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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 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Astros Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy James from Astros County.

1) With the turn to the AL, the Astros got introduced to using the DH full time and it looks like they’re going to give Carlos Pena the job.  Are you concerned about the downward trend his career has taken and is there any fantasy relevance left with Carlos for 2013 fantasy baseball?

The short answer is, “Uh, yeah.” He totaled 12.7 WAR from 2007-2009, and since has posted a total 4.6 WAR from 2010-12. Last year, with 600 PAs, he enjoyed a robust 0.9 WAR, while striking out 182 times. That said, his BABIP hasn’t been above .267 since 2008. Hopefully he can rebound, but I’m concerned that the low BABIP is now a trend and not just a really long anomaly.

Will he provide any fantasy relevance? I’m not sure about that, either. He’s likely going to get moved up in the lineup order in Houston, where the Rays had the freedom to hide him a little bit, and the Astros won’t have that luxury. He’ll have his usual HR value, but even that total could easily drop yet again.

2) Jonathan Singleton got busted with his second violation against the minor league drug policy and is now suspended for the first 50 games of the minor league season but not for the major league one.  Is there any chance that with this news he has literally weeded his way out of the minors and into the majors for opening day and if so, what are your expectations for him?

I don’t think he’ll make the club out of Spring Training, but I would be surprised if he wasn’t in Houston by the trade deadline. With the exception of maybe Jose Altuve, he’s the most exciting/highest-ceiling prospect the Astros have had since Hunter Pence. Hopefully he’s The Truth, but I’ll be happy settling for a good, solid, first-baseman.

3) Brett Wallace came from the same draft as Ike Davis, Brett Lawrie and Lonnie Chisenhall.  Somehow, even though the careers of those other 3 have been shaky at best, the fantasy universe still recognizes them but have completely forgotten about Brett.  Well, except for Grey who wrote about Brett Wallace as a fantasy sleeper for 2013.  With all that said, what are your thoughts for Wallace for 2013 fantasy baseball?

It seems like the Astros just haven’t figured out what to do with Brett Wallace. Brad Mills seemed to go out of his way to sit him against LHPs (even when the Astros were 25 games out). Strange thing is, his OPS against lefty starters is .699, and his OPS is .700 against righty starters. Still, 81% of his plate appearances have been against righties. I do think he’s the Opening Day 1B, but he’s on a very short leash, despite only having started 189 games in the Majors.

4) Overall the Astros are in full rebuild mode.  With that in mind, who are you excited to see on the MLB stage this year?  Any MILB players or new acquisitions that you’ll have your eye on during Spring Training?

There have been so many acquisitions in the last 12 months that I still have to go back and see where the Astros got a player. Obviously we’re excited about Singleton and Jarred Cosart, but guys like Marc Krauss and Robbie Grossman also could possibly have an impact on the Big League team this season. Overall it’ll be interesting to see how everyone progresses in another minor-league season.

5) What’s the most likely news blurb we’ll see about the Houston Astros in 2013:
A) Jose Altuve punches a carnie when he doesn’t quite reach the ‘you have to be this tall to ride this ride’ line?
B) Chris Carter gets near full-time at-bats and belts 30 HRs?
C) Bud Norris finally has a cage match with Brian Wilson regarding their Taco Bell tiff, only to be forced to face his father Chuck, who hides in Wilson’s beard?
D) Hector Ambriz ends up with the most saves for the Astros by the end of the year?
E) Houston climbs out of the cellar to finish 5th in their division for the first time in two years (watch your step, there’s a math joke in there)

The Astros are only going to be in the news for something non-baseball related. They won’t be on SportsCenter until well after the Friday Funnies, or at :58 of the hour. So I’m going with Carnie Violence or Taco Bell cage match for likelihood. Given that Brian Wilson wants to be in the news more than anything else in the world, I’ll give the nod to the Bud Norris/Brian Wilson Taco Bell Cage Match for “most likely 2013 Astros news blurb.” And that’s a good one about finishing 5th.

  1. Birdmann says:
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    Hey heads up Yahoo changed their rankings moved a bunch of guys around.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      No doubt. I don’t think Grey thought I’d get many of these. I tripled his output from last year and a lot of these were written in early January. Tell Grey to get his shizz together and get my awesomeness out there sooner!

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Sky: they do this every year and it pisses me off. It’s like they are telling us we screwed up and for those of you that drafted their leagues early will have a bunch of people that look like Genuises while the rest of us look like yahoos

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          They probably just wait until other sites have done the legwork and then pull from them. Less work for them and they make more than those who are actually putting in the time. Now who’s the Yahoo!

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: that’s so corporate of them, but if was reverse they would shut you down

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              It would be a sad day if Funston and Co. Shut down the Greyloria Estefan and the Fantasy Sound Machine

  2. prezii says:
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    Finally… Ive been waiting all off season for this! Yes!

    :D

    • Birdmann says:
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      @prezii:
      For yahoo to change or the Astros report

      • prezii says:
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        @Birdmann: yahoo changes their minds, image, analysts, diapers everyday… No big surprise there..

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha, I know! Lucas Harrell…fantasy gold!

      • prezii says:
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        @Sky: fantasy cotton, more like! Haha

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Id think of them more like wool: itchy and something you don’t want near your skin

  3. PWIRE says:
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    Quick Question.
    I’m in a league where we can trade draft picks before the draft. I am in a 13 team roto league with the number 2 slot. I was offered 2 and 181 for 19 and 34. Should I take this trade? And who would you look for at picks 19,25,28, 34 to start your team?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      First question: would be a pretty bold move. Not a terrible one but hard to turn down Miggy or Braun (Those are my 1/2 this year). You’re giving up consistency if you do it but it has the potential to give you a more well-rounded team. I’d do it but I don’t mind taking a risk like that in a redraft league.

      Second question: it’s hard to know who’s going to be on the board when your turn comes up. Depends on what league rankings you’re going off of and how smart the other guys in your league are. For example, if you’re using yahoo and believe the draft will go in a similar ADP succession to it, I see Justin Upton floating at 23 in ADP. If he falls to you there, I’d take him at 19. 25 would be Hanley Ramirez to cover SS and still get good counting stats. 28 would be Heyward and 34 would be Goldschmidt. But again, it’s hard to answer that question because you never know who’s going to go where and without knowing what rankings your league would go off of, it’s even more of a crapshoot.

  4. KCC26 says:
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    ok nothing to do with astros but I’m facing down a keeper deadline and could use some input from you Sky, or anyone else who has an opinion to offer! 12 team, we keep 5, at the avg of where they were drafted last season and their current yahoo ADP. Many seem to be keeping their best players, and it seems like the top players available in the draft will be: wright, upton, reyes (that range). I pick 12th. I’ll probably be looking at an offensive group of mayyybe holliday (depending on who else is kept), bj upton, brandon phillips, zobrist, goldschmidt, or the group of pitchers including lee and hamels. Given that information, which of these 5 would you keep?

    kemp (2)
    tulowitzki (2) If I keep both, the other gets pushed to the last pick of the 3rd round
    mccutchen (4)
    goldschmidt (7)
    encarnacion (9)
    wainwright (11)
    medlen (16)

    Thanks so much!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Confused a bit by some of what you said (Goldy is on your team but he’s back in the mix? eh? And which Upton? Both?) but in a nutshell I’d keep your 5 hitters and throw Wainwright/Medlen back into the pool. Too much arm value out there to draft. If pick 12th and end up with an Upton, I’d take him there as well. There’s nothing wrong with having most of your OF solidified early. 2B/SS is a crap show, I wouldn’t waste an early pick on it.

  5. Dan W says:
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    Any thoughts on Brandon Barnes or Brad Peacock for 2013? I know Grey was all over Peacock at this time last year (oops) and Barnes has put up solid numbers this spring and in the minors last year. I’m toward the end of my NFBC Draft Champions draft and I’m wondering if you think they are worthy of a roster spot.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Spring stats mean nothing. Barnes is 27 and competing for a job on a Quad-A MLB team, I wouldn’t get that involved.

      Peacock’s main issue last year was control. He’s still got good upside but you know you won’t get many wins outta him and it’s not clear if he’s even in the rotation to start the year. He’s an ok flier depending on how deep the league is/how far down the road you are but honestly I’m not all that excited about him.

      • Dan W says:
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        @Sky: A little bit about the Draft Champions leagues: 750 players drafted (so yeah…kinda deep) and you can’t make any moves after the draft. We’re in round 45 out of 50. The top players available according to NFBC’s rankings are studs like Grady Sizemore, Jair Jurrjens and Yorvit Torrealba. I suppose anyone drafted at this point would be considered a flier.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Ha, sorry about that I missed the NFBC part until now. Peacock is worth a peak. Still not hyped about Barnes, though.

  6. ferris says:
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    i am shamelessly asking everyone

    nl only 5×5

    pick one keeper:

    david wright for 28
    jay bruce for 25

    leaning to bruce since wright’s health is uncertain and it is nl-only (otherwise i’d go with wright for his 3B-ness)

    choice must me made tonight so i must decide on wright as he sits right now

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I like Bruce more there but I’m admittedly not a huge Wright guy

  7. Wake Up says:
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    ESPN draft ? for Sky and everyone….
    Is there anyway to switch the player to where you are going to play him? For example if you draft Hanley and they plug him in at 3B and you want to play him at SS, can you switch that during the draft? Otherwise they make you draft another SS when you want a RP???

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I thought once you drafted another SS it would simply slide him over. Would be really strange if ESPN forced a pick on you

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Sky: They do force you to fill out every position. And my point was that I didn’t want to take another SS…I wanted to play Hanley at SS but for some reason they plugged him in at 3B and wouldn’t allow me to move him to SS during the draft. SO, when I was looking for another closer…the only position they would allow me to draft was SS. Not a big deal…just wondering if I was missing something and you could switch players to another position during the draft, and I just didn’t know how. Thanks for the response and …How bout Jose Veras? Right? Yeah those Stros. Go Stros!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Wake Up: That’s FUBAR. What a terrible drafting app.

    • ferris says:
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      i don’t think you can switch position mid-draft but i don’t think you are forced to select a player for every position (e.g., you can go ahead and draft 20 pitchers if you want and they will go to bench spots — you should do a quick mock to check but that’s how it was last year@Wake Up: @Wake Up: @iSky:

      • ferris says:
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        @ferris: did a quick mock and it looks like espn does force positions on you — i guess we need to be careful

        • Wake Up says:
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          @ferris: They do. It was like that last year too. Thanks for looking into it. I wish there was a way to slide the player during the draft, to the position that you want to play him at.

  8. Matt says:
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    Please help: 7×7 with OBP, SLG, QS: keep two

    SS elig Prado, Bourn, Granderson, Dickey, J Zim, Gallardo, Sale

    Have Braun, Joey Bats and Cano

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Matt: I’m probably in the minority with this but I’d go Dickey & Prado. Don’t trust Grandy to come back strong and speed (Bourn) is always cheap in the draft.

  9. Bourne says:
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    Math jokes: Hey OH!

    Does it really count as rebuilding if they are just building prospects to trade for new ones by the trade deadline?

    Do you think they will trade Norris/Martinez/Altuve this year or might one of these become a franchise tag just to keep up minimal attendance and jersey sales?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Bourne: Ha! They’ll keep Altuve around as a rodeo clown.

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