Tag Archives: Carlos Zambrano

Opening Day

by mrCane

One of the best day’s of the year, besides draft day of course, is baseball opening day.  It’s when fantasy owners finally get to the see rosters they’ve assembled put into action.  Some teams and players will get off to amazing starts while others will inch out of the gate.  Keep your emotions stable and enjoy the ride.  Here are just a couple of things to look for today, opening day.

Aaron Harang gets to take on Johan Santana and the NY Mets.  It will be interesting to see how Harang fares after his awful 2008 season.  On the other side, Johan is not pitching in nice weather right now.  I will be curious to see if the cold has any effect on his arm tightening up over the course of the game.  Remember that Johan did have elbow stiffness earlier this spring.  A couple other young players to watch are Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, who I predict will both struggle a great deal with Johan.  I think the mets take this one 4-2.

Cliff Lee is going to get pounded by the Texas Rangers.  Look for Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz to have big games.  Micheal Young is over at third base adding to his eligibility this year.  Let’s see how Travis Hafner responds to offseason shoulder surgery.  I predict Hafner hits less than 20hr, say 17 this year. 

Ricky Nolasco is going to have a day with the Washington Nationals.  The Nationals have far too many guys who whiff, most notably Adam Dunn.  Nolasco should strike out 9 while the Marlins kick this season off with a win.  Its time to Cameron Maybin excite fantasy managers across the nation.

Toronto and Detroit square off where Justin Verlander will no doubt lose to Roy Halladay.  I don’t like Verlander this year, not one bit.  There are about 40 or more pitchers I would take before him.  I think Verlander struggles to get through 5IP and then the Detroit bullpen gets lit up by the Toronto bats.

In a battle of Aces, King Felix duals Francisco Liriano with two teams who’s offenses need work.  I like the Twins in this, because they are at home and their team has the ability to manufacture runs when needed.  Twins take this one 3-2 on opening day.  I am curious to see who the Mariners send out to the mound in the 8th and 9th inning if they are ahead. 

Another battle of aces are Roy Oswalt and Carlos Zambrano.  I like the Cubs all the way in this one.  Lance Berkman is still struggling with his shoulder and without him in the lineup, its a different Astros team.  Soriano was red hot to end the spring and Oswalt got off to a slow start last year, it will be interesting to see what happens this year.

These are just some of the games that are going to be fun to watch in what should be another great fantasy baseball season.  Good luck to all!

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 1

By nichols33

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.darryl-strawberry

Team: Named after the great Darryl Strawberry

Draft Position (Typcial Serpentine Draft): 11th

Having the 11th pick I was hoping on scoring either Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Well, mrcane was sitting with the 6th pick and we all know he loves Rollins so he went #6. In position #9, dtb23 (a Phils fan) was ready to scoop up Utley but he went one pick earlier at #8. Since I really wanted a 2B or SS I was planning on taking Kinsler….but Ryan Braun fell into my lap at pick #11. I thought about Beltran for a brief moment but went with Braun.

Coming back at pick #20 I was hoping on Evan Longoria but he went a couple picks early so I kind of went a bit early on Dustin Pedroia but I wanted a top 3 2B or top 3 SS and this was my only chance.

Going into the 3rd round I was happy to see a number of SPs flying off the board as my strategy was to put off pitching until at least the 6th round. For my pick in the 3rd I was eyeing Carlos Quentin and Matt Kemp but both went before it got back to me. With Aramis Ramirez sitting on the board I ensured my team of having a strong infield by snagging him in that spot.

For the 4th round I had some power and a bit of speed in Pedroia but I was looking to get a speedster and was eyeing Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury. Crawford went 3 picks before me so I settled in with Ellsbury.

For the 5th round I really wanted Stephen Drew to fall to me. He went about 8 picks before it got to me so I passed on the temptation to take Rafeal Furcal and instead solidified some power with Adam Dunn. I would have taken Bobby Abreu but he went 5 picks earlier to mrcane. Victor Martinez was also a consideration but I figured I’d be able to get him next pick about 10 picks away.

Turns out I was wrong as VMart went to tallkid1 and I chose Carlos Delgado because 1Bs were flying off the board and he was the only one left that I would be happy on as my starter.

Heading into the 7th I really needed to take some pitching since I planned on starting that in the 6th. There was still a number of “aces” on the board (Billingsly, Lester, Shields, Zambrano, Liriano, Gallardo, and F. Hernadez) all of whom went before my pick. I then chose Scott Kazmir for his Ks and followed up with Josh Johnson for his upside in the 8th round.

9th round I continued my quest to fill out my staff by selecting Joba Chamberlain. I was scouting Brett Myers but he went 2 picks earlier which I was fine with since I got him in my points league draft on Saturday. I really like Myers this year.

For the 1oth I was going to take my 1st closer and planned on Brian Fuentes. Mike Scioscia loves giving save opportunities only to his closer and their style of play really sets up a number of close games  so I think Fuentes is in line for quite a few saves this year. He went 2 picks before me and I reluctantly selected Kerry Wood.

Wood and I have a history. During his prime when he was the next Roger Clemens I once traded Nomar Garciaparra for Wood and Barry Larkin in a keeper league.  Wood proceeded to tear ligaments in his elbow 2 months later and Nomar became one of the top fantasy players for the next few years while I sat with an aging Barry Larkin. I must say I’m not a big fan of Wood.

My next few picks I took Ryan Doumit (can’t believe he was still there in the 11th), Matt Capps (wanted to ensure I got 2 guys guaranteed the job), Lastings Milledge (still wish he was a Met, love his power/speed combo) and Oliver Perez in the 14th (Ks!!! and his inconsistency doesn’t hurt as much in a total year tally league like it does in a H2H league).

For the rest of the draft there was slim pickings so I wanted to focus on young upside guys and guys who may be under-valued due to previous injuries. In the 15th I took Jeremy Hermida (great spring, last chance for this one-time stud prospect). I then took Max Scherzer (upside!!) and Todd Helton (great spring, is his back OK?).

I still did not have a shortstop and guys I was targeting for late in the draft (Yunel Escobar, Elvis Andrus, Ryan Theriot) had just come off the board so I continued to punt that category and took Jason Kubel (full time DH in Min, 27 years old). In the 19th I finally took a SS with Christain Guzman over Khalil Greene because I needed the avg more than the power.

I rounded out my draft with Edwin Jackson of the Tigers. I love this guy this year as a sleeper and I’ve so far got him in all 3 drafts I’ve done. I plan on scoring him as well in my 4th and final draft tomorrow night.

Overall I think my team came out pretty good. I wanted a better ace and I think I abandoned stolen bases a bit too much after the Milledge pick but I can pick some SBs during the season. If Josh Johnson and Joba Chamberlain bust out into super stardom this season and Kazmir stays healthy, I will have a real good team and do Darryl Strawberry proud!!

Projected Finish*: 6th out of 15 (81 total points)

(R: 9, HR: 9, RBI: 5, SB: 5, BA: 10, W: 6, Sv: 9, K: 14, ERA: 9, WHIP: 5)

* 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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Overrated and Underrated in the draft.

By notebookguy

Every year there are players that go far too early in a draft and there are players that seem to slip too late.  This list will help you avoid the pitfalls of wasting a high pick on an overhyped player and help you find talented players  late in the draft. I’ve done hundreds of mock drafts this offseason, as my beyond patient girlfriend can begrudgingly attest to, and these are the overrated/undderrated players I’ve identified.

Talk of rounds picked in this article is based on a 5×5 15 team format.  I will give you an Average Draft Position of a player, this is the number pick the player goes at on average at a draft at mockdraftcentral.com.  Average Draft Position(ADP) Courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com.

Overrated:

Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers, ADP 11.53

He is an immensely talented player but injuries and off the field issues make him far too big a risk to spend your 1st round pick on.  He regularly goes ahead of great bats such as Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, and Lance Berkman in drafts and those players  have none of the headaches Hamilton brings to the table.  In the first round go safe, Hamilton’s upside is great, but you know you’ll get 1st round production out of those 3, you can’t say the same for Josh, you may, but why roll the dice?

Raul Ibanez, OF, Phillies, ADP 116.15

A late 7th/early 8th round pick in a 15 team draft for Raul Ibanez is not a good move for your team.  I understand that he is moving to the band box in Philly but he’s 37 years old, people don’t have huge years at 37 years old unless it’s chemically induced.  Also going to the NL eliminates the possibility of him DH’ing to give the legs a break, increasing the possibility of a DL stint, obviously his age plays into that as well.  He goes around the same time as guys like Johnny Damon, Torii Hunter, and Andre Ethier and goes at least a round before guys like Brad Hawpe, Jason Werth, and Pat Burrell.  All these players bring alot more to the table than Ibanez, let someone else make the mistake.

Miguel Tejeda, SS, Astros, ADP 116.43

I will not go anywhere near this guy at all, never mind in the 7th or 8th round.  An “alleged” roid guy, an old 32 years old, and his possible deportation for legal troubles mixed in with steadily declining numbers across the board for years render this former MVP undraftable in my book.

Joba Chamberlain, SP, Yankees, ADP 99.56

I think Joba has great potential, but some arm injuries very early in his career, probably due to being jerked between the pen and the rotation, make him extremely iffy to make 30 starts, I think he makes closer to 20.  A 20 start number 2 in your rotation isn’t going to help you win too many leagues.  He goes the same time as guys  like John Lackey and Felix Hernandez who are much safer bets and put up great numbers.  Joba goes ahead of guys like Dice, Lester, Zambrano, M. Cain, and J. Vazquez all starters you know you’ll get 30 starts out of with very good numbers, pass on Joba.

Rich Harden, SP, Cubs, ADP 119.8

Similar argument that I made for Joba except this guy has a much longer history of injuries making it more likely for that trend to continue.  The spot where he goes in the draft will likely make him the number 2 starter on a team, way too important a spot to take a risk on.

Underrated:

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox, ADP 59.21

Getting Ellsbury at the end of the 5th/beginning of the 6th round is an absolute steal.  Jacoby is Jose Reyes in CF.  A projected line of .290+ BA, 10-15 HR’s, 110+ R’s, 70+ RBI’s, 50+ SB’s is very reasonable and he may exceed those numbers.  I understand Reyes has the position advantage over Ellsbury but I think other than position, they’ll end up looking very similar.  Snag Ellsbury this year in the 3rd or 4th while you can, he’ll be a 1st or 2nd round pick next year.

Johnny Damon, OF, Yankees, ADP 114.13

The only Yankee OF of any worth this year is a great value in the 8th round.  He is the only OF in the Bronx that will get 550+ AB’s and he’s a consistent 5 category contributor.  His age is starting to factor in at 35 years old, but he’s averaged 560 AB’s over the last 3 years, going to the DL for the first time in his career last year, I think he’s got a year or 2 of good production left in him before he really starts breaking down.  He’s going to be hitting at the top of a very good lineup and has averaged .286, 18 HR’s, 71 RBI’s, 101 R’s, and 27 SB’s in pinstripes over the last 3 years.  Being a Sox fan, I don’t like the man personally, but you can’t ignore that type of 5 category production and Damon should be going earlier in the draft than he is.

Erik Bedard, SP, Mariners, ADP 179.6

Remember this guy?  Bedard was probably a top 5 pitcher on most lists this time last year, now he’s going in the late 12th/early 13th round of drafts.  I know missing last year is the cause of this and a shoulder injury is nothing to ignore, so be sure to keep an eye on him in Spring Training.  Reports so far are encouraging.  Keep this in mind:  13 W’s, 3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, with 221 K’s all in the AL East in 2007, a great year for a pitcher in a bear of a division.  Well worth a shot as a number 3 or 4 starter, but know the risks and pay attention to his Spring.  You could get an ace in the 2nd half of your draft.

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Mariners, ADP 201.01

Now I realize the chemically induced Dodger year is far behind Beltre but he is an absolute bargain at 3B in the 14th round.  Beltre regularly goes 100+ picks after Aubrey Huff, Ryan Zimmerman, and Edwin Encarnacion, he is more than capable of matching the numbers of these players 6+ rounds after they come off the board.  Don’t forget that Beltre is in his free agent year, his other walk year he was an MVP candidate, don’t expect those numbers, but a line of .270, 25 HR’s, 90 R’s, 100 RBI’s, and 10 SB’s is attainable.

Chien-Ming Wang, SP, Yankees, ADP 218.6

The 15th round is far too late for the Yankees number 2 starter to go in the draft.  He is not going to give you big K numbers but 18 W’s, sub 4 ERA, and a good WHIP make him very valuable.  I expect his K’s to keep moving up as well.  His injury was a broken foot which is fully healed and he’s looked good so far this spring.  Scoop him up as your 4th starter and get 2nd starter production.

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