How many Major League Baseball Players use Rawlings gloves? Enough to fill the 25-man roster of every team in the American League.
It got us thinking, what if Rawlings had its own baseball league, replete with the more than 400 ballplayers who endorse and use their products?
Which is exactly what we did.
Introducing the 2013 “Rawlings Defenders of the Nine" fantasy baseball league, powered by STACK. We will monitor the performance of some of the best players in the big leagues, those who rep Rawlings. Here are the league rules and regs:
Nine-team, rotisserie-style fantasy league. Each team is represented by a player who is featured in the Rawlings “Defenders of the Nine” campaign. (Visit Rawlings.com to learn more about “Defenders of the Nine.")
In line with the "Defenders of the Nine" theme, we will track nine scoring categories for the league.
Runs (R), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), Batting Average (AVG)
Wins (W), Strikeouts (K), Earned Run Average (ERA), Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched (WHIP)
Catcher is the lone position not reflected in the lineup. The five catchers in the league—player-managers Buster Posey and Yadier Molina, Matt Wieters, Joe Mauer and Russell Martin—will start in one of the two utility spots on their respective teams.
On the mound, each team will have four starting pitchers, two relievers, and two additional pitchers (starter, reliever, closer).
The draft order was determined by the preseason fantasy rankings of the nine player-managers. Manny Machado, the ninth-ranked "Defender," was awarded the first overall pick of the draft, which became OF Matt Kemp, the highest-ranked Rawlings-endorsed player. Yadier Molina, the eighth-ranked “Defender,” was assigned the second overall pick, and so on.
The draft continued in this fashion until every position on each team’s roster was filled. In a case where the next best available player’s position was already filled on a roster (for example, 1B Joey Votto for 1B Albert Pujols’ team), that player was bypassed for the next best available player at a position of need.
Scroll through the slideshow to meet the lineups for each team.