Fantasy Baseball Drafting: A look at the first round

      February 21, 2013 @ 17:34:12 PDT

Your 2013 fantasy baseball drafts are quickly approaching, folks. As the heavy draft season nears, I figured I'd give you my top-12 redraft picks of the first round. We've said it a trillion times before, but I'll remind you anyway: It's uber-important to be as risk-averse as possible when making your first- and early-round selections. Regardless of what your average-draft-position rankings say, over half of those names won't end up returning first-round value at the end of the 2013 season. Just another little something to chew on as you contemplate your first-round strategies...

Player name
Team name
Miguel Cabrera
As stable as they come in the player pool. Miggy is probably the best pure hitter - still - in the league. I'll take the consistency.
Ryan Braun
PED scandal aside, Braun is one of the safest first-round bets. What if the PED allegations amount to nothing? You'll be sorry you passed on him.
Robinson Cano
Many like Trout here. Not me. Cano is incredibly stable despite some minor red flags. Plus, 2B positional scarcity is ugly.
Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburgh Pirates

Excited with his growth season last year. Possibility for minimal regression here, but he's yet to hit his peak. The team is slowly improving as a whole, too
Matt Kemp
Assuming he's healthy, he could easily rebound, but not quite to 2011 levels. Also, I'm not expecting a .300 BA.
Albert Pujols
He's no longer the consensus No. 1, sure, but he's still mighty good, and he has a track record. Slow starts last two seasons aren't scaring me away. He could easily be MVP again.

Mike Trout

Call me crazy, I know. Trout was heralded as a speed prospect in the minors and certainly wasn't expected to hit 30 homers. Yeah, he's good, but is he that good? I'm skeptical. The .383 BAPIB will correct itself. His 6-foot-1, 240-pound body is scaring me as well.
Carlos Gonzalez
Injuries are always a concern with Car-Go, and hopefully they led to backward trending skills in the 2H. First-round talent is undeniable, though.
Joey Votto
Knee and wrist injuries are worrisome if they sap him of his power. If not, he could easily return top-five value. Are you willing to take the risk that he'll bounce back from his ailments last year?
Prince Fielder
Positive gains in contact and line-drive rate give added hope for a more balanced skill set. Power may suffer a bit, but he could be the safest pick in the second half of the first round.
Giancarlo Stanton
A serious threat to hit 50-plus HRs over a full season. When considering his shaky contact skills, that's scary impressive. If any gains are made in his batting eye, well, the possibilities are mind-boggling to imagine.
Clayton Kershaw
I usually don't select pitchers in the first round, but if any pitcher is worthy of it this year, it's gotta be Kershaw. He's elite as they come.


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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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