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 Mets Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Eno Sarris from Amazin Avenue.
1) It’s funny how batting average can make someone a fantasy sleeper. Despite hitting 32 HRs last year, Ike Davis also had a .227 average and is going after guys like Anthony Rizzo and Eric Hosmer in some mock drafts. We have an Ike Davis fantasy sleeper call out on this first baseman for the season. Do you feel the same way or is the current valuation of him justified for 2013?
Ike has real power, which is funny because his first season as a profession produced zero home runs. Well, funny to me I guess. Not to him. Anyway, there’s a hitch in his swing, and that hitch helps him with the power and also hurts his ability to make contact. His hitting coach tells me it’s not a problem, so I guess it’s not a problem. But that means it’s also not going away. So if you are dreaming on his BABIP and see that .302 average in 2011 and are drooling, I’d wipe it up. If you are open-eyed, knowing that his batting average will be a minus, but that his power and price will make him a valuable pickup, go right ahead. I guess what I’m saying is I like Ike, but I know he’s got flaws. Ryan Howard made that package work once upon a time, though, so yes. Let’s call him a sleeper.
2) Even after losing R.A. Dickey this off-season, there’s a lot to like about the Mets starting rotation this year. Who will you be targeting in fantasy drafts and which one do you think will be the best value on draft day for 2013?
I find the entire rotation entirely fantasy useful and undervalued. Johan Santana’s changeup is still working — look at his swinging strike rate, and look at what he did before he busted his ankle. That wasn’t all the shoulder. He can get guys out, and it I bet a year removed from the surgery will help. A mid-threes ERA with a nice WHIP and okay strikeout rate? In the dollar rounds? Yes. Matt Harvey will cost a little more because he struck out everyone in his debut. And his control leaves something to be desired, so he might be overvalued in some leagues. But I’ve been in expert mocks so far, and he’s going in the high teens. I’ll take him there because I love strikeouts. Even if they are fascist. Jon Niese is a fantasy afterthought, and watching him, I get it. The curve is okay, the cutter is a cutter, and the fastball is just a 90 mph thing. But he does have good control, gets ground balls, and can be an innings-eater on any staff. I bet he’ll be above replacement level and be cheap. Dillon Gee? Maybe more of a deep leaguer, but he has great control and even if his fastball sucks, his secondary stuff really doesn’t. There’s upside there. Shaun Marcum should be good for a hundred or so good innings, twenty or so blow-up innings, and anything you get after that is bonus. But be like the Mets — invest so little in him that if TJ comes calling, you don’t mind.
3) If Ruben Tejada were a food, he’d be wonder bread: sure you can eat it but it’ll still leave you feeling hungry and was full of empty calories. Despite batting .289 and in the leadoff spot for most of the season, Tejada finished the year with only 4 steals and 53 runs in 114 games. Prorated to 150 games – 70 runs and 5 steals – we have to say we’re pretty bored over here in the fantasy world with Tejada. At only 23 years old, what can we expect for growth from Tejada and is there any value for him in a typical 10 or 12 team league for 2013?
I denigrated Ruben Tejada coming up, thinking they’d knock the bat out of his hand, his defense was unknown, and the patience would disappear. In real life, he’s been great though. Cheap, reliable defense with a modicum of patience. In fantasy, you’re right. Total wonderbread. I’ve been as positive as I can be about his 2013, and all I can find is maybe a .285 batting average with a home run and fifteen steals, and unless they move him to the top of the lineup and the patience returns a little, the runs won’t even be exciting. You have to be in a Warm Body deep league to want him at your MI position.
4) In our Travis d’Arnaud fantasy write up, we said we’d be surprised if he weren’t up by May 1st. Is this a reasonable expectation and what do you foresee from the rookie catcher in 2013?
The only thing that makes me worry about TDA — other than his mediocre plate discipline stats in the minors and the fact that his best power years came in nice power parks and his upside might be more of a real-life than fantasy thing — is that with the knee injury, they’ll have an excuse to keep him down for arbitration reasons. Like you say, May 1 is a good guess, although I think June 1 is the safer one, since that’s usually when the super two deadline is. I’m not sold. Remember how sweet Devin Mesoraco was going to be. Managers want veterans behind the plate and it often takes a while. TDA is no Buster Posey, not to me.
5) It’s mid-Summer and the Mets are playing well, in the thick of the NL East crown hunt. What’s the storyline behind this drive down Amazin Avenue?
A) Lucas Duda returns to 2011 form and is on pace for hitting .280 with 20 HRs and 90 RBIs
B) Frank Francisco challenges Bobby Parnell to a chair-throwing contest, saying the loser doesn’t close for the Mets on the year. Though Frankie throws it the farthest, he also hits another fan and is arrested, giving Parnell the job anyway
C) Jordany Valdespin – a sparkplug off the bench for most of the start of the year – eventually takes over for one of the struggling players and goes on to have a 12 HR, 30 steal season.
D) Jonathon Niese becomes addicted to plastic surgery after last season’s nose job. Niese shows up in camp looking like David Hasselhoff and becomes a Cy Young contender with the boost in confidence he gets. The Hoff’s cover of Hooked On A Feeling becomes his walk up music.
E) Matt Harvey wins NL rookie of the year
If they are actually competitive, it’ll probably have to be all of the above. I think A) and E) have a shot at happening, but if that’s all that happens, they’ll just be third or fourth in the division. I do think they can manage 75+ wins! Heady times to be a Mets fan!