2013 Fantasy Baseball: Draft James Shields

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy baseball is getting ready to start for a lot of people all over, and I focus this time on a pitcher who is with a new team in 2013 but will experience the same success he did before.

That pitcher is James Shields, who moves to the Kansas City Royals from the Tampa Bay Rays. Shields should be able to match what he did in Tampa Bay with the potential to exceed expectations.

Shields is a pitcher who takes the ball every fifth day and wants to be out there from start to finish, as indicated by his 11 complete games in 2011. Shields is also the type of pitcher that every fantasy owner wants on his roster – a pitcher who goes nine innings and gives up only two or three runs. Shields will benefit from an improved Kansas City lineup that should put up runs in bunches for Shields. I think Shields will finish the season with 15-18 wins and an ERA around 3.35 which are great numbers for a player who will likely be the No. 2 pitcher on any fantasy roster.

If I was drafting today, I would pick Shields in the fifth round around pick 50. There are going to be pitchers that come off the board earlier strictly because of their name, but don’t sleep on Shields and what he can do for you. There will be people who think Shields has had his value reduced moving to Kansas City, but that is hardly the case. I would draft Shields early and enjoy the ride.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.


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