Just a few hours remain before the draft, and we wanted to provide you with some inside information, and some of the rumours floating around. We’ll go team by team give you a little profile of where they’re starting and what you can look to expect.
Starting with the first pick, nobody has any idea what’s going to happen here. All signs point to Ali Manek coming in a suit and maybe getting picked 7th or 8th overall. There’s apparently a lot of thought that Manek won’t be able to compete this year, and is a perpetual 2nd place finisher. No team wants that stigma associated to them. The more interesting thought is that this team may be involved with a lot of trades. They have back to back picks due to their position in their snake draft, so they may look to unload some of them to get middle heavy.
These guys are new to the captain scene and they’ve put in some work on the scouting front, but you can look to expect some head scratchers just due to not knowing the field as well as many of the other captains.
2nd Overall this year, look for experienced captain Maysum Jaffer to look for trading opportunities, while it’s no surprise they want to get their brother Miqdad Jaffer at 2nd pick, the bigger surprise is that if he’s not available they may be looking at Mohammed Abdallah. Mohammed played with Minhal last year and the two make a solid combination of power. This team will not be made for the regular season – this is intended to be a playoff team as captain Maysum Jaffer lives and dies by the “Nothing matter until playoffs” mentality and will try things all season.
He’s already surprised teams with his Ramadhan performances in the playoffs and looks to do the same this year. This team is also looking at some sleepers in the last round, perhaps looking to pick up a pitcher with their last 2 rounds. They don’t view the pitching position as highly and may even look to shore up that spot with a reserve that could fill in – Maysum may look at Abbas Allidina as a candidate off that reserve list due to his MVP (Most Valuable Pitcher) performances in last year’s season.
Champions looking to repeat and prove that the draft prowess was nothing to scoff at. This team keeps things very close to the chest, trying to taunt the league office by selecting players like “barry bonds” (sic) in their draft manager to throw us off. We know what you’re up to though – we expect that this group will try and rebuild what worked last year – great chemistry and a lot of athleticism. The interesting thing will be their desire to pass up on Ali Manek in the first round to ensure that a winning mentality is instilled instead – look for them to either take a gamble with their previous 3rd basement Shane Worthington or look for another diamond in the rough as they did last year with Regular Season and Finals MVP (Most Valuable Player) Ali-Raza Nasser.
The interesting part of the draft for this team will be in the last 4 rounds – we expect that the picks will take a lot longer to make and they’ll be looking to swap – this is one team we can see would be willing to swap their reserve picks as well in a package that may sweeten their regular season arsenal. With the 3rd pick in the reserves, that could be a really good player.
This team comes already equipped with strong infield and outfield talent – captain Asad Hussain is a perennial MVP candidate and if healthy can change the fate of a team all by himself. It’s that healthy part that we worry about. You want to talk about secretive, this team doesn’t even have all of its captains on Whatsapp – there’s also a puppet master behind this team that makes the big decisions – if you’ve gone to a Lions game previously he sits in the bleachers, but every now and then you’ll see the decisions being passed through. We expect no difference this time around as the brother’s look to their father for continued guidance in how best to build a team.
Our urdu is weak at best, so we’ll try and wager a couple of guesses into their conversations – this team is going to build for leadership and continuity – they might take a shot at last year’s Falcons captain Imtiyaz Kara. In 2016, they went with a strategy that took most of the pitchers off the board from other teams – this did get them a 3rd place finish, but they’re looking for championship and nothing else. This team already has a lot of offence to start, look for them to shore up their defence and get offensive players that will be on base rather than over the fence.
Last year’s MVP, and an equally talented albeit less powerful younger brother gives this team a strong core to build upon. This team is likely the most prepared for this draft. They have not been captains before, but as both have tasted the championship – neither of them wants to give it up. They’ll likely be borrowing a number of strategies from their captain last year in Ali-Reza Merali. These two teams will be competing for 2016 Wolves resources and will seek to make an impact on the offensive side of the ball. They don’t draft 2nd place, so Ali Manek will likely fall past them as well.
This team has been very active in trade talks, offering many combinations, however, nothing has stuck just yet. Most think that with the influx of players with the last name “Nasser” in the draft, these two will be stocking up on family members. We think the opposite may occur with many of the family being left for late round picks while they stock up on power players. This team’s goal will be to blow out others putting up mercy inning after mercy inning. They may not have the best defence but they’ll be in a slugfest each game.
Captain Bobby Bharwani returns to the Tigers but brings with him a newcomer in Vick Vij. If you’ve never seen Vick play, he’s an athlete and is going to make some noise this season. We’re calling it now, your 2017 MVP will be Vick Vij. So with that prediction over and done with, we’ll move on to the draft strategy – these guys opted for the last place in the snake so they could double up their picks. Biggest need is to get some infielders in place, that’s why we think this team will take a chance on Ali Manek with the 7th pick – purely to let him understand his position in the pecking order.
Once they’ve shored up at the SS position, they’ll begin to look for speed – the thought is that if the players are fast enough they’ll be able to learn the rest. They may take a look at this year’s newcomer Damien Ramnauth who proved to be one of the faster players at the combine.
Whatever happens, this draft is going to be fun and unpredictable – we’ll be sharing a public link with everyone on our twitter a few minutes before the draft starts and will also be looking to live stream as much as we can. So if you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter and you’ll get the play by play updates.
Good luck to everyone!