Tag Archives: OF

Votto, Delgado, Beltran, Webb – Observations (4/8)

By nichols33

Brandon Webb is going to miss his next start this weekend versus the Dodgers. Big red flag for all Webb owners. No medical tests are scheduled at the moment and the Diamondbacks are playing it day-to-day. Fantasy Baseball Advice: Bench Webb in all leagues until he throws in a game and throws effectively. This is not good news. Hope for the best.

Joey Votto is good. He is real good. The 24 year old led all rookies in homers last season and he got his season going tonight. After a tough opening day versus Johan Santana, Votto had 3 hits tonight including an opposite field bomb off of Mike Pelfrey. Fantasy Baseball Advice: If you have this guy, sit back and enjoy. If you don’t have this guy….get him while the price is still relatively low.

Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado both had very good springs for both the Mets in Port St. Lucie as well as Team Puerto Rico in the WBC. Normally I don’t pay too much attention to spring stats for established veterans especially stars like Delgado and Beltran. But both of these guys are locked in and putting very good swings on the ball pretty much every at bat. Fantasy BaseballAdvice: I really like both of these guys this year. Delgado will be somewhere between his 1st half and 2nd half last year while I think Beltran will be slightly better than what he was last year which was the 2ndor 3rd best all around outfielder in the game.

David Wright looks lost at the plate. He is flailing at outside fastballs late in the count and swinging at off speed stuff int he dirt early in the count. To be fair, this is a very small sample and it was against a very sharp Aaron Harang and Edison Volquez. Wright did rip a double down the third base line and give a ball a good ride to the wall in right off the Reds bullpen tonight but an observation from a Mets fan who watches Wright daily….he looks lost at the plate. Fantasy Baseball Advice: Don’t worry, Wright will hit and he’ll hit soon. He is susceptible to long slumps where he looks lost for 10 or so games, but he always comes out of those slumps with a bang.

The Mets bullpen is sick. This is great news for all owners of Mets starters especially Johan Santana who had his bullpen blow 7 games last year in which he left the game with the lead. If Santana won 5 of those 7 games last year, Tim Lincecum might still be searching for his first Cy Young award.

The Braves bullpen is, well  not so good. They gave up 9 runs in the 7th inning today blowing a big lead over the Phillies including 4 bases loaded walks!?! Mike Gonzalez did not look so hot on opening night after Derek Lowe shut down the Phils for 8 innings. The Braves bullpen could cause a lot of hair lose for owners of Braves starting pitchers.

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Filed under Injuries, NL News, Observations

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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The AL at a Glance 3/15

by mrCane

Through another week of the season we’ve seen a couple people emerge, some continue to slide and a few hidden gems that could help your fantasy team.

…Kendry Morales is going to bath 5th or 6th behind Bobby Abreau, Vlad, and Tori Hunter.  With the already impressive spring and the vote of confidence by manager Mike Scioscia who believes he can hit between 20 and 30 hr Morales can be had at a very cheap price.  Fantasy Advice:  Look for him late in mixed league drafts to be a solid run producer.

….Chris Davis has improved his BA over the course of the week, up to .235.  Fantasy Advice:  Davis will be a good source of power, but be careful not to get caught up in the hype.

…Paul Konerko is batting .345 with 3hr and is off everyones radar.  Fantasy Advice:  Another good run producer that can be had LATE in a draft.

…Brandon Wood continues to hit and limit his strike outs.  He is still batting .379 this spring.  Fantasy Advice:  Wood will be a solid late round pick.  Look for a .260 BA and 20hr from the use to be can’t miss prospect.

…Has anyone noticed Carlos Gomez has an OBP or .375 with a nice BB/K ratio?  Don’t rely heavily on Gomez but monitor his progress in the crowded Minnesota outfield.  Fantasy Advice:  Highly valuable in AL only leagues but a reach at this point in mixed leagues.

…Bradley Bergesen, the 23 year old righty has an amazing 11k/1bb ratio in 11.2 IP.  This is not unexpected success as Bergesen was the Orioles minor league Pitcher of the Year last year posting a 3.10ERA with 16 wins.  Fantasy Advice:  If Bergesen is able to lock down a rotation spot he will be valuable in deep AL only leagues.  Keeper leagues should take notice!

…Glen Perkins has a 1.50 ERA this spring is should be able to put nice peripheral numbers together this year, minus strike outs.  Fantasy Advice:  For a solid starter who won’t hurt your team Perkins will have value in AL only and large mixed leagues.

…A couple young to keep monitoring are Gio Gonzales (SP Oak), Luke Hochevar (SP KC), Wladimir Balentien (OF Sea), Jeff Clement (C/DH Sea), Gaby Sanchez (1B Fla).  All these guys could help your team this year and be bargains in the later rounds of any draft.

Now for some injury concerns in the AL…

…Bad news from the WBC for the AL MVP Dustin Pedroia.  The Red Sox second baseman has an abdominal strain.  Fantasy Advice:  No need to panic yet, it looks minor at this point, but monitor the situation.  Word is it’s about a one week hiatus for Pedroia at this point.

…More bad news for the Red Sox as Julio Lugo had arthriscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  Fantasy Advice:  Lugo was an intriguing late option both at SS and for SB’s, the surgery really puts a damper on his worth.  Expected to be ready in April it’s best to keep an eye on him and snag him off the waiver wire if he starts seeing playing time upon his return.

…Justin Duchscherer’s elbow soreness is becoming a major concern for the 2008 surprise break out.  Fantasy Advice:  Duchscherer had limited fantasy upside because of his low K numbers even though he did have great peripherals last year.  If his elbow is still bothering him on your draft day, pass, a move from the pen to the rotation may have caused this injury and derailed this hurler.

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Filed under AL at a Glance, Injuries

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

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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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