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: #1 Pick
- Hanley Ramirez (2010 rank = 2)
- Albert Pujols (1)
- Miguel Cabrera (10)
- Troy Tulowitzki (20)
- Evan Longoria (11)
- Ryan Braun (3)
- Joey Votto (45)
- Adrian Gonzalez (15)
- David Wright (14)
- Carlos Gonzalez (NR)
Top 10 Starting Pitchers
- Roy Halladay (2)
- Felix Hernandez (4)
- Tim Lincecum (1)
- Cliff Lee (14) — Great WHIP puts him Top 10 despite not being a top strikeout guy.
- Clayton Kershaw (17)
- Josh Johnson (12)
- CC Sabathia (5)
- Jon Lester (13)
- Justin Verlander (6)
- Ubaldo Jimenez (18)
Top Pitchers Ready to Make a Move to Elite Status
- Josh Johnson
- Francisco Liriano
- Yovani Gallardo
- Jonathan Sanchez
- Johnny Cueto
- Shaun Marcum
- Jason Hammel
- Jair Jurrjens
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Mike Pelfrey
- Daisuke Matsuzaka
- RA Dickey
- John Lannan
- Nick Blackburn
- 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)
- 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.
- 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