Another Draft Recap: Scoresheet BP-Kings

There is nothing quite like Scoresheet. Like with other sim games, you’re the manager as well as the GM, making lineup, substitution and baserunning decisions over a full season’s schedule of games, but like traditional fantasy, you’re making those decisions based on how you expect players to perform in the current season. The unique nature of the game makes for unique drafting, where defense, handedness and platoon splits are important factors to consider.

I just completed my draft in the BP Kings industry league, where we filled out our 35-player rosters after submitting a keeper list of no more than 10 players. My team missed the postseason in 2019, but went 88-74 with a league-best 3.60 ERA. The team also had the third-lowest average of runs scored per game (4.5) out of 24 teams, so it’s fitting that half of my 10 keepers were pitchers. That was after throwing back useful relievers like Taylor Rogers, Giovanny Gallegos, Yusmeiro Petit and José Leclerc into the draft pool. I wound up keeping my rotation of Charlie Morton, Luis Castillo, Mike Minor, Aníbal Sánchez and Adrian Houser intact, while carrying over Eugenio Suárez, Franmil Reyes, Alex Verdugo, Kolten Wong and Elvis Andrus as the core of my offense and defense.

Here is what my roster now looks like upon completion of the draft. Just below, I’ll explain how I came to assemble this particular squad.

Since I kept five starting pitchers, I only needed to draft starters for rotation depth. My starting infield was also set, aside from first base. Since we can use any infielder at first base without a defensive penalty, I decided not to make filling that position a priority. I was also willing to wait on rebuilding my bullpen. Unlike in a traditional fantasy league, the pool of quality relievers is relatively large, as it is not limited just to pitchers who get saves. Any reliever with strong skills can be an effective closer.

That left catcher and outfield as my greatest areas of need to address early in the draft. Carson Kelly and Christian Vázquez were easily the best available catchers, and both were drafted before I made my first pick, so that freed me up to address my outfield. I was prepared to take Shin-Soo Choo with my first pick in Round 11, but Rob Steingall nabbed him with the pick right before mine. There were several outfielders available who I liked, though nowhere near as much as I liked Choo, so I took a gamble by drafting Yasiel Puig. Now I had three outfielders on my roster, though one was without a team (Puig) and another was without a clear timetable to return from an injury (Verdugo, back), so I needed to keep building my outfield depth. I took Domingo Santana and Mike Yastrzemski with my next two picks. After drafting Santana, I knew I needed to get an outfielder with a decent range rating, given that Verdugo was the only one of my outfielders to have a rating above 2.08. Yastremski’s 2.11 rating isn’t quite good enough for me to rely on him as a center fielder, but I could use him there in a pinch if I had to.

Now that I had five outfielders from which I could conceivably form a starting unit, I moved on to filling out my bullpen. I was able to get Rogers back in Round 14, while adding another high-leverage reliever in John Brebbia in Round 15. In Round 16, I got my primary catcher by selecting Kurt Suzuki.

Now that I was exactly halfway through my draft, I had a rotation, starters at all positions besides first base, at least one designated hitter candidate, and a pair of high-end relievers. The latter half of the draft is actually the more fun and interesting part. It’s where we get to do the little things that could give us an edge — finding versatile players, platoon partners, defensive specialists and less heralded pitchers who could wind up playing key roles in the rotation or bullpen.

One weakness that still had to be addressed in these rounds was finding a good defensive center fielder to play behind defensive stalwarts Wong and Andrus. I covered that need with two picks, drafting a platoon of Jake Fraley (Round 19, 2.14 range) and Albert Almora Jr. (Round 25, 2.18 range). To get Almora, I actually had to reacquire a Round 25 pick I had previously traded to Nando Di Fino, sending him my second catcher, Yan Gomes. I drafted Chase Anderson as my sixth starter and picked up Derek Holland and Chi Chi González to be emergency starters or long relievers. I also got Brent Suter to fill those roles, though I could also rank him to be used in high-leverage relief situations. The rest of my bullpen consists of Leclerc, Rowan Wick and Tyler Webb. Eric Sogard, Matt Beaty, Donovan Solano and Brian Dozier were key additions to my bench, as I could mix and match them for a first-base platoon, while also being able to use Solano and (eventually) Sogard at multiple positions besides first base.

In retrospect, keeping Verdugo was a mistake, and in taking a chance on Puig, I either created redundancies in my outfield or flat-out wasted an early pick if he winds up sitting out this season. Despite that, I am happy with what should be a quality pitching staff, a solid defense (especially if Puig finds a home) and a reasonably deep and versatile bench. The offense is still a weakness, though it should be better than it was in 2019, especially if Puig, Santana and Verdugo play up to their projections. Also, my bullpen may be a little thin until we have a supplemental draft. That could be more of a problem than it normally would be, depending on how many of those drafts we have in a shortened season.

In fact, if there is a takeaway for those still drafting or have yet to start drafting their Scoresheet teams, it’s to pay attention to updates from Scoresheet about how many supplemental drafts will be held this season. As of their most recent newsletter, they are still planning to run five of them. When in doubt, though, be particularly conscientious about drafting for depth.





Al Melchior has been writing about Fantasy baseball and sim games since 2000, and his work has appeared at CBSSports.com, BaseballHQ, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and FanRagSports. He has also participated in Tout Wars' mixed auction league since 2013. You can follow Al on Twitter @almelchiorbb and find more of his work at almelchior.com.

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gpchurchill
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gpchurchill

I’m nine rounds into a single season A.L. scoresheet league. Bregman, JRam, Grandal, and Arreaz. No 1b yet. I can draft a crap fielder like Andujar or Solak, plug into 1b, and they will play there at 1.85?