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 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Rays Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Jason Collette from The Process Report.
1) Matt Moore was a super sexy pitcher pick up for fantasy purposes in last year’s draft and left most of his owners disappointed. Is there any chance at a rebound for him and what are your expectations in terms of production from him for 2013?
Absolutely. Compare Moore in 2012 to Price in 2009. Both had same can’t miss labels on draft day and people overpaid for both at drafts and were annoyed at the end result. Both had bad 1st halves but turned corners in the second half. Moore had a 3.01 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in the second half and got his gopheritis under control allowing just five homers in 78 innings after serving up 13 in his first 100. The Rays tend to tweak pitchers in year two as they introduce the cut fastball as they did with Shields, Davis, Price, and Hellickson in previous seasons. It isn’t a smooth transition (go revisit Hellickson’s early season numbers) but every starter gets the pitch added to their repertoire and I’d expect Moore to get it this year in some capacity. That said, I firmly believe Moore earns at least $20 in 2013 in AL-Only formats.
2) Wil Myers. I’m excited. You’re excited. Grey is downright giddy as you can see from his 2013 Wil Myers fantasy write-up. But that, of course, is not the question. What we’d like to know is, when will Myers be in the Rays outfield for 2013 and what are your expectations?
Unless he signs a Longoria 2008 type deal, he should start looking for apartments in Durham, NC right now. The Rays will never burn the extra year of service time on him because the long term future is more important than the short term results. It is very easy to make the case for him on the current depth chart, but if he will be as good as they hope he will be, calling him up too early in 2013 will be quite costly down the line. I feel Grey’s power predictions are a bit aggressive while his runs/rbi are too conservative. Myers has the pop, but Tropicana Field is, for all intents and purposes, Petco Park with a permanent roof.
3) Desmond Jennings was another hyped draft pick in 2012 and though he didn’t exactly kill his fantasy owners, his final line of 13/31 with a .245 average wasn’t what many had in mind. With all that said, can we expect a bigger year from Desmond and will he be a value pick in the 2013 fantasy draft?
He didn’t have the minor league statistical track record to justify his 2012 ADP/$ and people paid the price for paying for the talent and not the results. Jennings has issues in the strike zone, specifically, with high fastballs. He treats those high fastballs like a college guy trying to score with the hottest chick at the party. He’ll keep swinging for the fences on that pitch with undesirable outcomes but every 50th one, he connects and crushes it and falls back into the same cycle. It is something that was there all throughout 2012, and it then sets him up to pull off hard breaking balls on the outside. He is a terrific baserunner but he gives away at bats with some correctable issues at the plate.
4) As always, the Rays have great pitching and great defense coming into 2013. However, if Cobb or Niemann struggle or one of their main starters gets hurt, who is the first name the Rays will call on to fill the void and will he be a fantasy-worthy pickup?
Even after moving Shields and Davis, the Rays still have a logjam in the rotation. Price, Hellickson, Moore, Cobb, Niemann, and Archer are all still present. Archer has the options to be sent back down but he’s showed he’s ready to pitch at the majors. If he gets sent back to Durham, he’s the guy. I have my doubts that all 6 guys remain with the team through camp though and that’s not even factoring in what the team will do with Roberto Hernandez-Carmona. If they do move someone, and something else happens, Alex Torres would be the next guy in line.
5) If you were given a copy of the Tampa Bay Times from the future…ok the not too distant future of October of 2013, what would be the likeliest Rays-related thing you’d see?
A) Tampa Bay makes it to the World Series
B) Ryan Roberts gets a tattoo of a tattoo on his tattoo and names it tattoo-ception to beat an already beleaguered joke to death
C) James Loney hits well over .300 for the year (ooooh, pick this one and further fuel my bet with Grey. I’ll be your friend forever! Conversely, if you don’t want to be BFF, I’ll promise to never bug you again if you agree).
D) Joe Maddon reveals he’s actually Gene Hackman and he drew all his inspirational coaching style from playing Jimmy McGinty in ‘The Replacements’
E) Longoria plays in over 150 games and hits over 30 HRs on the season.
F) The Rays send a public apology letter to the Royals for scamming them so badly with that Myers/Shields trade that ends with ‘but no take backs!’
C – easily. If the team can turn Casey Kotchman into a respectable hitter for a single season, make Jeff Keppinger look like Ty Cobb at times, certainly they can peel the layers back off the James Loney onion and find some of that talent from earlier parts of his career. He had a lot of success as recently as the final two months of the 2012 season and the Rays are the type of team that will play the matchups and not force feed him lefties like my grandma fed me castor oil in order to fix what ails him.