15-man ‘most efficient draft ever’ blows all other drafts away

Commish Dave Renbarger, right, presents Hickory manager Mike Wilson with the I-75 League Cup for winning the 2011 World Series, prior to the 2012 season draft.

Perhaps we should have gone to this 15-team format years ago.

After years of drafts that dragged on for seven, eight, nine hours — when we had just 9 or 12 managers — the I75 League pulled off its most efficient draft ever to kick off its 33rd year, conducting a 14-round, 15-team draft plus four supplemental rounds for the four entering teams in less than six hours!

With the use of a shared Google doc spreadsheet that made it easy for the four remote-drafting managers to enter picks as well as track picks being made at Draft Central, the draft hummed along efficiently, even breaking for 45 minutes for pizza after the eighth round.

The exciting first round held largely to form from an overall standpoint, with 13 of the 15 players being accurately forecast as first-rounders. Only Mike Moustakas (to Hickory) and Jason Kipnis (to Michigan) strayed from the mock draft prediction.

Two during-the-round trades jumbled the draft picture somewhat. After Michigan predictably took Tigers catcher Alex Avila and Springfield not surprisingly took slugger Alex Gordon, English took first baseman Eric Hosmer, but instantly packaged him with SS Starlin Castro along with picks 4 and 95 to Hickory for SS J.J. Hardy, P Felix Hernandez, the No. 9 pick and No. 103 pick. While teams tried to digest that, Hickory nabbed top pitching prospect Michael Pineda.

That left top hitting prospect Mike Trout still available for Iowa in the five spot. Bismarck pulled the closer rug out from under Applegate’s plans by taking Braves phenom Craig Kimbrell in the sixth spot, and Satellite Beach was happy to find third baseman Brett Lawrie available in the seventh spot.

Balcony drafters John McMillan and Phil Roselli then swung a deal, with Margaritaville sending the No. 8 pick and lefty reliever Ed O’Flaherty to Chatfield for pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and the No. 23 pick. Chatfield used that pick to upgrade its pitching staff for this year by selecting Doug Fister.

At No. 9, English selected highly regarded outfield prospect Desmond Jennings, and at 10, Applegate resorted to young Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley.

Margaritaville had another first-round pick at No. 11 and tapped Jesus Montero, and Wisconsin followed with the accurately-forecasted selection of Allen Craig. With its trades having reconstituted its roster, Hickory then took slugging third base prospect Mike Moustakas at 13, Bushwood made the accurately-forecasted selection of Erick Aybar and Superior opted for young second baseman Jason Kipnis to close out the round.

Three other deals were conducted during the course of the draft (see the trades page), but again, to the credit of all managers, focus remained strong and fumbles were few. Congrats to all on what will go down as the most efficient draft in league history!

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5 Responses

  1. Very enjoyable draft, special shout out to Col. Hart for allowing me the use of his card table. I felt good vibes from the history in that table. Huge thanks to Gary for the pizza and good luck to all this season.

    I do recommend John R, Mike R and Dave R not sit together in the future, as I repeatedly mixed up their picks since their voices sound alike…or perhaps this is a sign of gentle aging?

  2. I would like to thank all the guys in i75 especially those I met yesterday at the draft location. I really enjoyed myself and am very happy to join a great group of guys! I am excited about the coming season and the my future in this league!

  3. Best draft ever — no doubt about it. Kudos to all 15 managers for making it happen. And thanks to Mike and Gary for burning the midnight oil into the wee hours to get the league file set up. The virtual dice will be flying on Sunday.

    I had feared that this draft would be tougher than the rest due to the sheer number of picks combined with the no-nonsense time limits, but it was smooth sailing all the way through for the Gophers, aside from a couple of rounds where my designated player was snatched right before me pick and I didn’t have a backup choice at the ready.

    The draft board worked like a charm in the draft room.

    How did things go for the four remote drafters?

    Feedback is appreciated.

    Gopher Dave

    • Best. Draft. Ever.

      And a shout out needsd to go to Gary for popping for the pizza at Draft Central to keep all the live drafters well fueled. Thanks again!

    • Free pizza, and a balcony seat made for the best draft ever!

      The only thing that could improve it next year would be round girls circling the condo with cards to announce the start of each draft round.

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