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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 2010 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2010 Reds Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Reds Reporter.

1) This is the year Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey make good on all their promise, right? Please.  Lie to me, if need be.

I sure hope so.  Jay Bruce had somewhat disappointing season last year (0.223/0.303/0.470), certainly below most people’s expectations.  As a result, he seems to have slipped a bit in a lot of people’s estimations.  There were some other troubling aspects of his performance last year as well, like his 13% line drive rate (though this is not a particularly stable stat for most hitters).  Nevertheless, there is cause for optimism.  Most importantly, he’s entering his age-23 season with two years of MLB under his belt.  Not many players have done that and shown the kind of power Bruce has; that’s part of the reason that Barry Bonds is listed as his most similar player (by age) at baseball-reference.  Second, his BABIP was unbelievably low last season.  Part of that may be a function of his low line drive rate and excessively high fly ball rate.  But part of it may just be bad luck.  He’s a nice kid with sky-high talent, so everyone’s hoping he can take a big step forward next year.  To do so, however, he’s going to need to show much better plate discipline than he has in the past.  Sometimes he gets into funks where he seems to swing at just about anything the pitcher throws his way, and the result is a lot of weakly hit balls that will do his BABIP no favors.

As for Bailey…  He reportedly made a meaningful adjustment to his mechanics last offseason, and the result was a 3 mph uptick in his fastball velocity.  That’s massive, and it’s the main reason that I think what he showed over his last 9 starts (58 IP, 1.70 ERA, 53/24 K/BB) might be predictive of a quality season from him next year.  The only problem with that statement is that he had the same mechanical adjustment and velocity increase over his first 11 starts too (55 IP, 7.53 ERA, 33/28 K/BB).  But, maybe he just needed some time to find himself.  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

Clearly, this is a huge year for both of them.  With their talent, it’s probably not a “make or break” year.  But I think it’ll go a long way in telling us what sorts of careers these guys are likely to have.  … though I probably said the same thing last year.

2) My free Chinese calender says it’s The Year of the Tiger (and Tuesdays are “Lo Mein, Low Prices” Day).  But something tells me it’s The Year of the Votto.  What’s your prediction for him in 2010?

For some reason, I’ve always been a little skeptical on Votto, and he’s always proven me wrong.  But I think we’re going to see Joey Votto regress a bit.  I think he’s going to be a nice hitter, but the guy had an 0.372 BABIP last year.  That’s hard to maintain.  Most projections have him in the 0.300/0.385/0.525 range, and I’d be thrilled to get that from him again next year–especially if he can conquer some of the anxiety issues that surfaced last year and start 150+ games.  He was able to play through the anniversary of his father’s death over the last part of the season last year, so that’s a good sign.

3) Let’s play, Over/Under.  Next year, Drew Stubbs — 400 ABs, .240 average, 10 homers, 35 steals.  Feel free to expand on why you think he’ll be over or under on each.

Tough, as that’s about right.  I’ll take the over on the average and AB’s, and the under on the steals and homers.  I really don’t know what to expect from Stubbs, because his success in the majors last year–8 HR in 180 AB’s–goes completely against what his minor league numbers tell us to expect.  He “should be” a patient hitter who strikes out a lot and gets a lot of value from walks, speed, and fielding.  His fielding was as brilliant as advertised, and that along with the Taveras trade should keep him in the lineup as long as Chris Heisey doesn’t go crazy on us or something.  10 HR is clearly not out of his reach, and he’s always been a guy that the Reds expected to hit for at least decent power.  But I think pitchers are going to pitch him differently this year, which might prevent that kind of power success again.  He hit more than 7 home runs in a season just once in the minors, and that was in Low-A Dayton.  Steals…well, it will depend on how often he gets on base.  Dusty will likely hit him near the top of the lineup, though, because Dusty always leads off with a CF or SS…and Cabrera’s “a #2 hitter.”

4) In 2010, Johnny Cueto will pitch more like how he did in the 1st half or the 2nd half of 2009? And why?

My hope is like the first half, though the safe answer is somewhere in between.  One thing about Cueto last year is that he had pitched in both winter ball (against the Reds’ wishes IIRC) as well as the World Baseball Classic.  People already worried about his ability to hold up to workload given his fairly small frame (5’10” 185lbs), and it’s reasonable to think that he might have just gotten really tired in the second half last season.  But it’s also the case that on June 1st, his ERA was 2.53 but his FIP was 4.02 and he had a 0.234 BABIP.  So part of it was just regression.  I hoping for 180 IP with a 4.25 ERA or so, but I’m not sure if I’ll get it.

5) When do you think we see Aroldis Chapman with the Reds?  Is there any truth to the rumor that Aroldis Chapman signed with the Reds because Dusty Baker’s concern for pitchers was most akin to Fidel Castro’s concern for human rights?

It’s hard to know.  I initially figured he’d start somewhere in A-ball and quickly work his way up if he showed he was ready.  But the initial reports from the Reds’ pitching coach were glowing, indicating much better command of his offspeed pitches, for example.  He might start the year in the high minors and be with the big club by mid-year.  Or, he might struggle.  It’s pretty hard to know without any minor league game data to work from.  I like tall left handers who throw 100 mph, though.

As for Dusty…Aside from the Harang stupidity in 2008, I think he’s been pretty good with the pitchers.  Especially the young ones.  Cueto, for example, never threw over 112 pitches last year, and only 5 times threw 110 or more.  Volquez threw 121 once in 2008, but never went over that mark.  I don’t think Dusty is breaking pitchers, at least not any more.

From Around The Web

  1. Spamcakes says:
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    Kudos! Really liked this article. And not just because I got good news on the players I have on my roster. c);-)

  2. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Grey were you surprised to see that he expects to votto to regress?

  3. mc serch says:
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    Interesting take on Votto, who’s hype is really starting to build momentum. Imagine if he has a good spring? Dude will be flying up draft lists. No mention of Bronson Arroyo (Bro-Yo?), who I think is the most intriguing member of that staff. He’s not even being drafted in the mocks I’ve done, prob cause of his rep as a slow starter. He crushed it for me down the stretch for me last year though. I’ll be watching him this Spring. He might be worth a flier to see if he’s figured out the cause of his early season woes. Anyone know if its a contract year for him? Maybe that will give a little extra motivation to get his shizz together early…

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mikey boy324: Yeah, I was.

    @mc serch: This isn’t a contract year. Wasn’t just last year Arroyo was like that in the 1st/2nd half splits. It’s historical.

  5. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Ya me too I mean I think he has 30/100 written all over him but it did take me back a lil I know you love votto this year but if you miss out on the big 1st baseman do you feel comfortable having him as your starting 1b?

  6. Sos says:
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    Would you trade your 6th and 9th round picks for 5th and 11th?

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mikey boy324: I feel very comfortable having Votto as my first baseman. If I own him, that’s where he’ll be.

    @Sos: Sure

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: I’ve never seen that before and can’t imagine I’d be using it in the future.

  9. Freak says:
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    “Aside from the Harang stupidity in 2008, I think he’s been pretty good with the pitchers.”

    LIES LIES, ALLLL LIES!!!

  10. Denys says:
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    1. Chase Utley (Phi – 2B)
    2. CC Sabathia (NYY – SP)
    3. Víctor Martínez (Bos – C,1B)
    4. Derek Jeter (NYY – SS)
    5. Dan Haren (Ari – SP)
    6. Michael Young (Tex – 3B)
    7. Josh Beckett (Bos – SP)
    8. Lance Berkman (Hou – 1B)
    9. Chad Billingsley (LAD – SP)
    10. Matt Garza (TB – SP)
    11. Álex Ríos (CWS – OF)
    12. Alfonso Soriano (ChC – OF)
    13. Rafael Soriano (TB – RP)
    14. Billy Wagner (Atl – RP)
    15. Johnny Damon (NYY – OF)
    16. Nolan Reimold (Bal – OF)
    17. Frank Francisco (Tex – RP)
    18. Max Scherzer (Det – SP)
    19. Garrett Jones (Pit – 1B,OF)
    20. Scott Downs (Tor – RP)
    21. Jake Fox (Oak – 1B,3B,OF)
    22. Clay Buchholz (Bos – SP)
    23. Joba Chamberlain (NYY – SP)

    my first real draft (did some mocks before with mixed results) for the year… Thoughts?

  11. Denys says:
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    above – 12 team head to head

  12. JoeC says:
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    @Denys: Great pitching, but you have almost no power and very little speed. I would take a hitter in Round 2 instead of CC and probably skip the Haren pick for a hitter in Round 5 as well.

  13. Tyler says:
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    Just got the following out of a Yahoo auction draft…very weird flow, but I’m pretty new to auctions.

    C – Pierzynski ($1)
    1B – M. Cab. ($30)
    2B – J. Lopez ($12)
    SS – J. Reyes ($21)
    3B – Zimmerman ($24)
    OF – J. Upton ($27)
    OF – Bruce ($6)
    OF – Quentin ($6)
    UT – Sandoval ($24)
    UT – A. LaRoche ($3)

    SP – Beckett ($21)
    SP – Nolasco ($18)
    RP – Broxton ($18)
    RP – Bell ($18)
    P – Jered Weaver ($15)
    P – Harden ($1)
    P – Kuroda ($6)
    P – J. Sanchez ($2)

    BN – Mike Gonzalez ($2)
    BN – Leo Nunez ($2)
    BN – Lidge ($2)
    BN – Dotel ($1)
    BN – Magglio ($1)

    Feel like I’ve got some health risks and too many closers, but I figure I can package those two together and get some upgrades. Thoughts?

  14. The Hebrew Hammer says:
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    Keeper league. Do you trade Longoria for Morneau + wainright? I have Youklis at 1st right now and could shift him over to 3rd. Means my 5th keeper would be Wainright instead of N. Cruz. (so basically in terms of keepers I’d be giving up longo and cruz for wainright and morneau). I am inclined to say no, since I love Longo, but it does seem like a hell of an offer.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: Ha!

    @Denys: I agree with JoeC.

    @Tyler: Some great bargains there — Bruce, Quentin, Reyes… You obviously took Broxton and Bell early and then by the end of the draft realized you didn’t need him. Next time, don’t spend so much on one closer or two closers, but the quantity isn’t bad at the end. Can never have too many cheap closers. You might have issues with average, you’re a little light on speed — not too bad overall. Pitching looks fine.

  16. Tony says:
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    @mc serch: how high can votto fly when he’s going in the 2nd round already? JEESH.

    I love this article. Long time Indians fan, but being from OHIO i’ll root for the Reds as well, plus my bro-ham lives there so I go to some Reds games. I really like what they’re doing with the Youth and talent they have…. If dusty just doesn’t kill all their arms….

  17. I like the Reds too. For all this Mariners talk, I find it funny that nobody mentions the defensively minded Reds. Stupid ESPN.

    I was shocked by the Votto regression comment, but I’m still on board with that guy. I also like Volquez and Cueto late in drafts. Especially Cueto.

  18. I wonder if the cozy Great American Ballpark will make him a 10-15 HR guy, despite the lack of a minor league track record.

    Seven of his eight homers came at home.

  19. Tony says:
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    @Brett Greenfield: I doubt it. The guy hit 28hr’s in 1588 minor league AB’s?

    In triple A last year 3hr’s 46sb’s. He hasn’t hit more than 3 in a minor league season above single A ball.

    A ballpark can only do so much. If he hit 10 again even i’d probably fall outta my chair. Its actually downright amazing he hit 8 last year in the span he did!

  20. CocoPoolies says:
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    A late trade has shook up my keepers, any help appreciated.

    In a 7 keeper, ten team league, +OPS, I’m grappling with some last keeper scenarios. So far I’m keeping Linc, Fielder, HanRam, and Sizemore.

    Which three do you keep out of the following: Granderson, Werth, Sandoval, and Bay?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @CocoPoolies: I’d keep Werth, Bay and Sandoval.

  22. CocoPoolies says:
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    Grey, same league. In your opinion, would it be worth targeting Rollins to fill MI by trading Granderson and Bay/Sandoval/Werth for him?

    If so, which guys should I try to float?

  23. CocoPoolies says:
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    As an aside: The team is really weak and I know the trade is in their favor but I’d be looking at it as only trading one of the players as I’d be extremely unlikely to have the second player come back to me in the draft.

  24. Pjtres says:
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    grey…in the 7th round of 12 team KEEPER league
    can you give me what order youd take a SP in???

    wainwright/josh johnson/nolasco/hamels/gallardo/kershaw

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @CocoPoolies: If it’s not going to make the other team too strong, then that sounds fine.

    @Pjtres: That order, the last two flip flopped.

  26. CocoPoolies says:
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    @Grey: Thanks Grey. One last question, would you try to float Sandoval, Werth or Bay?

    Thanks.

  27. unclebuck says:
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    12 team head to heady dynasty 30 man rosters- is it possible to have a better team?

    c-iannetta/posey/j.montero/flowers
    1b-votto/b.wallace
    2b-b.roberts/g.beckham/r.weeks
    3b-g.beckham/b.wood/b.wallace/a.beltre
    ss-tulooooooo
    of-j.upton
    of-j.bruce
    of-cargo
    dh-pence
    reserves-heyward,borbon,fowler
    p-felix
    p-lester
    p-billingsley
    p-c.lee
    p-ubaldo
    p-weaver
    p-scherzer
    reserves-matusz, holland, chamberlain, chacin

  28. MEET THE FOCKERS – Tigers 2010 lineup

    1. CF Austin Jackson
    2. 2B Scott Sizemore
    3. RF Magglio Ordonez
    4. 1B Miguel Cabrera
    5. LF/DH Carlos Guillen
    6. 3B Brandon Inge
    7. DH/LF Ryan Raburn
    8. C Gerald Laird
    9. SS Adam Everett

    I am not really happy with the players hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera
    Where is the protection in the lineup for Miguel Cabrera – There is no reason to pitch to him – well maybe there is since it looks to me that no one will be on base when he gets up – The tiger lineup has gotten worst and last year Miguel Cabrera also had 3B Eligibility

    I am Mr Baseball and I predict a dropoff in his numbers

    The Fockers will Fock with his numbers

  29. brett says:
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    I’m not sure i disagree with you but it’s worth pointing out that the Tigers agreed to terms with Johnny Damon yesterday. Also, Ordonez is a very good OBP guy and Guillen’s an .800+ OPS guy if healthy. That’s probably a better supporting staff than he had in Florida.

  30. zombie says:
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    Was hoping for maybe an expectation blurb on Rolen. Doesn’t make many/any Top20s; and I’d probably take the upside of a Davis, one last shot at Gordon, or even Fox (playin’ time?); but he’d seem like a better bet than a Cantu (DeadToMe after last season) or a yawnstipating DeRosa. Accepting the likelyhood of a semi-occasional DL stint, in that ballpark for a “full” season, could he be a solid vet with considerable upside?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @zombie: Bleh…Cantu was better than him last year.

  32. Ceasar says:
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    14-team 3-keeper league.
    Which two make the cut with Pujols:

    Holliday
    Votto
    Reynolds

    Rankings and position eligibility would say Holliday/Reynolds, but my risk-averse nature and Razzball reading point to Holliday/Votto.

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Ceasar: Holliday/Reynolds

  34. JordanRoyal says:
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    12 team 5×5 standard roto keeper league.
    Team so far:

    Kemp
    Kinsler
    Zimmerman
    A. Wainwright
    Cliff Lee
    J. Werth
    K. Morales
    M. Rivera
    A. McCutchen

    Who would you take with the 106th overall pick, Hunter Pence or Ricky Tabasco Nolasco?

  35. Clodbuster says:
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    Hey Grey, I’m having a hard time finding your 2010 rankings on the home page. I know I can go into the archives easily but I thought there was a link. Am I wrong, or is it not there for some reason? I’m looking for info on Kendry. Are you planning on a post for him? Thanks!

  36. eltoo says:
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    I have LaPorta cheap and was planning on giving him a multi year deal in my keeper league. How much does Branyan signing with the Indians devalue LaPorta for this year? If he’s not going to be getting regular at bats I’ll have to throw himback.

  37. Clodbuster says:
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    I’m aware of the straight CHONE rankings, but thanks Eddy.

    I’m looking for a quick link to Grey’s rankings by position, with the coinciding player blurbs, like the one you linked me to.

  38. brett says:
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    Directly under the giant baseball, to the right of “Home”

  39. brett says:
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    Click on “2010 fantasy baseball rankings” don’t click on the box that opens underneath it.

  40. Eddy says:
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    @Clodbuster:
    you mean these?http://razzball.com/2010-fantasy-baseball-rankings/

    I think you may be a tad bit confused. When you hover over the “2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings” box, the 12 team point shares box appears, but that’s not the only route. Click the actual box that say “2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings” and it’ll lead you to the above link.

  41. brett says:
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    I win.

  42. Clodbuster says:
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    Sweet, thanks guys! Two years of ignorance can’t be erased but you may have prevented another two.

  43. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    would you prefer an outfield of two pure power no speed guys and a pure speed no power guy or 3 guys with good pop and good speed but not extraordinary in either category?

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Strong pop, decent speed.

  45. GopherDay says:
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    Dynasty League, which side do you like better?

    Tim Lincecum

    for

    Clayton Kershaw and Matt Wieters

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: Tough choice, but I’d have to go with Lincecum.

  47. The Keeper – DYNASTY – keep all 20 team

    1. (14) Matt Kemp —————————OF
    2. (27) Carlos Quentin ——————–OF
    3. (54) Shane Victorino ——————OF
    4. (67) Joey Votto —————————1B
    5. (94) James Shields ——————–SP
    6. (107) Jhonny Peralta ——————–SS
    7. (134) Cameron Maybin —————UTLTILTY
    8. (147) Adrián Béltre ———————–3B
    9. (174) Ian Desmond ———————–BENCH
    10. (187) Ubaldo Jiménez ——————SP
    11. (214) Heath Bell —————————–RP
    12. (227) Jonathan Sánchez —————SP
    13. (254) Wandy Rodríguez —————–SP
    14. (267) Jarrod Saltalamacchia ——-CATCHER
    15. (294) Chad Billingsley (LAD – SP)
    16. (307) Clay Buchholz ————————-SP
    17. (334) Scott Podsednik ——————-BENCH
    18. (347) David Aardsma (Sea – RP)
    19. (374) Madison Bumgarner (SF – SP)
    20. (387) Brandon Morrow (Tor – SP,RP)
    21. (414) Casey McGehee (Mil 2B,

    C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, Util, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL

    Markakis OR Borbon FOR for Bumgarner – SHOULD I MAKE THE TRADE AND IF SO WHICH ONE SHOULD I TAKE

  48. PJtres says:
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    grey…

    2 questions

    1/any guys you could recommend in OF (after the top guys are gone) who will most likely have high hit totals and a really good balance of runs & rbis (and possibly sb?)

    braun/kemp/sizemore/werth/grandy/choo/pence/markakis/cruz/manny/lind/ellsbury/dunn/ethier/mccutcheon/crawford/quentin/both uptons/adam jones…are all taken…

    2. if most of those OF were taken…woudl you try to draft OF early (after keepers) and try to pick up like a span/abreu/carlos lee OF? or would you continue to wait and address other needs (since thats where the other teams will prob look too)

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @PJtres: 1. Check the rankings or Point Shares. 2. I’d want at least two solid outfielders.

  50. PJtres says:
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    would you consider span and abreu solid?

    or would you consider hamilton (more risk reward) a more solid option..

  51. matthole says:
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    @Grey: whats the earliest date would you do a real draft? My league can only draft on weekends and we’re having complications setting on a date. Do you think the first weekend of March is too early to draft? Do you know when rotations and lineups get sorted?Thanks

    BIG WIN USA HOCKEY!!!

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @PJtres: I have these guys all ranked. I like Span, Abreu and Hamilton — Hamilton is more risk and much more reward. Abreu is 17/17. Span is 14/25.

    @matthole: I did one last week, but I’d try to hold off until mid- to late-March.

  53. Stephen says:
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    @matthole: I actually like the weekend of the 19th to the 21st myself. My league is drafting then and that should be good enough for most position battles and returning injured players to prove themselves.

  54. david says:
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    My league went without an IP limit this year. I know this devalues pitching. How does this exactly change drafting/rostering strategy from playing with an IP limit? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @david: You might have reevaluate your team’s pitching come June as to whether or not you can do well at ERA/WHIP, and if you can’t you may have to go all out to win Wins and Ks by streaming and picking up starters. To start, I’d aim to have 6 starters, 3 closers and go with the pitching numbers I laid out here:

    http://razzball.com/fantasy-baseball-draft-strategy-winning-it/

  56. david says:
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    Thanks! Also- I’m not a “punting” kinda guy (never had a strong leg), but is going with all relievers, winning Saves/ERA/WHIP and punting wins and Ks a valid strategy?

  57. Stephen says:
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    @david: I wouldn’t say it devalues pitching. It might actually enhance their value as having tons of innings usually decreases WHIP and ERA. Ratios will be hard to maintain. It also depends on how deep your league is before the value of the pitchers are substantially devalued.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @david: No, don’t punt anything. Go for the numbers I outlined in that post.

  59. david says:
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    Stephen, I guess I meant that it devalues elite pitchers. For instance, say there was a 300 games limit for outfielders; you’d want only the best outfielders on your roster.

    Also, I’m not sure I understand your point regarding unlimited IP decreasing WHIP and ERA, while at the same time: “ratios will be hard to maintain.” Please explain.

  60. mc serch says:
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    @Grey: yeah, I know, I’m reachin’ kid, still might take the flier though. thanks.

  61. Seth says:
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    ** warning tl;dr keeper question from new reader**
    i love the site and really enjoy the humor combined with real e-journalistic opinions. i’m so tired of PC boring shit.

    here goes:

    12 team mixed 9×9 h2h inc. standard +h, ops, xbh, and Ks for hitting categories.
    3 required keepers (36 total keot for the league) so drafting starts in round 4. mine are braun, longoria, and morneau. not thrilled about morneau but other options are roberts whom i’ve grown tired of and aramis or i could trade a 10th rd pick for votto.

    potential targets with the 4th pick overall if the following are available (need CI MI SS 2B)?
    morales, jeter, zobrist (SS elig.), Vmart, m’oobs, aramis etc. i hate all of them!

    hoping to snag beckham with pick 57.

    thx.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Seth: Thanks for the kind words! Don’t love those potential guys in the draft. There’s gotta be other guys. I’d trade for Votto.

  63. papasmurf says:
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    I am a homer for Homer, so I am hoping for good things. I say he becomes staff ace by the end of the year (not saying much given his rotation mates but I think he’ll be clearly above league average)

Comments are closed.