Tag Archives: 2010 Fantasy Baseball

Damon, Ramirez could prove to be darn good in Tampa

The two deals the Devil Rays (I refuse to call them the Rays; they will always be the Devil Rays no matter what they try to call themselves) made last night show that they are still committed to winning in even after losing key pieces this off season. There have been a lot of articles praising the moves, and I agree, these two additions could keep the Tampa offense relevant this year.

What they lost:

Tampa’s lineup took a hit in the off-season losing Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. Last year Crawford put up a line of .307 AVG, 19 HR, 90 RBI, .356 OBP, .495 SLG and .851 OPS. Pena also put up decent numbers last year, (.196, 28, 84, .325, .407, .732).

Their departure is huge. The Devil Rays have to replace their production and they have started to by signing Damon and Ramirez. Let’s look at what they got in these two players.

What they got:

Manny Ramirez, in 90 games last year, put up pretty good numbers (.298, 2, 42, .409, .460, .870) and will do the same in Tampa. Johnny Damon, in 145 games, put up good numbers too (.271, 8, 51, .355, .401, .756) and the combination of these two players can arguably make up for the loss of Crawford (with the exception of speed and general athleticism) and Pena.

Fantasy Value?

So, they made up for Crawford and Pena, what does this mean fantasy wise?

A lot.

“Thank God I don’t have to use this thing anymore.” -Manny Ramirez

By adding Manny as a DH, it allows for another legitimate power threat in the Devil Rays line up behind Evan Longoria. He will more than make up for Pena’s departure and will hit for a higher average. In fact, if Manny hits in front on Longoria, it will force pitchers to actually pitch to Manny rather than pitch around him. Also, by just using him as a DH, literally all he has to do is focus on his favorite thing: hitting. Finally, he is back in the AL East, where he knows the parks and the pitchers.

WWJDD? Go play for the Devil Rays.

This is the same for Damon who returns to the AL East after previous stints with the Red Sox and Yankees. He is also important to the Devil Rays and actually had more doubles (36) than Crawford did last year (30). While I am not putting Damon and Crawford on the same level offensively (because there is no way Damon can touch Crawford in terms of ability), hitting in front of Longoria will also let him see more pitches and will score more runs. In short, these two players still have some value. Damon is a better buy because he brings more to the table (like some speed and not being a space cadet) than Ramirez, who will hit for power but not much else. What is also important about these moves is that it protects Longoria, maintaining and even raising his fantasy value.

Do these moves make the Devil Rays playoff contenders? I say yes. I think with the combination of their young pitching and their now pretty good offense will allow them to hang with the Sox and Yanks. Damon and Ramirez will be a major part of their playoff push and will get the playing time to make them more than an after thought in fantasy leagues.


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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion, outfield, Pickups

The all-contract year team

Every year there are a few guys who are in a contract year that put up crazy numbers that land them a large contract (Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson come to mind). Sometimes, they are just guys who already produce while others are coming off poor seasons (or careers) and need to rebound (badly). But no matter what they did last year, everything they do this year will be watched and scrutinized, giving them extra incentive to have a huge year. Keep an eye out for these guys:

C: Dionar Navarro

Once the one of the top prospects in the Yankees system, Navarro has fallen on hard times and had a terrible season in 2010. However, he is poised to become the Dodgers starting catcher and may finally tap his talent to prove he can stay in LA for the long haul. He is playing for his major league life and might respond well to the pressure.

1B: Prince Fielder

This is an obvious choice in early rounds but he could put up even bigger numbers this year than he did last year. He has a lot of pressure on him after signing a record arbitration contract, but also has a lot to prove. He is out to prove that he is not an after thought in the 2012 first baseman free agent class which could include Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez. Pujols and A-Gon are primed for huge seasons (and contracts) no matter what but Fielder is the real wildcard. He needs to show constant improvement especially after his down year last year in order to get the 7-10 year deal Scott Boras will be looking for.

2B: Rickie Weeks

Looking to build on his solid fantasy season last year, Weeks is in a great position to land a pretty big contract in the offseason. Weeks needs to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke and that he can be an elite second baseman in the league. He played more games that he has in any other season with the Brewers and his durability will be a factor. Rickie will want to put to bed any doubt that he is a soft player who can put up mediocre stats. If last year is any indication, he will rise to the occasion.

SS: Jose Reyes

Remember when this guy was a one of the top players in all of fantasy? I do too and it wasn’t that long ago. Like Weeks, Reyes put up solid fantasy numbers after a year plagued by injuries. At 27, Reyes is entering his “prime” and will want a contract that will reflect that. Look for him to be a bright spot on an otherwise pretty bad Mets team.

3B: Aramis Ramirez

Yes, he is 32. Yes, he had a bad year last year. But the contract he signs next offseason could be his last professional contract and he will want to make it count. The Cubs should be improved this year which will help him, and the addition of Carlos Pena to the line up will also do wonders. I am not saying you should draft him early (or at all), but look for him to put together a streaky season and pick him up while he is on a hot-streak. As I said before, he is 32 and he knows he has an expiration date, he needs to show teams he hasn’t already past his. This should motivate him to a better season than last year.

OF: Jose Bautista

Another guy who will go early in drafts but also another guy who has a lot to prove. Can he put up the same numbers he did last year or will come back down to earth. (Also, just a note, he is recovering form offseason hernia surgery so keep an eye out for his recovery from that.)

OF: Grady Sizemore

The Indians have an option for Sizemore for $8.5 million or a buyout of $500,000 in 2012. Sizemore needs to prove his worth to the Indians or he might be facing free agency a year early. Especially after two down seasons (including one almost completely lost last year) Sizemore has to come up big. He was once the next can’t-miss superstar, but now he is looking like almost the exact opposite of that. This is a make or break year for him, and he knows it.

OF: Josh Willingham

This should be an interesting season for Willingham who will have to adjust to a new league and a new coast. Other than Navarro, he has to most to lose this season. If he puts up big numbers, he will get a large contract. A real boom-bust guy.

SP: Edwin Jackson

Another guy who is entering his “prime” Jackson has a lot more questions than answers. He can throw the ball nice and fast but can he improve his ERA and WHIP?  There have been other pitchers who had control problems who put together a solid contract year season (see Wright, Jaret) and Jackson could be poised to do just that.

CL: Jonathan Papelbon

Talk about a guy who is pitching with a chip on his shoulder. Pap has more than enough motivation to rebound after last season’s subpar performance and especially after it was reported he would have been non-tendered had the Red Sox signed Mariano Rivera this off-season. This guy is really pitching for his contract because it looks like Daniel Bard (or Bobby Jenks) is poised to take over the Sox  closer role after next season. Paps will come out on fire and put together an extremely impressive fantasy season.

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Filed under catchers, Closers, Fantasy Baseball, first base, MLB, offseason, Opinion, outfield, Pickups, second base, shortstop, third base

You should probably draft some Rangers

The unofficial mascot and motto of the 2011 Texas Rangers offense

And by Rangers, I mean the Texas offense, which has the potential to be absurd this year. Let’s take a look at the Ranger’s possible starting nine, (last years numbers are provided).

SS: Elvis Andrus (.265 AVG, 0 HR, 35 RBI, .342 OBP, .301 SLG, 32 SB)

2B: Ian Kinsler (.286, 9, 45, .382, .412)

1B: Jorge Cantu: (.256, 11, 56, .304, .392)

3B: Adrian Beltre (.321, 28, 102, .365, .553)

C: Bengie Molina (.249, 5, 36, .297, .326)

OF: Josh Hamilton (.359, 32, 100, .411, .633)

OF: Nelson Cruz (.318, 22, 78, .374, .567)

OF: David Murphy (.291, 12, 65, .358, .449)

DH: Michael Young (.284, 21, 91, .330, .440)

Other than Molina, those numbers are insane. Plus, Beltre’s numbers were from when he was playing for the Red Sox last year. What the Rangers lost with Cliff Lee in terms of pitching, they made up for in offense with Beltre. It should be noted that the Rangers put up those numbers without him in the lineup. If Beltre produces like he did last year, the Rangers are going to be an offensive force and with the sixth-highest park factor in the majors, the offensive numbers should continue.

While there are some obvious players to draft on this team (Hamilton, Beltre, Cruz) the lesser players like Young and Murphy should also put up better numbers with all the star power around them. Pitchers will be worn out after facing the Rangers 1-5, allowing ample opportunity for the bottom of the order to produce some big numbers.

Especially in deeper leagues, look for the likes of Young in the middle rounds (who will have added value because he will be eligible at multiple positions and will also be forgotten about because of Beltre) and Murphy in the later rounds. Another player to watch this year will be Taylor Teagarden. Due to Molina’s age (36) and lack of offensive production (see above) Teagarden might get a legitament shot this year, and could succeed without so much pressure. (The same goes for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but that is for another post).

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Filed under batter v. pitcher, catchers, Fantasy Baseball, first base, MLB, offseason, Opinion, outfield, Pickups, second base, shortstop, Sleepers, third base

BREAKING: Soriano signs with Yankees

John Heyman if Sports Illustrated is reporting that Rafael Soriano has signed with the Yankees to set up Mariano Rivera. The signing is in contrast to previous statements made by Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who said he would not sign Soriano because he did not want to lose the Yankees first round draft pick.

This 3-year, $35 million deal is an interesting move. Soriano just lost a ton of value fantasy-wise. Yes, he will probably put up the same numbers, but without the saves, his overall value plummets. However, he would be an interesting guy to pick up for keeper leagues: there is a possibility that he could now be the Yanks closer of the future. If he is indeed the closer of the future in the Bronx, he will pay off not this year but maybe next year or the year after. Also consider this: Rivera is 41 and could go down with an injury. Soriano is a guy to take in the later rounds or pick up on the waiver-wire, depending on the size of your league.

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Matt Garza to Cubs

I get to pitch in front of real baseball fans!

Interesting trade made by the Cubs today, sending 5 players to Tampa while getting three players back themselves, including Garza. This should be a good move for him fantasy (and career)-wise. Getting out of the AL East will do wonders for his value. In his small sample against the National League (4 career starts), Garza is 2-2 in 4 starts with 23 IP and a 1.22 WHIP. His ERA is pretty close to 5 but that is because he got shelled in one appearance against the Marlins. I think he will do very well in the NL Central and will benefit from not having to pitch to  DH.

My advice: keep an eye on him during the spring. He may be a guy you will pick up in a bigger trade.

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Interesting Match-up of the night

This evening I am going to be starting a new segment: “Interesting match-up the night” where I will preview and what I feel is an interesting match up, pitcher vs. hitter. Anyway, tonight I am putting Carl Pavano vs. Evan Longoria. So, Longoria is 1-8 with 3 k’s against Pavano in his career and Pavano is coming off two complete game gems. This is a perfect situation for Longoria to break out of his slump as Pavano is probably not going to be real sharp after throwing 18 innings in 10 days. Look for Evan to go 2-5 with a single, a 2B and 3 RBI.

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Filed under batter v. pitcher, Cajones, MLB, Opinion, Random Thoughts

Hughes to skip start

According to multiple reports Phil Hughes will miss his next start because he is pitching too many innings. This could be a problem near the end of the season. While the Yankees are being smart in limiting his innings, fantasy owners should monitor this as the season goes on, especially if he gets picked in the All-Star game (which he probably wont pitch in if this happens.) Anyway, this is just a informational post, keeping all you owners out there informed on the latest news.

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Alvarez Watch: Could make debut this week?

I'm the face of a dying franchise.

I know it has been a while and you all missed my fantasy ramblings, but I am back. The first order of business I have to get out of the way is that my second favorite baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, may be calling up Pedro Alvarez this week, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette. For those of us who drafted him before the season (like me, when I drafted him back in December….) this has been a long time coming. I am excited about his potential and really think the Pirates need to answer all the Strasburg hype with something of their own (albeit not as exciting). He could have an impact right away and give the Pirates something they haven’t had in a long, long time: a reason for fans to go to the ballpark. Anyway, if he hasn’t been picked up in your league, then pick him up.

Also, that Trevor Crowe post isn’t looking to shabby now, is it?

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Javier Vazquez pitching against the NL

"Please get me back to the NL."

Well, I saw this one coming. Javier Vazquez had a solid outing tonight against the Mets after being banished to the ‘pen for the series against the Red Sox. Here are Javy’s numbers while pitching in the NL one season and then the AL the next:

2003 Expos (Remember when they had a team?): 13-12, 3.24 ERA, 241 K, 1.11 WHIP, 9.4 K/9

2004 Yankees: 14-10, 4.91, 150, 1.29, 6.8

2005 D-Backs: 11-15, 4.42, 192, 1.25, 8.0

2006 White Sox: 11-12, 4.84, 184, 1.29, 8.2

Now, while he didn’t pitch that badly with the Yankees the first time around, but he started off hot and then cooled way down as the season went on. Again, tonight he was pitching against the NL again and that is making all the difference. The one problem is finding someone who is going to take Vazquez in a fantasy deal right now. I don’t think the Yanks have any plans to trade him back to the NL (but if those rumors start swirling, I would make a small deal to get him before he starts pitching better) so right now, he doesn’t have much value beyond pitching against the NL. However, maybe tonight put him on a path towards a better season.

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I just picked up Trevor Crowe

Is it because my name is Trevor and I am desperately searching for a major league player with my name to put on my team? Probably, but lets look at this small sample size in the majors this year.

As of right now (not including today’s game where he is 0/3) he is 5/11, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1K, 1SB, .500 OBP and 1.227 OPS.

While those numbers may fall, why not give this guy a shot if you have an open roster spot?

Do it.

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Filed under Cajones, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Pickups, Random Thoughts, Sleepers