Hyatt's Fantasy Ruminations

I know a lot of you are going to be starting up leagues and drafting teams soon.  I think throwing out some thoughts would make you think a couple things over.  I'm going to focus on the first 6 rounds in the initial installment.  So without further ado, here are some of my early round fantasy thoughts:

- the player people are taking in the early rounds that scares me the most is Ichiro. He's aging, and his abilities are waning.  He only had 10 SBs in the second half.  He still scored 100 runs in a crappy Seattle lineup that is improved, but the majority of his value to a team was his average which dropped significantly in the 1st half.  If he hits .320 like he did in the 2nd half, he's an asset, but not as big as using a 3rd round pick on.

- Being a fantasy freak, I spend way too much money on Fantasy Baseball magazines.  One I enjoy (because it is written by guys that actually make money on Fantasy Baseball publishing) has historical earners from the past 3 years.  The following players have been in the top 5 at their respective positions for the past 3 years:

C- Joe Mauer

1B- Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer

2B- Chase Utley

SS- Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Derek Jeter

3B- Alex Rodriguez, David Wright

OF- Matt Holliday, Ichiro Suzuki

SP- Johan Santana, CC Sabathia, Brandon Webb

RP- Joe Nathan

I just warned you on Ichiro, but he's been a safe bet.  The other one that should jump out is Jeter.  People have been saying he's been on a downslide for a couple years now, and they aren't wrong.  But he's in an amazing offensive lineup and has two of the best run producers in the game hitting behind him.  He'll be top 5 once again, without any caveats.  and for those curious, these guys have been top 5 in their position for the past 2 years:

C- Russ Martin

SS- Jimmy Rollins

OF- Ryan Braun

SP- Cole Hamels, Dan Haren

- Is Carl Crawford worth a pick?  Let's look at his projections...

Chone: 84 R, 14 HR, 73 RBI, 38 SB, .298 Ave, .797 OPS

Pecota: 76, 10, 54, 30, .274, .731

Fantasy Baseball Guide: 69, 8, 57, 35, .280, .765

I'm looking at this, and I'm thinking, "There are guys out there that I can get much later in the draft that will put up 80-90% of these stats without having to use a 4th or 5th rounder."  Who are these magical guys?  Try Carlos Gomez and Denard Span of the Twins where you can get the steals, runs, and power after the 15th.  Same with Josh Anderson of the Braves.  The fact is that Crawford will not produce enough to be worth using an early round pick.

- I may be playing with some of you this year, but I have an obligation to discuss strategy.  In the first 6 rounds, this is what I'm looking to walk away with in EVERY draft.  3 power guys, 1 Ace, 1 speed guy, and 1 closer.  Power is becoming a precious comodity, and you need sure things here.  Then I want an ace, just to make sure I got a guy that I will be able to get a win just about every week from.  Then, speed is the story.  If I can get 40-50 steals in the first 6 rounds, I'm pretty happy.  Lastly, I need a sure closer that I can make sure I will have 35-40 saves right out of the gate.  Follow this strategy, and you are well on your way to being upper echelon in your league.

- My Fantasy of the week!!! (NSF those who don't like sexy women)

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