I have a secret to share with you (You: ‘Despite being the producer of Entourage, you still call Mark Wahlberg Marky Mark?’‘ Me: ‘Yes, but that wasn’t the secret I was referring to’). My secret is 2B is chalk full of value plays this year. There were so many overvalued players going into 2011 that busted, we’re left to buy low on multiple candidates this year. A look over at Mock Draft Central tells me that a guy that gave us 21/16 and a bad average last year is worth 7 rounds less than a guy that went 21/17 with a bad average. We’re talking about Kelly Johnson (ADP: 236) vs Danny Espinosa (ADP: 148). That’s crazy glazed with a WTF and garnished with an LOL. I can only guess having a girl’s name is the reason for the price tag difference. In a perfect draft, I have Dan Uggla on my team and am taking either Johnson or Espinosa but would settle for a BA friendly Brandon Phillips over Uggla in that situation as well. Because of the depth, I’m most likely avoiding the top tier 2Bs unless they fell to me.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Rookie pitchers give you a roofie. Rookie hitters give you agita. So why do we keep going back for more like a guest on Montel? It’s sorta like the old joke that Woody Allen quotes in Annie Hall. We need the eggs. Besides said eggs, if a rookie somehow/someway breaks out, he’ll help you win your championship. If you draft properly in the first 7 to 10 rounds, your team will be competitive, but so should other teams. It’s what you do after those rounds that makes the difference. You’re not winning your league with Miggy in the first round, but you could with Zack Cozart in the 20th. As wonky as that sounds, it’s true. If you click on the player’s name, you’ll find whole posts and projections for each guy. It’s like Santa woke up drunk in March. Anyway, here’s some rookies to target for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Zack Cozart- Let’s see, I’ve written a rookie outlook post on Cozart, a sleeper post, he was in the shortstops to target, I mentioned him in numerous other posts….Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, you can thank Keanu Reeves for the idea of this post. I somehow watched the entirety of Little Buddha a long time ago and one line truly comes back to me from that movie over and over again when I begin ranking players for myself or trying to find value in drafts or in trade targets: The path is in the middle way. The line can be seen at about the 3:00 mark here in all it’s hairy, emaciated Keanu glory. It’s a reminder that baseball, much like life, takes a long time to play out. A player isn’t proven bad or good by a week, a month, or even a year of play. Underlying skill sets can be reached or breached to the over or under but it still does not change the underlying player themselves. Now snatch these pebbles from my hand, young grasshopper and we’ll begin the article…no I said from my hand, grasshopper. Unless of course I’ve somehow stumbled into the doctor’s office and need to turn my head and cough. If so, my insurance better cover this. Cue abrupt and awkward segue!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Madson has to have Tommy John surgery. Luckily, he signed with a Dusty Baker-managed team as the trainers have a lot of experience diagnosing busted arms. Sean Marshall will likely take over the closing gig, spurring indie comedy fans in Cincy to bring Sean Of The Red signs to games. Best case scenario: Marshall goes the whole season with the job, continues to rack up a 9+ K-rate and 40+ saves. Most realistic scenario: Dusty brings Marshall into the ninth inning of a tie game and, as the two teams battle scoreless inning after scoreless inning, Marshall stays in the game for another 16 innings and throws 450 pitches. 125 of those pitches he kicks over the plate Hacky Sack-style because his arm is too tired. Then Masset and Aroldis end up getting 5-7 saves each and Marshall ends the year with 30+ saves and an ERA around 3.50. Most likely scenario involving dolphins: Marshall falls asleep on a raft and wakes in Barbados. With the phone lines down due to a tropical storm, he befriends the local innkeeper, Teronimo, who teaches him how to surf. But Teronimo has a hidden secret — Marshall is really his nephew that his brother asked him to watch over. When Teronimo reveals his secret, there’s a giant rift between Marshall and Teronimo that is only assuaged by the sight of dolphins. No matter the scenario, grab Sean Marshall immediately. You might’ve just lucked into a top tier closer for free. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Drew Storen – Could start the year on the DL. Davey Johnson made that announcement minutes after he said Storen had no structural issues with his elbow, which came a day after he said Storen needed an MRI, which was minutes after Storen said he couldn’t throw, which can mere moments after he was diagnosed with strep throat. Following? Yeah, neither do I. I’m beginning to think some ball clubs need a new HMO. Johnson said Clippard would not see saves, but the team would turn to Henry Rodriguez or Brad Lidge. I’d pick them up in reverse order for saves. When in doubt, go with the guy with experience. And no one has experience blowing leads quite like Lidge. “Nats Fall Off the Lidge” is already written on a Post-It on some copy editor’s desk just waiting to go to press. In one league where our innings max is small and our needs for Ks is tall — she says she likes the ocean — we went with Rodriguez. He averages 98 MPH with his fastball and has a 9+ K-rate. If he can keep his walks in check, he could be this year’s huge middle reliever breakout.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Drew Storen had arm discomfort… About two weeks ago. He hasn’t pitched in a game since March 7th and had soreness in his biceps playing catch yesterday. Playing catch? What, the Nats doing a video for Cat’s in the Cradle? He should be pitching, not playing catch. So that’s one red flag. The bigger red flag with a skull and crossbones is obviously soreness from playing catch. That’s awesome for a young reliever who was used a lot last year (75 1/3 IP). Two days ago, Davey Johnson said Storen wasn’t throwing because he had strep throat. So does he have strep arm now? Johnson said he’s not worried about Storen. Davey lies… Davey lies when he cries and implies Storen is still his prize… In all but the shallowest leagues, I’d grab Tyler Clippard, who sounds like a captain in the America’s Cup. For those in deeper leagues or feeling light on saves, I’d grab Lidge. I think Storen will ultimately be fine, but better safe than sorry as they say in the Clichè Hall of Fame, which is located on Main Street in Capital City. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Joe Blanton – Report out of Philly is they aren’t motivated to trade Blanton. Sounds like when your garbage piles up and you can’t motivate to throw it out. Maybe we’ll see the Phillies on the new season of Hoarders.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I could probably draft a team of these starters, who are drafted after the 150 mark in mock drafts, and win your league’s pitching stats. In this post last year was Ricky Romero, Hellickson, Kuroda, Gio Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Chacin, Cueto, and Daniel Hudson. I had those guys on multiple teams. I don’t say this to brag, but I’m really good at targeting starters to, um, target. Well, I’m good with hitters too, but starters I’m really good. I’d like to say it’s because I’m smart, but since I’m sorta dumb I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I’m an idiot savant, who I believe was Doug Savant’s cousin that had a walk-on part on Melrose Place, the Original. And with all of that said, you should still draft a starter or two before you see any of these names on the top of your draft list. Well, you know what to do from my top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball. It’s good to have a safe starter or two before you go upside. In the immortal words of some drunk tightrope walker, “I don’t need the net under the trapeze but I want it there. Burp.” There’s also a pitchers pairings post to help you along with your staff. That’s what she said! Wait, what? Finally, you can check out APPLES. Anyway, here’s some starters to target in your 2012 fantasy baseball drafts:
Ubaldo Jimenez – Under that link is my projections and thoughts. To read a less optimistic man’s thoughts on Ubaldo, click on the thing that says “thoughts on Ubaldo.” Though that might’ve been clear. I need a mentee to seamlessly link to shizz.Please, blog, may I have some more?
From 2008-2010, Ryan Dempster posted a 3.49 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 2.50 K:BB rate over 622 innings. He averaged 189 K’s a season during that stretch and was a great fantasy baseball contributor, i.e. he was all Henry Rowengartner.
Then, Dempster turned 34 and became all Chet Steadman.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Some analyses strike gold. Some analyses are an immediate bust. It’s the third type – the ‘fool’s gold’ type – that are the most frustrating. After three years of middling predictions, I think my ‘risky pitcher’ analysis from a couple years ago is falling into that 3rd category.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season. They’re facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff. No one needs time to get warmed up. No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball. They are at the height of their game in March. In fact, I think someone should propose to Bud that the World Series could easily be played in March. Yes, The March Classic. I like how that sounds. Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players in March:
Travis Buck – Four ding dongs with a phenomenal spring OPS of 1.165. Now we just need him to pull a Giancarlo and hyphenate his last name to Buck-You.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Andy Pettitte signed to a minor league deal with the Yankees. I guess the Yankees cause mass hysteria, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by how many people asked me if they should pick him, but, alas, you still surprised me, you. In anything shallower than a 10 team AL-Only league, I wouldn’t go near him. He wasn’t even that good his last few years of pitching, so I don’t see how you can expect anything from him a full year after retirement. What this does show us: Never trust a Southerner who says they are retiring early – Favre, Oswalt, Pettitte, Strom Thurmond… “I just want to spend time with family, God and my tractor.” Yeah, right. Anyway, here’s what I saw in spring training for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Scott Baker – The Twins are saying Baker could start the season on the DL. I’m saying he will start the year on the DL. The good news, he’s getting one of his half dozen DL trips out of the way early.Please, blog, may I have some more?