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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 Diamondbacks Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy Jim McLennan from AZ Snakepit.

1) With a trade that seemingly only Kevin Towers gets, the D-backs traded Justin Upton and Chris Johnson for Martin Prado and Randall Delgado.  Ignoring the real baseball perspective on this trade, what is your evaluation from a fantasy perspective?  Does Prado’s value go up, down or stay neutral with this trade and where would you be targeting him in fantasy drafts this year?

I think Prado will be a little more valuable from a fantasy perspective. He is expected to play most of the time at 3B this year for Arizona, but as he had 25 appearances there for Atlanta, he probably won’t be adding any positional eligibility as a result. The question is, can he be expected to repeat his impressive 2012 performance, where he hit .301, stole 17 bases and had a career-high in RBI. I think the results there will be mixed. He should be helped by a move to Chase Field, which is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, and he will probably get to spend some time, at least, lower in the order. He started 140 games at second for the Braves, but Kirk Gibson likes to ring the changes in the line-up, and I can see Prado also hitting anywhere from third to fifth, which should help his RBI tallies. In a 12-team mixed league, around the ninth round seems about right.

2) After finishing 4th in the balloting for the Cy Young award in 2011, Ian Kennedy fell back to Earth in 2012 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.  So who is the real Ian Kennedy?  His 2011 version, his 2012 version or something in the middle and would you draft him in 2013?

Kennedy’s 2012 was definitely disappointing; as in most cases, I suspect the reality is somewhere between there and the 2011 version, probably closer to 2012. I don’t think Kennedy strikes out enough people to be considered a “true” fantasy ace, but the main problem last year was a sharp spike in his home-run rate, to 1.21 per nine IP. Given a career average of 1.04, that should regress, and help his ERA improve somewhat, but I would be expecting something around 3.60 as an ERA, personally. It’s the opposite scenario for him, with Chase inflating the numbers a bit: for fantasy purposes, that rarely matters of course. He’ll certainly be draftworthy, but I wouldn’t even consider him in the first six or seven rounds.

3) Aaron Hill had a very strong campaign in 2012, hitting 26 HRs while stealing 14 bases and hitting .302.  With the new contract and his roller-coaster career track record, is there any concern that Hill will struggle and where would you rank him amongst 2Bs for 2013?

Hill loves hitting in Chase, and has done nothing but that since coming from Toronto: he has batted .304 with Arizona, and that’s now 189 games and over 800 PAs, so I tend to think he is fairly legit. There wouldn’t be many better if he can sustain that: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler are probably the only ones who are clearly superior. I put Hill in the next tier, alongside Brandon Phillips and Jason Kipnis. His power makes him especially valuable, given a position where there are not very many on whom you can probably rely for twenty home-runs.

4) The 5th spot in the rotation is open to the D-Backs pitching public.  Who do you think wins that spot in the rotation and will that pitcher be fantasy relevant for 2013?

The fifth spot was originally looking like a three-way dance, between Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Randall Delgado, but the latter two have struggled badly in spring, while Corbin has yet to allow an earned run. Now, we’re talking a small sample size – five innings, in fact – but it seems that Corbin now has the spot to lose, and if he remains healthy, will likely be the occupant on Opening Day. Like Kennedy, he will largely be defined by his ability to keep the ball in the park: Corbin wasn’t too successful in doing that during his starts last year, but his BABIP of .319 was also higher than one would expect. I don’t think he’ll be troubling most draft owners this season, at least until he has proved himself a bit better.

5) It’s late July and the Dbacks look revitalized and are in the thick of the NL West hunt.  What’s the biggest story that’s guiding them there?
A) Cody Ross starts striking out too much so they bench him in favor of Willie Bloomquist who goes on to lead the league in steals and grittiness
B) Brandon McCarthy is on pace to pitch 200 innings for the first time in his career.
C) Adam Eaton finally starts getting all the paychecks that had been going to the older Adam Eaton and goes on an offensive tear
D) Goldschmidt is putting on a show and is on pace for a 30 HR, 15 SB season.
E) Tony ‘The Squirrel’ Campana begins nesting in Kubel’s beard.  This really has nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to put that image in your head.

That would be C), Adam Eaton, who has the potential to be a Rookie of the Year, in a class without any obvious standouts, unlike last season. He has done nothing but hit in the minors, with a career average there of .355. Now, those are definitely inflated by batting .381 last season in Reno, which is close to a mile high and doesn’t have a humidor. But, if you’re looking for good average and stolen bases, then he’s an excellent sleeper pick. McCarthy’s health is definitely a factor: if he can avoid the DL stints that have plagued him for one reason or another, the contract signed with the D-backs could be a real bargain for the team. But the key word there is definitely “if”, and that’s by no means a given. As for beards, I’ll have you know Jason Kubel has been supplanted by Josh Collmenter:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8232/8459338321_e61a78971e_n.jpg
Never mind Tony Campana, I think Wrigley Stadium is in there somewhere…

42 Responses

  1. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    damn, a new article by sky every 20 minutes

    you know its hard out there for ho
    when he’s trying to get this money for the rent
    for the craft brews and nachos money spent
    will cause a whole lot of readers to get sick…..of all your articles

    I kid…..I kid. sorry watched hustle and flow the other day

    hey what do you think of Ludwick vs. Chris Carter?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha! Haven’t seen but I know I should. It’s queued like everything else.

      Think Ludwick has an illusion of safety about him that’s not really justified. I’d still take Carter there.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Sky: Thats a must see to be my friend

        I like both, having a lot of toss up players on one of my teams. Pitching is super solid but my OF is a train wreck. Going with the grabbing every solid OF with a strong batting order spot that can hit for power guys

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah if you have the roster space it makes sense. Not really big on Ludwick. He’s one cold streak plus Choo bad defense streak from slipping out of the starting lineup.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: true dat

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: would you drop fujikawa for Ludwick?

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Do you need him or are you adding a bench bat? Not worth dropping for a bench bat

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Sky: might not matter if boston would put papi on the DL, have a tweener in markakis

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Yeah Ludwick is out there for a reason. Not a roster changer so I’d just wait a bit. RCL is really thin. He’s an own while hitting kinda guy, not one to stress about

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: going through some close to the start of season anxiety

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I hear ya. Told Grey the other day I was so excited it felt like there were ants crawling on my skin. Then I realized I just hadn’t had my heroin fix.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: hear that, its better than taking a bunch of oxy’s, its a lot easier on your liver to do heroin

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      That’s what I tell everyone who say I should live healthier. We all have our vices, at least my livers fine! Oh wait, the booze…

  2. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Hey Sky, just did a 12 team keeper league draft. It’s 6×6 h2h categories scoring, with 5 keepers allowed and 4 minor league players (less than 1 year of experience) that can be pulled up at any time to your minor league roster. Anyways, just did my draft and was hoping you could tell me if you see any weaknesses or things I should be aware of.
    C- Joe Mauer
    1b-Paul Goldschmidt
    2b-Jason Kipnis
    ss-Jimmy Rollins
    3b- Ryan Zimmerman
    of- Mike Trout
    of- Andrew McCutchen
    of- Yoenis Cespedes
    Util- Mike Morse
    Bench Spots: Emilio Bonifacio, Aaron Hicks, Adam Dunn, Andrelton Simmons.
    Pitching:
    David Price
    Brandon Morrow
    Matt Moore
    Ryan Vogelson
    Rafael Soriano.
    My minor leaguers are: Matt Harvey, Brandon Maurer, Danny Hultzen, and Nolan Arenado. I know my team is a bit injury prone, but that’s nearly unavoidable these days. I appreciate any input. Thanks.

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: thats some weird settings with only 5 pitching spots. how did you get trout and McCutchen? were they kept from last year?

      • TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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        @Jack Full of Hate:
        There’s just bench spots, they can all be pitchers or hitters its your choice. Yeah my keepers were Trout, Dread Pirate, Price, Goldy and Moore.

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: thats a great start. what are your bench arms?

          • TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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            @Jack Full of Hate:
            Those 5 are pretty much it, but I will probably drop a bat and bring up Harvey right away or after one good start from. Possibly the same thing with Maurer if he keeps playing well.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I like your hitters overall but I think that affected your pitching. You took a lot of risk having Moore/Morrow as your SP2/3. Could be great, could blow up in your face. Given your amount of bench bats, i would’ve preferred to take a few more solid arms. Again, decent team but you should be one of the first guys to jump on surprising pitchers in April.

      • TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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        @Sky:
        Yeah I was thinking the same thing I did a live draft and didn’t realize I was taking so many bats and not many pitchers, I’ll bring up Harvey and try to get Ryu or something for the first week. Thanks.

  3. Matt says:
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    Five keeper league. We get a sixth keeper if we keep our last rd pick the entire year; he serves as second to last rd pick next year.

    Who do you want?

    Bundy or Luebke?

    Thanks

    • Matt says:
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      @Matt: Add Xander Bogaerts to that.

      Thank you in advance

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Xander

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not a big Bundy believer so it’s Luebke for me

  4. Keter Pings says:
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    Sky,

    Like a SF Pride Parade, I’m pitching heavy. I was offered the trade of Jake Peavy and Todd Frazier for Desmond Jennings and Josh Beckett. I’ve also got 3B down pat like a conservative christian couple with Longoria and Miguel Cabrera (Frazier was my OF3).

    • Keter Pings says:
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      @Keter Pings: I was offered Desmond Jennings and Josh Beckett for Jake Peavy and Todd Frazier (correction of my English).

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        If you need speed and have a decent enough SP staff, it’s a reasonable trade

  5. Slava says:
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    Just finished a standard 5×5 14-team ESPN auction draft with the following results:

    C Wilin Rosario 12
    1B Paul Goldschmidt 27
    2B Maicer Izturis 1
    3B Brett Lawrie 17
    SS Josh Rutledge 9
    2B/SS Eduardo Nunez 1
    1B/3B Brett Wallace 1
    OF Giancarlo Stanton 35
    OF Nick Markakis 7
    OF Curtis Granderson 15
    OF Shin-Soo Choo 21
    OF Will Venable 1
    UTIL Drew Stubbs 1
    UTIL Nolan Reimold 1
    P Zack Greinke 20
    P Cliff Lee 26
    P Kris Medlen 17
    P Roy Halladay 13
    P Marco Estrada 6
    P Addison Reed 9
    P Rafael Soriano 11
    P Mitchell Boggs 3
    P Vinnie Pestano 1
    BE Hyun-Jin Ryu 2
    BE Dan Straily 1
    BE David Hernandez 1
    BE Travis Snider 1

    I’m going to have to work the WW hard to get decent MIs but I think other than that my team is OK. ESPN, however, ranked my team 12th in terms of projections. Is it that bad?

    Last year I did fairly well by having good pitching, establishing good ratios and trading pitching away mid-season for some counting stats. Thinking I’ll try this again. Any tips?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Minus Halladay, your staff looks decent. Not too hip on spending $30+ on two guys who’ll start the year on the DL with Lawrie/Grandy. You’ll really need to play waivers to get something out of your MI this year. Even if Maicer is the starter, you’re not gonna want his stats. Overall, I’m not worried about what the projections say, I’m worried about what you’re going to do with your 3B on the DL and when Jeter comes back and bumps Nunez to the bench. You have some decent players but you’ll have a hard time competing to start the year unless you get some good waiver players for those areas.

  6. Hats for Bats says:
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    Hey Sky. I also asked this of Grey, but considering this trade may get cancelled shortly, I was hoping you may be able to answer this quicker. Yahoo roster 12 team H2H – has OBP, 3B, Ks against, CG Holds

    C Victor Martinex
    1B Albert Pujols
    2B Brian Roberts
    SS J-Roll
    3B Lonnie Chisenhall
    OF Justin Upton
    OF Nelson Cruz
    OF Ichiro Suzuki
    UT Domonic Brown
    UT Bonifacio
    BN Wil Myers
    DL Jeter

    SP Strasburg
    SP CC Sabathia
    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Jon Lester
    SP Marco Estrada
    SP Josh Beckett
    SP Julio Teheran
    CL Mariano Rivera
    CL Huston Street
    CL Ernesto Frieri
    RP David Robertson
    RP Jonathan Broxton
    RP Eric O’Flaherty
    DL Ryan Madson

    Grey mentioned trading away CC or Strasburg. Obviously I need a 3B. Just got offered Todd Frazier & Miguel Cabrera for Strasburg & J-Upton. Do I pull the trigger on that and grab Miggy?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I love getting the best player but you’re giving up too much for it. Try a smaller trade to just get Frazier, you OF isn’t exactly beefy enough to give up Upton.

      • Hats for Bats says:
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        @Sky: The other offer is Lester for Frazier . . . Lester looks to have regained ace form. Do I give him up just to upgrade Chissenhall—>Frazier?

        • Hats for Bats says:
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          @Hats for Bats: Plus Razzball has been high on Frazier to the tune of a #100 rank. Do you think #1 & # 100 > #11 & # 25 considering I have a strong pitching staff already?

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            I think it takes away from an area you’re not strong in to begin with at OF. Frazier for Lester makes way more sense.

          • Tehol Beddict says:
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            @Hats for Bats: frasier will be hitting 40 this year. Dont even trip

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            We try to keep Tehol in his cage where he’s safe from others as well as himself but we can’t keep him there all day.

  7. Brendon says:
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    Corbin has an impressive K:BB, a good GB% and is a great late round flyer. There’s no reason to think he won’t take a step forward and become mixed league relevant.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Overall, I like him especially for deep leagues. He wasn’t a draft day target of mine but one I’m keeping my eye on in the first couple of weeks. If he can push his K rate closer to 8 per 9, he’s gonna be very valuable.

      • Brendon says:
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        @Sky:

        Exactly. Temper expectations, but if he gets going, make the add. I already own him as my league is fairly deep. He had a great spring.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah there’s a few guys I’m gonna be watching for deeper leagues this first week. Arrieta is a name to keep your eye on too.

  8. 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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    Morning Sky : What a great day, both Jesus and baseball rise from the dead!
    Anyhow, it seems as though I added Chasner to my team right before they gave his job away so now I’m at a loss as to what to do. Do I hold him expecting him to start sometime in April or do I throw him back to the wolfs and go for a replacement like Felix Doubront, Paul Maholm, Eric Stults or snag a 5th RP like Alburquerque or Fujikawa? I usually only carry 4 closers but Vinny might lose his job and Fujikawa will be a great source of K’s until he takes over for Marmol.

    10 team Yahoo 5×5 Keeper with QS instead of Wins and my staff is below.

    SP Jordan Zimmermann
    SP Homer Bailey
    RP Mariano Rivera
    RP Glen Perkins
    P Max Scherzer
    P Hyun-Jin Ryu
    P Steve Cishek
    P Vinnie Pestano
    BN Tommy Milone
    BN A.J. Griffin
    BN James Shields
    BN Ryan Dempster
    BN Andrew Cashner

    Your help is appreciated!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I like to think of it as Easter Funday

      10 teamer, your roster’s gonna be in constant flux all year. Go for Fuji

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