Tag Archives: Chien-Ming Wang

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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David Wright versus Evan Longoria

by mrCane

Only one week into the season I would like to raise a point that we may be looking at a changing of the guard in the 3rd base position.  Not that it would be dramatic, but it would definately benefit owners who took Longoria about 15-20 picks later than Wright.

What they both offer in real life is great defense, good character, young, athletic and talented.  In the world of fantasy we have two guys with very similar numbers.  Power – I would give the nod to Longoria.  With 27 bombs in 4 months last year he displayed what he is capable of on the Major League level.   Speed – This goes to Wright who should steal 5-10 more bases annually than Longoria.  Average – This goes to Wright, only because Longoria has yet to bat .300 in the Majors, but I do feel this gap will close rapidly.  RBI and RS – I would have to call a draw because they both hit on good teams in similar spots of the lineup. 

Ultimately the decision comes down to HR and SB, who offers more.  My intuition tells me that by year ends their numbers will look something like this

Longoria  .292  36hr 104rs  117rbi  9sb  Wright .307  27hr  108rs 113rbi  17sb  With numbers like these the slight bump goes toward David Wright and his +8sb.  If that gap were to close to say 5sb then my edge goes toward Longoria.

For what its worth, right now I would trade Longoria to acquire David Wright straight up.  My reason being that Wright has better numbers left and Longoria will not continue at a pace of 145hr.  No matter who you choose, you won’t be wrong.

In other news….

  • Elijah Dukes now has a starting position in Washington.  His combination of speed and power makes him an intriguing pick up in roto formats.  With the addition of Dukes comes the subtraction of Lastings Milledge who was sent to the minors.
  • Ryan Franklin closed the game last night and its likely he is going to get some opportunities in St. Louis.  If your looking for saves, he could be a nice pick up.
  • Jon Lester took another beating last night at the hands of Oakland.  Pitchers usually take longer to shake the cobwebs than batters do.  If you can you might want to bench him next start until he rights the ship; but you always run the risk of missing a gem.
  • Some other pitchers who had rough outings are Randy Johnson and Chien-Ming Wang.  In fact neither has thrown well since the season started.  It’s not time to throw the towel in, but monitor progress.  It should be noted that Wang is down 6mph on his power sinker.
  • I recently added Dexter Fowler in a 15 team no bench roto league, and I’m excited about that pick up.  First, I don’t see Seth Smith holding Fowler off for playing time.  Second, Fowler has batted leadoff for the Rockies, can run and has a little pop.
  • Josh Johnson is rewarding owners who drafted him as a 3rd starter with ace numbers.  I for one feel that Johnson will be excellent all year and if someone wants to sell high, this is a guy you can buy because his stats wont sink.
  • Mark Teixeira missed another game and could be in danger of landing on the DL.  Wrists are tricky business, just ask Derrek Lee, Nomar Garciapara and Big Papi all good hitters who suffered a major wrist injury.  Right now Tex doesn’t have a major injury and a DL stint may help to keep it that way.

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Week 2 Two Start Pitchers

By nichols33

For those of you planning your lineups in leagues where you set your lineup on a weekly basis (Mon to Sun), here are the two start pitchers for next week (April 13th to the 19th):

Must Starts: Scott Kazmir (vs NYY; vs CHW), Jon Lester (@ Oak; vs Bal), Chad Billingsly (vs SF; vs Col), Yovani Gallardo (vs Cin; @ NYM), Edinson Volquez (@ Mil; @ Hou), A.J. Burnett (@TB; vs Cle), Zack Greinke (vs Cle; @ Tex), Gavin Floyd (@ Det; @ TB), Ted Lilly (vs Col; vs StL), Chris Carpenter (@ Ari; @ ChC), Javier Vazquez (vs Fla; @ Pit), Kevin Slowey (vs Tor; vs Ana), Mike Pelfrey (vs SD; vs Mil)

Start under most circumstances: Chien-Ming Wang (@TB; vs Cle), John Danks (@ Det; @ TB), Matt Garza (vs NYY; vs ChW), Ubaldo Jimenez (@ ChC; @ LAD), Randy Johnson (@ LAD; vs Ari), Chris Volstad (@ Atl; @ Was), Kyle Davies (vs Cle; @ Tex), Glen Perkins (vs Tor; vs Ana)

Worth a gamble if you need a 5th starter for the week: Max Scherzer (vs StL; @ SF), Jamie Moyer (@ Was; vs SD), Vicente Padilla (vs Bal; vs KC), Zach Duke (vs Hou; vs Atl)

Seek better options: Fausto Carmona (@ KC; @ NYY), Koji Uehara (@ Tex; @ Bos), Jesse Litsch (@ Min; vs Oak), Todd Wellemeyer (@ Ari; @ ChC), Zach Minor (vs ChW; @ Sea)

You are crazy to start: Dallas Braden (vs Bos; @ Tor), Ricky Romero (@ Min; vs OAK), Doug Davis (vs StL; @ SF), Daniel Cabrera (vs Phi; vs Fla), Carl Pavano (@ KC; @ NYY); Walter Silva (@ NYM; @ Phi), Brian Moehler (@ Pit; vs Cin), Carlos Silva (vs Ana; vs Det), Shane Loux (@ Sea; @ Min)

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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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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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