Yesterday, we went over our top ten here. Today, we’ll go from 11 thru 20. Usually in the first round you can’t go too wrong, but your fantasy team can be hurt with your second choice, depending on where you draft (and I don’t mean Afghanistan as opposed to Virginia). I’ve seen people reach in the 2nd round and it has hurt them. You want as safe as a pick as possible. Only once in the next ten do I go out on a bit of a limb, but we’ll get to that. Without further ado:
11. Jimmy Rollins – You’re thinking right now, “I wish Jimmy Rollins would be there at the 11th pick, but he won’t.” Let’s not forget his thirty home runs were the best of his career and now he’s going to be 30 years old in 2008. So if someone else takes him earlier, c’est la vie. Yes, that may be the only time c’est la vie has ever been written in a fantasy baseball blog. Projections: 130/22/70/35/.290
12. Ryan Howard – If you took Prince Fielder with your number one pick, you may want to look slightly down the list, but, then again, I would strongly consider having Fielder and Howard on the same team, especially if poundage is a category. Projections: 100/50/140/.275
13. Grady Sizemore – According to Indians’ TV commericals, the Ladies love Grady. Well, you will too, if you can grab him here. He’s about to have a season that will push him into the top ten next year. Projections: 120/35/85/.290/30
14. Carl Crawford – He never hit 25 home runs in a season, but he’s still only going to be 27 for 2008. Obviously, you’re coupling this pick with your first round pick, so if you took Jose Reyes in the first round and Crawford is still on the board, you need to pass him up or trade him immediately. But if you took Prince Fielder or Howard, then take Crawford. Projections: 105/15/85/.305/50
15. Johan Santana – I struggled with where to place Santana and I ended up placing him here because I wouldn’t draft him and someone else will before me. So, he’ll probably go sooner than this, but I don’t want him. Not that I think he’ll be bad or that I think he’ll be on the Twins at the start of the season and have trade rumors swirling around him for half the season. I don’t. I just think it’s very important to build around offense early, but that’ll have to wait for another post. Projections (these are likely to change depending on where he ends up in a trade): 18-9/240/3.10/1.06
16. Alfonso Soriano – He’s now 32 in Latin years, which means he’s anywhere from 32 to 40. He slowed down a lot last year and he already has the contract that can keep him in coke and whores for the rest of his life. The years of 30/30 are probably behind him. 115/35/75/.280/20
17. Carlos Lee – El Caballo has put up solid numbers year in and out. He slowed down a bit last year with his lowest steal total since ’02, so that may be a harbinger of things to come, but you want a steady performer in the 2nd round, the horse is your man. Projections: 90/35/120/.295/7
18. Alexis Rios – You wanted the limb; here I am out on it. He’ll be 27 in ‘08 and he’s headed for the first round in ‘09. This may feel like you’re reaching, but trust me, you will not be disappointed. You know what you think Carlos Beltran will do? Well, Rios is about to do it. Get him before one of your leaguemates. Projections: 120/32/110/.300/25
19. Vladimir Guerrero – Just back from his third tour of ‘Nam and his knees have never been worse. He’s got enough natural ability that he’ll still be valuable. Just don’t expect steals anymore. Projections: 105/32/125/.315/3
20. David Ortiz –The knee may be a thing of the past, but something else might just pop up because he has a body type that doesn’t age well. If you were to pass him by for this reason and his eligibility concerns, I would understand. Projections: 115/40/120/.310
After 20 – Many players, obviously, but notably…
Ryan Braun – He’ll probably go before “after 20,” but that’s fine. You don’t want him in ’08. For every McGwire Rookie of the Year, there’s a dozen woulda-shouldas. Let someone else deal with the possible headache, because as stated here by The Baseball Analysts:
The only disconcerting split involves (Braun’s) BB/SO totals against righties. He has drawn five more walks vs. LHP in 151 fewer AB while striking out just 13% of the time as compared to 24% vs. RHP.
Problems with righties could be a problem. Not a good pitching side to struggle against. I’m not saying he will be dreadful; I’m saying he may have his struggles. In the 2nd round, you don’t want to risk it.