The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) held their 2014 experts league draft last night in Las Vegas, the first of the season, as far as I know. This draft kicks off the fantasy baseball season, and I am here to discuss the draft results and highlight some of the picks.
Before I get to the results, here are the participants (in the order they drafted):
Lawr Michaels/Todd Zola - Mastersball
Greg Ambrosius - NFBC/Stats Inc.
Charlie Wiegert - CDM
Tim Heaney - KFFL
M. Griffis/Tony Holm - Fantasy Sharks
Chris Thompson/Jeff Paur - RT Sports
Glenn Colton/Rick Wagoner - Colton & Wolfman
Howard Kamen/Steve Gardner - USA Today Sports
SiriusXM/Fantasy Alarm - Ray Flowers
Jeff Mans - Fantasy Alarm
Peter Shoenke/Chris Liss - Rotowire
Ron Shandler -BaseballHQ
Anthony Perri - Fantistics
You can find the draft results here, but here is the first round picks, along with my thoughts on other selections as well.
1.1 Mike Trout
1.2 Miguel Cabrera
1.3 Paul Goldschmidt
1.4 Andrew McCutchen
1.5 Carlos Gonzalez
1.6 Hanley Ramirez
1.7 Bryce Harper
1.8 Robinson Cano
1.9 Ryan Braun
1.10 Troy Tulowitzki
1.11 Clayton Kershaw
1.12 Adam Jones
1.13 David Wright
No real surprises in the first round, unless you are down on Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun after his 65 game suspension last season. He also dealt with injuries, so his numbers look worse than usual. I think he rebounds in 2014 and think Ray Flowers got some value there. Braun was a top 3-5 pick last season.
The first four picks are going to be pretty much standard across many drafts this season, so get used to it.
Hanley Ramirez at #6 overall could be viewed as a surprise here, but he was his old 2009 Hanley self last season hitting .345-.402-.638 with 20 HRs, 62 runs, 57 RBI and 10 stolen bases in just 86 games. I have said it many times here, Hanley is legitimately happy playing in Los Angeles. Every time I watched him, he was smiling. The fact that he played through injured ribs in the NLCS last season shows you how much he wants to win. I am not sure he would have done that in Miami. Ok, it's true, I like this guy a lot and like the pick at #6. I will stop now.
Bryce Harper at #7 is actually a bit of a surprise on the surface, but when you consider he hit .274-.368-.486 with 20 HRs, 71 runs, 58 RBI and 11 steals in 118 games, it's not that surprising. He played with a banged up knee for a good part of the season, so we could see a 30 home run/20 stolen base season from him in 2014. That's a first rounder to me.
The highest paid pitcher ever, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, was picked at #11 by Peter Shoenke and Chris Liss from Rotowire. I love the pick here as Kershaw has less risk than several of the hitters taken before him, including Robinson Cano, who I think could struggle under the pressure of his huge contract, and injury-prone stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.
I think Ron Shandler from BaseballHQ got a steal with Adam Jones at #12 overall. All Jones has done over the last few seasons is hit in the .280-.285 range with 30+ HRs, 100 runs, 80-100 RBI and double digit stolen bases. He is one of the more dependable hitters in the game right now and hits in a hitters park in Camden Yards, so a repeat of 2013 is certainly doable.
Did any pick stand out for you? Let's hear it in the comments section below.
I may have another piece on this draft on Friday.
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