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 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Phillies Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Matt Winkelman from Phuture Phillies.
1) Domonic Brown broke out in a big way in 2013 with 27 home runs. Do you think his success will continue in 2014 and should fantasy owners expect more than 30 homers?
I don’t think you will see the same Domonic Brown in 2014 that you saw in 2013. Pitchers are adjusting to him and not giving him that pitch to pull out of the park for the HR as much as they were earlier in the season. I would expect to see a little more patience and OBP from Brown this year and a HR total closer to 20-25 if he is healthy for a full year.
Asche is never going to be a flashy option in real life or fantasy. It is a line drive approach that is going to yield more singles and doubles than home runs. He is going to give you a batting average around .270-.280, around 15 HRs, and probably 10 or so steals. The biggest question with Asche is playing time, he should win the starting 3B job out of spring training, but top prospect Maikel Franco is right behind him and that cut into Asche’s playing time if Franco forces the issue.
I think it is Chase Utley and it is not particularly close. Rollins has clearly lost a step or two and it shows in the severe drop-offs in both power and speed. I don’t think either of those is going to rebound and you could see him losing playing time or traded once he passes some Phillies records. Health is the big concern with Utley, but he had a good bounce back season last year and looks on track to enter this season healthy as well. There are less stolen bases then last year and he is poor against LHPs, but his ISO in 2013 was the highest it has been since 2009 and that should continue,
4) PhuturePhillies focuses on prospects. Which prospect from the organization should fantasy players be most excited about for 2014 and beyond?
The big name prospect it Maikel Franco, who is an even better fantasy prospect than real life prospect. He should hit for a decent batting average, but could be a 30+ home run a year guy not long after arriving in the majors. For 2014 impact, if Papelbon is traded at any point Ethan Martin or Ken Giles could quickly find their way into the closers role. Both feature big time fastballs and above average breaking balls.
5) Charlie Manuel provided Phillies fans with a lot of good memories. Outside of the Series win in 2008, what was your favorite Charlie Manuel moment?
Less of a moment and more of experience that was post-game press conferences. Charlie was going to say what he felt, was going to put it simply, and you had an excellent chance at great or ridiculous quote. Too many sports figures are polished in how they talk to the media, and Charlie was exactly the opposite.
Here’s a great example of what Matt is referring to…notice the seamless transition from Pat Burrell to Ric Flair to Space Mountain.