Archive | DOs And DON’Ts

DOs And DONTs: Minnesota Twins

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DOs And DONTs: Minnesota Twins

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Daniel Aubain

No team under-performed more than the Minnesota Twins in 2011 but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few valuable fantasy baseball assets on their 40-man roster heading into the 2012 season. Below is look at the players worth targeting, those probably worth avoiding and some with question marks which won’t be answered any time soon.

  • DO use caution when drafting C Joe Mauer as your primary catcher in any format. He played in a career-low 82 games in 2011 and and only 52 were at the catcher position. If healthy for the entire season, Mauer has the ability to win another batting title but with single-digit home run power (2009 was an anomaly). Expect to see the Twins use him at first base frequently to preserve his health and make up for the unknown status of Justin Morneau.
  • Speaking of Morneau, DON’T expect much out of him this season until he can prove the symptoms of his concussion are behind him and he can be counted on to be on the field contributing. You wish the guy the best but his fantasy value is an unknown at this point and you can’t afford to make a mistake at such a premium scoring position.
  • DO target OF Ben Revere as a late-round pick for his 30-40 Stolen Base potential, especially if he claims the leadoff spot in the batting order.
  • DON’T forget about Matt Capps as a closer target simply for Saves. He’s not going to help you (and may hurt you) in ERA, WHIP or provide big Strikeout numbers but should be available in the late rounds and on the cheap.
  • DO keep an ear out for what’s being said about OF Denard Span‘s recovery from concussion symptoms which wiped out a majority of his 2011 season. He was in camp early saying and doing all the right things but let’s wait and see what happens as the workouts intensify.
  • DON’T even say it. RP Joel Zumaya tore a ligament in his right elbow and is done for the year and may be at the end of his career. I told you not to say it.
  • DO know OF Josh Willingham has already been named the team’s starting right fielder. He’ll provide some power and an overall 5×5 line around .260/70/25/75/5. Expect him to be widely available on waivers throughout the season.
  • DON’T target any of the Twins’ starting pitchers unless you have a strong stomach. Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Jason Marquis all project to be 9-11 game winners with ERA’s over 4.00 and not a ton of Strikeouts. I’d avoid them all and take a chance with a waiver claim if any prove worthy of owning after a few April starts.
  • DO take a shot on Ryan Doumit providing some positive offensive numbers out of the catcher position. He’s averaged 18 Home Runs and 71 RBI per 162 games with a .271 Batting Average and a .334 On-Base Percentage. He’ll also see some time in the mix at first base, the outfield and as their DH t o keep his bat in the lineup.
  • DON’T get stuck with 2B Alexi Casilla and/or SS Jamey Carroll as your primary option at either position. If you do, you’re doing fantasy baseball very wrong.

How are you feeling about the Twins’ chances heading into the 2012 season? It’s hard to be optimistic about a team with so many question marks due to lingering injury issues and who’ve lost three of their most popular and productive players (Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Joe Nathan) over the last few years.

Be sure to check out the entire series of DOs And DON’Ts articles covered by over staff to see how we did covering your favorite team, our opinions and recommendations while you’re getting ready to lock in your keeper league selections and to hopefully tell us all the things we are doing right to bring you quality fantasy baseball content.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain to talk 99% about baseball and 1% “Dancing With The Star”. Just kidding. Probably more like 98% baseball and 2% “that’s what she said” references and innuendos. Enjoy!

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DOs and DONTs:  San Diego Padres

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DOs and DONTs: San Diego Padres

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

When fantasy leaguers generally think of the San Diego Padres, they think “avoid the hitters and draft the pitchers”, mainly due to the ballpark affect.  However, as with every rule, there are exceptions.

Here is an analysis of the fantasy Do’s and Don’ts and they pertain to the Padres roster:

DO draft Nick Hundley as your primary catcher.  He hit .288/.347/.477 with 9 homeruns in just 281 at bats last year, a pretty good line for about a half season’s work.  If he can duplicate that over an entire season, he could quickly move into the upper echelon of fantasy catchers.

DON’T draft Orlando Hudson.  His numbers have been in steady decline the last 4 years and what little value he provides with his steals (19 in 2011) is offset by everything else.

DO take a chance on Yonder Alonso in the mid-to-late rounds.  He has a career line of .293/.370/.466 in the minors.  While he might not have the power you expect from a first baseman and Petco Park will dampen that even more, he should hit for a good average and a bunch of doubles.  He shouldn’t be your starting first baseman, but would fit well in the corner infielder spot.

DON’T roster Jason Bartlett.  Like Hudson, he is another guy who may give you some steals, but little else.  He will be a drag on your batting average and will not provide you with many runs or rbis, so he is best left for your bench or better yet someone else’s team.

DO expect better things from Cameron Maybin.  After struggling in his first few years in the majors with the Miami Marlins, Maybin finally got an opportunity to really show what he could do and literally ran with it.  He stole 40 bases in his first full year and has the potential to steal even more if he can cut down on his strikeouts and draw a few more walks.  I expect him to top 50 steals this year and add 10-15 homeruns.

DON’T expect much from Carlos Quentin.  He is moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park this season and, after his career year in 2008, has only averaged about 24 homeruns while hitting below .250.  Petco will sap his power and drag down his average even more, making him a player to avoid in mixed leagues and shallow NL only leagues.

I DO like Cory Luebke, a lot.  After spending the first half of the season coming out of the pen, Luebke was outstanding after joining the rotation at the end of June.  With an ERA of 3.29 and 154 strikeouts in 139.2 innings pitched, you would think that Luebke benefited from pitching his home games at Petco.  However, he actually had a better road ERA, 2.55, than his home ERA of 4.04.

I DON’T trust Clayton Richard.  Sure he had a fine 3.88 ERA in 2011, but his lack of strikeouts (just 53 in 99.2 IP) and his 1.42 whip are reasons for concern. Roster him at your own risk.

I DO believe that Tim Stauffer is a product of the Petco effect, but I don’t care.  He had a 2.57 ERA at home and a 4.95 ERA on the road in 2011, but if your league allows you to play matchups, well you know what to do.

DON’T sleep on Andrew Cashner.  He has a power arm and will work as the setup man for Huston Street.  Given Street’s injury history, Cashner would make a good late round pick and could become this year’s Rafael Betancourt.

Finally, given the Padres ballpark, I DO think that the Padres will continue to run.  Six players finished 2011 with double digit steals, including Chase Headley (13), Will Venable (26) and Chris Denorfia (11).  But, at the same time, I DON’T expect much power from any of the Padres hitters.  In 2011, Ryan Ludwick led all Padres with just 11 homeruns and I would be hard pressed to pick a hitter who will top 15 homeruns in 2012.

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DOs And DONTs: Detroit Tigers

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DOs And DONTs: Detroit Tigers

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Jared Thatcher

This is a very hard article to write on the Detroit Tigers simply because there are so few DONTs on their Major League roster. This off-season they spent some big money signing Prince Fielder and have been in the discussion regarding some high profile international players. Let’s look at who you should draft and who you should let drift by.

Don’t expect anything less than an MVP season from staff ace Justin Verlander in 2012. He has all the makings of a future HOFer and is the reining AL MVP. Expect tons of strikeouts and over 20 wins this season for a powerful looking Tigers team. In most leagues he should not slip out of the first two rounds of your draft.

Do take Brennan Boesch as one of your everyday outfielders. He is young and really coming into his own with the bat. He has very big power potential as well as the ability to steal a few bases. Boesch should really come into his own this year and be an asset to your fantasy team.

Don’t take Austin Jackson before the 12th round of your draft. He might not be the lead-off man this year Detroit and but if your league offers points for steals, he may be a steal somewhere deep in the draft. The Tigers don’t really have any other choice in center field but be cautious how high you draft him.

Don’t forget to pick up Max Scherzer as your number 3 or 4 starter this year. He has a ridiculous 2-seam fastball and should strikeout a ton of batters this year. Control can sometimes be an issue but he should provide you with close to 200 innings and decent production. Scherzer’s win totals may jump up this year with a powerful offense behind him.

DO DO DO take Miguel Cabrera as your number 1 overall pick in 2012. He has third base eligibility and can flat out rake. With Prince Fielder hitting behind him he could contend for a triple crown sort of season this year. Don’t pass him up.

Don’t miss out on Prince Fielder in the first round of the draft. He should have lots of guys on base this year to drive in and the power will not be diminished in Detroit. Make him your number one target as a first baseman this year and enjoy the ride to the playoffs.

Do try to lay off the middle infielders for the Tigers this year. They won’t provide much production to your fantasy team.

Don’t forget about the Tigers young catcher, Alex Avila. He had a big year in 2011 and is looking to expand on that. He should be able to weather another long season at catcher and will provide your fantasy team with some nice offensive number for the catcher position.

Don’t take Victor Martinez in any of your leagues! In case you didn’t look at the headlines this past off season he is hurt and will not be back this season most likely. Instead try to talk the new guy into drafting him in the first round.

Don’t be afraid to get Jose Valverde as your closer. He closes out games and should have plenty of leads to protect this year.

Do pay attention to some of the young pitchers in the Tigers system. Rick Porcello is looking to have a solid, rebound year and should be fighting to stay in the lineup everyday. Jacob Turner might break camp with the Major League squad but he will probably be seasoned a bit more in the minors. Either way he should make an impact at the Major League level this year and he has lightning stuff.

Don’t forget about my favorite sleeper on the Tigers, Drew Smyly. In my opinion he is better than Jacob Turner and might even reach The Show before Turner. He has electric stuff but more importantly he has great control. He may be your very first waiver pickup if he breaks camp on the 25-man roster but if he doesn’t, put him on your watch list and wait for the call-up.

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DOs and DONTs: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

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DOs and DONTs: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Gary Marchese

Coming off a year where they didn’t make the postseason but they got back in the mix, the Angels have a very good team.  They have been one of the better teams in the American League over the past decade but had seen a decline in the last couple of years.  They are back in a big way with the signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.  This is a look at their 40 man roster in regards to fantasy baseball.  I hope you enjoy my article and all the other Dos and Don’ts that me and my colleagues have been working diligently on.

Do take Albert Pujols as your number one pick.  I know this is pretty obvious, I am sure some people would debate this a little but to me there is no other choice.  He has clearly moved to the top of the pack as the best player in baseball right now.  I wouldn’t start my team with anyone else.  Pujols last year hit 299 with 37 homeruns and 99 RBI.  That for him isn’t a great year, he got off to a slow start.  I would have him on top of my list for the number one pick if I could get it or at least the first pick I make.

Don’t make the same mistake the Angels made with Vernon Wells.  I wouldn’t go near this guy,  he isn’t even close to the same guy he was in Toronto.  I don’t know what happened to him but once he got to Anaheim he became a complete bust.  The Angels made a big mistake with him, don’t you do the same.  He hit 218 last year with 25 homeruns and 66 RBI.

Do take whoever you can out of the Angels starting rotation.  I would go ahead and say they have the best rotation in baseball or at least the American League.  You can choose from Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren.  That is a bunch of very good pitchers.  I would take any one of them on my team.  Wilson might be the worst out of that bunch and he signed a big contract but I still wouldn’t mind him on my team.  Haren is an innings eater, a throwback pitcher who will complete games and win you 15-20 games with a low three ERA.  Santana can win you 12-15 games with a mid to low three ERA.  Weaver should be able to win close to 20 games and have an ERA in the two’s.

I would look at the flip side and say their weakness though is their bullpen.  There isn’t much that I would like to take from that group for my fantasy team.  Scott Downs, LaTroy Hawkins they are on the downsides of their career.  Hisanori Takahashi is a swing pitcher but he is average at best.  Kevin Jepsen didn’t pitch much last year and when he did it was bad.  He had his best year in 2010 but that was a 3.97 ERA.  That isn’t what you want to see from a reliever.  Jordan Walden had a good year last  year but can he keep it up??  He was 5-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 32 saves last year.

Howie Kendrick is a guy I Do like.  Kendrick always murders the Yankees so to me he is like a Lou Gehrig type player.  I have seen him so many times and he is always getting hits when I see him.  Kendrick is a good second baseman with some power and some speed.  He wouldn’t be my first pick for second base but I would put him on that next tier list and watch him.  He may even be a good bench player if I was able to pick up someone better.

Don’t pick a catcher off of their team.  Chris Iannetta was signed in the offseason but he isn’t anything to be excited about.  Bobby Wilson had a terrible year last year and Hank Conger wasn’t much better.  Iannetta is the best out of this bunch and his line last year was 238, 14, 55 and a 370 on base percentage.

I would say  Peter Bourjous would be a DO for your bench.  Bourjos is a decent hitter and he has speed.  He will steal you some bases.  He also has some power.  Last season he hit 271 with 12 homeruns and 43 RBI.  He had a 327 on base percentage and stole 22 bases.

Do not take Bobby Abreu even as a DH.  His better days are definitely behind him.  Abreu last season hit 253 with eight homeruns and 60 RBI.  He still was able to have a 353 on base percentage and steal 21 bases.

Do take a look at Torii Hunter.  He isn’t what he used to be but he is still a productive player.  I would look at him as a reserve outfielder or DH.  He hit 262 but still had 23 homeruns and 82 RBI.  I like him a lot and always felt he was a little underrated.  He is a very good defensive player as well.

I would love to hear your opinions.  Please let me know what you think of this article and if your on twitter follow me @marches.  Thank you for reading and I look forward to answering and discussing any comments you have.  If you feel there is anyone I left off also let me know that.

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DOs And DONTs:  Miami Marlins

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DOs And DONTs: Miami Marlins

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

With the team moving into a new stadium in 2012, the Miami Marlins looked to make a big splash this offseason and build an instant contender. The additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle make the team a formidable foe for the likes of the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

Here is a look at the Do’s and Don’ts as we run through the new and improved Marlins roster:

DO watch Hanley Ramirez closely this spring.  After a year in which he struggled with back and shoulder issues, posting the lowest OPS (.712) of his career, we should expect some regression to the mean from Hanley, provided he’s healthy.  Keep an eye on his power stroke this spring to see if he’s fully back.  Also, with his move to third base, Hanley will soon gain dual eligibility this season, thus increasing his value.

DON’T sleep on Jose Reyes.  He is still one of the top shortstops in the majors and won the NL batting title in 2011.  He probably won’t reach double digit homeruns again and I wouldn’t count on another batting title.  But he’s still good for around 40 stolen bases and an average over .300.

DO monitor Josh Johnson‘s progress this spring.  Coming off a shoulder injury, no one knows exactly what to expect this year for the Marlin’s Ace.  He made only 9 starts in 2011, before being sidelined, but, if healthy, he is one of the top 3-4 pitchers in the NL.  He threw a pain free bullpen session on Wednesday and hopes to be ready for the start of the season.

DON’T expect much from Carlos Zambrano and you won’t be disappointed.  Acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Chris Volstad, Zambrano is a shell of his former self.  After pitching over 200 innings each year from 2003-2007, Zambrano has failed to reach that mark each of the last 4 years.  Part of that is due to suspensions he received the last two years, but its pretty clear that he is no longer the workhorse he used to be.  Leave him for the NL only leagues.

DO expect a rebound from Omar Infante.  He had some bad luck last year, but seemed to turn things around in the second half of the season.  Just don’t expect much in the speed or power departments.

DON’T draft John Buck.  He has some power, but his average will hurt you, especially in Roto leagues.  Unless you have a Ryan Braun on your team, who can offset Buck’s low average, you should pass.

I DO expect big things from Mike Stanton.  The guy has some prodigious power and could easily top 40 homeruns this season.  He probably won’t hit much more than .260, but if he gives you 40+ homers and 100+ RBI’s, you can forgive him for a modest batting average.

DON’T expect to hear from Chris Coghlan, at least not in a Marlins uniform.  The former Rookie of the Year, has fallen out of favor with the Marlins and will likely begin the season in the minors or with another team.

I DO like Anibal Sanchez.  After struggling with injuries early in his career, he has put together back-to-back strong seasons.  If he can continue to stay healthy, look for more of the same in 2012.

I DON’T like Ricky Nolasco.  He has failed each of the last 3 years to rekindle the magic of his 2008 season and was rumored to be on the trading block.

DO expect bigger and better things from Gaby Sanchez.  Although he put up nearly identical stats in 2010 and 2011, there are signs of growth.  He showed a better eye in 2011, increasing his walks from 57 to 74, while keeping the same high contact rate (83%).  He could approach .300 and 25 homeruns in 2012.

I DON’T know what to make of Logan Morrison.  I considered him a bit of a sleeper last year, but while he increased his power output, he struggled with a .247 average.  He was demoted to the minors mid-year and later filed a grievance against the club, prompting speculation that he could be traded.  For now he is still with the team, the question is for how long?

DO draft Emilio Bonifacio.  An excellent source of speed, Bonifacio should net you 40+ stolen bases.  However, be wary of that .296 average from 2011, as a second half hit % of 40% is not sustainable.  Expect something more in the .260-.270 range.

DON’T waste a roster spot on Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez).  The former Marlins closer was caught in an identity fraud this winter and may not start the season with the team.

DO draft Heath Bell.  With Oviedo’s status uncertain, the Marlins signed Bell to assume the closer role.  He is one of the best and most consistent closers in the majors and, barring injury, should be the Marlins closer for the next 3 years.

Finally, DON’T forget about Mark Buehrle.  He is not a sexy pitcher and he will not rack up a bunch of strikeouts.  But what he will give you is 13-15 wins and an ERA around 3.50.  So, while other guys are chasing the next big rookie, don’t be afraid to take Buehrle in the middle rounds.

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