The folks over at Mockdraftcentral.com are already hot and bothered about fantasy baseball, and who can blame them?
Here’s a look at where your Texas Rangers are being drafted (based on 177 drafts)
ADP = Average draft position
E: earliest pick so far for that player
L: latest pick so far for that player
Josh Hamilton – ADP = 12, E = 8, L = 18
Hamilton enters his 4th season with the Rangers, and here’s what we know. He’ll be good for 120 games of dominance. He’ll lose roughly 30 games to injury, and one game every two weeks or so to rest. Reliability issues mean he shouldn’t be a 1st round pick, but somewhere around 15-18 is great value.
Nelson Cruz – ADP = 33, E = 20, L = 42
Nellie “Boomstick” Cruz isn’t sneaking up on anyone this year. His hamstring issues behind him, Nellie is primed for a big year, and early to mid third round is a great place to take him. If he plays 150 games, Cruz could have 60 combined homers/steals.
Adrian Beltre – ADP = 49, E = 27, L = 65
No Ranger will be harder to project than Beltre. His two best seasons came in contract years, but his home/away splits reflect his home ballparks’ weaknesses (Seattle, LA). Career home splits: .258/.318/.425. Road splits: .290/.341/.496. If he hits in Arlington like so many have before (Gary Matthews Jr, Mark DeRosa, Marlon Byrd) and maintains his career road splits, then he should exceed his numbers from last year. At the 5th round he’s a solid investment
Ian Kinsler – ADP = 50, E = 30, L = 65
A Yahoo! Experts Mock draft has Kinsler drafted at 25. That’s WAY too early (look at my notes at the bottom for more details on Second Base) and if you’re looking for speed in the late fourth or early 5th rounds, Kinsler is a good pick. His spike last year in OBP was odd, players usually don’t “learn” that ability, but his BABIP shot up 70 points over his 30/30 season. Obviously 30/30 is the ceiling for Kinsler, while, if healthy, 20/20 is the floor. A safe pick in the 5th round.
– I did a mock draft on 1/18, and 2b is a fairly solid position this year. Beyond the names of Cano, Utley, Pedroia, and Kinsler you have the respectable seasons of Kelly Johnson, Rickie Weeks, Brian Roberts, and Brandon Phillips, all of which can be had after the 7th round. Heck, Ben Zobrist is one year removed from 27 home runs and was taken in the 17th round.
– Closers are cheap. Saves are cheap. I took Carlos Marmol in the 8th because of his epic season last year (new record for k’s/9). But I took Fernando Rodney in the 20th round, Drew Storen and Brad Lidge in the 18th and 19th, J.J. Putz in the 15th, and Houston Street in the 14th. Those 5 should combine for 120 saves.
– My 11th, 12th, and 13th round picks should be framed and placed above a mantle. Mike Stanton, Roy Oswalt, and Jorge Posada. Stanton’s upside is monumental, Oswalt was sensational with Philly after the trade (1.74 ERA, 7-1 record in 82 innings), and Posada should be good for 25 home runs and 80 RBI’s from the catcher’s spot, even though he’ll be DHing most of the season.