Tag Archives: Marlins

Observations (4/13)

By nichols33

Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets, plays big…..real big. Both David Wright and Carlos Beltran smoked balls to dead center but they were just a can of corn for center fielder Jody Gerut. Down the lines are short but power alley to power alley, that place is big. Comparable to Petco park in San Diego.

Josh Johnson and Johan Santana had a good ole fashion duel in Miami on Sunday. One of the best games I’ve had a pleasure to watch recently. Johan struck out 13 Marlins and was only done in by a Daniel Murphy horrendous error. Johnson matched him frame for frame going the distance and nearly pitching a shutout. Peter Gammons predicted Johnson to win the NL Cy Young award this year. Some of Gammons’ recent predictions have been WAY off, but this one may come to fruition.

The Padres pitching staff after Jake Peavy and Chris Young might as well be a page ripped out of the yellow pages. Who are these guys? Frankie De La Cruz, Jae-Kuk Ryu, Kevin Correia, Luke Gregerson, Justin Hampson, Cla Meredith, Edwin Moreno, Edward Mujica, Luis Perdomo, Walter Silva!!??!?!? Bueller? Anyone?

Kevin Gregg will not be the closer for the Cubs on May 1st. It was ridiculous that he even won the job in the first place but you can see the frustration in Lou Pinella’s face as he watching Gregg pitch. Gregg had a 4 run lead last night versus the Brewers and had to strike out Prince Fielder who was the tying run to end the game. Carlos Marmol looked unhittable in the 8th.

Aaron Harang is an ace again. He threw a complete game shutout yesterday versus the Pirates after a very nice start against the Mets on opening day. He looked very good against the Mets in bad weather and followed that up with the gem yesterday. Harang will get a number of starts against poor teams like the Pirates, the Astros and the Brewers and is a low end #1 fantasy pitcher.

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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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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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“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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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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Filed under Good News / Bad News, Injuries, Position Battles