Jonesing for offensive depth
1) Jorge De La Rosa, SP, Colorado Rockies
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
Fear made me do it! Last year, my teams were hit by so many injuries to pitchers that I decided to be safe and stock my bench with one more pitcher.
2) Carlos Pena, 1B, Houston Astros
Team: Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
I have backups for the outfield and middle infield, so an extra corner guy was in order. He's seen a dramatic decline these last two seasons, but perhaps staying in the AL while calling a hitter's park home can help lead to a resurgence. Should he continue his descent, he's an easy drop for my first waiver pick-up.
3) Jeff Niemann, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
I considered this guy with each of my last few. It was between him, Kyle Kendrick and (briefly) Hiroyuki Nakajima for my last one. Again, not much left that is exciting, relative to the depth of this league. I opted for the greatest mix of upside and evidence to support it, in my opinion. Niemann's ability to generate K's won out over Kendrick's relative breakout potential. I'm concerned that Kyle Lohse won't sign until well into the season.
4) Matt Joyce, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
I've taken some upside but needed a tad more Curtis Granderson coverage: Joyce plays at several hitter-friendly parks in April and, with potential weeks filled with right-handed pitchers, could contribute to a month's worth of elite replacement production ... potentially a fine platoon play throughout the season anyway. Maybe the extra hitting studies he's doing this offseason will make him something more than that.
5) Mike Olt, 1B, Texas Rangers
Team: Mark Chamberlin, Baseball Sharks | Roster
He might not last on my roster beyond Week 1, but this is the time of year for high-upside fliers. Middle-of-the-order bats in lethal lineups with 30+ HR upside usually aren't here and all it takes is one injury to open the door.
6) Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Team: Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
The best hitter left on the board in the final round. He's 31, but is coming off career-highs in home runs (27) and RBI (86). An excellent fill-in if anyone gets hurt.
7) Lucas Duda, OF, New York Mets
Team: Michael Stein, The Hardball Times | Roster
Just last year, Duda was regarded as a sleeper coming off an impressive second half of 2011. However, he regressed in 2012, proving he could not hit left handed pitching with any consistency. However, he is still young and is the Mets' only true fixture in their outfield. He will be playing every day and has the potential to hit 20-25 home runs if he can become more disciplined at the plate. He probably won't crack my starting lineup, but he is good insurance to have and could become trade bait if he produces.
8) Trevor Rosenthal, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
With this last pick, I just wanted a boom or bust guy, and Rosenthal fit the bill. If he can land a spot in the rotation, you have to love his chances for good fantasy numbers. This guy can bring it 100 mph and has great stuff.
9) Dan Straily, SP, Oakland Athletics
Team: Bill Macey, Baseball HQ | Roster
With my final pick, I had planned on speculating on Trevor Rosenthal, only to see him taken the pick before me. Instead, I took Straily, who struck out over 200 batters over the minors and majors last year and will pitch in a favorable home park, assuming he makes the team.
10) Francisco Liriano, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
Why make the injured lefty my last selection? We've got two DL spots in this league. I'll put Liriano on the DL and then grab another SP as soon as I can.
11) Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Team: Mark Bloom, RotoExperts/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
Hamilton could have 100 steals this year if he starts the season in the majors. In fact, he just stole three bases by the time you finished reading this blurb.
12) Cory Luebke, SP, San Diego Padres
Team: Josh Shepardson, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
I wanted to select Liriano with my final pick, but Ray selected him two picks prior. I often advocate using every roster spot, and that includes the disabled list. I'm practicing what I preach with the Luebke selection.
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