Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Best And Worst Of My Fantasy Baseball Draft - Part 2

Now onto part two of my fantasy baseball draft coverage where we knock out the back half where things get a whole lot more interesting. You can check out part one here. Now let's start it back up where we left off at Round 13.

Sonny Gray was definitely a guy I was targeting in this draft, as I feel he is underrated due to his lack of size. Those are guys that I always support. He was really good last year, and although I expect the K/9 to drop a bit, I think he will still be above average and be a very good starter. Out of the young pitchers in this round, I prefer him greatly over guys like Wheeler and Cashner.

Worst Pick: BJ Upton
As any reader of this blog knows, I am kind of an idiot. This occasionally drifts into my sports preferences, as I have this weird obsession with getting brothers on my team. Once I got Justin Upton in the fourth round, it was inevitable that I would add BJ Upton. Upton was terrible last year. But he still had power and speed, so if he can get that average back up to .250, it's a good pick. It may only be around .220, but as long as he starts, he won't kill me. Still, it was the worst pick this round, but it may still work out for me.

Best Pick: Will Middlebrooks
Although I like both Masterson and Garza at this point in the draft, I feel like Middlebrooks was the last third baseman that I really feel confident in his abilities to have a good season. Average is going to be a question mark, but he has the potential for a 30 homer season. I actually preferred him to quite a few third baseman taken in earlier rounds.

Worst Pick: Khris Davis
I am not a believer in his power production from the end of last season. He has been a middling prospect for a long time, and I think he's going to be an average outfielder at best. I think he is a small sample size fluke and wouldn't be surprised if Numbers is looking on the waiver wire to replace him at some point this season.

The Pirates have done really good things with a lot of pitchers, so I think Liriano getting back to his previous levels is probably sustainable improvement from him. I could see a small dip in performance, but I still think he will provide a lot of value for this late in the draft.

Worst Pick: Josh Reddick
I think he's not as bad as he was last year, but he's not as good as he was two years ago. Reddick is a guy you pick up on waivers, not a guy you draft.

If you are expecting one guy to dominate out of this round, I'm still picking Lincecum to be that guy. When someone is once great, it sticks with me for a long time. That is why I am also a fan of Buchholz if he can actually stay healthy. In the opposite end of things, Ivan Nova could have easily been selected as the top guy int his round as well.

Worst Pick: AJ Burnett
He's moving away from a pitcher's park with a good defense to a hitter's park with a poor defense. I think he's going to regress quite a bit. It's getting so late that it's hard for any pick to be horrible, but this is the worst of the group.

I think he can at least repeat what he did last season, which makes him a nice value this late in the draft. I could have also given this to any of the relievers, but I could do that in just about any round at this point because of the value that people are getting.

Worst Pick: Justin Smoak
How have people not given up on him yet? He hasn't been impressive since 2010 when he was still in Triple-A. He's slightly more valuable in real life because of plate discipline, but when you offer me a first baseman who can barely slug over .400 in his best season, I think I'll pass. Honorable mention to my reach on Chris Carter who is basically my favorite baseball player. Large man with large power is my baseball fantasy, so I may have drafted him a few rounds too early, but don't be surprised when he blasts 35 home runs. 

I don't really have much to separate these two closers, but I like both of them a lot, and apparently the potato state enjoys both of their work as well. 

Worst Pick: Jake Odorizzi
Jake Odorizzi is a fine prospect, but he's not a game changer, and he likely won't be in the starting rotation after 4-6 weeks when Jeremy Hellickson returns. His ceiling is a number three starter, so I expect him to pitch more like a number 4 during his limited time. This is Team Disney getting a little too obsesessed with the prospect label.

His FIP last year was off the chain, so maybe THIS is the year that Rick Porcello finally breaks out. At this point, you're taking lottery tickets, and I like the odds of Porcello more than anybody else.

Worst Pick: John Axford
I believe in a lot of closers more than him, especially Soriano. Axford is the most commonly referenced closer when it comes to guys people expect to lose their job. With that being said, I feel like he could have some Joe Borowski in him where he isn't good, but he keeps getting the job done, so it will probably turn out fine.

John Lackey is John BACKey. Hacky play on words aside, he should be a solid pitcher again this year, so good for him.

Worst Pick: Trevor Bauer
He's in the minor leagues, so I'm guessing he'll be dropped within the first week of the season.

Best Pick: Jhonny Peralta
Since I hate the Cardinals, I have noticed that they never make big mistakes. They just guaranteed Peralta a whole lot of money over the next four years, and it will work out for them. Everything always works out for them.

Worst Pick: Joe Kelly
Psych. Not everything works out for you, Cardinals fans. I think Joe Kelly is due for a massive step back with Peralta at shortstop. I will be surprised if he isn't on waivers by May.

Best Pick: Miguel Montero
I could definitely see his offensive numbers bouncing back this year and him being a top-10 catcher.

Worst Pick: Oscar Taveras
He's hurt yet again, so even if everything works out, he won't be up until the summer. Plus, he's probably only getting his shot if somebody gets hurt, because both Allen Craig and Matt Adams have shown they can hit at the highest level. As I have said, I don't think it's worth wasting a roster spot, especially when it's not a guarantee, especially with hitters, that they will come in and make an immediate impact.

Best Pick: Josh Johnson
Yeah, I'm still a Josh Johnson believer. His peripherals were not off his career norm, but he gave up a ton of home runs, and everybody who got on base scored. The latter is bad luck, and the former should be taken care of by his new home park. Yeah, he's already injured, but when he does pitch, he's good. That's where three DL spots come in handy.

Worst Pick: Neftali Feliz
Already demoted to the minors, you would be crazy to hang on to him so he can maybe be a setup guy. 

This is a stash pick that actually makes sense. Even if Harvey doesn't pitch an inning this year, he's probably still at least an eighth round pick for next year, so he takes up a DL spot, big deal. Honorable mention to Brett Anderson who is a lot like Josh Johnson without the terrible previous season, but also without the very forgiving home ballpark.

Worst Pick: Jackie Bradley Jr.
Grady Sizemore is the starting center fielder, and Bradley is not the type of talent to hold onto.

Solid pitcher; it's the last round, so you're not going to do much better than that.

Worst Pick: Byron Buxton
Just like Taveras, but he's a year further away, so even next year, he's probably only a 22nd round pick. And yes, he's worse than Mariano Rivera, because it can never be a worse to bring in a true winner like Rivera.

And so wraps up the best and worst of the draft. For my next installment, I will be ranking each team. It will hopefully be much shorter than these posts.

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