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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 Red Sox Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Conor Frederick from Red Sox Life.

1) Xander Bogaerts is one of the most exciting prospects in baseball right now. Razzball has a line of 69/14/73/6/.250 projected this year. What do you think fantasy players should expect from him in 2014 and where do you see him ranking at his position by the end of the year?

Xander Bogaerts is exceptional talent, but I think he will take a while to get adjusted to the pace of the big league game. I think the projected line of 69/14/73/6/.250 is a fair projection for a kid entering his first full season in the bigs, but I would not be at all surprised if he exceeds that mark with his talent level. By the end of the year, I could see him possibly cracking the top 15 shortstops in the league.

2) The Boston bullpen situation took care of itself in 2013 when Koji Uehara took the reins and absolutely dominated. What are some reasons fantasy players should feel confident about drafting Uehara as a top end closer and would you take the over on 35 saves?

I would take the over on Uehara getting 35 saves this year, but not by a lot because he’s getting up there in age. He’ll be 39 this year, but on the flipside of that, age is just number. Mariano Rivera was able to effectively close out games into his 40’s (minus the 2012 season that he lost to injuries), and I think Koji has the talent to emulate that. I think Koji is perfectly capable of getting 35 saves this year, but it’s worth keeping his age in the back of your head.

3) How much longer can David Ortiz keep this up? Do you think he can continue to show 25-30 home run power in 2014?

Simply put, David Ortiz can and probably will get 25-30 home runs again this year. The only thing that could possibly stop him from achieving that is a major injury. Obviously, it’s a concern, given he missed half of the 2012 season with an injury, and he’s not getting any younger here, but assuming he stays healthy, though, there’s really nothing to stop him from hitting another 25-30 home runs this year.

4) Which Red Sox starter do you think will take the biggest step forward in 2014 and why?

Clay Buchholz will probably take the biggest step forward in that he’ll stay healthy for a full 30+ starts. Buchholz has shown what he can do when healthy, but the question is: Can he stay healthy for 30 starts? My answer is yes, he’ll stay healthy. Statistically, Jon Lester will probably make the biggest leap for a couple of reason. One, he’s coming off a strong postseason performance. Two, he’s in a contract year and he’ll want to show the Sox he is worth them extending his contract, and that means he’ll have to pitch well for the WHOLE season, not just have. I think Lester will be eager to do just that, and that means a possible 20 game season.

5) Boston won another World Series in 2013 thanks in large part of course to their team beards. What personal hygiene/fashion trend would you like to see happen in 2014 to ensure back-to-back championships?

I would say mustaches. Clearly, there is some connection between growing facial hair and winning championships, so I would say mustaches.

Mike’s on Twitter @643ball

  1. Beastman says:
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    As a Sox fan, I want Bogaerts on all my teams. As a sensible fantasy player, he’s unlikely to end up on any because too many people think he’ll be putting up Tulo-like numbers his first full year. Conor is spot on–a reasonable expectation is just inside the top 15.

    On a side note, need one more owner for Night of the Living Zombinos, a $100 razzball commenter league that’s drafting at 5 pm EST tonight. Email me to join: joshua_eastman@yahoo.com

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Beastman: I would be tempted to join if the fee was $50 and the draft did not overlap with my RCL.

      • Beastman says:
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        @Wallpaper Paterson: Know anyone else who might be interested? Had a late drop-out and now scrambling to find someone in the next couple hours.

        • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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          @Beastman: No. The one guy who could play doesn’t want to go over $40. Had that discussion when trying to create a league a few weeks ago.

    • Shake N Bacon says:
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      @Beastman: Do we have enough. I may have one guy interested.

  2. Sean says:
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    Off subject question. Does Kenley Jansen get the save in last night’s game? Game 2 of the Dodgers – DBacks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      No, got it for Game 1 though.

  3. rflippin says:
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    I would have to agree with the Bucholtz synopsis but thats a rather large IF he can stay healthy. Any thoughts on Felix Doubront?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Like Ghost mentions a few inches below me, his BB/9 is scary (almost 4) but he does provide decent strikeouts. Streamer for me.

      • Beastman says:
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        @Mike: Doubront served me well in a deep 16 team league for a $1 SP last season, but definitely is a WHIP killer.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Agreed. He’s a nice play in that format.

  4. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: WOW…. You have become a flood of team analyses

    “GET OUT THE SAND BAGS, HONEY – THINK, THE DAM JUST BROKE!!!!”

    1) Xander in FBB for a 3rd baseman in shallow leagues – not much. He would be worth more if he qualed at SS. Too much thinking for me during draft. His ESPN # position is fine – just requires a bigger brain than I have to deal with him there and then.

    He will be fine once he quals this year – kinda a Lowrie with more speed potenial.

    2) STAY AWAY ALERT at #120 – and back him up with Mujica is you dare select him. Go safer at that point in the draft.

    3) “Hey! Didn’t we drive through this tunnel last year and there was a light at the end of it?” ” I don’t see it now” Listed way to high on ESPN – plus the negative of DH only. A wasted risky early pick in ESPN IMO

    BRICK WALL ALERT!!!!

    4) Félix Doubront might improve. He is getting better every year. Baby steps so far. This might be the year he takes of running. BB are his big issue. This can be dealt with.

    Buchy is turning into a training room queen. Sorry.

    Both are Puddle Match-Up Watch solid SP PLUG ON – PLUG OFF types… And they both will wind up swimming there this year in ESPN.

    5) Facial hair or no hair or even a genital waxing will not change the direction the Beantowners are headed in. They will struggle to reach 500 this year and be out of the Play Off picture by the ALL STARS.

    You’re wearing me out, Mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      This was the last one in the series. It’s been fun. Get some rest before the season starts!

  5. The Thumb says:
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    Was there a Yankees team preview?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      No, sorry Thumb, Yanks were one of the teams I was unable to make contact with. I will try again for them next year, though :)

      Which reminds me, if anyone has contacts with team-specific sites (non-fantasy) that would like to represent one of the teams we didn’t get to this year, shoot me an email mbuttil at gmail dot com and I will add them to the list of sites for next year’s previews.

      • The Thumb says:
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        @Mike: did you reach out to Mike Axisa over at River Ave Blues?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          No, but I will put him on the list for next year. Thanks Thumb!

  6. joeg414 says:
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    Everyone is undervauleing Nava this year, whats your take?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Not somebody I’m targeting in drafts for 12 team or shallower.. So I guess consider me one of the ones that is undervaluing him.

      • Seattle Mack says:
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        @Mike:
        I’m a sox fan and I’m not targeting him either. The OF is crowded and Victorino is the only OF I think will get regular playing time.

  7. Seattle Mack says:
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    Victorino to me, is being under valued in Auction Drafts, especially in deep leagues. He’ll be playing a lot of games hitting leading off.

    Lester looks sharp so far this spring.

    AJ Pierz will be a nice play as a 2 Catcher in deep leagues.

    Grady Siezemore is a great sleeper that looks to be over his injuries.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Seattle Mack: pierz is a good 1st catcher if you’re punting, in leagues around 15-16.

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