It isn't a secret that fantasy baseball magazines and web sites have extremely early deadlines to provide their audience with material. While sports fans are knee-deep in NFL playoffs, we're already creating position rankings and our sleeper list. During the time we start writing to the weeks leading up to Opening Day, there are going to be adjustments. These are my modifications and what I've learned after my mock draft.
- Mike Napoli is climbing my list of backstops with David Ortiz likely to miss the first few games due to inflamed heels.
- The depth here is bigger than you think. Top tier guys (Posey, Y. Molina, Mauer, Martinez, Wieters, and Montero) will go anywhere between rounds two through five. Take a breather and wait on filling this roster spot. Montero, Lucroy, and Perez will be there later.
- There are three guys worthy of "first round" status (Fielder, Pujols, and Votto). After that, it's basically a crapshoot. I'm extremely bias towards first basemen and always try to draft one early (I'm a 6'3", lefty). If I don't have one of the first three picks in my draft, I'm probably taking one of the guys I just mentioned.
- Unless Robinson Cano falls to the late first-round, I'm going to wait until the end of the draft to fill this spot on my roster. Not many owners will select two second basemen in one draft. So, instead of picking the ninth second baseman, I'd rather build up my outfield or bolster my rotation.
- This will be the most difficult position to draft in 2013. I've seen Troy Tulowitzki go in round one, a guy who played only 47 games last season. Also, I've watched Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez dominate the World Baseball Classic. Starlin Castro's OBP and SLG percentage are a fantasy owner's dream. Ben Zobrist has been listed on numerous "sleeper" lists. The best shortstop last year (Derek Jeter) is a giant question mark for this year. I honestly don't know who or where I'm drafting this position.
- This hot corner class has a lot of power hitter depth. At first, I was under the impression that this position was in a recession. Chipper Jones is playing golf, Alex Rodriguez is a mess, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion lost eligibility. With that being said, I believe there are at least 19 players who could start for my fantasy baseball team.
- In a 10-12 team draft, seven outfielders could be gone after the first round.
- Youth has become a big factor in this position. Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Adam Jones, Bryce Harper, Desmond Jennings, and Alex Gordon are in my top-25 outfielders.
- In my mock draft I selected a pitcher in the second and third round, which was not the smartest idea. I'll say this every time I get the chance: "THIS PITCHING POOL IS DEEP!" Yes, take one starting pitcher within your first five picks. After that, build your offense.
- Yet another time I reached in the experts' mock draft. Imagine your relief pitcher spot as the kicker position in fantasy football, save them for the end. There's going to be a guy that takes over the job mid-season and finishes in the top-10 and he'll be undrafted (whoever gets Bruce Rondon's job).