Fantasy Baseball 2013: Three High, Two Low

1 of 6

Three High, Two Low


Steve Mitchell - US Presswire

The first few rounds of a fantasy baseball draft can make or break your team. Some may say otherwise, but in the end there is no way around it.

Your first pick is the most important in the entire draft, and your second and third picks aren’t far behind. They are the consistent production around which you build a team, like the frame of a building, the keystone of an arch, and if one of those first few picks happens to be a bust, you could be in for a rough season.

Last year, those who reached for guys like Tim Lincecum and Evan Longoria felt the bite of drafting an early round, big name bust. Longoria struggled with injuries and never really found his rhythm in 2012. Lincecum was one of the worst pitchers in the league. Yet, on the other hand, there were guys like Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw and David Price who were more than worth their early round selections.

So who is 2013’s Lincecum? It’s impossible to know. We can analyze and scrutinize, look at every stat from every year, but when it comes down to it, only time will tell. Of the top guys in 2013, some will be great, some will not. We can only guess who.

That’s what makes fantasy baseball fun.

So without further ado, here are three top guys I’m high on this year, and two more I’m low on. Enjoy.

2 of 6

1. High - Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers


Jayne Kamin-Oncea - US Presswire

Kemp was fantasy baseball’s top player in 2011, and he looked to snag that title again in 2012 before hamstring problems took about a third of his season away. A relatively weak stat line last year doesn’t change that fact that he may be the best five-tool player in the game today, and it also doesn’t hinder his potential for a 30/30 or even 40/40 season.

A look at the lineup around him is all it takes for me to be high on him in 2013. He’s among the most gifted players in the game today, and 2013 could be the year he sets his eyes on some records. Draft him early in the first round.

3 of 6

2. High - Justin Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves


Kim Klement - US Presswire

A change of scenery can do wonders for any player, and when you get to meet up with your brother and play in the best young outfield in baseball it can do even more. Upton’s 2012 season saw a solid .280 average, but his 17 home runs and 67 RBI left much to be desired.

Now with new surroundings, Upton is only 25-years-old and he’s still oozing with talent and power. 30 home runs are well within reach for this guy, as are 100 RBI in a good lineup around him, and he’s got the speed to snag 20 bases as well. Going late in the first round or early in the second, he’s the kind of guy you could build an outfield around if he can find his groove in 2013.

4 of 6

3. High - Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals


Joy R. Absalon - US Presswire

It’s hard not to be high on the young superstar. Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2012, Strasburg showed us what he’s capable of. The 24-year-old went 15 – 6 with a 3.16 ERA and 197 strike outs in just less than 160 innings pitched. Had he not been shut down with a month left in the season, those already gaudy numbers could have been even better—Cy Young award better.

Well rested and more than a year removed from his surgery, I like Strasburg to build on his 2012 and be among the best pitchers in the league this year. He can anchor a pitching staff.

5 of 6

1. Low - Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays


Tom Szczerbowski - US Presswire

After a dominant display in 2011, Bautista struggled to find his groove in 2012 and when he finally did his season was cut short by a wrist injury. For a powerful batter with an explosive, violent swing, that’s not good news.

The lineup around him is better than ever, but I fear that Bautista’s wrist injury may hinder his power early on in 2013. Power comes from the legs and the hips, but it has to go through the wrists to get to the bat, and if one link in the chain is broken the whole chain can fall apart. On top of that, all it takes is one wrong swing or one wrong move and that injury could flare up again.

He could do what he did in 2011, or he could struggle. Either way, he comes with more risk this year than I’d like from my second pick, which is where you'd likely have to take him.

6 of 6

2. Low - Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels


Jake Roth - US Presswire

Want a bold prediction? Here it is. By no means do I think Trout will be a bust this year, it's just that he's going so high in drafts with such little experience that I can't help but to be low on him. I feel that 2012’s breakout player will have trouble repeating his gaudy 2012 stats.

At 20-years-old Trout put up a .326 average with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases in a shortened season last year, but all of those numbers can be linked to one absurd stat, his .383 average on balls in play.

That mark was third most in the league in 2012, and now that pitchers have had a whole year to figure out how to pitch to him, there’s a good chance it falls in 2013. If it does, his .326 average could settle in the .300 range and with fewer hits his RBI and home runs would drop batting leadoff in LA.

Taking him first overall is a reach. Taking him in the top five might be as well. He’s a first round pick, but before I pass up on a guy like Ryan Braun or Cabrera, Robinson Cano or Kemp, I want to see Trout do it again.

1 of 6

Three High, Two Low


Steve Mitchell - US Presswire

The first few rounds of a fantasy baseball draft can make or break your team. Some may say otherwise, but in the end there is no way around it.

Your first pick is the most important in the entire draft, and your second and third picks aren’t far behind. They are the consistent production around which you build a team, like the frame of a building, the keystone of an arch, and if one of those first few picks happens to be a bust, you could be in for a rough season.

Last year, those who reached for guys like Tim Lincecum and Evan Longoria felt the bite of drafting an early round, big name bust. Longoria struggled with injuries and never really found his rhythm in 2012. Lincecum was one of the worst pitchers in the league. Yet, on the other hand, there were guys like Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw and David Price who were more than worth their early round selections.

So who is 2013’s Lincecum? It’s impossible to know. We can analyze and scrutinize, look at every stat from every year, but when it comes down to it, only time will tell. Of the top guys in 2013, some will be great, some will not. We can only guess who.

That’s what makes fantasy baseball fun.

So without further ado, here are three top guys I’m high on this year, and two more I’m low on. Enjoy.

2 of 6

1. High - Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers


Jayne Kamin-Oncea - US Presswire

Kemp was fantasy baseball’s top player in 2011, and he looked to snag that title again in 2012 before hamstring problems took about a third of his season away. A relatively weak stat line last year doesn’t change that fact that he may be the best five-tool player in the game today, and it also doesn’t hinder his potential for a 30/30 or even 40/40 season.

A look at the lineup around him is all it takes for me to be high on him in 2013. He’s among the most gifted players in the game today, and 2013 could be the year he sets his eyes on some records. Draft him early in the first round.

3 of 6

2. High - Justin Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves


Kim Klement - US Presswire

A change of scenery can do wonders for any player, and when you get to meet up with your brother and play in the best young outfield in baseball it can do even more. Upton’s 2012 season saw a solid .280 average, but his 17 home runs and 67 RBI left much to be desired.

Now with new surroundings, Upton is only 25-years-old and he’s still oozing with talent and power. 30 home runs are well within reach for this guy, as are 100 RBI in a good lineup around him, and he’s got the speed to snag 20 bases as well. Going late in the first round or early in the second, he’s the kind of guy you could build an outfield around if he can find his groove in 2013.

4 of 6

3. High - Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals


Joy R. Absalon - US Presswire

It’s hard not to be high on the young superstar. Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2012, Strasburg showed us what he’s capable of. The 24-year-old went 15 – 6 with a 3.16 ERA and 197 strike outs in just less than 160 innings pitched. Had he not been shut down with a month left in the season, those already gaudy numbers could have been even better—Cy Young award better.

Well rested and more than a year removed from his surgery, I like Strasburg to build on his 2012 and be among the best pitchers in the league this year. He can anchor a pitching staff.

5 of 6

1. Low - Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays


Tom Szczerbowski - US Presswire

After a dominant display in 2011, Bautista struggled to find his groove in 2012 and when he finally did his season was cut short by a wrist injury. For a powerful batter with an explosive, violent swing, that’s not good news.

The lineup around him is better than ever, but I fear that Bautista’s wrist injury may hinder his power early on in 2013. Power comes from the legs and the hips, but it has to go through the wrists to get to the bat, and if one link in the chain is broken the whole chain can fall apart. On top of that, all it takes is one wrong swing or one wrong move and that injury could flare up again.

He could do what he did in 2011, or he could struggle. Either way, he comes with more risk this year than I’d like from my second pick, which is where you'd likely have to take him.

6 of 6

2. Low - Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels


Jake Roth - US Presswire

Want a bold prediction? Here it is. By no means do I think Trout will be a bust this year, it's just that he's going so high in drafts with such little experience that I can't help but to be low on him. I feel that 2012’s breakout player will have trouble repeating his gaudy 2012 stats.

At 20-years-old Trout put up a .326 average with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases in a shortened season last year, but all of those numbers can be linked to one absurd stat, his .383 average on balls in play.

That mark was third most in the league in 2012, and now that pitchers have had a whole year to figure out how to pitch to him, there’s a good chance it falls in 2013. If it does, his .326 average could settle in the .300 range and with fewer hits his RBI and home runs would drop batting leadoff in LA.

Taking him first overall is a reach. Taking him in the top five might be as well. He’s a first round pick, but before I pass up on a guy like Ryan Braun or Cabrera, Robinson Cano or Kemp, I want to see Trout do it again.


Around the Web