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4 Young players (under 25), not named Harper, Stanton, or Trout, we want on our team this season:

4) Willin Rosario - If you could take any catcher after round 10, Rosario is the guy to target.  At just 24, Willin already has 31 HR, 79 RBI and a 0.824 OPS in just 450 major league at bats.  If he continues to improve, you could be staring down the barrel of a 35 HR season sometime soon from your catcher position, and he wont kill you in any stat.

3) Chris Sale - At just 23, Sale has proven five things:  he can throw heat for strikes, he can setup out of the bullpen, he can close games, he can anchor a rotation as a starter.  Arm health is the only question with Sale, but should he continue to maintain a sturdy arm, you should expect numbers of at least an elite #2 starter - 15+ wins, 200 K's, an ERA right around 3.00.

2) Starlin Castro - Castro has many things going for him this year.  At just 22, he already has almost three full major-league seasons under his belt, he plays a middle infield position (very well I might add), and he's fully capable of filling all 5 major ROTO statistics.  Over the past two full seasons, Castro is averaging .296-86-12-72-23 and seems to be trending in the right direction.  The sky is the limit for the young shortstop.

1) Madison Bumgarner - Mad Bum pitches has pitched so well over his past three-plus seasons that people might tend to forget that he's just 23.  He pitches in a great NL pitchers-park, he's won almost a half-a-game per start so far, and struck out over a batter/IP over his short career.  The only thing we'd be cautious of heading into 2013, is that his ERA has risen to an uncharacteristic 3.37 over each of the past three years.  If he can get the home runs back down to 2011 form, and keep the hits down like he did last year, Bumgarner could top a 17 win season with 200 K's and an ERA below 3.00.  We're all in.

Honorable Mentions - Brett Lawrie 22, Freddie Freeman 23, Jason Heyward 23, Manny Machado 20, Josh Rutledge 23, Salvador Perez 22, Eric Hosmer 23, Jesus Montero 23

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4 veterans over 35 that could provide a useful fantasy season:

4) Tim Hudson 37 - You gotta respect a guy in this day and age who can play through 14 major league seasons for just two teams.  Husdon is the owner of 197 career wins, a 3.42 ERA over 14 seasons, and more than 1800 career strikeouts.  The great thing is, he's barely showing signs of slowing down.  The 37 year old posted a 16-7 record last season, with a 3.62 ERA.  We think he has at least one more 14+ win season left in him - and you can probably get him in the wee hours of your draft.

3) Derek Jeter 38 - Every year I cast Jeter off onto the island of fantasy has-beens.  Yet I find myself owning him in at least one league every year.  The talent level, no matter the age, seems to be appropriate for the round owners can secure him in.  There hasn't been a season in his 18 year career in which he didn't record at least 100 runs, 11 HR, or 11 SB. In fact, he's averaging 104-14-20 in those three categories in his career.  We don't think he's close to being done, either.

2) Paul Konerko 36 - When you look at Konerko's stats since 1999 when he went to the White Sox, you can only pick out two seasons where he didn't hit at least .277 or hit 25 home runs.  In fact, he's a career .283 hitter and has averaged 30 homers and 89 RBI's in each of his 14 full seasons.  Konerko is a guy you'd want to own should you target pitching or outfielders early in your draft. 

1) David Ortiz 37 - Arguably the best DH of all time, Ortiz could only hurt your fantasy team in terms of clogging up your Utility position.  Since coming over to Boston in 2003 and receiving full time AB's, Big Papi has averaged 34 Home Runs and 109 RBI's per season.  Tack on a career .285 batting average (including 5/10 seasons in Boston over .300), and you've got some fantasy gold.  We rank Ortiz slightly lower than your typical elite power hitter due to not being eligible at any fantasy position, but if you're looking for some power numbers somewhat under the radar, snag the 7 time all-star.  With a full season of AB's, Big Papi should be good for .290-85-30-100 in the early middle rounds.


Honorable Mentions - A-ROD 37, Ichiro 39, Michael Young 36, Joe Nathan 38, Torii Hunter 37, RA Dickey 38

 


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