Drew Silva

Draft Strategy

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February Mockin': Part Two

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Best Value

Tommy Hanson has been all over the map in the mock drafts we've tracked this offseason. He's gone as high as the 54th overall pick and has dropped as low as No. 108. We like him right where he was selected in this mock draft, if not higher. The 23-year-old from Tulsa, Oklahoma went 11-4 last season with a 2.89 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 127 2/3 frames. He is the real deal, with a fastball that averaged 92.3 MPH in 2009 and a three-pitch complimentary arsenal that includes a sharp slider, curve and changeup. Grab him without hesitation; Hanson is going to be a star for many, many years to come.

Round Nine

9. 1. Jay Bruce
9. 2. Jonathan Papelbon
9. 3. Carlos Pena
9. 4. Wandy Rodriguez
9. 5. Ubaldo Jimenez
9. 6. Chipper Jones
9. 7. Miguel Tejada
9. 8. Carlos Quentin
9. 9. Cole Hamels
9. 10. Chad Billingsley
9. 11. Michael Bourn
9. 12. Miguel Montero

Talking Points

  • Miguel Montero's ADP of 146 tells a different story, but I've run into plenty of fantasy industry professionals that have fallen in love with the 26-year-old Venezuelan backstop. It's easy to see why. Montero had a .316/.366/.534 batting line, 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 234 at-bats after the All-Star break last season. Stretch those numbers over a full slate of playing time and it's hard not to salivate.

    Montero finally has the starting catching gig all to himself in Arizona, having usurped Chris Snyder, and is poised to top his breakout 2009 season. Jorge Posada, Russell Martin and Kurt Suzuki are all being selected before the youngster in mock drafts this winter. Be unique. Take a chance. You'll be happy you did the moment Posada hits the disabled list for a third time.

  • Best Value

    I never support reaching for stolen bases in fantasy drafts because I'm of the belief that steals can be found in the depths of draft boards if you just know where to look. That said, when a guy like Michael Bourn falls so far off his average draft position (68) some explanation must be offered. Bourn, 27, batted a measly .285/.354/.384 last season and hit only three home runs in 606 at-bats for the Astros. He struck out 140 times and we're even expecting a small amount of regression at the plate this year. But we're not here to talk about power numbers or RBI. Bourn is drafted almost solely to swipe stolen bases, and he certainly did plenty of that last season. The speedy center fielder nabbed a National League best 61 bags in 2009 and was caught just 12 times. Sometimes making a nonsensical pick... just... makes sense.

    Round Ten

    10. 1. Stephen Drew
    10. 2. Joakim Soria
    10. 3. Heath Bell
    10. 4. Elvis Andrus
    10. 5. Jake Peavy
    10. 6. Brad Hawpe
    10. 7. Kurt Suzuki
    10. 8. Ricky Nolasco
    10. 9. John Lackey
    10. 10. Jered Weaver
    10. 11. Brandon Webb
    10. 12. Francisco Rodriguez

    Talking Points

  • With a quick scan of the names above you can tell the "parade of closers," as I like to call it, jammed into full swing soon after the 9th round passed. Soria, Bell and K-Rod are all fine options, especially in the 10th round of a 5x5 league that considers saves a standalone category. Like 'em or not, closers are a major part of the fantasy game and it's important to grab a few reliable ninth-inning men while they are still around. Staying active on the waiver wire can help as well. Injuries happen to everyone in this post-Ripken era and some managers like to play around with bullpen responsibilities more than others.

    Stay alert, keep up with our constantly-updated player news page, and check out Rotoworld's Season Pass when it's made available April 1. We wouldn't promote the thing so much if we weren't proud of it. The Rotoworld crew is more than happy to guide you to the promised land.

  • Enough preaching. Let's get back to the good stuff.

    Best Value

    The real prize in this round was almost certainly Ricky Nolasco and you might as well make a mental check-note of where he was taken in this particular mock draft. Most owners will be scared off by the 5.06 ERA he posted last season and his unimpressive 13-9 win-loss record, but peel back the surface and you'll find a few fantasy treasures. For instance, the 27-year-old right-hander struck out 195 batters last season in just 185 innings and his WHIP finished at a respectable mark of 1.25. There's a whole lot to like about Nolasco and selecting him before his current average draft position (108) is advised.

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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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