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March 19, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

Picking Fifth

by Mauricio Rubio


Depending on what you value, there’s a distinct separation in 12-team 5x5 draft formats when it comes to the fifth pick. Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt,and Andrew McCutchen all deserve to go in the no. 1-4 spots, and I don’t think there can be much debate on that. The big question facing owners picking fifth is a value-based one. I was handed the no. 5 pick in a home league, so let’s take a look at some of the names that I thought about taking there. (Note: I’m concentrating solely on 12-team leagues, so your mileage may vary).

Clayton Kershaw
Kershaw is a popular choice here judging by the ADPs across a few different sites. The reasons are obvious: Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball right now; he’s a good bet to help across four categories again this year; and there’s a decent amount of uncertainty with the position players who would also be the fifth-overall pick.

PECOTA projects Kershaw to finish fifth in K’s and first in both ERA and WHIP among starting pitchers. Wins are a mess to project, but one would expect his value to hold there given that the Dodgers are a good team and Kershaw tends to pitch deep into games.

Carlos Gonzalez
CarGo is a category-filler when he’s playing. At this point I think we’ve made peace with the fact that Gonzalez is unlikely to produce like he did in 2010 again but he still helps out across all five categories at a near-elite level.

Last season, Gonzalez posted another 20-20 season and hit over .300. PECOTA expects more of the same in 2014 with a jump in plate appearances and the subsequent jump in RS/BI. There’s a huge health caveat when it comes to Gonzalez; his injury history section is depressingly long and he hasn’t crossed the 140-game threshold since 2010. Durability is a serious concern here.

Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez got hurt in the World Baseball Classic and only played in 86 games last year, but he still managed to be worth 4.8 WARP. Some of that is due to a thin SS crop, but a whole lot more has to do with the .345/.402/.638 line he posted. While I don’t expect the average to be over .330 in 2014, there’s a good chance he finds himself in the .290 range while posting a 20-20 season.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article The Darkhorses: Runs B... (03/19)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The... (03/18)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Bea... (03/20)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Nationa... (03/19)

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