Of all the teams to predict to sweep their first series, who would have guessed the Mariners as one of those clubs? Well, aside from our resident Mariners fans –Tehol and Sky, and Grey, who put some serious coin on them to win the World Series. Who’s the crazy one now? Ha! I know the M’s weren’t supposed to be that bad this year, so its not all that surprising. It’s more surprising where some of the production is actually coming from. We expected it from Robinson Cano and Felix, and shoot, we even expected some from Miller, Erasmo, and Paxton. But Smoak? Ackley? I sure didn’t. Seems like anyone could put on a Mariners uniform and mash right now. MLB should probably take a further look into what’s going on behind the scenes up there. Maybe they’ve hired Grey as a trainer, a la Barry Bonds, to inject their guys with the special sauce. But wait, clearly that doesn’t work for everyone, *cough* Jesus Montero *cough*… Or maybe Tehol has actually sacrificed himself to the gods to make such things come true! Who really knows? And with it being such a small sample size (a measly three games), there isn’t much we can draw from any of the numbers, relative to long-term production. But some guys have really started off hot and may be playing themselves into a hot schmotato for the next week or two or three or, well you get the point. Some guys, quite frankly, have not. Let’s take a look at who’s catchin’ my eye in points leagues in the VERY early going.
Please note, small sample size caveat absolutely applies…
Justin Smoak – I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Mr. Smoak right here on this very page. 23 points in his first three games. Yep, the dude is killing it (and not the Aaron Hernandez brand of killing) to start the year. Maybe this is the year he breaks out. Maybe its not. I don’t know, I’m not Nostradomus or something… But I do know he was a former top draft pick and top prospect that teased Mariner fans with potential that filled their hearts with the hope of 1,000 children on Christmas Eve. Only to find out the following morning that Santa isn’t real, someone stole all your presents, and dad went out for a pack of cigarettes and you know he ain’t coming back. Yeah, it’s been that rough for M’s fans over the past few years, am I right, Tehol? Maybe there’s some hope, my friend. Maybe he’s just one of those “post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post-hype” guys, as Grey ever so eloquently calls them. AND, he’s now in the magical age-27 season of which stories are made. Of course it’s only three games, so there is that…
Dustin Ackley — Ah, yes, Smoak’s long-time PIC up in Seattle, and I guess Tacoma too… (Does anyone ever really say PIC anymore? Yes they do, I just did!) Anybody remember when these guys were the #12 and #17 rated prospects in the game? Yeah, me neither. But I guess it happened. Back in 2010 or some shizz. Boy, those were the days… Man, that feels like forever ago. Anywho, Ackley is off to a great start as well, ranking among the scoring leaders thus far. Again, we are still just 2% of the way through the season. Aren’t small sample sizes fun? Both these guys (Ackley and Smoak) did have solid or better spring trainings and look to be carrying it over to when it matters. We’ll see how long it lasts.
Brad Miller — And on to the next Mariner with a hot start. Maybe the Angels’ pitching staff is just really bad? Cust sayin’! Here’s a guy that most of us here at Razzball have been onto for quite awhile, and he shouldn’t be considered a hot schmotato as he should be rostered in every league regularly. Grey is especially a fan of Miller, including a sleeper post about him and mentioning him in his Second Basemen and Shortstops to target posts in the preseason. In fact, Grey’s fascination with Miller borders on the line of creepy, with the mustache putting it over the top. Here’s a quote from one of Grey’s posts regarding Miller back in March, “…Am I drafting any of these guys in the first 12 rounds? Probably not (except for Brad Miller — hello, beautiful! Come here, let Grey massage your balls…The balls of your feet, silly! Oh, that feels good on my hands. Can I tickle your toes with my mustache? Weird?).” Yes, Grey, I’d say that qualifies as weird… It’s okay, though, I fancy myself a Brad Miller fan, too. He’s good! Of the Mariners’ trio listed here, Miller is the one with definitely the most staying power and should be good all year long.
Side note: I should probably cool it on the love for Mariners before Sky, Grey, and Tehol start their own little circle-jerk all up in here. No one really wants to see that.
Emilio Bonifacio — The first known player ever to record 9 hits in his first two games to start a season. Oh, it looks like he just got another hit while I was typing, and another, and quite possibly another one after that. Who cares if they’re basically all singles? Points are points, and I like points. Add in 4 SB (plus he even received the Barry Bonds treatment once) and he’s among the leaders in total points in ESPN standard scoring. Ride him like Seattle Slew while he’s hot, but be willing to drop him when he’ not.
Billy Hamilton — 0/12 with 6 k’s and a walk to start the year. That’s -5 points. Again, tiny sample, but I like him much better in H2H and Roto leagues due to the fact that he has the potential to single-handedly win you a category. Whereas in points leagues he’s going to hurt you with a lack of hits and penalize you with a bunch of strikeouts. With ESPN’s standard scoring for points leagues the way it is (1 for SB, -1 for K), I just don’t see the upside here. So if you can get something nice and shiny for him while the hype is still there, I’d do it.
As always with these points leagues posts, remember that the information mentioned here should be of use to you not only in points leagues, but in other leagues as well (unless otherwise stated), because a great player in points leagues will probably be a great player in other leagues and vice versa.
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