Pitcher List Staff Leagues Review: The Drafts

Recapping the Pitcher List staff drafts and the best team names.

The season is upon us! Drafts have been completed, rosters are being tweaked, and friendly bets are being made in preparation for the first week of the fantasy baseball season. We here at Pitcher List have put together three staff leagues, each composed exclusively of our staff writers. I’ll be covering the leagues throughout the season, and will begin this first installment of the series with an overview of the league setups, a brief recap of the drafts, and a fun segment highlighting some of my personal favorite team names.

The Settings

Let’s start with the league settings. All three leagues are 12-team, standard 5×5 head-to-head categories leagues. Each league was drafted through a snake draft and will have daily roster moves with $100 FAAB for the year.

The first league, the Legacy League or PL Legacy, consists of Pitcher List writers that were around before the 3.0 expansion this past offseason that saw the influx of many writers, including yours truly. The PL Legacy rosters include 1 catcher, 1 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 1 third baseman, 1 shortstop, 3 outfielders, and 2 utility hitters spots; the pitching side of things includes 3 starters slots, 3 reliever slots, and 3 general pitcher slots; this league also includes 4 bench slots and 2 DL slots.

The third league, the Futures League or PL Futures, uses the exact same settings from above but consists of new Pitcher List writers.

The second league, the Prodigy League or PL Prodigy, revolted against this format and decided to use a deeper roster. This league, also made up of new 3.0 writers, added a middle infield and corner infield slot, uses 5 outfield slots, and only 1 utility slot; the nine pitching slots are all general pitcher slots, and the bench is limited to 3 slots while the DL is expanded to 3.

For added incentive, the three leagues will function like Premier League Football. The teams that finish 12th and 11th in the Legacy and Prodigy leagues will move down to the Prodigy and Futures league respectively, while the 1st and 2nd place finishers from the Prodigy and Futures league will move up to the Legacy and Prodigy league respectively.

Draft Recap

Legacy League

The Legacy League draft was the quickest of the three. The veteran writers, all very competitive and hoping to avoid being demoted to the Prodigy League, drafted in the hopes of beating Nick Pollack and being awarded the PLATYPUS – Pitcher List Award That You Pulverized Us Senseless.

After running the rosters through a few different projection systems, I’ve determined that the best team at this point is that of Andrew Todd-Smith. Having the first pick and getting Mike Trout definitely helps, but Andrew also drafted other sluggers like Aaron Judge and Rhys Hoskins, along with a strong pitching staff led by Noah SyndergaardYu Darvish, and Kyle Hendricks. One concern that I have with Andrew’s team is his lack of depth at pitching; Andrew used all of his bench slots on hitters. Whether or not this strategy will backfire on him or not is yet to be seen. 

I also worked with Nate Von Benken to compare the drafts to each other and the Pitcher List Consensus Top 300 Rankings. the PL Legacy draft reached for starting pitchers in the early–middle rounds and reached for relievers throughout the draft. The most egregious of these reaches may have been Arodys Vizcaino, taken by Alex Fast with the 2nd pick of the 10th round, 110 overall.

Prodigy League

The Prodigy League, to which I belong, is an enthusiastic group of writers all looking to join and eventually take over the Legacy League.

Now for the awkward part. I promise that I legitimately ran the numbers multiple times, through Steamer, Zips, and a combination of other projection systems. Every time my team came up as the projected winner. Not that I’m complaining, I’m very proud of this team. I, like Andrew, got the first pick and drafted Trout. My offense will also be led by Gary SanchezAnthony Rendon, and Justin Upton, while my pitching staff features Stephen StrasburgJames Paxton, and Gerrit Cole. I was very happy to get many of my targeted players and have some others fall to me at great values, especially Cole at the 8-9 turn, Marcus Stroman with the last pick of the 12th, and Matt Carpenter at the end of the 14th.

Comparatively, the PL Prodigy draft saw relievers fall to much better values than the other two. Some starters fell in the middle rounds, but sluggers like Edwin Encarnacion and Khris Davis went for a premium in this draft.

Futures League

The Futures league is by far the slowest. Actually, the draft is yet to be complete, as the league is currently in the 19th of 27 rounds.

Since their teams aren’t fully formed the projections aren’t nearly as useful, however, up to this point, the top team seems to be Henry Still’s which features a dynamic offense with Jose AltuveJosh Donaldson, and George Springer. However, the projections are close, and the rest of the draft could easily shake things up.

The Futures League is living up to its name as this draft has been the highest of the three on young unproven players. Players such as Ronald AcuñaLuis CastilloMatt Olson, and Luke Weaver all went higher in this draft than the other two drafts and the Staff Consensus Rankings.

Team Names

Over the past few days, I’ve had the guys at Pitcher List send me the team names that they’ll use in the staff leagues, so that I may judge them. As I told one of the writers, this is a fantastic opportunity for me to prove that I’m mean and judgemental. There were no set criteria for top finishers, I simply picked my favorites. However, I can say that I took logos into account and gave bonus points to teams that owned the player their team name references.

So, in no particular order, here are my favorite team names.

I’m Getting Mad, Yu Getting Rich—Grayson Blazek

The Bear and the Maiden Faria—Nick Pollack

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Humidor—Brandon Lundberg

M-M-M Mookie And The Betts—Ben Palmer

DothRockies Horde—Austin Bristow II (Yes, I included my own. No, I won’t apologize.)

It’s Klubering Time—Michael Grennell

Austin Bristow II

Raised as an Atlanta Braves fan in central Illinois, Austin Bristow II attended Eureka College for undergrad and Purdue University for his master's degree in Higher Education Administration. Since co-founding his home league at age 16, Austin has been obsessed with fantasy baseball. Austin serves as the Staff Manager for Pitcher List.

One response to “Pitcher List Staff Leagues Review: The Drafts”

  1. Mizzy says:

    Did Todd-Smith get hoskins with the 48th pick?? That’s insane.

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