Tag Archive | "Baseball Player"

Finders Keepers: Dylan Bundy

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Finders Keepers: Dylan Bundy

Posted on 20 August 2012 by T.J. McDonald

With the playoffs starting in some leagues and with roughly only two weeks left in the fantasy baseball regular season in others, now is the time for keeper and dynasty league owners to find the future stars of tomorrow. In keeper and dynasty leagues, you always need to be on the look out for the next potential star and keeper for your roster, whether that player fills an empty keeper spot or upgrades a previously kept player at said position. September is a key month in scouting your keepers of the future. In the next two finders keepers articles, I will be profiling the number one pitching keeper prospect and number one offensive keeper prospect, as graded by me, with both surprisingly being rumored as September call ups.  First up and this week’s profile is my number one recommended pitching keeper prospect, Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Bundy.

Dylan Bundy was the 4th pick overall in the 2011 major league baseball draft. Drafted out of Owasso (Okla.) High School, he was the 2011 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Baseball America High School Player of the Year Award and the USA Today National Player of the Year. In Keith Law’s mid season prospect ranks on July 13th, Bundy was rated the number two prospect in all of baseball and was number one in Baseball of America’s mid season prospect rankings posted July 5th. So far, Bundy has lived up to the hype as he’s been lights out in his first season in the minors. He posted eight consecutive scoreless starts in Low-A, then when promoted to High-A, he struck out 63 batters in 54 2/3 innings. He then went 5.1 innings giving up 2 earned runs with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks in his AA debut. Overall, he is 8-3  with a 2.01 ERA, 106 Ks and 22 BBs in 20  games started over 89.2 innings pitched across three minor league levels this year. He also appeared in this season’s Future Games during All-Star weekend held in Kansas City. Kevin Goldstein stated recently in his article Time for O’s to call up Bundy, ”Bundy’s fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and both his curveball and changeup are advanced, and for much of the season he hasn’t been allowed to throw his low 90s cutter. Which many believe is his best pitch. For many, Bundy is the best pitching prospect in baseball.”

Recently, the Orioles sent their designated hitter, Jim Thome, currently on the disabled list, to watch Bundy’s first start in AA. Showalter said Thome was impressed but told the manager he thinks Bundy needs to add a slider to be successful in the majors. “Well, he does have a slider,” Showalter says. “A real good one. Actually, it’s more of a cutter. They took it away from him down there to reduce the wear and tear. He really wants to throw it. Imagine how good he’s going to be if he’s throwing a cutter, too.”

The Orioles have been very conservative with Bundy this season as he was only allowed to go three-innings in starts in April. He was allowed past five innings for the first time Aug. 1 which was his 18th start of the season. The plan currently in AA is to have Bundy pitch in a six-man rotation  and make a total of four starts, the last of which is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 1. That is the day major league roster limit expands from 25 to 40. This also would leave Bundy at approximately 100 innings pitched at the end of August which is enough under the roughly 125 innings at which the Orioles plan to cap him, for him to help them in September. The Orioles recently shocked the baseball world in calling up their top offensive prospect in their organization Manny Machado directly from AA skipping AAA altogether. So a September call up for Bundy is definitely not out of the question especially with the Orioles in the thick if the playoff race and looking to make their first post season appearance since 1997.

Even if he is not called up in September, which all indications point to him getting the call, he is predicted to start in the Orioles’ rotation next year. If he is available in your league, stash him now and keep a close eye on his possible promotion and results if and when he is promoted. Here is his percentage owned in the following leagues; 0% ESPN, 2% Yahoo, 22% CBS. Pitching prospects are always hard to predict but with some comparing Bundy to the likes of Justin Verlander, Dwight Gooden and Tim Lincecum as well as his pedigree, youth and fact that he is on the fast track to the majors. I grade his keeper potential as an A+.

Will you be picking up and keeping Dylan Bundy? Do you agree with the Orioles possibly calling him up come September and are you buying the hype? Feel free to let me know in the comments and as always follow me on twitter @FantasyzrTJ.

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Point and Grunt Baseball: 12 Year Old Me and Double Entendres

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Point and Grunt Baseball: 12 Year Old Me and Double Entendres

Posted on 26 June 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Fister? I hardly knew her.

Yes, I am writing this, because I do have the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old.  You do too, and you might as well admit it.  Also, you cannot wait to see which ones make the list.  Snicker all you like.  Nobody will judge you (at least not openly).  The impetus for this bit of “work”?  Well, you try attending a baseball game bachelor party with 7 of the most sarcastic guys you can find, and then you tell me how many times you can hear “that’s what she said” in an inning.

Beginning with the worst 5, here are the cellar dwellers of the semantics world:

  1. “He just took <insert pitcher’s name> deep.”  This tried and true home run call sounds perfectly innocent until someone yells “Ah yeah!” right after the call has been made.  On the other hand, it also sounds like a bad line from a straight-to-DVD Dean Cain movie.
  2. “The pitcher just keeps getting it up.”  Sure, this line could refer to a pitcher who keeps leaving pitches up over the plate.  Sure.  It could also refer to someone who needs to be watching the clock for that 4-hour mark at which point he needs to seek emergency medical assistance.
  3. “He throws heavy balls.”  This could also apply to a bowler or maybe someone who competes in the shot put.  Unfortunately, it just refers to someone who throws a baseball that some people perceive as having a lot of natural vertical drop to it.  The ramification of this manifests itself in hitters having difficulty lifting the ball into the air.  However, the 12-year old me just pictures a guy having difficult walking in tight shorts.
  4. “He is a long man.”  You could take this as a reference to a relief pitcher who can pitch several innings when called upon to do so.  Sadly, that is not always the first thing a group of guys at a bachelor party thinks of when the reference is made.
  5. “He took that one right in the 5-hole.”  Hockey reference.  Also used in baseball when a player lets the ball go between his legs.  If only I could stop right there.  The delicate way of explaining this might include words like “groin”.  This is not the delicate phrasing you are looking for.  Imagine a ball traveling in excess of 70 mph hitting you in the junk.  You cringed.  Admit it.

Now for the 5 best of the not-so-good references:

  1. “He lacks all 5 tools, and he probably just has one good one.”  Definitely a reference to players who do not have all 5 tools a baseball player is traditionally defined by – hits for power, hits for average, strong throwing arm, speedy runner, and good with a glove.  Then again, maybe you only need 1 good tool.
  2. “He just called for a safety squeeze.”  The squeeze play involves a bunt and a runner on 3rd base trying to score.  A “safety squeeze” involves the runner pausing before running for home until he has ascertained the relative success of the attempted bunt.  It also sounds like something a guy would do to avoid having to change bed linens.
  3. “That woman in the stands certainly must appreciate a good DP.”  Yes, a lot of female fans appreciate a good 6-4-3 or 3-4-3 double play turned by their favorite team.  Of course, someone else might hear that line and imagine that she must be excellent at multitasking.
  4. “He is in a big hole right here.”  Certainly one could confuse this with an attempt at describing a scenario involving a pitcher facing a hitter with runners on base and nobody out.  Certainly.  Then again, maybe this better describes someone for whom selectivity is a foreign concept.
  5. “He blew it in front of 41,000+.”  Appropriate for an umpire missing a call or a closer who cannot seal the deal on a save opportunity.  If only it could be left at that.  This sounds quite like something involving Hugh Grant and a cash exchange.

Bonus Content:  The 5 best baseball names in MLB that endear themselves to those of us who excel at the “point and grunt” method of communication.

  1. Doug Fister.  Usage: “Fister?  I hardly knew her.”
  2. R.A. Dickey.  Usage:  “Oh, no. Dickey taken long and deep by ‘Minor League Guy on 3rd’ for his first deep drive.”
  3. Chien-Ming Wang.  Usage:  “Wang comes up big.”
  4. Travis Wood.  Usage: “Wood appears stiff after long layoff.”
  5. Alex Rodriguez.  Usage: “A-Rod absolutely being pounded inside today.”

Feel free to drop more ideas into the comments.  The 12 year-old me would like to see more of these.

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Interview with Kent Bottenfield

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Interview with Kent Bottenfield

Posted on 13 April 2012 by Tim Danielson

This interview was originally published on The Bench and has been edited for content here at Full Spectrum Baseball.

Kent Bottenfield – former MLB pitcher

Kent Bottenfield played for nine years in the majors.  He broke in with he Montreal Expos in 199 and finished with the Houston Astros in 2001.  He best season came in 1999 in his second year with the Cardinals.  Kent finished that year with a career high 18 wins, 124 strike outs and an All-Star game appearance.  After retiring from Major League Baseball, Kent became a Christian Music recording artist and has released two CDs.  In addition to he performing, Kent also travels the country speaking at various events.

Click here to read his career statistics.

Tim Danielson, Full Spectrum Bsaeball.com: Did you play other sports in High School or College?

Kent Bottenfield:  I played Baseball, Basketball and Football in High School.

FSB.com:  At what point or how did you know that pro baseball was the right sport for you?

KBottenfield:  I was fortunate to have scholarship offers for all three sports but when it came down to it there was nothing like being on the mound for me. It was the greatest passion I’d had as a kid and it didn’t change when it came time to make a decision.

FSB.com:  If not a pro baseball player, what would you have been and why?

KBottenfield:  Football would have been my best opportunity next to baseball.  I was a 6’3″ 250lbs as a senior with good hands and good speed. I was a tight end and defensive end and would have loved to play either in college. I loved to lift and train so the football type regimen would have fit me well. Couldn’t exactly work out the same way as a pitcher

FSB.com: What was your reaction the first time you saw yourself on a baseball card?

KBottenfield: It’s really a feeling of disbelief. I knew baseball cards to hold the pictures of heroes. I never felt that way about myself so it was quite a shock.

FSB.com: What is your most memorable or best pro baseball moment?

KBottenfield: My most memorable baseball moment would have to of been the 1999 all-star game. Most every kid dreams of playing in a world series or an all-star game. I never got to the series but the all-star game was beyond description. I got to be a part of the best of the best for a short time.

FSB.com: What was the one pitch you would like to have back? (least memorable moment)

KBotenfield: My first start after the all-star break was against the White Sox. I had two outs in the 5th inning (I believe) with a 4-0 lead and going for win number 15. The pitcher James Baldwin comes to the plate and hits a two strike triple down the right field line. The inning ended with me giving up five runs including a grand slam to Magglio Ordonez. There were a lot of pitches I’d of liked to have had back from that inning but the one to Baldwin started it.

FSB.com: What has been the best thing about playing for many different pro teams?

KBottenfield: I got to understand the rich history of many different cities and towns. Learn about the baseball moments that meant the most to those particular fans as a community.

FSB.com: What has the least desirable thing about playing for so many different pro teams?

KBottenfield: No doubt it’s the amount of moving. Your family having to leave good friends and make new ones in a short amount of time.

FSB.com: Was there any significance to your Jersey #?

KBottenfield: No significance to any of my numbers.

FSB.com: If you could play any other position besides pitcher, what would it be and why?

KBottenfield: I would love to play shortstop. The amount of action that takes place at that position is unbeatable.

FSB.com: Who was/is your most memorable “character” team mate and why?

KBottenfield: No doubt about it, Turk Wendell. His antics on the field could drive you nuts but he was probably my best friend on the Cubs. He was nothing off the field like he was on. He certainly had a lot of superstitions when it came to the game but away from it he was pretty much like anyone else.

FSB.com: Do you currently have anything you are doing with Major League Baseball?

KBottenfield: I am not involved with MLB at the moment. I do get asked to consult or scout from time to time.

FSB.com: Do you collect baseball cards or memorabilia? If so what?

KBottenfield: I have a collection of items I have from what I have deemed the best of the best. I certainly wouldn’t crack that lineup myself. It includes Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Unitas, Emmit Smith, Jeff Gordon, and countless baseball players.

FSB.com: In your career who was the toughest batter you had to face?

KBottenfield: Mike Piazza.

FSB.com: Was there a batter who you” had his number” so to speak?

KBottenfield: Rickey Henderson and Reggie Sanders would be the first two that  come to mind.

FSB.com: In today’s game what pitcher do you feel is most like you in regards to style and how they pitch?

KBottenfield: I would say up until recently Jeff Suppan. He looks to have lost a little arm strength but he has survived for years on decent stuff and solid game plans.

FSB.com: How fast was your fastball?

KBottenfield: As a reliever for the Cubs it reached speeds of 96 mph. As a starter most of my career though it was 89-92.

FSB.com: What was your favorite baseball stadium to play in?  Why?

KBottenfield: I loved Wrigley and Fenway. I am an old school guy at heart and you just couldn’t beat the history of those parks. Dodger stadium doesn’t lag too far behind.

FSB.com: Who was the best player you played with and against?

KBottenfiled: The best all around player I ever played with was Larry Walker. Jeff Bagwell ranks up there also. They are two of the smartest players I’ve ever seen to go along with ridiculous talent. A lot of people might disagree with me but those people didn’t get the opportunity to see them play every day. They were both amazing.

fan of the site HRHKINGJOE asks: What was is like for playing for both Tony Larussa & Dave Duncan?  After playing for them would you like to manage?  What one thing taken from them would you tell anyone that you might manage?

KBottenfield: I didn’t like Larussa at all when I played against him. He just gave off this smug attitude that I couldn’t stand. Ended up I misread him like a lot of people do. He is far from having that kind of attitude. I enjoyed playing for him immensely and have great respect for him and what he has accomplished. Dave Duncan is one of the most intuitive people I’ve ever been around. He can read hitters like no one I’ve ever known. He passed a lot of that on to me. I believe had it not been for my injury that started at the very end of the 99 season I could have taken what he taught me along with a few things I learned for myself and taken it to another level. Injury is part of the game though.  I would be more interested in being a pitching coach.  Patience with your players and consistency in your message to them.

fan of the site rpbluesman asks: “Back in the Game” was a great CD and I’m interested to know if you have plans to work on another album?

KBottenfield:  I appreciate the kind words about Back In The Game. I would love to start work on another one but don’t have the finances to get it going right now. Not a lot of money to be made in christian music which is fine cause that’s not why I got into it in the first place.

fan of the site Loyalty32 asks:  What was your favorite thing about playing with the Cubs?

KBottenfield:  I loved all of the day games. I loved the smells of the stadium. Being surrounded by all that brick. The way that you never knew what the weather was going to do. I loved showing up to a 40 degree day in July. Wayne Messmer over the PA system and singing the anthem. The organ music. The public address system. And last but not
least Harry!

fan of the site dakiton asks: Did you have any pre or during game superstitions or rituals?  Who was your favorite catcher?

KBottenfield: The last thing I would eat on the day of my start was a two piece KFC meal with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. I would wash it down with a grape Gatorade. This would all take place at 1:00 then I would take a nap until 3:30. I wouldn’t eat another thing until after the game. I found that combination of food and rest would have me feeling
my best for the game. I also made sure I got a lot of sleep 2 nights before my start. That seemed to be the most important for me. Eli Marrero was my favorite catcher.

fan of the site gngolfn2 asks: I would like to know about playing for the Cardinals in 1998.  Were other players and teammates caught up in the historic home run chase?

KBottenfield: We were all totally caught up in the home run chase. I think it’s probably because Mark handled it in such a classy way. He never put himself above any of us. You want to root for a guy like that.

fan of the site ArodYanksFan asks:  How do you feel about the money in baseball now being so large for certain players? Do you feel that it is hurting baseball?  Back in 94 you were a young pitcher, what were your thoughts on the baseball strike?

KBottenfield: I don’t believe the game of baseball can exist in it’s current state for more than another few years. The next negotiation will be an interesting one. The reason you’ve seen so many regular season games played outside of the States is because baseball knows it has maximized it’s revenue potential here so they are going beyond our borders in search of more money. They may not say it but the world baseball tourney is just another step in making it palatable to the fans. There will be a world baseball league in the near future.  I voted against the strike. I would have voted against any strike.  The union has done some great things for players but I believe they have lost their way over the last 10 years. Both sides are to blame for all that’s happened to baseball. The leadership on both sides need to get over themselves and start working on what’s best for the fan. I don’t harbor any ill will toward those making a ton of money. That’s what the system allows right now. I just think the system needs to be changed because baseball is losing a generation of fans because it truly has become a game that only the rich can enjoy. They have lost the common man fan and millions of kids.

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – Interview With Shea Hillenbrand

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – Interview With Shea Hillenbrand

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Tim Danielson

Mr. Hillenbrand played for six different teams over his seven year career including the Boston Red Sox, LA Dodgers and Anaheim Angels. He was a two-time All-Star making the squad in 2002 and 2005. You can read his stats from his career here on ESPN and join his Facebook page here.

Tim Danielson, Full Spectrum Baseball.com: Did you play other sports in High School or College?

Shea Hillenbrand: I played baseball and soccer in high school.

FSB.com: At what point or how did you know that pro baseball was the right sport for you?

Hillenbrand: I was actually Arizona soccer player of the year and was better in soccer than baseball. I just always loved baseball and wanted to do anything and everything to pursue baseball.

FSB.com: If not a pro baseball player, what would you have been and why?

Hillenbrand: If I wasn’t a pro baseball player, I would have been doing exactly what I am doing now, rescuing animals and uniting them with special needs, inner city, and crisis children. I am just grateful for baseball because it has given my wife and I the opportunity to do this.

FSB.com: What was your reaction the first time you saw yourself on a baseball card?

Hillenbrand: The first time I saw myself on a baseball card was really weird. I still think it’s crazy. I never thought after collecting cards, that I would be on one.

FSB.com:What was your most memorable or best pro baseball moment?

Hillenbrand: My most memorable moment was definitely the game winning home run off Mariano Rivera at Fenway Park and making the All-Star team twice. Those are some of the best moments in my life.

FSB.com: What was least memorable moment?

Hillenbrand: My least memorable would have to be my incident with John Gibbons. He and I both let our frustrations of the season get between us and unfortunately it escalated to something that should have never happened and I wish I could get a chance to sit down and talk to John Gibbons so we could put it behind us.

FSB.com: What has been the best thing about playing for many different pro teams?

Hillenbrand: The best experience for playing for so many different teams is all the great fans you get to meet, the different teammates you get to play with, and the wonderful cities you get to experience.

FSB.com: What has the least desirable thing about playing for many different pro teams?

Hillenbrand: The least would be, never feeling like your at home. As soon as you get settled into a team, your off to another team.

FSB.com: Was there any significance to your jersey number?

Hillenbrand: Jersey #29 was always my favorite because it was the one that the Red Sox gave me my rookie year. It became very special to me.

FSB.com: Who was/is your most memorable “character” team mate and why?

Hillenbrand: The most character team mate would have to be Carlos Baerga. He was definitely the funniest guy I have ever known. Tony Clark is probably the most stand up team mate I have ever had. He is such a good person and I will always have a lot of respect for him.

FSB.com: Do you currently have anything you are doing with Major League Baseball?

Hillenbrand: I currently do not do anything with MLB. Hopefully we can team up and make a difference to many children.

FSB.com: Do you collect baseball cards or memorabilia? If so what?

Hillenbrand: I collect baseballs and jerseys. I have them hanging up all over my house.

FSB.com: In your career who was the toughest pitcher you had to face?

Hillenbrand: Tim Wakefield was probably the toughest pitcher I faced. Luckily it wasn’t very often. I hated the knuckle balls and could not hit them to save my life. My wife and Tim’s wife are very good friends so she would always tell Tim’s wife to give me a break, but he wouldn’t. I am sure he loved facing me!

FSB.com: Was there a pitcher who you had “his number” so to speak?

Hillenbrand: Kenny Rogers was someone I loved facing. I think I might have hit a home run off of him every time I faced him. I don’t know why because he is a great pitcher, but I guess I just got lucky against him.

FSB.com: What was your favorite baseball stadium to play in? Why?

Hillenbrand: Favorite stadium to play in… that is tough. I absolutely loved playing in Fenway. That was something I will never forget. I also loved playing in Dodger Stadium. I grew up going to Dodger games and we even had season tickets. When I played there, I always looked up to where my seats where and couldn’t believe I was on the field. It still doesn’t seem real to me that I played there.

FSB.com: Who was the best player you played with and against?

Hillenbrand: The best player I played with and against is Barry Bonds. What an amazing player! I learned a lot from him. To have hit right behind Barry Bonds is truly an honor!

FSB.com: Did you have any pre- or during game superstitions or rituals?

Hillenbrand: I don’t really have any superstitions. I think I would just prepare for the game the same way and get dressed the same way. My wife was more superstitious. If I ate chicken for lunch and had a good game, I was eating chicken again and again.

FSB.com: How do you feel about the money in baseball now being so large for certain players? Do you feel that it is hurting baseball?

Hillenbrand: I am not sure how I feel about the money is baseball. I think it’s crazy how much athletes get paid, but it’s great for them. Especially if they give and do great things for the community which is so important.

Fan of the site, baseballonly asks: I would like to know what you think of the fans who send fan mail to players. Are you receptive of it, or do you see it a deterrent to a players morale in the clubhouse?

Hillenbrand: I love fan mail. I think it’s a great way to sign autographs for people that don’t get to go to the games etc. I know it can get piled up, but I think it’s important to do.

Fan of the site, ArodYanksFan asks: What was your favorite baseball team when you were young? Do you wish you were still playing for the Red Sox to get a bigger taste of the Yankee/Red Sox battles?

Hillenbrand: My favorite team when I was young was the Dodgers. I wish I was still playing, absolutely. It would be a dream to go back and play for the Red Sox.

Fan of the site, metsman1986 asks: What are your feelings on watching the team that drafted you finally win the World Series the year after they traded you to Arizona?

Hillenbrand: I was just happy to be drafted but when I went to Lowell to play for the Spinners, I realized how blessed I was to play for a terrific organization like the Red Sox.

I think watching the Red Sox win the world series was so cool. I was happy for all those guys and especially the fans that had waited for so long. I always dreamed how it would be to win the world series in Boston and even though I didn’t get to be a part of it, I will still so happy for everyone who was.

FSB.com: Several members are curious if you will sign autographs through the mail?

Hillenbrand: I would be happy to sign autographs… send to my farm.
Marley Farms
26601 S. Val Vista Drive
Gilbert, AZ. 85298

Thanks again to Mr. Hillenbrand for the interview!

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DOs And DONTs: Boston Red Sox

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DOs And DONTs: Boston Red Sox

Posted on 08 February 2012 by Gary Marchese

In this article I am going to take a look at the Boston Red Sox.  I am going to look at them though through the eyes of a fantasy baseball player.  I am going to do my DO and DONT list for them as in things to look at and not look at when preparing your fantasy baseball team.  This edition though is all about the Boston Red Sox.  When you are done reading this you should have a good undestanding of their team and how you can attack your league with the Red Sox.  This will also go along with the New York Mets and New York Yankees article I did and Arizona Diamondbacks which one of my colleagues did.  We have you covered all through the year with all your baseball and fantasy baseball needs.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me at gmarchesej@aol.com and @gmarchesej through twitter.  Thank you for reading and I appreciate any feedback you may have.  Now without further interruption I present to you the Boston Red Sox Dos and Don’ts.

  • Do if healthy give Carl Crawford a look.  I don’t think he will be the player that he was in Tampa Bay but I don’t think he is what he was last year.  The big thing here is his health.  He did have wrist surgery but I am going to assume he is ok to start the season or if not a couple of weeks into it.  Crawfords numbers last year were 255 avg, 11 homeruns and 56 RBI.  His career lines are 293, 12, 72, I would expect a bounce back from him
  • Don’t take a risk on Daniel Bard.  He has talent but I am not sold on him being a good starting pitcher.  He has a very good fastball but it is straight and I don’t care how fast you throw if it is straight the major league hitters will catch up to it eventually.  He will have to have a breaking ball and maybe even a changeup to give it a change of pace and I am not sure he can develop it and adjust from the back end of the bullpen.
  • Do take Dustin Pedroia high on your list.  Pedroia is one of those guys you look at and say he must not be very good.  He plays with so much heart and energy though and he is one of the best second baseman.  He has suprising power for a little guy.  He will hit for average give you some pop and drive in a pretty good amount of runs.  He is also a guy who can give you around 20 steals.
  • Don’t take a big gamble on Andrew Bailey.  He is a good pitcher don’t get me wrong but moving from Oakland to Boston is something entirely different and he is always an injury risk.  I think that alone would scare me away from him.
  • Do give Kevin Youkilis a good long look.  Youkilis is another heart and soul guy, he will leave it all out on the field and he is the roman god of walks and the prototypical money ball guy.  If your into the sabermetrics then he is your dream guy.  He will give you about 290, 20 and 80 for his numbers.  Those are rough estimates but he will always have a high on base percentage, he is worth at least your time in looking at him.
  • Dont think Jacoby Ellsbury is suddenly an elite player in the league.  I don’t by it, I think he is good but I also think he had a career year in 2011 and is likely to come down from it.  Ellsbury hit more homeruns last year then he had in his previous and first four years in the league.  He also only had 25 less RBI then he had in the previous four years.  Is it possible he got that much better in one year??  Anything is possible but I wouldn’t bet on that and is he really over his injury woes?  I wouldn’t bet on that either.
  • Do put Jon Lester high on your list.  He is one of the best young pitchers in the league.  He is also a lefty and a guy you want on your team.  He overcame cancer at a young age and is a bulldog.  There are a lot of good pitchers around but I would put him in that top list of guys I would want.  Another thing to like is he has pitched his whole career in the tough AL East.
  • Don’t even think about their shortstops.  This looks to be an area where they need real improvement.  They traded away Marco Scutaro and now their starter is Mike Aviles or Nick Punto.  They do have Jose Iglesias but he isn’t ready yet, he may be a guy you look to in a keeper league.  This isn’t an area I would pay attention to on this team.
  • Do think that David Ortiz will still put up numbers.  If you have a DH league then he should probably be near the top for the DH position.  He is a guy that for the last couple of years was written off and still ended up with good number.  I wouldn’t predict a decline until I see it and thus far he hasn’t shown it, all he has to do is concentrate on hitting and the lineup he is in also helps him with his overall numbers.
  • Don’t go near the catchers.  I know catcher isn’t really a high impact offensive position but you don’t want any of the Red Sox catchers.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the only guy that can show something but he still only hit 235 last year although he did have 16 homeruns and 56 RBI.  You can do better looking at other teams though.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is one of the top first baseman.  I know it is a deep position but DO put him on your list to at least consider.  Gonzalez is a superb hitter and defender for that matter.  If your in a league where you get extra points for gold gloves and assists, things of that nature then he is even more valuable.  He is a very good player and he seemed to transition well to Boston from the West Coast.  The only thing I don’t like about him is he tends to be streaky.


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