Spaceman here, and I’ll be keeping tabs on spring training battles to watch by position, in each division. I’ll hopefully convey a common sense approach that assists with your draft prep and roster depth. If not, I’ll head back to my farm in Vermont to sprinkle grass on my pancakes.
2B Starter: Toronto brought Emilio Bonifacio over in Jeffrey “Expo Killer” Loria’s Miami fire sale, right after signing Maicer Izturis to a 3-year deal. So who’s playing 2B up in Canada? They haven’t committed to either, but G.M. Alex Anthopoulos appears to see Boni in a Utility role. Possibly taking over for Colby Rasmus in CF, should he struggle early on. Probable outcome: With the inside track to 2B, Izturis takes it, giving the Jays options in the OF should Melky Cabrera not perform off the juice. Izturis won’t provide much fantasy value outside of the deepest of leagues or as a late round MI flyer due to the improved offense around him. Whereas Boni should have an impact in leagues of any type, with his perennial base stealing and a nice position eligibility. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Texas finally caught a glimpse of MLB’s best Japanese starter as Hiroki Kuroda went 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Rangers. Did they play this game in the Old Yankee Stadium? The one that was 700 feet to center and had Red Ruffing’s mausoleum in dead left? Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Rangers have promoted two pitchers from their minor league ranks to fill openings in the big league rotation. Familiar fantasy face, Roy Oswalt, is one of the two. The other is 23-year-old Justin Grimm, who debuted last week and was rather effective. Grimm was having a nice campaign in Double-A — nothing eye-popping, but he was among the most efficient pitchers in the Texas League, which is surely why the Rangers are giving him a look. I’m not so sure he’s worth the same look in the fantasy game, however. He’s slotted to throw twice next week, so if you’re two-start streaming… whatever. But he’s hardly rosterable outside of AL-Only formats. What’s interesting to note here is that Grimm leaped over the Rangers’ top pitching prospect Martin Perez. Perez had been having a lousy year in the PCL, so it’s not necessarily surprising that Grimm was given the nod, but the move seems to have ignited Perez. He’s surrendered only two runs through his last two outings, one of those being a complete game (only 90 pitches, too). Featuring a plus fastball with sneaky velocity, a plus-plus change, and a sharp curve, Perez has frontline stuff. It’s hard to say how long the Rangers will have room for either Grimm or another arm, but if Perez continues this recent hot streak, I’m confident he’ll supplant Grimm. Should that scenario come to pass, add Perez in all formats. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Boston Red Sox 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13) | 2008 (2) | 2007 (9) | 2006 (8)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [90-72] AL East
AAA: [81-61] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [59-83] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [64-75] Carolina League – Salem
A: [78-62] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss): [29-45] New York Penn League – Lowell
The Run Down
The Red Sox pipeline, as usual, is flush with talent. And although its most exciting prospects (see Middlebrooks & Barnes) are probably a year away from arriving at Fenway, the system features a decent amount of MLB-ready talent. Unfortunately for those ready to make their marks with the big club, Boston’s MLB roster doesn’t seem primed for much turnover: The opening in right field will most certainly be filled with a free agent, and I’m thinking they’ll do the same to round out the rotation. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jered Weaver will not make his final start of the year because he doesn’t care about your H2H team. Weaver ends the season with a line of 18-8/2.41/1.01/198. If you throw out three bad starts, his ERA would’ve been 1.72 in 220 innings, but if if’s and but’s were candy and nuts no one would ever leave the bathroom. Verlander’s gonna win the Cy Young, shizz is foregone. Put it in an envelope and hand it to your mail carrier so he can steam it open and check it for cash. Either way, let’s look at what Weaver did this year. Mullet over, if you will. Weaver was better last year. Blunt is as blunt does right there. His K-rate, xFIP and hair were all better. His K-rate this year was right in line with past rates, if you exclude 2010. For now, last year looks like the outlier for Ks. Also, batters made contact with his pitches inside the strike zone at a higher rate than last year and hitters weren’t as fooled by pitches outside the strike zone. In the end, he’s not going to be terrible in 2012; it’s just a repeat of 2011 seems unlikely, unless Superman circles the earth a few hundred times. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The top 50 fantasy baseball prospects list aims to provide a list solely for fantasy baseball purposes. Due to fantasy baseball’s immediacy of statistical production, players are not necessarily ranked based on tools or projections far into the future, but instead, current production. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Milwaukee Brewers promoted the 24-year-old, unranked third baseman Taylor Green. Has a solid swing, controls strike zone and make consistent sound contact, power is average at best. Defensively is where he stands out, showing above-average skill. This year at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League) he has a dominant slash line .336/.413/.583 in 420 at-bats with 59 XBH (22 Hr) and a 72:55 K:BB ratio. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I said three days ago that Brian Wilson was probably headed for a DL stint. And now he’s on the DL. Confession: I’m a time traveler! And not for stocks or gambling Biff-style, I use my foresight for fantasy baseball. To recap what I’ve been saying, I said three days ago that Brian Wilson– Wait, I should recap from a little further back. Ramon Ramirez already has two saves, so that’s who I’d grab first. Affeldt could get some saves, you just need to put up with his annoying duck. Casilla may sneak into the picture, but I wouldn’t go deeper than one of these guys unless you’re very desperate. Though remember closers can smell desperation and you’ll never get any saves like that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into the roundup, I just wanted to announce that this afternoon there will be announcement. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kevin Youkilis, the Greek God of Back Pain, is off to the DL. Yesterday, Ortiz took a boot to the foot and today this. The Sawx are officially in rest up for the playoffs mode, which is great for all the pasty-faced Sawx fans, but it’s not great for fantasy. So far this year, Youuuuuuk has 17 homers in 395 at-bats while batting .266. So that means, if he were healthy in September, he’d give you some runs, RBIs and 3 homers. I just popped a zit into a mirror and the puss read, “Whatever.” You can find a replacement for Youk on waivers in most leagues. So put on your Burger King crown you stole from some kid, open up your fantasy waivers and replace him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ryan Lavarnway – Was called up. Stephen just went over his Lavarnway fantasy. He wrote it while throwing darts at a picture of me. Lavarnway is worth noting because he hit 30 homers between Double- and Triple-A this year. Now, rookie catcher is a tough position to be in. Ask any recently incarcerated felon. But Ortiz and Youk are both out, so Lavarnway will see everyday time at DH for the time being. This is great news since he’s catcher eligible. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brad Peacock | RHP (SP): | Washington Nationals | 6’1″ | 175 lbs | B/T: R/R | 41st rd, 2006 | WAS #10 ranked prospect per Baseball America 2011 | MiLB Player Page
I’ve spent the last couple months watching Peacock’s prospect stock rise in Washington behind the veil of Bryce Harper and the recovery of Stephen Strasburg. Please, blog, may I have some more?