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2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Preview

If you have the MLB Network, you need to be watching Fantasy 411.  It’s a great place to learn more about fantasy baseball and to get inside tips from some of the most knowledgeable people in the game.  Here’s some notes from the special 2 hour draft preview show.

Some top fantasy baseball tips

  • Get 6 hitters and 2 closers in the first 8 rounds.  There will be plenty of pitchers left in the later rounds.
  • Make trades only out of necessity and never out of boredom.
  • The work you do on the waiver wire is more important than draft day preparation, because everybody already knows that Albert Pujols is a good player.
  • Come with a plan for your draft.  Don’t copy the experts.  You need to have your own plan that works for you and the team you desire.
  • Have a plan, but be able to adapt to changing conditions during the draft.
  • Be patient, not passive, during the season.  If your 18th round starting pitcher gets roughed up the first few times out, dump him and pick up another starting pitcher; there are plenty of them out there.
  • Pitchers are too unreliable to pick too high.
  • Get elite closers.  It’s the middle range of closers that is unreliable, not the top tier of elite guys.
  • Get 3 OF in your first 8 picks as the drop-off is greater than you might think.
  • Stay away from starting pitchers who have been hurt.  All starting pitchers are injury risks in the first place.

 

Top Players for the 2011 Draft

Hanley Ramirez fantasy baseball

Hanley Ramirez: #1 Pick

  1. Hanley Ramirez (2010 rank = 2)
  2. Albert Pujols (1)
  3. Miguel Cabrera (10)
  4. Troy Tulowitzki (20)
  5. Evan Longoria (11)
  6. Ryan Braun (3)
  7. Joey Votto (45)
  8. Adrian Gonzalez (15)
  9. David Wright (14)
  10. Carlos Gonzalez (NR)

 

Top 10 Starting Pitchers

  1. Roy Halladay (2)
  2. Felix Hernandez (4)
  3. Tim Lincecum (1)
  4. Cliff Lee (14) — Great WHIP puts him Top 10 despite not being a top strikeout guy.
  5. Clayton Kershaw (17)
  6. Josh Johnson (12)
  7. CC Sabathia (5)
  8. Jon Lester (13)
  9. Justin Verlander (6)
  10. Ubaldo Jimenez (18)

 

Top Pitchers Ready to Make a Move to Elite Status

  1. Josh Johnson
  2. Francisco Liriano
  3. Yovani Gallardo
  4. Jonathan Sanchez
  5. Johnny Cueto
  6. Shaun Marcum
  7. Jason Hammel
  8. Jair Jurrjens
  9. Tom Gorzelanny
  10. Mike Pelfrey
  11. Daisuke Matsuzaka
  12. RA Dickey
  13. John Lannan
  14. Nick Blackburn
  15. Scott Feldman

Players in Top 50 Not in Top 100 Last Year

  • Carlos Gonzalez (10)
  • Adrian Beltre (38)
  • Jason Heyward (42)
  • Jose Bautista (43)
  • Rickie Weeks (46)

 

Value Picks:  Players in the Top 50 Last Year, Not in Top 100 This Year

  • Mark Reynolds (Last Year = 28)
  • Pablo Sandoval (30)
  • Grady Sizemore (33)
  • Dan Haren (35)
  • Johan Santana (36)
  • Adam Wainwright (37)
  • Jonathan Broxton (43)
  • Chone Figgins (47)

 

Great Picks

  • Drew Stubbs  – A 30/30 type of guy who will hit leadoff for the Reds this year.  Could be this year’s CarGo.  Lots of supporting hitters in the Reds lineup.
  • Mike Stanton — A possible 40 homerun guy this year.
  • Edwin Encarnacion — Will play some 1B and DH this year.  Staying healthy is key.
  • Mark Reynolds — Great hitting ballpark at Camden Yards.  Much improved Orioles lineup.
  • Ike Davis — Lefty loves the short porch at Citi Field.
  • Adrian Gonzalez — Based on hitting chart, he is +21 hits in Fenway versus Petco.  Loves to go the other way to bounce balls off of the Green Monster.  In Petco 1 in 29 AB’s was a HR; in other parks, 1 in 18.
  • Kendrys Morales — Out of the lineup with an injury last year on that freak celebration at home plate.
  • Pablo Sandoval — Good value after off year.  Weight loss will help.
  • Aramis Ramirez — .285 with 30 homers is possible in 2011 if his shoulder is healthy again.
  • Jose Reyes — Enters his magical 27-year-old year.  Shortstop is a weak position with only about 8 guys that will put up good stats.
  • Ian Kinsler — When healthy, and Utley is not, Kinsler is a 30/30 guy if he plays 140 games.
  • Shaun Marcum — Had a great year last year coming off of Tommy John surgery and now moves from the AL East (3.09) to the National League Central.
  • Zack Greinke — The negative is that Greinke has not fared well in the past in inter-league play.
  • JJ Putz — Moves to the Diamondbacks where he is going to be a closer.
  • Javier Vasquez — The NL East has all pitchers’ parks with the exception of Philly.
  • Bud Norris — great second half last year.
  • Joel Peralta — Peralta will win the Braves closer job and it won’t be a closer by committee job.
  • Coco Crisp — 32 steals in a limited role last year and could lead the league this season.
  • Francisco Rodriguez — Should get 33 saves.
  • Joe Nathan — Coming off Tommy John surgery.  Also pick teammate Matt Capps in case Nathan doesn’t do the job.

 

Great Group of Emerging Middle Infielders

  • Reid Brignac
  • Starling Castro
  • Ian Desmond — Desmond can be a 20/20 guy this year.  Not bad for a 13th rounder.
  • Martin Prado — Prado is eligible at 2B, 3B, and will be eligible at OF this year.
  • Neil Walker — Pirates have a good top 4 hitters.
  • Sean Rodriguez — Rodriguez is another guy that can help with multi-position eligibility.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury — Ranked 74 this year so good value and appears healthy.  Ellsbury could be a top 20 player again.
  • Chris Ianetta — Ianetta is never going to be a great average guy, but has power and now has the catching job exclusively.
  • Gordon Beckham — Beckham will hit 2nd and has been told that he’ll be given more chances to run this year.

 

Emerging Outfielders

  • Jay Bruce — Just 24-years-old.  On the way to being a 2nd rounder.
  • Andrew McCutcheon
  • Colby Rasmus — Rasmus will hit in the 2 hole in front of Pujols.
  • Drew Stubbs
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