Happy 2013 to all, if you're reading this, you've obviously survived the apocalypse, the holidays, in-laws, the flu, and your fantasy football league.  We hope 2013 brings big things to our readers.  We'll start with hoping for a top finish in baseball and football leagues.  Here's a very early set of lists heading into the 2013 fantasy baseball season.
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4 Players we're targeting early in drafts this season:

4) Mark Trumbo - The guy is probably closer to 10 in pre-draft 1B rankings than 5, but with that supporting cast, and last years numbers at the age of 25, we see big things for him in 2013.  Especially if he can bring up the .268 average.

3) Jose Reyes - Well, last year was certainly a failed experiment for the Marlins, and that experiment dragged down Reyes' value just enough for you to be able to get a decent enough deal on him.  We think you can expect 100 runs, 10 HR, and 30 SB in a very deep Toronto lineup for a fairly reasonable price (2nd round?). 

2) Yoenis Cespedes - Cespedes quietly put together a fantastic rookie season in limited AB's in 2012, so we think he could be had for a bargain price in 2013.  He got on base in each of his final-10 2012 games, and posted 3 HR and 6 RBI in that span.  Expect close to a .300 average, close to 30 HR, and close to 100 RBI this season.

1) Matt Cain - The guy is a horse.  Over 200 IP in each of his last six seasons, at least 163 K's in each of his last seven, with at least 12 wins in each of his last four.  He ranked sixth in ERA last season, and third in WHIP.  We have him (contrary to some) ahead of guys like Dickey, Latos, Lester, Scherzer, and Greinke.  Target Cain as your #2 SP in the early-middle rounds, and you won't be sorry you did.

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Four Players we expect a turnaround season from in 2013:

4) Tim Lincecum - What a major disappointment for most managers last season.  Lincecum failed for the first time in 5 seasons to reach 200 IP; his BB's have risen in each of the past four years, and his strikeouts have declined in each of the past four.  But we think last year was the anomaly.  Target Lincecum in the middle rounds, expecting a line similar to his 2010 season - 16 W, 3.43 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 231 K.

3) Adam Wainwright - While Waino bounced back last last season, we think 2013 will be more forgiving, as he's a year removed from Tommy John surgery now.  Before surgery, Wainwright went 39-19 with a ERA around 2.50 in his 2009 and 2010 seasons.  We think he could be a steal in the middle rounds - providing you with 15+ wins, 200 K, and an ERA under 3.10.

2) Jacoby Ellsbury - Jacoby has alternated hot and cold seasons in each of the past 5 years.  The Red Sox have gotten rid of the clubhouse distractions, brought in a coach that the players should love to play for, and Ellsbury should be past his shoulder troubles.  Victorino in the Boston OF should make playing defense that much easier for Ells, too.  We think if you take the risk, you should be rewarded with a .300 BA, 90 R, and 35 SB.

1)  Troy Tulowitzki - We've seen Tulo pretty low on draft boards this winter, and that's something we will continue to drool over.  Tulo should provide superb value in the 2nd-4th rounds should he be available.  Troy is a guy who hovered around .300, 30 HR, and 90 RBI, 10 SB from 2009-2011.  He seems ready to go this year, so hope for a major bounce-back season from Tulo.  We like his ceiling more than just about all SS not named Jose or Hanley.

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4 Players we'd stay away from in drafts (for the current asking price):

4) Asdrubal Cabrera - Shortstop is a pretty deep position after the drop-off from the top 4 guys (we have Reyes, Tulo, Hanley, Castro).  But after that you see a massive middle tier of players who can contribute in one way or another.  With that being said, you can get the same value whether you reach for Cabrera (who's currently ranked 7th amongst SS here ) in the middle rounds, or wait on a guy like Rutledge, Hardy, or Zobrist a few rounds later; providing you with similar, if not better, stats at a better price.

3)  Jarrod Saltalamacchia - We find no reason to rank a catcher who hit .222 last season in the top 12 for fantasy purposes.  And we've seen Salty pretty high up on some draft boards.  Why not pick up a guy like Miguel Montero, Alex Avila, or Salvador Perez several rounds later?  The 25 home runs was nice, but why kill every other stat at your catcher position?  Add Napoli (we think), and David Ross to the Sox catcher mix, and we just don't see Salty ranking inside even the top 14 catchers in leagues.

2) Adrian Gonzalez - When you draft a first baseman, you want stats, stats, and more stats.  You usually draft 1B for premium power stats, and if you can't do that, you wait on a guy like Freeman, Butler, or Hosmer - guys who have potential to get you at least 4 stat categories.  We can't justify paying top dollar for a 1B who has failed to top 31 HR since 2009, has topped .300 just once since 2006, and has never driven in more than 119 runs.  Don't forget - he moved from Fenway Park's short fences to the spacious confines of Dodger Stadium, and lost the DH in his lineup.  Gonzalez could certainly bounce back this year, but don't expect anything more than what he delivered in 2007 - .282, 30, 100, with zero speed numbers.  That's nothing we'd want in our first or second-round 1B.

1) Jason Heyward - Heyward is a classic post-hype sleeper candidate, but why pay it forward when his past stats just don't justify his draft position?  This is a guy who was supposed to crush major league pitching, and has left owners wanting more after three mediocre seasons.  Heyward's asking price is somewhere between rounds 5-7, but he's only averaged .261-20-65-14 over his first three seasons.  Instead of reaching for Heyward's potential stats, wait 3 or 4 rounds and grab a guy like Austin Jackson who's averaged .280-10-51-20 over the same three year span.

 


Comments

we are warriors
05/12/2013 10:56pm

you play fantasy baseball huh??

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