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 Rangers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Adam J. Morris of Razzball’s and Princess Vespa’s favorite Ranger blog Lone Star Ball.
1) Aside from perhaps Matt Wieters, there wasn’t a player who failed to live up to their huge hype than Chris Davis. Do you think he can manage a .260 / 25+ HR season whilst he strike out at a rate that would make Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds blush?
I don’t think a .260/25+ home run season is unreasonable for Davis, particularly given that he had a .238/21 home run season last year while playing roughly two-thirds of the season. But realistically, hitting .260 with 25-30 home runs probably isn’t going to cut it for Davis to keep his job — he’s always going to strike out a lot, but he’s got to add some walks and put up power numbers more like he did in 2008. I certainly think he’s capable of doing that — he hit at every level in the minors, hit in the majors in 2008, and doesn’t turn 24 until later this month. But it is going to come down to improving his contact rate — at 150 Ks in a season, he is a potential All Star. At 200-225 Ks in a season, he’s going to be out of a job.
2) We felt Josh Hamilton was overrated for fantasy baseball purposes last year but even we weren’t expecting just 336 ABs and 10 HRs. Is expecting .280/25/100 too optimistic?
It is hard to say with Josh. I’m thinking that we, as Rangers fans, need to think of him as another J.D. Drew, a guy who is going to make you crazy by missing time with what seem to be minor injuries, and who is always going to be dealing with nagging injuries. If he plays 130 games this year, he should be good for 30+ homers, and with the Rangers moving him out of CF to save on the wear and tear, he should have a bounceback year.
3) Let’s play over/under with HR/SB: Kinsler 25/25, Cruz 25/15, Borbon 10/30, Andrus 7/35.
4) It’s been, well, ever since a Rangers starting pitcher has been considered draftable in most fantasy baseball formats. Convince us that 1 or more of the Rangers pitchers might be one of the top 50 pitchers this year.
For starters, the Ranger defense is going to help the pitchers’ ERAs. The defense has been below average for most of the last decade, but in 2009, with guys like Elvis, Kinsler and Cruz providing plus defense, the Rangers had one of the best rates of converting balls in play into outs in the league. That translates into better ERAs. The two guys who I think are worth a look fantasy-wise are Rich Harden and Colby Lewis. Harden, everyone knows about, a guy who has great stuff and hasn’t stayed healthy. Lewis is an interesting case, a guy who went to Japan and was great, and who the projection systems all seem to think will translate well back in the U.S. He’s a guy I think is worth a flyer on, because if he does translate what he did in Japan to the U.S., he’d be a steal.
5) What’s more likely to happen in 2010:
a) An in-game fight breaks out and Nolan Ryan jumps on the field and gives someone a headlock.
b) The Ranger catchers combine for less extra base hits than letters in their collective last names.
c) The new Ranger owners call up Tom Hicks and Dubya for ownership advice.
d) Vlad Guerrero and Josh Hamilton both play 140+ games.
I think c. Dubya wasn’t a bad owner (although he was really just the figurehead for the money guys), and with Hicks, well, they might want advice from him to see what he did, so they can avoid his mistakes.