Thanks! Yeah I do believe in taking first and third baseman early, at least this year. I've found in mocks and real drafts my ideal first three rounds are some combo of 1B/SS/3B followed by three OF and two SP in the next five, and I have no intent of taking a 2B early unless maybe Kinsler falls a bit. I was actually going to reach for Jose Reyes with the 15th pick but the guy before me took him, and I don't love A-Rod this year so I went Kemp and fortunately had the choice between Zimmerman and Youk with my third rounder. I think its especially important with first base, there's a decent dropoff after the first three (Pujols, Cabrera, Votto) and then a huge dropoff after the next three (Tex, Fielder, Howard). I'm not interested in spending a 5th round pick on a health risk like Morales or Morneau. Third baseman are a bit more evenly spread out through the first half of a 12-team draft, but there's a huge dropoff towards the 10th round after Alvarez/McGehee/Sandoval go off the board. I generally like to take a Top 5 third baseman that's not A-Rod, but if I miss I'd rather wait for Alvarez or Sandoval than take Bautista, Beltre, Young, or A-Ram. I don't see a huge difference between those groups. Alvarez is basically Bautista with a touch more risk in that he's not quite as likely to hit 30 HR, but he's got a shot and its not a 7-round difference. I really don't see any difference between Panda and the other three and think Sandoval might in fact have a better year than any of them. I don't really see McGehee as all that different either, but he's just so unexciting. He'll probably justify his draft position, but he won't blow it out of the water.
I'm sure closers will be available, but I expect this league to be particularly on-the-ball about snagging them so I'll need to pay attention. I agree on Sale, I plan on holding onto him, though Edinson Volquez and James Shields are on the wire and will be tempting. I'm sure I can find a nice SP though when/if League loses the closer job, and I don't really need one. I doubt I'll have a hard time hitting the innings cap and the staff is solid as is. I actually think the league overreached on closers and missed some viable SP (still can't believe I got Chacin in the 23rd round) though. I do also think I should wind up with at least one guy who will offer me the most profit in trade between Alvarez, Bay, and Fowler. They likely won't all hit, but all three have a pretty good chance of paying off well above where I drafted them and none are really necessary to my roster. Even the Raburn/Walker/Nishioka combo could be included in that discussion if two of them hit, but I could see Walker sophmore slumping and Raburn really breaking out or Walker being quietly dependable and Raburn hitting his typical early season slump and not having a ton of trade value. I'm bearish on Nishioka but he's the only late upside I see with SS eligibility, not that I'm too worried about Castro, I think he's decently safe and has a touch of upside. Ian Desmond actually really hung around the board for a long time, but I think Castro offers slightly more balance for a position like SS and I didn't want another batting average drain, so I jumped on Starlin when they were the two last viable SS on the board with the intent of taking Nishioka for his potential upside at the end.