Fantasy Baseball 2012

March is the most glorious time of year. College hoops, NBA playoff races, NFL free agency and draft chatter, and the crown jewel: fantasy baseball draft time! I consider this my specialty out of the three major sports, and look forward to it immensely every year. I’ll be breaking down each of my picks from the draft that just recently concluded. Consider yourself privileged to be invited inside of the mind of a fantasy savant. *serious face*

Team Name: Midnight Marauders

Round 1, Pick 4 – Adrian Gonzalez (Bos – 1B)

Going into the draft I was praying to the Most High for a pick in the 6-9 range. There was one man I wanted, one man I knew I was going to take, and said man I knew I could capture late in the round. I ended up with the fourth pick, so I had to “reach” a bit for my man, Adrian Gonzalez, but I don’t give nary a shit. I’m expecting .320 35 110 out of him this year in his second go ’round with the Sox. The problem with taking the same guy at 4 that you could get at 9, is not getting as high a caliber of player in the second round. Or so I thought…

Round 2, Pick 17 – Ryan Braun (Mil – LF)

I don’t know how this happened. Were people turned off by his bullshit “failed” “steroid” test? Expecting a big dip without Prince behind him? Who knows, but Ryan Braun going this late is a gift I didn’t need, but will certainly accept. My targets going into round two were cARLOs Gonzalez and Clayton Kershaw, AKA “Plate of Coleslaw”. Both were gone by the time my turn came up, and I’m surely not complaining. Had the three players previously mentioned not been there, I would have taken Tim Lincecum…

Round 3, Pick 24 – Tim Lincecum (SF – SP)

Hey hey, he’s still there. I now have my ace, and couldn’t be more pleased with how things are going so far. Timmy lost a bit of velocity last year, and there were a couple games where he got shelled, so I’m not completely confident in him this year. Even if he happens to regress however, it won’t be that much, and I still expect him to amass big time numbers.

Round 4, Pick 37 – Brett Lawrie (Tor – 3B)

Third base is shallow so I knew I had to nab my guy fairly early. I had two targets, Brett Lawrie and Ryan Zimmerman. I would have been happy with either, but had Lawrie ranked higher due to his larger ceiling and stolen base potential. I’m expecting a huge, breakout year from him this year. One that I’m sure will make me hate that the Brewers dealt him more and more.

Round 5, Pick 44 – Dan Haren (LAA – SP)

I wanted Zack Greinke so badly here, I was damn near devastated when I seen him get scooped up a couple picks before. Danny Haren isn’t a bad alternative, but he can be inconsistent at times, and I have a feeling Zack will put up ungodly numbers this year. I have plans of putting together a trade package that includes my left nut for Mr Greinke, we’ll see if I can work my magic.

Round 6, Pick 57 – Michael Bourn (Atl – CF)

I have my two pitchers, and the bats I’m seeing on the board aren’t exactly blowing me away, so I decided to go ahead and lock my steals up. 60+ swipes? I can dig it.

Round 7, Pick 64 – Rickie Weeks (Mil – 2B)

Some may say he’s injury prone, but really, every time he’s gotten hurt it’s been on some freak play. If he can put an entire season together, he can easily surpass 30 bombs. It’s just unfortunate he’ll most likely be batting lead off again.

Round 8, Pick 77 – Dee Gordon (LAD – SS)

All I wanted out of the SS position this year was steals, so I had my eyes on this man only. In his first full season, I can see him grabbing 50+ bags. He and Bourn should be an incredible combo for me.

Round 9, Pick 84 – Joe Mauer (Min – C)

This, in my opinion, was a massive steal. I couldn’t care less if Joe never finds that power again, just give me that average. He was hurt all last year, and still managed to bat near .300. With a clean bill of health, and less time behind the plate this year, I’m expecting a huge bounce back.

Round 10, Pick 97 – Adam Wainwright (StL – SP)

Speaking of bounce backs, I think people may have forgotten about this fella. Out all of last year with a Tommy John injury, Wainwright is back with a bionic arm, and ready to reclaim his Cy Young caliber status. Another steal, if I do say so myself..

Round 11, Pick 104 – Carlos Beltran (StL – RF)

Well, I had my eyes on Jason Heyward or Andre Ethier here, but both were taken right from under me. So I had to either take Beltran, or be left with absolute dick in Right Field. I don’t like his prospects for this year, and plan to actively shop him.

Round 12, Pick 117 – Brian Wilson (SF – RP)

Time to load up on Closers. The best left on the board was the formerly funny, currently annoying, part time pitcher, full time goober, Brian Wilson.

Round 13, Pick 124 – Jordan Walden (LAA – RP)

The Angels may be the best team in baseball, so I expect plenty of opportunities for the young fireballer.

Round 14, Pick 137 – Jesus Montero (Sea – Util)

Jesus the phenom will be smack dab in the middle of that dreadful Mariner lineup, and should flourish as long as Safeco doesn’t completely swallow him up. I’m hoping he gets enough appearances behind the plate to eventually become my insurance for Joe Mauer at Catcher.

Round 15, Pick 144 – Andrew Bailey (Bos – RP)

Loading up on Closers, Bailey should excel as the replacement for Papelbon in Boston.

Round 16, Pick 157 – Brandon Beachy (Atl – SP)

So I’m playing the Braves in MLB The Show 12, and getting completely dominated by this Beachy dood. I look him up in my fantasy mag, and see he had one of the highest K/9 ratios of any starter last year. He immediately became a late round target for me. I’m kind of embarrassed that’s the way I discovered him, but hey, I know him now. So will everyone else after this year.

Round 17, Pick 164 – Coco Crisp (Oak – CF)

Rounding out my outfield with some more stolen bases. The trifecta of Crisp, Gordon, and Bourn may very well earn me 150 steals this year. I can dig that.

Round 18, Pick 177 – Carlos Marmol (ChC – RP)

I think from now until infinity, whenever I think about Carlos Marmol, I’ll think of the drunken Cub fan sitting behind me at Wrigley last year’s hilarious heckling of him. I had to remind myself that he wasn’t the worst human being to ever walk the Earth when deciding whether or not to draft him. His ERA was inflated big time in ’11, but I expect that to come back down. His insane strikeout totals I expect to stay right where they are, however.

Round 19, Pick 184 – Kendrys Morales (LAA – 1B)

Another guy people seemed to write off. We all remember his ridiculous leg injury while celebrating a walk off, but perhaps people forgot he was one of the best sluggers in the game before that. Healthy now, and in the same lineup as Albert PooHoles, he is my favorite for AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Round 20, Pick 197 – Chris Perez (Cle – RP)

Closers on Closers on Closers.

Round 21, Pick 204 – Adam Dunn (CWS – 1B)

I refuse to believe Adam Dunn will be as awful as he was last year, two years in a row. He should be better acclimated to his DH role now, and though he was never worth a damn in the batting average department, I have high hopes of a bounce back that garners me 30+ homers and a gang of Walks.

Round 22, Pick 217 – Lucas Duda (NYM – RF)

Duda has plenty of potential, that has an even better chance to come to the surface now that Citi Field’s walls have been moved in. Another outfield option for me.

Round 23, Pick 224 – Grant Balfour (Oak – RP)

The newly appointed Save man in Oakland. He should get a solid amount of opportunities, assuming the A’s anemic offense leaves them in a lot of close games.

Round 24, Pick 237 – Mark Buehrle (Mia – SP)Going out on a limb with this one. Buehrle is a fly ball pitcher who calls the massive Marlins Park his new home. That, and a switch to the NL, could see his ERA plummet downward. Or not. Either way, not a bad guy to take a flyer on in the final round.

Well there you have it. Another championship surely coming my way. Every other team in the league titled “Canseco’s Ass Cheeks” are surely quivering in their knickers.

For a preview of every MLB squad in 2012, head over to my boy Kevin Charity’s blog —>