Tag Archives: Brian Roberts

AL at a Glance 4/9

by mrCane

Before we start this, I want to point out that everything we know can end without warning.  Nick Adenhart, a 22 year old pitcher from the Anaheim Angels was killed this morning when his car was struck by a van.  I obviously don’t know Nick, his friends, his family but want to acknowledge the tradgedy of what took place.  No one deserves to pass at the age of 22.

So far in this young season there have some performers who have stood out.  Many are people you would expect by their draft position, others are nice surprises.  Some we can expect this trend to continue, while others are much less likely to continue with their current performance.

Adam Lind has 2 HR including his 6rbi game against Detroit.  He is a kid I expect will continue his current trend, though not at this pace.  Two Detroit pitchers, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, have had very similar results.  The difference between the two is many owners drafted Verlander as a top 40 pitcher while Porcello in any league but a keeper probably went undrafted.  Fantasy Advice:  Ride the Lind wave, I feel like he is going to have a very good year; say 20hr 85rbi.  Verlander you should dump and get as much as you can from any owner willing to pay for the name.  Porcello is a guy strictly for keepers as he plays on a team with an awful bullpen.

Most of the Minnesota pitching staff has been medicore, which is suprising because they were at home against a lowly Mariners offense.  Glen Perkins was the one exception going 8IP 1ER.  Brandon Morrow finally got his first save of the year after his loss of control in his first appearance.  Fantasy Advice:  I like all the Minnesota pitchers, mostly for matchups.  Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey are all guys I start every week.  Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn are decent larger mixed league options for the right match up.

A couple things I want to point out from the Orioles verse Yankees series.  An offense of Brian Robers, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff will cause fits for many of the teams in the AL EAST, and this is without Matt Wieters who hasn’t been called up yet.   Adam Jones in particular looked good, driving the ball to right center off Sabathia.  While CC looked bad, AJ Burnett was able to be quite effective going 51/3 IP with 6 strike outs.  The notoriously slow starters Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira both homered.  Nick Swisher even got the start and took advantage with a home run of his own.  Fantasy Advice:  Jump on the Jones bandwagon, I have been since spring training.  He will be 20/20 this year.  Be patient with CC but Burnett is a guy I never like on my team, deal him after a few good outings and avoid the DL stint.

Tampa Bay pitchers Matt Garza and Scott Kazmir looked great against the Red Sox.  With James Shields Tampa has 3 top 30 starting pitchers.  Throw in the ever steady Andy Sonnanstine and David Price waiting in the wings; Tampa has the horses to repeat as Division champs.  David Ortiz performance thus far is discouraging, even with the very small sample size.  The Red Sox and fantasy homers need Big Papi to approach 30hr this year to justify his draft day value.  Fantasy Advice:  Look for a guy like Garza, you might be able to still get him cheap, you won’t in a couple weeks.  If you can get some name recognition from a Big Papi fan, deal the slugger away.  It kills me as a sox fan but I think Ortiz is only good for 25hr this year, not worth his draft day price.

Kyle Davies was a source of hype as a sleeper pitcher and he lived up to that bill in his first start.  Unfortunately he was matched pitch by pitch by John Danks.  Jim Thome was a slugger I targeted late on draft day.  I feel Thome is a lock for 30hr with the possibilty of hitting more depending on his health.  The Royals pitching with Meche, Grienke and Davies is actually a formidable 1, 2, 3 combination with a closer to slam the door.  Fantasy Advice:  Danks I like to be a top 35 pitcher by years end and Davies seems like a viable larger mix league option now. 

The Cleveland Indians will not win the AL Central.  They don’t have the pitching to pull it off.  Carl Pavano is their third starter and Cliff Lee will regress from last years stellar performance.  Their offense is good, evidence by Grady Sizemores 2 hr game, but not great with lots of guys who strike out.  Kevin Millwood looked good in his first outing and has an offense to back him up.  Nelson Cruz is on the board with a 2 hr game, he may have finally arrived.  Fantasy Advice:  Sell sell sell Cliff Lee if you can, while I don’t think is as bad as his first start, I do see a 4 ERA and 12 wins, not what you expect if you draft him as your number 1 pitcher.  Kelly Shoppach is the guy behind the plate, check your waiver wire for a 20hr catcher. 

It didn’t take long for Brian Fuentes to raise doubts about his ability to close games in the AL.  With two great arms in back of him (Jose Arredondo, Scott Shields) he won’t have much of a leash with Mike Scioscia.  Oaklands young guns, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson, are both in the starting rotation and Brad Ziegler is the closer with Joey Devine out of the picture and in Dr. Andrews office.  Fantasy Advice:  I’m not sold on Fuentes, if you have a spot on your bench I would grab Arredondo.  Stay away from the young Oakland pitchers, though they will have good outings, they will be inconsistent and frustrating.

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 2

By tallkid1

If you have read the “About Us” page on this blog you know that we are 5 guys that have been doing fantasy baseball together for over 10 years and this weekend was a BIG weekend. Saturday was a 12 team H2H points league draft that all 5 of us participated in and Sunday was a 15 team 5×5 Rotisserie league that all 5 of us participated in.

Since the H2H points league is a keeper league that allows draft pick trading it would be tough to explain why we did things where since each team had vastly different situations on draft day. But….the 5×5 draft was a start from scratch 5×5 league with 20 rosters spots where everybody starts. Over the next few days each of us will give a recap of our draft and hopefully provide some insight on what we were thinking and how it all panned out.

Team: Side Burns

Draft Position (Typical Serpentine Draft): 14th

I had the 14th pick in a 15 team league in a snake draft. Not the ideal spot since I miss out on the all of the elite players like Hanley, Pujols and Wright but but ok because I get two of the top 17 picks. I ended up getting Carlos Beltran at pick 14 which I was happy about because of his five category abilities and consistency over the past few years. Then at pick 17 I passed on Matt Holliday and Evan Longoria and grabbed Justin Morneau as I felt he was the safer pick.

I wanted a top 10 pitcher so I grabbed Roy Oswalt (ranked exactly 10th on my list) at the end of the third round and then I took Carl Crawford at the top of the fourth round because I felt he was the best player available (I had been hoping for Brian Roberts but he went a few picks earlier).

At this point I had two outfielders, a first basemen and a starting pitcher so I felt the need to start filling in the infield with solid players (especially since it’s a 15 team league). I took VMart in the 5th, Cano in the 6th and Peralta in the 7th.

In the 8th I grabbed Dice-K but I somewhat regret that pick as Adrian Beltre was still on the board and there were other pitchers like Matt Cain, Jared Weaver, Javier Vazquez and Ted Lilly that I could have drafted in the 9th or 10th round. In fact, I did pick Vazquez in the 9th to round out my third starter behind Oswalt and Dice-k. I then made another pick I wasn’t too happy with taking Brian Fuentes in the 11th. I typically follow the theory that you should punt closers because they tend to be very unstable outside of the top five or so but I panicked and drafted one because there had been a run.

Looking at my team at this point I felt good about pitching but I felt my offense, while mostly balanced, was short on power. So I took Rick Ankiel in the 12th thinking he can add 25+ HR as my 3rd OF. Then I went for the remaining 3B in Alex Gordon and Mike Lowell to fill that position, an obvious weak spot on my team unless Gordon really breaks out or Lowell somehow returns to 2007 form – with either scenario unlikely.

From here on out I wanted to add depth with balanced players that wouldn’t hurt me in any major category so I drafted Casey Kotchman, Scott Baker, Kyle Lohse and Jeff Francouer. Then I rounded out the draft with a few gambles on young players – Brandon Wood, Chris Perez and Matt LaPorta hoping either would break camp with starting spots, if not it’s waiver wire time.

Overall I have a pretty balanced team with Beltran, Crawford, Morneau and Oswalt leading the pack as players who can help in several categories. However I jumped the gun and left myself hanging at 3B (a shallow position I blogged about!). The bottom line is that you can build a solid team even with such a late pick in a 15 team league.

Projected Finish*: 14th out of 15 (68 total points)

(R: 10, HR: 10, RBI: 15, SB: 3, BA: 9, W: 4, Sv: 5, K: 2, ERA: 3, WHIP: 7)

* Based on Sportsline.com projections

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Overrated and Underrated Part Deux.

by notebookguy

Here’s a look at some more guys that are going too early in drafts and guys that are hanging around too long in the draft.
As always Average Draft Position(ADP) courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com and all round estimates are based on a 5×5, 15 team league.

Overrated

Carl Crawford, OF, Rays, ADP 29.3
His 3 year averages of .300 BA, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 84 R, and 44 SB are nice numbers but he has been consistently declining since 2006 with his OPS going from .830 in 2006 to .719 in 2008. A one hundred plus point drop in OPS is alarming, even more so when the player was quoted last year as saying he felt like “the oldest 27 year old ever”. Not exactly an encouraging quote from a guy you are gonna’ be relying on for SB’s. He goes nearly a round before Brian Roberts, Matt Kemp, and Alex Rios and 2 rounds ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino I’d rather wait and take any one of these players. Use that 2nd or 3rd round pick on a big bat or a big time ace then grab a player that will be as good or better than Crawford a round or two later.

All Closers

I can not stress this enough.  They are one category players.  Papelbon, Lidge, K-Rod, and Nathan all are usually off the board in the draft in the 5th or 6th round, that is a wasted pick.  You can not pass on a player that helps you in 4 or 5 categories for a guy that is a one category specialist.  If you have a choice between Papelbon and Dan Haren, take Dan Haren.  Brad Lidge and Magglio Ordonez, take Magglio Ordonez.  There is a popular misconception out there that closers help you in WHIP and ERA as well, it’s a myth.  Most leagues require 900 IP as a minimum.  A closer pitches 60 innings, that is 7% of the MINIMUM IP, most teams exceed that number so it’s even less a percentage than that.  This will have a very minimal affect on a teams WHIP and ERA.  Another mark against closers is that a third of the closers that start the year as their teams closers don’t end the year as their teams closers.  That’s an awful lot of volatility for one category.  Now I’m not saying punt the category, you never want to punt a category, I’m saying be patient, you’ll be able to get saves late in the draft and off the waiver wire once closers start imploding.

Derrek Lee, 1B, Cubs, ADP 73.63

.301 BA, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 71 R, 7 SB is his 3 year average.  Now I really shouldn’t need to say more, but just in case you don’t understand why that’s not worth a 5th or 6th round pick, I’ll expound.  Those numbers look eerily similar to players like James Loney(ADP 96.45), Conor Jackson(205.72), and Carlos Guillen(226.31) who all go MUCH later than D. Lee.  That 2005 MVP caliber season is a distant memory, do not trick yourself into thinking he may rebound into that type of player again, not going to happen.  He is 33 years old this season, an age when a player starts exiting his prime, it could get worse from here.  Let someone else pay for the name.

AJ Burnett, SP, Yankees, ADP 99.33

This is a man who loves to get paid, not play baseball.  Burnett’s two best seasons have just so happened to be the years he could hit the free agent market 2005 and 2008.  In Burnett’s six other full seasons since 2001 he has averaged just under 21 starts a season.  So outside of the 2 years he was looking at a big pay day he’s missed a third of his starts in those 6 seasons.  The Yankees were foolish to give him a 5 year 83 million dollar deal and you’d be foolish to take him as your ace or 2nd starter in the 7th round.  He is going to sit back, get out there when he feels like it, collect his checks, and be Carl Pavano: The Sequel.  He goes ahead of solid starting pitchers that will get you 30 starts with real good numbers like Jon Lester, C. Zambrano, M. Cain, Dice K, D. Lowe, and Javier Vazquez; inury/bounce back candidates Justin Verlander, Yovani Gallardo, Adam Wainwright, Br. Myers, A. Harang, and C. Young(Pads); and youngsters that may take another step up Edinson Volquez, R. Nolaso, and Greinke.  I recommend all these starters over AJ Burnett.

Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels, ADP 124.41

Now a 9th round pick may not sound like much but this part of the draft is crucial, you can’t afford to give away a pick like this.  Anyone can pick pick productive players early in a draft, it’s getting impact players in the 9th-17th rounds that make a draft.  Howie Kendrick is the furthest thing from an impact player.  A 3 year average of .306 BA, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 41 R, and 7 SB, averaging 315 AB’s per season.  Do you really want to take a 2B that plays half of a season with unimpressive numbers in the 9th round?  Wait 100+ plus picks and take Polanco(ADP 229.96), Weeks(ADP 233.36), M. Ellis(ADP 256.36), O. Hudson(ADP 275.91), or Akinori Iwamura(ADP 284.31).  These players will give you more than Kendrick and are more likely to stay healthy, though Ellis and Weeks have had their health troubles, you can afford that risk in the 15th or 16th round, not the 9th.

Underrated

Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins, ADP 264.2

This speedy prospect is set to be the Marlins CF and leadoff hitter on opening day this year, with the clear #1 pick in this years drafts Hanley Ramirez moving to 3rd in the lineup.  While I agree the move in the lineup is clearly due to Hanley’s RBI potential in the 3 spot, it also shows the Marlins confidence that Maybin can handle the leadoff duties at the major league level.  He will struggle, as most rookies do, with batting average as well as overall consistency, but Maybin can be a great SB and R source and can be had in the 18th round.  30+ SB’s that late is a steal on it’s own, combine that with Maybins overall offensive upside and you will have yourself a gem for one of your last picks.

Rick Ankiel, OF, Cardinals, ADP 221.12

Ankiel does come with injury risks, but the 15th round is a great time to be taking those types of risks.  Ankiel is the starting pitcher turned OF that slugged 25 HR’s in just 413 AB’s last year.  He is smack in the middle of the prime of his career and if he can reach the 500 AB plateau he will hit 30+ HR’s.  Finding a 30 HR bat at this point of the draft is grand theft, snag Ankiel around the 14th or 15th round and possibly get top 25 OF production.

Conor Jackson, 1b/OF, Diamondbacks, ADP 205.72

The Diamondbacks number 3 hitter this year will be Conor Jackson.  A line of .300 BA, 15-20 HR’s, 100 R’s, 100 RBI’s, and 10 SB’s is very atainable hitting in the middle of that lineup in a hitter friendly park.  Jackson will be 26 this season, just entering his prime, is ready to take his game to another level, don’t miss the boat.  He can be had for a 13th or 14th round pick and will far outproduce that spot.

Ted Lilly, SP, Cubs, ADP 199.79

This lefthander is as steady a SP as you’re going to find, how does he go in the 14th round on a regular basis?  He has averaged 16 W, 173 K, 4.07 ERA, and a 1.29 WHIP, that is solid 4 category production.  Injuries are not a concern either as he has averaged 33 starts a season for the last 3 years.  He is 33 years old so don’t expect him to exceed these numbers, but you can expect more of the same steady production for the next few years.  Grab him in the 12th or 13th round as your 4th starter and get borderline 2nd starter stats.

Aaron Harang, SP, Reds, ADP 158.91

Bounce back special on the big right hander this year.  From 2005-2007 Harang was one of the top pichers in the game averaging  14 W, 199 K, 3.78 ERA, and a 1.23 WHIP, great 4 category production.  I give him a mulligan for last year due to injury, he’s 30 years old in his prime, he will bounce back fine.  Grab him in the 9th or 10th round and get borderline ace production.

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Good News – Bad News 3/4

By nichols33

gnbnGood News:
Manny Ramirez: Scott Boras and Manny have worked out a deal with the Dodgers. It appears to be for 2 years with an opt-out clause after the first year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is great news for Manny owners in keeper leagues. Manny is a fantasy stud and one of the top OFs on all lists.

Clay Buchholz & Justin Masterson: Brad Penny is having shoulder issues, which should not shock anybody. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Penny isn’t ready to go when the season starts, Masterson or Buchholz will most likely be the 5th starter. Each have huge upside if they have a spot in the rotation.

Jeremy Hermida: Herminda is hitting .416 this spring with 3 HRs. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: People have been waiting for this talented OF to bust out and become a fantasy stud. Although his results have not caught up to his talent, he is still only 25 years old. He could be a huge find on draft day.

Robinson Cano: Off to a torid start this spring hitting .556 with 10 total bases in 4 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Cano was a disappointment last year with many expecting him to be a top 3 2B. Fantasy experts are quick to point out that if you removed his slow start in April last year he had a pretty good year. I like Cano this year but I will take Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia, Roberts & Phillips over him.

Joey Votto: The 25 year-old 1B for the Reds is making a statement early in the spring. He’s hitting .538 with 2 HRs thus far through 5 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Most people are not aware of the numbers Votto put up last year. He hit .296, 24 HRs, 84 RBIs and stole 7 bases. At 25, this kid is about to bust out. At the end of this year he will be a top 6 1B, maybe crack the top 5. Don’t be the last to know about this future stud.

Bad News:
Juan Pierre:
With Manny signing on again in LA, Pierre is back to being a 4th OF. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Manny, Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier will get the bulkload of the playing time leaving Juan Pierre virtually useless in all fantasy leagues. Unless one of the other 3 get injured or the NL installs the DH, do not go near Mr. Moustache.

Alex Rodriguez: Arod WBC stint is in jeopardy with news about a sore hip. Word is that Arod has a cyst in his hip that is causing the stiffness. Joe Girardi said that this problem goes back to last year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Arod had this problem last year it doesn’t look like this cyst will impede his performance too much. I have Wright #1 at 3B, if you have Arod, you may want to make the swap, but I wouldn’t let this news change your thoughts on Arod all that much.

Bobby Crosby: Orlando Cabrera signed a one year deal with Oakland this week moving Crosby into what the A’s are calling a “super utility role.” FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Crosby’s performance in recent years should show you he warrants little to no consideration outside of AL only leagues. With this news, drafting him in AL only leagues would be a mistake.

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