Over the past few weeks, I have made it no secret that I prefer to use the Draft for Categories strategy over the Position Scarcity strategy early in the draft. You may remember a few weeks ago that I posted a nice article proving why I like Drafting for Categories so much, which you can find here. Well, today, I want to take another step in this pre-season long saga.
Below are all the players who hit 30 or more homeruns in 2007 and the round they are normally drafted in, in a 12 team mixed league.....
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, 54, 1st
Prince Fielder, 1B, 50, 1st
Ryan Howard, 1B, 47, 1st
Carlos Pena, 1B, 46, 4th-6th
Adam Dunn, OF, 40, 4th-6th
Matt Holliday, OF, 40, 1st
David Ortiz, DH, 35, 2nd
Jim Thome, DH, 35, 12th+
Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, 34, 2nd-3rd
Ryan Braun, 3B, 34, 1st-2nd
Miguel Cabrera, 3B, 34, 1st
Carlos Beltran, OF, 33, 2nd-3rd
Alfonso Soriano, OF, 33, 1st-2nd
Carlos Lee, OF, 32, 2nd-3rd
Albert Pujols, 1B, 32, 1st
Chris Young, OF, 32, 5th-7th
Paul Konerko, 1B, 31, 5th-8th
Justin Morneau, 1B, 31, 3rd-4th
Dan Uggla, 2B, 31, 10th+
Pat Burrell, OF, 30, 9th+
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, 30, 6th-8th
Ken Griffey, Jr., OF, 30, 14th+
Jimmy Rollins, SS, 30, 1st
Brandon Phillips, 2B, 30, 2nd
Mark Teixiera, 1B, 30, 2nd
David Wright, 3B, 30, 1st
Now, looking over this list, what would you say is more scarce towards the end of a draft?? 2B's, SS's and Catchers? Or, players who can hit 30+HR/100+RBI or nab 30+SB? What does this list tell us? It tells us that out of the 26 players who hit 30+HR, only 3 were from one of the three weakest positions(C, 2B, SS). In 2008, you probably shouldn't expect Jimmy Rollins to hit 30+, Dan Uggla's AVG is a killer, and Brandon Phillips probably tops out around 30 as well. Pass on Phillips and you can grab a 30/30/100runs potential in Rickie Weeks in rounds 7-10 allowing you to take some monster power in that 2nd round instead of Phillips.
Now let's get a little crazy, here are a few potential players with super break out potential in or after the 15th round at weak positions....
Khalil Greene, SS - Has 30/100 potential but with a low average
Stephen Drew, SS - Great showing in pos-season, .300/20/100/100/15 otential in a year or two and maybe even in 2008.
Aaron Hill, 2B - .300/20/80 potential
Felipe Lopez, 2B/SS - .275/15/75/30 with potential for .285/20/90/40 and he's 27
Ryan Theriot, 2B/SS - Doesn't offer much power but .275 and 25+SB is mighty helpful late in the draft
Orlando Hudson, 2B - Mr. Consistent! He's a lock for .290/15/65/15 but last year showed he could be better
Point here is you can grab a 25-30HR guy in Greene or a 30+SB guy in Lopez with multiple MI eligibility and you can grab these guys super late. I have done it with every team I have drafted so far this season in mocks or my real leagues. Same goes for auctions as these guys are players you can get for under $3.
The moral of the story.... spend your first 3-5 picks on monster power hitters. With monster power comes runs and if you choose wisely and draft guys like Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Vlad Guerrero or Ryan Braun, you'll get 100+ runs and a .320+ BA leaving room for you to take risks on the low average Khalil Greene or Felipe Lopez or both at the end of the draft! In the end, you'll load up on more power potential than if you went with the Chase Utley, the Jimmy Rollins, the Robinson Cano, the Brandon Phillips, etc., early in the draft. Continue to choose wisely in the middle of the draft and you can pick up SB's with every other offensive player you draft letting you afford to pass on Hanley, Reyes, and Rollins in that first round. Opt for Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard first and in the middle of the draft look for guys like Hunter Pence, Matt Kemp, Corey Hart, Chris Young, Shane Victorino, Johnny Damon, etc......
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