OF - Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Hamilton is one player I can pretty much safely say I will not be drafting this season. Again, he is one of the best hitters in all of baseball, but it is the combination of everything that we tell ourselves to avoid in an early-round pick that will make me pass in pretty much any format this year. Injury risk will always be a factor with Hamilton, and now he goes to a worse ballpark and has the baggage of the big free-agent contract on top of it. I'm not saying he won't be good again. I am just saying I am letting someone else shoulder the risk, because there are safer players to take at the point in the draft where Hamilton's numbers and ADP say he should go. Eventually, the value will look too good to pass up, and someone could indeed get back great second-round value. It just won't be me.
See ya, CC
OF - Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers - I think it's fitting to list him after Hamilton, since the former's departure will thrust Cruz into a more crucial spot in the Rangers' lineup. I frankly am just not sold that he will be up to the task this year. He finally stayed healthy last year (for the first time), and the big numbers didn't really materialize. In fact, his homer total dipped to 24. He won't give you double-digit steals anymore, and he won't win you any batting titles either. I just don't see the upside anymore and would rather get a more stable commodity for my OF2/3 if I can.
SP - CC Sabathia, New York Yankees - He's been a great pitcher for a long time, but the cracks in the armor are starting to show. He's logged a ton of mileage on that arm of his, and he is not a small man. His arm was barking last year, and at the point he is being drafted, I am firmly deciding he will not be on my teams this year. Can he still go out and have a good year? Sure he can. But for me, beyond the worries I have about age, mileage and conditioning, the once potent Yankee offense looks like a shell of its former self. I think it's going to be a long year in the Bronx. I'm looking elsewhere for the top of my fantasy rotations this year.
RP - Joel Hanrahan, Boston Red Sox - Honestly, I have other names that I could use here, like Chris Perez, Fernando Rodney or Jim Johnson. But I think if you took a poll and asked which American League closer scares you the most, Hanrahan would come in first hands down. His save totals the last two years obscure a shaky skill set that is not ideally suited to Fenway Park. The Sox also have a lot of other candidates in their pen, so the leash could be pretty short if too many of the fly balls he surrenders end up as souvenirs.
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