Fantasy Baseball: 9 players to avoid drafting early in your league

Every year, there are certain players you draft because you are comfortable with them. I get it. I do the same thing. It is time however to break that trend. So with that said, here are nine players to avoid.

Nelson Cruz, DH, Twins: Nellie has been a model of consistency at the plate the past five seasons. He has averaged 42 home runs and 104 RBI’s in that span. Despite that, I would stay away from him until later round. He is 38 years, only plays DH which means he offers no position flexibility and he is now playing half of his games at Target Field, a pitcher’s park. If you resist the urge and wait a little later, I would.

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs: Yes, I said it! Don’t fall into the trap of drafting Bryant early. Forget about the name in the back of the jersey. Bryant’s ADP has consistently been in the late 20’s, early 30’s the past two seasons. ESPN projects him as a third round pick in point leagues. I would hold off. There are cheaper alternatives at third base that are just as productive. Bryant’s injury history and inconsistent make him too much of a risk to take in the first three rounds.

Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: 12 home runs and .284 average last season for Votto. That’s it! I drafted him in the second round in one of my leagues. Am I bitter? Damn straight I am! Brian Kenny May jock Votto and his plate discipline but I don’t! Could Votto bounce back this season with a new manager and an improved line up? Sure, but I’m not touching him until the fourth or fifth round.

Edwin Diaz, RP, Mets: Diaz saved 57 games last season while posting a .196 and striking out 124 batters. Those are impressive numbers but they are also numbers that are virtually impossible to replicate. The Mets will be better but will they be good enough to warrant drafting Diaz in the third round where he has been going in drafts this spring? I don’t think so. That said, he should still save 40 games so he is worth drafting before the sixth round.

Blake Treinen, RP, A’s: Treinen had a career high 38 saves last season and as a result, he is going in the 3rd to 4th round range in ESPN drafts. Buyer beware. The A’s once again have a chance to be good but current ADP is a little too rich for me.

Whitt Merrifield, 2B/OF, Royals: Merrifield is the Royals best player and a solid cross category producer but would you take him in the fourth or fifth round? I wouldn’t but yet that’s where he has been going in ESPN leagues.Merrifield offers position versatility and while he is a consistent producer, his production is more in line with a sixth round pick or later.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals: Rendon will be one of the centerpieces of the Nationals line up and with Bryce Harper gone, Rendon will either hit third or fourth. All of that sounds good but I have two issues with drafting him in the top 40. For starters, pitchers will focus on him more. He will not have the protection in the line up that he is accustomed to. Secondly, Tendon is injury prone. The numbers could be there but he will miss games.

Trevor Story, SS, Rockies: Story bounced back in 2018 hitting .291 with 37 home runs and 108 RBI. Of course he could replicate those numbers but I have hard time believing he will. Story does most of his damage but like any great Rockies hitter, his home to road split are maddening. I would I draft him? Yes but temper your expectations.


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