Posted on: March 22, 2011 11:22 pm

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft #3

       The 2011 baseball season is nearly here, and will officially begin March 31st. I participated in another draft last week, but haven’t had a chance to post the results until now. I was caught up in all of the March Madness and the NCAA Tournament!! My favorite time of year!! Unfortunately my bracket was busted along with my favorite team the Syracuse Orange who were upset over the weekend by Big East foe Marquette. I hate to see Rick Jackson graduate as he was the team's most consistent presence on both ends of the floor and the clear leader as a Senior. But with defeat and sadness brings hope for next season and the arrival of two 5-Star freshman recruits in Rakeem Christmas and Michael Carter-Williams.  I look for the continued improvement of Brandon Triche, Fab Melo, CJ Fair, Dion Waiters, James Sutherland, and Kris Joseph already said publicly that he will return for his Senior season. If Scoop can limit his turnovers and overall poor shot selection next season could definitely bring potential for the Orange, but enough College Basketball. Let's focus on Baseball and below is another one of my fantasy teams and the corresponding draft results.     
        For this particular draft it was a Free Agent Draft for a 12 Team H2H Dynasty/Keeper League where each team owner only received 3 picks total (Note: These picks could also be traded too). I'm not really sure its fair to call it a draft when it is so short, but that's the beauty of Dynasty leagues and in this particular one each team owner kept their entire roster of players (minus 3 players from season to season).
       The other twist with this league and what varies greatly from the other drafts that I have posted in the past on CBS is that this league also deals with Minor League players! I feel this is a unique element of fantasy baseball that I feel adds a whole new dimension in drafting and roster stylings from year to year. I should mention that before this FA Draft this league also conducted a 3 player minor league draft to include the MiLB roster size from 10 to 13. So with these two drafts (FA and MiLB) combined it adds up to six total picks and while the drafts were held at separate occasions they were for the same overall team and purpose, and will be referred to as
Draft #3
       But before I reveal my picks for my team
Los Angeles Dodgers I will provide a little background on the league first. This will be my third season in this league and year after year it is the most challenging league that I am a part of and that includes money leagues. This league is competitive, yet free and is also unique for the sheer number of players that each team owner has to keep track of between the MLB and MiLB rosters. Each owner manages 13 minor league players and up to 26 major league players (with the 2 DL slots) which is 39 total! It is a league where you definitely have to remain active throughout the season which isn’t always easy with the excruciatingly long Baseball season. Keeping up on player news or rather team news is important on tracking the top stars of the future and also maintaining a solid current fantasy roster. Please see below my fantasy roster before Draft #3 which is followed by the players I selected with my draft picks in the MLB Free Agent and MiLB Draft respectively. I have divided up my team below between the MLB and MiLB rosters. I have also included the roster rules for MiLB player status to help out. Be sure to check out my team, and as always any comments or advice are welcome!!

Team Name : Los Angeles Dodgers 


·     C -   Geovany Soto

·     1B – Lance Berkman

·     2B - Gordon Beckham

·     3B – Evan Longoria     

·     SS – Rafael Furcal

·     OF – Alex Rios

·     OF – Adam Jones

·     OF – Delmon Young

·     U  -  Austin Jackson

·     U -   Manny Ramirez

·     BN – Carlos Quentin

·     BN – Ian Stewart


·     SP – Jon Lester

·     SP – Chris Carpenter

·     P -   Trevor Cahill

·     P -   Jaime Garcia

·     P -   Rick Porcello

·     P -   Fernando Rodney

·     RP – Ryan Franklin

·     RP – John Axford

·     BN – Johan Santana


Free Agent Draft Picks:
SP – A.J Burnett, NYY - Taking a chance that he returns to form, possible trade bait.
SP – Brett Cecil, TOR - Hoping for successful follow-up season to 15 wins a year ago. Underrated.
OF – Cameron Maybin, SDG - 24 y.o., 5 tool player, but little success at MLB level, hoping for breakout season.

Minor League Draft Picks:
SS - Manny Machado, BAL 
1B/OF - Jonathan Singleton, PHI
SP - Zach Lee, LAD

Minor League players dropped after the conclusion of the draft:
OF-Slade Heathcott, NYY
OF-Carlos Peguero, SEA
SP-Phillippe Aumont,PHI

Minor League players signed as replacements:
OF- Michael Choice, OAK
SP-Felix Jorge, MIN
3B-Nick Castellanos, DET




MiLB Rules:
- Minor League Batters must have no more then 300 career at bats in the majors
- Minor League SPs must have no more then 150 career innings pitched in the majors
- Minor League RPs must have no more then 75 innings pitched
- Minor League Swingmen (eligible at SP and RP) lose their eligibility at 100 Innings pitched
- Once a player exceeds the eligibility for Minor League status, that player must be either brought up to the Major League Roster, be traded or put on waivers within 7 days after exceeding the rules.
-once 2011 MiLB draft is done nobody can add anybody from that draft
- max roster is 15


The players I drafted for the Minor league draft have been underlined below. 
* - Signed as Free Agent MiLB player 

MiLB Roster:
1. KC, C- Wil Myers
2. Phi, 1B/OF- Jonathan Singleton
3. KC, 3B- Mike Moustakas
4. Det, 3B- Nick Castellanos*
5. Bos, SS- Jose Iglesias
6. Bal, SS- Manny Machado
7. Fla, OF- Logan Morrison [206 AB]
8. LAA, OF- Mike Trout
9. Oak, OF- Michael Choice*
10. Min, SP- Felix Jorge*
11. Det, SP- Jacob Turner
12. LAD, SP- Zach Lee
13. NYM, SP/RP- Jenrry Mejia [39.0 IP]
Posted on: March 7, 2011 1:37 pm

Hank Gathers - A Champion's Heart

  In light of the recent tragedy and Wesley Leonard death I am reminded of another tragic loss now over 20 years later. Below is the an article that I wrote back in 2009 as a tribute to Hank Gathers one of my favorite college basketball players growing up who also died of heart-related issues. May both Wes and Hank's memory continue to live on.
“I have the heart of a lion.” - Hank Gathers to Bryant Gumble on the Today Show (1990). Those resounding words will haunt anyone familiar with his tragic death. It's hard to imagine that Hank Gathers has been gone for nearly 20 years, and yet his spirit and love of the game still lives on.    
   Eric Gathers, known as "Hank" to friends and family was born on February 11, 1967 in Philadelphia,PA where he later attended nearby Dobbins Technical High School. He was teammates with Bo Kimble and together they led Dobbins prep school to the 1985 Public League City Championship. But this was only the beginning of an everlasting friendship and eternal bond that Gathers and Kimble would share. Hank and Bo also decided to play their college basketball together as both were recruited by then Head Coach of University of Southern California Trojans Stan Morrison and his top assistant, David Spencer, however once Morrison and Spencer were fired following the 1985–86 season, Kimble and Gathers decided to transfer to Loyola Marymount University Lions.
While attending LMU Hank became a stand-out player and experienced great success. In the 1988–89 season he became only the second player in history to lead NCAA Division I in scoring and rebounding in the same season. Gathers averaged 32.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game that season and was on the fast track to super stardom. He was garning national  attention even in the smaller and relatively unknown West Coast Conference (WCC). But at that time he was a diamond in the rough and was poised to again be amongst the leaders in college basketball in scoring and rebounding for the 1989-1990 season and there was even talk of Gathers as an out right player of year the candidate. Hank had a bright future waiting for him in the NBA as a sure fire lottery pick that year, but ultimately fate intervened.
    On Sunday, March 4th, 1990 Gather's team was to face Portland for a chance to meet in the WCC Championship game. The Lions appeared headed to an NCAA berth and were going to be a headache to deal with for any team that drew them in the first round. This team was talented and with their leader Hank had a chance to shock the World. However, to the shock and horror of fans in attendance Gathers collapsed with 13:34 left in the first half of a West Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinal game against Portland. He had just scored on an alley-oop dunk putting the Lions up 25–13, with perhaps the most exciting play in college basketball. The ultimate highlight reel cut short in a split second as a moment of triuphm turned to horrific tragedy before everyone's eyes. Gathers was frantically rushed to a nearby hospital, however it was too late and he was declared dead on arrival, he was only 23 years old. A later autopsy found that he suffered from a heart-muscle disorder known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Few realized that day as he was rushed to the hospital that this would be the last time that Gathers would ever step foot on a basketball court again, and that he had died playing the sport that he loved and gave so much too. 
Ironically the keys to the Lions' success that season and since Gather's arrival could be attributed to Head Coach Paul Westhead's up-tempo style of offense that relied heavily on three point shooting and limited time of possession. As a team they often shot the ball within 10 seconds of gaining possession, and then would counter their scoring flurries with full court pressure defense which would often force many opponent turnovers. According to NCAA records Loyola Marymount still holds the record for being involved in five of the highest scoring games in Division I History.
    Later on many critics felt that this fast-paced style of play doomed Gathers to his fate, however it was not the first time he had collapsed on the basketball court.
Unfortunately Gather's had previously experienced breathing or heart-related issues on the hardwood during a home game against Santa Barbara (UCSB) on Saturday, December 9, 1989, where he collapsed at the free throw line. Gathers was diagnosed with an abnormal heartbeat or exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia, and was prescribed a beta blocker to help combat this dangerous condition. However, Gathers felt that the medication adversely affected his play, and he soon cut back on his dosage.
After learning of Gather's death the 1990 WCC tournament was suspended and the Lions were given the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament based on their regular season championship. Despite the tragic loss of their team leader and with emotions running high the #11 seeded Loyola Marymount Lions made the most of their NCAA Tournament and never gave up hope.  LMU made one of the most improbable runs to the Elite 8 that year and perhaps in college basketball history other than George Mason's recent Final Four run in 2006. The Lions shot lights out from beyond the arch in defeating defending 1989 NCAA champs Michigan in the 2nd Rd. by an incredible margin of 149-115. They went on to squeak by a tough Alabama team 62-60 before losing to eventual National Champions the UNLV Runnin' Rebels 131-101.
    In honor of Hank, Bo Kimble, who was a right-handed player shot his foul shots left-handed in the ultimate sign of respect for his fallen friend and teammate. He carried on the memory and legacy of Hank Gathers in the minds of college basketball fans across the country who were still mourning his passing. Kimble made all three attempts he took during the NCAAs that year in honor of Hank, and i
t was truly a touching moment not only for college basketball, but for Sports. It showed that human spirit can stir up some magic and when emotions are involved anything can happen. The team never gave up on themselves because Hank wouldn't have wanted them too. When asked about the team's amazing NCAA run Paul Westhead proclaimed “There’s something other than basketball going on here.”
    Today Hank Gather's memory is alive and well and the Gersten Pavilion or LMU's on-campus athletics facility, is known to Lions fans as "Hank's House". Perhaps Westhead said it best at Hank's funeral, "Goodnight sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

                               #44    ERIC "HANK" GATHERS [Feb. 11, 1967 - March 4, 1990]


Here is the original article - Written 4/17/09:

Interview with Hank Gathers & Bo Kimble (Today Show)

Bo Kimble Free Throws (Tribute to Hank Gathers)


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com