1) Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers
Team: Ryan Lester, Lester's Legends | Roster
Hamilton had an unbelievable season hitting .359 with 95 runs, 32 HRs, 100 RBI, and 8 SBs in 133 games. He's an injury risk due to his style of play, but when he's on (and healthy) there aren't many better hitters in the game. I considered Robinson Cano here, but wanted to take an outfielder since you start five. I'm expecting a .320-90-30-110-8 line from Hamilton.
2) David Wright, 3B, New York Mets
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
With Teix in tow, I could live with either Evan Longoria (picked by Mr. Lester) or Wright at my hot corner. Wright's 4.5-category line (BA up in the air) allowed me to get the bopper first. Luckily, he rebounded at home and looks to be back to his old across-the-board self.
3) Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees
Team: Doug Anderson, RotoExperts | Roster
Second base is not as shallow as shortstop, but Cano still gets me some elite numbers from a middle infield slot. I figure he'll make up for some of the low average power guys I'm likely to get suckered in on later.
Can Hamilton stay healthy?
4) Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
Others are grabbing shortstops, clearly because of the position scarcity. There are 16 picks before my next turn. Should I look for a SS or not? I decided to take a reasonable risk and go with a guy will get me close to 40 HRs, over 100 RBIs and close to 100 runs.
5) Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys | Roster
In my book, Utley is still the top dog at second, ever so slightly ahead of Robinson Cano because of his steal potential. Injured last season, Utley was still on pace for 22 homers, 88 RBI, 101 runs and 18 thefts if he had played 155 games.
6) Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Team: Joe Hamrahi, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
Zimmerman isn't the sexy pick that Evan Longoria is, but he's sure and steady and anchors a position that isn't very deep on talent. We'll take a .290-25-90 season with 85-95 runs every time from the hot corner.
7) Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins
Team: Eriq Gardner, Fantasy Ball Junkie | Roster
Too much digital ink has been wasted examining Mauer's HR prowess. Meanwhile, Mauer holds one of the greatest advantages in baseball today - the ability to far outclass his peers in crossing the plate. In a typical year, Mauer scores about 40 more runs than the average top 10 catcher. Statistically speaking, Joe Mauer is to the runs category what Carl Crawford is to the steals category.
8) Kevin Youkilis, 3B/1B, Boston Red Sox
Team: Harold Nichols, Baseball HQ | Roster
Headed for a career year before thumb injury. Rising FB rate suggests power upside, and with increased help around him in lineup 30-100-.300 could be within reach. Should qualify at 3B early in season, so positional flexibility adds to the appeal.
9) Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
I was looking at another position, but two of the three picking after me already had a first baseman. I figured I would roll the dice and go with Pedroia. He was injured much of last season but still posted big numbers when playing. He is as good as it gets at second base.
10) Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
Thyroid issue is under control. It's a walk year. Reyes can rival the production of Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki. After Reyes, there are a couple of aging hopefuls and a steep cliff. I'll take a little risk here when the advantage can be sizable - and Reyes isn't much riskier than Tulo.
11) Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Team: Steve Gardner, USA Today | Roster
I was somewhat surprised that no one had taken a pitcher by pick 23. My choice was between Halladay and Matt Holliday so when both were available I went with as close to a sure-fire 20-game winner as there is. Although Holliday is an elite outfielder, I like a lot of the second-tier guys who should be available a couple rounds later.
12) Matt Holliday, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Collin Hager, FantasyPros911.com | Roster
With a five outfielder league, I want to make sure to have one elite player manning the position. Holliday is worth that selection and then some. Holliday hit better than .300 in all but two months last season and scored 95 while driving in better than 100. All traits that make him an attractive anchor outfielder. Had him ranked inside the top-20, so feel good about him here.
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