We can’t win our baseball league with a first-round draft pick. We certainly can lose it.

 

Seeking major upside from unproven players is the way to gain an edge in the middle and later rounds. Up front, however, we want a sure thing.

 

Scary studs

 

Matt Kemp is going No. 1 overall in a ton of leagues, mostly because he was the No. 1 player by a wide margin last season. But Kemp is also one year removed from a .249 batting average and 19 steals. The NL?West is also a pitcher-friendly division. Avoid.

 

Prince Fielder is scary because he just got a $214 million contract from the Tigers, is changing leagues and now calls a pitcher’s park home. A?letdown is possible.

We also have to be concerned with players that have career seasons at age 30. Curtis Granderson has always been a favorite thanks to his power/speed combo, but no one should be expecting 41 homers again.

Baseball studs

Miguel Cabrera

1B, Tigers

One of the game’s best natural hitters now has Prince Fielder for added lineup protection. There is

no way he fails.



Troy Tulowitzki

SS, Rockies

Injuries are always a concern, but playing in Colorado at the thin shortstop spot is unique.

Hoops pickups

Options off the wire:

1. Josh Howard, SF, UTA — Howard has earned the starting gig as he’s finally over his ACL tear. We know he can score 13-16 points nightly.

2. Jordan Crawford, SG, WAS — Nick Young is an impending free agent, meaning the Wiz are going to take a long look at Crawford. He’s going to push for 30 minutes the rest of the way.