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 2012 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2012 Marlins Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Fish Stripes?
1) Not sure how familiar with Jose Reyes’s fifteen minutes extended handshakes, but they’re legendary. I hear he’s come up with one handshake that will involve him lighting a fire under Hanley’s ass so he plays third base. Will this handshake be necessary?
I don’t think it will be, though I’d be more than happy to see Ramirez more fired up than usual. I think the threat of losing out on millions of dollars in a few seasons will be enough to make Ramirez want to be the best third baseman he can be, but it does help to have someone who can be friendly and relate to him playing a few feet away from him. Reyes has a reputation for being an awesome clubhouse character, and that should help keep their relationship smooth and Ramirez hungry to compete and prove that he is still an elite player.
2) Jeffrey Loria’s rich aunt died and left him money to enhance the team (total conjecture…or is it?!) and now he wants to get rid of his rich uncle to fix this about the new park: A) Fences too far out making it a pitchers’ park. B) Fences too low and in for hitters. C) Less seats so it still doesn’t look so empty. Also, in general, how will their new park play?
One of our writers pointed out that the Marlins’ new stadium had walls close to that of Petco Park’s depth. In that respect at least, the Fish will be boasting a pitcher’s park similar to the one it had before the move. While Petco has additional factors that make it the worst place to hit in baseball, I doubt that the Marlins’ new stadium will be nice to hitters. The left field side will be deeper, while the right field remains of similar distance. The corner walls will be moved in a tad, but this is compensating for a deeper left and right middle field.
Also, there actually will be fewer seats to make everything feel more “cozy;” The Marlins will be boasting the smallest full-capacity stadium in the majors next year at just around 37,000 in full seating. Considering that they have not reached that capacity since 2003, I would not blame them.
3) Giancarlo Stanton will hit 40 homers, steal 15 bags and I will change my middle name to Giancarlo-Stanton. What’s the chances those things happen?
Stanton has a very good shot at hitting 40 home runs; a lot of projections have him reaching around 37 this season, so it would not be a stretch to put 40 in his 30th or 40th percentile projection. While it is less likely that he just develops more raw power than he already has as he ages (only Jim Thome has hit more home runs per fly ball since 2010 among players with at least 1000 PA), it is possible that he learns to lift balls more and give himself more chances at knocking them out of the park.
As for the other two projections, they are far less likely. Stanton does have the athleticism to steal bags, but it is difficult to imagine the Fish wanting him moving in front of good hitters with the risk that he will run them out of an inning with his limited stealing experience. And given Stanton’s full name, isn’t it much more likely that you change your middle name to Giancarlo? If he’s not going to use it, someone should.
4) What will 2012 look like for Logan Morrison? (BTW, His Twitter account spontaneously combusts while tweeting with Ozzie’s Twitter account is one answer, but I”m looking for on the field predictions.)
Logan Morrison should appear as someone in between his no-power OBP machine 2010 and his stronger but lower batting average 2011. He isn’t going to bat .330 or .260 on balls in play, so expecting something in between and leading to a .270 batting average and almost 20 home runs is not a bad start. A .270/.360/.470 slash line and a decently productive fantasy season seem to be in line for the Twitter addict Oh, and his Twitter account should repeat as the best in the game for a second straight season.
5) What will be the biggest change now that the Marlins have moved to Miami?
A) Each game will begin with Hanley, Josh Johnson and Giancarlo Stanton entering amidst smoke and lights, proclaiming they are going to win 8 World Series.
B) Marlin catchers will argue balls/strikes by pulling a David Caruso (half statement, remove glasses, finish statement)
C) Marlin pitchers will wear Don Johnsonesque sports jackets when on base.
D) In the pre-game warm-up vs. the Cubs, Starlin Castro will be assassinated.
I’m desperately wishing for B), but I’m going to choose C). They already are wearing oddly colored jerseys, so they might as well complete the ensemble for the pitchers when running the bases. Every time there’s a hit, Miami Vice’s theme song is already going to go off anyway.