OpinionMarch 18, 2011


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Fantasy Baseball Draft Sliders - 1 comments

By Kirk Beiser

Every year there are several players that enter spring training with lingering injuries or sustain an injury during spring training. And sometimes their Median Draft Position (MDP) is slow to reflect this change. Who are this year’s fantasy sliders? And when are you prepared to take them?

Chase Utley – MDP #15

Chase Utley had established himself as the elite fantasy second baseman typically putting up a .290 average, 100-R, 30-HR, 100-RBI and 15-SB line. This is the second straight season that he has entered spring training with injury concerns. He started last season on fire but tore a thumb ligament in June and finished with decent but not elite numbers. Now he has patella tendinitis and the Phillies are taking baby steps after an MRI and a cortisone shot. Currently his MDP is in the early second round, but this is a situation that I’ll avoid. But at what point is he worth the risk? Third round? Fourth round? Or does this not concern you and you will still take him in the second?

Justin Morneau – MDP #47

Unlike Greinke and Utley all of the news regarding Morneau has been positive. He played in his first spring training game recently and is on track to be in the opening day lineup. Yet I read about drafts where Morneau is falling to the bottom or even out of the top 100. There is a good reason that drafters have been avoiding him, since he has sustained numerous concussions before and during his professional baseball career. But how far do you let a guy having an MVP season last year before the injury slide?

Zack Greinke – MDP #51

After the offseason trade to the Milwaukee Brewers (more importantly a team with an offense playing in the NL) Zack Greinke was vaulting to the top of the deep second tier of starting pitchers. But then he broke a rib playing basketball and will likely miss a few starts at the beginning of the season. My concern isn’t that he’ll miss a few starts but rather that this could be a lingering injury affecting his entire season. Do you take a chance on Greinke in the 70s? Or do you let him fall to the bottom of the top 100?

Kendrys Morales – MDP #59

The Angels and fantasy owners everywhere suffered perhaps the most heartbreaking moment of 2010 when Kendrys Morales broke his ankle after a walk off grand slam last May. It has been nearly 10 months since the injury and he still isn’t 100%. It’s even possible that he misses Opening Day. I don’t know about you but I’m not too excited about investing a fifth round pick in a player that hasn’t played a spring training game yet. Is he still in your top 75? Or is he in the bottom of the top 100? Do you draft him before or after Morneau?

 
Kirk Beiser is a lifelong Twins fan. He's currently in Taiwan drifting aimlessly around the world (and playing a little fantasy baseball when possible). You can catch up with Kirk in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of kab21.
 
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One Response to “Fantasy Baseball Draft Sliders”

  1. User avatar saemick says:

    Personally, Utley & Morales I am avoiding like the plague. Starting with Utley: he continues to be drafted in the 2nd/3rd rounds…and in the 1st 5 rounds, my goal is to get the safest/ most consistent players possibly. I can aim for the “upside” players later in the draft. Now with Utley, as you mentioned, this is the 2nd year in a row starting ST with injury concerns…and his outlook isn’t exactly positive. All that said; could be still be an elite 2B? sure, but I’ll let someone else deal with the headache.

    Onto Kendry(s); while obviously not being drafted as high as Utley, 10 months since his injury and it’s looking like he won’t be available for Opening Day… not really looking for my 7th – 9th round pick to be starting the year on my DL. Not to mention, who’s to say he won’t celebrate playing for the 1st time in 10 months by breaking his other ankle..

    with Morneau; I’d be ok with drafting him as my starting 1b if I can’t get one of the top 8. Since he’s not really going too early, I can get my “safe” picks and if he falls to the bottom of the top 100…. then yes, please, thank you.

    Greinke – I’n not one to draft SP early, so the ones I do get are usually the 2nd-3rd tier studs to anchor my staff. So unless he really falls far to me (2nd or 3rd SP), like Utley, I’ll let him be someone else’s problem

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