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As I alluded to in my 3rd baseman posting, first base scares me greatly this year in a deep league format.  Outside the big six – Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, & Mark Teixiera – I see very little reliability from a position that could leave you hurting if you aren’t an owner of one of those guys.  Don’t agree with me?  Well go look at the 1st baseman that come after those 6 on Mock Draft Central to round out your top ten: Konerko, Hosmer, Morse, & Berkman.  Your 11th is Freddie Freeman; the quintessential average first baseman.  I know people want to consider Konerko safe, but he’s 36.  I prefer not to be the first person in line to find out when the wheels come off guys like him.  Then there’s Hosmer – a 22 year old who can’t take a walk.  I like his career long term, but even fangraphs is projecting him around 23/13.  Steals are nice, but I want 30 HRs from my 1st baseman and I want them now!  Round things out with Morse – a person with very little track record though I do kinda trust him – and Berkman.  Hey, if I don’t trust Konerko at 36, why would I trust a guy who had his worst major league season in 2010 and hit 24 of his 31 HRs in the first half of his rebound 2011 campaign who is also 36 and won’t have Pujols in his lineup anymore?  And was that a long sentence or was it just me?  Point being, I do not want to leave the first round without a 1B this year.  Taking Teixiera would most likely ruin my perfect draft, but I would grab him nonetheless.  However, if I could get one of those first 5 this year, I’d feel comfortable taking a risk on Paul Goldschmidt around the 12th.  There are a lot of upside plays later in the draft that I have no problem taking a gamble on, but I want at least one of my first basemen to be an offensive rock for me.

I’ll Avoid

Freddie Freeman - Well duh, ONC, you’ve already said you don’t trust him.  Actually, I didn’t say I have no faith in him, I said he was boring.  Like Gaby Sanchez boring.  But Sanchez’ ADP is 196 while Freeman’s is 120; I called and left a message with mockdraftcentral about this one and they haven’t gotten back with me yet.  Wanted to know if it’s a girls name discount or something.  I also asked them about why guys disappear from the rankings when you filter by position like why I can’t see Berkman and have to rewrite my post because of it.  Don’t they know I have a day job and need to leave for work right now?  Neverthewho!  Some people believe the end of the season was the start of a breakout.  Some people also believe that aliens built Egyptian pyramids.  You can believe whatever you wanna believe.  Just keep it off my History Channel.  I came here for facts!

Ryan Howard – Didn’t have a great season last year then fell down, went boom as the final play of the Phillies playoff run.  He hasn’t played for long but he was a late prospect; dude is 32 coming off a really bad injury.  I think there are better gambles you can make at 176 ADP.

I’ll Go For:

Adam LaRoche - Nestled in the bosom of the the 26th round is a name that many are familiar with from fantasy baseball years past.  LaRoche – which is french for ‘The Roach’, though I don’t know if that’s the bug or the thing you pass around the lava lamp while making philosophical ruminations about Scooby Doo – isn’t sexy, for sure.  He’s a been there, done that kind of guy who gives you 25 HRs and 80 to 90 RBI with a .270 average when healthy.  Considering the health risks of Kendrys Morales (18th round) and Justin Morneau (14th), you’re taking much less risk with his shoulder holding up than you are with the other two.

Chris Davis - Oh yes, I went there.  The hatred of Davis runs deep.  Going back to 2010, he was supposed to be a 30 HR hitter in the middle of a dangerous Texas lineup.  But its hard to stick in a lineup when you strike out 35% of the time.  Though he jacked 21 HRs in 2010, he had a .238 average and showed a lack of patience at the plate with a 5.7% walk rate.  Truthfully, none of these potholes in his game have necessarily changed.  What HAS changed is he’s on a team that doesn’t mind a guy that strikes out 200 times in a season.  If they’re willing to ride Mark Reynolds at 3B while he hits .221, why would they show Davis the door?  Look for 25 HRs, a crap-ton of K’s and don’t expect an average above .250; you shouldn’t be disappointed with finding that with a 297 ADP.

Situation to Monitor: Oakland

They’ve got 4 guys competing for the starter’s role in Oakland this year.  One guy has a great OBP but no power: Daric Barton.  Two of them have great power, ok OBP but a craptacular K rate: Chris Carter & Brandon Allen.  And then there’s Kila Ka’aihue. I just can’t quit this man.  Kila seems to fit everything that Moneyball is supposed to be about: I get on base via walks or I hit a HR.  Kansas City only brought him up last year because they needed someone to cover first while they groomed Hosmer’s game and his scroatee (that’s my term for goatees grown by young men who can’t really grow them.  They’re scruffy lookin.  Scruffy + Goatee = Scroatee.  Get it?  Yeah, whatever to you too!  PS, don’t go look up the Urban Dictionary on that one.  Or do if you need reverse psychology).  Back to the point: That type of confidence in a player doesn’t breed…well, confidence in a player.  This one should play out fairly quickly in spring training but my bitcoins are on the Kila monster winning the job.

  1. longbeachyo says:
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    Wow, a Laroach not as injury prone as someone else??? Not sure I can ride that wave…

    Hey, what about Ike Davis? I know he’s not exactly deep league material, but do you like his value if I miss out on one of the big bats?

    Also, how do you feel about Matt Gamel? …Undrafted sleeper?
    Thanks

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @longbeachyo, I was pointing at the other guys because you have to draft them much higher than LaRoche and might get the same numbers when it’s all said and done. When there’s nearly a 10 round difference, that’s quite significant.

      I do like Ike and have drafted him in my deep league that starts two at first. I don’t know if he’s a 25 HR guy or a 30 t0 35 HR guy but in an OBP league he’s a great 1B option.

      I didn’t highlight Gamel anywhere because his availability is all over the place; yahoo has him as UTIL while CBS & ESPN call him a 3B. I just didn’t know the best place to bring him up and most people have already been buzzed about him so I wanted to highlight some farther out picks. That said, I do like him. Projected to hit 5th in the lineup behind Braun & A-Ram, he should get plenty of RBI opportunities. If he hits .260ish with 20 to 25 HRs, you’re getting great value.

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, In my Yahoo league I see Gamel listed as CI, but not either 1B or 3B, which of course I hadn’t noticed when I drafted him for 3B depth.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @VinWins, interesting. Apparently yahoo recognizes he’ll be a 1B but won’t commit to it. Further proof of how wacky their position choices can be…

  2. Jay29 says:
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    You would think just based on skillset and pedigree that ONE of those Oakland guys could figure it out at some point. I’ve been waiting on these guys in my OPS league for 2 1/2 years, and all they do is put up a nice stretch of 1-for-22 hitting in my lineup every once in a while. So frustrating!

    • Ralph says:
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      @Jay29, I’m of the opinion that Jason Giambi is some sort of crazy voodoo witch doctor and when he left Oakland originally he put a curse on the first base position to never be occupied by an above average player again, forever relegating it to the likes of Scott Hatteberg, Dan Johnson, Daric Barton, and in the ultimate twist of ironic fate, Jason Giambi himself after he lost his mojo.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Jay29, I was going to respond to you but I think Ralph sums it up quite nicely :)

      In all seriousness, they’re getting their shot this year. Hopefully one of them takes the reigns and runs with it.

      • Jay29 says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, Yeah, or they each hit .220 in 300 ABs apiece. I dunno, seems like they always make the right decisions for cheap power and on base skills at 1B but nothing ever pays off. Maybe they should just trade for a free-swinger like Carloss Lee or Adam Lind!

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @Jay29, We both know the voodoo cursre of Giambi wouldn’t allow it!

  3. Mike says:
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    What do you think of Luke Scott?

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Mike, Always a solid play. When healthy, he’s going to get you 20 to 25 HRs and about 70 RBIs. He’ll get sat against LHP a lot, but I’ve never turned him down if I was in need and he was there late in my draft.

  4. Todd says:
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    In a 12 team H2H keeper league, who do you like more at 1st?

    Adam Lind, Ike Davis, or Ryan Howard?

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Todd, Ike has less average risk, but perhaps is a higher health risk (more the Mets doctors’ fault than his. I don’t think they could diagnose a decapitation) than Lind. I wouldn’t even rank Howard. It’s Ike then Lind for me.

  5. Dale says:
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    I hope people realize what day it is they’re drafting before they start wasting a flier on Davis or LaRoche.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Dale, Both are owned in my 12 team league where we start 2 at each IF position, 5 OF and 2 UTIL. It depends on your league settings whether a deep league post works for your team.

  6. Sean says:
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    I got Kendrys, Dunn, and Morneau all “late” (14th-16th round, 70-keeper league so maybe 18th-20th round adjusted) in a draft. The idea with deeper picks is upside. All of these guys are risky but the upside is there, and you only need one of them to work out. I think 1B was one of the easier positions to take late this year if you had to (catcher is always the easiest IMO, unless you are in a two-catcher league).

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Sean, Yeah, they all went about there in my 8 keeper as well. No arguments here, but part of making a sleeper pick is whether or not you believe in the story. I have a hard time getting behind Kendrys/Morneau this year. Dunn I was lukewarm on but he went before I was ready to look at him.

  7. Lubey says:
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    @ Nut cups or others w/ advice

    I wrote this same post in another thread and was looking to get some feedback. Just wanted to get your advice on my league settings. The commish loves to tweek little things every year and Im always a step behind on his new trends. These are the settings…….

    http://games.espn.go.com/flb/leaguesetup/settings?leagueId=231680

    After seeing the settings, would there be any specific players that you would move up or lower in the top 300 rankings??? Thanks for the info! Much appreciated.

    ps: it is a weekly head to head league if that helps.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Lubey, Having no average makes it just fine to draft a guy like Mark Reynolds a little higher. Your high power/low average guys in general move up, especially the ones who walk alot; steals only guys move down. The higher the SLG%, the more you should want them.

      Stats like hitting for the cycle, CG, SHO, Pefect game, etc don’t really change anything since it’s H2H. Someone is going to get lucky one week, not lucky the next. Those are crapshoot stats.

      Sorry about the link issue. My computer let me know exactly where the link led to or else I would not have clicked either.

      • Lubey says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, Hey thanks for the response man. I will def keep the high power/low avg guys in mind while im drafting tonight.

        I have another question for you. He changed the pitching so that now a win is worth 10pts and a save is also worth 10pts. Does this mean that starters and closers should be drafted equally?? Thanks again.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @Lubey, since you have IP as a stat for 3 points, I would say no. You’re going to get a max of 60 or 70 IP out of an RP in a given year. SP still hold their weight.

  8. Project_Badass says:
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    12-team 5×5 roto 4-player keeper (loose the round u drafted the player in)

    Would you trade Alex Gordon and a closer (like Putz) for Desmond Jennings? Alex Gordon costs a 26th round pick in 2013, and 25th in 2014, Jennnings costs a 23rd in 2013 and 22nd in 2014.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Project_Badass, I’d make that trade in a keeper.

  9. SwaggerJackers says:
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    I’m all in on the tandem of Cuddyer and Ike Davis as my 1Bs in both leagues I’m in. The top guys were all kept, didn’t trust Konerko, Berkman or Hosmer and Morse still went higher than I expected.

    Any thoughts of Parmelee or Smoak? Parm looked solid at the end of last season and has continued to hit well this spring.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @SwaggerJackers, keepers makes it harder to get those top end 1B and probably put a strangle on the 1B market if Morse moved up. Would prefer to start Cuddyer at 2B if he has it or OF but can’t fault it when the market is tight.

      Parm is solid just nothing great. Think 12 to 15 HRs and a .280′ish average. Have very little faith in Smoak but if he can find his groove, could hit .250 20 HR. Not excited about either.

  10. Mike says:
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    Will Belt make the Giants roster? If so, will he get everyday at bats? Right now I have him as my #5 OF.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Mike, He’s making the team, it looks like. The bigger question is, is there any space in Bochy’s head to put him in the lineup? I’d like to think so, but we have to wait and see. Potential is there if he can get his ABs this year.

  11. Slappy says:
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    You might try Adam Dunn and Kendrys Morales. That’s what I’m going for, or went for in my later drafts. Looks something like this:

    R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, SLG

    C-Ianetta
    1B-Dunn
    2B-Cano
    3B-Zim
    SS-Hanley
    OF-Kendrys
    OF-Choo
    OF-Cespedes
    Util-Michael Young
    Util-Brett Lawrie
    Util-Carlos Lee
    BN-Cozart

    Zach’s on the team, well, ’cause he’s named Zach.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Slappy, I was trying to showcase targets that were going later than the 18th round if possible or at least people that aren’t being talked about seemingly everywhere you look for sleeper potential but I hear ya.

      Cozart makes sense with Hanley since we don’t know for sure what he’s going to provide this year or how fully healed he is. Not a Michael Young/Carlos Lee guy and I’d have to assume you took Cano in the first based on the rest of your roster. As you can tell, I would rather have a 1B from there. It looks like you took on a lot of risk by going after both Kendrys and Dunn. If everyone’s healthy and functioning to their maximum, you should have a pretty good team but that’s a big if.

  12. wovenstrap says:
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    My SPs are Greinke, CJ Wilson, Latos, Gio, Hudson, Aribal, Marcum, Beachy, Peavy, Worley. If you had to pick a starting 5 from that group, who are they? Who are #6 and #7? Should any of them be spot-started based on splits?

    Thanks!

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @wovenstrap, Your first 8 are your first 7 :) That’s a pretty stacked staff. Peavy & Worley are wildcards but I wouldn’t say they have splits, per se. Starting 5 would always be based on matchups when you have 8 strong, but in a vacuum and it’s 5×5, I’d say Greinke, CJ, Latos, Gio, and Anibal but really, any of those first 8 could be part of a starting 5.

  13. Tony says:
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    is it me or does hosmer feel like votto-lite? he could soph slump it, but then again he could take the next step….

    19/11 and .293 in his first year? not too shabby.

    34 BB and 82 K? that’s not that terrible. And can be improved upon.

    Again it’s all about upside with him. For dependibility you better grab a 1B early.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Tony, Yeah, he puts the ball in play when he swings. If his K% were bad, it would be a major issue but he can repeat his .290 average. I can see the Votto lite comparison since there’ll be more steals and less HRs, at least this year. Not against him, just would like my HR ceiling from 1B to be closer to 30 than 25.

  14. chata says:
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    my deep thought : 1A

    screw nova science now
    and their voice ads .

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @chata, we’ll let the web guys know. Thanks!

      • chata says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups,

        thanks for taking care of that .

        it was a double-whammy sort of thing .
        once when i read the article .
        again when i read the posts .

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @chata, yeah, I got nailed every time I hit reply today so I’m thankful as well :)

  15. Black Beard says:
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    Is Bourjos a guy you should just forget about in OBP leagues? Looking through the projections his OBP appears a bit brutal.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Black Beard, His OBP would hurt but he’s still good with the counting stats. Just depends on what else is available. He loses some value but not all.

  16. thefaketom says:
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    soooo…what should I do when Berkman is my 1B? I snagged Kemp at #3 (according to grey it should have been Braun, rudy said Kemp…I’m more partial to the ‘fro than the ‘stach {mainly because I can grow a ‘stach and it’s more human and obtainable than a ‘fro})…

    Overall regular 5×5 h2h (I CAN TRADE NEXT SEASONS DRAFT PICKS)
    C-Weiters
    1B-Berkman
    2B-Uggla
    3B-Beltre
    SS-Aybar
    OF-Kemp
    OF-Stanton
    OF-Jennings
    UTIL-Camron/Howard/Cepedes/Cozart/Hill

    SP-Greinke
    SP-Bumgardner
    SP-Sanchez
    SP-Volquez
    SP-Sanchez

    (Shit load of RP’s for saves/k’s/era/whip)…like five total; three closers, one will be closer JANSEN, one handcuff ROMO…

    fyi GOD I love Dewers white label.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @thefaketom, Unless you can package and upgrade to someone who needs MI help, there’s not much you can do except wait and pray Howard comes back strong. Team looks strong overall, no glaring holes anywhere. Staff looks strong for K’s. Volquez and Filthy Sanchez might tie you to the WHIPping post here and there but the other three should balance them out; you’re pretty much going to strike out the league Good team overall.

      My bald self is more on the Braun side of things. Never had Dewars; more partial to Scotch.

  17. Will says:
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    Adam LaGross

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Will, No arguments here but in a deep league, he’s going to be owned. When you consider the alternatives in that neighborhood of the draft are a guy like Garrett Jones, 25/90 with a .270 average looks mighty appealing.

  18. MH says:
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    The situation I’m monitoring is CHC. Brian LaHair is actually a fascinating deeper sleeper. He hit 40 HR between triple-a and the majors last year, and while it was the PCL, it was one of the American divisions, which aren’t quite the same deal as the Pacific divisions (they play roughly neutral). While most seem to believe he’s only keeping Anthony Rizzo’s seat warm, the projections see him hitting 25-35 homers if he gets a full season. If he doesn’t produce, then Rizzo gets another shot, this time in much friendlier confines, but I’m thinking it’s a smart move for Theo to see what LaHair can do before handing the reigns over to Rizzo. Even if both Rizzo and LaHair impress, the Cubs outfield is decrepit enough that there might be room out there for both Brett Jackson and LaHair by then anyway. LaHair has better odds than a lot of others of being this year’s Morse.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @MH, 100% with you on the scenario but I had my LaHair moment last year and his name was Kila. I don’t feel like these types of players get comfortable and they’ll press, knowing if they don’t perform, they’re out by the end of May. Though I did pick him up in the 26th round of my 30 player 12 teamer this year, I don’t have particularly high hopes. If I get a 20/80 season out of him with a .260 average, I’ll be extremely happy given he’s my 1B,LF,RF back up.

      • MH says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, Hah, fair enough! I definitely understand that feeling, but these guys can be such wild cards they’re work taking fliers on. Especially in a ballpark like Wrigley, a guy like LaHair can see his career path altered by a particularly well/poorly timed weather system.

        I actually drafted Morse on a bunch of teams last year, but because I had also drafted Alex Gordon and Morse got off to a slow start, I dropped Morse on almost all of them.

        Still, this is why I don’t entirely agree with Grey on only drafting sexy names for bench hitters and otherwise ignoring bench hitters altogether. Sexy names are great, but so is actual upside. A combo of the two is ideal, but usually when that exists, there’s some other risk (i.e. Brandon Belt and playing time) or they’ll be drafted much earlier. If you can hit on a guy like Gordon or Morse though, its such a massive advantage for your season that I’ll usually take fliers on at least one guy like that, this year on my major teams LaHair is one and the other is Mat Gamel (and I’m only talking seriously deep plays here, not like Lucas Duda or Alex Presley, who I also own on many teams). I prefer the actual production to potential trade value–I think Grey overestimates the combination of likelihood and amount another owner would be willing to pay for if you do get lucky and hit on a Bryce Harper.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @MH, Yeah, those types of trades are league based; most leagues have someone who gets a rush of blood to the head (no the other one) when they see a rookie. I don’t think he’s saying everyone has to be sexy, just moreso that if you’ve got that name on your bench, don’t hesitate to move him for a useful piece that fits your needs if someone is clamoring after them. Vernon Wells is my 5th OF on two of my teams and no one will want to trade for him until May. But if he were Dayan Viciedo or De Aza, I’d probably get some buzz by trades for them right now if a team were in need.

          I wouldn’t have taken LaHair if he didn’t go after the 20th round. At that point, people were just solidifying their rosters. That’s the time I want to start swinging for the fences. Too often those ‘sleepers’ creep up into the early to mid teens in deeper leagues when they really shouldn’t.

          • MH says:
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            @Oregon Nut Cups, Oh yeah, absolutely. The league I got LaHair in is 12 teams, 27 deep with just three bench spots, and I forget exactly where I took him but it was somewhere in the 25-27 range. I actually dropped Reimold instead of him to pick up a pitcher after dealing some pitching for hitting. The Orioles seem more intent on giving Endy Chavez some of Reimold’s ABs and in a league with so few bench spots positional versatility is huge (I also have Mike Aviles on my bench who I also took late and may have some sneaky upside this year) and there’s a greater cost to rostering a player who won’t play full time. I do think Reimold is the safer bet to produce some positive value, but LaHair has a bigger upside, and I’m weak at first base so I wanted some extra potential there in particular.

            • Oregon Nut Cups

              Oregon Nut Cups says:
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              @MH, No Oriole is safe! I like Reimold but he should’ve been starting the last 2 years and hasn’t been. I like his skill set but I don’t know if he’s safe this year. There’s a reason Baltimore is at where they’re at :)

              I like Aviles this year and did a Greydar post on him because of it. His only issue seems to be PT. I’d like to see 600 AB (more likely is 450), but he’s going to probably hit 9th all year. Great bench bat, though, no question. Wish he’d gone cheap enough for me. Keep your eye on Eduardo Nunez for steals potential in NYY. Jeter/A-Rod are gonna DH plenty this year if the DL doesn’t nab them first.

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