Major league Baseball starts a little over a month. With the new season comes a great new season of fantasy baseball. Following last year’s excitement with the first triple crown winner in twenty years and a possible MVP candidate rookie one can only hope for more this year. Many drafts will be taking place within the next few weeks as training camp closes. While this happens, for your drafts, here are a few choices to go with in the first round depending on your pick as well as a few you should wait on for better value.
The first pick of the 2013 draft is…
Ryan Braun. Outfielder for the Milwaukee brewers.
This pick will probably be the most common in the drafts. Last year Braun was worthy of a top 3 pick, leading a Brewers team after loss of heavy hitter Prince Fielder. Braun escaped steroid and PED claims early last season as well this offseason after being linked to a Miami company. Braun put up massive numbers last year batting .319 to go with 41 homers as improving his 33 from 2011. Expect another year around .305 and maybe 36 homers.
To get good value with a later pick, maybe 4th or 5th look for these candidates and save your pitchers for 2nd and 3rd.
Matt Kemp. Outfielder for Los Angeles Dodgers.
After the first two picks, that being Braun or Trout, the rest of the 1st round can be more opinionated. Kemp has great return value as a .300 hitter and mid 80s/low 90s in RBIs however low stolen bases limits the amount he is really worth for your team.
Andrew McCutchen. Outfielder for Pittsburgh Pirates.
McCutchen was almost the sole reason for the resurgence of the Pirates’ offense last season. Being the first pirate in years to hit a 30 homer season at a .327 batting average will do that. Having 20+ steals doesn’t hurt either. Hitting that average again this Year though is a little unlikely however .310 is expected at the least. A young prospect worthy of top 3 pick who might be somewhat unknown could make a great steal a few picks down the board.
And finally for the my current steal of the draft..
Bryce Harper. Outfielder. Washington Nationals.
After having one of the greatest rookie campaigns at the age of 19 Harper was a great steal last year in later rounds. This year though could possibly be the same, just a little earlier. Harper is a great talent with a body still growing massively as a teenager. Harper was close last year to the 30/20 club (30 home runs and 20 steals) gaining 22/18. While Harper’s average is a little lower than we like (.270), surpassing that into around 2.80 seems likely. The biggest change though should come from his RBIs. Expect about 20 more with a whole offseason in MLB training camp to develop. If one can grab Harper anywhere in the 3rd round or lower, you have pulled a Tom Brady worthy pick.