Let’s rehash this list, shall we? What I did was share 8 players under 25 who would be major fantasy baseball talents, only to offer another young player at the same position who might provide similar value, but at fraction of the auction price or with a much later round draft pick.
- Justin Upton: value replacement was Desmond Jennings. I went out on a limb here, but thanks to Justin Upton’s pedestrian year, I wasn’t all that far off. Desmond Jennings turned out a decent season and he still does provide similar stats to an elite talent like Justin. Look for Justin to bounce back in 2013, plus look for Jennings to take a small step forward.
- Andrew McCutchen: value replacement was Austin Jackson. How was I suppose to know McCutchen was going to put out an MVP type year? Austin Jackson was fine, but McCutchen ELITE this year. He has always been one of Clave’s favorite players, and now the WHOLE world sees why. McCutchen will be a 2013 first round draft pick in most fantasy baseball drafts.
- Giancarlo Stanton: value replacement was Jay Bruce. The player formerly known as Mike Stanton is a burgeoning elite player. Jay Bruce would be right there with him if he could get his batting average up like Giancarlo did in 2012. I like Jay Bruce. A lot! With Giancarlo being the hot ticket on most fantasy baseball draft boards in 2013, look again to Bruce as player with similar skills, but at a discount.
- Clayton Kershaw: value replacement was Mat Latos. I was watching the A’s vs Verlander the other night (sigh) and one of the announcers was talking about Verlander. He said, “Verlander is an ace. Every team has a #1 starter, but not every team has an ace, and Verlander is the definition of ace.” Kershaw is also an ace. Latos is not, and may never be, but he will give you reasonably close numbers for a way later draft pick.
- Buster Posey: value replacement was Wilson Ramos. I was way off on this one. Posey had a MVP type year, while Ramos fought injuries all year and sucked even when he wasn’t injured. Sorry if you passed on Posey thinking you had a sweet inside track on a perfect replacement player. Don’t make the same mistake in 2013, but do keep an eye on Wilin Rosario as a value pick.
- Starlin Castro: value replacement was Elvis Andrus. What I said for 2012 was that Castro will ALWAYS have a higher average, and Andrus will ALWAYS have double digit more steals than Castro. WRONG! In 2102 Castro swiped more bags, and Andrus hit for higher average. My bad. But wit the shortstop position being very thin, expect both to be hot commodities in 2013 fantasy baseball drafts.
- Stephen Strasburg: value replacement was Madison Bumgarner. I stand by this pick and will again next year! Strasburg is great, but he is so hyped that you have to take him MUCH earlier than a guy like Bumgarner. Bumgarner also has a great future ahead of him, and that, my friends, is what makes Mad Bum a steal!
- Mike Trout: value replacement was Peter Bourjos. Not…even…close. Bourjos just fell off this year amidst the crowded outfield in Anaheim. I really liked him last year, as he played well when he got his shot at the end of the season. This year, no such luck, and Mike Trout became the story of baseball.
Well, we went through and figured out where I was wrong and where I was wronger, but the whole point of this is to find guys that will give you close stats to guys that you covet, but at a bargain price in an auction or at the fantasy baseball draft board. No fantasy baseball team can have a roster full of superstars, so always have lists of guys like this because these bargains can be the difference between a championship and being an also ran.