MLB In Full Bloom 12/27/2013

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47 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

94– Number of days until Opening Day

Today's edition of MLB In Full Bloom is the 500th post at BEONDECK.com! The best part is that we're just getting started with so much more to come! In recent weeks, the Hot Stove that is the offseason for Major League Baseball (MLB) has been overflowing with free agent signings and offseason trades. However, on Thursday, there was not a single transaction that took place in MLB, so today I'm going to give you my Top 5 things to beginning for your 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft for Keeper Leagues.

Top 5 Things to Properly Prepare for Your 2014 Fantasy Baseball Keeper League Drafts

5. Before the Draft: For those of you that participate in keeper leagues, you need to decide whom to keep. No duh. But how do we go about that? By protecting the best players we have, right? Wrong. You protect the best value. Not the best players. That's an important distinction. My rule of thumb is that you keep the guys who are undervalued or somebody so awesome you won't be able to get him back (Paul Goldschmidt). I have Goldschmidt in my NL-Only league for $12. There is absolutely no chance I would get him back for less than $40 in this year's draft.

4. Research: Obviously, you should be reading as much as possible. You need to find a website that you find user friendly and check it at least once a day. There are millions of sites devoted to fantasy baseball, many of them good. See which you like, which you trust, which you agree with and which you don't care for. I also recommend that on draft day, don't take multiple resources to the draft table. You spend more time going through those resources and unable to stay focused on what is happening at the draft table. The other thing you can do is watch the MLB Network, listen to Sirius XM Fantasy Sports, and of course follow @BEONDECK!

3. Depth Charts: Get yourself up to the minute depth charts for every team in the NL and/or AL. When the draft is nearing its conclusion and you're desperately searching for a starting middle infielder or a No. 5 starting pitcher, knowing who's starting -- or even who is apart of a platoon will help a great deal. As you should know, generally speaking, the more at-bats you get, the better.

2. Breaking Down Positions: In my opinion whatever magazine or website list you use for your player rankings, just bring one. And if you are drafting online, look at that site's rankings before you draft. If you don't agree with those rankings, that's fine, but when you are in the draft room on YAHOO, those will be what's in front of your face. It's easy to get influenced by them, so have your cheat sheet, with your marking in front of you.

1. NEVER PAY FOR SAVES: I have been playing Fantasy Baseball for 14 years and the longer I play this game, the stronger I believe that you should never pay for saves! It's a volatile position; there's a ton of turnover; it's only one category. Assuming you play in a league with people who know what they're doing, you won't be able to leave the draft table with the ideal team. You want to maximize value there and then pick up pieces during the season.

This is the final post for 2013. I want to wish everyone a very safe and Happy New Year celebration and we'll be right back at it on Thursday, January 2nd!