This article is part of our The Z Files series.
Well, that was fun. My first 2022 draft is in the books. As I've discussed in this space, I partner with Derek VanRiper to draft a team in the Premature E-Draftulation League, an NFBC Satellite commencing the last week of the regular season. What follows is the team, with an honest appraisal at the end. My goal is to convey my thought process at each choice, with a focus on working as a team. I don't think I'm talking out of school by saying if DVR or I flew solo, the team would be different.
1.11 Corbin Burnes
No, this is not the first time a team I manage drafted an arm in the first round, but it's rare. Humblebrag alert, in 2016 I selected Clayton Kershaw at 1.06 in Mixed LABR and cruised to a victory. That said, there are two reasons I followed DVR's lead and landed on Burnes. While this is a real league with real money on the line, it's still a laboratory for me. I mean, it's still September when we start, how can it not be? If there is ever an opportunity to experience a team build starting with an arm, this is it. The other reason is there wasn't a hitter screaming "Pick me!" in this spot.
This begs the question; would I have opted for Burnes if drafting alone? I'm honestly not sure. First off, working blindly, I may have gone with Gerrit Cole. However, the bigger issue is, what batter