This is the first in a series of articles that will aid you in preparing for your 2009 fantasy baseball draft. With so many draft strategies out there, how is one to decide their plan for bringing home the glory in September?
I am here to convince you that there is great discrepancy from one position to another when it comes to fantasy production.
Let's look at one distinct example so you can see exactly what I'm talking about. Here are the 2008 stat lines for two players in an average 12-team 5x5 rotisserie league:
Player A- 102 R, 12 HR, 82 RBI, .284 AVG, 10 SB
Player B- 103 R, 21 HR, 87 RBI, .285 AVG, 6 SB
At first glance, you would expect these two players to be picked maybe two rounds apart at the most. Player B hit for more power and drove in a few more runs, but that is offset a little by the fact that Player A stole a few more bases.
The crazy thing is that Player A was picked in the seventh round of a competitive 12-team mock draft at MockDraftCental.com and Player B was chosen by me in the 18th round of the same draft.
Player A is Rangers SS Michael Young
Player B is Indians 2B, 3B, OF Mark DeRosa
You might think the draft I participated in was a fluke, and that Young was picked early and the DeRosa overlooked, but in the first Mock Draft Central Expert
Draft of the year Young was picked with the last pick in round seven while DeRosa, with all his power and position eligibility at 2B, 3B and OF, went near the end of round 13.
The only way to explain away this discrepancy is understanding that some positions are loaded with productive players and others are nearly empty. This is precisely why fantasy baseball managers need to know which positions they can wait on, and which they need to pick in the early rounds! Then within those positions, it is for each manager to determine how to place players in tiers within those positions.
With one quick look across Major League Baseball it's easy to see that the shortstop position is the black hole of fantasy production. Past the big three it is hard to find any solid, predictable, five-category production, which is exactly why Michael Young gets picked in round seven even though he won't go in the first 15 rounds after his move to 3B when he loses his SS eligibility.
Case and point: Hanley Ramirez must be taken with the first pick in your draft and he is in a league of his own! In my book Hanley Ramirez is tier number one for shortstops.