We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2010 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2010 Rangers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Adam J. Morris of Razzball’s and Princess Vespa’s favorite Ranger blog Lone Star Ball.

1) Aside from perhaps Matt Wieters, there wasn’t a player who failed to live up to their huge hype than Chris Davis.  Do you think he can manage a .260 / 25+ HR season whilst he strike out at a rate that would make Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds blush?

I don’t think a .260/25+ home run season is unreasonable for Davis, particularly given that he had a .238/21 home run season last year while playing roughly two-thirds of the season.  But realistically, hitting .260 with 25-30 home runs probably isn’t going to cut it for Davis to keep his job — he’s always going to strike out a lot, but he’s got to add some walks and put up power numbers more like he did in 2008.  I certainly think he’s capable of doing that — he hit at every level in the minors, hit in the majors in 2008, and doesn’t turn 24 until later this month.  But it is going to come down to improving his contact rate — at 150 Ks in a season, he is a potential All Star.  At 200-225 Ks in a season, he’s going to be out of a job.

2) We felt Josh Hamilton was overrated for fantasy baseball purposes last year but even we weren’t expecting just 336 ABs and 10 HRs.  Is expecting .280/25/100 too optimistic?

It is hard to say with Josh.  I’m thinking that we, as Rangers fans, need to think of him as another J.D. Drew, a guy who is going to make you crazy by missing time with what seem to be minor injuries, and who is always going to be dealing with nagging injuries.  If he plays 130 games this year, he should be good for 30+ homers, and with the Rangers moving him out of CF to save on the wear and tear, he should have a bounceback year.

3) Let’s play over/under with HR/SB:  Kinsler 25/25, Cruz 25/15, Borbon 10/30, Andrus 7/35.

Under, over, over, over, under, over, under, over.  Ron Washington is going to let the guys who can run — primarily the four you listed — be aggressive on the basepaths, particularly since this is a weaker offensive team than the Rangers have had historically, but also because those four guys are good basestealers who can rack up big steal numbers without getting thrown out a lot.  I think after last season’s struggles, Kinsler is going to not be so prone to the uppercuts, which caused more home runs but a lot more popflys in 2009.  Borbon and Andrus are probably a couple of years away from taking the over on their homer totals.

4) It’s been, well, ever since a Rangers starting pitcher has been considered draftable in most fantasy baseball formats.  Convince us that 1 or more of the Rangers pitchers might be one of the top 50 pitchers this year.

For starters, the Ranger defense is going to help the pitchers’ ERAs.  The defense has been below average for most of the last decade, but in 2009, with guys like Elvis, Kinsler and Cruz providing plus defense, the Rangers had one of the best rates of converting balls in play into outs in the league.  That translates into better ERAs.  The two guys who I think are worth a look fantasy-wise are Rich Harden and Colby Lewis.  Harden, everyone knows about, a guy who has great stuff and hasn’t stayed healthy.  Lewis is an interesting case, a guy who went to Japan and was great, and who the projection systems all seem to think will translate well back in the U.S.  He’s a guy I think is worth a flyer on, because if he does translate what he did in Japan to the U.S., he’d be a steal.

5) What’s more likely to happen in 2010:

a) An in-game fight breaks out and Nolan Ryan jumps on the field and gives someone a headlock.

b) The Ranger catchers combine for less extra base hits than letters in their collective last names.

c) The new Ranger owners call up Tom Hicks and Dubya for ownership advice.

d) Vlad Guerrero and Josh Hamilton both play 140+ games.

I think c.  Dubya wasn’t a bad owner (although he was really just the figurehead for the money guys), and with Hicks, well, they might want advice from him to see what he did, so they can avoid his mistakes.

  1. Terrence Mann says:

    She doesn’t look Druish!

    No Neftali Feliz?

    Project Cruz over 25/15? Me too.

  2. Steve says:

    Rudy or Grey – I know you shouldn’t obsess to much about AVE when you’re putting a team together, but it is a category I sometimes struggle with in a draft.

    Grey talks about shooting for a .280 average – is there a Point Shares equivalent for the .280 average?

    In other words, what should my team ‘add up to’ in the AVE column in point shares?

  3. eltoo says:

    would’ve liked to have seen smoak touched upon, but i guess saying what it will take for davis to keep his job also answers wether or not we’ll see smoak this year. if it requires davis to pace himself for 150 Ks or less, I like smoak for a midseason call-up

  4. Dave says:

    What are your thoughts on Derek Holland? Rough year last year, but is he rosterable in a deep (12 team, 35 roster spots) dynasty league? I’m super light on pitching and looking for any upside I can get.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Terrence Mann: Feliz doesn’t look like he’s going to have a rotation spot.

    @Steve: I’ll let Rudy tackle that.

    @Dave: Holland has good stuff. In that deep of a league, I’d take a late flier if I had room.

  6. magicterp says:

    Anyone – Best bench SP in NL only keeper league? Looking for servicable stats and upside. Please rank…
    Oliver Perez
    Anibal Sanchez
    Dave Bush
    Jason Hammel
    Vincente Padilla


  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @magicterp: Hammel, Sanchez, Bush, Perez…

  8. YourMomsBoyfriend says:

    Grey, Rudy, and/or any of you other guys who leave good comments: I’m in a 12 team keeper league, where two of the best outfielders still available are Cruz and Hamilton. I’ve already got 2 top-ten OFers (keepers), one with 30+ projected steals and near-30 homers (guess who?) and one with, oh, about 26-20 (but tons of Upside!). I want one of Hams or Cruz for my 3rd OFer, which guy is better in 2010? This is an auction league so I can get whoever. Gut says Cruz. (steals will come from SS–Alcandruth Cabrerusbar).

  9. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    Help with ESPN mock? Been trying to place mystery man ( :-) )with 2B/3B eligibility in 3B slot. Mock always drops him in 2B, presumably because that’s what’s listed first and not yet filled. Even if I select via the 3B dropdown, it still loads in the 2B slot. This has the ultimate impact of dumping an infielder on my bench forcing me to pick a 3B I don’t want late. (I asked ESPN, but no response.)

    Question: Is there a way to slot him properly during the draft?
    If not, how to correct post draft?

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Simply Fred: Do you have to pick a 3B late or can you just ignore that empty slot and it’ll get fixed at the end of the draft?

  11. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: Thanks for responding.

    I leave him slotted at 2B, fill in my other picks, and then end up at the end where I would normally fill a SP with the last pick, but the 3B slot is still open, so it forces a pick there (which I don’t want), and am unable to draft that last SP (because the bench is filled with the 2B/3B guy that should be in the 3B slot).

  12. Nate Marcum says:

    For UT spot, go with Konerko or Headley?

  13. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: I don’t expect you to dig this out for me. One of the guys who has been prepping for RCL can probably answer.

    (To the chagrin of my razz-mates, have been touting razzball to fellow mockers. Figure if one is going to get in the game, might as well go against the best. RCL my only roto league. :-) )

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Nate Marcum: Headley

    @Simply Fred: Hmm… That’s weird. Not sure it’s any different though at Yahoo cause when I did my Fantasy Razzball draft I wanted Belliard at 3rd and couldn’t move him there and I was drafting with Behrens (one of the writers for Yahoo) and he wasn’t sure it was possible.

  15. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: Yeah, the workaround seems to be to let it go, draft the bum 3B in the last spot, after the draft drop him, make the moves, then fill the final SP spot from off FA.

  16. Nate Marcum says:

    @Grey: BTW Grey, give yourself, Rudy, and the rest of your fellow writers a pat on the back for a great site. At the NFBC draft, after I took Stewart, some of the guys asked me if I read Razzball, and that led to about an hour’s worth of chatter about this site. The bastard that took J Sanchez from me coincidently didn’t. I was hoping at least a fellow razzballer would take him!

  17. brett says:

    @Simply Fred: I’m confused. It won’t let you draft who you want at the end of the draft because it thinks you haven’t filled all your starting spots? That’s weird. I’ve had real drafts where i’ve straight-up not drafted a catcher or a relief pitcher and filled them in after the draft. I’ve never had any problems with it.

    My only experience with this was last year at Yahoo though. So i guess I’m of no use to you, really.

  18. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @brett: No, when I draft my 2B/3B guy both the 2B and 3B slots are available. When I select the “draft player” button, it fills him in the 2B slot when I want him in the 3B slot. There seems no way to move him to the 3B slot during the draft (unlike Couch Managers, which facilitates that). Would very much appreciate your input. Haven’t you run into this during mocks at ESPN?

  19. Mini Doughnuts says:

    What would the adjusted ADP for Chapman, Strasburg, and Heyward be in ten team, 7 keeper (must keep 1 pitcher), 6×5 (+OPS)?

  20. Lines says:

    (while mock drafting)

    Me: I need a closer. Hm… Oh, hey, David Aardsma. Not bad.
    Her: Aardsmark!
    Me: Ha. Awesome, I’ve never heard anyone call him that.
    Her: Really? But it seems so obvious!

    Long story, short – my girlfriend is awesome. And he’s now the Aardsmark, or at least he should be.

  21. Eddy says:

    Grey, I Know you’ve said that you don’t put much stock into spring training performances, but does McClouth’s .029 average worry you at all?

  22. @Steve: I treat AVG the same as the other categories but I’ve found that low AVG guys come at a better value than, say, low HR/high AVG guys.

    I’d shoot for at least a 0 in Point Shares meaning your team is league average. But in shallower leagues, I’m finding that my team tends to be in the negative (a post reviewing my AL and NL only teams will appear at some point in the next couple of weeks).

  23. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:

    @Simply Fred: I’m not saying that it is so, but the mock may be different from the real thing. The real draft allows you to use your pre-rankings; the mocks on ESPN don’t. I have only been in one ESPN draft, so I can’t give you a definitive, maybe someone else can, but it is possible that you may be able to do so during the draft. If you can’t, just do what you stated; pick up garbage, drop after the draft, and pick up your starter.

    @Grey: Please rate – Latos, Pelfrey, Matusz, Tillman

  24. Nate Marcum says:

    @Lines: Looks like we could have female reader #4 in the midst!

  25. Steve says:

    @Rudy Gamble: Nice one – thanks!

  26. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Paulie. Thanks. I haven’t actually tried the pre-ranking for mocks. Maybe I can get that to work. See you Wednesday night!

  27. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:

    @Simply Fred: Pre-ranking doesn’t work for mocks. Not on ESPN. Which kinda defeats the purpose of mocks on ESPN.

  28. sean says:

    *** Kerry Wood out 6-8 weeks with strained right lat. Chris Perez to assume closer role ***

  29. sean says:

    Also, an MRI revealed no structural damage in Street’s shoulder. They’ve diagnosed it as shoulder inflammation. He’s due to stay back in extended spring training and reclaim the closer’s role in late April according to the Denver Post.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: Great heads up! Was able to grab Perez in one league. Thanks!

    @Eddy: Means nothing.

  31. The Dude says:

    @Simply Fred: I had a Yahoo draft recently where a guy did not draft a Catcher outright, so I’m sure they don’t limit you at Yahoo. This sounds like just one more reason to despise ESPN…

  32. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @The Dude: Razzball’s RCL leagues are run through ESPN.

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