Every manager of a fantasy baseball team has a strategy heading into the league draft.
Whether you draft your favorite players, listen to MLB experts or rank players and let the computer do the drafting for you, keep these three rules in mind.
Balance drafting pitchers and hitters
Do not worry about getting the best pitcher available too early in the draft.
This strategy works for a number of reasons. First of all, finding a consistent hitter is quite a bit more difficult to get, so get them while you can. Now, this is not to say that if one of the top pitchers is still on the board after a few rounds don't take him. In situations like that, the pick could very well be worth it. But as the draft goes on into the later rounds, finding a reliable, consistent pitcher is much easier and much more likely than finding that solid batter.
Selecting an ace for your rotation is a good idea. But drafting too many top flight pitchers will give you an unbalanced rotation and an unbalanced team. Having a couple of top end pitchers will leave you with some lower end starters. Using your middle round picks on the middle of the pack starters will solidify your rotation to compliment that ace you selected early on and go well with the group of hitters that you drafted in the first few rounds.
Do not draft closers too high
Closers are a necessity for your roster but they are not worth a high pick.
Finding a solid closer is tricky because many can be so unpredictable. Often times, solid closers are still available in the final rounds of the draft. You may not get Mariano Rivera, but you will get a steady closer.
Don’t be surprised to see a free-agent pitcher turning out saves a few weeks into the season, either.
Have a plan, but don’t necessarily stick to it
Develop a plan for how you expect the draft to go. This will give you a general idea of how you would like your team to look heading into the season.
Rank players according to where you would hope to draft them and then take a look at a number of mock drafts. This will help give you a clearer picture of which players will and will not be available when it’s your turn to pick.
Have a list of three or four players that you would take if they are still on the board with each of your selections. This is where "don’t necessarily stick to your plan" comes into play.
If a player drops to you that you were not expecting to, then don’t be afraid to stray from the plan and pick them.
Chances are, your plan won’t be perfect and players will drop to you or will be taken before you can get to them. Having an outline is a simple way of guiding you in the direction of how to best build your team.