- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
Colleague Andrew Feldman asked some of us to jump into an ESPN draft room yesterday and pick teams as part of #MockDraftMonday. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, I figure I should’ve gotten a better core of relievers.
But after the first three rounds, I felt like I was able to reach down the board and grab players who might be undervalued at the moment. Matthew Berry, Eric Karabell et al know far more than I about determining fantasy value and knowing when it’s the appropriate time to grab for a starting pitcher or when to take a power-hitting outfielder over a good middle infielder. They understand where to slot in Joe Mauer’s possible production as a full-time first baseman, given that he’s still catcher-eligible.
I did find myself examining the fantasy rankings, however, and seeing players further down than I would have them at the moment, given the current intel. (And the key phrase, as Kris Medlen knows all too well, is at the moment, because circumstances can change in a hurry.
If you’re in a draft, these are players I might reach to grab because I bet they will thrive.
No young player is under greater pressure than Hamilton. Not only will he be trying to establish himself in the big leagues for the first time, but he also is being asked to lead off for a team that expects to contend for the National League Central title.