Because the Orioles are so bad, I've really turned to fantasy baseball, or fanbase as my friends and I have renamed it. My draft is only a few weeks away and I decided that I'd spend a little time looking at the Orioles and their values in the fantasy world. I'll rank them in terms of their value, and keep in mind that I'm in an American League only setting with 6 teams. I'll put in parentheses where I would rank them among players at their position.
1. OF Nick Markakis (3) - He is a legitimate 5 tool player, who will get you at least 20 home runs, 10 steals, 90 runs, 90 RBIs, and hit .300. Every year he has gotten better, and I expect the same to be true this year. My prediction - .305 AVG, 25 HR, 100 R, 100 RBI, 15 SB. That's worth a 3rd round pick in an AL-only league.
2. 2B Brian Roberts (3) - He is one of the best second basemen in the AL, and that has a lot of value. Especially when you know he will hit for a high average and get a lot of runs and steals. The only fear is that he could be traded. I'll still predict .295, 10 HR, 105 R, 55 RBI, 40 SB. Consider him around the 5th round.
3. 1B Aubrey Huff (7) - I have a feeling that he will regress some this year, but he is still a good hitter at a position where hitting is the weakest it has been in a long time. I'm going to guess .275, 25 HR, 85 R, 95 RBI, 5 SB. He could go anywhere between the 7th and 9th rounds.
4. SP Jeremy Guthrie (15) - I'm a little worried with his injury last year and him playing in the World Baseball Classic, but worries aside, he is a very good pitcher. And if his bad luck ends, he should finally win some more games. I'm calling 14 wins, with a 3.70 ERA, and 160 strikeouts. He should fall to about the 8th or 9th round.
5. 3B Melvin Mora (7) - No one really knows what kind of year he will have. He could be the Mora who hits .285 with 25 HR and 90 runs and RBIs, or the one who hits .260 with 10 HR, 65 runs, and 60 RBIs. He'll probably end up going in the 18th-21st round. But he may get passed on entirely.
6. OF Adam Jones (27) - He could break out this year, but there are a lot of good outfielders. Still, he is a worth a look and will be taken in one of the last three rounds (19,20,21). He'll hit .270-290 with 15-20 HRs and 10-15 SBs.
7. OF Luke Scott (26) - He may lose at bats due to Ty Wigginton, but when he's in the lineup he will hit. If he's given the at bats, he'll do what he did last year: .260, 25 HRs, 70 R, 75 RBI. I'm betting he doesn't get drafted, but he could be taken in round 20 or 21 as a backup.
It's too early to talk about Matt Wieters, Rich Hill, George Sherrill, and Chris Ray. We don't know exactly when Wieters will be in the majors, who will be the closer, or if Hill makes the team. But they all have the potential to be impact players.
Felix Pie, Cesar Izturis, and Koji Uehara should not be counted on for fantasy production. They aren't bad players, but they won't pack on the stats.