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 Giants Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of McCovey Chronicles.
1) With the resigning of the largest Flying Molina Brother, Buster Posey doesn’t seem to have much of a chance to break camp with the club. Do we see him in 2010 at all? What do you expect of him?
If the Giants are in contention, and Molina is healthy, there’s no way Posey will start more than two or three game in the second half. Bruce Bochy really believes that inexperienced catchers are death to a team’s chances of winning. Starting Posey over someone who is familiar with the staff would be as negligent as starting only two outfielders.
But if the Giants are out of the race, and if Posey is doing well, he’ll probably start quite a few games down the stretch.
2) I’m not that optimistic on Nate Schierholtz. Make me a believer.
It’s hard to be optimistic about a guy who has swung at pitches that have hit him — again, that’s pitch*es*, plural — but the projection systems like him well enough. PECOTA, CHONE, Bill James, ZiPS…they all seem to think he’ll be an average hitter. His minor league numbers are decent enough (.308/.355/.516), and he’s not a defensive liability at all, so he’ll get a chance.
If he ever controls the strike zone at all, he’ll be a nice player. You could write that, though, about 3,121 different players.
3) I am optimistic about Jonathan Sanchez. Give me your boldest prediction for Sanchez this year.
Boldest? Well, if you want to get nuts, ZiPS lists his comparable pitchers by age as Mark Langston, Sandy Koufax, and Randy Johnson — all LHP with huge K-rates who suddenly morphed into something fantastic during their mid-20s. That’s bold. In my wildest bouts of optimism, I’ll say 200 IP, 230 K, 90 BB, 3.30 ERA. I don’t think he’ll make it to 200 IP, though. He’s too wild, and I’m not sure how he’d hold up over that workload.
His ability to miss bats is pretty rare, though.
4) With the signing of 30-somethings like Molina, DeRosa, Huff, Rowand, and Renteria, do you think Sabean considers this a “youth movement?” C’mon, bring back Vizquel and Randy Johnson. Trade for Moyer. What’s Julio Franco up to?
I think his commitment to the farm system came in the last two years, and you really need four or so to bear a lot of fruit. Other than Posey and Sandoval, the best of the Giants’ system aren’t above A-ball yet, so I can’t fault the guy for trying to build a win-now team without long-term contracts or blockbuster trades. Maybe the Giants could have been set for a longer period of time with a young guy like J.J. Hardy; maybe that would have cost Jonathan Sanchez. Maybe the Marlins were asking for Thomas Neal in exchange for Dan Uggla.
That said, I’m not wild about the stopgaps he did pick up. Huff is a clank-mitt, DeRosa is good but old, Molina is a horrid offensive player when you consider everything but home runs, and none of them are substantial improvements over the incumbents. Sabean basically spent $18M this offseason for his version of cost certainty. If all of those guys fall flat on their faces, Sabean can say, jeez, how was I supposed to guess these proven players were going to disappoint? This is preferable to trying to explain how unproven players didn’t perform in his mind, and he thinks the season-ticket holders agree. Who knows? Maybe he has a point.
5) With Pablo Sandoval on a strict conditioning program this offseason, what kinds of things can we expect from him this summer? A) Changes nickname to Kung Fu Hustle. B) After a game winning homer, he gets a salad smashed into his face. C) When he hits one out, less instances where announcers scream ‘Rerun’ instead of ‘Home Run.’
I think he’ll still be a little spherical, but hopefully he’ll be able to repeat his 2009 performance for years to come. I don’t think he’d mind the salad as long as it was followed by four more courses.