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Ask the Juice: Go for Hitting or Pitching?
Michael Ryan,

Kevin asks: In keeper league. Players kept are Jose Lopez, Manny Ramirez, Gordon Beckham, Zach Greinke and Tommy Hanson. I am reigning champ of league. 12 teams with wrap-a-round drafting rounds. I have the 12th pick in round 1 and 13th pick in round 2. This is limited info, but I am wondering do I draft power only or power and high-end pitcher? Thanks for your suggestion.


Hey Kevin, thanks for the question! Like you stated, you’ve only given us limited info but it looks like you’re in a 12-team mixed league and if every team is only keeping five players, then you should have plenty of good options available to you at the 12th and 13th picks (which would really be the 72nd and 73rd picks if everyone is keeping five).

Pitching is very deep this year and it tends to be more difficult to find top hitters later in the draft so I would definitely focus on beefing up your line-up for your first couple picks. When in doubt I like to favor the hitters over pitchers but let’s take a closer look at your situation and see what route we should take here.

You have a great 1-2 pitching combo with Hanson and Greinke already; Greinke is a top 5 pitcher and Hanson should be a top 20 by year’s end (if not better). The two of them are a great step towards dominating the pitching categories and will allow you to wait a bit on pitching when drafting.

As for hitting, it’s not quite as sexy. Gordon Beckham is going to be a stud, perhaps as soon as this year, and his transition to second base will only help there. Manny is a wild card and a player I do not trust this year; age, steroids, craziness…pick your poison with Manny. Jose Lopez had a nice year and has proven to be a second baseman with some solid pop but is not a stud and once Beckham gains 2B eligibility he will be a decent trading chip to someone who needs a 2B. These are solid players but you definitely need hitting help if you plan to repeat as champ and I would look to take hitters with your first picks.

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