The Top 10 Draft Board Risers

 By R.J. Anderson //

With fantasy draft season in full bloom, have you wondered whose stocks are rising and whose are falling? Using the Bloomberg Sports Front Office Tool, those answers (and more) can be yours in a matter of seconds. Here are the top 10 moving up draft boards:

1. Juan Pierre
2. Colby Lewis
3. Matt Garza
4. Chris Carpenter
5. Tim Hudson
6. John Danks
7. Tsuyoshi Nishioka
8. Dan Haren
9. Adam Jones
10. Jeremy Hellickson

Nobody noticed, but Pierre set a career high in stolen bases last season at 68, impressive on 33-year-old wheels and a .341 on-base percentage. While he won’t give you much in the way of power, Pierre is generally okay for steals and a decent batting average. His playing time could be interfered with, depending on how manager Ozzie Guillen deals with Carlos Quentin in wake of the Adam Dunn addition and Paul Konerko re-signing.

Only two other position players make the list, in Nishioka (recently named as the Twins’ stating second baseman) and Jones, who seems to be a perpetual breakout candidate. Nishioka figures to bat in the two-hole for Minnesota, which could lead to a ton of runs scored with Joe Mauer and (possibly) Justin Morneau following him.

The rest of the list is pitchers. There are all kinds of red flags around Garza’s presence in the National League Central and Wrigley Field. If anything, Garza’s stock should be dipping, but alas, he looks like an overdraft at this point. Lewis, Hudson, and Danks are solid pitchers on playoff contenders, so wins should be plentiful, while Haren is stuck on a suddenly mediocre Angels team with questions about how his strike-heavy approach leads to a more homer-prone stat line. He’s a good pitcher, though, so it’ll be interesting to see whether his ERA regresses entirely to his peripherals, or only mostly.

Carpenter and Hellickson are odd risers, as both have suffered injuries during the exhibition season. The last Cardinals’ ace standing left a start with a hamstring injury, but should be fine for Opening Day. Hellickson is also dealing with a gimpy hammy, irritated during pitcher fielding drills. He should return to the mound within the next few days, but represents a bit of a question mark for his first two starts. You would think those two would slide down boards with concern, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

If nothing else, these are the players to analyze and reaffirm your beliefs about. Don’t buy into the hype without having a good reason for doing so -and as we all know, “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t cut it.

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