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All of these rookies are worth grabbing at the right spot, but I wouldn’t reach for any of them.  Sorry if that sounds boring, but sometimes Grey needs to instill some right-wing fantasy baseball conservatism into the equation.  Longoria, Soto, Tulowitzki, Braun, Michael J. Fox in the first year of Family Ties, etc. panned out.  But for every time you scored with rookie nookie, there was a time when you struckout, Adam Jones, Johnny Cueto, Fukudome, Towles, Hughes, Parra, Justin Upton, Brian Bonsall, etc.  If you click on the links on the players below, you’ll see I covered all of these rookies for 2009 fantasy baseball back in November/December.   (These fantasy sleeper, rookie doodes are in no particular order.  Well… Technically, I did wrote them down in an order so they are in some order…)  Anyway, here’s some rookies for 2009 fantasy baseball:

David Price – I think he hits 150 innings and makes a huge difference for the teams who own him.  I’d pursue him like a third or fourth fantasy starter.

Matt Wieters – He’s been discussed ad nauseum since I discussed him way back in November.  I won’t have him in any league.

Cameron Maybin – I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s a top 30 outfielder at the end of the year.  That’s a hunch more than anything.   What, I can’t have crushes?

Colby Rasmus – I like him in NL-Only leagues if he leaves spring training with a gig.

Travis Snider – Cheap source of 20 homer power.

Elvis Andrus – Liked him a whole lot more before Omar “I Will One Day Die At The Hands Of Jose Mesa” Vizquel joined the team.

Andrew McCutchen – Keep your eye on him in NL-Only keepers.  He might be a doughy bagel as soon as 2010.

Carlos Carrasco – I like him more than most, but he needs an injury to someone else to see some RT (that’s Rotation Time.  Acronyms don’t work as well when I have to explain them.)

Brett Gardner – I loved him back in November.  Now I’m a bit lukewarm.  If he can find legitimate PT, he swipes 30 bags.  Two things are going in his favor 1) Melky’s his main competition.  2)  See Number One.

Kenshin Kawakami - Two parts Kuroda, one part Hideki Irabu.

Jason Heyward – Keep Heyward in mind in NL-Only keeper leagues.  He’s my early frontrunner for NL ROY for 2010.

Chris Dickerson – Dusty Baker is talking of playing veterans.  Oh, Dusty.  You card!

Mat Gamel -  If he leaves camp with a full-time gig, he will be worth owning in mixed leagues.

Taylor Teagarden – I’d like him more if the Rangers didn’t have Saltymochachino in front of him.  Yet, I still like him.  I like Salty too.  To quote your Mom’s favorite movie title, “Something’s Gotta Give.”

James McDonald – If McDonald gets the fifth starter job in The Los Angeles City of Los Angeles (<–required by Anaheim law), he could be a great NL-Only sleeper.  James McDonald is a fantasy sleeper?! That’ll be a big seller in Google searches.

  1. Maximus says:
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    Grey, would Dayan Viciedo be worth owning in a deep keeper league. I hear so many mixed reviews of this guy. A 19 year old power hitter is tempting. What should we expect from him in 2009? or even 2010/2011?

  2. Frank Rizzo says:
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    High praise for Price. 3rd starter? Wow.

    I want Maybin in my draft, badly. He’s more than worth a late round flier. If it clicks this year he could be top 15 guy, let alone 30. Carl Crawford version 2.0.

  3. bpasinko says:
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    Maybin will start off hot and get picked up but play awful for the team that finally grabs him. Then in the 2nd half when only half of your league follows, one of the top teams will ride him to the title. Kind of like Upton last year.

    How long until Tom Glavine blows and Tommy Hanson is brought up? Would Glavine be owned in even a 30 team NL Only league?

  4. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I’ll give better odds to Joey Gathright getting 30 steals than Bret Gardner.

  5. woyme says:
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    Any thoughts on Brett Cecil?

  6. Eric W says:
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    I think you got to keep a eye on wade davis down in Tampa his stuff is outstanding and that rotation with alot of young arms and kazmir seems destined for a injury.

  7. BSA says:
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    Rookie Nookie and Closer Conundrums are what give me fits.
    Figuring out the balance of when to pick them up and when to drop ‘em.
    Cueto and Volquez were good ones last year to have early and sell while the getting was good.
    Price was nasty in the playoffs last year. I’ll be watching him this year to watch how the hitters adjust. If they can with that funky delivery.
    Maybin, tough not to get caught up in his hype. Anyone take a look at his website?

  8. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @bpasinko: Did anyone ride Upton to a title last year?

    @BSA: I just did a mock draft over at Yahoo! and got totally borked in rounds 7 through 11. Ended up rookie-nookying myself to death. Chris Davis and Bruce and Nelson Cruz? Blaaarghh!

    I learned, though, that there’s tons of closer value in rounds 12 and beyond. Hoffman, Lindstrom, Qualls…. those guys just sit there… and sit there…. and sit there…..

  9. BSA says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Ah, Bruce rises again.

    I do like playing through the closers, just that they give you that feeling in the back of your mouth when you taste something really bitter.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Maximus: What can we expect of Dayan Viciedo? Some time in 2010 he suddenly becomes five years older. I keed. Realistically, we might not see him until September, but there’s a chance we see him sooner b/c of the Sox’s 3rd base situation. As soon as we see him, he’ll be worth a spot in all leagues, until then he should be owned in keepers. If he makes the team out of ST, people will be clamoring for him in just about every league. He’s absolutely worth a spot.

    @Frank Rizzo: I agree, but he’s a bit green.

    @bpasinko: re: Glavine being owned — No. I don’t think we see Hanson out of spring training, but he could be around by the ASB. He’s a good guy to have keepers.

    @woyme: Could have an impact in AL-Only leagues and keepers. His minors numbers are terrific. The Blue Jays definitely could use him.

    @Eric W: He has solid stuff but Rays rotation overfloweth right now. But you’re right, an injury becomes Kazmir and it could very well be Davis.

    @BSA: His website?

  11. bpasinko says:
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    That’s a good point, I don’t think anyone rode Upton to a title.

    I was trying to say that I have a feeling there will be a point where Maybin struggles and he’ll be somewhat forgotten in some leagues. He strikes out a lot and he’ll be prone to some bad streaks to the point where one year leagues will drop him. But he’ll make the adjustments in the 2nd half or so and that’s where I think he’ll be helping out most teams.

    I said Upton cause he started off hot then was really bad and missed time with injury. But then he had a September that could have helped several teams. Not that Maybin will get hurt but I feel there are always young players at the end of the year that were hyped in the beginning, struggled, then came back without much notice.

  12. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @bpasinko: All good points. Then again, Maybin could start hot like Hanley did in his rookie year, then get cold, a few idiots* will drop him, then he gets hot again!

    *Me. I dropped him. Lugo was coming off the DL!

  13. Peter G says:
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    any thoughts about drafting both salty balls and tea baggin in say deeper leagues and just platoon like crazy?
    looking over some of the projections at fangraphs, it would appear that a platoon of the two could give someone a line of 85/25/85/.265/2, numbers that you would not normally would get in players with adp’s in the 300′s. Of course, this would all depend on both of these players breaking out a bit, but at least it might give someone a chance to completely blow off catcher until the very, very end of the draft. beats having to draft yadier molina again.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Peter G: I can see someone platooning them if your bench is big enough but it’s not ideal. You don’t really want to carry an extra catcher the whole season. I think they will both get enough time that owning just one will be enough but you’ll need to be patient like if you owned Napoli last year. He was solid enough even though he didn’t play that much. Either way, do not draft Yadier.

  15. yak says:
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    What kind of SP should I target when trying to trade Mauer? I have Doumit, and someone dropped Mauer. Or keep Mauer and trade Doumit. You know what I’m tryna’ say.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @yak: Someone dropped Mauer? Wow. Not sure what kind of starter you *can* get for him because he must be severely underappreciated in your league, but what kind of starter you *should* get? A #2 guy. Think Billingsley.

  17. Fman99 says:
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    Dropped Mauer? Was this a four team league?

  18. cubbies299 says:
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    Hey Grey, I need major keeper advice. You’ve been a lifesaver in the past.

    1. Rank these guys in terms of keepability: Tulo, Crawford, Kazmir, Marmol, Uggla, Harang, Gallardo, Krisby

    2. I have the option of taking a top keeper. I’m pretty sure I go with Hamels here, but Soria and Chipper are also options (and Bri rob, but I know you hate his guts)

    2. I have two options: I can either keep hamels and only take 4 of the guys from list 1, or I can not keep him and take five from list 1. I’m leaning towards keeping Hamels (meaning I have to spurn keeper #5), as it’d be nice to lock up a SP1

    Thanks a lot for the help

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cubbies299:

    1. Crawford, Tulo, Uggla, Krispie, Gallardo, Kazmir, Harang, Marmol

    2. Hamels.

    2. Hamels, Crawford, Tulo, Uggla, Gallardo. When I saw you were keeping four of these guys I bumped up Gallardo and lowered Krispie. Your average would’ve been dreadful otherwise, it’s still not great so keep that in mind when you draft.

    No problem.

  20. Pops says:
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    The idea of platooning Salty and Teagarden is interesting indeed. I play in a league with deep benches and I was thinking about platooning Wieters with (insert undervalued catcher here). Is the DH role a possibility for the Texas twosome when they are not catching?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Pops: Guess it depends on how deep your bench/league is but I don’t think they’re ideal for that role.

  22. Pops says:
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    @Grey:
    If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of names at the catcher position have you been targeting and landing in mock drafts / live drafts thus far? There really are a lot of good options out there in the later rounds.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Pops: I could see myself with Sandoval, Doumit, Teagarden, Salty, Clement…

  24. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Iannetta? Or however you spell his damn name.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, he’d be there too.

  26. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You’ve got Sandoval ranked at 166 overall which equates to about the 13th round or so (a little simplistic I know) in a 12-teamer. He has C eligibility in my H2H league (12 teams), so all other things being equal is that about the right place to take him?

    Where would you looking to take Iannetta?

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’d go to about 130 with Sandoval if I really wanted him but that 166 is considering Catcher eligibility. Iannetta is in the prior tier so he should go a bit earlier. I wouldn’t grab him much earlier than 120 though. Actually, I wouldn’t grab many catchers before 120 unless the big guys fell to me.

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. Don’t really feel the need to go early on Sandoval as Clement and co can be had pretty late if I miss him. Think I will wait til his ranking spot or thereabouts – Iannetta may even still be there.
    Hard to think of taking a catcher at 120 – even if it is Doumit or V-Mart. I’m normally looking for a second or third starter or hopefully Broxton at that point.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Sounds like I’ve taught you well, Young Jedi.

  30. kevin says:
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    @Grey
    Just stumbled on John Baker, C for FLA. I can’t find any scoop on him, but his ’08 numbers are insane, and his last few years in the minors are great too. Sooooo, what’s the scizzoop? Why is he so hard to find info on?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @kevin: He’s a >10 HRs >.260 catcher, not something you want in mixed leagues and only as a late round sleeper in NL-Only if you’ve punted catcher or if you’re in a 2 catcher league.

  32. James says:
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    Could the demotion of Price be a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners? Couldn’t the Rays be sending him down to baby him in an effort to have him during the stretch run? Thus, instead of being shut down at the end of the season, fantasy owners will have him in their lineup during their playoff/stretch run. What do you guys think?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @James: I agree. I think he’s back by May.

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