1) Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
With three value 3Bs left on board with similar projected output, Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Zimmerman, I chose Aramis because even at 35 he has not shown signs of slowing down. Sure, there is a risk of decline and yet I expect close to 30HRs, 100RBIs and a respectable BA.
Cespedes stud in the making?
2) Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland Athletics
Team: Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
He proved himself worthy of the Showcase nickname last year with a strong showing of both power and speed in his first year and looks primed for steady growth as he gets more comfortable. The dings and dents that kept him out at various times were frustrating, but he spent most of his offseason working on his overall conditioning. A 30-20 season is not far away.
3) Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
My pick of Justin Verlander near the beginning of Round 2 is no longer something I'd consider outside my comfort zone, but taking a pitcher so early doesn't come naturally. Hamels here is a belly flop into a pool of toxic nervousness gas, because I've always had confidence in my ability to find good pitching late. But can't I find good hitting late? Hamels and David Price (my alternate) are projected to earn considerably more than any batter left. They're not much riskier, if they are at all.
4) Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
Throwing out my old code, I couldn't ignore the elite phenom here, the latest I've seen him in any of my drafts so far. Matt Holliday and Ryan Zimmerman entered my brain, but I already had three outfielders, and Zimmerman tops a spotty third-sacker bunch with some nice upside options later on. The fact Stras comes off a team-shortened, not injury-interrupted, season bodes well for him carrying me all year.
5) Matt Holliday, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Mark Chamberlin, Baseball Sharks | Roster
I wrote down 4 names after my last pick - Jay Bruce, Adrian Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Holliday. I did not expect Bruce or Gonzalez to fall, but I was preparing myself for something I never consider doing in the first 5 rounds - drafting a pitcher. I don't know whether to thank Tim for sniping me or curse him. We'll see. Boring ole' and reliable Matt Holliday it is instead, probably for the better.
6) Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Team: Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
I didn't want to wait much longer on a third baseman, so Zimmerman was the choice over Chase Headley. He showed what kind of production he's capable of when healthy – hitting .321 with 22 homers and 73 RBI over his final 90 games. The Nationals offense looks even better with Denard Span leading off.
7) David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Team: Michael Stein, The Hardball Times | Roster
I wasn't planning on taking a pitcher before the 6th round, but with the reigning AL Cy Young winner still available, I couldn't pass him up. He is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and I don't think we have even seen him at his best yet. I think the 4th round is great value for this staff ace.
8) Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
I was targeting a starting pitcher with either my fourth or fifth pick and decided to take one at this point since none of the owners picking after me had one yet. The decision came down to Lee and Felix Hernandez. I thought Lee brought a little more to the table. His win total should go way up this season. He always keeps a low WHIP and ERA, and his strikeout totals are top notch. I'm expecting a big rebound season for Lee in 2013.
9) B.J. Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves
Team: Bill Macey, Baseball HQ | Roster
Not only does B.J. offer both speed and power, his age and the move to a better team and the NL gives reasonable hope that he may even improve. The only downside is that he'll drag down my batting average, but that is a category that can be managed.
10) Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit Tigers
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
For the second time in three rounds the guy I wanted was taken one spot ahead of me (this time it was B.J. Upton, who I almost look in the third round). At this point of the draft I wanted to get an athletic outfielder which I was able to accomplish.
11) Allen Craig, 1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Mark Bloom, RotoExperts | Roster
I was happy to get Craig at this spot as he was the highest hitter remaining on my list. Last year in only 469 AB he hit 22 HR and had 92 RBI. Give him another 100 AB and watch him go 25/100 in 2013. Bonus points for the fact that he plays 1B/OF.
12) Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres
Team: Josh Shepardson, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
After passing on Wright, I kept my fingers crossed one of a trio of third basemen would fall to me in round four, and Headley did. It's unlikely Headley will eclipse 30 homers again this year, but 20-plus homers is attainable. He'll also add around 15 stolen bases to my team total, which is a nice bonus from a third baseman.
We are your one stop for all of your fantasy football, baseball, NASCAR, hockey and basketball needs all year long.