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You don’t want two shortstops on your team.  You don’t even really want one shortstop, but rules dictate you have to have one.  So if you only want one shortstop that means you need two 2nd basemen if you have a middle infielder slot.  To take that one step further, you need a sleeper from the 2nd basemen in most instances because you’ll be drafting your middle infielder late.  Then you have Crappy Team Problems (CTP).  CTP is a problem all fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) encounter.  You want a sleeper that will be guaranteed playing time, but teams that actually think they can win don’t give rookies and sleepers playing time.  The only way you find those sleepers are on Crappy Teams.  One major CTP is no one wants to watch/root for a Crappy Team.  This doesn’t seem like it would play into fantasy, but I think there’s a bias out there with some people just avoiding certain teams.  Another issue, Crappy Teams don’t generate much offense, which hinders your sleeper’s potential.  But this drawback can also be a positive because teams with nothing to lose, except losing lots of games, will thrust sleepers into advantageous spots in their lineup.  But what makes them attractive in the first place is also their drawback, no one wants them, so they’re available for you.  So now that I got that verbiage out of the way that sounded much better in my head than on virtual paper, it brings us to Jose Altuve and what makes him a 2012 fantasy baseball sleeper?

In 2011 between three pro ball stops (including a stint with the Astros), Altuve hit 12 homers and stole 31 bases.  A large chunk of that speed was High-A which accounted for 5 homers and 19 steals in 52 games.  He wasn’t nearly as dominant in Double-A for steals (only 5) but he hit 5 homers in only 35 games.  Then he skipped Triple-A (or maybe he didn’t skip it but the Astros simply consider their major league team their Triple-A affiliate), and on the Astros in 57 games, 2 homers and 7 steals.  I imagine it’ll be up to Altuve to sink or swim this year in the majors.  And he’ll probably do a little of both.  As alluded to above, Altuve will be in the heart of the Astros’ order in 2012, so his counting stats should be good (for an Astro).  In the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball, I gave Altuve the projections of 80/12/40/.265/24.  As I said there, that’s crazy optimistic, but not undoable.  The steals should be a lot easier to come in those projections.  The power might be a pipe dream like Pookie from New Jack City used to have.  Even if I were to be conservative and tell you he’s closer to a 6/17 guy, he’s still worth drafting for the chance for more.

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    Andy Pettites back! Worth picking up in many leagues?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Nope

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Steve, That is awesome…

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @Steve, haha awesome

  2. Bill S. Preston, Esq. says:
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    I just noticed that Yahoo has Howie Kendrick penciled in to hit 6th, rather than in front of Pooholes. Does that change your expectations of him (or was that the case all along, and I missed it)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bill S. Preston, Esq., Don’t think that’s where he hits, wouldn’t change that much either way though…

  3. Westboro nuts says:
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    Did you see that those freak monkeys with mediocre tunes just played KC? Royals looking pretty good this year too. God damn!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Westboro nuts, Huh?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Westboro nuts, Ah… Ha, I like them a bit more for their use of freak monkeys in a sentence.

      • Westboro nuts says:
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        @Grey, We don’t believe in sentences freak monkey!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Forgot… Sentences are the work of the devil…

  4. Urine the Clear, Ryan says:
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    I know that Spring stats are evil. But I was wondering if you felt encouraged by what you’ve seen from Krispie Young, Josh Johnson or Kendrys Morales.

    Anything to the fact that the Angels have no lefties and they kinda need Morales in the lineup (so the AB’s are there if he can run)?

    Any plans for another “closer look” post in the next 10 days or so?

    Does 3rd Base get the gas face?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Urine the Clear, Ryan, I don’t look at spring stats. Kendrys will play if he’s healthy… Don’t think anything’s changed with closers since the last one…

  5. Steve says:
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    I pine for the days when a retired player actually stayed retired.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Steve, Yeah, he wasn’t even that good his last few years…

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, Maybe his wife got sick of having him round the house.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Steve, Ha! Yeah… Wife, “Andy, did you fix the sink?” As water shoots from the faucet. “Maybe you call up the Yankees?”

          • Steve says:
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            @Grey, Once the season starts I promise to start posting actual fantasy-related comments (emoticon). Two drafts tomorrow though so that should speed the process a little.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Steve, Doesn’t matter to me either way…

  6. Prop Joe says:
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    We start 4 OFs, and I have Stanton, Cruz, Pence, and Bonifacio (if I don’t use him at SS in place of unsexy Alexei).

    From your earlier post today…I’ve been targetting Boesch, Belt, or Delmon…possibly even Pagan given my roster makeup and added cat. My 1B and DH are Votto and Hosmer so Belt doesn’t bring a lot of added value to me there.

    It’s a 3-year keeper league where players move up 2 rounds from the previous year and we are in round 12…I’m debating dropping the bomb on Victor Martinez and using my DL spot for him all year (have to be on DL60 to utilize this).

    Is what I’m going to get from one of these players this year enough to give up what I can get from Vic over the next 3 years? I hate drafting C so having one locked up for value is tempting.

    I don’t pick for 12 picks after this so I have to think one of these guys slips through…probably not Belt though.

    6×6 weekly H2H, each cat a win…strikeout/walk differential is 6th category.

    I’m wearing my WWGD bracelet…WWGD?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Prop Joe, I wouldn’t draft V-Mart…

  7. TheNewGuy says:
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    Trade offer for you already! Not crazy about it, but was after Ike Davis and someone offered me:
    I Davis and Morneau for Butler and Dunn.

    Ike would be my cornerman and Morneau an option for my Util if he hits (got Boesch, Encarnacion too). Apples for oranges though which I don’t really like doing…would you consider it to get Ike though?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy, I wouldn’t.

  8. Brooks says:
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    Grey. Keeper league where I’ll be releasing Tulowitzki instead of giving up my 1st rounder for him. Someone wants to give me a 3rd rounder in this year’s draft and a 3rd in next year’s for his rights. Part of me wants to get a larger package made up of lower round picks. Should I counter with this sort of offer or just take the 3rds?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brooks, I’d take a 3rd rounder in both drafts if I wasn’t keeping Tulo…

  9. TualatinTwoStep says:
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    Grey, peep my 12 team 13 keeper H2H roster (standard ESPN scoring) after some recent moves:

    C Posey, Ramos
    1B Fielder
    2B R Weeks, A Hill, D Espinosa
    SS D Gordon
    3B HanRam, Chisenhall
    OF Stanton, Crawford, Boesch, Cain, Fowler, Soriano
    SP Greinke, Bumgarner, D Hudson, Pineda, Morrow, E Jackson
    RP Beard, Storen, J Johnson, D Robertson

    I cant seem to move Weeks to save my life, what would you think of a Weeks/Pineda for Tommy Hanson/Mike Carp deal for me? The other offer I have is Justin Upton for Weeks and Pineda. Pineda scares the crap out of me and I’d like to move him before the season starts and he starts giving up bombs at home.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TualatinTwoStep, I’d take Upton for Pineda and Weeks…

  10. KCC26 says:
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    OK so… 12 team head to head keeper league (Yahoo, all positions plus INF and UTIL, 4 OF) where everyone keeps 4.

    I’m keeping Pujols in 1, Kemp in 2, McCutchen in 6, and Beachy in 18. So I don’t draft until late in Round 3. The tier of players that stand to be available there include (obviously depending on how other draft):

    offense: Uggla, maybe Jennings, Konerko, Zobrist, M. Young, Bruce, Phillips, Youk, etc, etc
    pitchers: possibly Haren, Cain, Gallardo, strasburg

    Given the available pool of players and the team im starting out with (1B, 2 OF, and a SP) what would your strategy be going into rounds 3/4?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Uggla and best available… Which will probably be an SP…

  11. Bourne says:
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    Jemile and Altuve: what’s the difference you see in them? They both like maybe 10/25 with 75 runs, 50 RBIs, and .280 avg to me. You still like Jemile better?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bourne, Jemile’s on more people’s radars… Not a huge difference… Jemile has a bit more speed. 5 to 10 more steals for him…

  12. Rags says:
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    NL-only. Giving Heyward at 15 (for two years) and Brian Wilson at 21 for Greinke at 25 and Kimbrel at 13 (for two years). I have CarGo for cheap and no other OF, but there are a lot of top tier OF getting thrown back into the pool this year. Pull that trigger right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Rags, Sounds fair for you…

  13. Addison Reed has been dropped by 594 teams in Yahoo! leagues

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mr Baseball, Yeah, news came out yesterday Crain and Thornton are in the running for saves.

      • @Grey, Thats what you figured what would happen early in the season but Reed’s time is near – all I can say is to the fantasy basrball fans – keep on dropping him

  14. Ozzie says:
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    any idea whats going on with Baker’s elbow. I set my keepers tonight, think i might go with Tabata instead, sort of need pitching, no one else decent on team…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ozzie, Same stuff that’s always going on… Baker never stays healthy.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Mr Baseball, Ha!

        • Ozzie says:
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          talk about about upside, if that thing swells down to the size of an avocado then where talking….I am drafting him in my EA league…Elbows Anonymous….

  15. Bobby Nice says:
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    I’m dying here with the 2nd pick. Braun is obviously your choice, but I”m looking at my 2nd, 3rd picks and it’s awful. McCutchen will be sitting there and I’m hoping maybe Hanley as well. But I think it’s looking like McCutchen and best available SP (Lee, Lincecum, etc). Would you consider Lawrie 2nd or 3rd if I go Braun at 2? A bit early, but like you say 3B sucks and so do the available players 20- 30. Here’s my cunnudrum in a nutshell….(“hey it’s crowded in here”)

    Braun, McCutchen, Lawrie
    Cabrera, McCutchen, C. Lee
    or
    Tulowitzki, McCutchen, Lawrie

    The first 3 really set you up for the remainder of your draft and I want to get it right. Man, the 2nd pick is not a good place this year. The more I look at it the more I like going Cabrera or Pujols 1st with McCutchen 2nd., Power and speed.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha… I’d be hesitant about Lawrie in the 3rd but you’re really only reaching one extra round, so you gotta do what you gotta do…

  16. Bobby Nice says:
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    P.S. Nice one Duke. Ha

  17. TheNewGuy says:
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    Talking of Morel, think the reason random players have strong Septembers is the shizzy pitching they’re facing by then. Will all the callups, its basically triple A players facing you…oh well there goes my optimism for the greek delicacy Moustakas.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Eh, it’s still worth a late flyer…

    • royce! says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Morel did not hit any HR off any September call ups. While the pitchers he did hit off were not outstanding (Penny, Porcello, Pauley, Huff, Durbin, Collins, Teaford), none were called up after rosters expanded.

  18. Anal Samuelson says:
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    .265 is crazy pessimistic, IMO. Even the ultra conservative ZiPS projections has him at .292.

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