Target & Avoid: Boston Red Sox
Target: Will Middlebrooks
Third Base is much more concentrated than one may see at first glance. With the emergence of\ Chase Headley (highly overrated) the loss of Jose Bautista to the OF, Chipper retiring and other 3B regulars like Youk, A-Rod and Michael Young all well over their prime comes the next generation.
Though many drafters still like the tried and true household names that will go in RDs 1-5 (currently nine 3B are being taken by the end of RD5 at MDC) you can have the same or better quality in RDs 13-14. Middlebrooks’ ADP is at 176 currently and trending upward.
Middlebrooks’ should hit 5th in Beantown with many opportunities to push across runs with great table setters ahead of him. While coming up through the Sox system he hit over .300 3x with a .333 season in progress before being called up last year. He finished the last 75 games in the bigs and hit .288 with an OPS .835. That OPS ranked him 6th best for 3B. Taking Middlebrooks in the mid teen rounds will serve you well and you will be overjoyed when he outperforms Zimmerman, Headly, Sandoval and Lawrie. My line for 2013 80R 28HR 93RBI 10SB .280 BA. Remember you do not need a quick trigger this year when drafting 3B. Middlebrooks will be yours at pick 160.
Avoid: Ryan Dempster
The one time average SP, converted to Closer and then back to starter is not worth a draft pick this year. Yes he had a couple of decent years as a Cub feasting on the Astros and Pirates in the NL Central and putting up some good K numbers but that will all be exposed now that he is in the AL East and facing a DH every night. The career 4.45 ERA and 1.45 WHIP SP will get no more than 7 Wins this year. He will have a bloated 4.80+ ERA like he did once he accepted the trade to Texas last year. Look for 7-12 record with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP and 170Ks. Why do I say this? Because his career record against BAL, ChiSox, LAA, NYY and TB is 6-15…painful. As the 50th SP being selected at MDC look for that number to trend down dramatically. Your best bet is to talk up Dempster with your other Managers hoping one takes the bait and then gets crushed. Look for him to be on the FA list by June 1.