An expansion-at-any-cost policy brought Tommy into the league, but he was thoroughly unprepared for being an SL owner/GM/manager. Because of this, Chris colluded with Tommy to draft for him on a weekend where Tommy was out of town. According to Chris, he wrote down what position to pick during each round before the draft. Whether or not this actually happened . . . ?
Dan returned for a final year with what was probably his best draft. Keith had printed out a notebook full of each individual player's stats and ratings which aided Dan immensely. Lapses were still evident (Boggs too early, improper use of relief made Percival unjustified at 2), but they were slight compared to his other drafts.
John impressed everyone with sound drafting despite having never played APBA and having never been formally introduced to the meanings associated with the ratings. Having listened to NIU-mate Greg talk up the bloated SL accomplishments of Salmon, John snatched him in round 1. After a middle round run on catchers, John reacted by picking Girardi, who really didn't belong in this league. Otherwise, well done.
Ken astounded everyone by taking a reliever with the 3rd pick, the highest a reliever had ever gone (previously Wetteland had been taken 7th in '94 during a time of more liberal relief rules). He further astounded everyone by shunning starting pitching until the 21st round. Mark McGwire (the most powerful APBA card ever by a regular, until he became more powerful the next season) lasted until Ken grabbed him with the 31st pick. Ken's draft also included an emphasis on stolen base percentage, which gave the great Andy VanSlyke a final taste of the SL sun.
Greg took pitching and defense, again. He reacquainted himself with 4th-rounder Buhner after a two-season parting. Much to Greg's later dismay, he drafted J-3's in rounds 12,13,15,16 and 21. The steal of the draft was offensive sparkplug John Cangelosi, who Greg landed with the 155th pick.
Keith drafted what he considered a very constrictive team, but at least he was wise enough to pass on Belle and Edgar and take team cornerstone and Cy winner (pitchers not eligible for MVP) Randy Johnson 2nd. Frank Thomas was too good to pass up in the 4th round, before he proved Keith wrong by hitting below the Big Skirt line (aka .200).
Chris was glad to hear that Ken took Mesa third and MVP Belle was still available at 4. World Series hero and batting champ Mike Piazza was available in 7th mainly due to his poor reputation (his -1 would look good compared to his next season's -4). 11th round pick Brian Jordan was a bust, but otherwise, Chris had no complaints.
Draft opinions of Keith Klein 9.3.97