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My Rankings: The Third Round

Judging by the latest ADP data, I have a good chance of getting Kemp, Rios, McCann or Martin in the third round. I don’t have a great chance of getting Pedroia or Morneau and there’s basically no chance I’ll get Ichiro or Prince Fielder, who are typically going in the third round. I wasn’t sure whether to rank the two catchers so high, but catchers who perform make your life easier, and catching talent doesn’t come out of nowhere. You’ll have to pay a price for Chris Iannetta or Matt Wieters, and there are no guarantees with them. 

So here are my rankings, 25-36 overall:

25. Matt Kemp, OF

26. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

27. Nick Markakis, OF

28. Alex Rios, OF

29. Carl Crawford, OF

30. Jason Bay, OF

31. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

32. Justin Morneau, 1B

33. CC Sabathia, SP

34. Tim Lincecum, SP

35. Brian McCann, C

36. Russell Martin, C

My Rankings: The Second Round

Let me address the one inconsistency between an earlier post and this one right away. I wrote last month that I’d rather have Manny Ramirez than B.J. Upton, but now I’m ranking Upton higher than Manny. What changed? Not much, really. Manny’s still going to be a Dodger and Upton’s still going to be an elite outfielder. I’m leaning towards Upton now because of his potential on the basepaths (44 steals last year) and as a power hitter (remember all those postseason homers?).

Other than that this list is pretty straightforward, I think. I like Brian Roberts a lot, but we knew that already and I’m ranking Matt Holliday higher than I expected to because he’s still a phenomenal all-around player heading into his age 29 season.

Anyways, here are my rankings, 13-24:

13. Carlos Beltran, OF

14. Alfonso Soriano, OF

15. Mark Teixeira, 1B

16. Matt Holliday, OF

17. B.J. Upton, OF

18. Lance Berkman, 1B

19. Evan Longoria, 3B

20. Johan Santana, SP

21. Manny Ramirez, OF

22. Brian Roberts, 2B

23. Carlos Lee, OF

24. Josh Hamilton, OF

My Rankings: The First Round

My list of the 12 most valuable fantasy baseball players wouldn’t be of any use to me if it stayed constant. So I admit this list will change between now and draft day, as we get health updates. Currently, here’s my list:

1. Hanley Ramirez, SS

2. Albert Pujols, 1B

3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

4. Jose Reyes, SS

5. David Wright, 3B

6. Grady Sizemore, OF

7. Chase Utley, 2B

8. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

9. Ryan Braun, OF

10. Ryan Howard, 1B

11. Jimmy Rollins, SS

12. Ian Kinsler, 2B

The first round is generally the simplest to map out, and I’d say the main difference between my list and others I’ve seen is that I have more confidence than most in Utley. What do you think?

Manny Ramirez vs. Carlos Beltran

Manny Ramirez and Carlos Beltran are disappearing within a slot of each other near the end of the second round of recent drafts over at MDC. Manny’s ADP is that high because most are assuming a return to the Dodgers. I have no problem making that assumption for now, so let’s compare the two outfielders.

Manny should hit more homers and his career average beats Beltran’s by more than 30 points. Beltran, 32, is five years younger and he should steal 20 bases. I have no way of knowing whether Manny can do at 37 what he did at 36, so I’ll play it safe if I’m choosing between the two of them and go with Beltran’s youth and balanced stats. In fact, I would consider taking Beltran in the 15-20 range this year.

Users vs. Non-Users

Alex Rodriguez is the player everyone’s talking about, but there are plenty of major league players who have used PEDs or are using them now. My respect for these players dwindles every time I hear something like this, but I don’t value them differently as fantasy players.

Brian Roberts is still a stud, Ryan Franklin is still a non-factor, and J.C. Romero‘s still useful only if Brad Lidge gets hurt.

This isn’t to say that I don’t lose respect for these players, but they can still contribute.

Fine, Alex Rodriguez took steroids. From a fantasy baseball perspective, I don’t really care whether the players on my teams used PEDs or do still, but what does the SI report mean for A-Rod’s performance next year? Where should we draft him?

Well anyone who was thinking of taking A-Rod before Pujols will probably re-think that, and it’s fair to place him in the middle of the first round now, after Reyes and Wright.

Here’s why:

  • If he’s been using PEDs recently, he might shy away from them for fear of being implicated in more scandal. Since the drugs help his performance, it’s fair to say he’s less valuable if he stops using them.
  • Dealing with this will be a stress on A-Rod. He’ll have less time to focus on baseball.
  • I’ve never met A-Rod obviously, so I have no clue what he’s like, but others say he doesn’t react well to pressure and his post-season record substantiates this, at least to a small extent.

This doesn’t crush A-Rod’s fantasy value, but it hurts it enough to bump him down to the middle of the first round.

Brandon Webb vs. Jake Peavy

Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy are both so good that I don’t have to explain their appeal to you.

I’ll take Webb over Peavy, because he’s been more consistent and effective. In the last three years, Webb  hasn’t finished lower than 3rd in the (admittedly mistake-prone) Cy Young voting, in part because he’s pitched at least 225 innings each year.

Peavy’s ceiling may be higher, but Webb’s team is better and he’s a more reliable choice. That said, I doubt I’ll end up drafting either pitcher before the fifth round this year (so likely not at all).

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