Tag Archives: pickup

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

I Don’t Usually Do This Type of Thing…

he is too drunk. he should stop.

So… I’m a pretty smart guy, some say.  I read People magazine.  I eat carrots and broccoli.  I have many leather-bound books.  But I find it intensely frustrating when I look at a team I am playing and feel like the other manager has out-waiver-picked me (I’m pointing right at you, Casey McGhee).  So sometimes, to prove a point, I do my homework.  Serious homework.  And I try to exploit a matchup for a night, with one guy versus some pitcher he mashes.  My favorite being my repeated pick ups of Mike Cameron thoughout the years.

I rarely share this information- Hey, I’m doing the work.  But since we have maybe 6 people who read this regularly, I think you will benefit from my generosity.

Enough tooting of my own horn (wait, once more- toot.), I do have a point.  Tomorrow night, I have a highly favorable matchup I plan on trying to exploit.  The guy might not play, he might go ofer, or he may go on to hit for the cycle.  I do not claim to know.  I am only saying that based on the body of work, this should not be taken lightly.

So who am I picking up tonight?  Mark.  Kotsay.

who... me?

Now you may be saying, ‘sir, you are mad.  Kotsay is hitting a paltry .23o right now!’  To which I say ‘thhhhptttt,’ very maturely.

Here are the facts:

– Kotsay is notoriously streaky (the best kind of pickup for these scenarios), and has been hitting well

– Kotsay hits well at US Cellular Field.  You can check. Or just trust me.

– Over the past week, in 18 at bats, Kotsay has 6 hits (3 doubles) and 2 walks, to go with 3 RBI’s

– As he has become a more part-time player over the past years, Kotsay has become even more pronounced in his Righty/Lefty splits.  Ervin Santana is a righty.  Kotsay handles them.

– Speaking of Santana, did you know that Kotsay is 10 for 24 against the righty (3 doubles a .417 average) with 5 walks and no strikeouts (adding a SB for good measure)

– Santana does not pitch as well away from LALA land.  Check.

– I like Mark Kotsay.

So, I’m banking on a summer night in Chicago, when the air is homer-prone that Kotsay is going to have a solid game.  If you dare, come down the rabbit hole with me and see if I’m right.

I think I’m going to be.  And I looked it all up.  Maybe I wasted my time.  Maybe not.

Don’t goof up Mark.

– w


Filed under batter v. pitcher, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Pickups, Posted, Sleepers

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

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.


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

Welcome Back Jeff Francis

7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. That’s useful, folks.

still looks like he's 15 though

Granted, it was against the Nationals- but let’s be fair.  We touted Jhoulys Chacin and he got bounced around by this same team, so maybe the Nats aren’t quite the Nats anymore… maybe.

Regardless, Francis looked sharp, commanding a change and that nifty curve slipping in around 70 mph (which must just be incredibly frustrating).  He didn’t factor into the decision because the Rockies, like many teams this year, have come across the reanimated Frankenstein pitcher that is Scott Olsen (remember how bad he was!!?!? I do.)

Francis was on his way to being a very interesting fantasy asset.  He took a detour but my recommendation is to grab him without a doubt in NL leagues – don’t fear the Rockies!  And at the very least kick the tires in a mixed league, especially if you’re looking for a good complimentary starter  (I followed through too snagging him in our League Of Champions).  Francis battled through some tough starts in 2007 and some mechanical issues had derailed him in his spiral down/ to injury.  I’m taking a flyer.  If you’re one of the tens of loyal readers, heed my advice:

At least put him on your watch list?  Please?

Sorry for the delay in posting, we’re getting it down.

back to the laser show (great, great .GIF to go with that clip)


—> Also should note that Clippard got the loss in this game.  He’s nuts folks.  The fact that a reliever at this point of the season has 9 appearances of record (7-2) is bananas.  He’s putting together one of those ridiculous fantasy reliever seasons you hope to have the fortune of sustaining – but be  wary.

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Pickups, Posted, Random Thoughts

Alert: Cubs call up Starlin Castro

The future?

According to multiple reports today, the Cubs have called up top prospect Starlin Castro. After tearing up AA this year, the Cubs are going to give him a shot to become the everyday short stop giving him a chance to jump start a team that was just swept by the Pirates. Keep an eye on this guy, he could thrive right away in Chicago and could be a nice pick up.


Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Pickups, Rookies, Sleepers




Ka’aihue recalled after Ankiel placed on DL

Good timing there, Royals.  Now we just need him to rake so we (and some astute commenters) look like we know what we’re talking about…

Honestly though, if you’re like me (and don’t have a jerk like Dave in your league snatching guys right in front of you) and need some middle infield pop and you missed on Smoak, Konerko, etc, etc  grab Killah K, the Kila Monster, and hope he continues to mash and get on base (I think he will).  He’s a good hitter with a good eye, give him a shot.

KILLAH (Cam, that is)


BONUS:  if you clicked the link above, or know who the rapper Cam’ron is, you must see his interview on CBS news (where he says he’d rather get shot than be a snitch) and his bit on Bill O’Reilly.  Amazing.  Not that it has anything to do with fantasy, just ridiculous.


Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Pickups, Rookies, Sleepers

Player Watch: Jhoulys Chacin

This guy could pick you up a key win down the stretch

For those of you looking for deep, deep sleepers, look no further than Jhoulys Chacin a RHP for the Rockies. Last night in his season debut, he went 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB and 7 k. Pretty solid. Although he has a relatively small sample size (1-1, 11 GP (2 GS), 19.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 14 BB, 22 K, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP), his strike out numbers are pretty good. He does have the tendency to walk some guys, but if he can harness his control he could be gem on the waiver-wire.

He makes his next start against the Dodgers.

For video of Chacin, click here.


Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Pickups, Sleepers

Alex Gordon > Ashton Kutcher, both still suck.

…in the Fantasy Baseball Butterfly Effect sense.

yup, that's the face your unfortunate owners are making too

In not-so-breaking or shocking news, the Royals optioned ever-struggling third baseman Alex Gordon to AAA Omaha last night.  This raises one big question for me – did I miss something?

I never understood the Alex Gordon hoopla.  I never sipped the ‘next George Brett’ Kool-Aid because, well, that comparison was absurd.  Certainly Gordon showed flashes of becoming a good player, and his 2008 year led many to believe he was on the right path.  But Gordon ultimately could not live up to his intensely exaggerated ceiling.  The ultimate expectations-performance letdown, fantasy-wise (and yet, we never learn, do we?).  Enough ragging though (I’m particularly proud of myself for not ever buying into him).  The Alex Gordon demotion creates a very interesting spillover fantasy effect, especially for such a crappy team (Greinke is 0-3.  His WHIP? 0.98).  So here we go… (in order of immediate fantasy relevance)

Alberto Callaspo

From reading the KC Star, it seems Callaspo becomes the starting third baseman, great news for fantasy owners who have been lamenting his lack of regularity in the lineup in years past (hand raised).  Callaspo can hit and has always been a fantasy favorite to breakout (which he did with 576 AB last year).  With multiple eligibility at 2B/3B, a solid .350-.370 OBP, and both the speed and propensity for doubles (41! to go with 8 3-baggers!), Callaspo figures to be an Asdrubal Cabrera-like player given the starting position at Third.  And again, I love multiple eligibility.  Heck, I might like him more than Asdrubal, who I honestly find to be a pretty boring player and who sounds like a symptom of eating Bugles.  Google it, you’ll get it if you don’t already.

Chris Getz

Simply put, Chris Getz is a little speedster.  Did you know he had 25 steals last year?  Did you know he did that in 375 AB (415 PA)?  Add to that his hometown is the setting for a great John Cusack movie and the fact that he played in the Cape League, which I see as a way of ‘nutting up’ after the crap that is Aluminum College Baseball, and I see a very solid player- And his manager agrees.  He does the little things.  Point being, ergo, i.e, long and short of it- Chris Getz is the starting second baseman for your Kansas City Royals and Chris Getz is going to steal some bases.  If you need some cheap speed, I can almost assure you he’s floating around in many standard leagues.

Kila Ka’aihue

The dark horse candidate for benefitting most from Alex Gordon sucking is….. Willie Bloomquist!


Love for that silly utility player aside, Killah K (coining that nickname, write it down) can MASH.  He has obliterated AAA pitching the tune of a  1.078 OPS.  Yikes.  He had a nice cup of coffee with KC last year and by all accounts is a legitimate big league pitch-smusher.  The only issue was the Royals’ logjam of large buttoxed, hit spewing 1B/DH types.  With the Gordon demotion and likely trade/injury of Jose Guillen, look for Kila (see, get the nickname?) to get the call sooner rather than later.

man, can you imagine if I had spent that space writing about Bloomquist?

To summarize; grab Callaspo, Getz is your cheap wheels, stash Killah K, and always make fun of Willie Bloomquist (and it’s nothing personal, just the kinda crazy contract and wikipedia-ed nickname of ‘the silent assassin’ makes it too easy).

enjoy some Chiddy Bang folks



Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Pickups, Sleepers


I love me any excuse to post silly pop songs from the 90’s

In America, there is nothing we love more than a comeback.  Rocky (clip, dude, there were six of them).  MJ (clip).  And yes, the 2004 Boston Red Sox (where did you think I was going with that?).  So let’s take a moment and appreciate two finer than fine comeback seasons in this young 2010 fantasy baseball season: Mr. Andruw Jones and Mr. Colby Lewis.

Andruw Rudolf Jones

You’re likely more familiar with Mr. Jones, so let us start with him.  Yes, this is the same Andruw (Rudolf????) Jones who was a legit 30-20, if not 40-20 threat in his youth and was an easy 30 homer guy only 4 or 5 years ago.  Jones had to be disappointed in his last few years, but let’s not forget he was never a .330-average type guy (don’t believe me?  Look.).  Jones reported to the Sox this year some 20 pounds lighter and is showing it with a youthful flair so far this year.  Says manager Ozzie ‘Crazy Train’ Guillen,    “He came [into spring training] with one goal — to play every day. I remember having a conversation with him. I said, ‘If you swing the bat good I will play you.’”      Jones seems to have taken that to heart and is enjoying fresh legs and honestly, the perfect park for him this summer- Chi-city is an absolute LAUNCH pad for someone like Jones this summer.  Jones has always had pop, and it looks like he’s ready to work again, so he’s a very real power buy IF you’re sipping my Kool-Aid (OH YEAH… shameless, I know).  I grew up with Jones long arming bombs, heck I imitated his looping reach out in WiffleBall to perfection, and I’m telling you- he’s back like bad Chinese food folks.  Bad analogy, but the moral is pick him up (I blew my loquacious stack in the previous paragraph, so sue me).

Colby Preston Lewis

I swear I didn’t know it before, but wow are we talking about some guys with awesome middle names!  Now Colby Lewis’ story you may not know.  He was drafted originally by the Rangers in 1999 and has been injured/bouncing around for years never quite sticking (A’s, ChiSox, KC, Washington) and ending up in Japan (having rotator cuff surgery in ’04).  Let’s just say he showed Japan who was boss (i.e. America, whatup.).  To the tune of 369 strikeouts in 354 innings in 2008 and 2009 (all stats here). I don’t care what league you are in, those are some serious K’s.  And Lewis has always been known for making batters miss, from Bakersfield College, to his scattered minor league resume, to Japan.  I feel very safe in assuring you that his strikeout potential is real.  He has most recently posted back to back 10 strikeout games and boasts a 38:13 K:BB ratio (in 32 IP!!!), always a sign of continued success, just ask Baltimore (or Daniel Cabrera (clip?)) what it’s like to have that ratio flipped.  Couple his K-readiness with what I see as a system-wide kick in the ass to the pitching staff by Nolan Ryan (I don’t care what actually transpired, I like to think the old fireballer tells his pitchers to stop being lil’ pansies and throw the damn ball. I am crediting Nolan Ryan.  Because he is my favorite. And has no patience for namby-pamby pitchers. ).  Having thrown plenty in Japan, there is little risk of him breaking down like a normal young-gun (Yup, I’m talking about you Mike Leake and your even K:BB rate).  Colby Lewis is making a statement (did you see this line!!!!?!?!?!)- I suggest you listen.  And pick him up.  This is a unique comeback experience, join the bandwagon!  And grab some K’s.

no comment needed?

Me, I missed on both.  So I’m speaking regretfully.

GO get ’em folks, I’m doing some serious, serious LOST research before Tuesday.

Until then, enjoy The Black Keys


KIDDING!  Did you think I wouldn’t post the actual Marley jam!?!??! C’mon people….

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, Opinion, Pickups