Oops. I messed up. Although I was aware that the FanGraphs mock draft on Sunday night used a keeper format, I missed the dynasty aspect. That’s what happens when you arrive just before your first round pick and can’t see the pre-draft banter. That makes quite a difference and would have dramatically changed my strategy. But hey, I still think my team would win in 2012! They would just collapse due to old age soon after. Here is a refresher of my (now flawed) strategy and my first three picks. Now let’s get to my remaining picks from the first ten rounds…
(4.11) Jimmy Rollins
This is your first clue that I completely missed on the dynasty aspect. Yikes. But for 2012, he remains solid and he is still a nice all-around contributor. There are no real signs that he is going to suddenly fall off a cliff, so that at least keeps my “Win in 2012!” mantra intact. With a fantastic contact rate, he always has the potential to surprise in batting average, as he just needs a bit of BABIP luck and suddenly he’s a .290 hitter.
(5.2) Nelson Cruz
Obviously, I not only go for the over 30 crowd, but the injury prone as well. The speed may be gone, which is unfortunate, but man does Cruz have power. I would really like to see him just once reach 550, or even 600, at-bats to see what kind of power numbers he could put up.
(6.11) Shin-Soo Choo
Hoping, heck, needing, a bounce back year from Choo or this pick is quite bad. I am always hesitant drafting guys who rely on a high BABIP for a lot of their value and you could see what happened when it falls back to Earth. Choo remains a .291 career hitter, but it’s just tough to keep posting a BABIP near his current career average of .353. Now that I have totally dissed my pick, let’s look on the bright side — he has power and speed and walks at an above average clip, ensuring a decent runs scored total.
(7.2) Alex Rodriguez
Ughhh. Again, might still have enough in the tank for 2012, but beyond that he may be limping around the diamond. Let me see if I could find any positives. Well, he hits in a great lineup, and right in the middle of it. And, he still does have good power, though his ISO has now declined for four consecutive years. I would say, however, that he’s the type who despite his advancing age, does still have the potential to pull a Lance Berkman and enjoy a last hurrah.
(8.11) Chase Utley
Tally another for the “they were once awesome in fantasy, but injuries have ruined their value” column. Though his power was way down, it was nice to still see 14 steals, which is a good sign that he isn’t completely doomed to fantasy irrelevancy just yet. He continues to make excellent contact, but has been hampered by a low BABIP, so the upside is there to once again contribute in batting average. He could very well be quite undervalued for 2012, but at age 33, doesn’t make the best choice in a dynasty league (yeah, I suck).
(9.2) Adam Jones
And finally we have our first hitter who is just entering his prime. It was only a matter of time before I accidentally made a pick that actually fit with the draft type. I don’t actually really care for Jones, but do think he was a decent value in this neighborhood. It would be cool if he learned to take a walk, as that would allow him to actually contribute in runs scored, rather than appear to be a slow-footed first baseman when looking at the stat sheet. His HR/FB ratio has bounced around, which is important given his extreme ground ball ways. I don’t foresee further upside for the HR/FB ratio, so he will need to hit more fly balls if he were to ever have a chance at 30 home runs.
(10.11) Victor Martinez
An absolute bargain in single-season leagues at this spot, but not necessarily so in dynasty leagues. Though, batting average challenged J.P. Arencibia and Chris Iannetta both went just before V-Mart. His power mysteriously disappeared, but he makes some of the best contact in baseball and plays nearly every day. Such a strong batting average over that many at-bats for a catcher is extremely valuable. And the counting stats that come along for the ride all combine to make V-Mart one of the top catchers again for next year. At 33 though, he may soon lose his catcher eligibility and his value would drop significantly as a first baseman or DH only.