Tag Archives: Young

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).


1 Comment

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

Had the Old Bull, Now we Want the Young Calf…

Don’t get the reference?  Click.

obviously, I left Emilio as Emilio

In every fantasy season, there arises a slew of pitchers and hitters who have not ‘done it before.’  These newcomers arrive in all shapes and sizes.  Some flameout ‘can’t misses’ who have stopped missing the strike zone.  Some are young guys still proving themselves in the league.  Others come out of nowhere.  I’m here today to offer some advice on these young guns.

In fantasy, you know the stud pitchers, the top tier guys.  These are the Roy Halladays of the world.  But I argue that championships are not won with these individuals.  Rather, fantasy seasons are won and lost by the young guy you pick up (or miss on) in March.  Think about Jon Lester, arguably the best pitcher on the Red Sox right now.  He had to build up, and no one would have drafted him as a top flight pitcher.  Rome was not built in a day.  Roy Oswalt did not just appear on the fantasy scene as Roy Oswalt.  Tim Lincecum was not called up to win the Cy Young.  The point being, there are always guys dot drafted late or not drafted at all that will end up carrying a fantasy team.  So without further ado, I’ve put together a rotation of such guys for this season.  Some I own (Buchholz, obviously).  Some I wish I owned (Scherzer).  All show the promise of being excellent fantasy options, if they are not already.  So without further ado, the Young Gun all-stars, managed by Emilio Estevez:

#1- David Price

I have the privilege of owning David Price.  Let me tell you, as an owner and AL East-watcher I can attest: David Price is an ace.  Great for my fantasy team, not for my Red Sox.  Price has excellent command of 4 pitches and a dynamite fastball.  His last start against the Sox was excellent, as he routinely painted the corners with 95-97 MPH heat.  Price came up and was all ‘stuff.’  His struggles in the past seasons have come from both fatigue and a lack of nuanced pitching.  Not so anymore.  Price skillfully mixes speeds now, making that 97 MPH fastball on the outside corner all but unhittable for even good right handed batters.  But enough anecdotal evidence, how about some data?

Price has 100  K’s in 115 innings (7.8 K/9, to go with only 43 BB’s, control is no longer his downfall).  His WHIP is roughly 1.20.  Lefties hit a paltry .194 against him while righties have managed a still-not-good-at-all .233.  He has yet to surrender a homer to a left handed batter this year.  In his last 3 starts, he has gone 8 innings, 8 innings, and 7 2/3 innings, with 11, 6, and 10 strikeouts, respectively.  Don’t these sound like numbers you can anchor around?  I say so.  looking ahead, it appears Price is only getting better as he figures himself and the league out.  I’m riding him to the finish, and I say he’s the top dog of the young guns- He could start the All-Star game!!!

(NOTE:  Price is different from, say, Yovani Gallardo in my mind because few drafted Price thinking he would be the ace of their staff, while I know people drafted Gallardo with that in mind)

#2- Clay Buchholz

Buchholz would probably be mad to see he was #2 behind Price, but the two are really 1 and 1a.  Call me biased, call me a homer, but watch Buchholz pitch against a good team and tell me if you still don’t agree with me.  His stuff, like Price’s (only right handed), is phenomenal.  The change from locating low 80’s and mid to high 90’s has made all the difference for both pitchers.  Buchholz has seen steady decline in his K/9 as he has become more successful, as he has matured from a ‘thrower’ to an actual honest to goodness ‘did-you-just-see-that-pitch-sequence’ stud.  The kid came up and threw a no-no, everyone knew his stuff was electric.  But something has clicked with Buchholz now where, again like Price, batters often look extremely uncomfortable swinging when his stuff is full on.  With all of these players, the common theme is maturity, and Buchholz looks to have turned a corner.  Don’t believe me?  That’s ok, I’ll be the one with him on my championship staff, throwing these numbers out at you:

– Buchholz is 10-4.  On the Red Sox.  Who the other night threw out Bill Hall and some guy from Taco Bell in their infield.

– He has struck out 64 while walking 38, allowing 77 hits, for a 1.25 WHIP.  This K ratio may seem off, however coupled with the following statistics…

He has allowed 3 homers in 92 innings.  Righties vs. Buchholz hit .210. Lefties .247.

…This appears to me that people do not hit him very well, but maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Wait, no I do.

– He currently leads the American League in ERA+.  Let’s put that in perspective: he pitches in the AL East, where the top 4 teams would ALL be playoff contenders in other situations (e.g. the NL West)

-He was named an All-Star

He dates smokeshows … and I’m done.

#3 Mat Latos

Latos is very good.  He makes batters miss.  He pitches in the NL West.  He pitches at Petco half of the time.  I fell as though I should stop there with my rationale.  I’ll press on.  After last season’s stint with the friars, people were talking about Latos.  After his first two starts this year they were still talking, only now in hushed whispers (10.2 IP, 13 hits, 7 runs, 4 homers, 2 walks, 7 K’s – nothing to write home about).  Then Latos hit a groove.  Since April, Latos has a WHIP of .833, dominating all kinds of teams in all kinds of situations.  Lefties, Righties, home, away, day and night.  You name the split and Latos has polished it off.  So let’s take a look:

Versus LH batters: 0.83 WHIP, .189 BAA, 45 K : 7 BB

Versus RH batters: 1.09 WHIP, .197 BAA, 54 K : 21 BB

In his 2 July starts, Latos has gone 15 innings with 15 K’s (two walks), allowing 9 hits and no earned runs

At Home (lovely spacious PETCO): WHIP- 1.02

Places other than PETCO: WHIP- 0.93

Again, this man pitches in a notorious pitchers park with an OUTSTANDING BULLPEN (honestly, no All-Stars but Heath Bell just shows that we don’t need reps from each team- sorry Evan Meek…).  his K/9 is rising (7.9 now) as he figures his on stuff out.  if this were an NL-only blog, he’d be atop my list.  Enough said.

#4- Ricky Romero

Romero is hurt by three things: location, location, and pitching for the Blue Jays.  He lives and dies with his change-up, which is devastating most of the time.  If it is not, or he misses, he has trouble.  Also, I am not sure if you heard this, but he pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays.  Romero is a K machine, striking out 106 batters in 114 innings (8.4K/9) to go with only 43 walks.  Romero is a pretty solid bet for 5 K’s a game, averaging 6.2 K’s a start, and that type of K consistency can be crucial, especially in the back end of my imaginary rotation.  What is more important with Romero, however, is his durability.  When he’s throwing right, he has demonstrated the ability to go 7+ innings with no problem.  This coupled with his high strikeout rate makes him a consistently excellent matchup starter (i.e. NOT against the Yankees) who will give you good K numbers, even in a bad start.

#5- Max Scherzer

The issue with Scherzer is the gopher-ball (13 in 93 2/3 IP).  But what no one can deny is his strikeout ability.  If you saw even the highlight of his return from the minors, you saw his skill firsthand(check it out HERE).  The A’s didn’t know what hit them.  Like any young strikeout pitcher, Scherzer is still harnessing his stuff.  When he’s on, you have to wonder how anyone hits him.  But he hasn’t had a stretch when he consistently harnessed his great stuff.  until now.  Like his aforementioned peers, Scherzer has turned a corner.  As he works out the kinks, pitch count will still be an issue as he still could walk 4 guys in a game while striking out 10 – but that’s an issue of controlling his ridiculous stuff more so than Daniel Cabrera-esque wildness.  Since being recalled (8 starts)  Scherzer has been dominant.  Here’s his line:

51 2/3 Innings, 39 Hits, 14 Earned Runs, 3 homers (excellent improvement), 19 BB (also improvement) and 57 STRIKEOUTS…That’s a WHIP of 1.12, an ERA of 3.69 and a K/9 of 10.10!  I just grabbed him- I suggest you follow.

So there you have it folks, 5 young arms I am telling you with as much certainty as my considerable brain can muster will continue to improve and dominate after the All-Star break.  Grab them, target them in trade, I’m telling you, one if not all of them can make the difference.

Until next time, go watch Step Brothers– it’s an American cinema classic.  Fact.


no academy awards?!?!?!?


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

Bouncebacks & Breakouts

First, the bouncebacks.  These are players who might make you say, “Remember back when he was good?”  Some may have won your league for you two or three years ago, then for whatever reason were giant letdowns last year.  The key is in knowing whether their recent letdowns were the exception or the rule; getting off to a bad start can really psychologically wear down a player and lead to a lost season.  Likewise, injury history should play a major role in determining whether to pursue a player on draft day; a pitcher with a long history of arm injuries is less likely to suddenly find the fountain of youth than a hitter who is coming off a freak injury.  Thus, I will avoid the glass-armed Rich Harden and fragile Erik Bedard, who have combined for 12.5 seasons and yet never reached 200 IP, while targeting a guy like Conor Jackson, who had a solid career take a one year detour due to Valley Fever.  The bottom line: these guys have resumes showing what they can do when all is well, you have to decide upon whom to bet your lower-round picks.  If it works out, you could have a high caliber player at a bargain-basement price.

Fausto Carmona, SP CLE

Carmona is a guy primed for a huge year.  In 2007, he came in 4th in Cy Young race, going 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.  Then in 2008, he lost control, with his BB/9 doubling from 2.6 to 5.2.  The problems continued last year, as he showed up to camp about 50 lbs overweight and ended up spending the middle of the season in the minors.  He did finish on a high note, allowing 3 earned runs in his final 13 innings with 11 K and only 3 BB, then this spring showed up in shape and throwing like it was 2007.  Recently, another Indians pitcher went from minor league banishment to the Cy Young award: Cliff Lee in 2008.  Carmona is definitely worth the pick.

Matt Lindstrom, RP HOU

Another guy due for a bounceback is Astros pitcher Matt Lindstrom.  Lindstrom has always thrown exceptionally hard (100 mph+ when he first came up, still in 98 mph range).  He put together two solid seasons in the Marlins pen, and was expected to ascend to the closer role last year, even earning an invitation to pitch for USA in the WBC.  That’s where the trouble started, however, as an intended knockdown pitch led to a shoulder injury that hounded Lindstrom all year.  He came back this spring after rehabbing in the offseason and looks better than ever.  As his only competition for the Astros closer chair is Brandon Lyon, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he runs with the job and ends up having a great year.  I’d take him over guys like Dotel and Mike Gonzalez and wouldn’t be shocked if he puts up better numbers than Qualls, Franklin, or Fuentes.

Chris Young, OF ARI

Chris Young is the type of guy to whom you may have a complete aversion: BA blackhole even when all is going right.  His rookie year in 2007, he actually went for 32 homers and 27 steals, while only managing a .237 average.  However, if you’re up for the BA suck, it’s that power/speed potential that makes Young a potential low round (ADP 211) steal.  After a slight down year in 2008 (10 less HR and 13 less steals, but improved BB rate and RBI totals), he just couldn’t perform last year and was actually sent to AAA Reno in August.  That seemed to provide just the wake-up call he needed, as he hit .370 in AAA and .263 with 8 HR in the final month.  When drafting, know you won’t ever get BA from Young but you can expect the other 4 categories to be more than respectable (.240 BA-22 HR-75 R-75 RBI-20 SB)

Troy Glaus, 1B ATL

Glaus is an example of a former All Star who averaged 30+ HR a year during his prime and has fallen victim to injury in recent years.  As a power hitter, it is concerning that he has had multiple shoulder surgeries during his career, the most recent of which wiped out his 2009 for STL.  That said, Glaus has always come back from injury stronger than before (may or may not be due to his inclusion in 2007’s Mitchell Report) and in 2009 he came back so strong that he was included on the Cards’ postseason roster.  This year, he steps into a world of opportunity as the Braves’ cleanup hitter.  He should see plenty of RBI opportunities in ATL’s stacked lineup and his risk of shoulder injury will decrease with the move to 1B.  Bottom line: the opportunity to pick up a contender’s cleanup hitter after pick 200 is too much to resist.  Even if Glaus gets regular rest he should still hit 25+ HR with 90+ RBI.

This next group of players highlights the risk inherent in drafting any rookie/prospect: even with the tools and past performance that make for a promising player, the adjustment curve to the Major League level is different for every player, with top talents like Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon Phillips, Kendry Morales, Jayson Werth, Derrek Lee, Adam Lind, and Nelson Cruz all requiring years to become the early round picks they are today.  The post-hype sleeper offers a tremendous value: guys who have the skills to put up top numbers who just haven’t put it all together yet

Matt LaPorta, 1B-OF CLE

it was less than two years ago that LaPorta was the centerpiece of the deadline deal sending Sabathia to the Brewers for the stretch run.  I’ll admit, when he was first called up last year I sniped him off the waiver wire, only to watch him struggle, be sent back to the minors, and then come back for September, hitting .254 with 7 HR in 181 AB along the way.  While his numbers weren’t killer, projecting them to 550 Abs would have meant 21 HR.  Regular at-bats, along with increased development, should bring those totals to around 25 HR this year with around a .270 BA this year, with further development in the power department in the coming years.  As an added bonus, LaPorta should qualify at both 1B and OF, which never hurts.

Travis Snider, OF TOR

Snider just turned 22 but has already endured his share of ups and downs since being drafted in the 1st round in 2006.  Last year he entered the season as one of baseball’s top 10 prospects, only to disappoint in his first season in the bigs, hitting .241 with only 9 HR in 241 ABs and earning a ticket to AAA.  Like LaPorta, even in his first ML exposure, he managed to show the power that made him a blue-chipper.  Also like LaPorta, he dominated when sent to AAA, showing he has nothing left to prove at that level.  While the Blue Jays attempted scare tactics in telling Snider he was fighting with Joey Gathright for a roster spot this spring, he rose to the challenge and has earned a starting spot in the Jays’ OF.  While he may sit against tough lefties, he should mirror LaPorta with around a .270 BA and 25 HR, all coming around pick 225.

Homer Bailey, SP CIN

Homer Bailey has been on the top of prospect charts since his selection 7th overall in the 2004 draft.  A big Texan with the classic power pitcher’s build, Bailey has had poor results in his brief ML showing (5.45 ERA, 1.61 WHIP in parts of last years).  In the minors he always showed the skills that made him the pick he was, but it was not until his final 9 ML starts of 2009 where he delivered on his promise at the higher level, going 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA and 53 K in 58.1 IP.  How did he pick up his performance?  His first few chances in the Majors, Bailey didn’t show the mid-90s velocity that made him such a blue-chipper.  But in 2009, he added both velocity (average 94.5 MPH) and FB movement.  That velocity, by the way, would have placed behind only Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Verlander, and Josh Johnson if he played a full season.  He walks too many to have a great WHIP, but 180 Ks in around 200 IP with a 1.3 WHIP and 4 ERA wouldn’t be bad for a guy who’s not getting drafted right now.

Ian Kennedy, SP ARI

Kennedy is a guy who was a top prospect after his sophomore season (2005) at USC, averaging 12.2 K/IP.  However, he regressed the following spring, causing him to drop to the Yankees at 21st overall in the 2006 draft.  He is not a power pitcher, but relies on command for success.  He cruised through the minors and had a great debut in 2007 for the Yanks.  When he started the 2008 season as NY’s #5 starter though, he struggled mightily, increasing BB rates and decreasing K rates while getting extremely unlucky with BABIP (.347).  The only physical problem behind Kennedy’s struggles was a slight decline in FB velocity, from 90.4 to 89.1 MPH, which doesn’t sound like much but is tough to survive in the AL East.  Following his demotion in 2008, he righted the ship, with a 2.35 ERA and 72:17 K:BB in 69 IP.  However, 2009 was a complete loss for Kennedy, who had an aneurysm in his right arm.  He was included in the Granderson trade this offseason and is penciled in as the D-Backs’ #3 starter, where he should bounce back hard away from the AL East.  Look for a 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 150 K in 180 IP.

Brandon Wood, 3B LAA

If you are looking for cheap power at 3B from a guy with a guaranteed job, this is the year to go for Brandon Wood.  He was a 1st rounder in 2003 (see a trend on this list?) who has struggled in his first 3 ML exposures (total .192-7-19 in 226 AB from 07-09) while hitting 76 HR in AAA over the same time frame (1 HR every 16 AB).  Out of options this year, Wood has earned the 3B job with the departure of Chone Figgins.  He won’t hit for average (expect .250-.260) but with a regular spot in the lineup 25 HR is not a reach.  Grab him late and see if this is the year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Sleepers

2010 Injury Comebacks

We will spare the big names here.  There are updates and outlooks on Grady Sizemore, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Johan Santana all over the internet.  In this post we will have a little back and forth about some serious low-risk/high-value guys.  These are players that are seriously undervalued considering the numbers they are capable of putting up.  Enjoy.

Will: Jay Bruce- OF, Reds ADP 120.64 you’re caught in that mid-round conundrum of trying to grab an OF in addition to your (hopefully) already productive initial 3 (we tend to play 4 OF, I’m talking about the rounds where your in between starters and that guy off your bench you have a good feeling about this year… (you’re little cheat-sheet starred ‘STEAL OF THE DRAFT’).  This phenomena, it should be noted is not exclusive to OF, just specific to this argument (more to follow about other value picks).  Here’s the situation sitting  on the board are two not so different players – Jay Bruce and Carlos Quentin.  From which of these prospective picks do you chase value? I vote that Bruce is superior player in several ways.

America….Heck Yes.

For starters, I’m going to go ahead an cut down the argument that ‘While he has tremendous upside, take Quentin because Bruce can’t hit lefties.’   False. Bruce, vs lefties: 2008–> .190 BA, 46 K in 67 AB (v. 11 BB), .299 SLG 2009–>.210 BA,28 K in 52 AB… v. 15 BB (that’s good, right?), .330 SLG Quentin, vs left-handed pitching AS A RIGHT HANDED BATTER 2006–> .171 BA, 8K :4BB in 41AB, .415 SLG 2007–> .172 BA, 16K:7BB in 64 B, .313 SLG 2008–> .246 BA, 22K:25BB in 130 AB, .562 SLG 2009–> .213 BA,  14K:14BB in 94 AB, .383 SLG interesting, I think. I also think Bruce is too good a player to not at least settle down that lefties average in the .250-.260 range?  And Quentin’s had longer to figure it out!  He doesn’t really seem to be learning?  Why is it unreasonable to think Bruce (only 23!) isn’t in a fairly normal 3rd year upgrade?  Quentin, while surely not old (28), has had his time to build something but seemingly has the injury bug.  Bruce, on the other hand hurt his wrist sliding for a ball.  He is young.  He will heal.  Unless some awful nomar luck strikes Bruce, he would only have  worked that much harder coming into the spring, prepping him for  a stellar year. I say Bruce’s potential is large (recognize:  check his minors stats, the kid will mature).  The question is how many of his talents do you think he’ll have ‘click’ at the same time?  Regardless, is a 20-15 season the worst case scenario if he doesn’t break out fully?  Good basement, I say.  But some predicted 40 homers for Bruce. What if he plays a fully healthy year in a healthier Cincy lineup and belts 35?  40?  This intrigue intrigues me… This round(s) of picks is the perfect time to pick up someone with the potential stardom while still being a reputable fallback option as well.  Take Bruce.  Or he’ll get angry. And you won’t like him when he’s angry… Honestly, Quentin could be playing at a high level for all I care, I see a serious potential gain  taking Bruce instead.  I’ll gamble here, knowing I’ll have minimal loss even if I’m wrong. But who knows.  Maybe Dave does know better. Gooch, haters.

Side Note: Our very own Andrew Nilsen met Bruce at a Miami of Ohio party and says that he was macking on some J. Crew U. girls.  Bruce also said that he never felt    comfortable at the plate last year and is very excited for the 2010 season.

Dave: Carlos Quentin- OF, White Sox ADP 101.64  

Remember when Quentin was leading the majors in homers in 2008 before getting pissed off and fracturing his wrist with his bat? Did anyone notice how he had 8 homers in 75ab in April?  Quentin’s down year was a fantasy disaster for those who reached early.  Take my word though.  2009 was a fluke (you can also throw out his Rookie stats 2006 and his torn labrum year in 2007. Cough Cough Will) .  Quentin was slowed by plantar fasciitis in 2009, a foot injury that can be easily overcome if treated properly.  He came back in October to slug 2 hrs in 11 abs and has gotten in his hacks this spring.  His AVG, BB:KK, lineup and everything else point to Quentin being a superior player. His upside:ADP ratio screams a mid-round steal.  Get him on your team and watch a healthy Quentin compete for the AL HR crown.

Will:Ryan Ludwick- OF, Cardinals ADP 167.63 

Ludwick’s appeal lies in the lineup he’s in.  Behind Pujols and Holliday, even something between last year (‘down’) and his breakout year will yield substantial results.  In this injured, ‘down’ year, Ludwick still hit 22 homers with 97 RBI.  C’mon, even with low expectations and that lineup, I’d snag Ludwick.  Add to all that a Felipe Lopez- Colby Rasmus progression, this has potential to be a very formidable NL lineup.  Love the ADP,people.  Embrace it.

Will: Conor Jackson- 1B, OF, Diamondbacks ADP 309.24

WTF Valley Fever? Rarely has a potential sleeper star gone on the DL with a more Clueless-reference inducing injury or illness (like, totally, Conor… what.ever.)  Jackson is  of serious value if you believe in him and believe me that good batters have good eyes.  That doesn’t mean K:BB HAS to be a determining factor in selecting hitters (Vlad being king here), but its useful with good batting average/ OBP players like Jackon.  So his K:BB ratios starting in 2005 (only 40 games, but look, all the ratios prove my point, regardless of number of at bats; (BONUS: minors- 32:69 K:BB) 11:12, 73-54, 53-50, 61:59, 16:11.  This is a promising trend, and Jackson is young enough to be entering some prime years.  The homers may not spike, but is Jackson with an ADP of 311.63 at MockDraftCentral going to that greatly underperform someone like James Loney, who goes out at an ADP of 181.88?!??!  Take  flier on James Loney lite at worst, and don’t forget that IF/OF eligibility .

Dave: Ryan Doumit- C, Pirates ADP 192.2           

After grabbing some attention in 2007 with respectable offensive numbers at a light position, Doumit broke onto the scene in a big way in 2008 compiling 15 homers with a .318/.357/.501 line in 431 abs.  The injury bug struck again last spring as a fracture wrist derailed the majority of his season.  Doumit looked to have regained his form by September, hitting 2 bombs with a pretty .346/.424/.481.  I have heard this guy called the Josh Hamilton of catchers.  I agree. He could put up numbers to rival Vmart this year (whose OPS is .150 pts lower when a full-time catcher) minus about 30 RBIs.  Target Doumit once the top 5 catchers are off the board and smile knowing you will get similar production from a late rounder. 

Dave: Kevin Slowey- SP, Twins ADP 210.15

Expectations have always been high for Slowey.  Before injuries put his pitching on hold, Slowey and Scott Baker were developing into a nice combo in the Twins’ rotation.  Unfortunately, several injuries cut short Slowey’s hot start to 2009 (10 wins despite a 1.41whip in 90.2ip).  Many people are scared away by the permanent screws in his wrist, but don’t worry.  His numbers have been filthy this spring, allowing 1er in 16ip with 15ks.  This is a pitcher who absolutely owned the minor leagues with a 0.85 WHIP.  Supported by the best offense in a weak division,  Slowey  is worth the gamble and could emerge as a serious top-of-the-rotation starter.

Will: Ben Sheets-SP, A’s ADP 232.8   

Now know this: we write this as Sheets has gotten sheeted-on this spring (8.2 IP, 20 H, 16 ER, 5 BB) and had a ho-hum turn at Triple A at the time of us posting.  I own Sheets in our Champions league, but I’m planning on him sitting him til he proves himself settled (which I honestly believe, between whatever magic hot tub Beane has and a plus pitcher-friendly ballpark) and hope he’ll be  dominant #2/2a by the trade deadline (I’m thinkin’ with you here, Mr. Beane).  Sheets isn’t a name sneaking up on too many people in drafts, so we’re really talking about a risk/reward play here.  For his ADP, you are potentially getting the dominant #2 guy from 2008, a (hopefully) healthy year away from surgery.  Just a reminder of some of Sheets best years, he has pitched over 190 innings 4 times, each year submitting  fantasy-relevant (if not superior) season (2002-2004, most excellent.). 2008, his last healthy year, he had 5 CG and 3 SHO, just sayin’. A 158:47 K:BB ratio (the guy’s developing in his pitcher smarts….).  If you’re a patient player, like me, or at least have a long-term view, bite on Sheets, too much value to leave sitting there.  P.S. I own the man, so I’m not just hyping, I swear.

Dave: Chris Young- SP, Padres ADP 331.5          

Being 6’10”, you would figure that the guy hits his head enough.  Well Pujols doesn’t believe in such thing as “enough” so decided to smash Chris Young in the face with a line drive in 2008.  2009 brought more problems in the form of (the more baseball-relevant) arm troubles.  After offseason surgery, Young has looked solid this spring and is working on a new splitter.  Given the not-too-distant success of the Padres’ ace and a spacious park, 2010 should be a nice bounceback campaign.

Stash on the DL:

Dave: Erik Bedard- SP, Mariners ADP 232.12 

By now we get it: if Bedard is healthy, he puts up ace numbers.  But with only 164ip in the last 2 seasons and never over 200ip in a season, that is an IF.  If someone reaches because he thinks he’s getting 2007 Bedard minus 5 starts, let him go.  Otherwise, Bedard is worth targeting in the final rounds and stashing on the DL until further notice.

Dave: Edinson Volquez- SP, Reds ADP >500

Volquez is expected back soon after the break.  His 2008 was no fluke.  With his kind of stuff and ADP, how can you not take him in the last round and just stash him on the DL?


Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB