1) Josh Willingham, OF, Minnesota Twins
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
Considered taking a catcher but took an OF because the roster must be filled with 5 OFs plus a Utility spot likely filled by another OF and, second, I find little difference in the production of the undrafted catchers. Hence catchers could wait while an OF with projected 30-plus HRs could not.
Stability valuable, too
2) Fernando Rodney, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
Team: Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
I'm a huge proponent of locking in closers and Rodney's job is, comparatively speaking, pretty secure in Tampa. A competitive Rays team means plenty of opportunities for saves while the team defense is a ground-ball specialist's best friend. Solid strikeout rate to boot!
3) Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
This is probably considerably early for this shortstop. I ignored the position early on, and the options are thin in the middle rounds, with many of them seemingly similar. I didn't feel comfortable waiting on the position any longer, so I took the one I project highest of those who remain. Frankly, he was an easy choice: a safe source of solid BA, 20-plus steals, etc.
4) Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
My plan to pair him with Jesus Montero worked. Lucroy's plate growth has been one of the most ignored of anyone at any position. A fluke injury didn't deter his growth year; it only masked it from most drafters. He'll hit in the middle of this order and should club 15 homers with at least a .280 BA. There's room for more, as well, from the 26-year-old.
5) Carlos Beltran, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Mark Chamberlin, Baseball Sharks | Roster
Like Holliday earlier, nothing sexy about the pick, but at this rate he is a bargain. There is not an unknown ceiling here, but unlike several others being drafted around him there also isn't the same unknown risk. It's important to balance risks with stability throughout the first half of the draft; I like Beltran and Holliday to balance the risks taken with Santana, Jennings, and Hosmer.
6) Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
Looking to add some speed, I get the added bonus of some home run power in Gomez. His average and OBP aren't great, but that's one of the advantages Joey Votto and Joe Mauer give me. I can add an impact hitter without worrying too much about how far he'll drag down my batting average.
How'd the round end?
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