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Draft Day: Who I Avoided and Who I Reached For

Adam Lind

By now, most baseball drafts are in the books. I myself took part in three custom drafts this season, and with all of them, I had an idea of who I was going to get and who I was going to avoid like the plague.

Whether it be healthy concerns, moving to a new ballpark, or just blind hatred, I knew the players I didn’t want. On the other hand, I can definitely say that I took some players well ahead of their rankings. Hey, we all do it every year.

Pitchers I Avoided

  Player  Comment
 1 Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins I am always weary of a pitcher who throws over 100 IP more than the previous season. He’s only 26 and has already had Tommy John surgery.
 2 Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals Same as above. The increased workload may end up taking its toll. I’m not saying he will fall off the map, but a spike in ERA is likely.
 3 Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks  I ended up taking him in one league. Just be aware that he is only good for the first half. ERA in career is over one full run higher in second half. You are basically drafting half a season with Haren.
 4 Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers  Impressive rookie campaign resulted in 14 wins and sub-4.00 ERA, but his inability to put batters away at the plate (4.69 K/9) is worrisome. 
 5 Ben Sheets, Oakland A’s  That $10 million deal doesn’t ease my concerns about his health; has only reached 30 games once in last five years.


Hitters I Avoided

  Player Comment
1 Matt Kemp, L.A. Dodgers I don’t hate the man as much as I hate how much you have to spend to get him; numbers look better thanks to incredible August where he had 9 home runs and 27 RBI.
2 B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays 2007 was a fluke year for power. The speed will be there, but he is no longer the power-hitting 2B we used to know.
3 Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks This is my sixth sense kicking in more than hard data. He wouldn’t be the first Upton to have a power year out of nowhere and then fail to follow it up.
4 Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles  He’s being drafted too high ahead of guys like Jason Bay and Adam Lind when he doesn’t match their power; homers, and stolen bases decreasing every season.
5 Michael Bourn, Houston Astros He may steal 60 bases, but you are dreaming if you think he can hit .285 again. Last season’s spike in batting average influenced by ridiculous .366 BABIP.


Pitchers I Reached For

  Player Comment
1 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies Numbers took a hit thanks to a lot of bad luck (.325 BABIP). Still retains skills that he has had for years.
2 Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies After 0-6 start last season, went 16-3 with 3.94 ERA the rest of the way. The 9.39 K/9 shows that he can dominate at the plate.
3 Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers Young gun with great strikeout numbers who gets to play half of his games at spacious Comerica Park.
4 Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco Giants Cheap source of good strikeout totals will be overlooked by many. Does anyone else remember that he had a no-hitter last season?
5 Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins Let everyone else be fooled by the 5.06 ERA; he was absolutely dominant in the second half and ended season with a 16K game against Atlanta.


Hitters I Reached For

  Player Comment
1 Jayson Werth, Philadelphia Phillies Delivered on speed and power with 36 homers and 20 SB. Skills legit as he is not a free swinger, leading majors in pitches seen per plate appearance.
2 Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays Finally delivered on hype. Hit out of 3rd and 5th spot in order for 70+ games each and slugged over .540 at both spots. Also learned to hit left-handed pitching.
3 Adam Dunn, Washington Nationals I’ve been an avid Dunn supporter for years. You’re getting almost 40 homers, 100 RBI, and 80 runs. Just plan for making up for his batting average and you’ll do fine.
4 Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays Led the A.L. in home runs with 39 despite missing over 20 games, including most of the end of the season with broken finger. Will be playing for huge pay day when he hits free agency after the season.
5 Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds OPS over 1.000 after return from wrist injury. Still young and is hittng in a very underrated offense.

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