Fantasy Magazine Alert and 411 Question of the Week
Rotoman’s The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2010 is hitting the streets. Look for it at Barnes and Noble, Walmart and other newsstands and grocery stores. Check out the How I Won pieces by Lawr Michaels (oh the pain!), Rotowire’s Chris Liss, Masterball’s Brian Walton, Hardball Times’ Derek Carty and others. And my Picks and Pans join those of Cory Schwartz, Ron Shandler, Alex Patton, and whole bunch of other names you know, and some you don’t, along with 1,400 profiles, Rotoman’s cheat sheets, rookies, and an expert-laden mock draft. It will be the only magazine with Derek Jeter on the cover.
now on to our question of the week…………
Which position do you think is most important to address early on draft day?
The fantasy situation at second base is just ugly this year. There are a handful of proven, reliable top-shelf options – Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia, Roberts, Phillips – but a litany of question marks after that. Which Robinson Cano will we see this season? Is Aaron Hill a 36-homer guy or a 17-homer guy? Can Ben Zobrist do it again? Will Dan Uggla kill the value of his power numbers by hitting .243? Is Howie Kendrick ever going to truly break through? Just two or three years ago there were several intriguing and inexpensive options at the position, but now the list of questions is far longer than the selection of trustworthy answers, so I’m going to try and grab one of the top tier early this year if I can.
Since Cory did so well with second base I’ll say catcher. At least second base has Utley and Kinsler. Catcher is Mauer and Martinez? A position that seemed to be coming back to glory a few years back and had a top 5 of Mauer, Martin, McCann, Soto and Posada now is an army of three with Mauer going as high as third overall and only as low as 22nd according to mockdraftcentral.com. Martinez and McCann average out to 22nd and 42nd overall respectively. After that, start scrolling. If Martin and Soto can bounce back and Posada can stay fresh with some days at DH we could see a revival. Don’t forget about Montero, Suzuki, Iannetta and Wieters, but overall this is weak.
I’m not at all comfortable with the choices at shortstop this year. The list of risky picks begins with Jose Reyes, who as recently as last season was a legitimate top 5 overall selection. Since most of his value lies in his speed, a lingering hamstring injury that sidelined him for the majority of ’09 is flat out scary. Jimmy Rollins rebounded nicely in the second half last year but let’s not forget about that miserable first half. Were his early struggles an aberration or should we expect similar inconsistencies in 2010? We all know Jason Bartlett can swipe 30-plus bags and post a solid average, but can he reach the 14 home run mark again after hitting a combined eight homers from 2006 through 2008? The questions go on and on. Stephen Drew and, to a lesser degree, Alexei Ramirez were huge disappointments in 2009. Miguel Tejada is old. Asdrubal Cabrera and Elvis Andrus aren’t proven enough. If I can’t get Hanley or Tulo, I’m prepared to overpay for Jeter or even Rollins. At least I know that when all is said in done I’ll be getting quality numbers. Let someone else take a chance on those other guys.