7) Alcides Escobar, SS, Kansas City Royals
Team: Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
I may have overrated Escobar in my rankings, but he'll likely be hitting second in a pretty decent Royals lineup. He offers solid speed (35 steals in 40 attempts last season) and he showed significant improvement last year in his ability to hit the ball hard.
Need for speed - & HR - trumps BA
8) Nelson Cruz, OF, Texas Rangers
Team: Mark Chamberlin, Baseball Sharks | Roster
I did not anticipate filling out my outfield this early in the draft, but the risk/reward with Cruz was too good to pass up this late.
9) Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
I planned on waiting a bit longer for a corner infielder, but the return Paulie provides at this pick was too tantalizing to ignore. His power will probably top out in the mid-20s and not -30s thanks to his decreasing amount of lofts, but Konerko's run production remains sounds as long as he's affixed to the middle of this lineup and plays home games at U.S. Cellular Field.
10) Brandon Morrow, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
I haven't taken a pitcher since the first few rounds, and I felt that the earnings potential of hitters remaining was no longer as appealing as that of some pitchers I like. Morrow has ace-like potential, if he puts it all together and pitches 200 stanzas. He's become a more efficient pitcher, and I'm hoping that'll continue. He gives me 3 plus-plus K producers, too. I was a little disappointed that a host of players I coveted went in the past 20 picks or so, but I like Morrow quite a bit, too, so I considered no one else, other than Dan Haren.
11) Danny Espinosa, 2B/SS, Washington Nationals
Team: Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
The batting average is a bummer, but the power/speed combo makes for an extremely productive roto player. Throw in the eligibility at both second and short and my middle infield has great coverage should someone get injured. Thought about possibly waiting another round on him but with Pasko needing a second baseman, the time was right for this move.
12) Adam LaRoche, 1B, Washington Nationals
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
Injuries happen and with A. Gonzalez on my team, it is wise to pick a CI early. Paul Konerko went 3 picks before me, so I went with the next best.
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