Who else is available? I think Tex in the second round is very optimistic. I'd take Ortiz because he has ALREADY put up the numbers that Tex has NOT, but that everyone is thinking (hoping?) he will. I'll take the proven player every time over speculation.
Tex posted 281-101-38-112 last year. Good numbers, to be sure, but nothing spectacular. He was ranked 44th overall last year in espn's 5x5. Barely ahead of Rollins. Yahoo had him ranked 50-something in 5x5. In fact, Tex was not even in the top 3 1Bs last year. Pujols, Helton, and Ortiz were considerably ahead of him, and he was not far ahead of Hafner and Sean Casey. Some other big sluggers at 1B, Thome and Delgado, were injured or had down years last year, or Tex might not have even been in the top 5 at 1B.
At best, he was 44th overall last year. Do you guys have any idea how much Tex would have to improve to make him a 2nd round pick?! Let's put that in perspective. Manny was 16th on espn with 308-108-43-130. Let's not be bashful now. Manny's numbers blew Tex's away. Wasn't even close. Compare his numbers to Tex's and let it sink in just how much Tex would have to improve in 2005 to put him in the second round. He'd need to increase his BA by 26 points, runs by 7, HR by 6, and RBI by 18. What are the likelihood he can do that? I'd say very, very slim. Even the wildest projections for Tex don't have him near 308-108-43-130.
So what are his chances of hitting those numbers? Let's put down the hype bong and look at his numbers from 2004. He batted only 300 or more twice in 6 months. He batted 238 or less twice in the same six months (212 in May and 238 in September). Note that he ended the season with the rasberry 238 in September, so all this I hear about a "big slump" at the beginning of the year is misleading. He had a "big slump" at the end of the year too, apparently. So he "slumped" for 3 out of six months? How is that any different than having just 3 good months?
Let's also look at his HR totals. Other than a huge power spike in a single month (13-30 in July) his HR and RBI totals were considerably more pedestrian. Other than 13-30 in July, he never hit more than 7 in a month, and he hit 2, 3, and 5 HR in three months. So, if you take out that strange spike in power in July, you are left with 32-105 or so. A huge difference.
Please don't tell me he was hurt at the beginning of the year and blah, blah, blah. Injuries are a part of the game, and any time a player supposedly spends two months nursing an injury, that sends up some flags for me. It usually does for every other player as well, but somehow Tex gets a pass. Plus, he posted a pitiful 238 BA in September. Was he hurt then too? If so, I think the term "injury prone" applies. If not, then maybe you have to look at his better months with a little more skepticism.
We also have to look at his performance in 2003, which is much more in line with his so-called "slump" months in 2004 than with his better months.
So what does all this mean? To me, it means that seeing Tex jump from 44th overall (at best) to second-round value is highly doubtful. And that assumes, of course, that other hot up-and-comers don't also improve. Possible? Of course. But anyone who bets against the odds is by definition playing on hopes and dreams, and far more likely to be disappointed then happy.
And finally, to put things further in perspective, let's look at some of the players who finished AHEAD of Tex in 2004. There's Mora (20), Drew (31), Damon (32), Berkman (34), Young (35), and -- believe it or not -- Pavano (26). Where are these guys going in the draft? Drew and Damon will be lucky if they get drafted in the 7th or 8th. Pavano? He's not even in the top 100 in a lot of draft lists. And yet, every single one of them posted better numbers than Tex in 2004.
And Young? He's also very young, plays on the same great line-up as Tex, plays at a MUCH thinner position than Tex, finished considerably ahead of Tex in the rankings last year, and therefor in any rational draft he should be picked much EARLIER than Tex, no? So why then is he falling 2 or 3 rounds deeper into the draft? Why, pray tell? One word: HYPE.
Let's take a look at one more player. Crawford. He finished 22nd overall last year. Blew Tex away. He's even younger than Tex, and has just as much if not more upside. So if Tex is worth a second round pick pick, then what is Crawford? Top 5?
Obviously, everyone is entitled to their own valuation of players. That's what makes fantasy baseball so fun and challenging. Personally, I think Tex is a hot player and expect big things from him. But 2nd round? There's no basis for such a high pick, other than hopes and dreams. They'll burn you every time.
I am the Master. Don't question the Master. Just do what he says and be proud.