Pitchers and catchers report today, which means Spring Training is officially upon us. The monks will have plenty to say during the lead up to the season, but I have to get this off my chest: I don’t really like ST. I like going to ST. I’ve really enjoyed it both times I’ve gone. But for the most part ST news is a bunch of optimistic nonsense, ridiculous catastrophizing, and meaningless box scores. I find it to be mildly tortuous as we wait for the real thing to get started.
That being said, now that I live on the East Coast ST signals a change in seasons and the potential for warmer weather and that is most welcome. It also means that it’s time to get ready for fantasy baseball!!! I have some titles to defend this year, so the next couple of weeks will involve settling in to a strategy for late March drafts.
I haven’t spent too much time thinking about this, but I did sign up for my “winners” league today so here are my initial thoughts…5 guys I wouldn’t mind getting in the first 5 rounds:
1) Troy Tulowitski: The Giants fan in me hopes for two things…one, that I get the first pick in the draft so I can just pick Pujols and be done with it. Two, that Tulo pulls a hammy and plays the season at 60%, effectively ending the Rockies chances of winning the division. However, if I have picks 2-8 I almost certainly will take him first. If you’ve played against me you know I don’t put a lot of stock in the first round (I think if I win it’s because I choose well in rounds 6-14, not 1-5), so I often take guys that don’t make a ton of sense. (For example, I won last year taking Hanley with a 2nd over all and Prince Fielder with a 10th overall and neither of them really performed to the pick). All of that to say, I think Tulo will have a monster year, be worthy of a number 2 pick, and make an error on the last day of the season to give the Giants the division. To have him at SS (a REALLY thin position) would be huge.
2) Ryan Zimmerman: Ok, the days of grabbing Zim with a late second round (or later) pick are likely over, but he will be 2011’s Joey Votto (a guy picked in the 15-30 range who provides a top 5 season). If I got Tulo at, say, 4, I’ll be praying I can get Zim at 20 (might be a pipe dream).
3) Dustin Pedroia: I think Pedroia will be a great pick this year for two reasons: one, his stock will be slightly depressed (4th round hopefully) with the injury/recovery questions, and, two, I think he will have a monster year in Boston’s loaded lineup.
4) Jon Lester: Another potential pipe dream. Lester has been the backbone of my rotations the last two seasons, but I never had to draft him earlier than the 6th round. Those days are over. I refuse to draft pitchers until round 5 but I may have to bend that rule this year to get him.
5) Buster Posey: Round five still feels like a stretch for Buster, as much as I love him (I think he should go later to be honest). However, if I can pull off Posey/Tulo/Pedroia up the middle that will be huge!!!
I’ll weigh in later with my 5 guys I want in the mid-rounds, but that’s where I’m starting from this season (likely to change about 30 times in the next 3 days). Who are you willing to go all out for in the early rounds?
Baseball is here my friends!