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Keith Law's Breakout Players

A year ago ESPN's Keith Law named the following players as breakout candidates: Clay Buchholz, Yovani Gallardo, Alex Gordon, Adam Jones, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Lind, Lastings Milledge, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jonathan Sanchez, and Justin Upton.  The results:

  • Jones, drafted in the 16th round, provided $8.71 in value.
  • Lind, drafted in the 22nd round, provided $21.01 in value.
  • Upton, drafted in the 19th round, provided $18.62 in value.
  • Gordon, Milledge, and Saltalamacchia provided little or no value.
  • Buchholz pitched only 92 innings in the bigs but was decent.
  • Gallardo, drafted in the 10th round, provided $14.37 in value.
  • Kershaw, drafted in the 18th round, provided $14.65 in value.
  • Sanchez, drafted in the 20th round, provided $4.95 in value.

Law named ten breakout candidates and unearthed three very good players (Lind, Upton, Kershaw) drafted very late, plus Gallardo, Jones, and Sanchez for solid value.  Six of the ten picks worked out well, and the risk was minimal.

Hopefully I've proven that Law's picks need to be taken seriously.  This year he's touting Colby Rasmus, Travis Snider, David Price, Jay Bruce, Ian Stewart, Brett Anderson, Gordon Beckham, Chase Headley, Cameron Maybin, and Matt Wieters.  Insider is required to read the article (sign up, it's worth it).

Bruce, Anderson, Beckham, and Wieters are all being drafted pretty early, often before the 10th round.  Rasmus, Snider, Price, Stewart, and Maybin are the five who might provide the most profit.  I'd probably cross off Headley, who will be more valuable in real life than fantasy.  Focus on the remaining five, with Rasmus, Maybin, and Stewart the intriguing power/speed guys but also batting average risks.

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