This is a 12 man traditional head to head league on Yahoo and I picked at number 11.
1. Robinson Cano - 2B
- Yes I know he no longer plays at Yankee Stadium and yes I know he just signed a monster contract. However it is not too often that a second baseman hits .314 with 27 home runs and 107 RBI.
- The shortstop position always scares me when I am doing a draft. If you do not draft one of the top guys (Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Ian Desmond) then all season long you are going to be searching for production coming out of the shortstop position. Hanley Ramirez was already selected.
- I have a nice offensive core with Cano and Tulowitzki and have addressed what I feel are the two weakest positions. I now switched my attention to my starting pitching and grab Wainwright the NL Cy Young runner up, to be the ace of my staff. He won 19 games last season with 213 strikeouts.
- I added another stud to my staff by drafting Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner was only 13-9 in 2013, but he had 199 strike outs in 201 innings and had a WHIP barely over 1.00. The last 3 years Bumgarner has thrown over 200 innings and struck out 190+ batters.
- Before it gets too late, I needed to find my rock in the outfield. I went with Cespedes as he will bring a lot of power to my team. In his first two seasons with the Oakland Athletics the Cuban power hitter is averaging 24.5 home runs and 81 RBI. Hopefully he will stay healthy in 2014, as he only played 129 and 135 games in his first two seasons.
- I drafted Ryan Zimmerman as my 3B as I love where is he going to bat in the Nationals lineup. Zimmerman will hit in the 2 hole in Washington, in front of Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond. All that means is that Zimmerman will see plenty of good pitches to hit and he should score a ton of runs in 2014.
- It'll be a big change for Curtis Granderson going from the Bronx to Queens as the ballpark he'll be playing in will get much bigger as he won't be able to benefit from the short porch. However he has proved he can play in the New York spotlight, and he hit 84 home runs in 2011 and 2012. The power is there and if the home runs take a dip, then I think they'll turn into doubles and triples.
- Personally, I think the Tigers team got worse after the Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade. I also think the AL Central will not be competitive and Joe Nathan will have a lot of save opportunities as Justin Verlander, Max Scherezer and the Tigers rotation will shut down opposing offenses. Nathan might be 39 now but he had 43 saves last season while posting an ERA of 1.39.
- It's hard not to love a lefty with power on the Yankees. Brian McCann when healthy is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. McCann has hit 20+ home runs in each of the last 6 seasons playing for the Atlanta Braves and the last 3 years he has not played more than 128 games. You have to imagine McCann will take advantage of the right field short porch at Yankee Stadium and hit close to 30 home runs.
- Finishing off my OF, I went with Jayson Werth, who just like Ryan Zimmerman, I love where he's hitting in a very good Nationals lineup. Werth will hit clean up for Washington and will be sandwiched between Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche. In just 129 games last year, Werth hit .318 with 25 home runs and 82 RBI.
- If you don't know who Matt Adams is, then you need to find out before the 2014 MLB season begins. Adams will take over as the everyday first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is a husky guy at 6'3, 260 lbs. With all that size he brings a ton of power to the plate. In just 319 at-bats in 2013, Adams hit 17 home runs, 14 doubles and drove in 51 runs. He also hit .284. Now double those numbers and that's what he is capable of doing get 638 at-bats, which everyday players get.
- I'm taking a gamble drafting CC Sabathia who was horrible in 2013. It was really his worst season of his career, but I really think it was just a fluke. I do think his 19-20 win seasons are behind him but I don't be surprised if he wins 16-17 games in 2014. The Yankees lineup will be stacked once again so Sabathia will get run support, but he'll also throw well over 200 innings with 185+ strikeouts and an ERA below 4.
- There was a lot of hoopla surrounding Balfour this off season but I choose to ignore that stuff when it comes to fantasy sports. Balfour will close for the Tampa Bay Rays this season and we all know the Rays play a lot of close low scoring games. He will have plenty of save opportunities and he struck out 72 batters in 62 innings last year and converted 38 of 41 save chances with the A's.
- Michael Bourn had a disappointing first season with the Cleveland Indians in 2013, but I think he'll have a bounce back season in 2014 as he bats at the top of the Indians lineup. With my OF positions filled, I would plan on using Bourn at 1 of my 2 utility positions. The main reason I drafted was Bourn was for his ability to steal bases. It also doesn't help that he has 5 good hitters behind him in the lineup (Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, and Asdrubal Cabrera).
- Currently Fernando Rodney is a free agent, but it's only a matter of time before he signs on with a team. Ultimately, wherever he goes I believe he will become the closer. The last 2 seasons combined in Tampa Bay, he has 85 saves in 95 chances. He also struck out 158 batters in 141 innings.
- I'm not sure how Wilson was still available in the 16th round. Wilson threw 212 innings last season with the Angels and posted a 3.39 ERA while going 17-7. He won 9 of his last 10 decisions to end the 2013 season.
- Zack Wheeler dominated minor league batters for 3 1/2 seasons before making his MLB debut with the New York Mets in 2013. In 17 starts, Wheeler went 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA. Wheeler threw 100 innings and only allowed 90 hits, but walked 46 batters. If he can control the strike zone next season then his walks, WHIP and ERA will take a dip and his innings pitched and strike outs will go up.
- Similar to my Michael Bourn pick, Ramirez would take my 2nd utility position. Ramirez stole 30 bases last year, hit 39 doubles, hit 6 home runs and drove in 48 RBI while hitting .284. If nothing else, he would serve as my backup shortstop in case Tulowitzki got injured.
- Saltalamacchia is insurance for Brian McCann who has been injury prone throughout his career. Salty who played for the World Champion Boston Red Sox last season, is now with the Miami Marlins. He posted very good numbers for a catcher, hitting .273 with 14 home runs and 65 RBI. He'll be hitting in the middle of the Marlins lineup, hitting 5th and sandwiched between Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna.
- Being that Ryan Zimmerman has been known to miss time during most of his career, I drafted Freese as insurance. Freese who previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals, is now with the Angels and is hitting in a STACKED lineup. Freese is hitting behind Josh Hamilton and in front of Raul Ibanez. He could be in line for his best season of his career.
- Swisher did not have a good season with the Indians last season as he drove in just 63 runs. The power will always be there as he hit 22 home runs but he only hit .246. However he is a streaky hitter and could get into the groove where he hits a bunch of homeruns and I can ride him while he's hot.
- I already have Robinson Cano as my 2B and throughout his career he has avoided injury as he has played at least 159 games since 2008 . There is almost no chance of Rickie Weeks playing for me at any point in 2014.
- You can never have too much pitching.
C - Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B - Matt Adams, Nick Swisher
2B - Robinson Cano, Rickie Weeks
3B - Ryan Zimmerman, David Freese
SS - Troy Tulowitzki, Alexei Ramirez
OF - Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Jayson Werth, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher
SP - Adam Wainwright, Madison Bumgarner, CC Sabathia, C.J. Wilson, Zack Wheeler, Jeremy Hellickson
RP - Joe Nathan, Grant Balfour, Fernando Rodney
How do you think my draft went? What picks do you like and what picks do you hate? Let us know how you feel in our comment section.