Last time, we looked at the first round of what we think is the first draft of the 2012 drafting season. Since then, we may or may not have seen a big shakeup atop the board with Ryan Braun, but we’ll know more for sure in the coming days. Today, let’s explore round two.
2.01: Dustin Pedroia—An extremely nice pick here for the risk- averse drafter. Pedroia plays a scarce position and is a virtual lock for .300/100/20/80/20. Since he’s just 28, we may not have seen his best work yet. This is exactly the type of player I like to lock up in the early rounds.
2.02: Roy Halladay—A strong argument can be made that he’s still the best pitcher in baseball and should be the first one off the board. It doesn’t fit my style to take pitchers in the first two rounds, but you can surely bank on his production.
2.03: Hanley Ramirez—Consensus top five pick the past few seasons has fallen mightily after a troublesome 2011. With his extreme upside still intact as a shortstop, I fully expect Ramirez to move into the back end of round one as drafts progress.
2.04: Carlos Gonzalez—This was my second-round pick in the draft. He played in only 127 games last year, and still put up some pretty gaudy numbers, proving that his 2010 was no fluke. If he can stay healthy for a full season, he has top five upside. Generally, I would look to avoid the outfield here and take a more scarce position, but Cargo was too good a value to leave on the board.
2.05: Andrew McCutchen—This is one player whose value I’m having a hard time gauging this year. While his power improved this past season, he also saw a huge dip in his batting average and a large increase in strikeouts and ran less. He’s going to be only 25 in 2012, and has the potential to reach 30/30, but I don’t believe it will be this year. If you’re the gambling type you could look at McCutch, but I’d prefer a more proven commodity in round two.
2.06:David Wright—Before 2010, Wright was considered an annual first-round pick, a delightful combination of power and speed in the shallow third base pool. He has struggled the last two seasons, though, and has become an early-mid second-round pick. Perhaps he was putting too much pressure on himself to carry the team or the dimensions at Citi Field truly did destroy his power. With the re-configured stadium, count me as a believe that Wright will rebound and return to his normal levels of production in 2012. Very nice pick here.
2.07: Justin Verlander—While I’m a huge fan of his, (being a Tigers fan and his leading my main event team to a league title last season), he would need to come awfully close to last season to return second round value. If he wins only 19 games, and produces ratios in line with his career norms (3.54/1.19), you’re falling behind in round 2, even with his 200+ strikeouts.
2.08: Jose Reyes—I don’t expect huge things from Reyes in Miami this season. He has struggled to stay on the field the last three seasons, and now that he has found his big payday, will he still be motivated to play through those nagging injuries? It always worries me to invest in speedsters who have battled hamstring injuries. Sure, he still has plenty of upside, but he’s a gamble that I’ll gladly let someone else take.
2.09: Mark Teixeira—While the average has been down the past couple of years, he still provides plenty of power and counting stats. If you miss out on the top tier of first basemen, there is nothing wrong with locking up Teixeira in round two. After the top seven or eight first basemen, the position gets very thin very quickly.
2.10: Ian Kinsler—Kinsler managed to stay healthy in 2011 and went 30/30 for the second time in his career. He’ll provide plenty of counting stats when he’s on the field, but be wary of his injury history. His average also scares me away.
2.11: Josh Hamilton—Another player who has as much talent as anyone, but seems to struggle to stay on the field the entire season. Pencil him in for big numbers while he’s in the lineup, but be prepared for him to miss 25 percent of the season.
2.12: Tim Lincecum—Still among the top five pitchers in the game, and one who has a consistent record. Still a little early to be taking pitchers by my preferences, but at least you know what you’ll be getting from him.
2.13: Ryan Howard—This draft was run before the injury news came out on Howard. Tough break, but I hope he makes it back early in the season.
2.14: Mike Stanton—One of my favorite young hitters. He might be the best pure power prospect to come up in a long, long time. Still just 22 this coming year, he’s going to have a 50-homer season sooner rather than later. If he can continue to develop as a hitter and improve his average, or start to run a little bit more, he’s going to be a monster. My prediction, is this is the last year that Stanton gets drafted outside the first round.
2.15: Hunter Pence—For the last several seasons, it seemed like Pence was always overlooked in fantasy circles. As consistent of a performer as there is, he’s the perfect building block for your team around in the third or fourth round.
That’s how we stand through two rounds. I’m extremely happy my the Joey Votto/Cargo start and it only gets better for me from here! See any extreme value or anyone who was overdrafted? Leave them in the comments.