SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 2, 2013

Fantasy Forecast: Is San Francisco Giants' catcher Posey worth a high draft pick?

Fantasy Focus
Andy Silva

---- — Potential vs. position scarcity (or lack thereof) is an important factor to consider on draft day.

Sure a player might be a good value, but a draft is like a game of chess ‑ every move has a consequence. So, it is incumbent on each fantasy owner to decide, “is this player not only talented enough, but valuable enough at this spot for me to pencil him into my lineup?”

I bring this up with Buster Posey in mind. The defending National League MVP was stellar for the World Champion Giants, hitting .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBI and showing he was fully recovered from a nasty looking broken ankle in 2011. Even prior to the injury Posey showed he was an elite talent.

So the real question is this - is he worth drafting at an average draft position of 17.4 in Yahoo! leagues, especially when Carlos Santana and Matt Wieters are both available 60 picks or more after Posey has been taken off the board?

Like anything else, the answer to this question depends on your team. If you have a sound strategy, absolutely go for it. I personally have been a big Posey fan for a number of years, but really liked Santana as well and Wieters had a breakout year last year.

Perhaps more important for me is Posey’s first base eligibility. Given that, I would be comfortable drafting Posey to play first and then selecting Santana or Wieters or even Miguel Montero (ADP: 123.4) or Jesus Montero (ADP: 162.3) later on to catch.

It’s unlikely Posey will repeat his 2012 stat line, but he’s still an elite offensive player and worth consideration early in drafts.

---

As we get closer to Opening Day and, for many, draft day, I think it is important for fantasy players to do their due dilligence and participate in a mock draft.

It may seem unneccessary to spend your time in a draft that will not provide your final roster, but it is a worthwhile endeavor. A mock draft lets you work on strategy, including test driving what you plan to do on your actual draft day. It also will help you to figure out how to adjust on the fly should the draft shake up your plan of action. It could provide insight into where players are going in other leagues so you can better predict when to reach and when to be patient. Knowledge is power, after all.

You can do all the draft prep you want, but there really isn’t anything like experiencing draft-like conditions to hone your skills. Think of it as Spring Training for the fantasy owner. While some may decry it as a waste of time, it’s easy to see the benefits of a little pre-draft practice.

¢¢¢

It was announced yesterday that Cleveland closer Chris Perez will miss three to four weeks with a strained right shoulder.

It wasn’t quite as straightforward as that, with Indians manager Terry Francona acting mysteriously when Perez did not appear in game he was scheduled to pitch in against the White Sox and Perez refusing to talk to reporters when leaving the park.

So the question becomes this: Who will be the closer in Cleveland to start the season?

According to reports, Francona will hand the ball to Vinnie Pestano in the interim. Pestano has excelled out of the bullpen for the Indians in the last two seasons, accumulating 36 holds last season and 23 holds in 2011. I still think that Perez will get the job back once healthy ‑ Perez did save 39 out of 43 games last season and 36 out of 40 in 2011.

So perhaps you can manuever it to draft Perez later in your draft and pick up Pestano to fill in while Perez is on the DL.

---

Andy Silva writes the Fantasy Focus column each week in The Salem News. He can be reached at asilva@salemnews.com.