With the 2013 MLB season fast approaching, 12 of
This draft is for a 12-team standard 5x5 rotisserie league. Each team starts two catchers, one first baseman, one second baseman, one shortstop, one third baseman, one corner infielder, one middle infielder, one utility man, five outfielders and nine pitchers.
The draft order
1. Bette Marston, SI.com associate producer 2. Stephen Cannella, SI assistant managing editor 3. Joe Lemire, SI staff writer 4. Paul Forrester, SI.com producer 5. Albert Chen, SI staff writer 6. Ben Reiter, SI staff writer 7. Ted Keith, SI.com producer 8. Michael Beller, SI.com fantasy contributor 9. Jay Jaffe, SI.com MLB blogger 10. Mallory Rubin, SI.com senior editor 11. Eric Mack, SI.com fantasy contributor 12. Cliff Corcoran, SI.com MLB blogger
? The first closer went off the board way too soon: Craig Kimbrel may be the best fantasy reliever by a mile, but drafted at No. 23 overall, he went off the board before such starters as Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez and Cole Hamels and such bats as Jose Reyes, Bryce Harper and David Wright. Regardless of the format, the first closer tends to go around pick No. 50, though that average can drop even later in rotisserie formats. Kimbrel will post a low ERA and deliver plenty of saves, but saves simply don't carry enough weight against the nine other categories to justify this draft position. The next closer taken? Jonathan Papelbon in Round 9.
? The first catcher went too early as well: Buster Posey is coming off an MVP season, and he's clearly the best option at his position. He's got dual eligibility working in his favor as well. But Posey's inflated value in this draft and many others stems largely from an outdated perception of the catcher position, which is no longer the thinnest in fantasy and is in fact quite deep. How deep? Well, Brian McCann went in Round 16. Catchers always pose a heavy injury risk, making them unwise first-round picks, and they rarely live up to their draft position when its elevated to this extreme -- just ask Joe Mauer. Even if Posey has another incredible season, he's unlikely to finish as a top-seven fantasy performer.
? The first rookie went in Round 10: Tampa Bay super-phenom Will Myers has dominated the headlines this spring, but San Diego infielder Jedd Gyorko was the first rookie off the board in our draft. Gyorko likely won't go that early in most drafts, but his power potential at the thin second base position could make him a fantasy starter sooner rather than later. Myers was the next rookie off the board, in Round 17, followed by Arizona's Adam Eaton in Round 18, Detroit's Bruce Rondon and Cleveland's Trevor Bauer in Round 19, Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton in Round 21 and the Cubs' Kyuji Fujikawa with the final pick of the draft. Texas' Jurickson Profar and Baltimore's Dylan Bundy, the top hitting and pitching prospects in baseball, respectively, were not drafted. They'll be hot waiver wire pickups as soon as it sounds like they're heading to the majors.
? Offseason injuries could lead to some serious steals: Curtis Granderson, who likely would have been drafted as a top-10 outfielder before breaking his arm this spring, fell all the way to Round 11. His teammate Mark Teixeira went one round later. Teixeira's the riskier pick given his past injury woes and the recent revelations regarding the exact nature of his injury, but both of these guys could perform like fantasy all-stars once they return to the lineup. Corey Hart, who could miss as few as three weeks of the regular season and will hit atop a loaded Brewers lineup once he returns, fell all the way to Round 21.
? It's crowded at the top, but very lonely at the bottom: Eight MLB teams earned Fantasy Juggernaut status by seeing 12 players drafted: the Angels, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals, Reds and Red Sox. While the Marlins saw just three players drafted following their latest fire sale, they weren't the low men on the fantasy totem pole. That dishonor went to the Houston Astros, who saw just two players drafted: Jose Altuve in Round 5 and Jose Veras in Round 23.