1) Aaron Hill, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Team: Josh Shepardson, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
I was very tempted to draft CC Sabathia here and pair him King Felix, but I was leery of what would be available at second base by my next pick. Hill should pop 20-plus homers while swiping a dozen bases, give or take a few, and hit over .280. That stat line will play real nicely at the keystone position.
Cabrera a bargain
2) Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants
Team: Mark Bloom, RotoExperts/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
Since I took Yu Darvish, I thought I would back him up with another top starter. Once I saw Bumgarner on the board, I figured I would have two top starters and could wait a few rounds to get my next pitcher and continue to work on my offense. As for Bumgarner - he averages close to a K per inning and his WHIP is microscopic. He also should get a few more wins with a solid bullpen behind him in SF.
3) Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
You can make a legitimate case that my team, after seven picks, has to be looked at as a club that could hit .300. It's not often you can say that. However, Molina was my third choice as the two players I had teed up – Hill and Bumgarner – went with the two selections before my spot came up.
4) Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles
Team: Bill Macey, Baseball HQ | Roster
Wieters is a player that offers high upside with a relatively stable floor. He surpassed 20 HR in each of the two previous years and seems a safe a bet as any to return to that level. He will turn 27 this May, so a breakout to a higher level is certainly possible for this former top prospect.
5) Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
Gordon isn't an exciting fantasy pick but I like his consistency. You aren't giving away any categories with him. He'll help a little across the board. And with the Royals looking to be on the cusp of a breakout season, Gordon seems in line for a career season.
6) Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Cleveland Indians
Team: Michael Stein, The Hardball Times | Roster
After a brilliant 2011 season, Cabrera regressed last year and was the topic of trade rumors all winter. He is reportedly in great shape and is in line for a bounce-back season. This was great value to get a shortstop in the 7th round who can hit 15-20 home runs and drive in 75 runs.
7) Craig Kimbrel, RP, Atlanta Braves
Team: Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
Still needing a shortstop and watching Cabrera go one pick before my turn, I was less than thrilled with my options. That is until I noticed the game's most dominant closer still on the board. With the 79th overall pick, Kimbrel seems like an awfully good value at this point. I'll gladly wait another round or two on a shortstop.
Gio PEDs? No worries here
8) Gio Gonzalez, SP, Washington Nationals
Team: Mark Chamberlin, Baseball Sharks | Roster
This is why I waited on pitching with my last two picks. I think I am getting a discount because of the pending PED scandal, but connecting the dots I am not too concerned about anything negative coming from this ongoing issue. Last year was a legit breakout from Gonzalez; no reason to expect that to change.
9) Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
I was a bit worrisome of the middle-infield crop, and I wasn't inclined to reach for a shortstop. Lo and behold, my belief in Weeks' rebound after a horrid early portion of 2012 led me to this. I'll take the BA hit in the hopes of more 20-20ish numbers.
10) Shane Victorino, OF, Boston Red Sox
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
I wouldn't select Victorino here if I didn't project a rebound. Fenway Park plays to some of his strengths (in terms of BA), and the BoSox should give him the freedom to run frequently. I'm a little concerned that his ability to hit right-handers is deteriorating, but overall the numbers should improve. I need a few sources of speed, but ideally I'd have started earlier, with Michael Bourn.
11) Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox
Team: Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
With four more starters off the board, we're moving down another tier so grabbing a solid number two starter is necessary. Sale is still learning the ropes as a starter so while there was a decrease in strikeouts and a slight increase in ERA in 2012, he shows his overall potential with a much improved 3.76 K/BB ratio.
12) Jason Motte, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
In a cloudy closer landscape, there are only a few safe pitchers. Motte is one of them. I wanted Craig Kimbrel, but he went a few rounds back. Certain that there will be a rush on closers in the next couple of rounds, I decided to pick Motte now.
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