Tag Archives: Ian Stewart

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

Who is this Year’s Carlos Quentin?

By nichols33

A number of last year’s league winners struck gold with Carlos Quentin. Quentin was a former stud prospect (Baseball America ranking of the 20th top prospect in 2006 and 22nd in 2005) who came into last season with no guaranteed job and a career line of .230 avg, 14 HR, 63 RBIs in 395 ABs in the majors. He went on to have a monster season (.288, 36, 100) and if not for injury probably would have won the AL MVP last season.

Utilizing a late round draft pick or your last auction dollar on this year’s Carlos Quentin can send you straight to the top of your league. So we are looking for a player who was a stud prospect but has since had little success in the majors and is fighting for a role this spring. That would exclude guys like Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCuthcin, Reid Brignac or Travis Snider for they have yet to really have a shot at a full-time gig. Here are some players that meet the criteria:

Brandon Wood (3B/SS, LAA) – BA Ranking: 2008 #16; 2007 #8; 2006 #3

Wood has a career line of .191 Avg, 14 R, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 4 SBs in 183  major league at bats. At this point, Wood has been a major bust in the majors. Yet in the minors he has torn the cover off the ball hitting .296 with 31 HRs and 84 RBIs in 395 AAA at bats last season. He’s been hot this spring and may force Mike Scioscia’s hand to keep him up with the big club. If the Angels find a regular spot for him via injury, trade or benching, Wood could be this year’s Carlos Quentin.

Carlos Gonzalez (OF, COL) – BA Ranking: 2008 #22; 2007 #18; 2006 #32

Gonzalez has a career line of .242 avg, 31 R, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 4 SB in 302 major league at bats. He was rushed to the majors last year while on the A’s and has since been traded to the Rockies. Gonzalez is fighting for a starting left fielder spot and given the compeition (Matt Murton, Scott Podsednik and Dexter Fowler) he should get a fair shot. Ian  Stewart could steal some at bats as Clint Hurdle will try to get him in the line-up as much as possible. The change of scenery combined with benefits of Coors Field could help Gonazalez be this year’s Carlos Quentin.

Andy LaRoche (3B, PIT) – BA Ranking: 2008 #31; 2007 #19; 2006 #19

LaRoche has a career line of .184 avg, 33 R, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 4 SB in 316 major league at bats. LaRoche is the starting 3B for the Pirates this year after a trade from the Dodgers last year uniting him with his brother. He hit over .300 in nearly every stop in the minors with decent power and very low strike-out totals. If everything clicks for LaRoche he could be this year’s Carlos Quentin.

Ian Stewart (3B, COL) – BA Ranking: 2008 #38; 2007 #46; 2006 #16

Stewart has a career line of .252 avg, 36 R, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 1 SB in 309 major league at bats. Stewart saw some significant time at 3B last season when Todd Helton went down with an injury and Garrett Atkins moved accross the diamond to 1B. It seems like Stewart has been a prospect for a decade. Stewart will see some time in the OF this season, possibly some time at 2B and will certainly see some time at 3B. With Todd Helton’s injury history, it’s pretty likely that Atkins will see some major time at 1B leaving 3B for Stewart and that could cause Ian Stewart to be this year’s Carlos Quentin.

A number of guys will have breakout seasons. Some of those may be Jay Bruce, Colby Rasmus, Cameron Maybin, Travis Snider, Matt Wieters, Andrew McCutchen, Elvis Andrus, Matt Laporta, Reid Brignac or Dexter Fowler. But those guys are stud prospects who have not yet tasted the sour taste of major league failure like Carlos Quentin did before his breakout season. Good luck in finding that diamond in the rough…..it could make your season.

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Filed under Position Battles, Prospects

Good News – Bad News 3/7

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By nichols33

Good News:
Travis Hafner (DH, Indians):
Hafner returned to action yesterday going 0 for 2 in his first spring action this year. Travis saw Dr. James Andrews this offseason for his shoulder. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: I don’t see Hafner ever getting back to his MVP-caliber days of .300 with 35 HRs. But if his shoulder is healthy and he shows something this spring, he is certainly worth a late round flyer.

Todd Helton (1B, Rockies): Helton is scheduled to return to action tomorrow at 1B. Helton underwent back surgery on Sept. 30th and is expected to be ready for opening day. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If healthy, Helton is a solid back-up 1B for leagues with benches. He should go right around the same time as Paul Konerko, Jason Giambi and Casey Kotchman. A healthy Helton keeps Garret Atkins at 3B and Ian Stewart looking for ABs in the OF.

Tim Redding (SP, Mets): Redding has yet to throw a pitch in a Spring Training game but he is winning the Mets’ 5th starter spot by default. Jon Niese gave up 2 runs in 2 innings yesterday while Freddy Garcia and Livan Hernandez have been atrocious. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Redding, Garcia or Hernandez should not be on any fantasy rosers outside very deep NL only leagues. If Jon Niese wins the job there is some upside there and he could be a very useful fantasy starter.

Bad News:
Vlad Guerrero (OF, Angels):
The MLB Network is reporting that Vlad Guerrero admitted that he was born in 1975 in his upcoming biography. That would make Vlad a year older than the 33 he is on record for. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Vlad’s numbers have been on the downturn for sometime as he has not hit over 30 HRs since 2006. Vlad has yet to play in a spring game and is targeting Mid-March for his first game. He should no longer be one of the Top 10 OFs off the board but don’t let him fall too far. He is in a contract year and still very capible of hitting .320 with 27 HRs, 120 RBIs.

Garret Anderson (OF, Braves): Anderson was pulled from yesterday’s spring game before it began with a pulled calf muscle. It was to be Anderson’s first spring action. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Avoid Anderson in most leagues. He is a 36 year OF switching leagues and looks to be in a platoon situation with Matt Diaz. Expect Anderson to miss time here and there this year with a couple trips to the DL. Don’t waste a pick on him outside NL only leagues.

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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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Third Base, The New Second Base?

By tallkid1

It’s funny how things change so quickly in just a few years. It wasn’t that long ago when second base was the dearth of the infield (excluding catcher of course, since it’s pretty consistent in its lack of offensive depth). Yet this year it’s the hot corner that is light in depth. Sure there are at least two superstars in ARod and David Wright leading the pack as elite players. Following the big two you have perennial slugger Aramis Ramirez and a potential future MVP in Evan Longoria but after those two guys things start to look scary. Yet then you quickly move onto older guys like Chipper Jones, Troy Glaus and Mike Lowell who can certainly still be effective. Chipper led the majors with a .364 BA in 09 but he’s 37 years old and misses a lot of time and Glaus and Lowell are big time injury risks themselves. Then you have a group of “never was” superstars in Ryan Zimmerman, Garrett Atkins and Adrian Beltre who have shown flashes of brilliance but leave you reaching for the Mylanta every week. There’s also a group of somewhat promising young players such as Alex Gordon, Mark Reynolds and Ian Stewart that have a chance to break out but are certainly no locks mixed in with a group of flat out question marks in guys like Jorge Cantu and Ty Wiggington that somehow manage to come out of left field and rack up points. The bottom line is that third base is not what it used to be and it should be interesting to see how things shake out in 2009.

FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE:  If you have the opportunity to jump on one of the big four (ARod, Wright, Ramirez and Longoria) then do it. You can make it up in deeper areas such as first base, starting pitching and dare I say it, second base. If you’re left out in the dark after that, don’t pay too high for the rest of the field. Look to get two solid starters in the middle rounds. And if you’re in keeper leagues there is some good news as a few big prospects such as Pedro Alvarez (Pirates), Mike Moustakas (Royals), Matt Dominguez (Marlins) and Brett Wallace (Cardinals) are on their way up in the next 1-2 years to help add needed depth to a traditionally strong position.

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Filed under Position Analysis