Drafting before the big breakout
When drafting a beastly baseball team, the goal should not be to draft guys you hope will duplicate last year’s numbers.
The idea should be to grab players that will outperform their draft position by a wide margin. The best way to accomplish this goal is with young, upside players on the verge of breaking out. Think Carlos Gonzalez from 2010.
Here are this year’s candidates for major leaps forward:
Andrew the Great
Some may think that Andrew McCutchen has already broken out. He hasn’t. The megatalented five-tool outfielder projects to bat in the middle of the order and take a leap forward in the power department.
The magic Wand
Players’ overall numbers are often a poor reflection of their season. In 2010, Wandy Rodriguez went 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA after the All-Star break but 6-11 with a 4.97 ERA?before it. He has elite stuff.
The catcher position is deeper than most people think this year. The crafty drafter will wait and then pounce on an upside guy like Miguel Montero. Although he is yet to put it all together, the Diamondbacks’ unquestioned starter is very capable of 20 homers.
Each week in this space, we’ll hand out three upside players that can be had late in drafts:
1 Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT — Beastly power that is on the rise at age 24. He could reach 35 jacks from the hot corner.
2 Daniel Hudson, SP, ARZ — Ian Kennedy will start Opening Day, but Hudson is the true ace of the staff. Major breakout candidate.
3 J.P. Arencibia, C, TOR — If you choose to wait on a catcher, this is your sleeper. The rookie’s average will be weak, but lots of power.