You’re Not Crazy if You Want To Pick Robinson Cano First Overall In Your Fantasy Baseball Draft

  • Scott Engel,

There’s not a whole lot going on in the fantasy world right now. Pitchers and catchers have yet to report to spring training. Fantasy football season is truly over, save for those who still have one game left in their postseason leagues. The NBA schedule is heading into its key stretch, but there isn’t much room for roster maneuverability in most yearly leagues by this point. It’s also still almost a month to go until the Daytona 500, when the fantasy racing season begins for some of us.

So naturally, a usually busy fantasy mind gets restless, and filled with random thoughts. I’ll be here every day discussing the latest fantasy angles, whether they’re based on breaking news or simply conjured up through a lot of thought or discussion. Even though there are not too many games on the schedule right now, there is always a lot going on in the fantasy addict’s brain.

Like the upcoming fantasy baseball season, for example. All week, I’ve been thinking about my upcoming baseball drafts, and what strategies I may employ in mocks. And the more I ponder the possibilities, the more I start to think that taking Robinson Cano at No. 1 overall is not crazy at all. Many fantasy experts and players will naturally step forward to debate this position. How can you possibly pass on the superb and proven all-around production of a Ryan Braun or Miguel Cabrera?

Well, I am confident enough in my preparation and drafting abilities to pick up across-the-board offensive performers in the ensuing rounds. I’m very concerned with position scarcity, and outside of speed, Cano readily supplies everything else I need offensively. (And I can load up on speed later.) There is an instant drop-off at the second base position after Cano is gone. No other 2B comes close for consistently excellent production combined with durability. He is the ultimate safe pick at the thinnest position in roto ball.

Braun plays in the outfield, where there’s never a shortage of quality players, and Cabrera plays third base, which is certainly deeper than either of the middle infield positions. I’m not going to go upside crazy just yet on Mike Trout, either. If I am lucky enough to have one of the top three picks in my draft, I want to get the ultimate assurance that I possibly can. Winning in fantasy is about minimizing risk, and no one does that better than Cano this year. He eases my concern at the scarcest position in the game, and fills it up statistically (almost) across the board. Poke all the holes in my position you want – Cano gives me fantasy peace of mind more than any other player available this year.

Give me Cano at any point in the first round, and after that, I’ll want a top shortstop like Jose Reyes or Starlin Castro not too long after. I’ll be heavily focused on completing my middle infield positions early this year. Everything else will fall into place around that, trust me.

Some other thoughts for today:

– Stephen Curry is Darren McFadden in shorts. The guy drives me absolutely nuts. His ankle is an issue again, even though the indications are he should not be affected in a major way this time. I avoided Curry this year because he is just too much of an injury risk. If you have him, deal Curry away and let him be someone else’s problem.

-I am starting to think that Giancarlo Stanton and David Wright could be slight disappointments this year with early round selections – just take a look at the lineups around these guys. Pitchers won’t have to challenge them, and as a result, you could see minor diminished returns from last season.

-Is the magical run of Matt Barnes over with the Clippers? That all depends on when Chris Paul comes back. There is no firm timetable for Paul’s return, and a lot of Barnes’ success is tied to the presence of CP3 in the Los Angeles lineup.

-It looks like Reggie Bush will not be back with the Dolphins next year. So where to next? He would be a great fit with the Lions, for one. They need another playmaker and could use a real dynamic talent at running back. As for the Dolphins, Lamar Miller will get elevated value in all fantasy formats, especially in keeper and dynasty leagues. He was confident and smooth when we saw him in 2012, and has the makings of a solid No. 2 fantasy RB for next season.

The RotoExperts Xclusive Edge Fantasy Baseball Package launches on February 1 – don’t miss your chance to get your Early Bird Special for the 2013 season.

Getty photo, by Jonathan Daniel