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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 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.

  1. Levo says:
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    Giants are going to be in the hunt as long as the pitching holds up. I actually think Sandoval will repeat 09′ and possibly improve, the kid just rakes. Until Posey and to a lesser extent Neal and Kieschnick are ready, the giants will continue to support the pitching with older players that may be over the hill but are cheap. I cant really fault this offseason, cuz there werent that many better alternatives. I dont mind signing vets just would have preferred a nick johnson for example. Go Panda!

  2. GopherDay says:
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    I love that last statement about the four courses!

    I’m really dissapointed about Molina signing, I have Posey on a dynasty team and no other catcher to really start. Waiver wire fun….here I come!

  3. royce! says:
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    SF Chronicle is reporting Bungarner will go into Spring Training as the Giants fifth starter. CHONE and Marcel project vastly different lines, but both project under 100 IP. Got any thoughts on how he’ll perform if he lands the 5th spot?

  4. royce! says:
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    Oh and the Nats signed Adam Kennedy so it seems Desmond’s value just dropped from a late option at SS to a waiver wire pickup if Kennedy or Guzman don’t produce.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: re: Bumgarner — Chance to get roofied. Low 4 ERA, 7.5 K/9, hiccups… Definitely worth a flier to see if he can surprise.

    Adam Kennedy is the bane of my existence. I’m going to need to write a something on site, but this definitely hurts Desmond’s value. Might start the year in the minors.

  6. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    Pandoval = Mini Prince Fielder

  7. royce! says:
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    @Grey: I think your projections will be more accurate than CHONE or Marcel. CHONE seems overly pessimistic (5.09 ERA), but I can only guess why, because I don’t know how it translates minor league data. Marcel, on the other hand, has him down for 3.69 ERA, which makes me think that Marcel computes ERA by doing the 5/4/3 thing and then doubling the projections if the #s are from the minors.

    It’s pouring rain and I am clearly bored.

    I’ll probably draft him in the last couple rounds if he’s still there, which I suppose depends on how he performs in Spring Training.

  8. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Care to throw out a line for O.Cabrera? MLBDEPTHCHARTS has him slotted in the 2-hole. Know he’s old, but in GABP? –something similar to Crapolanco?

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Asdrubal Bastardo: He’s more of a line drive hitter than Fielder.

    @royce!: Yeah, the weather is lousy in LA. Wide variance in rookie pitcher projections because they’re really hard to predict. That’s what makes them risky in fantasy too.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: He has more speed than Polanco, and potentially more power. Lower average. Off the top of my head, I’d say 80/10/65/.270/15

  11. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @royce!: Don’t know about Marcel, but have compared Grey, James, and CHONE.

    Overall, Grey and James are very similar. CHONE is about -10% below them, and more eratic. In my estimation, CHONE is by far the least favorable with regard to projecting 5X5 roto.

    Example, for Grey’s first mock, Grey’s projections and James’ both place him #2 in that 12-teamer. CHONE places him #7.

  12. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Thanks!

  13. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, Fielder -20 HRS and +.40 AVG….. he just looks like a mini-Fielder hah

  14. Eddy says:
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    Something about Lincecum screams injury. The way he pitches scares the shizz out of me!
    @Grey:
    Grey which set of players would you rather have?

    1) David Wright, Adam Lind, Curtis Granderson, and Nelson Cruz

    or

    2) Ryan Zimmerman Justin Upton, Adam Lind, and Curtis Granderson

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Both are fine options, I’d probably lean towards 2.

  16. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    All right cool, that’s the team I always try to create within the first 5-6 rounds.

    btw, here’s an interesting tidbit about the Giants:

    They have the 2nd best win/loss percentage in the history of all 30 teams! Who would’ve thought huh? Second to only, yup you guessed it, the Yankees.

  17. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Like that girl you can never quite forget…

    According to Gammons at mlb.com, Joey Devine is healthy again…

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: I faintly remember reading that before about the Giants… Yeah, it’s weird.

    @Steve: Noooo!!!

  19. david says:
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    If given these two choices in an NL-only draft, which would you take:

    a) Ryan Zimmerman in the 3rd round.
    b) Wandy Rodriguez in the 15th round.

    Thanks!

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @david: Zimmerman

  21. royce! says:
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    @Simply Fred: What do you mean by “10% below them”? In accuracy? Or 10% more optimistic? (ie, 3.50 ERA instead of 3.90)?

  22. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @royce!: CHONE projections average -10% below the other two (more conservative); i.e Grey/James predict 200K, Chone predicts 180K.

  23. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy: Just discovered your continued thread. Thank you. I really appreciate you sticking with this. If I didn’t lose you along the way, I read that the total difference you then project for dropping from Nathan to Jenks amounts to 1 point (for ERA and WHIP). Is this correct?

    I don’t have access to last year’s ADP. How far was the drop from Nathan to Jenks? All I am saying is that if you take the same drop from a SP who was drafted at Nathan’s level and drop to one at Jenk’s level you will get more than one point drop for ERA and WHIP, estimating that the drop in each will be the same but it will be magnified because the number of innings pitched is greater for the starter. Or, the drop in a hitter at the same levels, will result in more points lost.

    In order to demonstrate I would have to look at ADPs and corresponding players from last year.

  24. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy: Ignore previous. Recognize I am just being stubborn. Probably isn’t any way you were going to convince me, and I shouldn’t be driving you to try. Differring strategies have proven successful. And, you are a proven winner!

  25. TBone says:
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    As a Giants fan, I approve of this post.

    Although, I do not approve of this two headed creature known as the SabeanBochy. If only Noah had chucked it over board like he did the Unicorn…

  26. royce! says:
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    @Simply Fred: Interesting, thank you for sharing that information. I like to pretend that I am going to do something with it when I know that I am just going to go with my gut on draft day. Which is to say I’m just going to draft Stewart early and then struggle to remember which players are schmohawks and which are donkeycorns.

  27. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @royce!: Beginning to believe that staying healthy (which is UNPREDICTABLE) probably weighs much more heavily than all of the applied stats! :-)

  28. Bob says:
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    @Simply Fred: I love your questions to Rudy. My gut tells me that in addition to health, other factors include age (e.g. is the guy 25 v. 35), overall team quality, league, ballpark, steroid use (I’m actually not joking about this), and whether s player is being managed in a way that is consistent with good fantasy performance (e.g., Torre’s mismanagement of Matt Kemp). But I find it fascinating trying to figure out methods to determine when the best place is to draft for various needs. Go for middle infielders here, SP or RP’s there?

  29. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Bob: Thanks for the feedback. It is a little bit of a balancing act. For some folks the stats discussion gets a little weighty. For others, it’s just second nature. Sometimes I get a little carried away. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to help myself.

    RE: strategy. We have two heads to our Dragon, Grey and Rudy, who agree to disagree on occasion. And, really, when I look back at RCL team successes last year, I see some teams that drafted starting pitching high, some hitting high, ….

    Know that I just am programmed to give it my all to gain every little bit of perceived advantage going in, so that when the injuries/etc. hit, I am as well positioned as the next guy to survive. (I know I’m not alone in this endeavor.)

    Grey, is a master at evaluating a bunch of those factors that you talked about–seemingly without thinking about it, on the cuff.

    I have to spend hours viewing stats to feel as if I am anywhere close to understanding a given set of nuances. Thanks, again.

  30. Bob says:
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    @Simply Fred: I’m more of a seat of the pants guy, who realizes that I should probably apply a bit more rigor to my approach. And Grey, as you said, seems to be good at it all.

    Among my many leagues, I was in an RCL league as well, and ended up tied for first. I don’t have it in front of me, but as I recall, in that league, I didn’t draft any pitchers until around the 10th round, but drafted six SAGNOF closers. Predictably, I dominated hitting categories, and sucked in pitching categories, besides saves. I always draft pitching late, but in this draft, hitters who I like kept falling to my draft position, so I kept nabbing them. Too long and boring to explain here, so I won’t try.

    Anyway, I’m always looking for the edge, too, thus my interest in your dialogue, but I think gut has a lot to do with it, and taking what the draft gives you, and fixing it later, is the other side. Plus, a big dose of luck. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying your dialogues as a lurker, and just wanted to weigh in briefly.

    At guess at the end of the day is that no matter how hard you try to get it perfect, the season always unfolds, and it’s always not quite what you expect.

  31. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Bob: Good to hear that your “draft SP later” strategy worked. Don’t think I can wait until the 10th. Seems as if the quality of hitting falls off about R5.

    Have done 50+ mocks this off season. My problem with grabbing players that “fall” to me is that every time I do that I end up losing more ranks than if I “substitute” a prepared backup. I will end up with too many sluggers, or speedsters, and fall several spots for that lagging category without gaining in much in the other cat.

    Am prepared for pitfalls of draft, and season, not going to expectations. It’s base-a-ball and I’m lovin’ it!

  32. mmontice says:
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    Never showed my wife this website before tonight, but she got a serious kick (pun intended) out of the rerun video. Donation was a George Muresan “Do it for the kids” slum-dunk after that.

  33. Fanta says:
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    Well done as usual, Grey. I’m in a keeper’s league, with idiosyncratic rules–suffice it to say, we have large rosters, which allows us to carry minor leaguers (or even collegians). I’ve got Bryce Harper. Should I swap him for Jonathan Sanchez and Grant Green? I’m gunshy. Have traded superstars away before (inc. I’ll confess Albert Pujols after his rookie season); on the other hand, I was rewarded by following your Wandy advice of 2009. Yes, I need more pitching…but if he does what some predict he can do who doesn’t need a Bryce Harper?

    I wish I could use code names for the players above in case my trading partner is also reading your most worthy blog. But that would only confuse you as well…so…

    I remain, explicitly,

    A Faithful Reader

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