2012 Fantasy Baseball Peckin’ Order: Top Five First Basemen NOT To Draft in 2012
There are two main components to everyone’s success when it comes to playing fantasy sports. The first and probably most important is the draft. Knowing the right players to draft, and the right players to stay away from could make or break your ENTIRE season; the second is the waiver wire. Just because you had a great or not so great draft doesn’t mean that it’s all over for you. You can’t win on draft day and you can’t lose either. If you put the right amount of time and research into the players throughout the year you can easily make up for a subpar draft.
One way to be able to decrease your chances of having to hit the waiver wire often is to know what you are doing on draft day. Creating the perfect line up for your specific league on draft day can really get you headed in the right direction.
A couple of strategies I like to use when drafting my teams are based on scoring. If your league is a rotisserie league where you get points based on the ranking your team is in a specific category (10 points for the most HR, 1 point for the least amount of steals etc.) you can draft players to dominate a certain grouping of categories. Case in point if your league has a 5 category set up of HR, R, RBI, SB, OBP for hitters you can draft high run, high steal, high OBP players, let them create a substantial lead in the rankings then look to trade for more power oriented players. You may lose a spot or two in steals, runs scored and OBP. However, come the end of the season you’ll gain points in HR and RBI, which will even itself out.
In head to head leagues, a lot of players like the super star / super upside model. They will draft 4 or 5 stud players, then a bunch of role players, then a few upside guys who may or may not break out. This may work if you draft the right set of guys, but some times it isn’t that easy. Build a team of depth, get a lot of very similar players on your roster. Get a lot of 20 HR runs, as opposed to some 30 HR guys and some 8 HR guys in the end the consistency of your team will show and it will get you major points.
Sticking with the tradition of this article, here are the top 5 players you may want to skip when looking at the 1B position.
Top 5 Players NOT to Draft in 2012:
Michael Morse (1B, WSH) exploded onto the scene in 2011 belting 31 home runs 95 runs batted in and an on base percentage above .360, only the second season in his major league career reaching double-digit HR figures and the first time in his career driving in more than 50 runs. Granted, the sample sizes were extremely small for the year’s prior but Morse had been in the majors since 2005 and for some reason he couldn’t keep himself on the field, and that was with the Mariners who haven’t had a talented 1B for nearly a decade. Morse reminds me a lot of Jorge Cantu who broke out in 2005 with 28 home runs and 117 runs batted in and then again hit 29 homers in 2008. Problem was each year following his production dropped by nearly 50%. Cantu has since played for 3 teams in two seasons and hasn’t been able to find a permanent home. Morse is one of those guys you should shy away from unless you can steal him really late in the draft. The speculation that the Nationals might sign Prince Fielder (1B, FA) certainly doesn’t bode well for Morse either.
There is nothing worse then knowing that you failed to extend your teams season with 2 outs in the 9th inning of game 5 in the National League Divisional Series, or is there? Ryan Howard (1B, PHI) found out the hard way unfortunately with a torn Achilles on the final play of the NLDS in 2011 that will end up costing him 5 to 6 months just to recover. The good they came away with from the 1 – 0 loss and the injury is that the season is over, surgery was done and you know that you can get better. I am not totally convinced though, the injury was to his left foot (the push off foot for a big power hitting lefty like Howard) was ripped completely and needed repairs. Howard is turning 33 this year which can often times be the beginning of the down turn for players, but that’s not his biggest worry. Howard is 6’4” tall and 240 pounds, uses all of his lower body to hit home runs and pushes off with his left foot with massive explosion, his body frame and size will not make it easy for him to continue on his torrid home run pace. Reports are floating that he will be good to go by opening day, which is promising, but please be hesitant.
Pre-All Star Break Adam Lind (1B, TOR) had what looked to be an absolutely amazing year. I remember a span when he couldn’t stop hitting home runs, of course he was sitting on my bench when he did it and almost simultaneously with me starting him he began slumping. Before the mid summer classic Lind had knocked 16 different pitches out of the park was hitting at a clip of .300 and drove in 52 runs. The second half story was shocking to say the least. Lind finished the season only hitting 10 more homers, driving in only 35 more runs and had an OBP under .234 a number more than 100 points lower than his first half number. Most people were sucked in with his first half numbers after the completely dismal season he had in 2010, I hope you won’t get sucked in again.
Aubrey Huff (1B, SF) another player to slump big time from one year to the next, saw a major drop in every offensive statistical category, including HR, 2B, R, and RBI. He also dropped nearly 50 points in average and 80 points in his on base percentage. His home stadium isn’t that friendly to left-handed hitters not named Barry Bonds and it caused him to slack a lot in 2011. You may look at his career numbers and say well he has been able to have one good, one bad over the last 6 seasons but when looking at his home and away splits in 2010 he played significantly better away than at home, and then in 2011 the same thing the only problem being he didn’t play well on the road either. If he continues this trend he is nothing more than a stow away player someone not worth drafting unless absolutely desperate.
It is known everywhere that the Ballpark at Arlington is one of the most hitter heavy parks in all of baseball. Most players who have no business mashing the ball have the ability to destroy it far, and deep. Mitch Moreland (1B, TEX) was thought to be that guy, he just hasn’t been. Moreland got his time to show his stuff to MLB pitchers in 2010 where he was able to knock 9 big flys in just 145 At Bats over a 47 game span. He got his big break in 2011 and was given the opportunity to start for the majority of the year. In 2011, Moreland increased his at bats by more than 300 but the rest of the numbers didn’t reflect it. Moreland hit for a better average (.004 better), but his on base percentage dropped by nearly .045 points. Obviously given the extra time his HR, Runs scored, and runs batted in were on the up, but by only 7, 40, and 26 from the previous season respectively. Numbers you wouldn’t guess to come from a guy who had 320 more at bats than he did the previous year.
Staying away from the right guys can keep you out of the cellar as much as getting the right guys can get you to the top. Baseball is known to be a marathon so take your time and make the right moves and you’ll be great. Try to sprint your way through and you’ll make mistakes and that will never be good in the long run.
Written exclusively for The Fantasy Fix by Justin Mandaro.
As always you can follow me on twitter @PeckinTheFix
I am available to answer any draft and keeper related questions any time of the day.
Every week I will have two articles offering the top 5 players to draft at each position, and the top 5 players to let slip down your board culminating with my top 200 rankings for 2012 in mid march.
(October 6, 2011 – Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images North America)