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04/08/08 12:08 PM ET
Roundtable: First regrets
MLB.com's fantasy experts rue their draft-day oversights
Ben Sheets has allowed just seven hits in 15 1/3 frames of shutout ball over his first two starts. (AP)

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Every fantasy draft ends with its share of missed opportunities. Which players did MLB.com's fantasy experts regret passing over in their drafts? Find out in a retrospective edition of the Roundtable.

Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers

In our 15-team mixed league NFBC draft, co-owner Pat DePirro and I followed our first two picks of Ryan Howard and Alfonso Soriano by selecting Garrett Atkins, which was a huge mistake on three levels: 1. Howard and Soriano already provided our HR goal for the first three rounds; 2. With only Soriano for speed, we were badly short of our SB goal; 3. Third base is deep so we didn't need one that early. Rafael Furcal would've been a much better pick at that point, and we spent the rest of the draft chasing speed that we didn't get.

-- Cory Schwartz, Host, "MLB.com Fantasy 411"

Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals

I was really excited about Gordon this year, and the tough pill to swallow is that for an extra buck or two in an auction or a round earlier in a scratch draft, I could have had him in most of my leagues. He had a rough 2007, but his potential for '08 is what matters to fantasy players. What am I going to do about it? If I have A-Rod at third base, do I need to sweat Gordon? Probably not, but one weakness on my teams this year is first base, so you never know; if the price is right, I'll trade for anyone.

-- Mike Siano, Host, "MLB.com Fantasy 411"

Ben Sheets, SP, Brewers

My thinking seemed to make a lot of sense at the time: Why waste a mid-round draft pick on a guy who hasn't topped 25 starts since 2004? Maybe I'll be patting myself on the back late this summer when Sheets burns out. For now, though, I'm forced to fight through mind-numbing regret every time he takes the hill. Sheets has been nothing short of incredible in his first two starts this season, with 15 Ks over 15 1/3 shutout innings -- and he doesn't appear to be slowing down. What can I do about it, you ask? Swallow my pride, or pray to God he slips getting into the whirlpool.

-- Corey Gottlieb, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

I had it on pretty good authority that it was safe to roster Sheets this season, but I just couldn't pull the trigger. We all know the drill: incredible talent who can't stay off the DL. The good news is that there have been no serious arm injuries. At this point, I am pretty much relegated to watching him work his magic on someone else's roster, as there's no way anyone would part with him so soon when he was willing to take the chance on him in the first place. However, if his success continues, someone may want to quit while he's ahead and cash in his chips, at which point I'll see what it takes to get him.

-- Todd Zola, Correspondent

Geovany Soto, C, Cubs

You would think after an entire offseason of singing his praise, I would be all over Geovany Soto. But somehow, he slipped through my fingers in all four of my auctions/drafts. Instead of waiting for him to fall in Tout Wars, I ended up with Kenji Johjima, who might be the most boringly good catcher alive. And if outthinking myself weren't bad enough, Soto delivered a homer and five RBIs over the season's first week, all but eliminating any fair buying opportunity. For now, I'll bask in my sorrow, at least until Soto falls into slump -- if that ever happens.

-- Alex Cushing, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

Carlos Gomez, OF, Twins

My AL-only keeper league held its annual draft a little early this year, and I wasn't sure whether I should go after Carlos Gomez. Because our league prevents free-agent pickups (except in case of injury) before the All-Star break, the big issue for me was whether I could count on everyday production from his spot. I decided against pursuing Gomez, and needless to say, I feel pretty silly since he's batting above .300 and already has five steals. I'm not really sure what to do about it, other than convince my fellow owners to not hold the draft so freaking early next year.

-- Tim Ott, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

Gabe Kapler, OF, Brewers

I don't know what I was thinking in passing up Gabe Kapler (.438 AVG, 2 HR, 6 RBIs) in every single one of my drafts. I mean, the writing was clearly on the wall for a renaissance season after the 32-year-old journeyman spent last year managing in the Red Sox farm system. Shockingly, for some inexplicable reason, almost no one has jumped on the Kapler bandwagon, as he is available on every single one of my waiver wires. Maybe his .254 average and two home runs from '06 have something to do with that.

-- Dave Feldman, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers

Now that I have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, I regret not drafting Josh Hamilton. The 26-year-old outfielder had a torrid spring and wasn't being drafted too early, but I wasn't sold on him. While I would like to acquire him via trade, his value is too high at the moment. All I can do is hope he falls into a slump soon and that a frustrated owner deals him for cheap.

-- Matt Kerner, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners

During Spring Training, Mariners manager John McLaren said he expected Felix Hernandez to be the best Venezuelan pitcher in the Majors. A tall order, considering Johan Santana and Carlos Zambrano are also Venezuela natives, but so far, King Felix might have the edge. In 15 innings, he's yet to give up an earned run with a .192 batting average against. Hernandez should be 2-0, but Seattle's 'pen has blown both of his gems. Offer up a top-of-the-line outfielder, like Manny Ramirez; it'll be worth it, because this kid's got Cy Young written all over him.

-- Milosh Marinovich, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

Corey Hart, OF, Brewers

The player I regret not drafting is Corey Hart, who has a great chance to turn in his second consecutive 20-20 season while seeing plenty of RBI opportunities batting behind Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun in the Brewers lineup. My starting outfield (Vlad Guerrero, Pat Burrell, Jermaine Dye) will give me plenty of home runs and RBIs, but Hart could come close to matching the power production of Burrell or Dye while gainfully contributing steals. From here, my best option is probably to use my depth to trade for a speed-oriented player who also offers some pop, like Shane Victorino.

-- Kyle Stack, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.