1) Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Collin Hager, FantasyPros911.com | Roster
Hard not to draft the best player in the game so taking Pujols here was easy. This is not someone that worries me when it comes to his contract being a distraction and he will continue to perform and be an MVP candidate without a doubt. Thought about going Ramirez, but my issue is I don't think he is even the best SS. Made the call easy.
2) Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins
Team: Steve Gardner, USA Today | Roster
The No. 2 overall pick sets the tone for the rest of the draft so the choice is between a power hitter like Miguel Cabrera and one of the two elite shortstops. Since there's such a gap between Hanley Ramirez or Troy Tulowitzki and the rest of the shortstops – and there's a distinct advantage with either one of them over the rest of the shortstop pool - I went with the consensus No. 2 in most rankings, Ramirez.
As I wrote in the USA TODAY fantasy magazine, Ramirez actually had a down season in 2010 - despite a .300 average, 21 homers, 76 RBI and 32 stolen bases. His 50-steal seasons are probably a thing of the past, but Ramirez is about as consistent a fantasy performer as they come. He's been ranked among the top 15 in fantasy value each of the past four years, something no one else - not even Albert Pujols - has done.
3) Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
Evan Longoria was the only scarcity play I considered. Ryan Braun's track record and five-cat contributions nearly swung me. But even at a position some consider deep, the top couple are a cut above. A down year for Cabrera is still a good year for some of these other first-rounders. Another draft, similar position, I'd end up with Braun or Longo. Just minimize risk.
Braun overlooked at No. 8?
4) Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
After finding out the draft order, I was thinking either Tulowitzki or Evan Longoria at this four spot. Tulowitzki has injury concerns after missing significant time two of the last three seasons, but you can't ignore his production at a shallow position. That five-tool production at the shortstop spot made this pick easy for me.
5) Carl Crawford, OF, Boston Red Sox
Team: Harold Nichols, Baseball HQ | Roster
Solid 4 category contributor with 25+ HR upside. Boston lineup could enhance already strong R/RBI. Should be a lock for a 50 SB/.300 BA season, and could be poised for a career year. Had him as a potential #1 pick overall, so when he dropped to #5, it was an easy choice.
6) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston Red Sox
Team: Eriq Gardner, Fantasy Ball Junkie | Roster
Adrian Gonzalez has left San Diego, a lovely sunny city, unfortunately terrible for those whose career involves a bat. Rumor has it that the outfield fence is 43 miles from home plate and that players with sub-.200 OBPs lead off. Yikes. Gonzo now comes to Boston after offseason shoulder surgery ... wait, he had 100 RBIs hitting in Petco, driving David Eckstein home on a regular basis, and playing through an injury? Just imagine what he does now.
7) Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
Team: Joe Hamrahi, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
Albert who? While Joey Votto is not Albert Pujols (yet), selecting the NL MVP with the 7th overall pick is nothing to be ashamed about. Votto will boost my offensive numbers in at least 4 roto categories, and he certainly won't hurt on the base paths (16 SB in 2010).
8) Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys | Roster
Braun should be a top-5 selection in all drafts, so I was exceedingly pleased to take him 8th overall. In each of his four seasons Braun has produced a 5x5 line of at least .285-25-97-91-14. Only four men reached those totals in 2010.
9) Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
Overall players ranking place Roy Halladay around the 9th pick, my spot. Believing that I can wait a few rounds to get a starting pitcher, the next question is, should I go for position scarcity or production quantity. I chose production and went with A-Rod, an indisputable producer.
10) Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies
Team: Doug Anderson, RotoExperts | Roster
I love the way the industry collectively turns on a player. Yeah he's probably not a .330 hitter. Big deal. I'll take the power/speed combo and he's still going to hit close to .300 and score a ton of runs.
11) Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
A first baseman this early? Yup. The position is top-heavy. The stable, suddenly unheralded Teix might not hit .300, but he can approach 40 homers again with the other Bronx-fueled trimmings in the run and RBI columns. This worked in conjunction with my next selection.
12) Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays
Team: Ryan Lester, Lester's Legends | Roster
I have Longoria ranked first at perhaps the shallowest position in baseball. He is coming off a down year (.294-96-22-104-15), but that's what afforded me the opportunity to take him at the end of the first round. He's just 25 so a bounce-back should be in order. I'm expecting a .285-100-30-100-10 line. I did not consider anybody else in this spot.
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