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 Brewers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy Kyle Lobner from Brew Crew Ball.
1) With Corey Hart on his way to knee surgery, Mat Gamel was going to assume 1B but now is out another season with knee surgery. What will the Brewers do now with Corey Hart still out until at least May and will his replacement have an impact on the fantasy world?
Gamel has played in parts of five major league seasons and has never really shown what the Brewers were hoping for from him, hitting just .229/.305/.367 over 106 career games. It was not a sure thing that he’d hit enough to stick at first base anyway, even enough to hold the position until Corey Hart is back in May. The Brewers have all but confirmed that by talking to veteran alternatives like Lyle Overbay even before Gamel got hurt. Whoever the replacement is, I don’t see much production out of them until Hart is back.
2) Everyone loves a discount in fantasy leagues at talent-thin positions and we have a Jean Segura fantasy sleeper call out on the young shortstop. Is it too early to expect much from this 22 year old SS and what do you project for Segura for 2013?
Jean Segura was everything the Brewers could possibly have hoped for in 2012 when they called up a 22-year-old shortstop who had played exactly one game above AA. With that said, his .264/.321/.331 line as a Brewer with seven steals in 44 games was closer to “stopgap” than “sensation.” Segura should continue to grow and develop at the major league level, has great speed and is solid defensively, but it’s probably a little early to start looking at him as a candidate to be a consistent offensive producer.
3) Carlos Gomez had a breakout second half last year, hitting 14 of his 19 HRs and stealing 26 of his 37 bases after the break. And yet, everywhere I look he’s an afterthought come draft day showing there are plenty of skeptics as to whether or not he’s arrived. What’s your opinion of his 2012? Will it carry forward into this year and what are your projections for him in 2013?
Carlos Gomez finally had the season everyone thought he was capable of in his sixth major league attempt in 2012 with solid power, 37 steals in 43 attempts, a >.300 OBP for the first time and his usual excellent defense. If Gomez can keep performing at this level he’s probably an All Star candidate and he’s in line for a massive payday this winter.
The problem is that it’s tough to tell if Gomez has turned the corner, or simply had an aberration year in the middle of a career where his lack of plate discipline has made him difficult to pencil into the lineup at times. Gomez is still only 27 so it’s possible he’s simply reaching his prime, but it’s not a given that he’ll continue to perform at this level.
Even if Gomez does falter, though, the Brewers don’t have many veteran options to take his place. Rookie Logan Schafer is likely the only current threat to his playing time in the organization.
4) Everyone knows about Yovani Gallardo but the other 4 names in that starting rotation look pretty enticing for fantasy purposes as well. Who are you most excited to see pitch this year for the Brewers and which one do you think will be the biggest fantasy value on draft day in 2013?
This starting rotation has the opportunity to be “pretty exciting” as you said, but right now they’re also lacking in both depth and experience. Marco Estrada is likely to be the #2 starter and has never started a full season in the majors. Wily Peralta is the Brewers’ top prospect and looked great in September, but struggled in AAA for a big chunk of last season. Chris Narveson is coming back from major shoulder surgery. Mike Fiers looked great for a few months but faded badly down the stretch in 2012, and Mark Rogers is a former #1 pick who may have the best stuff but has been hampered by injuries and control issues throughout his career.
If the Brewers can find a solid starting five among that list of question marks, this could be a very good team. There’s also a good chance, though, that those question marks will be the reason the Brewers DON’T succeed.
Beyond Yovani Gallardo, the most likely-to-produce Brewer pitcher in 2013 is probably Estrada. He came from the bullpen to post a 3.64 ERA with over nine strikeouts per nine and less than two walks in 2012, his first full-time opportunity to start in the majors. Wily Peralta and Mark Rogers could also be special if used, but neither is a lock to make the rotation.
5) The Brewers decide to jump on the Microbrew trend and make beers named after key Milwaukee players for 2013. What’s the most likely/delicious brew from the ideas the Brewers PR are bouncing around from below?
A) LowenBraun – Tastes so good, you’ll never wanna let it out of your custody.
B) Aoki Extra Dry – Drink it and you’ll be singing it’s praises…off-key at a the closest Karaoke joint.
C) Old Ramirawaulkee – It doesn’t get any more better than Aramis.
D) Pabstford Blue Ribbon – You get the award for best facial hair.
E) Rickie Lite – Same rich taste, now with 20% less games played.
I think anything with Ryan Braun’s name/picture on it will sell in Milwaukee, so I’ll go with A.