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I take this not-paying-actual-money job way too seriously.  If I tell you a guy is a 2011 fantasy baseball sleeper, it could mean anywhere from he’s not even worth drafting in 12 team leagues to he’s a nice name to look in the 10th round of 10 team leagues that could give you 5th round value.  With that said, I don’t want to tell you to go after Mariner hitters.  I really don’t.  Be aware that it pains me.  It hurts me soul, Lupe Fiasco.  But here we are — you, me and Justin Smoak.  He arrived on the scene when the Rangers could no longer handle watching Bill James sob every time Chris Davis walked to plate and back to the dugout after 3 pitches.  Smoak had Ranger fans no longer asking, “Where’d Davis go and all his strikeouts?” Instead, he had them asking, “Who’s this new guy that strikes out just as much?”  Tis true, boo.  Smoak was just as frustrating and didn’t get much better when he was traded to the Mariners.  So what can we expect of Justin Smoak for 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

There’s a reason Smoak was a 1st round draft pick.  Doode’s talented.  In 625 ABs in the minor leagues, he had a .404 OBP.  Last year, he was crazy unlucky (.255 BABIP), which I’m speculating made him less patient since he’s young and that caused his OBP (.307) to evaporate in the majors.  It should return.   I’m not convinced Smoak will hit more than 20 homers in Safeco next year, which puts him on my sleeper radar for just a corner infidel spot.  What if Smoak gets, say, 595 ABs next year and puts up a line of 77/15/78/.318?  That would be terrible, right?  Yeah, that was Billy Butler’s line in 2010.  The same Billy Butler I’ve seen drafted in the 5th round of a mock draft.  Smoak should have a lower average than Butler, but he’ll beat or be right there with Butler in all other categories.  Say 75/22/90/.275 with upside across the board.  Oh, and for what it’s Wuertz, after he was recalled by the M’s in September, he hit .340 and 3 homers in his final 50 ABs of the year as the lost Smoak Monster found himself.

From Around The Web

  1. mic says:
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    i really think we have the same steez grey… nice to see some lupe fiasco love in the post… what do you think about kid kudi; his last album not so much?

  2. Fugate says:
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    Smoak is the new Casey Kotchman. Don’t hold your breath.

  3. Pops says:
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    Smoak Monster or Travis Snider?

  4. Justin says:
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    Considering they both hit in state parks, is Ike Davis a better keeper than Smoak, at the same price?

    Also, and I know this is off topic, Latos or Jhoulys?

  5. big o says:
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    up in smoak .

  6. sean says:
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    @Pops: Not really comparable. The post suggested you should look at Smoak for a cheap MI alternative. Snider is an OF.

  7. sean says:
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    Edit: CI

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mic: I like some of his stuff. Haven’t listened to the last album enough to say. Should I? Is it good?

    @Pops: Snider

    @Justin: Take Davis… Latos.

  9. Eddy says:
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    ****THE RAZZBALL MOCK IS OPEN****

    Just log onto mockdraftcentral and look for “Razzball Mock Draft” on Wednesday 4pm EST.

    Password is “mustache”.

  10. Eddy says:
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    @Eddy:

    Btw, use your comment user name so we could keep track of who has and hasn’t participated.

  11. ichirosan says:
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    As a Mariners fan, Smoak better become a stud, or I will never forgive him for the gigantic dump he took on my Razzball team the final week of the season.

    Yes, I’m still mad.

  12. big o says:
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    @Eddy:

    hope it goes well .
    (un)fortunately , i will be working at that time .

  13. Eddy says:
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    @big o:

    Next time I’ll make an evening draft so you can participate big o

  14. Terrence Mann says:
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    Who should be in the same tier as Smoak? I’m thinking Butler should be a bit higher….maybe Robot Jones, Konerko, Cuddyer?

    When drafting, I like to put players in tiers, target a tier, then grab a guy I like before the tier disappears.

    I imagine you’re familiar with this drafting strategery.

  15. Dave says:
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    Safeco actually plays pretty well for lefties, and Smoak is a switch hitter so he’ll get the majority of his ABs from the left side of the plate. I wouldn’t write off his power based on Safeco’s reputation, because Safeco’s reputation isn’t entirely accurate.

  16. big o says:
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    @simply fred:

    funny vid .

  17. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    beltre or aramis ?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Dave: I’m not writing it off.

    @big o: Aramis… But I don’t know where Beltre’s signing yet.

  19. GopherDay says:
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    @Eddy: Joined, this should be good. Everyone going commando and all. (No Razzball cheat sheets.)

  20. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @big o: yeah, looked like they photo-shopped the ‘stache out of there.

  21. mic says:
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    kudi’s last album wasn’t that great… his older stuff was better…

  22. Eddy says:
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    @GopherDay:
    Definitely man. I’ve only completed one real mock (room full of ‘perts and whatnot) and since MDC’s ADP is still a little funky guys like Ellsbury went in Rd.15!

    But if there’s one thing that’s surprisingly abundant this year it’s SP.

    We’ll soon find out on Wednesday.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mic: Gotcha…

  24. mic says:
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    @Eddy: i’m in there like swimwear… i have my cheat sheet but it doesn’t have OF’s and SP’s yet…

  25. Steve says:
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    @Eddy: Alas, I’ll be at work, and can’t launch the draft window from behind the firewall.

    That and I sit where everyone can see what I’m doing…

  26. Lines says:
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    Keeper question…

    7×7 H2H league, 12 teams, 5 keepers. I’m currently figuring on keeping Longo, A-Gon, CarGo, Pedroia and Lester. On the outside looking in are: Morneau, Werth, Kershaw, JJ and David Price.

    Does this sound about right? Anyone think differently? Thanks in advance to whoever wants to weigh in.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Lines: I agree with your five.

  28. Steve says:
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    Apparently the Phils are in on Lee, along with the Yanks and Rangers…

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: The Phil Lee’s? It’s a pretty bad sign when the top pitching free agent is only shop three teams because no one else has any money.

  30. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: The Phils don’t even have the money. They’re trying to unload Blanton and the 17 Million that remains on his contract. Good luck with that!

    Still think he goes to the Yanks.

    Scratch that, I think the Nationals come out of nowhere to sign him to 10 years 200 million dollars.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: Ha… True re: Phils. I think he goes to the Rangers.

  32. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Crap, don’t know why I wrote Yanks. I meant Texas. But yeah, hopefully he shows that not everyone needs to make it to pinstripes to hit it big.

  33. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @GopherDay: FWIW, it’s a Philly guy reporting it, citing the usual source of “a person close to the situation.”

    Funny how often teams always seem to be able to ‘find’ the money in these situations

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: Yeah, I think if it was going to be the Yankees it would’ve happened already. He’s just trying to get the most from Texas then he’ll sign. Could be wrong, obviously.

    @Steve: They should ask four of their superstars to give $5 mill/year each to pay for Lee.

  35. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, and apparently the Yankees are getting frustrated with waiting on Lee. “Wait…not everyone wants us??”

  36. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Yeah I was kinda liking Smoak for next year too.

  37. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yanks believe that Lee is leaning towards the Phils (it says here).

  38. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    Just so people are informed:

    Yes you can get a free trial account.

    Yes, the confirmation email may end up in your spam folder.

  39. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    If nothing else he owes me for sucking last year hah.

  40. Steve says:
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    @Grey: A steady diet of Marlins, Nats and Metco won’t give anyone indigestion.

    What a front three it would be…

  41. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    45 secs is kinda fast for having no cheat sheet!

  42. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    If Lee goes to Philly, that will be one of the best pitching rotations in recent memory…I think you’d have to go back to the Braves to find a comparable one.

  43. GopherDay says:
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    @Steve: What a front four it would be…Won’t matter what scrub they throw at the #5 spot.

  44. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Lee and Oswalt, it would be the 4 assassins?

  45. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    Shoot, Hamels isn’t exactly a scrub either.

  46. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Oofa!

    @GopherDay: Wow – had totally forgotten about Hamels. Was thinking Halladay, Lee and Oswalt.

  47. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: They should sign Ray for the bullpen.

  48. Eddy says:
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    @Elijah:
    We’ll see how it goes :P

    Though unless you wait until your turn to start thinking who to draft next i think it’s enough. As others draft just build up your pre-picks :)

  49. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    I hear ya, and not saying I cant make most of my picks in 45 secs, but Im sure I’ll be making a few WTF picks.

  50. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    Cuz it ALWAYS happens I have like 2-3 guys I like that get picked right before my pick them Im totally lost.

  51. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    Best rotation since Elijah Davis joined the Giants in MLB2k10.

  52. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Halladay from the Grassy Knoll.

  53. Elijah says:
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    “Todd Zolecki of MLB.com confirms that the Phillies are a legitimate suitor for Cliff Lee and was told by a source that the club is shopping Joe Blanton, Raul Ibanez and Kyle Kendrick in order to clear salary.
    The Phillies already have over $145 million tied up in contracts for next season, so somebody would have to go if they add Cliff Lee. Blanton is owed $17 million over the next two seasons while Ibanez makes $11.5 million in 2011 before hitting free agency. Kendrick, meanwhile, is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. It’s possible that the Phillies could heavily backload Lee’s contract, though that could be crippling for the franchise in the long-run.”

  54. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Ibanez is robbing the Phillies blind.

    And I KNOW Grey will agree with me (emoticon).

  55. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    Well, he had a really good 2 months for em, thats about it.

  56. Steve says:
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    Word on the street (Twitter St, that is) is that Lee has reached a tentative agreement with the Phillies. Is apparently seeing if Rangers are willing to go to 8 years…

  57. Steve says:
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    @Steve: Oops. Info came from a fake Twitter account.

    Sorry.

  58. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    trick or tweeted ?

  59. EDUB says:
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    I agree with Grey. If Lee was going to sign with Yanks I think he would have done so already. He has to know that’s the biggest contract he would get so if it’s about money he would have taken it by now.

    Too much for AGon and Bruce in keeper (hopefully along with a reasonable pick)? I give Price, Liriano, Stanton, and Ethier/(or)Rios. I can only keep 3 out those 4 without going over keeper limit. We keep 10. Keepers after the deal would be :

    1b Fielder
    2b Pedroia
    3b Arod
    ss Hanley
    Of Crawford
    Of Bruce
    Of Ethier/Rios (whichever isn’t in deal)
    Util A Gonzalez

    Sp: Felix, U Jimenez

  60. Steve says:
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    It’s the Phillies. For real this time.

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Really? That’s good for his value.

  62. Elijah says:
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    According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers have been told that Cliff Lee is signing with the Phillies.

    Seems like the real deal.

  63. Eddy says:
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    Wow.

    The red sox and the phillies both got absolutely STACKED this offseason.

    Shit.

    My poor Marlins just got ‘effed.

  64. Elijah says:
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    I can’t say I’m dissapointed the Yanks got hoodwinked this offseason. At least they were smart enough to sign Jeter for $50 mil. *cough*

  65. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    If there’s a silver lining, its that the Phillies are likely gonna have to bribe people with prospects to take Blanton or Ibenez off their hands. Maybe in 3-4 years the Marlins can contend.

  66. Eddy says:
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    @Elijah:

    Stanton better hit 94 HR next season.

  67. Elijah says:
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    No question this is the best rotation since Maddox, Glavine, Smoltz, Milwood.

  68. big o says:
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    i wanna say it first :

    jim palmer
    dave mcnally
    mike cuellar

    and

    …………………………………………………………………………..pat dobson

  69. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    Bill James wouldn’t even sling that shingle.

  70. Elijah says:
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    @big o:

    Who? Is the 50’s? *smiley*

  71. Elijah says:
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    Initial reports are Lee left $50 million on the table to sign with Philly over NYY. Talk about yanking their chains…

  72. EDUB says:
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    @Grey: So who would you keep as last 3 keepers out of Ethier, Rios, Price, Liriano, and Stanton. Thanks

  73. Elijah says:
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    @big o:

    Yeah I know, was just teasin ya. I actually think it would be too much to compare this group with that one…yet. Lets see em beat the 93 Braves first. (and I doubt they can)

  74. Elijah says:
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    @EDUB:

    Just my 2 cents, but Id say Price, Stanton, and whoever fits your needs most 3rd.

  75. mr baseball says:
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    Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt

  76. EDUB says:
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    @Elijah: Thanks

    With Stanton and Price, roster would be (minus 1):

    Fielder
    Pedroia
    Arod
    Hanley
    Crawford
    Stanton

    Felix, Ubaldo, Price

  77. mr baseball says:
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    At 5:00pm was listening to the Mets GM stating that he things he could with some luck compete with The Philles – He stated that the Mets don’t need to sign any free agents to compete

  78. Elijah says:
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    @mr baseball:

    Worse yet, expect Reyes to be traded next season, either during or after. New York Inepts strike again.

  79. Elijah says:
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    @EDUB:

    3rd one’s tough. I guess Liriano. Ethier and Rios you can replace in the draft without much of a sweat.

  80. mr baseball says:
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    Justin Smoak – someone dropped him late in the season in my 20 team fantasy league so I took a shot and added to my team just in case you wrote an article that he was a Fantasy Sleeper Grey

  81. Elijah says:
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    @mr baseball:

    Gotta say tho, Id like him a lot more if he weren’t on the Maryners.

  82. mr baseball says:
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    @Elijah Says:
    not sure who is in The Mets starting rotation but I am sure it is not pretty

  83. mr baseball says:
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    Grey was invited to the Cliff Lee Signing

  84. Elijah says:
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    @mr baseball:

    Its the aging Santana and his 4 geezer drummers. They may have a singer too, I dunno.

  85. Elijah says:
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    @mr baseball:

    He’s either dyeing his stache or writing his article for tomorrow. Or both.

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