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2010 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: Last-Round Fliers

April 5, 2010 | by Todd Habiger | Comments (3)
Hideki Matsui has moved to the Los Angeles Angels.
Hideki Matsui is a forgotten man in 2010 drafts; don’t make that mistake.

We’re back with more the 2010 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit! Today, we continue our much-loved series, the Top 10 Lists that Fantasy Owners Always Wanted but were Afraid to Ask For. Todd is back to give you some hidden gems that could be available in the final round of your draft.

When that last round in your draft arrives, you’re tired and all you seem to see is dog meat out there. Well, we suggest you take a look at some of these guys to help fill out your roster. All of them have been getting no respect over at Mock Draft Central where they are all currently being taken, on average, under the 245th pick. Now, none of these guys are going to win you a title with their numbers, but I think they can all be valuable contributors to any team.

1. Hideki Matsui, DH, Los Angeles Angels: The World Series MVP seems to be a forgotten man in most drafts (his current Average Draft Position is 253 at mockdraftcentral.com). Despite his gimpy knees, Godzilla can still rake, as his 28 homers, 90 RBI and solid .274 batting average last year clearly shows. He’s limited at DH, but if you’ve got the slot open in that last round you won’t find very many (if any) players around that can put up those numbers.

2. Ryan Theriot, SS, Chicago Cubs: Shortstop can be a pretty ugly position if you don’t jump on it early. Enter a guy like Theriot. He’s a solid shortstop that won’t kill you. Theriot garnered a career high 602 at-bats last year and didn’t disappoint. In addition to solid batting average, runs scored and 20+ stolen bases, Theriot “powered up” to the tune of seven home runs, a career high. While the power numbers may have been an aberration, his other numbers should be sustainable.

3. Gil Meche, RHP, Kansas City Royals: Most people will write off Meche after his lousy performance last season. Don’t make that mistake. He was actually pretty good the two previous years before his injury-marred 2009 campaign. When healthy, Meche can offer a solid ERA and WHIP to go along with good strikeout totals.

4. Cody Ross, OF, Florida Marlins: Ross has found a home in South Florida and settled in nicely. He’s one of those guys who quietly puts up solid numbers that no one seems to notice. Ross has got a little pop and can hit for a decent average. He’ll have to do his damage at the bottom half of the Marlin lineup, but doesn’t have any serious challengers for his job.

5. Clint Barmes, 2B, Colorado Rockies: Best know for falling down a flight of stairs with Todd Helton’s meat, Barmes broke through last year with a fine season, showing some power and flashing some speed. His batting average can be a little worrisome as he hit only .245 last season. Personally I think he’s more of a .270-.280 hitter, but only time will tell. He doesn’t have any real competition at second base, so Barmes would have to perform pretty poorly to lose the job.

6. Matt LaPorta, OF/1B, Cleveland Indians: Most people know about the sophomore slump where the hot rookie who tore up the league the year before has a major falloff (see, Soto, Geovany). I’m a big believer in the sophomore bump, where the player who struggles in his first year comes back with a big second season. I’m going to put LaPorta in that category (along with personal favourite Travis Snider). LaPorta has big time power. He’s a butcher in the field, but you don’t care about that. Given a chance to start every day, I think LaPorta can approach 30 homers and 100 RBI.

7. Jake Fox, 3B/OF, Oakland A’s: No one doubts that Fox has big time power – the question is where does he fit in with the A’s? First base is up for grabs in Oakland and that looks like Fox’s best bet. That fact that he’s versatile helps his chance of seeing playing time. He split time between third and the outfield for the Cubs last year. With regular playing time, I can see him jacking 25-to-30 dingers. Fox’s minor league numbers suggest that he could have a pretty fair batting average as well, and he always seemed to hover around the .280 mark.

8. Chris Perez, RP, Cleveland Indians: Last year in my top 10 rookie report, I told you to go out and get this guy and he’d be the St. Louis Cardinals’ closer for the next decade. That didn’t work out so great. Perez never grabbed hold of the Cards’ closer job and got shipped to Cleveland in the Mark DeRosa trade. But I’ll again plug this guy as he can be lights out. With Kerry Wood on shaky ground after a rough first season in Cleveland, Perez has a great opportunity to emerge as the Cleveland closer at year’s end. Grab him and he’ll be the Cleveland closer for the next decade — I promise this time.

9. Brett Gardner, OF, New York Yankees: While a lot of rabbits are getting much attention in the later rounds of most drafts, Gardner seems to be largely ignored. He stole 26 bases in less than 250 at-bats last season and he’s a good bet to find regular playing time this year between all three outfield positions. Be warned, though, that Gardner is a rabbit of the worst kind. He has no power and will probably bat far enough down in the order as to not score many runs. What you’ll get is pure speed and that’s it.

10. Colby Lewis, RHP, Texas Rangers: Fellow RotoRober Tim McLeod has been hyping Lewis all winter long and many of the experts he’s drafted with are starting to take note. A glance at his major league numbers will most likely scare most teams away. Lewis last pitched in the majors in 2007 when injuries threatened his career. He spent the last two years in Japan and has put up numbers that show why he was once a top prospect in the Ranger organization. Lewis’s K/BB ratio was spectacular (46 walks in 354.1 innings). The Rangers put a pretty good defense out there every day so it’s not unreasonable to think that if Lewis brings just a little bit of that magic he showed in Japan with him to Texas, he can be a number three starter at worst.

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2010 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

March 26, 2010 | by Todd Habiger | Comments (0)
ou hear reports about how this kid can smack 50 homers, steal 100 bases, or strike out 200 batters and you start to salivate. Rarely do things work out that way, but sometimes talent busts through in a big way and can carry you to a championship. Here are my 10 best bets for top rookies this year. I know a lot of them don’t have big league jobs right now, but it’s only a matter of time before they crack the lineup.
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MLB Draft Review: 2001 Part Six

January 20, 2010 | by Todd Habiger | Comments (0)
Bonderman sported a dynamic fastball the reached the upper 90s as well as a plus slider that could buckle the knees. Oakland shipped Bonderman to the Tigers in 2002 in a three-team deal that netted them Ted Lilly and a couple of prospects. Despite going 6-19 in his rookie season in 2003, Bonderman showed enough that many scouts predicted great things for years to come. It has yet to happen as his stuff has never translated into wins or a sub-4.00 ERA. Bonderman suffered through an injury-plagued 2009 and missed most of the season. He’s expected to slide into the fourth starter role for the Tigers this year.
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FBTM Slow Draft Review

January 14, 2010 | by Todd Habiger | Comments (16)
We’re currently into the 11th round of a 23-round draft, so I’ll give you a recap of my draft so far, as well as my thoughts on each round.
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MLB Draft Review: 2001 Part Five

January 4, 2010 | by Todd Habiger | Comments (5)
Taken out of Youngstown State University, Hennessey sported an killer slider that was his out pitch and a fastball that could reach the mid-90s (though he had to dial it down to the low-90s/high 80s to control it). His career almost never got on track as he missed 2002 and most of 2003 to have two benign tumors removed from his back. But through hard work Hennessey came back in late 2003 and made it to the Show in 2004. For three seasons, Hennessey bounced between Triple-A and the big club. After working mostly as a starter, he found big league success in the bullpen. Hennessey was an effect reliever in 2006 and in 2007, after Armando Benitez was traded, he inherited the closer job and converted 19-of-24 saves. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Hennessey. He was awful in 2008 and was allowed to leave as a free agent following the season. He signed with Baltimore in November 2008, but was released on June 11, 2009 without having thrown a pitch for the Os.
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