Forward Thinking

Hey Mike/Cory/Casey or Zach,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Thought I would drop you a question regarding my upcoming draft in another keeper league.  Just wanted some of your insight for my first pick.  It is a 14 team, 12 man keeper, no dollar values, mixed H2H 5×5 with OB%.  We also can protect 2 rookies.

Here are some of the top guys NOT protected, I have the 8th pick in the first round (essentially the 13th round).

Billy Wagner, Ellsbury, John Smoltz, Takashi Saito, Rafael Soriano, Chipper, F. Cordero, Rowand, K. Escobar, Oliver Perez, Carmona, Snell, and Howie Kendrick.

Here are my protected players.
McCann
Fielder
Cano
Peralta
Zimmerman
Figgins
Markakis
Hawpe
Adam Jones (rookie)

Harang
Hamels
Liriano
Buchholz (rookie)
Valverde

Just wondering who you would go with considering my roster, and what players I could wait on for a couple rounds.  Maybe rank them?  What weaknesses do you see in my roster?

Thanks guys…always value your opinions!  This will help me out for the draft this weekend.

Rokhed Brett
Calgary

Brett,

Wow…this is a tough one…so many players to choose from!  In the HR and RBI areas, you’re stacked.  The clear weakness in this keeper group is speed.  The two middle infielders (Cano and Peralta) might give you about 8 combined stolen bases at positions that almost always require steals.  Figgins and to a lesser extent Markakis are your only sources.  The one guy listed here who will help in this department is Ellsbury, someone you can wait a bit before drafting.  My first choice would be to get an SB specialist like Taveras or Pierre with your first pick.  If that’s not possible, I’d turn my attention to grabbing a starter and closer with the first two picks and trading for speed once the season starts.  In a 14 team league, the pitching depth is nowhere near what it is in a 12 teamer, and though your rotation can be an excellent one if Liriano’s healthy, snatching up another #2-3 type isn’t a bad idea.  I’m actually shocked that Smoltz may be available.  I’ll rank him first among the SP’s but be careful!  A 40 year old who will likely start the season on the DL with shoulder issues is scary.  Consider Snell a fallback option with Carmona close behind.  Snell offers more strikeouts while Carmona has the higher win potential.  As for the closers, I’d rank them Wagner, Saito, Cordero, Soriano.  If you wind up with Saito, make sure to get Broxton as insurance.  Addressing a weakness is always a first step, but don’t be afraid to go in a different direction and deal from strength later on.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com      

 

7 Comments

Cory:

Not sure if you’ll check this but I have a draft coming up tomorrow and haven’t been able to get my question through for the show (you guys are so popular now- awesome!)

I noticed you took Kevin Kouzmanoff in the 13th round (pick 146) of the Listener League Draft. According to my last check of the mockdraftcentral.com, Kouz isn’t going until around pick 230 or so. I’ve seen him go undrafted in some mock drafts.

I was curious what your 2008 projections for him were- do you see him having a .280, 25 hr, 90 rbi season? Can I rely on him as a solid starting third baseman in a 5×5 vanilla Yahoo league (9 hitters) if I’m solid at the other hitter spots? Any help from yourself of other readers are appreciated.

Thanks.

-Dan in Los Angeles

Dan,

Cory has him ranked as the 151st player, with ADP of 229 (almost exactly what you said).

His projected stats in Cory’s system are:

.295 BA

81 RUNS

85 RBI

22 HR

3 SB

157/532 H/AB

So to your point, I think Cory would say yes — about 25 HR, 90 RBI are within reach, with batting average to spare.

Hey thanks Zach! You seem to think the same as me, although i didnt think i needed speed as much as you say, but maybe i do. There is not much speed available in that league, at least reliable. Taveras and Ellsbury are there, but ellsbury batting in the 8th slot seems to bring his value down. Plus i had him and couldnt protect him. You think Taveras is worthy of a #3 OF in this league? THanks for you comments.

Thanks Dave. It think people in some drafts are really underestimating him- those are almost Ryan Zimmerman numbers. Oh well, better for me I guess.

One last thing on Kouzmanoff… looks like he will bat 3rd this year in front of Gonzalez. The Padres won’t be a great offense, but 3rd is the plum spot in any lineup and I think that will give him a nice bump in runs and RBI’s as well. By ADP he may have been a reach but on value I got him at the perfect time. So let’s play ball and see how things work out!!

–CS

In a head to head league one steal is big. I would take Ellsbury. Projections have him hitting .300 and stealing 30-40 bags. I believe Shandler has him at 39 SB. That has you fielding a 100 steal team, probably good enough for 1st or 2nd in a 14 team league.

Another option would be pick up Velvez from SF and plug him in-I believe he is eligible at 2B and SS.

In that case I would pick up Chipper, just too talented a hitter that hits with amazing numbers considering he plays 140 games a year. Zimmerman has a history of ice cold Aprils that can sink your H2H team before he warms up in June. In Roto its not a big deal because you think of the players overall performance for the year.

I really like your starting pitching actually- Harang/Hamels/Bucholz are all guys that have track records of striking out at 8+/per 9 K rates. Liriano does too.

Re: Smoltz For head to head you cant wait around for 40 year old pitchers to come off the DL when you can grab Chipper Jones.
Just pitch and ditch and pick up whoever is pitching against the Orioles for the other spot in your SP rotation.

Thanks Aaron for the comment too. I like the idea of picking on the Orioles, also doing it for the Giants.

FYI you guys, i managed to draft Damon (who i forgot to mention), Taveras and R. Soriano with my top three picks (round 13,14 and 15) Also picked up Ankiel in the 4th, Bonser in the 5th, Broxton and Bell in the 11th and 12th, then some flyers on Velez, Headley, Cueto and Hochevar with my three picks in the 12th and 13th round. It is a 12 man keeper league so i think these guys are great pickups with my last round picks.

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