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Can you feel the fantasy repercussions of the Ramon Hernandez trade?  Yeah, a tremor. Thanks, random italicized voice.  No, don’t you see, this has so little to do with Ramon Hernandez being traded. It does? Yes! It has everything to do with Matt Wieters now having an opportunity to start the 2009 season in Baltimore. Okay, let’s breakdown what the Ramon Hernandez trade means for 2009 fantasy baseball:

Matt Wieters – With Ramon Hernandez gone from Baltimore, the catching job is Wieters’s to lose. In my ongoing rookie outlook series, I went over what I thought a 2009 Matt Wieters would look like. Here’s the crux, “In 2008, Geovany Soto went 66/23/86/.285. While those are great numbers for a rookie and incredible numbers for a rookie catcher, they are still only 66/23/86/.285. Those numbers only placed him 91st on our player rater while ranking 5th on the top 20 catchers for 2008 list.” And that’s me quoting and linking to my crux! My point there was that in the end, Wieters is still a catcher. What’s the most we can expect? 20 home runs? A .300 average? Yeah, that’s the ceiling on Wieters. And those are really good numbers for a rookie catcher. But they’re still 20 home runs and a .300 average or as I like to call them, Ty Wigginton’s 2008 numbers. My recommendation is to let someone else take the risk, unless Wieters comes cheap on draft day.  Think end of the draft for 10-team mixed leagues. He should be pursued more aggressively in keeper leagues.  On my top 20 catchers for 2009 post (which will be published in January with the other top 20 position lists), I’m debating whether to slot him in at 12 or 14.

Ramon Hernandez – Camden to Great American is a push. Seeing some new pitching in the NL might affect him slightly… Oh, who are we kidding? You read this for Wieters and stopped by this point. Ramon Hernandez should be drafted in NL-Only leagues and some deeper mixed ones with the hope he bounces back to pre-’07 levels. Though I have my doubts about whether those levels are still possible.  Expect 15 to 17 home runs and a .260 average.

Ryan Freel – He’s a utility player with speed. Without speed, he’s a futility player.

From Around The Web

  1. Freak says:
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    Futility player…good one.

    An extra cookie for you, Grey.

  2. Steve says:
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    Sit yourself down, Grey. Incredible as it may seem, I come to talk baseball.

    Not, however, the Hernandez trade. Other than to say I owned Ramon for a time when he was with the A’s and he was good to me. Freel, on the other hand, is one of those assholes who only ever seemed to play well when my opponent had him.

    I have just checked out mockdraftcentral.com to see if there are any drafts taking place when I’m not stuck behind a firewall – unless I want to stay up til 2 in the morning (I don’t), there aren’t.

    I did, though, take a look at their ADP report, as I did use ADP quite a bit in determining who to draft and when in my crazy no-relievers universe last year. It’s still early, obviously, but Kinsler (9), Hamilton (10), Holliday (13), Berkman (14), Morneau (18), Ichiro (21), Phillips (27) and
    Pedroia (28) stand out to my untrained eye as being taken pretty high.

    Thoughts?

  3. Steve says:
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    @Freak: Got that Curve yet?

  4. big o says:
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    this trade vaults ramon up to near iannetta territory .

  5. @big o – shouldn’t you have said down below iannetta territory?

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Honestly, I do mock drafts there, but I don’t look at their ADPs except to see what others are doing wrong. As I’m sure you’re aware, the wisdom of crowds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds) works in many situations, but this is one of those situations where it is either not working or not working yet. And by yet, I mean right now there’s too small of a sample size. Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy with no one really sure what is going on so they use incorrect ADP and keep making them more inaccurate (which is too imitative). Or maybe it’s too homogeneous. Either way, it’s wrong.

    So, what I’m saying is those 2009 ADPs are very high, except for Hamilton and Holliday, guys that are just moderately high, and Phillips, who is near where he should be drafted.

    @big o: Trade doesn’t really boost Hernandez value much, if at all. He could’ve hit 17 HRs before the trade and he can hit 17 HRs after it.

  7. BigFatHippo says:
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    This just in….

    CC to eat the Big Apple.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: As if the Yanks and their fans ever had any doubt. It was just a matter of how much. They need to bring back Steve Balboni to be the batting coach/balance the bench when CC sits down.

  9. Shogun says:
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    Grey: Is Wieters the kind of player you draft in the last round as a flier/starting catcher combo (if he’s available)? I’m not planning on drafting a catcher much higher than the last round, and I’m thinking a flier like Wieters would be a good speculative move because he’d be droppable if he underperforms and there is a hot hitting catcher on the wires.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Depends on the depth of your league, of course, but I really like Wieters in the last round of 10 team mixed leagues and about four rounds from the end in 12 team mixed leagues. He’s a great speculative grab there. Don’t get swept up in the rookie nookie craze that is invariably going to surround Wieters.

  11. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. I think I can snag him at the end of my ten teamer because the league is really more of a “ten steamer,” i.e., not a particularly competitive league.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Gotcha, hope you’ll take part in one of the Razzball Commenter Leagues too. (For others reading this, they’re not setting up yet, I was just mentioning it.)

  13. Shogun says:
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    Wood to the Indians. There goes my Jensen Lewis mantasy.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Yeah, that was unhealthy anyway.

  15. yeah, i’m going to have to run the Razzball Point Shares to see if Adam Everett is the #1 pick (he’s not last in point shares but the guys below him probably won’t get enough AB).

    If only Mike Aviles didn’t steal the thunder of Tony Pena (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2240&position=SS). 225 ABS and a .209 SLG!!!!!

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Imagine an infield of Everett, Punto and Iwamura. That’s the stuff of legend.

  17. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, I’m def looking forward to the Razzball league. Any timeframe for setting those up, or are you keeping that close till everything is finalized?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I picture those leagues being announced around the end of January.

  19. Shogun says:
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    ugh, two (former?) Twins in that infield. What’s weird is that Gardy loves Punto like a son (maybe Punto IS his son?) but hated Everett. Now we’re in a bidding war with Philadelphia for Punto, and Gardy is saying that if we bring him back he’s “definitely” going to be our starting SS. Can someone get on the phone with the Phillies brass and ask them to up their offer? I’ll stand outside of Wal-Mart with the Salvation Army folks and collect pennies to contribute to the Phillies’ Punto Fund if it’ll help get him out of Minny.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I’m sure the Twins will find some way to win even if they have the worst offense in the league. They always do.

  21. Freak says:
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    @Steve: The store had to order it, should be in by the end of the week.

  22. Freak says:
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    I enjoy how Steinbrenner said the Yanks offer to CC wouldn’t be there forever. So they left it on the table for a month and then added a year and 20 million.

    Hilarious. I hope this blows up in their face.

  23. Shogun says:
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    @Freak: I bet will. I could see CC gaining 100 pounds and being sidelined with diabetes-related complications for much of that contract.

  24. @Grey: Nice. Who’s on first? (that’s what I’m asking!) Sean Casey? Richie Sexson? Jose Vidro?

  25. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    In two catcher leagues, I’m all in favor of drafting one or two guaranteed starters like Napoli and Iannetta, and snagging one of either Wieters, Clement or Teagarden late.

    @big o: I’m beginning to think I should change my Razzball name to “Big IowaCubs” just to keep up with all the Big guys like you and Hippo on this site. Is this a mid-life crisis? Has anyone seen the keys to my Miata?

  26. BigFatHippo says:
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    @IowaCubs: It’s a blue Prius*, get yer facts straight Jack.

    * big O’s car, not mine

  27. Steve says:
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    Like the old joke goes, when CC sits around the house, he sits a-r-o-u-n-d the house.

    Eh – it works better with the spoken word.

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Guess who just signed with the O’s to play SS? Looks like another top ten Razzball pick.

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