1) Ichiro Suzuki, OF, New York Yankees
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
Suzuki is 39. Will he repeat his last year's stellar performance in NY? I am willing to risk.
Not a CHIP, but a sleeper
2) Marco Estrada, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
Felt the need to address pitching here and thought about Hiroki Kuroda and Doug Fister. But Estrada's 9.30 K/9 was in the top 10 of pitchers who threw 100-plus innings last year and he does a tremendous job of limiting walks (1.86 BB/9). He's just coming into his own right now and I expect him to move up a level of performance this season.
3) Alexi Ogando, SP, Texas Rangers
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
I felt a little urgency to draft a reliever here, on the comeback, but I'm going to gamble that one or two of those I'm targeting will still be available. I expect a number of them to go after I select, but I need to begin building pitching depth, period, with a focus on strikeout pitchers with high-end skills. Ogando has already proven that he can be above-average in a starting role, thanks to guidance from his organization as well as his own abilities.
4) Doug Fister, SP, Detroit Tigers
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
Not my ideal choice considering his shaky K profile, but everything else about him is gold. If I'm going to experiment with upside arms later on, this is quite the bedrock to allow me to pursue that strategy. I believe in him enough to consider this a steal.
5) John Axford, RP, Milwaukee Brewers
Team: Mark Chamberlin, Baseball Sharks | Roster
I like closers that have held the job for multiple years and don't have any viable threats behind them. Axford fits that mold perfectly, only concern being I think he tried to pitch through an injury last year so here's hoping he's over whatever ailed him.
6) Mike Morse, 1B/OF, Seattle Mariners
Team: Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
It seems Morse has dropped a little further than he should have because of the trade to Seattle. He may have some contact issues, but he hits the ball hard ... and a left-field wall that's 10-12 feet closer and over 10 feet lower makes him a definite home run threat, especially in a division with Houston and Texas.
7) Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals
Team: Michael Stein, The Hardball Times | Roster
I was targeting Moustakas hoping he would last awhile, and I didn't think he would make it back to me by my next pick. His first full season in the majors in 2012 had mixed results, but there is no denying his power. He is still young and has a lot to learn, especially against lefties. But even if the batting average doesn't top .260 I am still happy signing up for 20-25 home runs and 75-80 RBI.
Aussie Aussie Aussie
8) Joel Hanrahan, RP, Boston Red Sox
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
Not sure how many decent closers will be left by the time I pick again, so I took my second at this point. Hanrahan was a little up and down last season but still posted solid numbers. He heads to a team that should give him plenty of save chances and a new league that hasn't seen him much. These are all pluses in my eyes.
9) Michael Cuddyer, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies
Team: Bill Macey, Baseball HQ | Roster
I grabbed Cuddyer in this round for two reasons: most importantly, any player on the Rockies is always a threat to post a monster season. But I also wanted a dual-eligible player like Cuddyer to give me more roster flexibility in-season to help maneuver around inevitable injuries.
10) Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
I believe Lester will rebound in 2013. Here's the reasons why.
11) Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, Seattle Mariners
Team: Mark Bloom, RotoExperts/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
After picking Rafael Soriano, I really wanted to follow up with another closer. Wilhelmsen was available and I took him mainly due to his high K rate.
12) Grant Balfour, RP, Oakland Athletics
Team: Josh Shepardson, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
I was hoping to nab Wilhelmsen, but he was snapped up right in front of me. Balfour was the next closer in my rankings. He has been excellent four of the last five years and is a reliable second closer for my team.
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