This is the year of the pitcher, it’s so deep that people are even naming their kids deep. But that doesn’t mean you need to wait til the end of your draft to fill out your staff. It means don’t waste your top-3 picks on arms and be wise when you grab a pitcher because you might be able to take a bat and then get a pitcher the next round that is on the same tier as the guy you passed on. I drafted with the writers the other day and wow, that turned out to be one big hangover with a side of blurred vision the next day. I still have no idea how I got this cut on my head. Two things I learned, don’t drink and draft because you might end up with Michael Saunders in your OF and taketh what the draft giveth’s. Yes, I said it, plans are nice, but don’t miss a great opportunity when something beautiful appears and the guy you had penciled in at that round is also on the board. I don’t mind a few stretches here and there but don’t make it a habit. I’m a best player available drafter, I like to punt the middle infield positions and Catchers can go hang out with kickers on the football side of the site… except you Wilin Rosario, you can come sit next to Big Papa. Here is my all Late-Round Flyer Team, LRFT for short. It’s comprised of guys I like and people that Grey and other Razzball writers like. I’m here to serve them and fill their coffee and weird requests. Sky likes his green skittles separated into a wooden bowl, Guru makes me starch his turbans and JayWrong makes me tag everything that belongs to Nick at the Razzquarters… Best Internship Ever! Here are the guidelines, this is written for the default ESPN style format and the players have to be less than 20% owned and drafted after the 20th round, yup that’s it.
Travis d’Arnaud (ESPN 3.7%, Yahoo 10%) He’s set to open the season as the Mets everyday catcher. Last year he broke his foot in the minors and delayed his call up til later in the year. The small sample size for the man with the little d who was the key part of the deal that sent the knuckling Really Awesome Dickey to the land of Eh! will now get his turn to shine in the Big Apple. Catchers always need to get a free pass on their first call up, and second chance, and most likely their 3rd and 4th. He was linked last year to a possible deal for Giancarlo but it was hogwash. Our esteemed mustached lothario of the cougar species has written a nice sleeper post back in November when I know you were all good razzballers playing in your RCL Football Leagues. So in case you missed it… read it here. If you punt catcher, which many of you should, grab him late and go stock up on prayer candles….it’s catcher yo!
There really isn’t anyone worth drafting past the 20th round here. I could tell you to grab James Loney,Juan Francisco, Justin Smoak, or even the man that likes to take his pitches and his snitches five feet off the plate, Ike Davis, but really they are not worth it. If you want to take an Adam Lind, who Sky will be covering soon, or gamble on Kendrys Morales then feel free to grab them before the 20th round to fill up your Utility or CI spot.
Scooter Gennett (ESPN 1.7%, Yahoo 7%) He just got covered by Grey the other day and I took him in the writers draft. It might seem redundant to go over him again but here at Razzball we like to beat you over the head til you draft him. Last year in 69 games,uhhh…really?, I can’t help myself , he had a line of 29/6/21/2/.324. Looks sexy doesn’t it, but ah-ha there is one little catch here, he batted .362 vs. Righties and .154 vs. Lefties. Obviously we have a lot of risk in those vs. lefty numbers, but he also only had 39 AB’s against them. If he can bring that BA vs lefties up a bit then we might have something we can set and forget. Remember that Shin-Soo Choo bats .215 vs. Lefties and he’s the 14th rated OF, 39th Overall rated player in Grey’s ranks.
Zack Cozart (ESPN 12%) Cozart was also covered by Grey the other day, but he did it in 2 sentences or less. At 12% owned he might already be taken in some of your leagues for name value or people thinking he still hasn’t peaked, he’s boringly solid. I got a crazy idea, I’m going to go all Tehol and say he will out perform Profar this year because my gut says so. Yup I did that, what are you going to do about it? What’s that gut? You’re hungry? Oh, it’s not fair to do Cozart like that? Fine. Here is why I like him A) he’s consistent, in his two full seasons, I don’t count his call up year and the .345 BABIP he rocked, he’s had lines of (2012) 72/15/35/4/.246 with a BABIP of .282 and (2013) 74/12/63/.254/0 with a BABIP of .285. The major difference is the 32 more RBI’s and I likey that. B) In 2012 he batted leadoff, but he’s not a lead off hitter, last year he split his time between the 2nd and 7th spot. His numbers were similar in the two positions swapping the runs for RBI’s, 39/4/25/.254 vs. 26/7/31/.255. If I’m punting MI and I walk away on draft day with him as my starter to begin the year while I wait for something better to come along then I can live with that. Who knows, maybe that BABIP rises and we get something a little more, but I wouldn’t count on anything less than what he’s been and that’s not that bad after the 20th when you’re punting.
Cody Asche (ESPN 1%) Grey’s boldest call this year and really a bargain if you are thinking of punting 3rd…wait! what? Yup I said it. Punt 3rd. This is one of those years where you might be better off waiting and going all tag team on 3rd base, wow I just pictured a WWF style wrestling match between these guys and these guys with Rowdy Roddy Piper as the guest referee, sorry about that, I use this as the canvas of my mind. OK, back to punting, lets say you want to get all crazy and try to platoon or “insure” in this strategy at 3rd then you can grab Moustakas and Asche and might be starting them both daily by May. You will have to take Magic Mike Moustakas before the 20th, but while your league mates chuckle, you grab Asche last and then you can have the last laugh.
Rajai Davis (ESPN 11.2% and rising) Who has stolen 91 bases in the last two years, most in MLB? Yup, It’s the MahaRAJAI himself, Mr. Davis. With the injury to Andy Dirks we should see a spike in time to Rajai, Mike the offensive SAGNOF specialist around here had a nice write up on him back in January. It doesn’t really matter where he bats in the order because he is one of the best base stealers of his time. When you are going late and you are abiding by Grey’s rules, don’t pay for steals, then Rajai is the perfect guy for you to get a jump in steals from. He’s a .250-.260 hitter that struggles a bit vs. Righties but that doesn’t matter. Steals are like saves, get them when you can and then move on. But, in this case you may not have to, Dirks is set to have back surgery and as many of us know there are no guarantees with surgery recovery, especially the back. I know Detroit has some other options but in a daily league you can be safe to use him at least 4 days out of the week. But oh how beautiful those 4 days can be.