The first 5 rounds of any draft is key to building the core of your offense and pitching staff. Teams that lose one of their top 5 picks have a hole to dig themselves out of and though it can be accomplished, it’s easier to do your best to avoid being in that situation. Here are some players that will go in the first 5 rounds of your draft that may dissapoint. Average Draft Position(ADP) courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees, ADP 2.85
I have Arod ranked 5th overall right now behind Hanely, Pujols, Wright, and Reyes. I did have him 2nd overall behind Hanley until the steroids story broke and now there is word that he’s having trouble with his hip. The pressure of the steroid story and the hip injury make me shy away from him slightly and go with a surer bets in the top 4. I’m not saying avoid Arod, I would take him if he slipped to 5, but be wary of his situation with steroids and keep a close eye on the hip news.
Manny Ramirez, OF, Dodgers, ADP 22.85
The idiot savant of hitting turns 37 in May and plays in cavernous Dodger Stadium. Without the luxury of DH’ing to give his old legs a break you can expect Manny to miss time at various points in the season with a strained hamstring or sore knee as he did in Boston. Don’t expect a full season like his final 2 months for the Dodgers, you will be dissapointed. Take players like Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, and Carlos Lee before Manny, you’ll get more production and less headaches. I’d wait till the 3rd round on Manny but he probably won’t make it out of the 2nd round.
Cole Hamels, SP, Phillies, ADP 40.58
The World Series Champion’s ace thew 265 innings last year including the postseason, an astounding 80 innings more than he pitched in any other season in his career. This is an extremely large jump in innings for such a young hurler and history tells us that players with this big a jump don’t fair as well the following season. He is only 25 years old and he is one of the best pitchers in the game, but don’t be surprised if that work load catches up with him a bit this year and the numbers are a little down or he misses some time. I think he’ll be one of the best pitchers in the game for many years, but this year I’d proceed with caution. Alternatives could be Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, or Dan Haren safer bets with consistent innings over the last 3 years.
Jake Peavy, SP, Padres, ADP 45.21
Peavy was limited to 27 starts in 2008 due to elbow inflammation, 2 words you never want to hear in connection with your ace. Combine the recent elbow woes with a terrible offensive team behind him and you can see why I think Peavy will dissapoint those that take him as their ace. Webb, Halladay, CC, and/or Haren are better alternatives then the Pads ace.
Vlad Guerrero, OF, Angels, ADP 42.28
It’s tough to put him on this list. He guts it out almost every year with knee, shoulder, and back problems getting 520+ AB’s every year he’s been an Angel but eventually the injuries pile up too high and the player succumbs. I’m afraid that’s where we are at with Vlad the Impaler. Offseason knee surgery has him taking it slow this spring training and he lost his protection in the lineup with Mark Teixeira cashing his checks in the Bronx. So a weaker lineup, offseason surgery, and another year off the calender make Vlad riskier than ever. Great alternatives to Vlad are Nick Markakis, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rios, Corey Hart, Carlos Quentin, and Shane Victorino. All are younger and in or entering their primes, Vlad is well past his.