The Waiver Wire: Drew Smyly

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The Waiver Wire: Drew Smyly

Posted on 12 April 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Were you one of the managers that had Doug Fister or some other struggling starting pitcher on their roster this week? Well, lucky for you, I have an idea. If you over-manage like I do, then you are probably looking to make some changes in your starting pitcher lineup after only a few games.

My suggestion to you is to add Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly immediately. I took a little heat when I ranked Smyly higher than almost everyone else on my Top 100 Prospects list, but I have faith he can make it in the bigs. I have so much faith in him in fact, that I also projected him as the AL Rookie of the Year for 2012.

Smyly is owned in 0.5% of ESPN fantasy leagues. That number could increase dramatically after tomorrows start if he performs even close to what how I think he will. If your league gives points for Wins then Smyly is an easy pickup due to the fact that he might have the best offense in years behind him. The Tigers should be able to give him a comfortable lead early, which will allow him to pitch without any restrictions or worries.

Smyly might walk a few batters but he definitely has the stuff to strike out a few batters as well. At Double-A last year, he averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings and registered a sterling 1.18 ERA. He has excellent control and even better command of his pitches. The Tigers have never been afraid of throwing young pitchers out there so I don’t expect his rotation spot to be in jeopardy very quickly.

Pick up Smyly as a spot starter this week and be prepared to make him a stable part of your rotation going forward.

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Cardboard Hunters: How to collect

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Cardboard Hunters: How to collect

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Jared Thatcher

When it comes to baseball cards, there are many different ways to collect them. Collections can be comprised of a favorite player, a favorite team, an entire set, only graded cards, a rookie collection, cards from a certain era, cards of players who have accomplished a certain feat (3000 hit club), autograph cards, etc. Some of these collections are becoming harder and harder to collect as card makers continue to produce low-numbered inserts that are hard to get a hold of.

I have dabbled in most of these collecting methods but currently, I am on a mission to collect every Ryan Roberts card ever produced. According to Beckett, there are 46 Ryan Roberts cards out there from companies like Upper Deck and Topps. I chose to start collecting Roberts cards because he has so few cards and I thought it would be a great place to start. Roberts is also my favorite player because I thoroughly enjoy his hustle on the field and the emotion he shows during all nine innings. So far, I have collected 13 of his 47 (I found a minor league card of his NOT listed on Beckett) cards, or 28%. I could probably own more than this but I haven’t pulled the trigger on the recent Topps card parallels from Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us yet. That would easily add another 6 cards to my collection but they are easy to come by so I’m not worried. The hardest part of this collection is finding the low serial numbered cards. Roberts was first seen in 2006 Upper Deck (which I have) and he also has a 2006 Upper Deck Gold #ed/99 (which I also have). In 2006 Roberts also had a rookie card in the Topps 52 set that was designed to look like the old Topps 1952 set. In this set he has a base card (have), a chrome card #ed/1952 (have), a chrome gold refractor #ed/52 (don’t have), and a chrome refractor #ed/552 (have). I just missed out on the chrome gold refractor on eBay the other night. I believe it went for north of $7 and the auction ended while I was sleeping (dang it). The hardest cards that I am attempting to acquire are the 2011 and 2012 Topps Printing Plates. They were randomly inserted in packs and they are numbered 1/1. ONE OF ONE!?!? How the heck am I supposed to get these? What if the pack holding this 1/1 card is never even opened?!?! Anyway, I figure these will be the hardest to come by and will probably cost a pretty penny when I do find them. Over the last two years Roberts has averaged about 20 cards a year spread out over different sets. That said, if you have any Roberts cards, please contact me because I want them! Thanks.

I first started collecting cards by putting together entire sets. My dad gave me a partial Topps 1970 set that I absolutely love. It has some very obscure players in it but also has a great looking Roberto Clemente card and a few good roookies. I intended to put together two sets and give one to my little brother and keep one for myself. You can buy the whole completed set for between $900 and $1100 on eBay but I figured it would be much more fun to build it myself. I will be truthful and tell you that I soon gave up. There are so many cards in the set and putting it together piece by piece soon became very expensive and time consuming. Putting together more recent sets is easier and I was able to collect the whole 2012 Topps Series 1 set with a hobby box and a few blasters. If you are a set collector, I applaud you. I understand how hard it can be and I respect you for having the passion and patience to do it.

Now let’s talk about a much easier and fun collection that is quickly catching on. This set it called The Trifecta. The idea is to collect 3 cards of a certain player; a rookie card, an on card autograph, and a memorabilia card. Some people want the cards to all be signed, some people want them to all be graded, but that is what’s great about this way of collecting, it’s easy and customizable! Collecting a Trifecta will allow you collect cards from lots of different players and are easy to “complete”. Some players do not have game-used memorabilia cards (like Roberts) but most have at least and autographed card and a rookie card. This is a fun and easy way to collect some of your favorite players and allows for you to show off your collection very easily.

If you want to talk cards and collecting tweet me @Jared_Thatcher or leave a comment below. I’m always looking for Ryan Roberts cards and the rookie cards from Hall of Famers for my collection.

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Preseason Predictions

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Preseason Predictions

Posted on 03 April 2012 by Jared Thatcher

The season is just about to start so I thought I would share my Preseason Predictions with you. Please feel free to comment and leave your own predictions here as well!

AL East Winner – Tampa Bay Rays – They have a great pitching staff and should put up enough runs in the AL East to win it again this year.
AL Central Winner – Detroit Tigers – The lineup is downright ridiculous in Detroit. They should score a ton of runs and the pitching will be stellar as well.
AL West Winner – Texas Rangers – A powerful lineup in addition to a solid rotation should help them hold off the Angels.
NL East Winner – Washington Nationals – My darkhorse pick this year. They have a great pitching rotation and a lockdown bullpen. Now they just need runs…
NL Central Winner – St. Louis Cardinals – Albert who? They still have power and production in the lineup with a great rotation. Bullpen might be shaky…
NL West Winner – Arizona Diamondbacks – Repeat performance. Pitching staff may not be as good but some prospect might come up to fix that. Should score a lot of runs.
AL Wild Cards – Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees – The powerhouses will still win over 90 games and easily fill the wildcards.
NL Wild Cards – Philadelphia Phillies, Cinncinati Reds – The Phillies will make the postseason on pitching alone and ride it all the way through.
World Series: Tigers over Phillies in game 7 – The Tigers pitching will be too much and if anyone can hit against the Phillies, it’s the Tigers lineup.

AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera – Should drive in a ton runs with protection from Fielder. A monster year is expected if he can stay healthy.
NL MVP – Joey Votto – A mediocre lineup shouldn’t hinder him in hitting over .320 and 100 RBIs.
AL Cy Young – Dan Haren – It’s time. He pitches a ton of innings and with a great defense behind him, he should have a very sub-3.00 ERA
NL Cy Young – Adam Wainwright – He has something prove after TJ surgery. Was brilliant in Spring Training and should be himself once again. Lookup “Ace”  to see his pic
AL Rookie of the Year – Drew Smyly – Locked down the #5 spot with the Tigers. He should pitch lots of innings and be very effective even getting over 150 Ks.
NL Rookie of the Year – Bryce Harper – Time for the prodigy to make his debut. He will help out the Nats with his power starting early in the season.

What are your picks? Tweet them to @Jared_Thatcher and @FullspectrumBB

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What’s happening in my league?

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What’s happening in my league?

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Jared Thatcher

I participate in a dynasty fantasy baseball league hosted by Proboards. We have all 30 teams accounted for and the league is in its second year of existence. People always say the hardest thing about a large dynasty league is retaining owners. So far, this has proved to be true in our league, but we have a great commissioner who fills the teams quickly with quality General Managers.

I joined the league in the middle of the 2011 season by taking over the Atlanta Braves. I know what some of you are thinking… great, young, talented team to take over. You couldn’t be farther from the truth. The GM before me had completely wiped out the minor league system (we can keep up to 75 minor leaguers), and he had already traded away Freddie Freeman, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson, Dan Uggla, and Jason Heyward. Basically I was left with Derek Lowe and Chipper Jones. He had traded most of the guys to Rockies and Astros for a bunch of their aging stars like Todd Helton and Carlos Lee. My team had been destroyed, raped, and pillaged by the other teams during the prior GMs reign. But I was OK with that. I took over the team as a challenge. I wanted to rebuild and make a competitive team out of scraps.

So far I have managed to trade away some of the more expensive and aging players for draft picks (we do a 6 round amateur draft and 6 round minor league draft) and prospects (I have almost all of the Diamondbacks pitching prospects in my system now). My system is becoming better and better by the day but I am still a long way from winning.

Anyway, in this post I will list the transactions that happened in my league this week. Hopefully, they will help you determine the value of certain players or at least get an idea of where to start if you are trying to trade in your dynasty league.

Braves trade to the Rockies:Carlos Lee

Rockies trade to the Braves

Chad Bettis $0.4
Jose Iglesias $0.4
Juan Rivera
2012 #29 overall pick

Lee is a very valuable player on a fantasy team. He qualifies at OF and 1B and ESPN has him ranked pretty high as a first baseman. He hit for .300 last year and drove in a ton of runs on a terrible team. Bettis is one of the better Rockies pitching prospects (and he hasn’t been arrested yet). Iglesias should spend a lot of time at SS this year for the Red Sox if he can figure out how to hit. Rivera fills a hole in the outfield and will be a nice asset off the bench. The #29 overall pick will help the Braves system get even deeper.
Braves trade to the Dbacks:

Dbacks trade to the Braves

Charles Brewer
Patrick Corbin
Adam Eaton
Wade Miley
2012 2nd round draft pick (#37 overall)

Robinson and Norris are young and have a lot of years under team control so the package coming back to the Braves had to be large. Brewer and Corbin are good pitching prospects in the Dbacks system and Eaton, although small, is a good OF prospect. Miley broke into the Majors last year for a couple starts but isn’t anything too special as of now. The #37 draft pick could be very useful in this years draft for the Braves.

Astros trade to the Twins:
Twins trade to the Astros:
This trade was mostly a salary dump for the Astros because they had 3 starting shortstops.
A’s trade to the Dbacks:

D-backs trade to the A’s:

1st round draft pick

The draft pick was the #6 overall pick in the 2012 draft. The #6 pick could really be worth a lot which is why the A’s had to give up promising prospects Green and Sands. I like this trade and I think it will benefit both owners as long as the A’s make a wise choice in the draft.

A’s trade to the Twins:

Rafael Furcal

Twins trade to the A’s:

Twins 2nd rd pick (pick 5)

The Twins needed a starting shortstop and Furcal is a good, middle of the pack guy. The A’s continue to acquire draft picks and should get a huge haul in the 2012 draft.
Well, that’s what’s happening in my league. What’s happening in yours? Please comment about the trades posted and the trades that have happened in your league! You can follow me on Twitter @Jared_Thatcher

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Cardboard Hunters: Two more HOF players added to collection

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Cardboard Hunters: Two more HOF players added to collection

Posted on 19 March 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Well, in my quest to gather a Rookie Card of every Hall of Fame player, I have added two more in the last week. As I get deeper into the list of Hall of Famers, the cost seems to exponetially increase, making it harder for me to acquire the cards. But, I was able to get decent deals on a couple more cards last week that I think you will enjoy.

First off is the 1975 Topps #616 RC of Jim Rice. The card has probably one of my favorite designs because it clearly represents the 70′s by being colorful and a bit strange. The card stock is nice and thick, and for some reason, my card still smells a bit like bubble gum. The top half of the card is pink while the lower half is a bright yellow. I have no clue why Topps chose those colors but it’s still pretty cool. The card features three other players also including Dave Augustine, Pete Mangual, and John Scott. Scott sports and awesome pair of chops in his picture and Augustine has a classic 1970′s mustache as well. For some reason Rice is wearing a polo type shirt under his jersey and the color is sticking out, making him look like a ballplayer from a much earlier era. My card came in a penny sleeve and top loader, and cost me $7.42 shipped. I probably could have gotten the card at a lower price but my card has great corners and really good edges. It almost looks like it came right out of a pack. I love this card and I am glad it was added to my collection.

The next card that arrived in the mail is a 1933 Goudey Gum Edgar (Sam) Rice card. Let me start out by saying this card is in rough shape, but I  really don’t care. I have gone back and forth with a few people over whether or not this is really Sam Rice’s rookie card or not. Some people think that his previous cards from various card companies are his true rookies. There are a few “cards” from around 1919-1921 that make this case, but I came to the conclusion that the 1933 Goudey Gum card would work for me as his rookie. To me, the card is his first actual card ever intentionally made as a card, of him. Anyway, this card is in rough shape. There are a couple holes near his name where it looks like someone had pinned it to a wall or something, and there is some paper loss on the sides of the card and a couple small stains. But, for the shipped price of $22.50, I thought this was a decent deal for the card. There are other selling for double that price and a few graded ones that sell for even more. Mine is not graded but I am positive it is authentic and adds a very nice vintage touch to my collection
.

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