Fantasy Baseball

FSTA 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Analysis


As much of the country has snow on the ground and/or experiencing sub zero degree temperatures, it is time to start thinking about your draft strategy for the upcoming 2014 MLB Season. In this article, I will be analyzing the FSTA draft that was held in Las Vegas. If you aren’t familiar with this draft it is basically the benchmark of all leagues and the first real draft of the year. Here is the link to the results if you want to follow along. It is a 13-tm roto league.

Number One Overall Pick: MastersBall selected Mike Trout as their overall number one pick. I cannot argue with their thinking. Although, if I had the number one pick I believe I would still have to pick Miguel Cabrera. As stated in my “Fantasy Baseball Awards” in October, Cabrera is the most feared hitter in both fantasy and reality. He will not have Prince Fielder protecting him this year, that spot will more than likely go to Torii Hunter or Victor Martinez, but I like the batters that are hitting in front of Cabrera this year a lot more than last year. With the new acquisition of Ian Kinsler, I believe he fits in the 2nd spot and Austin Jackson still is the leadoff hitter. It is very much a crapshoot on which the first overall pick could be. If someone came up to me and said they selected Trout, Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt or even Andrew McCutchen with their number one pick I would not argue. Although, I wouldn’t go past either of them at that pick.

Round One Analysis: I believe that the first round is the most interesting to look over. Usually, this is when most of the trash talk is thrown out on who picked who. The most surprising pick of the round that I see is Bryce Harper. I consider him a top-10 outfielder, but not a top-10 pick. I like other guys there before him like Adam Jones, “clean” Ryan Braun and even Robinson Cano. Outfield is one of the deepest positions in this year’s draft and I believe a better position player should have been picked with the number seven pick. Coming off of his huge mega deal contract, Clayton Kershaw was selected at number eleven. I love the pick. I usually don’t pick a pitcher in the first round but a guy like Kershaw I will never have to worry about when he is in my lineup. The Dodgers will not have the rocky start like they did last year and Kershaw should continue to cruise in 2014. At the end of the 2013 Season, I said that Goldschmidt should go in the late first round or early second round. I do take this statement back. Paul Goldschmidt deserves to be in the top five picks of this year’s draft. Even though the first baseman position is stacked this year, it is a good pick.

Best Pick(s): I will have a couple in this section. My favorite pick is made by RotoWire in the seventh round: Yadier Molina. Molina is the second best catcher behind Buster Posey. Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana were both drafted before Molina. Most catchers will take Sunday or another weekday off, which makes it hard to fill a full roster on those days. Molina is one of those catchers that hardly ever takes a day off. Being in the grueling position of “the tools of ignorance”, Molina rises himself on a daily basis. Another one of my favorite picks is Taijuan Walker made in the sixteenth round by CDM Sports. Not much talk is being made about this young stud. If you are looking for Ks this year he will surely produce a lot of them. He is often overshadowed by King Felix, but I like him in that pitchers ballpark. Taking him in the sixteenth round was quite a steal.

Worst Pick(s): Cliff Lee. In my opinion, the Phillies should have gotten rid of this guy a long time ago for some prospects. The team is getting too old and Lee fits the mold of the overall persona in Philly (with the new signing of Bobby Abreu too). Fantasy Alarm chose to pick him in the third round. This is way too early for Lee. Fantasy Alarm picked two position players in round one and two, which I am ok with and decided a pitcher was needed next. I can name five pitchers that I like better than Lee in no particular order: Jose Fernandez, David Price, Felix Hernandez, Max Sherzer and Justin Verlander, despite not having a Verlander year.

Best Team: I believe the best team is Stats Inc/NFBC. I absolutely love the first six picks of Stats Inc./NFBC. I am going to go ahead and think like this guy while drafting. As most leagues play weekly and categories, his team has a nice balance across all of the main categories. I enjoy constructing a team where I do not have to rely on one player to fill a lot of the categories. Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion I consider power hitters, Yasiel Puig an all around hitter, Elvin Andrus for average and Billy Hamilton for steals. I am not keen on his third outfielder, Michael Cuddyer, but he does have good back ups to fill that role (Torii Hunter, Andre Ethier and Marlon Byrd). One of the most impressive things about his team is how deep he is in positions. Injuries occur during the season that are out of our control, but as a good fantasy manager next man up is always the rule. Stats Inc./NFBC provides this. My second favorite team is RTSports for many of the same reasons.

Worst Team: In this draft, I believe the worst team is USA Today Sports. Where do I begin? A lot of the players that he has chosen first in position roles I am not too fond of. J.J. Hardy and Yan Gomes are two of these players. I believe the pitching staff is very weak. Madison Bumgarner as my number one pitcher is not where I would want to be going into the season. After him, I consider the other pitchers just average compared to other teams pitching staffs. I say his team is very top heavy and needs to depend on Cano, Adrian Beltre and Jay Bruce to produce big time to compete in the league. I do like the Carlos Beltran pick, though. It is always to pick the worst team in leagues at the end of the draft because they are usually the ones that surprise you the most.

Sleeper Picks: My first sleeper, Brandon Belt, was chosen in the eleventh round. The great thing about this pick for Baseball HQ is that he does not have to rely on a sleeper to be a starter. His other first baseman is Prince Fielder. He had a very nice season last year of a .289 Avg, 17 HRs and 67 RBIs. I look for these numbers to increase this year. My next sleeper, Xander Bogaerts, was chosen in the fourteenth round. Bogaerts, my homeboy, delivered well for the Red Sox at the end of the season and into the playoffs. When Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks were slumping he was asked to take on more of an expanded role. With Drew’s future still up in the air, look for Bogaerts to become the everyday shortstop or third baseman for the Red Sox. My last sleeper pick was drafted in the twentieth round. Rick Porcello is on a very deep Tigers pitching staff that should get a boost of defensive help. With Peralta gone, Jose Iglesias is the everyday shortstop and Ian Kinsler is the new starting second baseman. Porcello started close to thirty games and posted a WHIP of 1.28 and an ERA of 4.32. Although the ERA is fairly high, if Porcello is there in the twentieth round of later I would pick up. You could be handsomely rewarded just like Baseball HQ could be.

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“Mr. Irrelevant”: Mr. Irrelevant has to wait three days to be drafted in a real football draft, but in a fantasy baseball draft dreams do come true for this guy. He gets to be chosen on the same day as everyone else. With the last pick, the Fantistics have chosen Javier Baez, a shortstop from the Chicago Cubs. Kind of fitting that a Cub gets chosen last. He is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Iowa; then hopefully will be pulled up as the season goes on. Fantasy drafts – where even the last guy in the draft is talked about.

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy baseball news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook and Google+ for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

About Tyler Gettmann

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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