Mike Jacobs (KC 1B) hit his league leading 6th homerun of the spring. In addition he is tied with Josh Hamilton for the league lead in RBI with 17 while batting a robust .327. Fantasy Advice: Draft Jacobs late in drafts for his 30hr power potential.
Wilson Betemit and Josh Fields (CHW 3B), this is a situation worth monitoring because the winner is likely the starter for the Chi Sox. Both guys are having great springs batting .341 and .413 respectively. Betemit is actually only a year older than Fields at 27 years of age and has 6 hr this spring, twice as many as Fields. Fantasy Advice: It does seem Fields has the job but warrants a roster spot more in AL only leagues at this point. Monitor both individuals progress!
A couple young guys to keep an eye on are Billy Butler (.348 3hr), Adam Jones (.341 7sb) and Nelson Cruz (5hr .906SLG). All three are big time prospects who’s time may have arrived. I could see Butler pulling off a .300 85 20 90, Jones a .290 90 18 90 25 and Cruz .270 90 25 90 10 season this year. Fantasy Advice: Look for these guys late in drafts for cheap but productive alternatives to their older counterparts. All of them should be taken in 12 team roto mixed leagues.
Coco Crisp (KC cf) and Alexi Casilla (MIN 2B) are a couple of guys flying under the radar. Coco is having a great spring with 2hr 2sb .417 which are reminiscent of his Cleveland days (20/20 type player). He is guaranteed a starting gig in KC. Casilla offers decent SB potential toward the end of all drafts. He is a good hitter, who will hit toward the top of the Minnesota lineup, score runs and swipe about 20. Fantasy Advice: Both have larger mixed league potential.
What do Francisco Liriano and Zach Grienke have in common? They both have 19K through 21 IP this spring. The difference is Liriano has an era about 6 runs lower than Grienke. Grienke has been getting pounded, but don’t get scared away. Fantasy Advice: Take Liriano as 1 or 1A type guy and Grienke as a solid number 3 who has the potential to pitch like a #2.
A couple young guys to keep an eye on, none who have starting jobs as of right now are Clay Buchholz (BOS sp), Trevor Cahill (OAK sp) and Brett Anderson (OAK sp). They have era’s of 0.46, 3.94 and 2.25 respectively. Buchholz is the better strike out guy with 15 in 19IP but all could be very useful by years end. Fantasy Advice: Get these guys in keeper leagues and monitor their progress for this year, they could all make an impact.
John Lackey (ANA sp) has some discomfort in his elbow recently. This is a wait and see because Lackey insists he is ok, nothing like the injury last year. Fantasy Advice: If guys like Shields, Beckett, King Felix, Liriano or Chad Billingsley are on the board I would take them before Lackey. Let someone else deal with the injury, you can have a perfectly healthy pitcher with the same numbers.