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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere.  To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team.  We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway).  The 2009 Giants Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of McCovey Chronicles.

1)  Is Ishikawa the Giants 1st baseman for 2009? If not, who? If so, what can we expect from him?  “Better than Ryan Klesko” isn’t an answer.

He should get a bulk of the at-bats against right-handers, as his minor league history suggests he’s pretty useless against lefties. If the season were to start today, a lot of the at-bats at first would go to Josh Phelps, but I expect that the Giants will sign a right-handed hitter who can play both first and third. That will probably be Rich Aurilia, but there’s always a chance that the Giants will get Ty Wigginton or Nomar Garciaparra.

I wouldn’t expect a whole lot from Ishikawa. If I were to give an optimistic projection, it would be .260/.340/.450, with 18 HR. The pessimest in me says .230/.290/.390, and a trip to Fresno around June.

2)  Do the extra innings that Lincecum put on his arm in 2008 worry you?  Why or why not? (If necessary, feel free to include crazy anecdotes about how Lincecum’s father taught him to throw with an anvil so Lincecum will never break down.)

They don’t worry me more than the workload of any other young pitcher. Lincecum’s velocity was consistent late in games at the end of the season, so until there’s a data point other than “pitches thrown” to get me worried, I won’t be. Plus, as he can bend space and time, I’m sure he can control chaotic processes within his own genetic code. If he tears something, he’ll just make a new one with his mind.

3)  Please convince me Burriss or Velez will win the 2nd base job.

While either would make a cheap source for fantasy steals, the best real-life option would be Kevin Frandsen. Burriss’s value to the organization would probably be at its highest if he were a starting shortstop, so he needs defensive innings in AAA. Velez is a fast bag of antlers, I’ll give him that, but he’s pretty baseball-clueless. His defense is shoddy, at best, and he’ll never hit for average or power. He’ll make a good 25th-man someday, but that’s about it.

4)  What can we expect of Fred Lewis in 2009?

More of the same, I’d think. His batting average on balls in play was unusually high, so some folks think he’s due for a fall, but there still some room for growth to counteract any sort of regression to the mean. He took an awful lot of first pitch strikes, and might benefit from being a little more aggressive. Now that he’s a “middle-of-the-order threat” instead of a leadoff hitter, he’ll probably try and jump on first pitches more often to try and hit for a little more power, but I think any power improvement will be marginal. I’ll guess .280/.350/.470, with 14 home runs. If he bats third in the Giants’ lineup, though, he’ll get a fair number of RBIs.

5)  I think Brian Wilson will lose his job at some point in 2009.  Am I talking gibberish like the other famous Brian Wilson or are you concerned too?

I’m not too worried about Wilson. His stuff is nasty enough to make up for his wonky control. Unless his velocity dips, he’ll stick around. If he can cut his walk rate, he’ll become an elite closer. You could write that about 30+ relievers, but it’s especially true for Wilson. He has a 96-MPH fastball and an 89-MPH slider; if he has even average control, he’ll be a beast.

  1. Fman99 says:
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    I think Fred Sanford is going to have a huge year, sell all his junk and hit .300.

    Wait, what’s his name?

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Fman99: How could anyone not love a guy with the name Fred Lewis? How?

  3. bpasinko says:
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    Lincy seems to have a rubberish arm. He says he takes no time to warm up and a lot of people said they figured he could close in the majors. I probably wouldn’t draft him but I would take him over Johan and his recent elbow issue.

    Fred Lewis is Randy Winn’s cloned successor. I never have patience for guys like Winn. You look at the numbers at the end of the year (12 homers 20 steals 80 runs .300 )and your almost shockingly impressed. But during the season they seem so boring. It takes too long for the 15/15 guys to show they can hit hr and steal bases, that in June when theyre at 4 homers 6 steals you don’t bother picking them up, or I often don’t probably stupidly. Am I wrong to think this?

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @bpasinko: No, holding onto guys like Fred Lewis is difficult at times. The Winn comparison is fair, but Winn is yawnstipating and Lewis isn’t. The thing that saves Lewis is his age. Also, Lewis was batting third for the Giants yesterday. Cust kayin’.

  5. Christopher says:
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    I thought I saw “Brian Wilson” and “elite closer” in the same paragraph…

  6. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @bpasinko: This is a very apt point. 15/20 seems kind of sort of appealing in the offseason, but that translates to roughly one steal and/or one homer every other week.

    That shizz will drive you cuckoo. Anyone who owned Hunter Pence last year will know what I’m talking about.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Christopher: In Wilson’s defense, his ERA was a higher last year than it should’ve been. Something still worries me about him, but it’s more of a hunch than anything and, honestly, he’ll probably be okay.

  8. Christopher says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I was penced about owning Pence last year…

    @Grey: “Brian Wilson” is Greek for “okay”… I think “Papelbon” is Greek for “elite closer.”

  9. Cheez Whit says:
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    I thought Pablo Sandoval would play 1st and get the majority of the ABs there?

  10. @Cheez Whit: Here’s some back-up info from ESPN & Baseball Prospectus:

    ESPN: Ishikawa as primary 1B.

    BP: Ishikawa gets 55% of 1B, 25% to Bowker, 20% to Aurilia
    Sandoval set for 70% of 3B time with Juan Uribe and Aurilia getting 15%.

    If I was a Giants fan, I’d take my pee breaks when they are at bat so I didn’t miss the pitching…

  11. @Baron Von Vulturewins: Agreed. The problem is if these 15 HR / 20 SB guys help in the other three categories. If they can get 170+ R + RBI and hit for a respectable average, they have nice value. But a guy who goes 60/15/65/20/.265 is infuriating….

  12. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey:If you keep invoking Fred Lewis’s name,I’ll be forced to post a video of George “The Animal” Steele visiting the zoo

  13. Didn’t realize Lewis was batting 3rd. Makes me think lineups are the most meaningful thing we can take out of spring training. That and a hot prospect doing well enough to start in the majors.

    If Lewis goes 5 hr and 5 sb in April and you drafted him in the 24th round, are you looking to trade him or hold onto potential goodness?
    Maybe pick up the yawnstipating Randy Winn after you trade Lewis and a newly appointed closer for Hail to the Victorino

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doug Ault: Maybe that’s why I keep invoking his name.

    @bpasinko: Lewis may bat 3rd all of spring training, do poorly the first week and end up on the bench or in the fifth spot. I don’t think much can be taken out of spring training. Just hope your guys avoid injury.

  15. G says:
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    I got Lincecum last year partly because all of the websites saying he is a major sleeper? Who do you think will outperform their adp by a few rounds and will be a major sleeper that I should target. do you have any pitchers you are really confident will have a breakout season? thanks in advance

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