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