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.
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.