Tag Archives: Billy Butler

Diamonds in the Rough – Fantasy Sleepers

by mrCane

Before the draft there is always talk about sleepers.  This year guys like Nelson Cruz, Chris Volstad and Josh Johnson come to mind.  Now that we are in week two many owners will go into panic mode, cutting guys they had previously thought so highly about.  In many roto leagues it is difficult to understand your teams weaknesses until the first month is complete (assuming its not H2H).  Its ok to make some adjusments before then, but waiving guys simply because they are batting .200 is unjust.  If this same hitter was playing well and went into a 2 week slump but it was June, you would never think twice about keeping them.  Here are some names who have recently been cut, and might be your Diamond in the Rough.

Kelly Shoppach/Ramon Hernandez – Both catchers coming into the year were seen as sleepers.  With Shoppach now in an opportunity to surpass last years AB’s, 20 hr is still a reasonable expectation.  Hernandez playing in that little league park in Cincy should be able to hit just under 20hr.  Now neither player is going to crack to the top tier, but in virtually all leagues, both guys should be owned.

Chien-Ming Wang –  I think people forget that Wang had a major foot injury and didn’t pitch for quite a long time.  I’m not the biggest Wang fan because of his lack of K’s but he should be owned in all AL-only leagues and deeper mixed (say 12 teams or bigger).  If you recall, in 2007 Wang had an ERA north of 5.00 for the month of April.  He finished the season with 19 wins and a 3.70 era. 

John Maine – Maine didn’t come into the season as hyped as last season, but people were optimistic he could be a servicable 3rd or 4th starter depending on the league.  He still has nice strikeout potential, and in match ups (assuming you have a bench) could be more valuable.  Two very important points about Maine; good offense, great bullpen equals wins.

Billy Butler/Pablo Sandoval  – Both of these portly men have been declared by many minds as very good hitters.  One NL scout said Sandoval could flat out hit.  Butler is a little different because he has played this tune before.  No matter how disappointing the first week is, these guys don’t get cut.  Both should hit about .285 reach 15hr and drive in 80 rbi.

These are just a couple names, and there could be others.  In a 15 team mixed league I’m in one owner cut Kelly Johnson the second day of the season.  Keep your eyes open on the waiver wire for players who can help your team.  Chances are if you liked them a couple weeks ago, you should give them a chance to prove their worth.

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AL at a Glance

by mrCane

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.

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Filed under AL at a Glance, Uncategorized

Spend Your Money Wisely

by mrCane

The idea of every draft is to get players at optimum value.  You don’t want to draft a player too soon.  You don’t want to waste a 2nd round pick on a guy you can grab in the 4th round.  Many times while drafting you begin to notice that the position is becoming vacant.  The top guys are going off the board, your pick is coming up and because all the magazines have Mr.X rated high you reach and take him while gritting your teeth.  In this list I’ve included there are guys with some counterparts at their positions and the recent ADP(Average Draft Position).  You can be the judge of who you want and what your willing to pay for the player.

C  Ramon Hernandez, ADP 277 vs Ryan Doumitt ADP 140     What this says is if you wait over 100 spots you could have the exact same stats for much cheaper.  Doumitt had some great hot streaks last year and has climbed the rankings because of the success.  But, Hernandez should match him in every offensive category so why pay extra?

1B  Billy Butler, ADP 246  vs  James Loney,  ADP  125     Loney has proved himself a little more but tops out at about 20hr.  Both guys will hit for the same average but Butler has the ability to hit for more power, as he did in the minors.  Butler has great plate discipline and its only a matter of time.  After the big dogs are gone at first take a careful look at what Loney can give you and ask yourself if its worth it?

2B  Aaron Hill, ADP 301  vs  Robinson Cano, ADP 97     Even after a huge bust of a season last year Cano is still top 100?  He doesn’t hit for power, doesn’t steal bases and proved he is capable of batting under .300.  He has always struck out a lot and continues to be drafted high.  Hill, if recovered from post concussion syndrome, is capable of a 20 hr season; 200 picks later!  Just monitor his health.

3B  Brandon Wood, ADP 332  vs Edwin Encarnacion, ADP 163     Ok, so Wood hasn’t panned out yet, well that is going to change.  If he bats .250 with 25hr isn’t that the same as Edwin?  For half the price? 

ss  Michael Young, ADP 98 vs  Derek Jeter, ADP 71   This isn’t a huge gap but because it is so early in the draft it is imperative to get these picks right.  These guys have the exact same numbers!  But Jeter is about two rounds earlier?  Jeter is a big household name, but average in the world of fantasy.

OF  Chase Headley, ADP 331 vs  Justin Upton, ADP 181    Another case of a big time name getting in the way of what actually happens on the field.  What is going to happen, their numbers will be the same.  Headley was a monster prospect that everyone has somehow forgot about this year.

OF  Adam Jones, ADP 266  vs  Andre Ethier, ADP 133     I’ll put it in very simple terms, Jones is better.  There, I said it.  He will have just as many homers, about 25 more SB and the other numbers should be about the same.  Why double the price?

OF  Fred Lewis, ADP 310  vs  David DeJesus, ADP 180  Here is another head scratcher, Lewis has better numbers.  The only difference between these two guys is Lewis will steal more bases.

SP  Chris Volstad, ADP 260  vs  Fausto Carmona, ADP 164     Fausto had a big year a two years ago.  Last year he was injured so he gets a pass.  But, regardless of the injury these guys are clones.  Non-strike out pitchers who will have good ERA’s.  One you pay for some name recognition, the other you don’t.

RP  Joel Hanranhan, ADP 282  vs  Brian Wilson, ADP 140      Why anyone would draft a closer with a near 5 ERA that high is beyond my thinking.  Joel is going to have a better ERA and more K’s than Wilson.  I know in a 5×5 those innings aren’t so great where the ERA hurts you, but whats better, a 4.00 or a 5.00?

How are you going to spend your money when it’s crunch time?

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