Well with Ryan Braun’s suspension set aside the top of any draft has just shifted some.
Assuming drafters aren’t holding unreasonable hate for Braun, he should easily enter the conversation for where to draft him anywhere from the first pick down to the fourth pick. Let’s look at those questions:
1st Pick – has now become even more spread out – some will say Albert Pujols but while he does offer a few more runs and RBI and maybe 12-15 more home runs, he will be short that same number of stolen bases, while both Braun and Pujols are projected to have about the same batting average. Others will say that Matt Kemp is a lock to go 30/30 and the upside that he might reach his lofty goal of 50/50 makes him a clear choice. I like the excitement there but think we need to temper the expectations for Kemp because his batting average is sure to regress to the .290 range at best and could go lower. Also remember that unless Andre Ethier makes a huge comeback there isn’t much in the Dodgers’ lineup this year to protect Kemp so he could see a lot of intentional passes.
2nd Pick – Obviously many drafters will take one of the two left while several other drafters claim that Miguel Cabrera should be in the conversation because of his impending qualification at third base. I think that is flawed thinking. First of all on draft day you can only put him at first base and you still have to draft a third baseman. Secondly while Jim Leyland can say all he wants that Miggy is his guy for the hot corner, he will have to watch twenty plus spring training games with Cabrera over at third and then even if the plan holds to opening day will have to hold that though through the first two weeks of the season. Should the Tiger pitchers not be successful in talking some sense into Leyland, there is also the real possibility that he pressure to perform adequately in the field might affect Cabrera’s offense. Especially when there is no real need to have everyone live through this as Cabrera and Prince Fielder could easily trade off at first base and designated hitter.
3rd pick – Is then a choice between the two left and 4th pick is the last of Pujols, Braun, Cabrera, and Kemp.
In Todd’s draft on Friday night the picks went
In three other NFBC drafts that started on Thursday/Friday, Braun went at 1.04, 1.09, and 1.09.
In my draft on Sunday night the order was
But this draft was the twenty team Rotoman’s Regular draft with Yahoo lineups.
Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez strained an oblique muscle while throwing Saturday and will be out 4-6 weeks. There haven’t been any announcements by Manny Acta yet, but the favorite to slide into the closers role would be Vinnie Pestano, a 27 year old RHP who was excellent in his rookie season last year, striking out 84 batters in 62 innings.
In another spring practice in Arizona, Oakland Athletics’ third baseman Scott Sizemore suffered a bad ankle sprain and is questionable to play in Oakland’s first game which will be against the Seattle Mariners as the two AL West teams play the first two games of the 2012 season in Japan on Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29. The Athletics will likely use one of their utility infielders there until Sizemore is able to play again but barring a breakout game in Japan whoever plays in those two games won’t have an impact even in AL only leagues.
Two Atlanta Braves' starting pitchers have created more changes in recent drafts. With the news that he likely won’t make his first start in 2012 until early May, Tim Hudson has gone from an average spot of 183rd to 274th on Friday night.
His mate Tommy Hanson with concerns about the change in his throwing motion and missing the first few days of spring training throwing after a car accident moved him from an average of 122nd down to 150th on Friday night.