Sunday, January 31, 2010

Killing Fantasy Sleepers: Colorado Rockies

Renck: Second base is creating some second thoughts - The Denver Post:

"The Rockies have called about Felipe Lopez, who is likely to end up with the Cardinals. They have aggressively pursued Orlando Cabrera, who will land with the Reds as their starting shortstop. And they are a finalist for Melvin Mora, who could wind up in Colorado."

I have kept writing that speedsater Eric Young, Jr. is the sleeper being killed by the 2B free agents, but current Rockies' 2B Clint Barmes did hit 23 HRs - a Top 10 total for 2B.

MLB Trade Rumors: Why Johnny Damon Isn't A Yankee

Per Buster Olney:

"Well, in the hours after the Granderson trade was completed, they moved to seriously engage Damon in talks, and -- as reported on at the time -- they were told over and over: If you're going to offer a contract that represents a decrease in salary, don't bother to make an offer. Damon, himself, told the Yankees that directly. If you want to cut my salary, talk to the hand.

At that time, the Yankees' internal discussions were about perhaps reaching a two-year deal, through negotiations, that might approach the two-year, $19 million deal that Bobby Abreu got with the Los Angeles Angels. But the talks never got started; Damon wanted no talks if he was to be offered less money than what he made in 2009."

Or should I have titled this, 'Why Your OF Sleeper Got Killed By Johnny Damon"?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Fantasy Catcher Tiers From Baseball HQ

Courtesy of Baseball HQ:

"We could debate Joe Mauer (C, MIN) in Round 1 forever. He's worth it, but what a huge risk building your team on a catcher. With Pittsburgh's unsettled catching and first base situations, Ryan Doumit (C, PIT) seems a great buy-low candidate. He possesses all the skills and is now healthy. With an ADP of 205, you should be able to nab him about twenty spots earlier and get solid value. Mike Napoli (C, LAA) again seems reasonably priced behind light-hitting Jeff Mathis (C, LA) and the DH opportunities potentially available for the Angels. In the end game, Nick Hundley (C, SD) and John Buck (C, TOR) seem to feature the most profit potential."

I disagree on the adage "You can't win your league in the first few rounds, but you can lose it." I'd take Mauer in the 2nd half of the 1st round, but may begin to adjust to his ADP and hope to get him coming back in the 2nd.

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs Bullpen

From Jayson Stark at

"We're hearing they've [Chicago Cubs] checked in with Toronto on Scott Downs and Jason Frasor, two guys the Blue Jays have been telling teams are available."

Could have just as easily titled this, "Killing Fantasy Sleepers: Mixed League Closers".

Friday, January 29, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Jayson Stark on Johnny Damon

Jayson Stark of

"The club that other teams think makes the most sense -- Detroit -- just doesn't seem all that interested. The Reds? They've been focused on their infield, not their outfield. The Braves? We hear they haven't talked to Scott Boras about Damon in a month and a half. The Rays? They've checked in, but they have pretty much no money to play with -- which isn't one of Boras' favorite traits in a team. The Blue Jays? Seemed to be mostly tire-kicking. The A's? Maybe -- "but that's a terrible park for him," one AL executive said.

So eventually, Damon is just going to have to figure out where he'd like to be, concede that that big Powerball payday isn't out there this time, and tell his agent to get this done. If the price is right and Damon pretty much comes to them and gift-wraps himself, our guess is that the Rays, Tigers or Braves would find a way to sign him."

2010 PECOTA Projections Available

Baseball Prospectus' 2010 PECOTA projections are avaialble to fantasy and premium BP subscribers. Here is one that fantasy players hope will miss:

Boston Red Sox C/1B Victor Martinez: 17 HRs, 78 RBIs in 522 plate appearances.

Still good for a catcher but much more disappointing that some touts expect. (I'm looking at you, Greco.)

Killing Fantasy Sleepers: Colorado Rockies

Rumors have the Colorado Rockies as one of two finalists for the services of SS-turned-2B Orlando Cabrera. Buh-bye to your 2010 fantasy value, Eric Young Jr.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Results - ESPN mock draft:

"Here are the ground rules for this mock draft. We're using rosters from a standard ESPN league, meaning a 10-team mixed league with a 25-man roster featuring the following positional breakdown: one of each infield position, five outfielders, one 1B/3B, one 2B/SS, one utility player, nine pitchers and three bench spots."

Johan Santana in the 6th round 60th overall.

The New Market Inefficiency?

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs:

"Teams have become cautious with the contracts they give to aging players, not wanting to get burned paying too much to a guy who may end up not having anything left in the tank, but I feel like we’re passing the point of caution and shifting towards a market failure."

I have been thinking the same thing. However, there is are at least two major flaws in Rob Neyer's favorite....

Sorry, I have little interest in adding my two cents to the efficient running of the baseball free agent market. Not for free at least.

For a hint on one, check out my comments at Fangraphs.

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees

Yankees give last $2M to versatile veteran OF -

"If Winn does capture the regular left-field job, the Yankees could use Gardner as a bench player to capitalize on his best assets of defense and base stealing, send him back to the minors (he has an option left) or possibly dangle him in trades (the Reds, Padres, White Sox and Royals all inquired on Gardner this offseason to be their starting center fielder).

Yankees officials still expect to sign a righty-hitting outfielder to a minor league contract with Rocco Baldelli, Jonny Gomes and Marcus Thames under consideration."

I could have titled the post "Killing Fantasy Sleepers Brett Gardner Version". There is no way Gardner gets anywhere near the necessary ABs with Winn and a righty-hitting thumper in town.

Top 10 Prospects

The Top 10 Prospects of Baseball America's Jim Callis!:

"Brad (Chicago): John Manuel provided his Personal Top 20 Prospects List. Will you be doing the same?

Jim Callis (2:45 PM): My personal Top 50, as well as John's and Will Lingo's, is in the Prospect Handbook. My Top 10:

1. Stephen Strasburg, rhp, Nationals
2. Jason Heyward, of, Braves
3. Mike Stanton, of, Marlins
4. Jesus Montero, c, Yankees
5. Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Pirates
6. Dustin Ackley, of/1b, Mariners
7. Neftali Feliz, rhp, Rangers
8. Buster Posey, c, Giants
9. Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles
10. Madison Bumgarner, lhp, Giants"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Future Fantasy Sleeper at 2B

Jim Callis of Baseball America:

"James (Kenosha,Wi) More likely to stick at second Ackley or Lawrie?

Jim Callis (2:50 PM) Lawrie."

And Callis ranks Dustin Ackley at the 6th best prospect in the game - as a 1B/OF.

Killing Fantasy Sleepers in Cincinnati

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Reds Top 11 Prospects

Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco by Scott Rolen

Goldstein on Frazier:
"Frazier just hits. He's proven himself at every level with good hand-eye coordination, a solid approach, and average-to-plus power."

On Francisco:
"Francisco's raw power is the best in the system. He's slugged 75 home runs over the last three years while consistently playing in pitcher's parks, and he's one of those rare players who doesn't have to fully square up a ball to drive it out of the park. His arm is plus-plus at third base."

Fantasy Sleeper in Detroit

Click here to find out more!:

"Jay (MI): What are the chances that Scott Sizemore will start at second base this year for the Tigeres?

Rob Neyer (12:13 PM): Excellent, I think. It's Sizemore's time."

There is always one team in every league who thinks he is the only one who knows about Sizemore as a sleeper. Unfortunately, there is always one team in every league who won't.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Killing Fantasy Sleepers in Chicago

"According to Jon Heyman of, Xavier Nady will receive a $3.3 million base salary from the Cubs with a chance for $2 million in incentives based on games played."

Micah Hoffpauir? Worthless. Sam Fuld? Worthless. Tyler Colvin? Worthless. Not even in deep NL-Only leagues.

MLB Trade Rumors: Johnny Damon To Oakland?

Buster Olney of

"The market for Johnny Damon has dried up, as compared to December, when his starting offer from the Yankees was two years and $14 million. But he may be a Plan B -- or perhaps even part of a Plan A -- for an AL West team. The Oakland Athletics have made an offer to pitcher Ben Sheets, who is also drawing interest from the Mets, Rangers and Cubs. If the Athletics were to lose out on the bidding for Sheets, it is very possible that they would turn their attention, and their resources, toward a pursuit of Damon."

Even Beane most ideological adherents would have to admit the genius of Billy Beane has jumped the shark?

Fantasy Baseball: Who Would You Rather Have?

Fantasy Baseball: Who Is The Top Fantasy Pitcher For 2010?? - FakeTeams:

The real question is who would you rather have:

Tim Lincecum in the 1st round and a 3rd round hitter or a 1st round hitter and Halladay in the 3rd?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at OF

Johnny Damon! Calling Johnny Damon to kill fantasy sleepers!

New York Yankess Brett Gardner
Cleveland Indians Michael Brantley
Detroit Tigers Austin Jackson
Kansas City Royals Scott Podsednick
Oakland A's Rajai Davis and Michael Taylor
Seattle Mariners Michael Saunders
Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward
Washington Nationals Elijah Dukes and Jason Maxwell
San Diego Padres Wil Venable
Colorado Rockies OF Seth Smith

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reviewing Sleepers from the 2009 Book - Minor League Ball#storyjump

Reviewing Sleepers from the 2009 Book - Minor League Ball#storyjump:

"One of the things I try hard to do in the book each year is to get ahead of the curve on prospects, to pick out players who might not have a lot of publicity heading into the season, but who could emerge as top prospects if things go right. In the book, I put the tag 'Sleeper Alert' next to such players. I don't put this label on a guy if they were a hot prospect that everyone knows about: the point is to notice them before they are big names."

Hey, I hit on Derek Norris before that!

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at DH

Jim Thome is going to land somewhere. When he does, he will devour DH ABs from the good side of a platoon. Almost every power-hitting sleeper will be affected by the loss of DH ABs. Here is a DH-only whose hype is beginning grow thanks to a reported re-dedication to fitness.

Chicago White Sox Andruw Jones

MLB Trade Rumors: Johnny Damon

MLB - Buster Olney ESPN:

"The fact that there are reports circulating to that end [any kind of deadline on Johnny Damon's negotiationsis] being read by some in the industry that a deadline is being set on Damon's side of the talks."

Buster speculates the Yankees want Xavier Nady for $2 MM, but points out Nady's agent is Scott Boras, the same as Damon. Seems like a conflict-of-interest for Boras.

Cubs Top 11 Prospects

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Cubs Top 11 Prospects:

"Five-Star Prospects
1. Josh Vitters, 3B
2. Starlin Castro, SS"

As surprised as I am?

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at SS

SS Orlando Cabrera is going to kill the fantasy value of these sleepers at SS. Count on it.

Washington Nationals Ian Desmond
Oakland A's Cliff Pennington
Houston Astros Tommy Manzella

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at 1B

As Carlos Delgado remains on the market, there is little doubt he will find a club in need of a 1B. Here are the fantasy sleepers in the crosshairs of this eventual signing.

Baltimore Orioles Mike Aubrey
Toronto Blue Jay Brent Wallace
Cleveland Indians Matt LaPorta
1B Chris Davis
Florida Marlins Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison
Pittsburgh Pirates Jeff Clement

Killing Fantasy Sleepers: Miguel Tejada

No chance 3B prospect Josh Bell receives meaningful ABs in 2010.

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at C

While the free agent pool at catcher isn't deep, Rod Barajas has established himself enough to threaten these sleeper catchers.

Seattle Mariners Adam Moore
New York Mets Josh Thule,

Fantasy Sleeper Killer

MLB -- Buster Olney -- The New York Mets get Gary Matthews Jr., an outfielder who can't hit for average, can't hit for power and can't play defense - ESPN

As if the link headline didn't say it all, here is more from Mr. Olney's piece:

"I still see Matthews as an expensive extra outfielder," said the scout. "The Angels knew they were fooled by his Texas numbers before they went after Hunter. He should still be able to play center field while Beltran is out, but he hasn't shown any sock since he was outed for receiving shipments of HGH a couple years ago. His bat has been dragging through the zone the last couple years. Nevertheless, he should benefit from getting more consistent at bats in NY than he had been getting in Anaheim."

Despite these reports, I believe Angel Pagan just saw his fantasy sleeper value reduced, and an act of sleeper-icide was just committed against Fernando Martinez.

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at 3B

Following up on yesterday's "Killing Fantasy Sleepers" column, here are a few sleepers at 3B who are threatened by the likes of veteran hot cornerman Joe Crede or Miguel Tejada.

Minnesota Twins Danny Valencia
St. Louis Cardinals David Freese
Los Angeles Angels Brandon Wood

Friday, January 22, 2010

Killing Fantasy Sleepers at 2B

With pitchers and catchers reporting in a month, most fantasy experts have a list of sleepers ready to be disgorged to a public with a voracious appetite to read about them. Unfortunately, there exists a ton of established veterans at every position ready to make those sleepers worthless.

Here are some fantasy baseball sleepers at 2B who are not going to survive as such thanks to the looming presence of Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez:

Arizona Diamondbacks Kelly Johnson
Minnesota Twins Alexei Casilla
Colorado Rockies Eric Young Jr.
Chicago Cubs Jeff Baker

These AL Guys Are On My Radar Screen

From Rotowire's blog, Rotosynthesis:

"Gordon Beckham-2B White Sox...Beckham plays in an ideal ballpark for his swing. I think he will be among the league leaders at his position in home runs and runs scored. He has great eye-hand coordination and a sweet stroke with big power. I liked him the first time I saw him and I haven't changed my opinion. His move to 2B really puts the icing on the cake for me. Sure, there are some very attractive second basemen out there, but Beckham is due for a big Sophomore year. On most lists he isn't in the top 10 at his position."

I had him in the Top 10 at 2B. He's likely there at 2B too. Given I would draft him in the 5th/6th/7th round in mixed leagues thanks to the lack of power depth across all positions ex-1B...

Boston Red Sox Future SS Jose Iglesias

From Buster Olney:

"Have heard this about Iglesias: He takes instruction well. If he's told something or given some suggestion, he's immediately using that piece of information rather than shrugging it off. His defense is going to be exceptional, by all accounts, when he reaches the big leagues, and the question about him whether he will hit enough for average. He's got decent pop, and could be a guy who hits 10-15 homers a year."

Great glove plus 10-15 HRs means this kid will be a top SS.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fantasy baseball 2010: Who'd You Rather Have?


"Doing a quick comparison, which starter would you rather have? The pitcher that’s coming off surgery and has Jason Bay as their left fielder, or the pitcher with an outstanding defense and ballpark around him?"

Or the pitcher who faces the NL or the pitcher who faces the DH?

Or the pitcher coming off elbow surgery or the one not?

Or the pitcher without a stinker season or the one with the stinker season just a three years ago?

My guess is this leads to Cliff Lee being over-valued on draft day and Johan Santana being under-valued.

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Jesus Montero Comp

Jim Callis of Baseball America:

"Rory (Sacramento): Is there a past or present player that you would compare Jesus Montero to in terms of what you expect him to be?

Jim Callis (2:16 PM): Miguel Cabrera."

Hey, I drafted Cabrera coming off his 9 HR High A 2002 season.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Buster Posey

Jim Callis of Baseball America:

"Chris ((S.I. N.Y.)): Jim what does this do to Posey now that the Giants resigned Molina. Do we see him more then another September Call up in 2010?

Jim Callis (1:43 PM): I don't think Posey will have to wait that long. He has some receiving issues the Giants want him to address. If he takes care of business, I think he'll be up by midseason."

As long as a trade market opens for Bengi Molina. If Molina is producing, Posey is sitting. His 2010 fantasy value took a big hit - from Opening Day sleeper to free agent pick-up as long as you don't lose waiver priority.

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee

If Buster Olney is right.

"The ripple effect of the Felix Hernandez signing may mean Cliff Lee will be elsewhere after 2010. Should Lee have another strong season, he would be poised to be the most coveted free agent next fall, commanding somewhere in the range of $16 million to $22 million a year"

I may be missing something, but I doubt Cliff Lee is going to be paid that much. Rightly or wrongly, he is not perceived as an elite SP. Those salaries would lead one to say he is. The days of the best player available getting a max contract are over.

What I do believe is the Mariners' will be able to get more in July for Lee than the Phillies got for him this past off-season.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Be A Fantasy Expert

Fantasy Players Network Banner:

"A large part of what fantasy experts do is evaluating what players are good values, and by value I'm referring to their production versus where they can be drafted. More often than not you will hear a fantasy baseball expert pull out his favorite line: 'While Player X should put up decent numbers I would not pull the trigger on him where he is currently being drafted, especially when Player Y can be drafted five gazillion picks later.' By saying this patented phrase our expert has accomplished two important goals: 1) He has given what appears to be useful advice and 2) He has absolved himself of any risk related to the drafting of these players. Sure, the Player Y could bust, but since you made such a small investment in him it is insignificant."

Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy

Fantasy Pros 911:

"Simply going into a draft and “taking the best player available” is not likely to result in a competitive team. The primary reason is that by focusing on players, you are not focusing on positions. The end result is a team that is strong at some categories and positions, but decidedly weak in others."

Of course, the whole point is to accumulate the most stats. Strengths and weaknesses at positions is not.

I do tend to agree though. However, I'm not taking a SS after the top handful or so are gone and passing on Vladimir Guerrero or Hideki Matsui as my UT. The difference in production is too great.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Johnny Damon To Detroit?

Detroit Free Press:

"Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski squashed that idea. He told through a club spokesperson that the Tigers are not interested in the 36-year-old."

Poor Damon. As a Scott Boras afterthought, he sacrificed his financial situation for Matt Holliday.

Beware Conventional Wisdom

Buster Olney at

"A year ago, the conventional wisdom in baseball offices was that the Red Sox had the kind of starting pitching and overall pitching depth that should be envied, that the Rays' trade for Matt Joyce was one of the best trades of the winter, and that the Tigers were a mess and couldn't possibly compete in 2009."

Kind of like Matt Joyce this year if Ben Zobrist wins 2B job. Worried Zobrist could lose 2B job and take over iN Rf though.

MLB Trade Rumors: Whose on 1B in Baltimore?

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"The Orioles are targeting Joe Crede, Tejada, and Hank Blalock as free agents to play third base now that LaRoche has been signed; Garrett Atkins would be shifted to first base. Another idea the Orioles are kicking around is moving left fielder Nolan Reimold to first base and playing Felix Pie in left."

I still can't see why the Rangers let Blalock go, tried to bring in Mike Lowell and then the O's consider Blalock an option at 3B.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Whose On 1B for Mets?

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"The Mets have interest in utility man extraordinaire and future television personality Jerry Hairston Jr. The Mets also like what they’ve seen of first baseman Carlos Delgado in his recovery from hip surgery in the Puerto Rican Winter League, enough that they might re-sign him as a free agent."

What a crap of an organization.

MLB Trade Rumors: Remaining Feee Agents

Boston Red Sox - Magadan has enough lumber to build with - The Boston Globe: "Updates on nine"

Rocco Baldelli
Jarrod Washburn
Joelle Piniero
Miguel Tejada
Jon Garland
Xavier Nady
Brian Sabean
Jose Valverde
Billy Beane

That's nine updates. I'd really have thought Johnny Damon should have been amongst those updated as he may be the most fantasy-relevant. Wait, this isn't a fantasy column.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Jake Fox

The big loser in the Kevin Kouzmanoff trade. With 3B ABs gone, Fox will be relegated to back-up status. Add in the recent signing of Jack Cust at DH, and Fox's DH ABs become limited to the bad side of a platoon.

No mixed league value.

Friday, January 15, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets & Arizona Diamondbacks

With 1B Adam LaRoche signed to be the Arizona Diamondbacks' 1B, former 1B Conor Jackson moves to LF. That sets up a chain reaction that will have either Gerardo Parra or Chris Young going to the bench to sit with Eric Byrnes.

The New York Mets find themsleves in need of centerfield help following Carlos beltran's knee surgery. With nowhere to turn in the free agent market, wouldn't it behoove GM Omar Minaya to call-up Josh Byrnes and inquire about Chris Young?

Deja Vu: 2010 Florida Marlins 1B

Palm Beach Pos: "The Marlins will go into camp with the hopes of Cantu starting the season at third base and Morrison at first. Morrison, of course, will have to prove this spring that he deserves it."

I have Logan Morrison on my minor league reserve. I had Gaby Sanchez there a year ago when the same story ran about Sanchez winning the job.

If Morrison wins it, Jorge Cantu to 3B. If he doesn't, will the Marlins keep Cantu at 3B and give Gaby Sanchez a shot or will Cantu go back to 1B and see Emilio Bonifacio play 3B?

In any scenario, Cantu retains mixed league value while the other options have sleepr NL-Only value.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fantasy Sleeper: Cheap RBIs

Huff ready to clean up in S.F.

New San Francisco Giants 1B Aubrey Huff will bat clean-up. Before pooh-poohing that, recall Benji Molina drove-in 90 and 80 RBIs the past two seasons as the Giants clean-up hitter.

Not a bad total from a player likely to go very late or undrafted in mixed leagues.

How To Value Carlos Beltran in 2010

Carlos Beltrán - New York Mets - Split Statistics - MLB - Yahoo! Sports

Carlos Beltran returned to the Mets last September and played through persistant knee discomfort. Telling was the lack of SB attempts.

With news of a 12-week recovery athroscopic knee procedure, one must assume those SB attempts are gone for good. Value Beltran the same way you would Dodgers' OF Andre Ethier with a discount for amount of playing time missed.

2/3s of Ethier seems about right.

Fantasy Baseball 2010 Bust

Boston Red Sox LF Jacoby Ellsbury. He cannot go anywhere but down following a Jose Reyes peak season.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Washed Up?

Los Angeles Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal.

He had over 600 ABs in 2009 and produced a meager 9 HRs and 15 SB. Is his current positon as the 9th highest drafted SS too high? (ADP 129 per Mock Draft Central.)

Are you as surprised as I am how poorly Furcal did last season following his abbreviated 2008 OPS of 1.012?

Top 5 New York Yankees

FakeTeams - The Key Source For Incisive Fantasy Sports Analysis:

"Today we cover the Top 5 New York Yankees that you need to know for draft day 2010. The World Series winners probably have the most productive fantasy options out of the entire MLB and today,"

Don't really disagree with Fake Teams' Top 5, but I'll note CF Curits Granderson would be close if he somehow rebounds AVG-wise. Bret Gardner could have the most value if he sees 400+ ABs and steals 30+ at the price of a non-drafted fantasy player.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Johnny Damon & New York Yankees

Buster Olney at

"Two things have to happen in order for Johnny Damon to re-sign with the Yankees. First, he must greatly reduce his asking price, and secondly, Hal Steinbrenner must agree to expand the team's budget. In the past, George Steinbrenner would've done this without blinking, but Hal Steinbrenner has taken more of a business-oriented approach, and it's not a sure thing that Hal would approve such a request about Damon. But because Aubrey Huff has signed with the Giants -- with the possible ripples meaning that Mark DeRosa could be a semi-regular left fielder -- and with the Braves seemingly lukewarm on the notion of pursuing Damon, the veteran outfielder doesn't have a lot of good options."

I'm thinking Johnny Damon needs to be Adrian beltra creative and sign for a larger one-year deal with a reduced second year option i.e. $8 MM in 2010 with a player option for $4 MM.

Free 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide

Free 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide:

"The and Fantasy Sports Channel's Free 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide."

Ask BA: Aroldis Chapman Prospects: Ask BA:

"Yes, Chapman would rate ahead of Frazier as Cincinnati's No. 1 prospect if we revised our Reds Top 10. However, Chapman's considerable upside is matched by a lengthy list of concerns. He may touch 102 mph with his fastball, but he's far from refined as a pitcher and most of the high-priced Cuban defectors have fallen short of expectations.

Chapman has one of the most electric arms in the world, and he'll be in the majors as soon as he adds some polish. There's no point in really setting any kind of timetable, because it should be obvious when he's ready...."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Aroldis Chapman

The hype surrounding prospects is enormous in this day of instant news and analysis. Do you believe the Cincinnatti Reds got caught up in the hype and made a financial mistake in signing the 100 MPH lefty Chapman?

I have a sneaky suspicion they did. Seems like a lot of money for an across the body thrower.

Fantasy Baseball Post-Hype Sleeper

At Fake Teams:
"Sleeper Alert: Fernando Martinez-is this the year Martinez finally stays healthy and regains his elite prospect status? A bad start by Jeff Franceour could result in a mid-season call-up."

What makes Martinez a perfect post-hype sleeper is the apparent lack of opportunity for ABS with Bay and Beltran getting the start everyday, and Jeff Francouer's rebirth at the plate anbd defensive prowess.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NFL Question Joe Flacco

Has any NFL QB ever won a play-off game in each of his 1st two seasons?

MLB Trade Rumors: Johnny Damon To Atlanta Braves

Boston Red Sox - A central issue is how Ellsbury will handle move - The Boston Globe:

"One team mentioned is the Braves, which would be ideal since Damon lives just a few minutes from their Disney spring training complex.

“Atlanta would be great,’’ he said. “I’m wide open. There are a handful of teams who, in my opinion, could win and I’d like to see what kind of availability there would be with those clubs.’’"

A Scott Boras client lobbying in the press? There has got to be some fire with this smoke, right?

While I'd expect Damon to be productive, I would not look for a 20 HR season away from the comfy right field confines of New Yankees Stadium. Last season, Damon looked to be consciously pulling the ball to take advantage of it.

Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

DH Vladimir Guerrero. After signing with the Texas Rangers, no one will be able to ignore his career mark of 394/471/705 at Rangers Ballpark. Heck, in 2009, his worst season, Vlad hit 440/500/640 there.

As a DH-only, I can't see Guerrero, regardless of sleeper hype, being drafted much earlier than the 7th or 8th round by the most excited Vladdy supporter. Myself? A late round flyer.

My worry is the 19 BB and 56 Ks. That was also a career worse ratio. Just two seasons ago, Guerrero walked 71 times and struck out a mere 62 times.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees LF

MLB -- Buster Olney -- Talent evaluators split on Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman - ESPN:

"Heard this: The Yankees are not in a big rush to identify the right-handed hitting left fielder they need, and will see how the market plays out for the likes of Reed Johnson (whose injury history is a concern), Jonny Gomes (the question about him is his defense in Yankee Stadium) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (who was part of the 2009 championship team)."

Right now, there is no doubt that the Yankees need to add an righty hitting outfielder to platoon with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, 217/271/324 and .241/310/316, respectively, the past two seasons against LHPs. Finding one who can play CF is the more complicating issue.

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Scott Podsednick

RotoSynthesis: Podsednik Lands In Kansas City:

"Going forward we know Podsednik will be primarily a ground ball hitter who because of his sub 30% fly-ball rates is unlikely to top 10 home runs, but could once again steal 30 to 40 or more bases depending on his manager’s tendencies. It is also possible that his batting average may not slip too much from the .304, even if he regresses in terms of making less contact and achieving a lower percentage of infield hits as his line-drive rates could also regress towards his career marks. He is a reasonable option for 2010 whose price may not be too expensive given the recent ups and downs of his career. Take advantage of that."

Just one more late game option for steals, and another reason to grab HRs early and wait on SB. The fantasy implications covered, I can ask WTF is Dayton Moore doing?

Friday, January 08, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Jose Valverde

From Buster Olney at

"Heard this: Jose Valverde, the most accomplished reliever on the market, is asking teams for an annual salary of $8 million, and he has made it clear he only wants to be a closer, so far. The Pirates and Marlins, two teams that need closers, certainly won't pay him that much; the Tigers need a closer, but in an offseason in which they've done some financial belt-tightening, it remains to be seen whether they would go that far."

$8MM? Add this to the $17MM two-year deal Adam laRoche turned down. These guys are looking at being Abreu-ed - signing a one-year deal for a handful of millions and hoping to be rewarded next winter.

FWIW, both players are more valuable for fantasy purposes than in real-life ones.

2010 Baseball Forecaster: Matt Wieters

Yesterday's warning from Pat DiCaprio and the subsequent comments at Fantasy Pros 911 had me in a Matt Wieters state-of-mind. When I got him Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster had arrived.

Here is what the team at Baseball HQ had to say about Wieters:

"9-43-.288 in 354 AB at BAL. Wrestled with pitch selection, patience and GB% for most of the season, still has work to do vs LHP. H% shows promise as did Sept up-tick (10% bb%, 99 PX). We think he's close."

Certainly more positve than Pat DiCaprio. However, Mr. DiCaprio warned of over-drafting Wieters and used negative stats to buttress his case.

To me, Wieters isn't a Top 3 (Mauer, VMart and McCann), but he is as good a gamble to top the AVG catcher stats I showed yesterday. Where you take him is based on how your roster sets-up at the draft. 9th or 10th round seems more than fair.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Fantasy baseball 2010: TOP 5 Stories For Baltimore

An excellent way to get your mind working on the upcoming fantasy baseball season care of Pat DiCaprio at Fantasy Pros 911.

Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, the young starters and the decline of a fantasy stalwart?

Fantasy Baseball 2010: AVG Production Per Position

Here are the average production numbers. The infield positions include those players who had more than 241 ABs. The outfielders had more than 439, and the DHs include only those who qualify as DH-only in 2010.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Adrian Beltre Projection

I pointed out Chicago White Sox 3B/OF Mark Teahen won't surprise me if he hits 20 HRs with his new team given his career efforts at Cellular Field. After listening to the hosannahs and wildly optimistic projections for the new Boston Red Sox 3B Adrian Beltre, I wanted to do the same.

A quick peek at Beltre's career efforts at Fenway Park show this to be a useless exercise. At 179/299/232, no projection would be useful. Worse, Beltre didn't play at Fenway in 2009 so his worst season doesn't even work to drag down his stats.

I don't expect any upside surprises in Beltre's 2010 season. 25 HRs, 80 RBIs and an AVG in the .260s is about right - assuming good health.

Fantasy Basbeall 2010: The New Juan Pierre

Boston Red Sox left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Just a $45MM five-year deal before the wrath of the commentariat comes down upon his head.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: St. Louis Cardinals Plan B

St. Louis Dispatch:

"The Cardinals retain interest in free agents Felipe Lopez and Miguel Tejada as potential fixes at third base should they fail to retain Holliday. Rookie David Freese remains a leading option at third base should Holliday return."

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Top 10 Pitchers

For the past few years, I have been ranking players based on their ranks within the five rotisserie categories and producing a ranking that is different from those typically seen. Mine place much more emphasis on the five category contributor and punishes those players who are exceptionally bad, relative to their positional peers, in a category or two. The ranks also weight the previous three season's performance and are subject to the assumption that past performance is indicative of future results.

RankPlayerPosition Team
1Sabathia C.C.PNYY
2Halladay RoyPTOR
3Lincecum TimPSF
4Haren DanPAZ
5Santana JohanPNYM
6Greinke ZackPKC
7Broxton JonathanPLAD
8Dempster RyanPCHC
9Bell HeathPSD
10Rivera MarianoPNYY

Monday, January 04, 2010

2010 Fantasy Sleeper

Joe Smith at St. Petersburg Times:

"'He just got a lot better in the outfield,' Montoyo said. 'He was a good outfielder to begin with, but he's an above-average rightfielder right now. … At the plate, he needs to be more consistent, but that almost goes for every young hitter. …"

That is Matt Joyce, a lefty slugger, who could hit 20 HRs and steal 10 bases in 400 platoon ABs. His value resides entirely in AL-only formats at this point. Mixed leaguers needn't gamble on him until he wins a job. Even then last round pick.

MLB Trade Rumors: St. Louis Cardinals Plan B

Derrick Goold at St. Louis Dispatch:

"“We’re getting ready to move,” La Russa told The Post-Dispatch. “I know they’ve been talking a lot with Matt. I know we have a really smart Plan B. … (It) could be on Plan A, or it could be our Plan B. The point is, we’re not going to get stuck.”"

Did Scott Boras get any bidders interested with last week's leaked contract parameters? If not, I wonder who Plan B is.

Normally, I'd say Johnny Damon, but he is represented by Scott Boras. Maybe Randy Winn or Jonny Gomes?

Doesn't seem like a good Plan B to me.

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Top 10 Hitters

For the past few years, I have been ranking players based on their ranks within the five rotisserie categories and producing a ranking that is different from those typically seen. Mine place much more emphasis on the five category contributor and punishes those players who are exceptionally bad, relative to their positional peers, in a category or two. The ranks also weight the previous three season's performance and are subject to the assumption that past performance is indicative of future results.

Here are the Top 10 hitters using my ranks. The above explanations should explain at least one of them.

1Ramirez HanleySSFLA
2Pujols Albert1BSTL
3Braun RyanOFMIL
4Utley Chase2BPHI
5Holliday MattOFSTL
6Rodriguez Alex3BNYY
7Wright David3BNYM
8Kemp MattOFLAD
9Abreu BobbyOFLAA
10Cabrera Miguel1BDET

Sunday, January 03, 2010

MLB TRade Rumors: Chicago Cubs & New York Mets Follow-Up

John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus:

"Even if the Cubs were inclined to deal Carlos Zambrano, those close to the jovial-yet-volatile right-hander insist he would invoke his no-trade clause unless it would be to the White Sox, because he wants to stay in Chicago. However, the White Sox are an unlikely trading partner after their deal with the Padres that brought over right-hander Jake Peavy last July 31"

C'mon! What does Chicago got that Flushing Queens hasn't?

Oh yeah. An on-paper better chance of being the wild card. Or maybe deep dish pizza? Steak?

Start Sit: New Orleans Saints and Cedric Benson

For those who still don't see the wisdom of excluding Week 17 from fantasy football play-offs relevence, get ready to sit your QB Drew Brees and then take a guess as to which WRs head coach Sean Payton considers too valuable to risk an injury. I'm guessing Marues Colston, but can't really differentitate amongst him and Devry Henderson and Robert Meachem. I admit to curiousity about whether Meachem could produce without a QB of Brees' stature.

Thanks to the NFL flexing the New York Jets/Cincinnati Bengals game, most fantasy football players need to call the result of the Houston Texans/New England Patriots game in order to start RB Cedric Benson and WR Chad OchoCinco. If the Patriots win, then the Bengals play-off seed is locked.

As for the Indianapolis Colts, no way QB Peyton Manning, RB Joseph Addai and WR Reggie Wayne are starts. The question is whether WRs Austin Collie and Hank Baskett(?) can be productive with Curtis Painter under center. I am doubtful, but, gratefully, do not need to make that decision. A look at my actual decisions for my Week 17 win-and-I'm in roster is telling.

I am sitting Cedric Benson and Marques Colston in favor of Antonio Bryant and Matt Forte. See, I already had to sit Brandon Marshall for Jabar Gaffney. So, if you can, pick-up Gaffney as my #1 Worthless All Season But Decisive Fantasy Play-offs Determiner.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Fantasy Sleeper 2010

C Adam Moore. In deep AL leagues. Mixed leagues will take a but longer

Friday, January 01, 2010

Week 17 Start Sit Made Easier: Best & Worst Run Defenses

I'm fairly certain Week 17 start sits based on season defense rankings are close to useless.
Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Dallas60.3PHISit LeSean McCoy_Leonard Weaver
2NY Jets64.3CINSit Cedric Benson
3Houston70NESit Laurence Maroney
4Atlanta78@TBSit Cadillac Williams
5Green Bay79.7@AZSit Tim Hightower_Beanie Wells
6Baltimore91@OAKSit Justin Fargas
7Carolina95.3NOSit Pierre Thomas_Mike Bell
8Washington95.7@SDSit LaDanian Tomlinson
9Cincinnati97.3@NYJSit Thomas Jones
10Philadelphia103.3@DALSit Marion Barber_Felix Jones
23Pittsburgh135.3@MIAStart Ricky Williams
24New Orleans136.7@CARStart DeAngelo Williams_Jonathan Stewart
25NY Giants137.7@MINStart Adrian Peterson
26Buffalo139.3INDStart Joseph Addai
27Tampa Bay142.3ATLStart Jason Snelling
28Indianapolis145.3@BUFStart Fred Jackson_Marshawn Lynch
29Arizona146GBStart Ryan Grant
30Detroit169.7CHIStart Matt Forte
31Denver173KCStart Jamaal Charles
32Kansas City231.7@DENStart Knowshon Moreno

BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: The Biz of Baseball: Joe Sheehan Leaves Baseball Prospectus

BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: The Biz of Baseball: Joe Sheehan Leaves Baseball Prospectus: "Sources at BP say that there will be big column on Monday addressing BP's future

What might that be? Merger with somebody else? Has Primer outlasted BPro?"

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets & Chicago Cubs Trade

After the Chicago Cubs signed CF Marlon Byrd, word came out the team was in search of back-end rotation help along with bullpen assistance. I quipped the nothing exciting was happening unless the team found a way to unload the $54MM owed to SP Carlos Zambrano over the next three years.

So as I cleaned up the driveway of snow and slush, I was listening to Talking Baseball Live podcast, and Paul Greco dropped real names in a potential trade. He gleaned this info through his Mets contacts at Baseball Digest Daily.

The rumored offer was Carlos Zambrano for 2B Luis Castillo, AAA OF Fernando martinez and a AA prospect.