Drafting With The Stars

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Drafting With The Stars
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Drew Silva offers round-by-round analysis of a 14-team, 25-round expert fantasy baseball draft

I participated in a 14-team snake-style fantasy draft this week for the Yahoo! Friends & Family League. The league is a collection of fantasy experts with ties to Yahoo! or one of its affiliates and I figured it would serve as an accurate indication of how the industry is viewing this year’s crop of players. I break down all 25 rounds below, explaining the thinking behind each one of my picks and making some observations about my opponents’ selections. It should help you get ready for draft day.

The managers of this league, in draft order:

1. Ryan Boyer, Rotoworld
2. Scott Pianowski, Yahoo!
3. Derek Carty, Baseball Prospectus
4. Drew Silva, Rotoworld (That’s me)
5. Chris Liss, Rotowire
6. Brandon Funston, Yahoo!
7. Brad Evans, Yahoo!
8. Dalton Del Don, Yahoo!
9. Michael Salfino, Wall Street Journal
10. D.J. Short, Rotoworld
11. Andy Behrens, Yahoo!
12. Paul Singman, Baseball Prospectus
13. Grey Albright & Rudy Gamble, Razzball
14. Jeff Erickson, Rotowire

If you’re looking to set up a custom league or want to join a public one, you can do no better than the free platform Yahoo! provides. And if you're seeking even more in-depth fantasy analysis, check out our award-winning 2013 Rotoworld Online Draft Guide. It's loaded with tools and updated constantly to help you dominate your league.


This is a standard 5x5 league with these active roster spots: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OF, OF, OF, OF, UTIL, UTIL. There are nine interchangeable pitcher spots and a three-man bench. My picks in this draft will be highlighted.

Round One

1.1 Mike Trout, OF, LAA
1.2 Miguel Cabrera, 3B, DET
1.3 Ryan Braun, OF, MIL
1.4 Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY
1.5 Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA
1.6 Matt Kemp, OF, LAD
1.7 Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT
1.8 Joey Votto, 1B, CIN
1.9 Albert Pujols, 1B, STL
1.10 Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL
1.11 Prince Fielder, 1B, DET
1.12 Justin Upton, OF, ATL
1.13 Bryce Harper, OF, WAS
1.14 Jose Bautista, OF, TOR

MY PICK: Fourth overall is an interesting spot this year. Trout, Cabrera and Braun are the clear top three, but I don’t think there’s an obvious fourth or fifth or even sixth pick. I went with Cano because shoring up second base early is nice and because I can count on him being a strong AVG, HR and RBI source. He should also score a ton of runs.

OBSERVATIONS: Stanton at fifth overall is not something I would recommend. He probably boasts the best raw power in the sport, but Marlins Park has massive dimensions and the lineup around him is trash. … This is the highest I’ve seen Harper taken this spring, and I’ve done several different drafts. But I don’t hate it. Bryce has National League MVP upside in 2013. … No pitchers came off the board in the first round. That’s a pretty common thing in industry drafts. I can’t say whether it’s right or wrong.

Round Two

2.15 Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD
2.16 Justin Verlander, SP, DET
2.17 Jose Reyes, SS, TOR
2.18 Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL
2.19 Evan Longoria, 3B, TB
2.20 Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS
2.21 Hanley Ramirez, SS, LAD
2.22 Adrian Beltre, 3B. TEX
2.23 Josh Hamilton, OF, LAA
2.24 Jason Heyward, OF, ATL
2.25 David Wright, 3B, NYM
2.26 Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS
2.27 Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX
2.28 Buster Posey, C, SF

MY PICK: A reminder that this draft happened Tuesday, before Wright was pulled off Team USA’s World Baseball Classic roster with a moderate intercostal strain. Not that it would have changed my pick here. Wright should be ready at some point in early-to-mid April and is another excellent source of runs, homers, RBI and average. I have 2B and 3B covered two picks in. That's a refreshing thing.

OBSERVATIONS: Kershaw was the top pick in this round and Verlander went right after. Then Strasburg was drafted a few slots later. It’s a general consensus this season that the top fantasy aces are Kershaw, Verlander, Strasburg, Price and Hamels, and they’ll all be taken in this draft within the first 38 picks. … Tulowitzki is a risk in the second round -- he played only 47 games in 2012 -- but he’s a first-round talent at a premium position and enters the 2013 campaign with a clean bill of health. Somebody had to bite before it got too late.

Round Three

3.29 David Price, SP, TB
3.30 Adam Jones, OF, BAL
3.31 Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, TOR
3.32 Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS
3.33 Starlin Castro, SS, CHC
3.34 Yoenis Cespedes, OF, OAK
3.35 Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI
3.36 Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS
3.37 Jay Bruce, OF, CIN
3.38 Cole Hamels, SP, PHI
3.39 Felix Hernandez, SP, SEA
3.40 Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD
3.41 Matt Holliday, OF, STL
3.42 Craig Kimbrel, RP, ATL

MY PICK: I was weighing whether to draft my first starting pitcher or acquire some speed here in the third round and decided on the latter. Ellsbury probably won’t come close to his 32-homer total from 2011, but he will steal me over 40 bases if he’s healthy and should score runs in bunches. I now have elite power in Cano and Wright, and elite speed in Ellsbury.

OBSERVATIONS: I’m always surprised by how early Castro is taken in fantasy leagues. It’s been that same way for the past two seasons. He hit .283 with 14 home runs and 78 RBI in 162 games last year. He stole 25 bases but was caught 13 times, which has me thinking regression looms in that department. Don’t reach for Castro just because he’s a shortstop. … Goldschmidt in the third round is unique, but the 25-year-old is a huge power threat and he plays his home games at one of the more power-friendly parks in the majors. … I have no problem with Kimbrel going 42nd overall. He gives you a huge leg up on a whole category and he racks up strikeouts.

Round Four

4.43 Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE
4.44 B.J. Upton, OF, ATL
4.45 Chase Headley, 3B, SD
4.46 Ben Zobrist, SS, TB
4.47 Billy Butler, 1B, KC
4.48 Ian Desmond, SS, WAS
4.49 Cliff Lee, SP, PHI
4.50 Allen Craig, 1B, STL
4.51 Brett Lawrie, 3B, TOR
4.52 Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL
4.53 Adam Wainwright, SP, STL
4.54 Jered Weaver, SP, LAA
4.55 Matt Cain, SP, SF
4.56 Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SF

MY PICK: Wainwright posted an underwhelming 3.94 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 32 starts last season, but he was only 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery on Opening Day and spent much of the summer rebuilding the strength of his right arm. I think we’ll see him back in his old form in 2013 -- which means a sub-3.00 ERA and over 200 strikeouts. On a good Cardinals team, Wainwright will have a shot at 20 wins.

OBSERVATIONS: Headley will go higher than 45th overall in most standard snake drafts this year. I think he fell a bit in this one because we’re all expecting some amount of regression from his monstrous 2012. But none of us can predict that type of thing with any level of certainty. … Zobrist is a fantastic player to have in fantasy formats that allow daily lineup changes -- like this one -- because of his position flexibility. He’s eligible at shortstop, second base and outfield in Yahoo! leagues and carries 20-homer, 20-steal capability.



Round Five

5.57 Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX
5.58 Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL
5.59 Shin-Soo Choo, OF, CIN
5.60 Yu Darvish, SP, TEX
5.61 CC Sabathia, SP, NYY
5.62 Aaron Hill, 2B, ARI
5.63 Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI
5.64 Michael Bourn, OF, CLE
5.65 Austin Jackson, OF, DET
5.66 Brandon Phillips, 2B, CIN
5.67 Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC
5.68 Alex Gordon, OF, KC
5.69 Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU
5.70 Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC

MY PICK: Grabbing big-time power (Cano, Wright) and speed (Ellsbury) in the first three rounds allowed me to focus on my pitching for a couple of turns. Darvish fanned 221 batters in 191 1/3 innings last season and is on a Rangers team that should win close to 90 games in 2013. If he can figure out his control issues, he will be a hugely productive fantasy starter.

OBSERVATIONS: Choo this high was a surprise, but I have no argument against it. He’s going serve as the leadoff man atop a really good Reds lineup and probably has 25-homer potential now that he’ll be playing half of his games at Great American Ball Park. Choo is also good for 20 steals. … I think the Rizzo love is warranted too. The 23-year-old first baseman is ready to explode. … Altuve at 69th overall isn’t a stretch either. He’s fast, plays at a very shallow fantasy position, and should have the green light this year on an awful Astros team.

Round Six

6.71 Melky Cabrera, OF, TOR
6.72 Ike Davis, 1B, NYY
6.73 R.A. Dickey, SP, TOR
6.74 Madison Bumgarner, SP, SF
6.75 Desmond Jennings, OF, TB
6.76 Joe Mauer, C, MIN
6.77 Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI
6.78 Chris Sale, SP, CWS
6.79 Martin Prado, 3B, ARI
6.80 Max Scherzer, SP, DET
6.81 Carlos Santana, C, CLE
6.82 Zack Greinke, SP, LAD
6.83 Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE
6.84 Alex Rios, OF, CWS

MY PICK: It was time to get back into the power game. Catcher is deeper this year than it has been in any year in recent memory. Santana possesses legitimate 30-homer power and he’s on an improved Indians team.

OBSERVATIONS: Howard is having a huge spring and has looked fine on the bases. If he wasn’t so hot in the Grapefruit League, I think he would have fallen more. … There’s big hope this year for Scherzer, who went 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 71/14 K/BB ratio over his final 60 regular-season innings (10 starts) in 2012 … Greinke is falling in drafts because of the elbow problems he has experienced in Dodgers camp, but it would have been crazy for him to drop past the sixth round. He will be a great value here if he stays healthy.

Round Seven

7.85 Gio Gonzalez, SP, WAS
7.86 Kris Medlen, SP, ATL
7.87 Paul Konerko, 1B, CWS
7.88 Matt Moore, SP, TB
7.89 Roy Halladay, SP, PHI
7.90 Aroldis Chapman, SP, CIN
7.91 Mark Trumbo, OF, LAA
7.92 Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL
7.93 Mat Latos, SP, CIN
7.94 James Shields, SP, TB
7.95 Mike Napoli, C, BOS
7.96 Jonathan Papelbon, RP, PHI
7.97 Yovani Gallardo, SP, MIL
7.98 Angel Pagan, OF, SF

MY PICK: I drafted Moore within the first 100 picks in more than one draft last season and it turned out fine. This year, I think it’s going be a much safer bet. The 23-year-old left-hander struck out 175 batters in 177 1/3 innings last season while making all the necessary adjustments to big league life. He had a 12.7 K/9 in the minors.

OBSERVATIONS: Halladay posted his worst ERA (4.49) in 12 years last season and has displayed sluggish velocity in Phillies camp this spring. I’m not touching him, unless he falls absurdly far.  … Chapman is a solid pick here in the seventh round. If the Reds stick to the plan and make him a starter, he will carry 200-strikeout potential. If he heads back to the bullpen, he should again be a dominant closer. … I was hoping Napoli would be there for my eighth-round pick. I think the hip issues have taken away from the fact that he’s a great fit at Fenway Park. If he stays clear of the disabled list, he should generate excellent power totals.

Round Eight

8.99 Chris Davis, OF, BAL
8.100 Michael Cuddyer, OF, COL
8.101 Rickie Weeks, 2B, MIL
8.102 Rafael Soriano, SP, WAS
8.103 Victor Martinez, C, DET
8.104 Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC
8.105 Dan Haren, SP, WAS
8.106 Johnny Cueto, SP, CIN
8.107 Brandon Morrow, SP, TOR
8.108 Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN
8.109 Erick Aybar, SS, LAA
8.110 Jason Motte, RP, STL
8.111 Shane Victorino, OF, BOS
8.112 Fernando Rodney, RP, TB

MY PICK: You have to draft a shortstop at some point and I decided to take the plunge here in the eighth round. Aybar gives me more speed and is expected to bat this season in between Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. That means good potential for high run and RBI totals.

OBSERVATIONS: V-Mart has been available outside the first 100 picks in a majority of the drafts that I’ve participated in this spring. Which makes him a pretty great value. He’s eligible at catcher and can provide major counting stats from the heart of the Tigers’ lineup … Morrow isn’t going to be selected this early in most drafts, but he posted a 2.96 ERA and struck out 108 batters in 124 2/3 innings last season when healthy and he has enjoyed a problem-free spring. The talented 28-year-old is the right kind of guy to take a chance on. … Soriano, Motte and Rodney were all selected in this round. The second tier of closers usually goes quickly.

Round Nine

9.113 Curtis Granderson, OF, NYY
9.114 Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WAS
9.115 Neil Walker, 2B, PIT
9.116 Carlos Beltran, OF, STL
9.117 Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY
9.118 David Freese, 3B, STL
9.119 Yadier Molina, C, STL
9.120 Chase Utley, 2B, PHI
9.121 Josh Willingham, OF, MIN
9.122 Nick Markakis, OF, BAL
9.123 Adam Eaton, OF, ARI
9.124 Nick Swisher, OF, CLE
9.125 Hunter Pence, OF, SF
9.126 Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT

MY PICK: I was feeling good about my rotation (Wainwright, Darvish, Moore) and my speed (Ellsbury, Aybar) and wanted to spend a few rounds getting as many legitimate power bats as I could. Those do run out eventually. Beltran, who had 32 home runs and 97 RBI last season for St. Louis, felt like a nice fit as my second of four starting outfielders. The Cardinals will give him regular days off to keep him healthy.

OBSERVATION: Granderson is going to be a steal this year for owners who are willing to practice a little patience. He had 43 homers, 102 runs, 106 RBI and 10 stolen bases last season and should return from his forearm fracture at some point in May. … Eaton could once be considered a sleeper, but that’s not really the case anymore. He hit .375 with a .456 on-base percentage and 44 stolen bases in 130 minor league games last season and is going to bat leadoff this year for the Diamondbacks. Chase Field should treat him very well.



Round 10

10.127 Joe Nathan, RP, TEX
10.128 Todd Frazier, 3B, CIN
10.129 Ben Revere, OF, PHI
10.130 Will Middlebrooks, 3B, BOS
10.131 Josh Rutledge, SS, COL
10.132 Matt Harvey, SP, NYM
10.133 Dan Uggla, 2B, ATL
10.134 Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA
10.135 Jeff Samardzija, SP, CHC
10.136 Ichiro Suzuki, OF, NYY
10.137 Adam Dunn, 1B, CWS
10.138 Alejandro De Aza, OF, CWS
10.139 Jim Johnson, RP, BAL
10.140 Adam LaRoche, 1B, WAS

MY PICK: Following the plan, I went with the best power bat I could find here in the 10th round. Dunn slugged 41 home runs in 151 games last season with the White Sox and fills my glaring vacancy at 1B.

OBSERVATIONS: Revere at 129th overall is scary, but everyone wants speed and he’s one of the fastest players in the major leagues. The 24-year-old is going to start in center field this season for the Phillies and carries 50-steal capability. … Seager keeps going higher and higher in drafts, and rightly so. The young third baseman tallied 20 home runs, 86 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 155 games last season with the Mariners. The icing on the cake is that he's eligible at second base in Yahoo! leagues.

Round 11

11.141 Brett Anderson, SP, OAK
11.142 Greg Holland, RP, KC
11.143 Tim Lincecum, SP, SF
11.144 Casey Janssen, RP, TOR
11.145 Carl Crawford, OF, LAD
11.146 Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, SEA
11.147 J.J. Putz, RP, ARI
11.148 Sergio Romo, RP, SF
11.149 Derek Jeter, SS, NYY
11.150 Addison Reed, RP, CWS
11.151 Huston Street, RP, SD
11.152 Rafael Betancourt, RP, COL
11.153 John Axford, RP, MIL
11.154 Wilin Rosario, C, COL

MY PICK: I saw the parade of closers forming and decided I had to pounce. Janssen registered a 2.54 ERA and 67/11 K/BB ratio in 63 2/3 innings last season and should see many save chances on a loaded Blue Jays team.

OBSERVATIONS: Anderson at 141st overall seems like great value to me. He posted a 2.57 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 35 innings last year after returning from Tommy John surgery and is expected to start for the A’s on Opening Day. … Looking back, I’m glad I snagged Janssen when I did. Nine closers came off the board in this round. Keep in mind that they’re usually drafted in bunches. … Rosario going 154th overall is another indication of the depth at catcher. The 24-year-old smashed 28 home runs in 117 games last season as a rookie.

Round 12

12.155 Mike Minor, SP, ATL
12.156 Joel Hanrahan, RP, BOS
12.157 Michael Morse, OF, SEA
12.158 Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX
12.159 Jayson Werth, OF, WAS
12.160 Brett Gardner, OF, NYY
12.161 Jonathan Broxton, RP, CIN
12.162 Norichika Aoki, OF, MIL
12.163 Glen Perkins, RP, MIN
12.164 Matt Wieters, C, BAL
12.165 Brandon League, RP, LAD
12.166 Jason Grilli, RP, PIT
12.167 Dexter Fowler, OF, COL
12.168 Grant Balfour, RP, OAK

MY PICK: It’s imperative to have at least two closers in this type of format, so I knew I had to spend another turn on the position. League is far from dominant, but he’s on a good Dodgers team with all the job security that comes alongside a three-year, $22.5 million free agent contract.

OBSERVATIONS: Aoki does many of the things that have Eaton climbing up draft boards. They’re both leadoff men, and they both carry big-time SB potential with a dose of burgeoning power. Aoki might be the sleeper at this point, even though he has more major league experience. … More evidence of the depth at catcher is on display here with Wieters falling outside out of the top 150 picks. The 2013 Rotoworld Online Draft Guide ranks him 60th overall. The thing to take away from this? You can wait on a catcher this year.

Round 13

13.169 Kendrys Morales, 1B, SEA
13.170 Chris Perez, RP, CLE
13.171 Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD
13.172 Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC
13.173 Steve Cishek, RP, MIA
13.174 Salvador Perez, C, KC
13.175 Jose Veras, RP, HOU
13.176 Marco Estrada, SP, MIL
13.177 Dustin Ackley, 2B, SEA
13.178 Bobby Parnell, RP, NYM
13.179 Anibal Sanchez, SP, DET
13.180 Torii Hunter, OF, DET
13.181 Ian Kennedy, SP, ARI
13.182 Alcides Escobar, SS, KC

MY PICK: Cain is an ideal third outfielder, with good upside and the ability to produce in all five offensive categories. He hit .312/.390/.497 with 16 home runs, 81 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 128 minor league games in 2011. He had seven homers and 10 steals in 61 games with the Royals in 2012.

OBSERVATIONS: When the Astros’ closer (Veras) goes off the board you know the crop is thinning. I like having three solid ninth-inning guys, but it’s a hard thing to pull off in a 14-team league where all the owners know what they’re doing. … It can be difficult to get production out of the shortstop position, which is why Escobar goes here and Cabrera comes off the board in the next round. They can both steal 40 bases in 2013.

Round 14

14.183 Cameron Maybin, OF, SD
14.184 Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA
14.185 Doug Fister, SP, DET
14.186 Everth Cabrera, SS, SD
14.187 C.J. Wilson, SP, LAA
14.188 Bruce Rondon, RP, DET
14.189 Coco Crisp, OF, OAK
14.190 Starling Marte, OF, PIT
14.191 Michael Young, 3B, PHI
14.192 Jake Peavy, SP, CWS
14.193 Josh Johnson, SP, TOR
14.194 David Ortiz, 1B, BOS
14.195 Emilio Bonifacio, 2B, TOR
14.196 Jon Lester, SP, BOS

MY PICK: I had ignored my starting rotation for six rounds straight, so it was time to shift my focus back in that direction. I had Peavy all queued up but wasn’t too sour about getting Johnson instead. The 29-year-old right-hander has always been great when healthy and carries improved win potential in Toronto.

OBSERVATIONS: I figured Rondon might last a little longer given how badly he has struggled with his control this spring in Tigers camp. The young flame-thrower owns a 5.1 career BB/9 in the minor leagues. You’re better off avoiding him entirely. … The heel issues have scared everybody away, and rightly so, but Ortiz could wind up being a big score here at 194th overall. He has proven capable of playing through nagging injuries in recent years while still managing huge power totals. … Bonifacio was a fantasy darling last year but is a sleeper again because his role this season in Toronto is somewhat cloudy. He stole 30 bases in 64 games last summer with Miami, and that kind of speed makes him worth drafting even if he doesn’t get everyday at-bats early on.

Round 15

15.197 Jedd Gyorko, 2B, SD
15.198 Josh Reddick, OF, OAK
15.199 Miguel Montero, C, ARI
15.200 Alex Cobb, SP, TB
15.201 Carlos Marmol, RP, CHC
15.202 Brandon Belt, 1B, SF
15.203 Ryan Madson, RP, LAA
15.204 Andre Ethier, OF, LAD
15.205 Jason Kubel, OF, ARI
15.206 Corey Hart, OF, MIL
15.207 Ernesto Frieri, RP, LAA
15.208 Jean Segura, SS, MIL
15.209 Lance Berkman, 1B, TEX
15.210 Jon Niese, SP, NYM

MY PICK: It felt right to grab another starter and I figured Cobb wouldn’t be around on my next turn. The young righty has a 9.4 career K/9 at the Triple-A level and posted a respectable 4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 106/40 K/BB ratio across 136 1/3 innings last season in the bigs. The Rays love him and he’s one of my favorite sleepers for 2013.

OBSERVATIONS: Gyorko will probably shoot up draft boards over the next couple of weeks, after the Padres officially name him their starting second baseman. He hit .311/.373/.547 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI in 126 minor league games last season and has done some damage this spring in the Cactus League. … It’s funny that Madson and Frieri were drafted in the same round. Madson is expected to take over ninth-inning duties once he returns from Tommy John surgery, but Frieri is the better talent and the guy I’d most like to own out of the two this season. … Segura, the Brewers’ starting shortstop, stole 37 bases in 102 minor league games last year. He’s a nice late speed option at a position where the productive guys go quickly.



Round 16

16.211 Danny Espinosa, 2B, WAS
16.212 Jesus Montero, C, SEA
16.213 Manny Machado, 3B, BAL
16.214 Jarrod Parker, SP, OAK
16.215 Alexei Ramirez, SS, CWS
16.216 Alfonso Soriano, OF, CHC
16.217 A.J. Burnett, SP, PIT
16.218 Dayan Viciedo, OF, CWS
16.219 Kyuji Fujikawa, RP, CHC
16.220 Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA
16.221 J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL
16.222 Josh Beckett, SP, LAD
16.223 Vinnie Pestano, RP, CLE
16.224 Hiroki Kuroda, SP, NYY

MY PICK: I already had shortstop covered with Aybar, but Hardy was such a great value here in the 16th round that I opted to go ahead and fill my MI opening. Hardy has 52 home runs in his last 287 games.

OBSERVATIONS: Espinosa has some stink to him this year because he led the National League in strikeouts (with 189) last season, but he had 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases between all those whiffs. That’s serious production at second base, and he’s also eligible at shortstop in Yahoo! leagues. … Fujikawa and Pestano are both ticketed for setup jobs and this is not a league where holds count, but it’s always good to stash relievers who are next in line for saves. Smart owners think a couple moves ahead. … Smoak only got drafted in this league because of the CI spot and the two UTIL spots. He had a brutal .654 OPS last year for Seattle.

Round 17

17.225 Matt Garza, SP, CHC
17.226 Tyler Colvin, OF, COL
17.227 Alexi Ogando, SP, TEX
17.228 Kevin Youkilis, 3B, NYY
17.229 Michael Saunders, OF, SEA
17.230 Homer Bailey, SP, CIN
17.231 Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY
17.232 A.J. Pierzynski, C, TEX
17.233 David Murphy, OF, TEX
17.234 Jeremy Hellickson, SP, TB
17.235 Wil Myers, OF, TB
17.236 Frank Francisco, RP, NYM
17.237 Lance Lynn, SP, STL
17.238 Al Alburquerque, RP, DET

MY PICK: Youkilis had 15 home runs and 46 RBI in 80 games with the White Sox last season after being traded away from Boston in late June. I’m hoping he holds that pace in his move to New York. He’ll hit in the heart of a good lineup and was not a bad option for my CI spot.

OBSERVATIONS: I wasn’t committed to taking him, but I did have Ogando in my queue when he was selected at 227th overall -- a pick before mine. The 29-year-old right-hander is moving back into the Rangers’ rotation and boasts a 3.12 career ERA and 1.10 career WHIP. … Teixeira fell incredibly far in this draft, even with first base looking a little shallower than normal. He’s going to miss all of April with a strained right wrist and batted just .251/.332/.475 last season. … Myers is a nice stash. He should be up with the Rays in June.

Round 18

18.239 Ryan Vogelsong, SP, SF
18.240 Ryan Ludwick, OF, CIN
18.241 Trevor Cahill, SP, ARI
18.242 Garrett Jones, 1B, PIT
18.243 Yonder Alonso, 1B, SD
18.244 Daniel Murphy, 2B, NYM
18.245 Sergio Santos, RP, TOR
18.246 Andrelton Simmons, SS, ATL
18.247 Marco Scutaro, 2B, SF
18.248 Jurickson Profar, SS, TEX
18.249 Drew Stubbs, OF, CLE
18.250 Chris Carter, OF, HOU
18.251 Justin Ruggiano, OF, MIA
18.252 Aaron Hicks, OF, MIN

MY PICK: Stubbs strikes out a ton and batted just .213 with a .277 on-base percentage in 544 plate appearances last season for the Reds. But he’s fast and has power, and for his career he averages 20 home runs and 37 stolen bases for every 162 games. Maybe he’ll figure out the whole plate discipline thing in Cleveland.

OBSERVATIONS: This is where the scrap work begins. Every player carries a question mark but you can win leagues with your decisions in these rounds. … Profar doesn’t have a direct path right now to regular playing time in Texas, but that can change at any moment. He’s the best prospect in baseball and can produce good numbers at one of two (SS, 2B) premium fantasy positions. … Hicks is firmly in the race for the Twins’ starting center field job and would be a great score here at 252nd overall if he wins it. The talented 23-year-old batted .286/.384/.460 with 13 home runs and 32 stolen bases in 129 games last season at Double-A New Britain.

Round 19

19.253 Wade Miley, SP, ARI
19.254 Trevor Plouffe, 3B, MIN
19.255 Tyler Greene, SS, HOU
19.256 Shelby Miller, SP, STL
19.257 Domonic Brown, OF, PHI
19.258 Leonys Martin, OF, TEX
19.259 Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, SEA
19.260 Carlos Quentin, OF, SD
19.261 Michael Fiers, SP, MIL
19.262 Michael Brantley, OF, CLE
19.263 Matt Carpenter, 2B, STL
19.264 Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL
19.265 Yunel Escobar, SS, TB
19.266 Brandon Moss, 1B, OAK

MY PICK: The Cardinals still haven’t decided whether Miller or Joe Kelly will be their fifth starter. If Miller wins the job, he will shoot up fantasy draft boards. If it goes to Kelly, he’ll make for a decent flier in deep mixed leagues. Miller posted a 1.32 ERA and 16/4 K/BB ratio over his first 13 2/3 MLB innings last season. He has a high, high ceiling.

OBSERVATIONS: Martin is on pace to claim the Rangers’ starting center field gig and the sky is the limit for him if he’s getting everyday at-bats. The powerful young Cuban hit .359/.422/.610 with 12 home runs, 42 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 55 games last season at Triple-A Round Rock. … Carpenter has impressed the Cardinals’ decision-makers this spring in his transition to second base and appears likely to start there this summer. He batted .294/.365/.463 in 114 games last season with St. Louis and possesses some pop.

Round 20

20.267 David Robertson, RP, NYY
20.268 David Hernandez, RP, ARI
20.269 Erasmo Ramirez, SP, SEA
20.270 Colby Rasmus, OF, TOR
20.271 Andrew Cashner, SP, SD
20.272 Dillon Gee, SP, NYM
20.273 Chris Young, OF, OAK
20.274 Dan Straily, SP, OAK
20.275 Chris Tillman, SP, BAL
20.276 Juan Pierre, OF, MIA
20.277 Travis Hafner, UTIL, NYY
20.278 Mark Reynolds, 3B, CLE
20.279 Ryan Doumit, C, MIN
20.280 Jason Hammel, SP, BAL

MY PICK: Hafner felt like a good fit for one of my UTIL spots. He owns a .925 career OPS against right-handed pitching and should fall in love with that short right field porch at Yankee Stadium.

OBSERVATIONS: Cashner has recovered from his offseason hunting accident and is worth the risk this late. The hard-throwing 26-year-old owns an 8.9 career K/9 in the majors and has the benefit of making his home starts at Petco Park. … Pierre will turn 36 years old this season, but he’s still a great third or fourth fantasy outfielder for a team that needs a heavy dose of speed. He hit .307 with 37 stolen bases in 44 attempts last year.

Round 21

21.281 Jeff Keppinger, 3B, CWS
21.282 Brandon McCarthy, SP, ARI
21.283 Denard Span, OF, WAS
21.284 Ryan Dempster, SP, BOS
21.285 Andrew Bailey, RP, BOS
21.286 Adam Lind, 1B, TOR
21.287 Edwin Jackson, SP, CHC
21.288 Cody Ross, OF, ARI
21.289 Oscar Taveras, OF, STL
21.290 Tommy Milone, SP, OAK
21.291 Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL
21.292 Eduardo Nunez, SS, NYY
21.293 Derek Holland, SP, TEX
21.294 Justin Maxwell, OF, HOU

MY PICK: Dempster registered a 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 153/52 K/BB ratio in 173 innings last season between the Cubs and Rangers. I don’t buy the idea that he can’t pitch in the American League and I think he will be a fine fantasy starter this year in Boston. He's my seventh starter.

OBSERVATIONS: Taveras is another one of those high-upside stashes that I like. He hit .321/.380/.572 with 23 home runs and 94 RBI in 124 games last season at Double-A Springfield and is a Beltran knee injury away from reaching the major leagues. … Arenado, yet another good late-round stash, doesn’t have anyone blocking him in Colorado and should take over as the Rockies’ starting third baseman at some point in 2013.



Round 22

22.295 Trevor Bauer, SP, CLE
22.296 Jed Lowrie, SS, OAK
22.297 Jake McGee, RP, TB
22.298 A.J. Griffin, SP, OAK
22.299 Will Venable, OF, SD
22.300 Kelvin Herrera, RP, KC
22.301 Stephen Drew, SS, BOS
22.302 Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN
22.303 Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, CLE
22.304 Mitch Moreland, 1B, TEX
22.305 Jaime Garcia, SP, STL
22.306 Jon Jay, OF, STL
22.307 Zack Cozart, SS, CIN
22.308 Joaquin Benoit, RP, DET

MY PICK: I was happy to add Garcia as the final piece to my fantasy rotation. His left shoulder has not been a problem this spring in Cardinals camp and he has always been a steady fantasy option when healthy.

OBSERVATIONS: Bauer registered a 2.42 ERA and 157/61 K/BB ratio over 130 1/3 innings last season between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. I like him even better now that he’s not going to be making half his starts at Arizona's Chase Field. … Hamilton seems doubtful to join the Reds before the All-Star break, but he’s worth grabbing on draft day in case there’s an early-season injury in the Cincinnati outfield. Hamilton stole a record 155 bases in 132 minor league games last year. He's going to be a huge fantasy star eventually.

Round 23

23.309 Dee Gordon, SS, LAD
23.310 James McDonald, SP, PIT
23.311 Brandon Beachy, SP, ATL
23.312 J.P. Arencibia, C, TOR
23.313 Junichi Tazawa, RP, BOS
23.314 Tyler Clippard, RP, WAS
23.315 Mike Olt, 1B, TEX
23.316 Johan Santana, SP, NYM
23.317 Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT
23.318 Phil Coke, RP, DET
23.319 Nolan Reimold, OF, BAL
23.320 Sean Marshall, RP, CIN
23.321 Drew Storen, RP, WAS
23.322 Chris Nelson, 2B, COL

MY PICK: Arencibia seemed like a decent candidate for my second UTIL spot. He has eligibility at catcher -- which could come in handy if Santana gets hurt -- and wields a good power bat in a much-improved Blue Jays lineup.

OBSERVATIONS: Gordon was hyped as a fantasy sleeper last season, but he doesn’t hit enough and the Dodgers now have Hanley at shortstop. I don’t think Gordon is worth even a late-round flier in 2013. … Marshall was a nice grab here in the 23rd round. If Chapman stays in the Reds' starting rotation and Broxton falls apart in the ninth-inning role (which is something we’ve seen before), saves on a really good Cincinnati team will go to Marshall.

Round 24

24.323 Lucas Duda, OF, NYM
24.324 Edinson Volquez, SP, SD
24.325 Matt Harrison, SP, TEX
24.326 Luke Scott, 1B, TB
24.327 Peter Bourjos, OF, LAA
24.328 Hiroyuki Nakajima, SS, OAK
24.329 Scott Baker, SP, CHC
24.330 Luke Gregerson, RP, SD
24.331 Logan Morrison, 1B, MIA
24.332 Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL
24.333 Matt Joyce, OF, TB
24.334 Shaun Marcum, SP, NYM
24.335 Nate McLouth, OF, BAL
24.336 Tim Hudson, SP, ATL

MY PICK: I’ve already dropped Joyce to clear a roster spot in case I need an early-season replacement at third base for Wright. Not sure who that might be yet. Joyce is a fine reserve (or even fourth) outfielder in a standard mixed fantasy league. I expect someone to pluck him off waivers quickly.

OBSERVATIONS: Nakajima hasn’t done much this spring in A’s camp. But he batted .311/.382/.451 with 13 home runs and 74 RBI in 136 games last year in Japan, so I can understand taking a chance on him. … Roberts, on the other hand, has looked really sharp this spring in Orioles camp. He has appeared in only 115 games over the past three seasons due to injuries, but the veteran second baseman was a fantasy star before that.

Round 25

25.337 Rajai Davis, OF, TOR
25.338 Sean Doolittle, RP, OAK
25.339 Joel Peralta, RP, TB
25.340 Brian Wilson, RP, SF
25.341 Jordan Pacheco, 3B, COL
25.342 Tim Collins, RP, KC
25.343 Omar Infante, 2B, DET
25.344 Santiago Casilla, RP, SF
25.345 Brian McCann, C, ATL
25.346 Hyun-Jin Ryu, RP, LAD
25.347 Trevor Rosenthal, RP, STL
25.348 Mark Rogers, SP, MIL
25.349 Chad Billingsley, SP, LAD
25.350 Francisco Liriano, SP, PIT

MY PICK: Wilson is still a free agent and has instructed his agents to hold off on any contract negotiations until he feels like he can pitch in a game. That day should be coming soon, and my hope is that he’ll sign with a team with a ninth-inning opening like the Tigers. Then I’d have my third closer.

OBSERVATIONS: Setup men and risky rotation picks -- that’s the usual for any final round. … McCann fell this far primarily because he’s going to open the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, but this serves as a nice final reminder that catcher is extremely deep this year. You can wait until the final round, as evidenced here, and still land someone good. With the benefit of hindsight, I might not have jumped on Santana in the sixth.

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