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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 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Giants Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Trevor Cole from Giants Baseball Blog.

1) Razzball projects a line of 70/20/88/2/.308 for Buster Posey in 2014. Do you think the young catcher will meet or surpass this projection?

I’d expect him to be in that area. I’m hoping for maybe a slightly higher average and a few more RBI, but 20 HR and a .900 OPS should be expected. He tailed off a bit last year due to his large workload in 2012, and he added strength this winter to help him endure the rigors of a full season. Plus, the Giants lineup should be a little bit better this year and should provide him with more opportunities to drive in runs. He may not get back to his 2012 MVP status, but I certainly expect an improvement from 2013. My guess, health permitting of course, would be a line of 75/22/95/.315 by seasons end.

2) Brandon Belt is still just 25 years old and finished 2013 with 17 homeruns and a .289 batting average. Should fantasy owners be buying Belt in 2014 and do you think he can hit over 20 dingers this year?

I’m definitely buying into Belt. He’s really come a long way over the last two years, and I think 2014 could be a big breakout campaign for him. He’s got that uncanny power to where he can get hot and hit 5 homers in a week, but he’s also gone into power slumps where he doesn’t hit one for a month. If the 2nd half of last season is any indication though, I think his consistency issues are a thing of the past. I would say 20 is more than in his reach. It’s a little tougher on lefties to hit at AT&T than it is for right handers, but he’s got the power to overcome that. His average and OBP keeps improving and I expect to see his power do the same in 2014. My guess is he finishes somewhere between 20-25, with solid RBI total, average and even a handful of steals to help fantasy owners.

3) What are some reasons to believe that Matt Cain can bounce back in 2014? His 4.00 ERA and 184 strikeouts were underwhelming given where he was drafted last season.

Yeah, Cain, and much of the Giants starting rotation outside of Madison Bumgarner, had a real tough go of it in the first half of last season. It was the tale of two halfs for Cainer last year as he was dreadful in the first, then got back to his ace-like ways in the second (2.36 ERA). Cain should return to form in 2014. He’s never really been a guy that gets a ton of wins, just because he never seems to get great run support, but a 3.50 ERA, 175 K’s and 12-15 wins is about what I expect from Cain in 2014. Not a fantasy ace, but plenty good if you can get him in the mid-rounds.

4) Which prospect should fantasy players be most excited about from the Giants’ farm system for 2014 and beyond?

Kyle Crick, the teams number one prospect, looks like the real deal and is garnering the type of hype that Cain, Tim Lincecum and Bumgarner all did. He’s still got some command issues to work out though and probably won’t make an impact until 2015. As far as a sleeper for this year, I like Edwin Escobar. He’s a polished 22 year-old lefty with very good stuff and has had success at every level he’s pitched at, including AAA. If one of the Giants 5 starters go down at some point this year, Escobar could have some real value!

5) Pablo Sandoval‘s weight fluctuates more than my credit score. What do you prefer.. skinny Kung Fu Panda or fat Kung Fu Panda?

Well, in 2011 we got a good dose of “skinny Panda” and I really liked what I saw. His weight doesn’t really effect him at the plate, but a leaner Panda should help keep him on the field more, which in turn should help his numbers. He can flat out hit! He’ll add some of those pounds back on throughout the course of the season, but he seems motivated as ever and he should be as he prepares to hit free agency for the first time! A big season like in 2009 or 2011 could land him a huge multi-year deal. So long as he avoids any prolonged DL stints, I’m expecting a big things from the third basemen.

 Mike’s on Twitter @643ball

  1. Does anybody want in on a $75 ESPN, 5×5, H2H, 2 Catcher, weekly league? We have 10 are are trying to make it a 12 team league. It’s an auction draft on Friday night. Let me know.

  2. Alyosha McClain says:
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    league funds will be handled by leaguesafe

  3. Principle Blackman says:
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    If Belt played the majority of his games in a hitter’s paradise like Cincy or Arlington, I’d be all over him. I feel like he takes a bigger hit due to the ballpark than any other player on the team.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah, the park doesn’t help.

  4. Chris says:
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    Hello Mike,
    Would you pick Zimmierman at early 5th or wait for late 6th for Sandoval?

    Thanks,

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Zimmerman

  5. J-FOH says:
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    ATTN RAZZBALLERS, RAZZICANS AND THE RAZZHEADS:

    I HAD A LAST SECOND DROP OUT IN AN RCL THAT DRAFTS TONIGHT AT 11:00 PM EST/8:00 PST

    HERE IS THE LINK: http://games.espn.go.com/flb/tools/join?leagueId=116584

    PASSWORD: heartsky

    you can also e-mail me at john @ razzball.com

  6. Ghost of the Dsappeared says:
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    Mike: It nice to know someone at RazzBall has gone Green. I hear, the LidLess Eye drives to work everyday from his 10,000 sq ft in Beverly Hills (poorly insulated energy sink) mansion to RazzBall Towers in his stretch 5 MPG Hummer (which he revs up at all stops – just to burn extra fuel – to be mean).

    The Giants an underrated team – I Hate!!! (along with their white wine drinking fair weather Halloween theme dressed Yuppie fans).

    1) I believe, Posey has a huge year. He will be rested by playing first and DHing in inter-league play (stealing ABs from question #2)

    We must remember in these first 2 questions, that Sanchez is worthy of ABs and he is a great D catcher. He would be a stater on many other teams

    Posey buries those numbers. IF HEALTHY – being his only caveat.

    2) Belt will be hurt by the above pressures.

    Still, YES, he will hit around 20 HRs as an almost everyday player – around 500 ABs – Not 600 ABs

    3) Cain should improve on last year – How much is the question. I think, some pressure will be off him with the seeming return of Lincecum to some semblance of a decent MLB pitcher. Hudson should do fine in SF – on the Road???

    Think Vogelsong is the clearly weak link – Their nice young studs may be rushed forward if they are in the race and they are smok’n…. He is a fire ready to burn down any place he pitches now.

    Cain deserves to be there where he grouped on ESPN — I am not targeting him for other reasons in ESPN FFB.

    4)

    • Ghost of the Dsappeared says:
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      @Ghost of the Dsappeared:

      oops pushed wrong button..

      4) The pitcher that is ready to help now, would be my answer if I wished the Giants well. But, I don’t.

      5) Panda is going to MASSIVE this year. He is playing for his “pot of gold”.

      He gets no love for good reason – poor playing health and living life as a glutton . Still, he remains one of the best bargains on the ESPN board this season IMO Machado’s relapse have put too many eyes on him now. He will go higher now. How much is the question?

      Another great one, Mike.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Thanks Ghost! How’s the puter?

          • Ghost of the Dsappeared says:
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            @Mike:

            Given what it is… It clunking along pretty good.

  7. Ghost of the Dsappeared says:
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    Mike – Off Topic: Some deeper stuff

    Lough of Baltimore – What are your thoughts on PT and production??

    Nunez of the Yanks Same question??

    Part 1 Do you think Lombardozzi of the Tiggers will benefit much from the horrible news on Ingesias?

    Part 2 will the Tiggers be able to get a reasonable replacement Inglesias from the outside or stay internal?

    Guzman of Stros. Does he fit there in the OF/1st mix enough to warrant 400 ABs??

      • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        @Ghost of the Disappeared: That was a “test” for repair of my misspelled handle – nothing to do with the comment

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I was going to ask you where your “i” went.

          A) Orioles seem to like Lough and he’ll probably get the majority of playing time in left. Steamer has him around 10-10 I think, but there’s the possibility for more there in the steals depending how aggressive they are. I don’t think Nunez gets enough playing time unless there’s an injury honestly. There is chatter about platooning him with Johnson but I don’t get it. I guess I’m just not a Nunez fan in general though either.

          B) Tigers probably stay in house. It’s not like Iglesias died, and he was a # 9 hitter. Whether they go with Lombardozzi, Perez, or Worth or some combination, your guess is as good as mine, sorry. I don’t see a trade happening though.

          C?) Guzman seems to be the man at first. I was kind of hoping Ike would end up there, but that probably won’t happen. I could see Singleton or Amador forcing him off earlier than expected, so I don’t know that 400 AB will happen. I think Steamer only has him at like 250 or something like that.

          • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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            @Mike:

            Thanks:

            Nunez intrigues me because of Roberts and Jeter – in a full universe drafted deep AL only league – his speed potential is what you are paying for.. But if he got a decent slice of PT, he might put up some reasonable numbers at a bargain price.

            Think, Johnson does his own thing at 3rd and also bounces around to fill as needed. He could have his career year this year. His BA might be helped by balls going out or at least bouncing off the walls in the Bronx.

            ABs may push 500 and a 250+ – 20+ – 75 – 75 – 10+ season may be in the offing here. a gut feeling. Been wrong before about him.

            Guzman is in the Outer Limits in Houston (as is almost the entire team) – anything can happen there and probably will – With ya, I’m afraid he only gets 300 if that many. But then again, anything can happen????

            I’m liking Lough a bunch. His BA attracts me along with his modest power potential and latent speed – in deep leagues.

            Spaghetti-man, I like a bunch right now in Tiggerland (his fielding is ??? for any real time at SS – still others filling in there might help him in other spots) Plus, DIrks is down too… This may be his chance to some good. He helps in BA and does a little other stuff for you to – for only a buck…. Bet Ramon Santiago is kicking the ground that he left after all those years with them now. Mabes, he comes crawling back from the Reds camp ??.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Agreed on Johnson and I see where you’re gong with Nunez in that format.

  8. 2 Giant rings says:
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    You should try to get Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles to write this one year. He is the best Giants blogger.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Cool

  9. Raj says:
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    What are the odds Clayton Blackburn gets called up this season? He was very impressive last year. Is he starting at double-A?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah I think he’ll start the year in Double-A. Maybe September.

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