Part 1 of The Fantasy God’s Position Depth can be found here. It’s time to continue on and look at the rest of the positions.
Please note that these guys are in order of average draft position and not where I think they should be. For more information on how to get my personal rankings, please read the bottom of this page.
I laugh at all those so called experts who try to say that 2B is deeper than SS is this year. As I explained in Part 1, I really don’t like many 2B’s this year at all. There are plenty of SS that I like. Tulowitzki is one of the best players in the game. People also tend to forget just how good Hanley Ramirez is. Jose Reyes is on an improved team and could have a big season, if he stays healthy. After those top guys there are still plenty of guys with big potential. The good thing about shortstop is that you don’t have to expect much from them. In the past 2B has become a position where you now rely offensively on. Shortstop hasn’t really gotten to that point in the last few seasons. Typically if you get a guy who hits for average and steals some bases you have yourself a good shortstop. Because of the lower standards lots of guys look good to me. After dismissing the lower standards I still believe that a lot of these middle-tier shortstops will outperform the depth of the 2B field. There are even a few late round picks who could have monster monster seasons. One will be a favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year. To find out who, look for information on my cheat sheet at the bottom of this page. In the middle-tier rounds guys from Dee Gordon all the way down to Mike Aviles have a chance to put up good fantasy numbers. I can count almost 20 guys that I wouldn’t mind having. Feel free to draft a shortstop at any point that you feel is necessary. There is no right answer with this position. You can get a top-tier guy early, most middle-tier guys are good options, and the late risky players have some big upside.
There have been stronger years in recent memory at this position. It’s still pretty deep, but not as much as most years. It’s kind of important to get at least one of these guys in the first 5 rounds. There seems to be a lot question marks and cautions that surround most of the guys in the early going. Matt Kemp is a stud and is an exception to the rule. To find out why Jose Bautista isn’t necessarily a 1st round pick, check out my cheat sheet. Ryan Braun is solid, but we all know what happened to him this offseason. And then comes the guys like Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, and Giancarlo Stanton. (And yes I absolutely hate calling Mike Stanton…Giancarlo.) All of these guys have produced, but it’s hard to take them over some of the other guys available around them. Can you justify taking Carlos Gonzalez over Robinson Cano? Ellsbury and Granderson have repeat questions. And can you justify taking Stanton over Prince Fielder? Outfield is a little odd this year. Then comes the injury prone tier of guys including Andrew McCutchen, Josh Hamilton, Matt Holliday, and Nelson Cruz. If any of them break a nail they are on the DL. (Or drink a beer in some cases.) Do you pay the high price on an unproven Desmond Jennings? Will Michael Morse repeat? Is it worth taking guys primarily for speed like Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn, and BJ Upton? And the problem is that you pretty much have to grab one of the guys listed above because you need three guys at the position. The guys who are primarily #2 outfielders seem a little better. It’s easier to take chances on guys like Carl Crawford, Ichiro Suzuki, and Jason Heyward without the pressure of being your #1 guy at the position. And there are plenty of late round steals for your #3 and Util spots. Lots of them. But you can’t have three of those kind of guys because it won’t make your team strong enough. The cheat sheet will name you all of these guys I speak of in a color coordinated system telling you who to draft.
One word to describe this year’s pitching. Deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deepdeep deep deep deep deep. Get the picture? It’s much more deep than I just described it to. How deep? Trevor Cahill wasn’t drafted in a 12 team 24 round mock draft that I participated in recently. There are just too many good pitchers. The top heavy guys are all great and all proven. Anyone would love to have Verlander, Kershaw, Halladay, Lee, Lincecum, and King Felix. And there really aren’t many bad options. Once you get past round 6 you still wouldn’t believe how many guys are still available. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to jump on top-tier guys early to fill out your staff. Because before you know it you’ll have already wasted 2 or 3 early picks only to find out that guys are available in the middle-tier such as Tommy Hanson, Adam Wainwright, Mat Latos, Josh Johnson, Daniel Hudson, Gio Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The names seriously don’t stop. I could honestly wait until the last 10 rounds of my draft and draft a top-tier pitching team that will compete with every team in my league. That’s how deep it is. Let me now throw a short list at you of guys who are going in the LATE rounds of a 12 team 22 round draft…Johan Santana, Erik Bedard, Ricky Nolasco, Gavin Floyd. Just a few years ago these kind of guys were 6th round picks and they put up the same numbers. Because of the depth you can expect those kind of numbers at the bottom of your staff filling out your team. And there are at least 15 pitchers who aren’t even being drafted in most leagues that have immediate All-Star potential. All of those pitchers will be highlighted in green on my cheat sheet. Brian Matusz and Kyle Drabek are two of them…just as a preview. These guys aren’t being drafted. And both of them have the chance to break out this year and be #1-#2 top of the rotation high K starters. Them and many more aren’t even being touched in most leagues. Too many people don’t have room for them because of the depth. So good luck with your team if you waste 3 of your first 6 picks getting Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, and Yovanni Gallardo. Because I’ll wait until after you get them to counter with Tommy Hanson, Adam Wainwright, and Ricky Romero. And guess what? My staff is just as good as yours is at the top.
Just wait on them. Yes Craig Kimbrel, Mariano Rivera, and Jonathan Papelbon are great, but not at the expense of missing out on Ricky Romero or Yu Darvish. In fact every year the top closer seems to be someone who goes in the last few rounds. Last year I kept telling people to wait on Craig Kimbrel in the late rounds. I also told them to wait on Drew Storen. I took Kimbrel in the next to last round in almost all of my leagues last year and ended up with the best closer. There are a couple possible candidates to do that again this year. Plus there are always a few undrafted closers that people forget about, or don’t even know is the closer. Brett Myers is one of those guys this year. Here is a full list of current MLB closers listed by their current ADP. These are not my rankings. My rankings come out next week. Craig Kimbrel, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, John Axford, Drew Storen, Heath Bell, JJ Putz, Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, Brian Wilson, Ryan Madson, Jose Valverde, Jordan Walden, Joakim Soria, Carlos Marmol, Sergio Santos, Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, Jason Motte, Joe Nathan, Brandon League, Chris Perez, Kyle Farnsworth, Frank Francisco, Javy Guerra, Matt Thornton, Matt Capps, Jim Johnson, Grant Balfour, Brett Myers.
If you want immediate information on who to draft you can get The Fantasy God’s cheat sheet. It was recently updated this past week. A preview of it and information on how to get it can be found here by clicking on this link. The sheet uses a completely unique color system that tells you which players are the best picks in each round. Every player in the top 1,180 are listed on the spreadsheet with a description that analyzes each player in great detail.
The Fantasy God’s position by position rankings will be released one by one the week of March 19th. Please come back to BSR all season long for your fantasy baseball advice. The Fantasy God will answer all questions and comments throughout the season.
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