Tag Archives: carl crawford

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

Shiny New Toys – Hitters

Every offseason, there are moves.  Some statement, huh?  But every year, guys switch teams.  Sometimes this is stupendous for fantasy purposes (example: Leaving PETCO) other times the move is irrelevant (say, anything pertaining  to Placido Polanco).  I am here today to discuss some of the moves that will alter the fantasy landscape, moves that will make a player more valuable to your team, moves that will score you a ‘nice move’ by your fellow drafters on the big day.  Here are some hitters that moved and how they’ll be that much better for it in the upcoming year:

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Carl Crawford

Obviously, I was going to start this post with my new friend’s upside.  Carl Crawford doesn’t really need to be hyped up for you to know going to the Red Sox will be beneficial for his numbers.  But I’m going to give you a few ideas anyway.  Here is one time I’m going to completely ignore Bill James’ predictors.  He seems to think Carl is not going to have 100 runs scored.  I’m willing to bet my left ear that Carl Crawford will score a ton in the newly revamped Sox lineup, easily scoring 100 runs.  Also take into account that Crawford has always been a good Fenway hitter.  Give him a bunch more at bats in our beloved banbox and he could definitely see a spike in both homers and triples, what with the 300 foot foul pole in right and all kinds of juts and jabs in the outfield wall.  Take a look at Crawford’s projections then add up- he’s going to have a monster year.

Adrian Gonzalez

Much of Crawford’s production will be due in large part to this man.  I salivate thinking about Adrian Gonzalez in Fenway.  Notorious for being an excellent opposite field hitter, A-Gone could potentially hit 50 homers and set the record for most 301 foot 4-baggers in the history of baseball.  You see, Fenway, in all it’s glory, has the unique dimensions ideal for a power hitter like Gonzalez, short porch in left for those lofty fly balls to the opposite field and short down the line for the extreme pull.  With a good lineup, Gonzalez should hit 40 homers and have 100 walks easily, it’s some of the other stats that interest me.  Doubles, RBI, Runs, in this new Sox lineup Gonzalez should flourish.  He’s a power hitter, sure, but he also consistently puts good wood on the ball.  Don’t you think some of those line drives to left in PETCO are suddenly going to be high up on the Monstah at the Fens?  I expect the new Slugger to put up big, big, big numbers in all the useful categories: Homers, Doubles, RBI’s, Runs, OBP, OPS, all the stats you would want a slugger to provide in fantasy.  Draft him accordingly.

Mark Reynolds

I know, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Many owners don’t want even a sniff of Reynolds on their team but I’m not one of them.  You don’t make up that kind of power.  I acknowledge and accept his strikeouts, those aren’t going anywhere.   Mark Reynolds is not going to win you a week with singles and average.  Draft Ichiro if you want that.  Mark Reynolds can mash.  I draft him as a late cheap source of power, and let the season sort itself out.  So why am I such a Mark Reynolds madman this year?  Power is contagious.  Camden Yards is a fairly good hitters park, so his power shouldn’t take a hit at home.  Removing PETCO and Coors from the equation, where he doesn’t have great numbers also will serve to help Reynolds.  Let’s also not forget that he suddenly gets to play a handful of games at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and the new launching pad in Toronto.  I’m betting Reynolds, at the very least, has an excellent power year, filling up the Homers and RBI categories, while maintaining his lumberjackian strikeout rate.

Adam Dunn

Speaking of sluggers at launching pads, Adam Dunn, known for his big bat, is heading to an absolute rocket pad of a home stadium.  Especially in the summer, Comiskey tends to be a homer-happy stadium where you can put it on the booooaaarrrrrd.  Dunn joins a solid lineup this year and let us not forget, he put up his usual numbers playing on a team protected in the lineup by Ryan Zimmerman and not much else.  Now paired up with Paul Konerko, I expect an upturn in homers, as well as more RBI’s with there being more people on base in Chicago as opposed to the Nats.  If Adam Dunn can hit 40 homers in Nationals Park, he should be able to put up big numbers in Comiskey with his eyes closed.

Dan Uggla

 

Just wrote up Mr. Uggla here, in our Second Base post, and it should be pretty obvious I like the guy going into the year.  The Braves have a pretty nice lineup and Uggla should be in line for some excellent RBI/Run numbers.  Playing in the same division, the parks are relatively the same and I believe Turner Field is a fairly neutral park.  However, much like Dunn, Uggla seems to be pretty much guaranteed for 30-100 (HR-RBI) regardless of what’s going on around him.  I expect nothing less this year and he could benefit greatly from a year-old Jason Heyward’s improvement that we all see coming.

Cameron Maybin

There is a certain type of player who can thrive in PETCO Park.  I believe Maybin is one of them.  Long and athletic, Maybin is the perfect fit defensively for the stadium, able to gracefully cover the spacious park’s outfield.  But who cares about actual baseball when there are fantasy implications to discuss?  Maybin has great speed.  This speed/athleticism is also perfect for PETCO’s spacious alleyways as a hitter. Bill James (yea, him again) has him hitting .277.  I would be thrilled with that.  At PETCO, I can see Maybin being a Mike Cameron-like player for the Padres, hitting 15 homers, a bunch of doubles and triples, and stealing 20 bases.  Doesn’t that sound better than ‘what the hell is the deal with Cameron Maybin?’ which is what was happening in Florida.  With a fresh life in San Diego (which is Spanish for a whale’s vagina), and his notoriously fresh legs, I’m looking forward to a good year from Maybin in 2011.  Without a doubt, though, he’ll win you the Web Gem category if you have that stat…

Ty Wiggington

Sigh.  I wanted 7 players and this is what I came up with.  Wiggington is a useful fantasy chip for his versatility and power.  He figures to only strengthen both in Colorado, where he’ll play all over and should see a considerable spike in his home numbers.  Though a small sample size, he has good numbers at Coors, but then again, most people have pretty good numbers at Coors.  Wiggington is my go-to guy for injury plug in, but once again, his usefulness in understood and likely not changing.

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There you have it, my thoughts on some of the guys who have switched colors this offseason.  Don’t hold me to my own thoughts, I’m no ‘expert’.  Now enjoy the snow and drink lots of water, New Years Eve means long island iced teas for everyone!

first stop, long island iced tea st. next stop blackout circle...

 

-w

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Filed under batter v. pitcher, Fantasy Baseball, offseason, Posted, Random Thoughts

Offseason Outlook: 2011 Detroit Tigers

The Tigers tend to be a messy fantasy team, with the exception of one Miggy Cabrera, who continues to develop into a truly fearsome fantasy option.  Otherwise there tend to be a lot of single-category guys.  At least this is my experience with them, once you get past the top players.  With a solid farm system and some money to burn this offseason, the Tigers could be trotting out some new and new-er faces for the fantasy landscape in 2011.  So from pickups to rookies, here are some thoughts on the Tigers going forward.

 

is it just me, or is this tiger trippin' balls?

Carl Crawford/Victor Martinez

The talk is that the Tigers are going to be players for both men this offseason.  Crawford is the more interesting player in that park so let’s talk about V-Mart.  His numbers are not very good for his career at Comerica (.225 AVG, 4 HR, .321 OBP, .671 OPS in 189 AB) and he is clearly better suited as a player in fantasy at Fenway Park- and no, that is not my bias, he is an excellent Fenway hitter, the numbers don’t lie.  It would be interesting where they would play Martinez if he was to go to Motown, as that would affect some of the other players I will be talking about later (mainly Alex Avila).  Put Martinez before or after Cabrera in a lineup, though, and his value is bound to take an upturn in fantasy.  Cabrera is that type of fantasy entity.  With a young emerging team, Martinez would provide a veteran RBI presence in the middle and, who knows, maybe Magglio O rdonez will return (on the much, much cheaper) and the Tigers will have a serious meat of the order.  The Sox will likely win out if it comes down to money, but if they opt to spend their means elsewhere (read; Crawford), Martinez could be swinging in the spacious alleys of Comerica Park.

Now, Carl Crawford.  The Tigers plan on being players for Carl, or as Ken Rosenthal reports, they are “deeply interested.” Crawford, unlike Martinez, has pretty good numbers at Comerica Park historically.  But let’s throw numbers out the window for a moment.  If you have ever had the pleasure of watching Carl Crawford, you know he is a special kind of player.  You also know that he is stupidly fast.  Not just fast but fast around the bases.  When he gets a turn, it is almost as if you can see him shift gears to speed up.  Having said all this, a similar though lesser player, Curtis Granderson, hit over 50 triples in 4+ years in Detroit.  I love triples.  They change the entire dynamic of an inning.  Crawford would figure to be a 15-30-20 guy in Detroit (that’s triples, doubles, homers) without having a great year and that doesn’t even account for his steals.  Signing with Detroit means playing in a great park for his skill set, it will be interesting to see how Detroit plays the situation this offseason.

 

Will Rhymes/Scott Sizemore

One of these second basemen as hyped going into 2010, the other was not.  One performed well in his time in the big leagues, the other did not.  Let me spare you the suspense.  Will Rhymes outplayed Scott Sizemore in similar sample time.  The much hyped Sizemore looked overmatched at times, while Rhymes boasted an excellent 14:16 BB:K ratio in just shy of 200 AB, a stat I always find telling for a young player.  Rhymes posted a .350 OBP , doesn’t show much power other than good gap power at Comerica, but has good speed leading to 12 doubles and 3 triples.  This season will be interesting to see who plays where as both got time at positions other than second, with Sizemore playing some third.  Whoever ins out the battle for 2B in the spring will be worth noting in later rounds of deeper leagues as Sizemore will likely rebound and at least showcase SOME of the talent that led so many to be high on him and Rhymes proved he could hang with the big boys.  In deep leagues where you need MI help, either one could be looking peachy this upcoming season.

 

Brennan Boesch/Austin Jackson

Jackson dipped considerably in the second half but still managed decent numbers for a rookie post-all star break.  Brennan Boesch did not, batting .193 with only 9 extra base hits.  Much of the Tigers’ success will lie in how these two sophomores progress, or not.  Jackson’s splits revealed a baffling (to me, at least) discrepancy between BA versus righties and lefties.  Jackson batted only .226 against southpaws compared to .316 versus righties.  This is very odd.  The way I see it, the league made its adjustments against Jackson during the season and Jackson responded, posting solid-but-not-great stats down the stretch as pitchers figured him out.  Now it’s his turn to adjust.  Whether or not he does that right out the gate or takes a few months is beyond my intellectual capabilities, but I for one, and I speak as a adamant Jackson-basher all season, believe the best is yet to come from this young’n and there will be minimal sophomoric slumpage (that is, if he keeps his K:BB somewhere in this stratosphere.).

Boesch is another story.  He too had seemingly backwards stats, hitting much better against lefties than righties.  He also looked AWFUL in the second half.  The thing about most rookies taking a downturn in their first second half (read it again, it makes sense) is that there is usually something redeeming underneath.  A month with a good average.  A pocket of homers in.  A good BABIP.  A decent BB:K ratio (yes, I love it).  But Boesch just plain kinda sucked.  And having seen some of his AB’s against the Red Sox in the second half, I’ll tell you- it wasn’t pretty.  But I will do my duty and find the silver lining.  And it lies in that peculiar split I mentioned in the first place.  Boesch’s ability to hit lefties give me hope that he is a much better hitter than he demonstrated in his sloth of a second half.  These good numbers against lefties are a continued trend from the minors.  It is often very difficult for rookies to adjust to good pitchers from their weak side (i.e. lefty-lefty).  So it would appear Boesch has a leg up in that portion of the learning  curve.  Maybe.  I’m skeptical of Boesch because his hot streak did not last for my team and I am bitter.  Suffice to say, I’m not as optimistic about Boesch coming out strong as I am with Austin Jackson- and I spent all 2010 waiting for the other shoe to drop with him (it never really did).  I’m watching Boesch closely to start the year, because the numbers he put up to start were SERIOUS (doubles, walks, triples, and homers oh my!), but I can’t advise anyone to snag him with high expectations.

 

Ryan Perry/ Alex Avila

Two guys I would draft.  Perry has closer stuff and has yet to put it together for a full season.  There’s also Jose Valverde there so it’s holds and K’s galore for Perry for now.  He’s also a monster out on the mound and throws reaaallly hard, so keep that in mind-  He’s lanky.

Avila is going to be a good hitter and will likely have a shot to start at some point in 2011.  Didn’t quite make it on my catchers list, but that was more a function of wanting to mention Jake Fox than anything else.  He had a great September and has been in line for the starters spot for a few years.   Avila could be an absolute steal at the end of a draft when you need a second catcher.

 

 

That’s it.  That’s all I have about the Tony Trippin’ Tigers (seriously that picture creeps me out).

 

Until next time, enjoy Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP

 

-w

 

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion, Posted, Random Thoughts, Sleepers

Offseason Changes (and staples): the los angels de los anaheim in the greater los angeles area and such

Arte Moreno  is on the verge of putting together a 4 Billion dollar TV deal out on the fairer coast,according to Peter Gammons.  Let me write that number again.  4 Billion dollars.  I listened to the interview and from the sounds of it, that deal is done, just needs to be finalized.  Moreno is moving in on disenfranchised and sad Dodger fans in a biiiiiiiiiig way.  That means the Angels will be MAJOR players for free agents this year, and with a spot in the outfield needing to be filled… they’re going to get a heck of a player one way or another.  So, without further ado, some thoughts on what the Angels will be doing with their new monies…

 

 

sadly, this is not what the owner of the Angels looks like

 

 

Carl Crawford/ Jayson Werth

Call them choice A and 1A.  Both the Red Sox and Angels figure to be big players for both outfielders, as do the Yankees.  That is teams with big money will be seeking these guys for probably numbers close to 100 million dollar deals, at least that’s the talk in Crawford’s case.  Crawford wants to be a 3 hitter, according to Gammons again, making the case for the Angels interesting as that’s where he’s the best fit.  The Sox, as much as it pains me, will likely not stay in play for him if the bidding gets up around 100 Million and as crazy as it sounds, where do the Yankees put him?  The Angels are the leaders for Crawford in my book, which would be great for his fantasy purposes.  In that smart and disciplined lineup, there would be ample opportunity for Crawford to both run and score in front of Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales and also drive in plenty of runs.  The Angels simply make sense for him, stat-wise.  But if they fail to land Crawford, Jayson Werth is not a bad consolation prize, as he too fits the Angels’ outfield as a great speed AND RBI guy (Werth is the quietest 20-20 guy who everybody’s heard of).  In LA once again, and in that lineup prominently, Werth would easily get his 25-30 homers, 90-100 RBI and 20-30 steals, making him once more a highly coveted fantasy option.  Though the better player is Crawford, and not just because of his triples-hitting ability that makes me salivate, the Angels are in a great, wealthy spot and figure to be able to land several impact players this offseason, whoever they may be.

 

Howie Kendrick

aka Kowie Hendrick

How good is Howie Kendrick?  This is a question my friends and I have debated for several years now and we are left still guessing.  Is he a .300 hitter with 40 double potential?  Can he steal  20 bases?  Or is he a .280 streak hitter with little power and questionable speed?  These are the questions that cause me to toss and turn at night.  Kind of like why we drive on parkways and park on driveways.  Don’t think about that one too much.  Seriously.  But back to Kowie.  He often seems like a legitimate #2 hitter, spraying the ball and putting up numbers like this August, hitting .320 with 8 doubles and an OPS of .795.  At Second Base, a whole season of that would be great, but that’s the point- Howie can’t seem to string months like that together and strikes out waaaaay too much for me to believe he ever will.  If they sign Crawford or Werth and plant the signee in the 3 hole and Kendrick in the 2, watch and see how he produces.  He could be a steal for doubles and runs late if he actually puts it together this year and turns into a 30 double, .300 hitter.  By the by, I’m a big Howie Kendrick fan so take all of this with a grain of salt.  Like how I saved the disclaimer for the end?!  To be fair, the development of Kendrick is closely related to the development of Erik Aybar, who has progressed into a pretty nifty player in his own right (think late round steal in 8-12 team leagues).

 

Kendry Morales Return

Kendry Morales had one of the freakiest injures you will ever see on a baseball field.  From the highest of highs, his season was lost in an instant.  “I remember jumping, hitting the ground, looking at my foot and feeling I had broken it,”  He is quoted as saying. But all signs and rehabbing point to a return by spring training, and that’s great news for the Angels both from a production standpoint (he was MASHING last year) and attractiveness to free agents standpoint (think they aren’t watching that closely when deciding whether or not to go to the Los Angeles Angels of the Anaheim/LA area located in California?).  Morales gives the Angels some serious thump in the middle of a pretty average lineup otherwise (until they sign the aforementioned triple machine) and figures to be back to mashing in time for 2011, whether it be right out the gate or more cautiously.  Morales figures to be a steal in many drafts as people fear injuries like his, regardless of the reports on his return/rehab.  His return and the time it takes him to regain form will be crucial to not only his fantasy season, but likely whatever free agents the Angels sign and Torii Hunter’s as well.  Be aware this offseason for Morales news.

 

‘Young’  Brandon Wood’s Development

Brandon Wood has been a hyped prospect for what feels like 10 years and was a major disappointment for the Angels last year, hitting a measly .146 in 2010.  I wish there was some split that I could point to that made me think he just needed adjusting, but he sucked equally home and away, versus righties and lefties, on and on he just kinda blew.  SO this new 2011 season is an interesting one for Wood.  His minor league numbers would indicate that he should at the very least be a Kevin Kouzmanoff-type where the power translates to the majors (31 in 2008, 22 in 2009 in 99 games both in AAA), and the kid showed some speed in the minors to boot.  Alas, he has disappointed in the majors.  2011 could be a big year for the Angels in terms of expectations and Wood could be looking at a make or break season here.  Heck, he could be out of the loop by the time you read this if the Angels are really down on him and go after a FA third baseman like Adrian Beltre (good luck to ’em if they do).  If Wood starts slow he’s out, I’d say, and is worth nothing more than a late round flyer in deeper leagues (read: 10+ teams) if at all.  His time is now to put up or shut up.  I just don’t think the Angels are dumb enough to sign Beltre long term, so Wood should have a shot somewhere prove he can actually mash in the big show.  We shall see.

Side note: watch  Peter Bourjos, I just think with that name, he’s bound to be a player.

Jered Weaver

Will he continue to be dominant?  Will he have a silly haircut?  Yes.  But honestly, the staff will be a strength of the team with Jered and Haren anchoring a solid staff.

 

 

there it is, my instant musings on the Angels as the offseason looms.  I know its haphazard and kinda sketchy but it’s a start.  Here’s an EPSN article if you want some more insight into the team… (with exciting video!)

 

I am so so so so so excited to watch Halladay- Timmy tonight.  DVR be warned.  Hope ya’ll are tuning in, all 13 of you, enjoy the game and enjoy the black keys,

 

laters,

 

-w

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion

Offseason Changes: Tampa Bay (DON’T call them ‘Devil’) Rays

 

The Rays face some interesting decisions this offseason (and not just what to do with these awful sportscoats), and most of them will alter the fantasy landscape.  So here I am to help you.  And by that I mean share my opinions on some of the changes I am interested in.   I do what I want.  So here are some thoughts on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays:

 

Carl Crawford

Where is he going?  Now that the Rays are out, he’s got a lot to think about.  The Angels of the greater California Area are said to be major players for the speedster, and that could make for a very interesting lineup for the Angels and for fantasy owners.  With Morales coming back and the tools that lineup already has (Abreu, Torii Hunter, some interesting young power), Crawford could put up more great numbers atop that lineup or batting 3rd behind Abreu and whatever contact guy they decide to leadoff with.  This is the option I hope for, as the Red Sox don’t really need an outfielder…

 

…but there is the very real chance that Crawford could get swooped up by the monster Yankees if they don’t win this year (or hell, even if they DO win!).  Imagine freakin’ Crawford hitting in front of that lineup.  Imagine Crawford anywhere in that lineup!  Good.  Lord.  But fantasy-wise, that would be the craziest thing to happen to an already top ten fantasy player in years.

 

This situation, suffice to say, is one to watch.  And either way, it means Desmond Jennings gets the call.  So watch Crawford, but be EXTREMELY wary of the rookie’s progress as well…

 

Carlos Pena

If Pena leaves, does that create a power vacuum in Tampa?  Yes.  Anywhere he goes(Red Sox, Mets, heck the Mariners?)  gets what they get- a 30-40 homer guy who will not ever hit .300.  Ever.  Not even if there’s a fire.  Pena is the type of hitter whose value will remain consistent wherever he goes- he hits bombs- but how prolific his numbers are could be interesting.  If he goes to a protecting lineup, he could see a rise in value.  If he goes to the Mets, he could get herpes all over his body or something horrible.  But either way he’ll hit bombs.  Except if he goes to the Mets.   I just dislike the Mets. He’s not going there. His leaving also creates an interesting situation in Tampa.  What do they do?  Who do they sign?  Are they going to play Ben Zobrist at first base?  Allowing Brignac to play more?  Or lil Beckham hanging around in the minors?  These are questions to ponder and be on the lookout for this offseason, as they will obviously affect more than just the signing itself and the team Pena signs with and both Pena’s and others (Zobrist) could be significantly (fantasy) altered.

BJ Upton

Is this his last chance?  When does a team finally say put up or shut up?  His talent is undeniable, so what the hell is he doing hitting .240!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!  If it was me, I’d have Bossman on a short leash.  My advice for fantasy is to keep an eye on him and draft cautiously, or be burned once more.

Wade Davis/ Jeremy Hellickson

Watch how these two young arms mature in the new season.  If Davis controls his walks and Hellickson matures, this could put the Rays in an interesting situation.  One to the bullpen?  Either one could be a viable fantasy option.  I like Davis, as he showed some Cajones down the stretch and I’d like to see where he goes.  Hellickson might need a bit more seasoning and could benefit from a stint as a setup man, developing his pitches while the Rays figure out what to do with him.  He could be a useful pickup either way in deeper leagues (Davis is a sleeper for next year in my book).

 

Well, those are some thoughts on the Rays offseason and how they affect your offseason.  Here’s a nice piece in the Boston Globe about the uncertainty the Rays face. In, you know, an almost unbiased opinion…

 

 

GO RANGERS

 

-w

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