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03/17/08 5:07 PM ET
'411' chat back for Round 2
Siano, Schwartz offer expert draft tips via Web event
Indians right fielder Franklin Gutierrez has an appealing combination of power and speed. (Mark Duncan/AP)

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Hey everyone, Mike and Cory here. Looking forward to the chat. We'll try to go as long as possible so get them in now! Cory is fresh off a live 411 and I chatted earlier today so we're hot!!!!!

joeygrecco: Whats Yuniel Escobars upside?

Mike: I have Escobar as over rated this year because he had a nice debut last year but when I look more into his numbers I see a guy who has limited value if he doesn't hit for a high average. Talked to Mark Bowman of Braves website and he think Escobar can become Renteria just not now so I'm cold on him in 08.

Cory: I like Escobar because he's eligible at 2B, 3B and SS and could hit .310 or so. But he offers very little in terms of power or speed, so if he's not hitting .310, he has very little value in a 12-team mixed. Overall, I think he's being overrated in this format.

swift19: Is Chase Headley for real?

Cory: For real in that he'll win some playing time and was the Texas Lg. MVP last year, so that counts for a lot. But it worries me that the power only emerged last year in a great hitter's league, and now he has to jump to the best pitchers' park in baseball and play a new position. Keeper league, go heavy, but for '08 only, I'd look elsewhere.

u2clone: In an auction league, how do you measure inflation most effectively? Is their an exact formula?

Cory: To calculate inflation, you have to have sound projections about what guys are likely to go for. If guys are going over your projections, inflation is taking hold and you bid conservatively. Once inflation comes down, you jump in. But remember you have to spend the money at some point, so don't leave it on the table!

Mike: In a non mixed inflation could be based on players leaving the league who were speciality guys or ST injuries. For example in an AL Only I would say CC and Bedard are going to go up for sure now that Lackey is hurt, Kazmir is hurt and Johan don't live here no more.

maa25: Hey guys, who do you think has a higher ceiling? franklin gutierrez or Billy butler??

Cory: Different ceilings. Butler could hit .330 with 25 homers, but Gutierrez could hit 30 homers with 15+ SB's. Remember that Butler is DH-only and that hurts position flexibility. I like both this year and beyond.

volcanoele: Hi Guys, I was wondering about your predictions for two players in preparation for my 12 Team AL-Only Draft. First is Andy Sonnanstine of the Rays and second is Eric Hurley of the Rangers, thanks again.

Mike: Both are on my radar in my AL onlys but both have issues. I would not get into a bidding war on either but would love to have them for 3 or 4 bucks.

swift19: Pedroia, Pie, Iwamura, and Travis Buck? Sophmore slump or not?

Cory: Pie doesn't have anything to slump against; he only hit .215 in his debut last year. I'm more worried about Lou getting impatient with him. Pedroia should be consistent and Iwamura has room to improve, but I'm not as enthused about Buck. Looks like a pretty nondescript OF option to my eyes.

pierre91: Hi Corey / Mike........ffrom the UK.......who rates highr- Hanley or Reyes?

Mike: If I have second pick I take Hanley, If i miss on Hanley I don't cry when I take Reyes.

Cory: In general I would take Reyes because of his ability to win one whole category for you almost on his own. However, in a mock draft last night I took Hanley because I knew I was going to take 7 straight bats to start out and I wanted Hanley's higher AVG and power more than the additional SB's, which I knew I'd get with subsequent picks.

rob0222: Could you guys rank the pitchers in order of preference? Gallardo, McGowan, Grienke, Wainwright, James Sheilds?

Mike: Pains me to say it but on performace you have to go Shields first becuase he did have a good year last year, but Gallardo, Wainwright and McGowan are all very intriguing at #1-4 on this list. Grienke is a wild card so he comes in last for me.

Cory: I like all of them a lot, so if I only needed one, I'd pass and let the market make the choice for me, and take the last man standing. But if I had to, I'd go Gallardo, Shields, McGowan, Wainwright, Greinke. And that's no knock on Greinke

nickkurs: I am in a 4 keeper league, i have reyes utley sabathia and rios, with my first pick would you take atkins, morneau, or zambrano?

Cory: Well I took Atkins with my 3rd pick (46th) in NFBC so of course he's my choice! But I'm also concerned that Morneau is overrated power-wise, and Zambrano's higher WHIP and ERA keep him out of the elite and make him overrated, too.

gosqueeze: will kemp get more than 600 AB or is the dodger outfield too crowded?

Mike: I say no because he will bat near bottom of lineup, but that doesn't mean he won't have value. I think he is a lock for 20-20 and think he is the RF this year.

joro10: Is Crawford a legit 2nd round pick in a rotisserie league that includes stolen bases

Cory: The real question is, in what league would Crawford escape the first round?? He shouldn't last past the 10th or 12th pick, at the worst.

HOF2006: What are the odds Lirinao gives top 8 round value?

Mike: In 2008 it may be tricky being that the wins will be hard to come by and his health is still in question meaning he is not all the way back from TJ. I saw him pitch last week and his velocity was fine but he was all over the place and looked rusty. 09' I like the chances better.

johschmi: what are your thoughts on geovany soto, will he be a competitive catcher?

Cory: Who's he competing with? -) Seriously, it worries me that he showed no offensive ability before spending his third season in Triple-A last year, so I think last season was a little fluky. But people I trust seem convinced he can hit .275 with 18 homers this year, thereabouts, and that's definitely worthy in mixed leagues.

mays-ways: Has Brandon Phillps hit his ceiling?

Mike: If he has I hope he stays there. His ranking near the top of second base is valid but also can be by default. maybe Rickie Weeks is this years Brandon Phillips.

Cory: I think he's clearly a valuable power/speed combo at a weak position, but with a strikeout to walk rate worse than 3-to-1, I have to think he'll backslide a little bit from last year. Think 25-25 more than 30-30, although that might even be nit-picking.

andone12: Draft question - I'm keeping Reyes, M. Cabrera, Fielder, Peavy, Webb and K-Rod. With my first two picks, I'm likely to be able to choose between Mauer and McCann and then Abreu, Pence, Hunter and C.B. Young. Which two would you select and would you cons

Mike: I would take one them since it will be slim picking at the position. They both have their pros and cons but Mauer's ceiling is higher IF healthy. I would go Abreu with other pick becuase of the lineup he is in and I think he'll be more consistent this year then last.

mays-ways: Is it possible Han-Ram isn't as good as everyone thinks?

Cory: Sure it is. But when 23-year-old guys have seasons like he did last year, it's extremely rare that they don't go on to have multiple All-Star seasons, if not MVP caliber. He might have to move from SS to 3B or OF at some point, but as a SS, there's no reason to expect less than greatness for the next several years.

basenji: Hello! Could you please rank for this coming year: Thome, Dye,Milliege and Hermida.Thank you!

Mike: I like Thome first because he is money but he kills you by being DH only. Dye scares me and I love Milledge and Hermida's upside.

Cory: Specifically about Milledge, I think he is very undervalued this year. He'll be playing every day, batting in front of Zimmerman, and has a green light to steal. He's always put up solid minor league numbers despite being one of the youngest guys in his league each year. I think he could hit .280 and go 20/20 this year, and be a bargain in mixed drafts.

jayz_rule: Gavin Floyd has been touted as a stud for years. Do you think he will produce this year?

Mike:: I think he has what it takes to be a productive major leaguer and Gio Gonzalez being dealt (he was sent down by A's today btw) should allow him to just go out and do his thing w/o competition. Let him have one good majore league season before making him a stud but yes I like him.

hawkeyenfo: Miguel Tejada - boom or bust for 2008? Seems to be going late in drafts

Cory: Depends on acquisition cost and expectations. If you pay for a .285/22/85 type of season, you should be safe, and of course he could even do more than that. But if you pay for and expect .310/30/110 or whatever, get ready to be disappointed.

chi100yrs: Where do you see Bob Howry fitting into the Cubs' bullpen picture?

Cory: Carrie Muskat has been all over this on Cubs.com and reported yesterday (Sun. 3/16) that Piniella is leaning towards Wood as the closer, which would make since since his injury risk better suits him to a one-inning role, while Marmol in particular can probably handle 4-5 outs if needed. Howry will probably be third in line but might get a few saves at some point, just not that many.

bigwheal: I have Cabrera and Lugo at short both same salary can only keep one which?

Cory: If you can only keep one, take Cabrera: 1. More consistent, 2. Moving into a ballpark that should give him more power than Lugo, 3. Still can provide 20 or so SB's if not more.

wvbuggs: 9th pk in a 5x5 vanilla 10 teamer. Who should I take from Howard, Crawford, Braun, Santana.

Mike: Take Howard and then whoever is left from these four on way back. You're playing with house money on this one.

jkul: In a points league I accidentally drafted Swisher over Markakis as I saw Nick and clicked draft...am I going to kick myself all season for that mistake?

Cory: In general, probably yes. But Swisher should hit around 35 HR's in US Cellular, so if you're deep in speed and don't need the 15-20 Markakis will give, you might end up being happy! Plus Swisher is also eligible at 1B, can Markakis claim that? Ha!

mays-ways: Is it possible to post the whole NFBC draft results from your draft Cory?

Cory: I posted the results for my league on the blog: fantasy411.mlogs.com. As far as the other leagues, they will probably be available eventually on nationalfantasybaseballchampionship.com, although you might need a logon to view them.

Mike: The last 12 team mixed mock draft Cory and I (well Cushing filled in I was sick) did will be on the Blog today. fantasy411.mlblogs.com

Cory: Bad typo by me. fantasy411.mlblogs.com -- sorry!

JetMcCluch: do you accept ramon hernandez and fausto for Crawford?

Mike: I do not. You are trading a first rounder or ealry second rounder and getting an ok catcher and a soft ace. Crawford is way harder to replace.

thetoddmon: Any 5th-7th round position players that you think could wind up with 2nd-3rd round production?

Mike: Mauer could. So could Kinlser if he puts up Brandon Phillips numbers. I think if Hafner has a Pronkinator year then he is worthy of this group but DH makes it even harder.

Boblheader: Cory, you mentioned that you had the numbers to win 12 team vanilla mixed ... can we get those?

Cory: We posted the league-winning totals for all of the listener leagues on the blog last year, check the archives for October. fantasy411.mlblogs.com

rob0222: In a 10-team mixed requiring 5 OF's where what rounds should I target guys like Markakis, Bay, Pence, Kemp and Ellsbury?

Cory: They should go in this order: Markakis, Pence, Bay, Kemp, Ellsbury. Figure Markakis goes in the mid/late 4th, Pence a round later, Bay a round later, Kemp shortly after that, and Ellsbury much later. In a 10-team league, it's risky to take a guy who doesn't yet have a guaranteed job.

jbogey78: Should owners of hamilton sell high before season begins or will this continue throughout the regular season

Mike: If you can deal him for a player of greater value then absolutely. Don't trade him just because he's having a monster spring get soemthing good in return.

Cory: That said, I think he's being vastly overvalued in drafts so far. He went in the 5th of my NFBC draft, which is just nuts for a player which his unusual background. He has great upside but is way too risky to take that early.

shoredds: Who do you like more this year Matthews Jr. or Kaz Matsui and why?

Cory: Matsui will go earlier because he's 2B eligible and has speed, but I think he's a marginal player in 12-team leagues. He has no power, and if he drops back down to .275 outside of Coors, his speed gets diminished and he's a marginal player. Matthews is at least a reliable 15/15 option as a 5th OF.

joeygrecco: How high is too high on Russel Martin? I picked him in the third round in the last mock draft i did. Am i overrating his steals?

Mike: 3rd round is fine for Martin and should bear no shame. You can't overate the steals at that position so don't sweat it.

janingla: mike and cory i just want you to evaluate this team i drafted at the weekend, its the mlbradiofans.com league. 5x5 12 team mixed with ci and mi. McCann, Piersynski, Delgado, Uggla, Reynolds, Furcal, Iwamura, Hardy, Ichiro, Granderson, Hideki, Griffey, Mel

Cory: A little too risky for my liking, since Delgado is aging fast, Reynolds could hit .220 and lose his job, Hardy might regress, Griffey is old, etc. I hope you have a good pitching staff!

reds24302: 12 Vanilla... would this pitching staff be enough for middle of the pack? I want very high on hitters... Burnett/Maine/Wang/RJ/Greinke/Willis/F Corderio/C Corderio/Gagne and Volquez on bench

Mike: Bunch of ifs in there but high reward if RJ and Burnett stay healthy and Willis comes back to the guy from a few years ago. Don't mind the bullpen.

poohbear53: : j.r.towles sleeper or over rated because of one good game last year?

MikeQ: I talked to Brett Dolan of the Astros PBP team and he thinks Towles will play 120 games and be solid. The steals would be great from him as a #2 catcher. Sleeper.

hawkeyenfo: Would you and where would you take Lackey in a 12 team 5x5 draft (keeper lleague) given his injury and strat on DL

Cory: I got him in the 10th round in a mock draft last night and I think that's a steal. He'll miss 5-6 starts if all goes as projected, so I think he should only slip by a round or two. You can play pitch or ditch while he's out, or use his spot for extra bats on Mondays and Thursdays.

jayz_rule: Will Carlos Gomez be the everyday CF for the twins, if so are his stolen bases enough to not worry about his batting avg.

Mike: Twins are really concerned if he is ready and I don't think he staicks around based on steals alone so his stock is slipping.

Cory: I see a lot of Roger Cedeno in him and I don't mean that in the good way. He can steal a lot if he gets on base but I think he'll have a short shelf life as a productive Major Leaguer. My two cents.

chi100yrs: Is Bill Hall a player that shouldn't be left on waivers in a 12-team mixed?

Cory: Hall was so good in '06 and so bad last year, that if the reality is somewhere in between, he should be drafted. Remember that he played out of position last year and didn't adjust well, so moving back to the infield this year and being more comfortable should help. If I told you he could give you 23 HR and 8 SB's with two-position eligibility, and that you could get that off the waiver wire, would that interest you?

jarchive: Hey Guys - How would you value/draft BJ Ryan, as a third or fourth closer and not depend on him or as a number two and just hope he returns to form?

Mike: Johnny Archive!!!!! HOFer. Since I like to draft my #1 and #2 closers in first 4-6 rounds Ryan can't be any higer then my #3, with that said I would looooove to have him as my #3.

Cory: I think Ryan will pitch effectively this year but will be very carefully protected by the Jays. He could save 30 games and only pitch 50 innings, like a mini Trevor Hoffman.

oms301: Do you think Johnny Cueto or Manny Parra is worth of a 12 team mixed roster spot?

Cory: Both have great potential and are nice fliers as your 5th starter in a mixed league, but to target guys like this is dangerous. I think we've been spoiled about young pitchers by the success of guys like Hamels, Gallardo, Lincecum, etc. Don't forget about guys like Homer Bailey, huge prospects who didn't provide immediate results.

thetoddmon: I know this is a weak list, but who would you rather keep: Jeff Francis, Justin Upton or Melky Cabrera?

Cory: Justin Upton, a thousand times, Justin Upton! He's as valuable as they come in keeper leagues... should go 20/15 or so this year, and make a few All-Star teams soon after that.

hawkeyenfo: Do you see Corey Hart or Tori Hunter achieving 30/30 this year? Who would you take first in a standard 5x5

Cory: I personally doubt either will, but Hart could peak around 35/20 in a year or two. I'm worried about his plate discipline though, he has like a 14-0 K-BB rate so far this spring. That's not good.

thetoddmon: Hey guys, how worried are you about Beckett's back injury?

Mike: I have some concern but I think the fact he isn't going to Japan is actually good news. Red Sox will have him ready to go when he is 100% and I think he will be. Question is does he stay that way?

reds24302: Are there any very deep AL or NL only sleepers? Can you name 3 each?

Cory: Two off the top of my head for NL only: Kevin Hart of the Cubs, who has a good arm and might sneak into the closer role at some point given how unsettled that is, and Eugenio Velez, a speedster with power in the Giants system who could emerge this season at 2B. Matt Antonelli of the Padres has power and speed and could supplant Tadahito Iguchi this year too. So I did have three. Top that Siano!

Mike: I hate Cory

Mike: I like going with some reclamation projects so I'll say Dan Cabrera who could make it click this year and be stupid cheap. carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox who if Jerry Owens falters and Crede gets traded could play everyday and JP Howell in TB who steps in if Sonnanstine or Jackson falter.

Mike: Lightning round time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

joro10: what do you think of chris carpenter and dan haren ???

Mike: Carp is throwing so he's working his way back to you babe, but will it be worth more then tuning up for 09' is cards are losing? Love Haren and think he can pitch for any team and be a success.

thepat5678: Did I pick Rollins too soon at the #4th pick?

Cory: Depends who was on the board. I think he should go 6th after A-Rod, Reyes, Hanley, Wright and Holliday.

JennFisher: I have an extra $1 and can keep Nate Robertson, but should I? He could get a bunch of wins, but is a mediocre pitcher, and as you guys say a roster spot has value too.

Mike: The roster spot has more value. You can get Nate for a buck later on.

chi100yrs: How much improvement do you expect from Ryan Zimmerman this season?

Cory: The wrist injury could sap his power a little, but moving out of RFK could turn some doubles into homers: Upside this year: .290, 28, 110 with 10 SB's.

basenji: Please rank for this year:Pedro,Greinke,Lilly and Philip Hughes

Mike: Lilly, Hughes, Greinke and Pedro. Pedro won't stay healthy and will drive you nuts.

tsep23: What's up guys! Would a pitcher that throws for 300k's and 20 plus wins be worth the #1 pick over ARod?

Cory: Yes he would, but remember that Johan's career high in K's is 265, so you can appreciate how rare it will be for someone to get 300 K's. in today's game it would but back in the day he would be later since all the guns put up those numbers.

bbom: Keeper league, AL-only. What do you think of Fransico Liriano?

Mike: Must be on a roster. 09' he'll be back to where he is supposed to be pre-injury.

gosqueeze: how long before the yanks turn first over to duncan?

Mike: I think Duncan gets exposed as an everyday player. I'd rather see Giambi out there.

slapweasel: Which SP's do you see falling most often and being snapped up in later rounds at great value?

Cory: Our mid-round faves this year are Billingsley, Wainwright and McGowan. I like Greinke in the later rounds and think Harden and Randy Johnson are going late enough to be great upside gambles. There are always lots of useful late round gambles, it's the reliable ones that are hard to find!

friedl99: How would you rate Pedro Feliz as a dark horse sleeper option for third base this season? There's nothing not to like about the ballpark and the lineup he's hitting in.

Mike: I actually put Feliz as my sleeper 3B for this season. I think you said it all when you mention park and lineup and he stays in the lineup. Not a bad choice for CO in a mixed league and a cheap 3B in a NL Only. Mike and

Cory: That's all the time we have for today. Thanks for the great response once again and we look forward to our next chat in mid to late April. Don't forget the show is live 2-3pm ET on weekdays. Transcript will be on the Blog later and happy drafting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Siano and Cory Schwartz co-host "MLB.com Fantasy 411" every weekday on BaseballChannel.TV. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.