We see it every year, in both fantasy baseball and fantasy football, an owner or two in your league grabs a big-name player much earlier in the draft than everyone expected. Not too long ago, in a 10-man league, one guy drafted Joe Mauer with the first overall pick. Needless to say, he finished in dead last. Don’t be that guy!
1. Clayton Kershaw – ADP 5.4
Draft Chris Davis or Robinson Cano instead and find Gio Gonzalez or Homer Bailey later in the draft
- Yes numbers do not lie – 16 wins, 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 232 Ks and 236 IP. However there is no reason to waste a draft pick on a pitcher in the first round when you can draft an ace for your staff 4 of 5 rounds later. Use the first round to get that offensive player who will make a difference each and every day, as opposed to once every 5 days.
2. Carlos Gonzalez – ADP 6.4
Draft Chris Davis or Robinson Cano instead and find Bryce Harper or Ryan Braun on the way back
- There is no doubt that Gonzalez has unbelievable talent. He hit .302 last season with 26 home runs and 21 stolen bases, so he fills up the stat sheet I guess you can say. Unfortunately he’s not a trustworthy player. He has never played more than 145 games in a season. Make sure you use your first round pick on a guy who has a proven track record of staying healthy.
3. Alex Rios – ADP 36
Draft Felix Hernandez or Jose Fernandez instead and find Matt Holliday or Wil Myers later in the draft
- One of the most surprising stat that Alex Rios posted in 2013 was his 42 stolen bases. Before last season Rios has never had more than 34 stolen bases. He’s also not getting any younger. He’s 33 years old and he’s a guy with a history of injures. It’s very risky taking Rios with one of your first four picks.
4. Craig Kimbrel – ADP 39.6
Draft Justin Upton or Shin-Soo Choo instead and find Koji Uehara or Joe Nathan later in the draft
- Relief pitching is the most overvalued position in all of fantasy baseball. Yes Kimbrel is one of the top if not the best closers in the Major Leagues, however his value on the Braves is not the same value on your fantasy team. He posts a low ERA (1.21), a low WHIP (0.88) and a high K/9 (1.46) but how much can that help when he only pitched 67 innings over a 162 game season?
5. Buster Posey – ADP 42
Draft Justin Upton or Shin-Soo Choo instead and find Brian McCann or Jonathan Lucroy later in the draft
- Drafting a catcher in your fantasy baseball league is like drafting the first kicker or defense in your fantasy football league..you never want to be the first guy to do it. Buster Posey is the face of catchers in the league but his numbers are not good enough to draft within the first 4 rounds. Posey hit .294 with 15 home runs and 72 RBI in 2013. Also remember that catchers get a ton of days off during the season, usually do not play a day game after a night game and get banged up behind the plate, causing them to miss time throughout the season.
6. Jean Segura – ADP 46.2
Draft Hunter Pence or Madison Bumgarner instead and find Everth Cabrera or Andrelton Simmons later in the draft
- Aside from Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki, the shortstops in this league post very similar numbers. Decent average, limited power, great speed. If you cant grab Ramirez or Tulo then just don’t bother drafting a shortstop until late in the draft.
7. Matt Kemp – ADP 52.4
Draft David Price or Matt Carpenter instead and find Jayson Werth or Carlos Beltran later in the draft
- Kemp has unbelievable upside as we saw in the 2011 season when he hit .324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBI, scored 115 runs and stole 40 bases. However the past two years Kemp has been unable to stay healthy, playing in just 173 games. Kemp is recovering from multiple offseason surgeries, one of them being an ankle issue which will limit his ability to steal bases and stretch out extra base hits.
8. Starling Marte – ADP 56
Draft Matt Carpenter or Adrian Gonzalez instead and find Jayson Werth or Carlos Beltran later in the draft
- If you are looking for stolen bases than Marte is that guy. The speedy outfielder stole 41 bases in 2013 but provided very little otherwise. He hit .280 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. Is he really one of the first five players you want if you’re building a championship caliber team?
9. Ian Kinsler – ADP 62
Draft David Ortiz or Joe Mauer instead and find Martin Prado or Aaron Hill later in the draft
- Being a great offensive second basemen is a rare thing in the majors but Ian Kinsler has put together some great seasons with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Kinsler is now 31 and is playing in Detroit. His numbers away from Rangers Ballpark In Arlington are not pretty, especially at Comerica Park where he will be playing half of his games this year. Over the past 3 years Kinsler is just 9-54 (.167) at Comerica with no home runs. His power numbers have decreased each of the last two seasons and it won’t help playing away from Texas where the ball flies out of the park during the hot summer days.
10. Billy Hamilton – ADP 80.2
Draft Yadier Molina or Gio Gonzalez instead and find Curtis Granderson or Alfonso Soriano later in the draft
- Billy Hamilton might be one of the most exciting young players in the game due to his speed. He stole 155 bases in the minors in 2012 and last year for the Reds in just 22 plate appearances he managed to steal 13 bases. However can this guy hit at the major league level? He might steal a base every time he gets on, but will he get on enough to make a difference? You can’t steal first base.