was not the kid on the epic SI cover shot. He gets the axe. We already gave JJ Franco, who can play both middle infield positions, an honorable mention elsewhere. And as much as I like BJ Surhoff (nephew Colin Moran is the #6 prospect in the draft and has an outside chance to go first overall), the rest of the group is better. Carl Crawford’s cousin J.P. is hanging around, but won’t quite make the cut. And because Walt Weiss has too many w’s in his name, his son Brodie is out (sorry not sorry). It’s simple subtraction, people. Plus, Jamie Moyer rules.

Honorable Mention: Ali Rodriguez (nephew of A-Roid A-Rod)

Left Field: Jacob Heyward (brother of talented Braves outfield Jason Heyward)

Topping his older brother’s first at-bat heroics is not going to happen, but Jacob could eventually become an All-Star and Gold Glove winner, too. Maybe the Braves can just move Jason to centerfield and replace another member of a brotherly duo in B.J. Upton, with the younger J-Hey. But if Braves GM Frank Wren has his choice between another Heyward and either of his sons, will he really slap family in the face like that? Spoiler: he definitely should.

Honorable Mention: Kyle and Jordan Wren (sons of Frank)

Center Field: Torii Hunter, Jr. (son of Tigers outfielder and notorious badass Torii Hunter)

Anyone else not realize until now that Torii Hunter was Torii Hunter, Sr.? The only reason I chose baby Torii over the bloodline of a Hall of Famer (see: Yount, Robin) is because there is a more direct DNA track between the two. If Hunter, Jr. is even a shell of his father, the team that drafts him is not going to be sorry. Hunter, Sr. has been one of the elite outfielders in baseball for almost two decades, and has been a helluva hitter as well.

Honorable Mention: Cody Yount (nephew of Robin)

Right Field: Mike Yastrzemski (grandson of Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski)

Please don’t tell Paul O’Neill that his nephew is merely an honorable mention for this position. But…really? What do you want me to do? NOT start a relative of the great 19-time All-Star? I don’t care how good this Mike kid is — if the Red Sox draft him, people are going to go absolutely nuts in Boston. But now that I jinxed him, the Yaz of the younger variety is probably going to get picked up by the Yanks. Uh-oh.

Honorable Mention: Mike O’Neill (nephew of hot-headed Yankee Paul O’Neill)

Starting Rotation:

1. Kacy Clemens, RHP (son of genetically-enhanced strikeout machine Roger Clemens)

2. Dalton Saberhagen, LHP (son of two-time Cy Young winner Bret Saberhagen)

3. D.J. Sylve, RHP (grandson of Bay Area and MLB legend Willie Stargell)

4. Ben Verlander, RHP (brother of best-pitcher-in-baseball Justin Verlander)

5. Chad Hockin, RHP (grandson of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew)

There were plenty of good options for the rotation, and you can see how clotted the bloodlines are (I should really work on that word choice) if the Leiter and Pettitte families get snubbed. Despite any steroid allegations, you can’t ignore the Clemens family dominance at the top of the rotation, followed by the studly southpaw in Saberhagen (really the only lefty worthy of consideration). Even though Killebrew and Stargell were hitters–very, very good hitters–it made sense to include their relatives here, as both are in the Hall of Fame. And naturally, even if he can never live up to big brother’s successes, leaving the name “Verlander” out of the starting rotation would be blasphemous.

Honorable Mentions: Mark Leiter, Jr. (nephew of Al Leiter), Josh Pettitte (son of Andy Pettitte), 

Closer: Jordan Sheffield, RHP (nephew of free-swinging hero Gary Sheffield)

As far as I know, all the pitchers on the list are starters anyhow, but I had to find a way to get Gary Sheffield’s DNA into this group. I’m just imagining his nephew Jordan having a violent arm waggle when he’s in the stretch before a pitch. With the violence that uncle Gary played with, I expect Jordan to at LEAST touch 123 MPH on average with his fastball. Really, Quantrill or Hunter Brothers (Rockies’ reliever Rex’s little bro) would have been the more sensible choice, but it’s GARY SHEFFIELD, people!

Honorable Mention: Cal Quantrill (son of former reliever Paul Quantrill)

What do you think? Will any or all of these guys get drafted today? Who would YOU include on your all-bloodlines team for this year’s draft? Did I include too many mustache pics in this blog? Follow along with Three Up, Three Down on Facebook or tweet us @3u3d with input.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

World Baseball Classic Fantasy: The Finals!

It’s time for the San Francisco treat, the World Baseball Classic finals! We have two teams that everyone expected to be there in Japan and the Dominican Republic, plus two upstarts that have surprised everyone along the way in the Netherlands and Puerto Rico. The latter two knocking out two of the big favorites in the tournament in Cuba and the United States. Mapes is just excited he gets to yell HONKBAL for at least one more game!

It’s time though for the final WBC Fantasy draft on Three Up, Three down between Mapes and Jeremy. Jeremy dominated “Round Two Pool One” 161-121 after Mapes took the USA side “Pool C/D Round One” draft 124-121. Mapes came back to crush Jeremy in “Round Two Pool Two” 115-63 on the strong backs of Gio Gonzalez and Fernando Rodney and the bad back of “Captain America” David Wright for Jeremy. Mapes now leads the overall score 360-345.

For the final with only three games, we’re going to draft the same nine offensive positions, but only one SP and one RP each. Again, we must have at least two from each country and no more than four from any country. Jeremy had first pick last time, so Mapes starts us off for the finals!

 

Maeda

Pick #1 – Team Mapes: Kenta Maeda, SP (Japan)

If I had just picked Maeda in the last draft with the Japanese teams, I’d be coasting to victory. Maeda is rested and ready to go, he gets to face a Puerto Rican team who just had to travel from Miami to San Francisco with no rest day. Maeda’s been the best pitcher in this tournament and is the clear #1 pick to get a win and advance to the finals.

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Pick #2 – Team Jeremy: Fernando Rodney, RP (Dominican Republic)

I’m snagging the guy that killed me last round, and it’s not just for revenge. Out of the four teams left, I think Rodney is the closest thing to a guarantee to get me some save points, as he’s been automatic since…well, since Opening Day of the 2012 season. If the Dominican Republic somehow doesn’t advance, I’ll be shocked. But we’ve seen crazier things happen.

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Pick #3 – Team Jeremy: Robinson Cano, 2B (Dominican Republic)

Not picking the best hitter in the tournament would just be plain silly. Cano is going to rip up the Netherlands’ pitching, and likely have a second game in the tournament to do more damage. I expect to see at least one ball clearing the outfield fence when he’s hitting at AT&T this week. Watch out, McCovey Cove!

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Pick #4 – Team Mapes: Shinnosuke Abe, C (Japan)

You said Abe was the Japanese Buster Posey. The finals are in AT&T Park in San Francisco. I like that symmetry there and I’m not letting him have a multi-homer game on your team again. Yes, I know this lets you take your boy Yadier Molina later and stay in your girlfriend’s good graces.

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Pick #5 – Team Jeremy: Carlos Beltran, OF (Puerto Rico)

I know this is the third straight time I’ve taken Beltran, and he hasn’t exactly produced. But the guy has given me no reason to doubt him over a clutch postseason career, and he’s still one of the most productive hitters in the history of the World Baseball Classic. Plus, he kind of likes hitting in AT&T Park (.328 there over the last three years).

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Pick #6 – Team Mapes: Andrelton Simmons, SS (Netherlands)

You’d think you’d learn by now that I’m not going to take Beltran, ever. My crush on Andrelton Simmons is tremendous right now. It’s to the point that I’ve made a custom Netherlands shirsey for him, but not sure to pull the trigger on ordering it. If the honkballers win the title, I will for sure.

Itoi

Pick #7 – Team Jeremy: Yoshio Itoi, OF (Japan)

This guy has been absolutely crushing the ball lately, driving in 7 runs in his 6 games. If he’s good for a couple hits, a run and an RBI in Japan’s first game, I’m happy. That being said, Japan should get two games. Double the pleasure, double the fun for me!

Ibaza

Pick #8 – Team Mapes: Hirokazu Ibata, Util (Japan)

He’s been DHing a lot for Japan, but I have no qualms with just putting him in my utility spot. He’s 8 for 14 for the Japanese and hits in the middle of that lineup. I’ll pair him with Abe and hope for the best. I think you can tell by now, I believe Japan make the finals for the 3rd straight time.

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Pick #9 – Team Jeremy: Hanley Ramirez, Util (Dominican Republic)

I thought about waiting a little longer to snag my boy here, but didn’t want to risk you finding a way to sneak him on as a third baseman or something. It hasn’t just been the WBC — Ramirez has been hitting the ball hard all spring. He’s going to get me some points hitting in that lineup, especially in two games, hopefully.

Cruz WBC

Pick #10 – Team Mapes: Nelson Cruz, OF (Dominican Republic)

We’ve strangely never drafted the “Lord of the Boomstick”, but he’s been one of the Dominican’s top hitters and way better than Hanley’s pitiful .176 average in the WBC.

Aviles PR

Pick #11 – Team Jeremy: Mike Aviles, SS (Puerto Rico)

We don’t get points for batting average. So you can keep your Cruz, I’ll take my Hanley, who has the same amount of runs scored and homers in this tournament, even with the big gap in average! That being said, Aviles is hitting around .300 in the tournament and has been the only RBI threat on the team thus far. His 8 RBI are five more than the next closest in that lineup.

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Pick #12 – Team Mapes: Edwin Encarnacion, 1B (Dominican Republic)

Might as well load up on the middle of the Dominican lineup after you’ve made the terrible mistake of not taking Jose Reyes at shortstop with your utility already filled. I’m ready for Encarnacion to put out a bomb like he did 42 times in 2012.

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Pick #13 – Team Jeremy: Curt Smith, 1B (Netherlands)

Oh, you mean the Reyes who has 2 RBI and 0 stolen bases in this tournament? That Reyes? No thanks. I’ll stick with Aviles, who has been far more productive. I love Smith, too, and I’m not sure why. But he seems to be the most consistent threat in that Honkbal lineup behind Simmons, and I don’t want to miss this chance.

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Pick #14 – Team Mapes: Angel Pagan, OF (Puerto Rico)

I’ll finally cave and take a Puerto Rican, not that I’m bitter for them knocking out the United States. We should make them the 51st state just so these shenanigans don’t happen again. Pagan leads Puerto Rico in total bases and picks up an occasional steal. If they’re going to have a chance against Japan, Pagan needs to play like he did at AT&T Park last season.

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Pick #15 – Team Jeremy: Andruw Jones, OF (Netherlands)

Now why do you have to bring up Pagan at AT&T Park last season? That’s a low blow! But I’ll snag your boy Andruw here, who is Team Honkbal’s third most consistently dangerous hitter. You can have Simmons, I’ll take the talents of their other two offensive stars to South Beach (seriously, there’s an area in San Francisco called South Beach…don’t laugh at this, I don’t deserve it).

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Pick #16 – Team Mapes: Alex Rios, OF (Puerto Rico)

Please just stop being terrible for one game Rios. It’s all I ask.

Matsuda

Pick #17 – Team Jeremy: Nobuhiro Matsuda, 3B (Japan)

I can’t believe I’m only going to take two Japanese players in this draft, but it’s equally shocking that I get Matsuda this close to the end of the draft. All he’s done at the hot corner for Team Japan thus far is hit .389 with a homer, 5 RBI and 5 runs scored.

Schoop

Pick #18- Team Mapes: Jonathan Schoop, 2B (Netherlands)

I need a second baseman AND another Honkballer so I’m going with the Orioles prospect that I know has some pop.

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Pick #19 – Team Jeremy: Yadier Molina, C (Puerto Rico)

You said earlier that this was to stay in Kelsey’s good graces. Is it any coincidence that I’ll be telling her about this draft later today? Yes, believe it or not. I actually had my eye on Carlos Santana of the Dominican Republic, just because they should have two games, as opposed to Molina’s one. But I won’t complain about getting Yadi again. He’s been good for me so far.

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Pick #20 – Team Mapes: Xander Bogaerts, 3B (Netherlands)

HONK IF YOU LOVE HONKBAL!!!

Volquez WBC

Pick #21 – Team Jeremy: Edinson Volquez, SP (Dominican Republic)

Your first overall pick of Maeda did end up putting me in a bind. We don’t even know who is going to start for the Netherlands, and Puerto Rico’s pitcher will get rocked. Volquez is a guy I rarely trust, but with that lineup behind him, he could have a mediocre start and still pick up 10 points for me. I’m just glad he’s not facing his own team.

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Pick #22 – Team Mapes: Kazuhisa Makita, RP (Japan)

Still can’t resist a submarine-throwing closer. Just can’t do it.

Can Jeremy mount a comeback in the finals? Or is the 15 point lead going to hold up for Mapes? Should Jeremy have take Jose Reyes? Let us know in the comments or tweet usand thank for enjoying WBC Fantasy, we’ve had a lot of fun doing it!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes) & Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

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!

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 10.59.27 PMPick #1 – Team Mapes: Jose Abreu, 1B (Cuba)

Cuban.  Barry.  Bonds.  Let’s just move on.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 12.36.44 AMPick #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!

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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.

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Pick #12 – Team Mapes: Kazuhisa Makita, RP (Japan)

Can’t resist a submarine-throwing closer.  Just can’t do it.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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)

The 3U3D Spring Training Hat Draft

With Mapes and Jeremy recently finishing their second annual Jersey Draft on our blog, we decided another part of the uniform needed a little love. This year, the 30 MLB teams all received new Spring Training hats, and we got everyone in on the action.

The five of us all partook in six rounds of hat drafting this week.  To complete hypothetical collections, we tried to abide by the same rules as the jersey draft: Awesomeness of the hat, as well as general popularity. Some teams made massive changes to their caps, while some stayed almost exactly the same.

For context, we drew random numbers to determine a draft order and snaked through six rounds (which made sticking Jeremy with his least favorite cap at the very end, easy for the rest of the guys). Some teams had a home and away version, but we decided only one hat from any given team could be used to make sure all 30 were represented.

See how it went down below, with the draft results and brief explanations on each squad. After that, vote for the hat collection YOU would want!

Round 1:

Hat draft round 1Round 2:

Hat draft round 2

Round 3:

Hat draft round 3

Round 4:

Hat draft round 4

Round 5:

Hat draft round 5

Round 6:

Hat draft round 6

Jeremy’s Team (@Jamblinman)I would like to start by sincerely apologizing to my Dodgers family for being forced into choosing the Giants hat with the last overall pick in the draft. These guys are sneaky, and knew they could stick me with it. Hopefully having the awesome Royals, Padres, and Pirates in my collection takes some sting out of it. My first overall pick, the Reds road hat is the best of the bunch, anyway!

Brian’s Team (@GingaBeard_Man)Knowing that the Rangers was not real popular with everyone else I knew I could scoop it up in the later rounds. With that being said I wanted to go for style with my first few picks and I really liked the Mets hat, it was my second favorite hat only behind the Reds road hat. The Rays hat shows all the teams colors while featuring the new logo and further distancing themselves from the old Devil Rays name. Hopefully my first two picks make up for the Nationals hat which I still think is a solid pick, it just doesn’t vary much from the hat they’ll use this season. I figured with my fourth pick it was time to take the Rangers hat. The Cubs like the Braves were always a team I watched growing up, they were always on when I came home from school so I couldn’t pass it up with my fifth pick. I felt I would have done a disservice to everyone else had I not left Jeremy with the Giants hat so I took the White Sox. It should be fun seeing him explain that other Dodgers fans.

Angelo’s Team (@GODF_TH_R):  With my first pick, I went with the Mariners.  This was also my number one choice of all the hats anyway, so it worked out well for me.  I love the fact that they brought back the baseball with compass rose on it.  I have been a Seattle fan since the days of Junior (I think we all were), so this hat brought back some memories for me.  The Blue Jays hat is very simple but makes a huge statement.  The maple leaf on the front shows MLB that Toronto IS Canada’s team.  The first thing I tried to stay away from was any hat with a white front.  Personally, I don’t think this looks good on a hat for game play.  I do not like the Tigers home hat one bit, so I took the retro looking away as my 3rd pick.  The color I have liked the most since I have seen it on any MLB jersey ever is the the brick red that Arizona uses. The D-Backs become my 4th pick.  I like the Marlins color scheme now that its worn on me for a year.  Again, went with the road because of the white front on the home. I was down to the Angels, ChiSox, and Giants for my final pick.  Knowing that we could stick Jeremy with the Giants made my decision between two, and I wasn’t going to take a division rival…so Angels it is!

KP’s Team (@FalconKP): I tried to stay away from being a homer, but I liked the Brewers hat so much I had to take it first. That was quickly followed up with a steal of the Rockies’ hat in the 2nd round. I love the use of the mountain logo and think it’s definitely a unique look not a lot of teams get to have.  The contrast of the red/white/blue on the Twins hat also had me quite pleased. Getting stuck with one color or pattern can be boring. Having not picked a ‘classic’ look yet, I went with the old-school looking Indians hat. The ‘C’ definitely makes a statement and I’m sure the Indians are trying to make a statement of their own this year. Yes, I dislike the Cardinals, but of the hats remaining at that point, it was one of the few that actually looked different to me. I’ll take it. That and the Phillies hat I ended up with was too similar to the Twins, but I’ll round it out nicely and hope they can bounce back this year as well.

Mapes’ Team (@IAmMapes): I thought I was going to get screwed with the last pick, but getting to take my picks together worked out.  The Reds also would’ve been my #1 overall pick.  The Astros new logo is fantastic and this was a nice alternative to their regular cap.  I like the use of mascots in some of the hats, which is why I made sure I locked up the Athletics and Orioles next.  The Orioles new logo is too nice.  I made to sure grab the Braves next, just so I don’t miss out like I did in the jersey draft with Jeremy.  I loved rounding out my draft with both hats from one of the greatest rivalries in baseball in the Red Sox and Yankees though I would buy their regular hats over the batting practice ones.  Genius move by us sticking Jeremy with the Giants.  He really strongly dislikes them.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite group of hats below! You can follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!