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March 16, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning to one and all. We've got a full docket - plenty of fantasy baseball to get to and we'll be happy to address any March Madness queries you might have as well. Who is going to lead things off today?

Travis (Texas)

do you think with the knee injury to Berkman do you think he will drop and be a steal?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Travis, naturally he'll drop a bit, but it's not like everyone should a) panic or b) rush out and draft Geoff Blum. I think if he's still there in the 8th Round, you have to take him.

Jake (VA Beach)

What positions would you consider spending more than the rest in an auction league (due to scarcity, etc.)?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Early, I'd go heavy on Utley and/or Han-Ram. But in an auction setting, I think you can be a bit more patient after the top few guys are gone. After all, why pay more than $1 or $2 if the gap between what's left is already minimal.

Garf (MI)

Do you ever believe that Chris Young will be a 10 team mixed league option?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I wouldn't draft him as such. Would I take him late in a 10-team as a bench flier? Perhaps. But teammate Conor Jackson, for example is far more interesting to me at this stage of the game.

John (NY)

AJ - in a points league does batting average not count as much? We have 1 point for total bases so it seems that high slugging % guys are more valuable than high Avg. guys. Any input?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Depends on the points system. For example, if K's give you negative points, then sluggers probably hurt you more than if whiffs didn't factor in. We're going to be doing an ESPN.com Experts Mock in a points league next week - my first in such a format, so I'll have a better idea when that is done.

Stewie (Amherst)

Where do you rank Justin Upton this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I'm not nearly as high on him as TMR is, but certainly he's a guy who will be gone by Round 3.

Bif (FL)

In a keeper league what is the most you would pay for a Heyward/Strausburg?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

There's a balance between playing for the future and playing for today. I tend to worry more about this year's team, so I'm not working too hard to get rookies.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

AJ, when all is settled, is Francisco Liriano closing or starting? Thoughts on his 2010?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I think he's starting. At least until Rauch proves he can't do it.

Sam (Albany)

Weiters in the 4th round or Posada in the 7th?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I'd rather have Posada and keep the higher pick.

Bif (FL)

Are you on the Brett Anderson bandwagon? It seems that everyone is a little premature on crowning this fella.

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I do like him a lot - especially in AL-only leagues. That K/BB rate is very impressive for a young pitcher.

Tash (KY)

With the NCCA going on who do you think is going all the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

My picks are on the site in several locations. I like Syracuse - assuming Onuaku is healthy enough to play. Otherwise, Ohio State and Duke should battle it out.

Vic (Franklin, MN)

I see that you took Kinsler and Ellsbury in the Mock 2.0. Are you worried about what your team looks like? It seems like you took a lot of gambles.

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I actually liked my team a lot leaving the draft. One thing about 10-team mixed is that there's plenty of "correction" room during the season. It's not a deep enough league that if you played it out you couldn't tweak. I realize Kinsler was a stretch that early, but that was a function of picking 10th. I prefer the middle of the round, where you don't have to wait as long to hope players fall to you.

Vic (Franklin, MN)

Do you ever consider booting a position? For example if you dont get a qaulity SS and their is nothing you like left instead of reaching just take the best available talent and worry about filling in your Gap much much later?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

That's what you should do in a draft by ranking tiers. If you see that there are six guys left at SS that you have ranked about the same, then you should wait until at least four are gone to even consider picking one.

Vic (Franklin, MN)

Johan....Still an ace?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I think Johan may have some problems getting the W's, but certainly I have no problem anchoring a fantasy staff around him.

Carl (San Diego)

AJ: Keeper question : (a) Stubbs at $8, (b) Gardner at $6, or (c) look elsewhere. Thanks!!!!!

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I'd probably throw them back and try to re-draft them for less or go elsewhere. Not a Gardner fan, but I think Stubbs has potential.

Chet (LA)

Is Sean Rodriguez this years Ben Zobrist?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

I think he might be this year's Micah Hoffpauir. I don't put a whole lot of stock in early ST stats. Let's see what he does over the next two weeks before crowning him king.

Eric (Chicago)

AJ, thoughts on Ricky Nolasco this year? Take a flier or stay away?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I'm in. I think his stats after his demotion showed that whatever was wrong early in 2009 was no longer an issue.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

better to have: alot of good pitchers, or some good ones with a good hitting squad?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Depends. If you're playing weekly H2H and can all but guarantee 5 pitching categories, then you only need to say, focus on SB with your hitters to win. But if you're in a roto league, for example, you need to have balance throughout.

Dan (Concord, NH)

AL Only League. Trying to decide about a couple of subs...T.Wigginton or J.Fields. Who do you think will see more time subbing for an injured starter to start the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I'd lean to Fields, but that's more my distaste for Alex Gordon seeping through than love for the Josh.

Kantad (NYC)

The tournement seeds look pretty solid to me this year - I don't see this year having a lot of upsets, do you? Also, who gets the focus on the flash sideways tonight (Emmerson for the Emmy!).

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think you will have chalk at the top - and deep into the dance, but there should be plenty of 4's and 5's going home earlier rather than later. I believe we're looking at Sawyer tonight.

Crime Dog (San Diego, CA)

Who is your guy this season that you are really high but nobody else on your staff is buying into? I.E. Mark Reynolds 2009

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Clearly my Ellsbury love has been well-documented. And I've put a lot of eggs in Joel Pineiro's basket as well. Time will tell.

Charlie (Syracuse, NY)

For the first time in years my league is switching from 14 teams to 12. What adjustments should I make?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

At a minimum, I'd increase roster size by two players to keep waiver wire pool at the same depth. I'd need to know more particulars to advise further.

Shane (Pittsburgh)

What can us Pittsburgh fans expect this year? Considering i am gonna be 18 March 26th and i have yet to b alive during a winning season? and what about McCutchen this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Sobering thought. I think Pirates have a lot of talent in that outfield, but 70 wins will be a huge achievement.

Crime Dog (San Diego, CA)

My favorite player is Manny! I realize he is old, but doesnt he have one more good season in him?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I think Manny may well "be Manny" this year, especially since he's intimated he wants to find a new home next season. However, after he single-handedly ruined several of my teams last season thanks to the suspension, he will never be on my team again.

Charlie (Syracuse, NY)

Tell me AJ, why the heck is the island underwater in the Lost?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Clearly, SOMETHING happened when Juliet set off the Jughead... but what exactly? We won't know until the end... but my take is that these Flash Sideways are what happens AFTER the final episode.

Fred (Durango, co)

Would you take Andrus over Alcides Escobar and Everth Cabrera?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I like Escobar best of the three. Andrus over Everth because of likely more runs scored with a better supporting cast...

skyler cutten (west columbia )

have you seen anybody get hurt while they were playing baseball?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

I still sometimes wake up to the sound of Cliff Floyd screaming after a collision at first base broke his arm at Shea.

Garf (MI)

Name your AL and NL MVP's this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Evan Longoria and Matt Kemp

Chris (Waterbury)

Is the upgrade from Alexei Ramirez to Jeter worth Justin Smoak in a keeper league (loaded at 1b)?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Yes, I think it is probably worth it for one season, but longterm I'd rather stand pat.

Vic (FL)

How much do you (if at all) take Spring Training #'s?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

For most players, none. Veterans are just trying to get into game shape and may go up there saying things like "Today I'll only hit to right field." Younger players fighting for a roster spot... the numbers don't matter, but the results do - a guy who performs well under the stress of trying to make the team impresses me.

Dan (NY)

For leagues where Zobrist is eligible at SS, where would he rank at that position?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

After the top 5.

Vinny (NYC)

For some reason my league decided to play 2 C's per team. At what point am I better off starting no one instead of a drain? Do you have any strategy insights to share in 2 C leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Sigh... this again. If a league says you have to start two catchers, then start 2 catchers. Empty roster spots, in my opinion, is bush league. And yes, I realize if the league "allows it" then you technically can do it. Doesn't make it right.

Bif (FL)

If Posey gets to play 1b but is elgible at C, does he make a legit shot as a top 5 catcher?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Not in 2010... read my Posey article in the draft kit under 30 Questions.

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Home stretch time, gang... get those final thoughts in.

Derek (NYC)

Doc or King? BRoberts or BPhillips?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

King Felix for me... I love Doc but am a bit concerned about the new digs hurting the ERA some. I don't like either 2B personally, but like Roberts a touch more, back injury notwithstanding.

Bif (FL)

Is Jair Jurrjens for real? Dude seems good but i feel like his numbers last season were over his head.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

ERA was a bit over-his-head, but he's at worst a fantasy No. 2

Bif (FL)

Uggla in round 10 or Pedroia in round 4?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I'd rather have Pedroia, but Uggla is not a bad consolation prize where you'd get him.

Kyle (OH)

Pedroia or G. Beckham as a 2B keeper? (Am I getting too fancy with my thinking?)

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Beckham longterm.

Greg (Dallas)

Your thoughts on Borbon?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

One of those guys who is getting lots of sleeper love, but like Andrus, I just can't get excited about him. Maybe it's just the Texas thing, and I tend to worry about those summer wiltings...

Frank (Maine)

Do you spend money on a catcher in auctions or do you just wait til real late and spend $1?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

I'd pay for Mauer. Other than that, I'm waiting for a guy like Kurt Suzuki.

Frank (Maine)

Chipper Jones or Andrian Beltre?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Beltre could have 15 HR,75 RBIs in Fenway.

Matt (Philly)

Nolasco or Hamels? (Keeper league)

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

I do not like Green Eggs and Hamels!

Nicole (New Kensington)

What can the Bucs expect from Andrew McCutchen and Lastings this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

They're going to be fun to watch, and truth be told, I prefer watching Pittsburgh to most AL teams. This is a case where stats don't matter to me - I just like watching McCutchen run the bases.

ronald (youngstown)

Do you think the jets will sign LT

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Did. I think they can offer a deal but it's up to LDT to make it worth having done it.

Kev (NYC)

I. Stewart or H. Kendrick?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

I'm with Ian this year.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's all the time we have today gang... be sure to sign up for our NCAA Bracket Challenge and Hardcourt Challenge... Baseball Draft Kit is still growing daily and you can always follow me on Twitter or at my Mass Confusion blog. Be seeing you.