1) Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals
Team: Collin Hager, FantasyPros911.com | Roster
I like little stats. Like the fact Desmond hit 30 points better after the All-Star break than before. And then there is that he hit .326 in 184 at-bats once moved to the two-hole, a place where he likely spends a lot of time in 2011.
2) Joe Nathan, RP, Minnesota Twins
Team: Steve Gardner, USA Today | Roster
After ignoring the 12 closers taken in the last 1 1/2 rounds (which could be the biggest "run" I've ever seen in a fantasy draft), I finally decide it's time to join the party. Even though he's coming back from elbow surgery, I'm banking on Nathan to come close to his previous numbers. If he doesn't, I'll have to make sure I get Matt Capps later on.
3) Matt Thornton, RP, Chicago White Sox
Team: Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
Kuroda, Lilly grabbed
What I love about ChiSox's supposed favorite to close: Even if he doesn't often, Thornton always out-earns his draft slot. He won't get all of them, but saves are now more than a bonus. No-brainer.
4) David Aardsma, RP, Seattle Mariners
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
I'm not sure I can ever remember taking closers with back-to-back picks, but I just wasn't thrilled with my first two closers and felt Aardsma was really the only closer left with high upside for big things. And Aardsma even has question marks because of offseason hip surgery, but I like him as insurance compared to the other options out there.
5) Hiroki Kuroda, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Team: Harold Nichols, Baseball HQ | Roster
Need starting pitchers! Kuroda continues to improve each season. Will break out in wins one of these years, but in the meantime has excellent ERA, WHIP.
6) Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado Rockies
Team: Eriq Gardner, Fantasy Ball Junkie | Roster
Fowler is in position to play every day this season atop the Rockies order, bringing fleet feet, an ability to say yes to walks and a decent chance at double-digit HRs.
7) Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies
Team: Joe Hamrahi, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
This one was simple. I had no catcher. I needed a catcher. I thought Ruiz had the most potential in a lineup full of run producers. Even if Carlos doesn't hit many home runs, he'll score plenty of runs and drive in some more.
8) Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys | Roster
I considered taking a catcher in the 13th and 14th rounds before finally pulling the trigger. I'd have preferred Carlos Ruiz taken one pick before me, but Molina is solid.
9) J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays
Team: Pasko Varnica, Mastersball | Roster
He's a young, full-time catcher, and he has power potential. What is not to like?
10) Ted Lilly, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Team: Doug Anderson, RotoExperts | Roster
Lilly just doesn't get the respect he deserves. He didn't get the wins last year, but we can blame that amazing Cub offense for that. Guy has a great WHIP year after year and will strike out 160-180 hitters with a solid ERA I expect to go down a tick pitching Los Angeles and also frequently in San Diego and San Francisco.
11) Jorge Posada, C, New York Yankees
Team: Tim Heaney, KFFL | Roster
I'm renaming my catchers to DHs. Paired with Victor Martinez, Posada should stay fresh with at-bats at the 0. 15-ish homers plus valuable run and RBI totals for a 15th-round backstop. Jesus Montero won't keep Posada from the lineup.
12) Drew Storen, RP, Washington Nationals
Team: Ryan Lester, Lester's Legends | Roster
With few closers left on the board, I wanted to add a third. All of the remaining closers have question marks, but at least Storen was groomed for the role. He has a good K/9 ratio and should get more rope than the remaining closers. I'm expecting 30 saves in 2011.
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