1) Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Team: Collin Hager, FantasyPros911.com | Roster
Not the third basemen I pictured myself coming out of the draft with, but not a disappointment. Alvarez showed good power in an abbreviated stint and it is likely to improve with a job set for him this time around. The pickings are getting too slim to wait longer.
2) Michael Young, 3B, Texas Rangers
Team: Steve Gardner, USA Today | Roster
At this stage of the draft, third base has gotten extremely thin. Mark Reynolds, Casey McGehee and Ian Stewart were all taken in the eighth round - and when Pedro Alvarez went to start the ninth, my options were even more limited. No matter where he's playing this season, Young will hit for a solid average and provide some balance for my free-swinging young sluggers.
3) Nick Markakis, OF, Baltimore Orioles
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
I held off on outfield; it's a deep area. Couldn't hold off forever, though. Markakis is as stable as they come in the BA department, and I expect his counting stuff to be better than last year's tallies. Buck Showalter's staff encourages him to be more aggressive and assertive. A player I considered overvalued in past years seems just right this year.
Heath's bell tolls in Round 9
4) Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
Added another well-rounded outfielder to my squad. Rasmus will hit for power, average and get me some steals. He still hasn't had the breakout season, but I'm hoping this is the year. The upside is certainly there for him, so taking him in Round 9 makes me happy.
5) Nick Swisher, OF, New York Yankees
Team: Harold Nichols, Baseball HQ | Roster
Still looking for power, and he has produced that consistently. Improved BA last season suggesting that he might be ready to provide power without severe BA downside. That consideration made him more attractive than someone like Carlos Pena.
6) Brian Roberts, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
Team: Eriq Gardner, Fantasy Ball Junkie | Roster
Yeah, he's 33 years old and coming off an injury. I'm 33 too, and
running my first triathlon this year, so I'm taking it as a sign that
I shouldn't be so concerned with athletic mortality just yet. Besides,
I need speed, and I prefer it come from those who are more than
7) Heath Bell, RP, San Diego Padres
Team: Joe Hamrahi, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
Heath has been a model of consistency the past four years and has shown no signs of slowing down. Couple that with the fact that he pitches in San Diego, and you have all the makings of an elite closer. Bell was also a member of the 2010 K-BAD championship team, and here at Baseball Prospectus, we like to remain loyal to the guys who get us to the Promised Land.
8) Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys | Roster
This draft is playing out exactly as I hoped. I took Mark Reynolds last round hoping to wait for my MI option, and the strategy worked to perfection as I grabbed Zobrist. I was tempted to take Howie Kendrick, but dual position eligibility swung my vote to Zobrist.
9) Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
I was looking for a high K guy and am thrilled to get Gallardo. A high K guy generally has also a good ERA and WHIP.
10) Francisco Liriano, SP, Minnesota Twins
Team: Doug Anderson, RotoExperts | Roster
Went for pitching a little earlier than I have been in early mocks, but I think I've got two starters that could easily match numbers with those picked four rounds earlier. Liriano should only get stronger another year removed from Tommy John.
11) Carlos Pena, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
So close to Yovani Gallardo larceny. Oh well. Good thing I focused on grabbing helpful BA earlier - and that Pena is only my CI. Pena's power will rebound. His BA will, too, but unfortunately, it'll still be .240, tops. At least he's the surest offensive category contributor left at this point.
12) Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago White Sox
Team: Ryan Lester, Lester's Legends | Roster
Beckham is a great young talent that brings power to the table at the second base position. He struggled early last year, but found his groove. He's expected to hit second in the Sox's powerful lineup, which should lead to solid numbers. He's a wild card because he has just 822 ABs so far, but I'm expecting a .270-80-22-75-5 line.
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