Its that time of the year people. Pitchers and catchers start reporting February 17th, followed by the rest of their teammates on the 22nd. Leagues are starting to form as most of the major outlets have fantasy baseball up and running. And with the All Star Break putting fantasy basketball on hold for a few days, this is the perfect time to start mock drafting. Over the next few weeks I’ll be going round by round telling you who you should grab and who you should be staying far, far away from. This is all based on the ADP report over at Mock Draft Central .
Remember kids, practice makes perfect.
*Disclaimer* Obviously you should be targeting Pujols. Hanley Ramirez. and A-Rod in the first round. However they should go 1-2-3 in just about every draft, so we’re just not going to worry about them. Its also tough to find someone to “avoid” in a round full of slam dunks (that’s why they’re going in the first round). But hey, David Wright happened last year.
Target: Mark Teixeira. ADP: 7.53
A king of consistency, Tex has put up 100+ RBIs and 30+ home runs the past six seasons while playing for four different teams. Need to know more? Really? Fine. This past season he put up his second highest run and RBI totals of his career. This is in part due to playing in arguably the most hitter-friendly park in the majors, along with being surrounded by All-Stars in the batting order. With the addition of Curtis Granderson to the line up, his numbers should only rise. I would take him anywhere after the big three.
40 people will get to this point and stop reading, immediately writing me off as a crazy person. Let me reiterate, I still think Utley is going to have a great season and shouldn’t fall past the 10th overall pick. However out of all the players going in the first round, he appears to have the most red flags. His batting average has dropped the past two seasons, and he failed to reach 100 RBIs for the first time as a full time starter. This decline is reflected in his BaBIP, as last season it was at the league average .300. In 2005 when he posted a filthy .332 he also had an equally filthy .362 BaBIP. From this, we can guess that last season’s .282 average is more his range and hoping for a rebound to his 2005 numbers is a reach. Let someone else overemphasize the scarcity at the 2nd base position and take him early.
Target: Jose Reyes. ADP: 22
Target: Jose Reyes. ADP: 22
Omar Minaya must have really pissed off the baseball gods because that line up was decimated by injuries all last season. Jose Reyes was a major victim of this wrath, ruining many owners’ seasons with optimistic return dates that never materialized. Now Reyes, an annual top five pick, has fallen to the end of the second round is most drafts over concern about any lingering hamstring issues. While there is cause for worry with a speedster coming off this kind of injury, the upside it tremendous if he can rebound to his 2006 and 2007 numbers. Don’t expect 60 stolen bases, but barring any major setback a .295/15/70/110/50 line is well within reach. At that draft position he is worth the risk and it takes care of a thin position early.
Reynolds was a golden waiver pick up last season, as his 44 home runs and stolen bases almost doubles his previous totals. Seems like a guy on the rise, but this is really early to be taking someone with no previous track record and an atrocious batting average. Reynolds = Adam Dunn + stolen bases, both men notorious for high strikeout totals, totals which aren’t worth the 35 extra picks it would take to get those 20 steals, not this early in the draft. Third or maybe even fourth round would be more appropriate for him to go. There are simply better options at this point.
In case you haven’t heard, Roy Halladay is an unbelievably filthy pitcher. So it should come as some shock to you that he isn’t going until the third round of mock drafts. This is coming off consecutive 200+ K and nine complete game seasons. Along with a sub three ERA. He’s as reliable a starting pitcher as you can possibly get. Oh, and he just moved to the NL. Draft him.
Ok, so he had 134 runs in 2006. Which is hard to wrap my head around because wow that’s a lot of runs. But what has he done for you lately? Only giving you a declining batting average (down to .248 from .290 in 2006) and injury. Its also important to note that in his big years he was benefited by a healthy BaBIP in the .333 range. I don’t trust him, and I’m going to let someone else deal with that question mark.
Well there’s the first three. If you took all the guys I targeted, you have a masher, a speedster, and an ace. Not a bad start. Tune in next week for rounds 4-6.