With Spring just around the corner and the first regular season game just about a month away, it’s time to begin preparing for another fantasy baseball season. If you’re a real fantasy enthusiast, you’re probably still involved with your basketball league(s) and are aware that the playoffs will be well under way once the first pitch of the season is thrown. So you’re work is cut out for you…
It's that time of year again and the Furnace is here to help... Photo:bluejayhunter.com
We always suggest entering several mock drafts in anticipation of your real draft, if for no other reason than to familiarize yourself with the tenor of the rooms you draft in and to see who your fellow managers are avoiding and who they are snagging early or late in the darfts. After all, practice makes perfect, so take advantage of the mock drafts that are available where you regularly set up your leagues.

Even though the pre-season is about to get underway, we have done enough of these drafts to be able to offer you advice, suggestions, and options in two major categories; Who to avoid drafting and who the sleepers might be this year. This post will deal with the players we suggest you avoid drafting or at best, ‘draft with caution’.

1. Joe Mauer-C-Twins- Given that there isn’t much power at this position in general, you could do much better than Mauer’s HR track record would indicate. In his last five seasons he only has one with double-digit home runs. In his last two he has just 1 HR at Target Field. All that Mauer has to offer is a solid career BA of .323 so you need to draft carefully and determine beforehand if that’s all you want from this position.
Lack of power makes Joe Mauer a questionable pick on draft day. Photo: sports.yahoo.com
2. Adam Dunn-DH/1B-White Sox- This 33 year old’s best seasons might be behind him at this point of his career. That is if you go on his last season’s numbers; 11 hrs 42 rbis and a .159 batting average. However he is only one year removed from 38-103- .260 in his last year as a National. You probably could do better with less risk and more reward than Dunn (who just might be done…)

3. Chase Utley-2B-Phillies- Not totally convinced that Utley is through with his illustrious career because his main problem is not lack of talent but more of his ability to stay off the DL. In the last two seasons Utley has missed 106 games! Ouch! Over the past five seasons his batting average has plummeted starting in 2007 when he batted .332. He followed that with .292, .282, .275 and .259. In his last two seasons his home run totals are 16 and 11. Again, you can draft the 33 year old career Phillie if you’d like,  but do it under advisement.

4. Bryce Harper-OF-Nationals- Cannot explain why this 19 year old who has yet to play one inning in the major leagues, is going so early in mock drafts. He admittedly talks too much, has deleted his twitter account and is a prospect; that’s all we DO know.  It can’t be his .256 batting average last year in AA, nor his having to go up against Roger Bernadina for a spot in the starting lineup. Couple that with the fact that he no longer has catcher availability and clearly in a position as plentiful as OF there are better options than Harper.
Nationals OF Bryce Harper's persona is more of an attraction than his credentials. Photo: sports.yahoo.com
 5. Vernon Wells-OF-Angels- Wells who had spent 12 years with the Toronto Blue Jays, is getting set to begin his second season with the Angels. Hoping to erase the memory of last year’s unsightly numbers, even Angels manager Mike Scioscia has said he might find a place for Wells in the starting lineup. An easy statement to make as Wells was the player with the American League’s lowest batting average (.218) and on-base percentage (.248) last season. We recommend thinking twice before picking this veteran up in your leagues until at least we see signs that he is returning to his 2010 numbers he had in his last year with the Blue Jays; 31-88-.273.
Watch for our sleepers and 'must drafts'...Photo fantasybaseballcrackerjacks.com

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Written by the Fantasy Furnace, Content Partner

Writer and editor at fantasyfurnace.com. Sports and fantasy sports; profiles, analysis and advice, including tips for managing winning leagues.
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