Tag Archives: C

NL Roundup (4/28)

By nichols33

NL East:

Atlanta: Jo-Jo Reyes is struggling and Tommy Hanson has 29 Ks in 20.6 innings in AAA. If Hanson is available in your league, go get him. He could be a two start pitcher in week 5 if the Braves call him up.

Florida: Hanley Ramirez dodged a HUGE bullet on Monday night. He was hit in right hand by a John Maine pitch. At first I thought for sure it was broken but he was back on te bench, all smiles, a few innings later. X-Rays were negative and Ramirez will be back to mashing soon enough.

Matt Lindstrom has be horrendous and the WBC curse may be the cause. Lindstrom was injured during the WBC and has not been the same since. Leo Nunez would be the Marlins closer should Lindstrom lose the job. Neither warrant consideration in leagues of 12 teams and under.

New York: David Wright is struggling. He is striking out at an alarming rate. But there are signs he is about to bust out of his slump. He is starting to go the other way a bit more, hitting deep line drives to center. He just missing some pitches as well, fouling them off instead of putting them in play. Expect week 5 to be the start of this notorious slow starter’s MVP runner up season (Pujols might win the next 5 MVPs).

Philadelphia: Brad Lidge has a bum knee and Ryan Madsen got the save on Monday night. Watch this situation closely. The Phillies win a ton of games and will provide ample save opportunities for any closer.

Washington: Joe Beimel is going to be the closer when he comes off the DL next week. Joel Hanrahan has been the worst closer in baseball in this young season. The Nationals won’t get too many save opportunities for Beimel, but he’s worth a look in large leagues.

Don’t look now, but Adam Dunn has hit HRs in back-to-back games. This could be the start of a hot streak for Mr. Dunn where he hits 4 to 5 HRs in a week.

NL Central:

Cincinnati: Going into the season, the Reds looked to have one of the better starting rotations in the league. But so far they’ve been pretty erratic. Up until tonight’s start, Harang was the only one putting up consistent solid starts. Edison Volquez, Jonny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings has all had flashes of brilliance but also some flashes of Oliver Perez.

Chicago: Derrek Lee is done. He had a great career but he is done. He’s hit 8 HRs since last May. He has no power and is hitting .209 this year. If you own him, see if his name can get you anything for him. I don’t think you can name a starting 1B I would not trade him straight up for.

Houston: Jose Valverde is going on the DL and manager Cecil Cooper has said he’ll play the match-up game when choosing who will close games out while Valverde is out. LaTroy Hawkins may get some saves in the interim.

Milwaukee: Mike Cameron is on fire. Cameron is hitting .328 with 5 HRs and probably most telling 12 BBs to 13 Ks. Don’t expect this to last but see if you can ride him until he goes back to hitting .250 and striking out 3 times for every walk.

Pittsburgh: Did you know Freddy Sanchez was hitting .359?!?! Neither did I, that hasn’t to be the quietest .359 month I’ve ever seen. Sanchez is capable of winning a batting title so if you need average and runs and have plenty of power already in your lineup, Sanchez may be a nice fit.

St. Louis: Quick, who leads the NL in wins? Some of you might have guessed Chad Billingsly and you’d be correct, but how many of you said Joel Pineiro? Both Pineiro and Billingsly have started the season 4 and 0. Expect Billingsly to continue his dominance of the NL while Joel Pineiro should come back down to earth.

NL West:

Arizona: Ouch….Stephen Drew just hit the DL and news came out that Brandon Webb will not be ready for another 6 weeks. Drew is an early candidate for bust of the year. If you got him this year you got him early, let’s hope he gets healthy and continues to develop into one of the top offensive shortstops in baseball. As for Webb, MRIs have revealed no structural damage, just fluid in the shoulder. If you are a gambling fantasy player see if a frustrated owner will give you Webb for $0.25 on the dollar. 3 and 1/2 months of Webb could propel you to a championship.

Colorado: Ian Stewart has played 5 games at 2B. In some leagues that makes him 2B eligible and if Stewart can stay in the lineup day after day he could be a top 10 2B in mixed leagues.

Los Angeles: Andre Either is an on-base machine. He has a .429 OBP and is on pace to drive in 154 runs. Obviously he’ll cool down, but this 27 year old is taking the step!!

San Deigo: I’ve read a number of reports where people are alarmed at Chris Young’s radar gun readings. Last night he was consistently in the mid 80s topping out around 87 mph. News flash, that’s Chris Young. Yes he’s 6’10” but he’s never thrown hard. Young is a spot specialist and has 3 real good games this year and 2 blow ups including last nights 5 BB, 7 ER loss in Colorado. His two bad games have been in Philly and Denver. Young may be this year’s Wandy Rodriguez where you start him at home and avoid him on the road.

San Francisco: Pablo Sandoval has been behind the plate in Barry Zito’s last two starts. His bat is going to play much better at C when compared to 1B or 3B if he can get catcher eligibility.

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Filed under Injuries, NL News, Observations, Pickups, Prospects

NL Round Up

By nichols33

A quick trip around the National League team by team.

Oliver Perez (SP, NYM) Ollie is in the Mets doghouse after returning to the team from the WBC where he pitched horrible for Team Mexico. Mets coaches commented that he is “overweight” and did not do his conditioning during his time away froris m the team. Hopefully that explains his 6 BBs and 6 ERs yesterday.

Kenshin Kawakami (SP, ATL) The Japanese import got back on the mound yesterday and threw 5 innings of 1 hit, 1 ER ball. The injury scare appears to be behind him and Kawakami could be a very useful fantasy pitcher this season. Don’ t draft him as a starter but take a flyer on him for your bench.

Cameron Maybin (OF, FLA) Maybin is hitting .313 this spring and will hit leadoff for the Marlins. Spring stats normally are not indicative to how well a player is going to perform during the season but it is nice to see a kid of this talent having success against major league pitchers. A very nice sleeper in all leagues, but don’t be counting on him as a starter.

Jayson Werth (OF, PHI) It looks like Charlie Manuel likes Werth in the 5 spot in the lineup breaking up the left handed bats (Utley, Howard & Ibanez). This should create more RBI opportunities for Werth but also allow him to hit quasi-leadoff at least 50 times a game (after Howard homers) where he can get on and steal a bag.

Nick Johnson (1B, WAS) It appears as Nick Johnson will be starting regularly at 1B for the Nationals. He may be a nice pick up during the season but he should not be drafted in any league outside a NL only league. Dunn, Milledge and Dukes appear to be the OF with Willingham & Kearns on the outside looking in.

Ryan Braun (OF, MIL) The apparent minor injury Bruan suffered in the WBC looks like it could be something of concern. Braun is headed in for an MRI today after being pulled in the 4th inning yesterday for a pinch hitter. Bruan insists it’s nothing but the Brewers staff seems very concerned. Perhaps that is why Braunfell to me at pick #11 in a 5×5 league this past weekend. He should be a top 8 pick in all drafts even with this injury.

Jason Motte (RP, STL) Looks like Motte has a leg up on the competition for the closer role in St. Louis. Chris Perez has been injury and Motte has outperformed veteran Ryan Franklin thus far. If you take Motte in a draft take him after nearly all other closers are off the board. He may open the season as the closer but Perez will be given an opportunity at some point this season.

Andy LaRoche (3B, PIT) LaRoche will be the starting 3B for the Pirates this season and he is having a fine spring. The former Dodgers prospect is hitting .375 albeit mostly singles (13 singles, 2 HRs). He is a breakout candidate and should be stashed away on a bench in every league that has benches. Perhaps he is this year’s Carlos Quentin.

Kevin Gregg / Carlos Marmol (RP, CHC) The Cubs have yet to name a closer but are said to be close to a decision. Kevin Gregg has out pitched Marmol this year but it’s hard to ignore Gregg’s failures last season in Florida. If Gregg wins the job, it won’t be long before Marmol is given a shot. Fantasy wise, I would take Marmol but I’m seeing him go far to early in nearly every draft. He should be the 16th or 17th closer off the board, not the 10th.

Jonny Cueto (SP, CIN) Cueto threw 6 innings yesterday with 5 Ks and 0 ERs against a number of Red Sox starters. Cueto had an excellent spring last year andtook his lumps during the season. With a full year under his belt, expect better numbers from Cueto and draft him as your 4th starter at the earliest. He’d be a better gamble as your 5th.

Ivan Rodriguez (C, HOU) Don’t let Pudge’s torrid spring fool you. He had an outstanding spring last year hitting 6 HRs in the spring only to hit 7 HRs during the season. Rodriguez is nothing more than a backup catcher in the fantasy world and even then, you have better options (Napoli, Pierzynski, Navarro, Suzuki).

Kyle Blanks (1B/OF, SD) Did I read that right?!? The Padres are trying Kyle Blanks in the OF? This is a very large man who scouts have said may not even be able to play 1B and the Padres are trying him in the OF due to Adrian Gonzalez being comfortably set at 1B. While he may be relatively fast for a big man, don’t expect Blanks to find a permanent home in the OF. He may be San Diego’s 1B in the near future if the cost-cutting franchise decides to move Gonzalez. Blanks will probably have no fantasy value in 2009 but keep an eye on him for 2010.

Manny Ramirez (OF, LAD) Manny played the OF yesterday with no complications, he even man a slick play cutting off a ball before going to the wall holding the runner to a double rather than a would be triple. Manny will be ready when the season starts and will be an absolute monster when in the lineup. Manny should go late in the 2nd round or early in the 3rd in most drafts.

Ryan Spilborghs (OF, COL) Spilborghs appears to have the CF job in Colorado andis hitting .386 this spring with 5 SBs. He does not strike out and provides some speed that could be very useful to a fantasy team. Take a flyer on him late in the draft if you have a bench or a number of OF spots to fill in your starting lineup.

Matt Cain (SP, SF) Cain is really struggling this spring giving up 9 runs and 12 hits in his last 2 starts. Not that spring stats matter all that much to a guy that has a job but as you get closer to the start of the season you like to see young pitchers put together some solid starts especially when they disappointed as much as Cain did last year. Cain would be a solid 4th starter in most leagues but I’d be very nervous if he was my 3.

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Filed under Injuries, NL News

Injury Update

By mrcane and nichols33redcross

Do you have a draft this weekend? Don’t be the one to call out a guy that is out for the year or waste an early round pick on a pitcher that won’t pitch until June. Here is a rundown of the major injuries to impact fantasy baseball players heading into the 2009 season:

Catchers:

Joe Mauer – Kidney – Status: Late March

mrcane: Kidney, back, not really sure but the situation should be monitored closely.

nichols33: Watch this situation closely. The way the Twins are handling this makes me think that this is more serious they we may all know. I’ve already moved Mauer to 4th on my list behind McCann, Martin and Soto.

Jesus Flores – Elbow – Status: Mid March

mrcane: Should be ok to go.  Flores is an option for larger mixed leagues.

2nd Basemen:

Chase Utley – Hip – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Has been playing, a top 10 pick in my book.

nichols33: Hope that he slides in your draft due to injury concerns, he is money.

Dustin Pedroia – Oblique – Status: Late March

mrcane: Closely monitor the MVP’s progress, this can be a lingering issue.

nichols33: I already expected a bit of a letdown season for Pedroia and this just could be the start. Still a top 4 second baseman.

Shortstops:

Hanley Ramirez – Shoulder – Status: Day to day

mrcane: No worries, the number one pick in fantasy.

nichols33: #1 in my book

Julio Lugo – Knee – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Could permanently lose his job because of the surgery, waiver wire.

nichols33: shouldn’t be drafted unless it’s a Redsox only league

3rd Basemen:

Alex Rodriguez – Hip – Status: Early May at best

nichols33: ARod is already off his crutches and says he’s rehab is going great. If ARod is back sometime in early May, he is still a Top 4 3B. Only take Wright, Longoria and Ramirez over him.

Chipper Jones – Strained Oblique – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Same old story with Chipper, goes too early, draft at your own risk.

nichols33: Chipper will drive you nuts if you own him. He’ll miss games here and there. If you are in a daily line-up change league, you have to be on top of things everyday to ensure you play him when he plays and sit him when he sits. He is still probably the 5th best 3B.

Garret Atkins – Hip – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Atkins should be okay.

nichols33: Overrated clap clap clap clap clap. Overrated. Stewart has that job by the end of the year. Atkins is either at 1B or traded.

Troy Glaus – Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Same old story with Glaus, constantly dinged up.  Nothing unusual.

nichols33: not a bad late flyer. Stash him on your bench until he’s back then enjoy the dingers.

Outfielders:

Ryan Braun – Ribcage – Status: Day to Day

nichols33: Braun is staying with team USA who are fighting to make the semis of the WBC. The fact that he is staying with the team rather than going back to Brewer camp leads me to believe this is not serious at all. Braun is a top 10 pick in all leagues.

Manny Ramirez – Hamstring – Status: Late March

mrcane: We know how Manny injuries can linger, should not effect his draft status.

nichols33: Is this just the start of Manny being Manny? Agree with mrcane, still draft him in the 2nd/3rd round.

BJ Upton – Shoulder – Status: Early April

mrcane: Should only miss the first week, no concerns here.

nichols33: Be prepared in the early season with a good replacement.

Vlad Guerrero – Knee – Status: Mid March

nichols33: Vlad is having a tough spring. He’s aged one complete year, he’s had to shut it down for injury and he is a soon-to-be free agent in a horrible market for players. Slide Vlad down a few spots on your list but don’t get too carried away. When he plays…he hits.

Vernon Wells – Hamstring – Status: Late March

mrcane: The often injured centerfielder should be monitored.

nichols33: when he played last season, he hit. Just needs to stay on the field.

Garret Anderson – Calf – Status: Late March

mrcane: Should be a very minor injury.

nichols33: Should not be drafted unless you are in the deepest of NL only leagues. Platoon player along with Matt Diaz.

Eric Byrnes – Hamstring – Status: Day to day

mrcane: If Byrnes doesn’t have his legs then he has nothing.  Monitor progress.

nichols33: 4th OF in Arizona. Only useful in NL only leagues as a stash away and hope for injury guy.

DHs:

Hank Blalock – Quad – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Blalock has been designated to AL only leagues.  He won’t play a full season.

nichols33: Is getting drafting in every draft I’ve seen. Not a bad late round flyer but certainly don’t count on anything. Played well when he came back from injury the last few weeks of the season.

Starting Pitchers:

Johan Santana – Elbow – Status: Day to day

nichols33: It appears as though Santana is set to pitch on opening day (April 6th). The nightmare appears over for Mets fans and Johan owners. Johan should be one of the top three pitchers off the board along with Lincecum & Sabathia.

Cole Hamels – Elbow – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Went back to Philly for testing. Proved to be inflammation in his left elbow. No structural damage.

nichols33: Warning, warning, warning!! Even though this checks out OK, Cole will most likely be on the DL at some point this year. His increase in innings over ’07 and the fact that he pitched deep into the fall are red flags. Still a top 10 pitcher, just don’t be shocked to see him go down.

Ervin Santana – Elbow – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Not a good sign, draft a healthy arm and let someone else worry about Santana.

Erik Bedard – Glute – Status: Day to day

mrcane: I’m sticking by Bedard as a steal, don’t overpay, word is he’ll be ok.

nichols33: Seems to going right where I’d expect him to go in most drafts. Not a bad risk/reward guy as your #3 or #4. I’d prefer he my #4.

Max Scherzer – Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Very concerning, monitor closely, don’t waste a valuable pick.

Brandon Morrow – Forearm – Status: Late March

mrcane: Forearms never go away and many times lead to the elbow.  Be careful.

Randy Johnson – Bicep – Status: Day to Day

nichols33: Johnson’s Tuesday start is being skipped. Giants are saying this is just precautionary and no biggie. I like Johnson this year and if he can stay on the field he could be a very good 4. I appear to not be alone in that opinion as Johnson goes in most drafts earlier than expected.

Shawn Marcum – Elbow – Status: Out for Season

mrcane: No fantasy value

nichols33: I’ve seen this guy drafted twice now…….Don’t be that guy/girl

Jeff Francis – Shoulder – Status: Out for Season

mrcane: No fantasy value

Tim Hudson – Elbow – Status: Out until August

mrcane: No fantasy value

Ben Sheets – Elbow – Status: early June (free agent)

mrcane: Could be useful in larger AL only leagues.

Kelvin Escobar – Shoulder/calf – Status: Mid-May

mrcane: Monitor progress, useful in larger mixed leagues.

John Smoltz – Shoulder – Status: Mid May

mrcane: Mid may seems optimistic, AL only leagues.

Dustin McGowan – Shoulder – Status: Early May

mrcane: Shoulder injuries are difficult to come back from, don’t expect much from Dustin.

Justin Duchscherer – Elbow – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Stay clear of Duchscherer on draft day, the news keeps getting worse.

Jason Schmidt – Shoulder – Status: Start on 15 day DL

mrcane: No value in any format.

Tom Glavine – Elbow/Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Has little value when healthy except for larger NL only leagues.

Rich Hill – Elbow – Status: Late March

mrcane: Avoid in all formats.

Jeremy Bonderman – Shoulder – Status: Late March

mrcane: Bonderman should only be drafted in large AL only leagues.

Brad Penny – Shoulder – Status: Late March

mrcane: After being injured all of most of last year, monitor his progress.

Relief Pitchers:

Mariano Rivera – Shoulder – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Word is that Rivera will just fine. I’m a fan.

Matt Lindstrom – strained rotator cuff – Status: Shut down for 7 – 10 days

nichols33: Bad news for a possible sleeper for saves. Lindstrom, if healthy, will be the Marlins closer, but rotator cuff soreness for a power pitcher is never a good sign. Leo Nunez will be the closer until Lindstrom gets back. Only take Lindstrom after the other 20 or so closers that are guaranteed to have the job are off the board.

Joey Devine – Elbow – Status: Late March

mrcane: Should be closer with injury history should be ok.

Billy Wagner – Elbow – Status: out for the season

mrcane: No fantasy value

Chad Cordero – Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: My vote as the closer by the end of April, check the waiver wire.

Joel Zumaya – Shoulder, neck – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Lyons has the job and Zumaya is never healthy, avoid Zumaya.

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Filed under Injuries

Good News – Bad News 3/10

gnbn

By nichols33

Good News:
Bobby Crosby (SS/3B, OAK): 
Surprise, surprise, Eric Chavez is hurt. Chavez is out “for the time being” according to ESPN and Bobby Crosby will be filling in at 3B.  FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: With rumors surrounding Crosby being traded to the Yankees or Cardinals it looks like his best bet might be to stay in Oakland. Chavez can’t stay on the field and Crosby could be a useful player in AL only leagues as a 3B or a SS.

Pedro Martinez (SP, Free Agent): Pedro threw 3 innings of one hit ball on Saturday with 4 Ks versus the Netherlands in the WBC. He followed that up with 3 perfect innings tonight with 2 Ks. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Pedro is pitching for a job and his results in the WBC (Dominican Republic was eliminated tonight) probably secured him a spot on some major league roster. Depending on where he signs, Pedro is somebody to keep an eye on, especially if he signs with the Dodgers or Mets, both rumored suitors.

Francisco Liriano (SP, Twins): Liriano threw four perfect innings the other day improving his spring stats to 9 innings pitched, 2 ER, 7 Ks and 1 BB. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Liriano is showing he is healthy and has his command and can still be effective with a slightly slower fastball. His spring stats combined with the way he finished last season should erase all worries in prospective fantasy owners. He may never be the fantasy ace he once was, but he could very well be a very solid #2. Take him before Justin Verlander, Dice-K, Eric Bedard, Chien-ing Wang and Matt Garza among others.

Bad News:
Ervin Santana (SP, Angels):
 The LA Times reported today that Santana may miss the entire month of April with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is horrible news for a guy coming off a monster season. I had him ranked as the #17 Starting Pitcher before this news. He certainly needs to be moved down all lists and should not be considered until you have at least 3 other healthy options in your rotation.

Chipper Jones (3B, Braves): Chipper pulled his oblique muscle in WBC action this week. It does not appear too serious as he is staying with Team USA with hopes of playing in the next round. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Get used to this if you are going to be an owner of Larry. When he’s in the line-up Chipper is as good as they come at 3B minus the guys in the Big Apple. He can be absolutely maddening for leagues with weekly lineups….he could get hurt on Monday or Tuesday and you are playing a player short for that week. Chipper is my 5th 3B with Wright, Longoria, Ramirez and ARod being ahead of him. If you think ARod will be out longer than Mid-May and it’s not a keeper league, move Chipper to #4. I wouldn’t hold it against you if you passed on Chipper and took Adrian Beltre, Michael Young or Garrett Atkins with a later pick or less auction dollars.

Fausto Carmona (SP, Indians): Keith Law of ESPN.com  had a great note on Carmona today. He is throwing great out of the wind-up but as soon as he allows a base runner and has to throw from the stretch his fastball is elevated and he becomes far less effective. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Carmona still has plenty of time to refine his mechanics but this is some great data that you won’t see in the box scores this spring. Carmona had a dreadful season last year and he is a very nice bounce back candidate. Don’t buy too high on him. I have him as the #55 SP behind Scott Baker, Jered Weaver & Brandon Morrow and right ahead of Aaron Cook, Joe Saunders and Armando Galarraga.

Joe Mauer (C, Twins): Mauer’s back is acting up on him and he was going in for some magnetic tests that required him to be injected with dyes. He is out indefintely. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Mauer has had his fair share of injuries in his young career. Catcher is not a very forgiving position and it appears that Joe has a little “Mr. Glass” in him. A back injury is never good for a guy who makes his living with a bat. I immediately move him behind Russell Martin and Brian McCann and strongly consider Geovanny Soto over him until I hear some more news.

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Filed under Good News / Bad News, Injuries

“Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play”

By dtb23

 

In case you didn’t know, the name of this post was taken from the song lyrics of “Centerfield” released by John Fogerty in 1985. The front man from Creedence Clearwater Revival actually played every instrument on this album; thanks to a process know as overdubbing.

By now everyone has seen some sort of list that ranks the top prospects in baseball. These lists are great for keeper leagues and leagues with minor league systems, but what about non-keeper leagues? What good is a pitching phenom in single A going to do a fantasy team this year? The answer is nothing except eat up a valuable bench spot.

The purpose of this article is to identify some of the young players who will be on the field when their big league team opens the 2009 season. I’ve excluded guys like Evan Longoria, who has already reached superstar status, and Joey Votto, whose extremely impressive stats have him ranked among the best at his position. My list is more about the young players that may be overlooked on draft day but who could help pave the way to a fantasy payout at the end of the season.

Here goes;
C – Jesus Flores (Nationals)
Nobody f#cks with De Jesus! Sorry I had to throw that one in there for all of my fellow Lebowski lovers. Flores showed great potential last year when he drove in 59 runs in 300 at bats. Don’t expect him to keep up that pace in 2009 but he can be among the top 10 fantasy catchers.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE – He deserves to be in the second tier of catchers behind McCann, Mauer, Victor and Soto.

1B – Travis Ishikawa (Giants)
This smooth swinging lefty has Giants’ fans reminiscing about “Will the Thrill”. Ishikawa hit two HR’s in SF’s first spring game and recorded 24 long balls last year in the minors. Ishikawa was never considered an elite prospect but if he continues to exhibit HR power he will be a serviceable fantasy 1B.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE – Consider him a steady back up that you can take in the late rounds.

2B – Chris Getz (White Sox)
Getz is competing for the starting job in Chicago. He doesn’t have a whole lot of power but his high batting average could help him find his way to the top of the line-up where he should score some runs.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – At this point I would consider him equivalent to someone like Mark Ellis. He will be a decent starting 2B if he wins the starting job

SS – Alexei Ramirez (White Sox)
In my opinion this guy is already a star, but some casual baseball fans still don’t know who he is. His wirey frame and immense power remind me of Soriano.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Draft him in the mid rounds after Hanley, Reyes, JRoll and Drew.

3B – Ian Stewart (Rockies)
It seems like this guy has been around for a while now, but this is the first season where he will have a starting job. I think he is capable of hitting around .275 with 20+ HRs. He will need to avoid a slow start to ensure he doesn’t lose a starting position when Helton comes back
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Stewart could be a breakout performer at a fairly weak position. Draft him in the middle rounds and you can realistically expect him to finish in the top ten at his position.

OF – Travis Snider (Blue Jays)
This super prospect is expected to start in left field this year for the Blue Jays. He has incredible potential and could end up hitting in the middle of the line-up. Travis had an off year in AA in 2008, however 40% of his hits went for extra bases, which translates well into fantasy numbers.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Snider will be available in the very late rounds in most drafts. Select him with a late round pick and he could end up being one of your starting OFs once he gets past some of the growing pains of facing the best pitchers in the game.

OF – Cameron Maybin (Marlins)
This guy is unbelievable. He should have been the starting CF and lead off hitter for the Fish last year but the team opted to leave him in their minor league system. The few Marlins fans that actually show up to games are going to love young Mr. Maybin. He has all the tools and his potential is off the charts. He will be among the league leaders in steals this year and will put up great numbers in every fantasy category.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Don’t wait until the middle rounds to select Maybin or you will miss out on the Marlin’s next superstar.

OF – Jay Bruce (Reds)
This young slugger could potentially hit 30 HRs this year and he will be 22 on opening day! Jay has elite power and playing 82 games at the Great American Ballpark is a terrifying proposition for opposing pitchers.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE – Bruce is ready to break out in a major way. Consider his a top 25 fantasy OF who could be substantially better than that if he continues to improve.

Stay tuned and I will give you some of my young pitchers who could make a splash in the fantasy world….

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Damaged Goods, Buyer Beware

By dtb23

Q: What’s more frustrating than wasting a draft pick on an under performing player? 

A: Using that same pick on a player who is physically unable to take the field.

Injuries are a critical aspect of every fantasy league and can strongly influence a team’s position in the standings.  Every owner needs to take this into account when they are preparing for the draft as well as managing their team throughout the season. 

Freak injuries happen every year, like when Utley broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch.  All you can do in this instance is do what the Phillies did. Find the best replacement you can and try to tread water while you wait for your fantasy stud to return. 

Other injuries are more predictable.  Certain players have a higher risk of missing time than others.  The best way to avoid drafting damaged goods is to monitor your fantasy sources and check out the readily available injury reports.  Here are some players you may want to avoid on draft day or at least move them down a few spots on your draft board;

C – Jorge Posada – Jorge is recovering from rotator cuff surgery on his throwing arm. His status for opening day is uncertain but the 37 year old catcher is on the decline and his days as a top tier fantasy catcher are over.
1B – Nick Johnson – Larry Bowa’s nephew is a great contact hitter but he has only recorded 500 at bats once in his career. He is currently recovering from surgery on his wrist.
2B – Chase Utley – The Phil’s GM, Ruben Amaro Jr, is so pleased with Utley’s speed of recovery that he has publicly stated Chase may be able to play in a few spring training games. If Chase continues his current pace it should be safe to draft him as the #1 second baseman in all of baseball.
SS- Rafael Furcal – Back issues are scary because there is no telling when there may be a reoccurrence. The prospect is even worse for a player who relies so heavily on his speed.
3B – Eric Chavez – Too many injuries to list. This player should not be drafted in any league.
OF – Carlos Quentin – Wrist injuries can be devastating to a power hitter. Expect his numbers to suffer until he regains full confidence in his surgically repaired wrist.
OF – Gary Matthews Jr – The OF will definitely start the year on the DL and will most likely miss up to 8 weeks to start the year.
OF – Milton Bradley – It’s too bad this guy can’t stay healthy. He is coming off of a career year and now that he is wearing a Cubs uniform could mean even better numbers across the board. The fact that he has already missed games due to injuries does not sit well.

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