You’re sitting there with the 4th overall pick. The usual suspects are gone. You’re a bit surprised that Goldschmidt went two before Harper, but it’s hard to go wrong either way– especially in a redraft league such as this.
A fantasy player rankings page is up on another Firefox tab, left of the tab with Troy O’learys baseball reference page (he popped into your mind some how… then you had to check out his OPS)
Clayton Kershaw sits at #4 on your rankings page, with Josh Donaldson behind him. The modern Sandy Koufax– still only 27 years old– followed by last years AL MVP, who hits in a loaded lineup, plays in a hitters ballpark, and last season jacked 41 homers and led the league in runs and RBI- which are golden in fantasy.
Kershaw is the smart pick. It’s the safe pick. It’s who Spock would pick. You anchor your staff with the best pitcher in baseball, and now you can comfortably wait another four to six rounds before you draft another pitcher.
But as you funnel yet another scoop of Noosa yogurt into your mouth, another name catches your eye:
What a name. What a player.
A deep instinctive longing pulls your mouse toward Correa, but your public-school-trained logic overrides: I can’t pick him here. It’s a reach. Another win for the fascists.
You slide the mouse back over Kershaw. Safe, dominant, young… but… but…
ADRENALINE surges through you like whitewater rushing through a raging rapid. Your heart rate spikes, and it’s not just from that second cup of coffee (you should probably cut back a bit, by the way. For sleep and anxiety)
The clock is winding down.
Beep. Beep. Beep…. CLICK. Your pick is made.
The turdburger with the 5th pick feels a sickness wash over him. Kershaw is still on the board– he should be grateful. But a deep instinctive longing bubbles to the surface, if only for a brief moment: Damn, I wanted Correa.
We could end the post right there, but we won’t. With a new year brings new fantasy studs who offer that feeling to you – that excitement – that is hard to explain. Every year there is a player who we seem to count down the days until Opening Day to see how he’ll develop, evolve, and see just what crazy possibilities he offers.
I remember this feeling well. I have it about once every 30 years, and this is the second time I’ve had it. Carlos Correa reminds me of young Alex Rodriguez.
I can seemingly stare at his fangraphs page all evening long and try to uncover something that is going to become a flaw in the Houston Astros 21-year old cornerstone. I can’t. He’s the best shortstop in baseball right now. After 99 career games played, he’s going to be a legend in the making.
If there’s anyone out there with the distinct possibility to unseat Mike Trout or Bryce Harper as the most coveted fantasy asset next year at this time, you’re looking at him.
So what do I see for Correa’s 2016? How about 100 runs, 25 homers, 25 steals, a .300 average, and an OPS that continues to approach .900 at his ripe young age. And he’s only scratching the surface.
So if you’re readying for your fantasy draft and it’s a random order generated, we know why a part of you *might* be wishing you’re picking after those top three.
Is it baseball season yet?