Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft: Round 9
Ortiz wasn't an easy pick. I considered drafting a second outfielder or another starting pitcher, as well as Victor Martinez. Ultimately, I couldn't pass up Ortiz's potential for piling up RBIs with 25-plus homers and a batting average that flirts with .300. His offensive upside is worth the lack of roster flexibility that comes with owning a player that's only utility-eligible.
I debated taking Victor Martinez here but I could not resist taking Medlen. Medlen is still undervalued by some people who think that last year was a fluke. I think I got the No. 1 starter on the Braves and possibly one of the top 10 starters in the NL. Nothing fluky about that.
I was faced with a real toss-up between the power arm and consistency of Gallardo, and the likely better ratios but less dominating arm that Johnny Cueto brings. Since Cueto is coming back from an injury, I went with Gallardo.
Martinez qualifies at C but will play DH most of the year for the Tigers, likely batting 5th in the order behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. He batted over .300 in each of the three seasons 2009-2011; if he does that again in this dangerous lineup, he could easily eclipse 100 RBI.
Perez is my third Royal. You can't go wrong with that strategy, right? I was hoping to get Victor Martinez with this pick, but he went the pick before me. And after thinking about it, I'm probably better off getting Perez, who just seems to have more upside for that big season for me. He can be an elite fantasy catcher as soon as this season.
With Kimbrel and Motte off the board, I decided to splurge a bit and grab a top notch closer here. It may have been a bit earlier than I originally planned, but at least I know I have one closer I can depend on (injury notwithstanding). Papelbon should be good for 40 saves with a dominant ERA and WHIP.
There were several excellent starting pitchers on the board when I took Hunter Pence in Round 8, but the run began immediately afterward. Roy Halladay, Mat Latos, Max Scherzer, James Shields, R.A. Dickey, Medlen, Gallardo ... Yipes! Thankfully, Cueto was still there. He should be fully recovered from the oblique injury that shut him down in the playoffs.
I love post-hype sleepers. Like Santana earlier, I wanted nothing to do with Hosmer last year as I feared a slump and their price meant you were paying for the upside up front. It's a year later and the issues they worked through have been addressed. Hosmer didn't correct himself at the same level as Santana, but he made progress throughout the year. Expect a spike in 2013.
At this point in the draft, the Biogenesis concerns shouldn't weigh on your conscience. His power potential from this spot, which will be fueled by ample DH work, said this was a no-brainer. Plus, Safeco Field's new left-field dimensions should help righty bats, to a degree. I'm hoping to pair him with another backstop that, I believe, the three owners behind me will ignore.
By Mock Draft Central's ADP standards, Montero is a steal, but I don't view him as such (nor do any of my league-mates). Nonetheless, he's a solid fantasy backstop in that borderline area between No. 1s and No. 2s in mixed leagues, and he's my second one. The two teams behind me at this turn didn't have any catchers, so I hoped to nudge them toward dipping into that pool. I wouldn't have opted for a player at the position just because of the recent run on them, but I was certainly happy with this one.
The only thing better than a power-hitting catcher is a power-hitting catcher who plays half his games in Colorado. Last year he hit .247 with 14 HR and a .274 ISO and then followed it up with an even better second half, hitting .291 with another 14 HR and a .248 ISO while lowering his strikeout rate and increasing his walks. He should settle in somewhere in the middle this year, which should prove to be an outstanding season.
It is my understanding that testosterone gives energy and that it does not improve baseball skills. I expect Melky's numbers to be the same as last year's - moreover, playing in Toronto, more of a hitter's park than San Francisco, perhaps even a tad better than last year's.
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