SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

February 23, 2013

Fantasy Forecast: How soon is too soon to draft a pitcher?

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The quality drops off quick at second base.

After Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler you begin to have to assess which flaws you are willing to accept. Even Pedroia and Kinsler are not quite at the same level as Cano (although Pedroia is certainly closer).

If I couldn’t land Cano or Pedroia, I’ve never been much of a Kinsler fan. I would wait until round 9 or 10 and draft the Astros’ Jose Altuve.

Yes, he isn’t surrounded by tremendous talent, and yes he won’t hit for much power. But he did hit for a solid average (.290) and swiped 33 bases. He doesn’t have the same track record as some of the other later round second base options, but does have more upside potential.

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I think Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs could provide decent value at first base.

He’s not quite a sleeper, but given he’s going on average late in the seventh round I think he can produce numbers that are superior to that draft position.

Last season in just 87 games he bashed 15 homers and drove in 48 RBI and hit for a decent average as well, posting a .285. He certainly struggled some in his brief time in San Diego, but he appeared to put some things together between the end of the 2011 season and when he was called up again last year. Perhaps he really did more minor league seasoning, perhaps he was just pressing at Petco.

Admittedly, I’ve always been high on Rizzo, but I think great things could be ahead for him at Wrigley this season.

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Andy Silva writes the Fantasy Forecast for The Salem News. You can contact him at ASilva@salemnews.com and follow him on Twitter @SN_fantasysport.

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