Drew Silva

Draft Strategy

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Early February Mockin'

Friday, February 05, 2010

Best Value

Beyond Lincecum at No. 13, I think my own selection of Justin Upton 22nd overall was the best pick of the round. Call me egotistical. You can even call me stupid. But Upton, 22, hit .300/.366/.532 last season with 26 home runs, 86 RBI and 20 stolen bases in just 138 games. I expect him to play at least 160 contests this season and top all of those numbers significantly. Draft him confidently in the second round of any draft and throw me a bone when you're riding high in June.

Round Three

3. 1. Adrian Gonzalez
3. 2. Jacoby Ellsbury
3. 3. Zack Greinke
3. 4. Mark Reynolds
3. 5. Jimmy Rollins
3. 6. Robinson Cano
3. 7. Ichiro Suzuki
3. 8. Jose Reyes
3. 9. Brandon Phillips
3. 10. Andre Ethier
3. 11. Dan Haren
3. 12. Dustin Pedroia

Talking Points

  • Adrian Gonzalez gets a lot of love from baseball scribes because he's an underpaid and often underrated slugger posting big numbers in the town in which he was born. But there are real concerns about whether or not he can keep up the pace while playing 81 games in spacious Petco Park. He didn't hit for power at home last season and that's not likely to change in 2010 unless the Padres move their walls several feet inward. Gonzalez compiled a 1.045 OPS in away ballparks last year. In order to post a stat line similar to 2009's he will need to continue mashing at a heroic pace on the road. There's a good chance that won't happen, and that's why I don't like seeing him selected 25th overall.

  • Robinson Cano at No. 30 and Dustin Pedroia at No. 36 are also quite curious selections. The 27-year-old Cano is simply not a consistent hitter, having posted batting averages ranging from .271 to .342 since his arrival in the big leagues back in 2005. He also provides little power, historically, with only one season of 20-plus home runs to his name.

    Pedroia is more of a sure bet in the batting average department, but the 5-foot-9 two-bagger may never top 25 home runs and his RBI numbers have never been spectacular, even in such a stellar lineup. Dan Uggla gets knocked for his streakiness at the plate and his poor defense, and rightly so. But he has smacked 30 or more homers and collected close to 90 RBI in each of the last three seasons. This is fantasy baseball, folks, where you must rely on raw numbers to win leagues.

  • Best Value

    Jimmy Rollins looks great to me in the middle of the third round. He's being selected in the second in most mock drafts (ADP: 20) this winter and he posts the kind of all-around numbers that any fantasy owner can fall in love with. Even with a dreadful first half last year, Rollins finished with 100 runs scored, 21 dingers, 77 RBI and 31 stolen bases. A bounce-back season could mean really big things.

    Round Four

    4. 1. Kevin Youkilis
    4. 2. CC Sabathia
    4. 3. Joey Votto
    4. 4. Justin Morneau
    4. 5. Brian Roberts
    4. 6. Victor Martinez
    4. 7. Justin Verlander
    4. 8. Brian McCann
    4. 9. Jayson Werth
    4. 10. Curtis Granderson
    4. 11. Ben Zobrist
    4. 12. Adam Lind

    Talking Points

  • If you're not yet asking "Where the heck is Jason Bay?," you're not following this column closely enough and you don't have a firm grasp on ADP. Bay, who hit .267/.384/.537 last season with 36 home runs and 119 RBI, fell to the late fifth round of this particular mock draft.

    Are the Mets poisonous? Does the grass at Citi Field emit mustard gas? Or perhaps we simply had too many New Yorkers in this draft. Whatever the case may be, Bay shouldn't fall that far. Sure, he's moving to a more spacious ballpark and away from a lineup that put up a third-ranked 872-run total last season. But Bay is only 31 years of age and he remains one of the top power-hitting outfielders in the game. He's being taken 24th overall in most mocks. Here, he fell to 56th. Don't let it happen again.

  • You'll have to e-mail the other guys or find them on Twitter if you want answers as to why Bay dropped so far. Personally, I felt I had to go with a high-strikeout pitcher in Round 3 and a base-stealing, run-scoring type of player in Round 4. It's just the way my team was shaping up and I'm happy that Curtis Granderson was around. He should flourish in Yankee Stadium and may even top the career-high 122 runs that he tallied in 2007.

  • Best Value

    Pitching went early and often in this mock, but somehow CC Sabathia slipped to the fourth round and 38th overall. He is being taken at an ADP of 30 in most mocks, and for good reason. The big lefty tallied 19 wins and 197 strikeouts last season while compiling an ERA of 3.37 and a WHIP of 1.15. Recent history suggests his strikeout numbers should climb even higher with another year in pinstripes. And the wins, of course, will always be there.

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    Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
    Email :Drew Silva

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