Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy 2012: Everything You Must Avoid on Draft Day

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 28, 2012

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 01:  Pitcher Barry Zito #75 of the San Francisco Giants poses during spring training photo day on March 1, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Fantasy baseball is just as much about avoiding boneheaded mistakes as making intelligent decisions.

I guess you could say fantasy baseball is kind of like life.

In that respect, think of every draft day as a new chapter in your life. Will you make the same mistakes as before, stubbornly pushing ahead with your baggage? Or will you learn from your mistakes and construct a new life/fantasy baseball team?

Think comparing life to fantasy baseball is a bit over the top?

Then you haven't met a fantasy sports fanatic before.

Here are my tips on what not to do come draft day.


Don't Just Fill a Need

Just as in life, merely filling a need may make you happy in the short term, but it won't last for very long.

If you need to fill that third outfield spot but there's a high-impact starting pitcher available, or even just a better player who can add some depth, don't blindly go after that third outfielder. There are plenty of sleepers available in every draft. Wait for them down the line then strike as if your life depended on it.

MESA, AZ - MARCH 8: Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs hits a home run in the second inning during the game against the Seattle Mariners at HoHoKam Stadium on March 8, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Don't Neglect Pitching Early

You may have noticed but a lot of fantasy baseball fanatics love to stack up on big sluggers in the early goings.

That's all fine and dandy, but don't forget to add an ace or two in there along the way. There's nothing worse than having a dominant offense and an ugly pitching rotation where Barry Zito is your No. 5 pitcher.

I've seen some fanatics go after pitching early and address offense later. I don't particularly endorse this, given I like to draft in a balanced manner, but it's an interesting strategy. If no one is drafting pitchers, then think of all the aces/dominant closers you could draft.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Starting pitcher Barry Zito #75 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Don't Forget About Positional Depth

This year, catcher, third base and shortstop are the most shallow positions, as they generally are. Second base, which has been a shallow position for some time, appears to be on the upswing.

So just be mindful that it won't be long before the top-tier or even second-tier players at these positions are snagged.

It's all fine and dandy to grab a top outfielder with your first pick, but after that you better start looking for a legit difference-maker at the shallow positions, or you're going to get burned. There are plenty of high-impact outfielders in the draft.

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 07:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies makes contact as he takes an at bat against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field on August 7, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images


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