On Tuesday, a few of us set out to draft teams made up of the MLB teams we’d most like to watch this year. To read Part I of our MLB.TV Draft, click here.
Round 5, Pick 1: Mike picks the Chicago Cubs
There are still plenty of exciting players in the Cubs’ lineup. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are home run threats, and Javier Baez is fun to watch whether he’s making an incredible defensive play or making an error. Between this and the starting rotation being a powder keg next to a lit match, the Cubs are nothing if not entertaining.
Round 5, Pick 2: Alex picks the Kansas City Royals
On paper, the Royals would be higher on this list. Any team trying to shoehorn Billy Hamilton and Terrance Gore into the same lineup has fun somewhere on their agenda. Thing is, this is 2019 and teams don’t really steal bases any more – even teams built like this. Maybe when 2019 is over the Royals will have 50 more stolen bases than the next team but I’m guessing we’re going to see a team that isn’t zigging while the others are zagging as much as we would like. In essence, the 2019 Royals won’t look much different from the next 70-win team.
Round 5, Pick 3: John picks the New York Mets
There is a 40 percent chance you’re getting to watch either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, and while I tend to favor position players over pitchers when it comes to my favorite teams to watch, there’s a really good chance you’re watching an absolute dynamo on the mound (oh, and Edwin Diaz as closer!). In addition to their regular starting outfielders, the Mets have two speed demons patrolling the area in Keon Broxton and Juan Lagares, and the continued excellence (even if slightly diminished in 2019) of Robinson Cano makes me feel like not every great thing about baseball from when I was in high school has faded away.
Round 5, Pick 4: Josh picks the Cincinnati Reds
Your honor, I would like to submit the following to the jury as, “Evidence A.”
I don’t watch reality TV, but I have a feeling it’s a lot like the 2019 Cincinnati Reds. Is it good? Probably not. Is it packed to the gills with narrative? Absolutely. Half of the team is made up of above-average players in contract years and the other half is dwarfed by the Canadian star known as Joey Votto. It could very well be a catastrophe (see: above), but I’ll be shocked if it isn’t fun at times.
I rest my case.
Round 6, Pick 1: Josh picks the Texas Rangers
It’s unfortunate (and telling) that the Rangers ended up this low on the list, because Joey Gallo is one of the most purely entertaining players in baseball. But unless you have an emotional investment in a team, it’s never really that fun to watch a bunch of probably-washed veterans combine to create something that’s more than the sum of its parts. It’s not as though the Rangers will be bad, but not many people will be lining up to watch Rougned Odor, Shin Soo-Choo and Hunter Pence back 35-year-old Edison Volquez.
Round 6, Pick 2: John picks the Toronto Blue Jays
At this point, the Blue Jays are unflinchingly not fun, even as somebody who likes Freddy Galvis more than anybody else I’ve ever met (I can’t explain it either). But this is a great future speculation pick: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the top prospect in baseball for a reason, and fellow top ten prospect/MLB legacy Bo Bichette figures to join the Toronto Blue Jays along with Guerrero soon enough. The Blue Jays still probably won’t be very good, but if you, like me, tend to watch baseball passively in the background waiting for something to catch your attention, their at-bats should do the trick.
Round 6, Pick 3: Alex picks the Colorado Rockies
The novelty of Coors Field turning baseball into what I think it would look like on Mars wore off a while ago and it’s hard for me to get too excited for a team whose perpetual ceiling seems to be the Wild Card game. Still, Coors Field always looks like a delight and I can think of worse things than watching Nolan Arenado play third base on a nightly basis.
Round 6, Pick 4: Mike picks the Pittsburgh Pirates
If you enjoy a good pitchers’ duel, it might be worth turning on a Pirates game, because the rotation here is quietly among the best in the National League. But beyond that, there’s no superstar anywhere in this lineup, no power threat, and not all that much to get excited about. At least PNC Park has a nice view of the Pittsburgh skyline that you can look at if the Bucs’ offense bores you to death.
Round 7, Pick 1: Mike picks the San Francisco Giants
The Giants are like leftovers that have been sitting in your fridge for far too long. They may have been quite good at one point, but now they’re old, unappealing, and are likely to make you sick if you spend too much time around them. If you do decide to watch a lot of Giants games this season, don’t get too attached to anyone in the lineup, especially Madison Bumgarner.
Round 7, Pick 2: Alex picks the Seattle Mariners
Seems absurd for the Mariners to be my last pick given they had the best record in MLB a mere few days ago by way of out-dingering the competition. But that damn regression thing is going to happen and this lineup doesn’t do a lot for me, even with that large Vogelbach guy. I will say this: If I could pick one aging hurler not named Adam Wainwright to have a 1996 Dwight Gooden no-hitter moment, that person would be Félix Hernández. We’re all going to miss that guy one day.
Round 7, Pick 3: John picks the Arizona Diamondbacks
Of the four remaining teams on the board, the Diamondbacks might have more interesting players than the other three teams combined. Despite my longstanding, entirely subjective opinion that Chase Field is an ugly park at which to watch baseball, Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray are delightful in their excellence (it’s not deGrom/Syndergaard, but this feels like late-round value), and with Greg Holland as their closer, you know that all of their games will remain in the balance throughout the night. Also, has any player in modern baseball had a skill set designed more for unabashed baseball joy than Jarrod Dyson?
Round 7, Pick 4: Josh picks the Miami Marlins
It’d be way too hard to retread everything I said about the Texas Rangers, but Miami is basically just a worse version of the Rangers with more young (probably mediocre) young players. Lewis Brinson is at least a decent power threat, and Sandy Alcantara has top-of-the-rotation potential as a lanky fireballer. But you have to deal with Martin Prado, Sergio Romo and the ghost of Curtis Granderson to get there.
Relegation Pick 1: Josh bemoans the Baltimore Orioles
We picked teams before the Chris Davis hitless streak became national news, but even watching Davis’ Sisyphean battle with Father Time wouldn’t have been able to get the Orioles onto this list. I probably could have named three players on their 25-man roster off the top of my head. If there’s any aesthetic value here, it’s the race to historic futility.
Relegation Pick 1: John mourns the Detroit Tigers
I understand why the Tigers weren’t drafted, but I think they probably should have been (late, to be fair—I’m not going crazy). Miguel Cabrera is one of the five most accomplished active MLB players, and while he is certainly past his prime, this isn’t quite Albert Pujols where it makes you wince at times. Additionally, they have a handful of young position players worth keeping an eye on, such as Jeimer Candelario, Niko Goodrum, and JaCoby Jones.
Thanks for reading, y’all. Here are the teams we each chose. Let us know in the comments who you think has the most watchable team!
|Los Angeles Dodgers||San Diego Padres||Milwaukee Brewers||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Boston Red Sox||Chicago White Sox||Los Angeles Angels||Houston Astros|
|Washington Nationals||Atlanta Braves||New York Yankees||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Cleveland Indians||Oakland A’s||Minnesota Twins||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Chicago Cubs||Kansas City Royals||New York Mets||Cincinnati Reds|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Colorado Rockies||Toronto Blue Jays||Texas Rangers|
|San Francisco Giants||Seattle Mariners||Arizona Diamondbacks||Miami Marlins|