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Help Wanted: Six Prospects Coming Soon

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Help Wanted: Six Prospects Coming Soon

Posted on 09 July 2012 by T.J. McDonald

We are now on the brink of the second half of the baseball season and whether you are a team in an existing keeper league looking for the next big thing or  a yearly owner in the thick of the playoff race, the following six prospects projected to be called up after the break could impact any and all fantasy teams.

Starling Marte- CF/RF/LF Pittsburgh Pirates

Jose Tabata‘s recent demotion opens the door for a Starling Marte callup in the near future.  the club promoted Gorkys Hernandez  to replace Tabata but Hernandez is thought by most industry insiders to be nothing more than a stop gap until Marte is ready for the big  leagues.  Marte has recently played in right field, left field and center field the past week for the Indianapolis Indians, Pittsburgh’s AAA afflite. Marte’s natural position is center field but with Andrew McCutchen locked in center for the forseeable future Marte’s transition to right or left is needed to open at spot for him on the big league club.  With Marte playing right or left and McCutchen in center the hopes of Pittsburgh finally becoming a winning franchise again become that much more promising. Marte is batting .291 with a .846 OPS 9HRs & 18 SBs on the year. projected call up shortly after the all-star break.

Wil Myers- RF Kansas City Royals

Wil Myers has been on fire this year in the minors with a minor league leading 27 HRs over both AA and AAA,  and .315 & 14 HRs in the AAA Pacific Coast League. Which however is generally know as a hitter friendly league.  The key question with Myers, who’s game seems ready for the big leagues, is does the power translate to the next level? He only had 5 HR in 2009, 14 HRs in 2010 & 8 HR in 2011. Whuile that may give some doubts, it may just be that his game has reached its potential this year.  Jeff Franceour as well as the pending health of Lorenzo Cain, currently on a rehab assignment, are blocking the potential call up of Myers.  The Kansas City Royals are rumored to be shopping Franceour which would immediately open a spot for Myers with the big league club. Projected call up Late July or early August

Nick Franklin- SS Seattle Mariners

Nick Franklin was recently promoted to AAA at the same time another highly rated Mariner’s prospect was, starting pitcher prospect Danny Hutlzen.  Franklin could possibly play Short stop, second base or third base but projects at short stop long term.  He was hitting .329 with 9 SB and a .349 OBP in AA but has struggled in his short time in AAA since his call up.  In 66 ABs in AAA he has hit only .227 with a .311 OBP so he does have some work to do before he takes his game to the next level.  Projected call up September

Danny Hultzen- SP Seattle Mariners

Recently promoted to AAA at same time as Nick Franklin.  Has so far struggled a little in AAA, 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA, 15 SO & 12 BB in 12.0 IP.  Was dominate in AA however, 8-3 1.19 ERA 10 earned runs 79 SO 32 BB in 75.1 IP.  Projected call up August. Much like another highly rated pitching prospect Trevor Bauer who recently has made the jump to the big leagues, be leery of rough initial starts with walks being a possible issue.

Tyler Skaggs- SP Arizona Diamondbacks

Recently promoted to AAA. is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA, 6 SO & 2 BB in two starts at AAA. Has a combined 3.05 ERA, 77 SO & 23 BB in AA & AAA. Had 9.17 K/9 ratio in AA.  Projected call up September at the latest with only Joe Saunders currently coming back from a shoulder injury & Josh Collmenter, who is moving to long relief once Saunders returns with many thinking that is what Collmenter is best suited for, blocking his promotion to the big leagues. Once Skaggs joins highly rated prospect Trevor Bauer, who recently made his big league debut,  in the rotation the DiamondBacks should have one of the better rotations in baseball for many years to come.

Matt Harvey- SP New York Mets

Currently in AAA with a 7-4 3.39 ERA, 102 SO & 42 BB in 98.1 IP.  Projected callup September. The Mets rotation is currently full with great to decent options in starters 1 through 5 but any injury to a starting pitcher would open a spot for him in the rotation and could lead to an earlier callup.

All of the six prospects above should be up in the second half of the baseball season and whether you are a contending team or a rebuilding one could be valuable additions to any and all fantasy teams.  Feel free to comment in the comment section and be sure to follow me on twitter @FantaszyrTJ for more fantasy baseball news and discussion.

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Drafting From The Dark Side: A Newbie’s View Of First Real Fantasy Action

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Drafting From The Dark Side: A Newbie’s View Of First Real Fantasy Action

Posted on 07 April 2012 by Jeff Coleman

Chapter 1: “The (Clumsy) Arrival Of The Korriban Sith Lords”

As one of the writers for Full Spectrum, and a bit of a baseball / stats nut, I jumped at the chance Daniel offered to be a part of the inaugural FSBB Fantasy Baseball League. I figured it would be a fun and interesting way to interact with my fellow writers and readers, doing something we all feel passionate about. But then it dawned on me.

This would be my first major foray into fantasy baseball. You know, with one’s credibility and heart and knowledge on the line. And since I’m writing for a fantasy baseball site about fantasy baseball…

Hoo’boy.

SO, I decided to do my due diligence and research, looked at some of my normal sites for news and views, and tried to catch the buzz around spring training. But even with all that done, I felt a little under-prepared once March 25th, 5pm rolled around. However, it was too late to turn around at that point… Well, I was the #5 pick of the draft, so I still had time to turn around.

I heard the little jingle that signified it was my turn to pick. Too late now.

So with injury reports in hand (or more appropriately, at my fingertips), a little insider information at my back, and the voice of David Stern in my head…

“With the fifth pick in the 2012 Full Spectrum Fantasy Baseball League, the Korriban Sith Lords select… Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees.”

I hear several of you saying, “Uhm… Jeff…? Wasn’t the Grandy-Man out recently with a sore elbow?” Yes. Yes he was. But not at the time of the draft.

I hear others of you saying, “Jeff…? He’s a Yankee! Why?” These are probably my fellow Indians fans… And the folks that won’t like my second round pick, either.

Granderson is a talent. Good power, above average speed… He’s a run-producer and coming into his own in the peak of his career at age 31. I wouldn’t say keeper league material; the natural fall-off of players is coming soon for him, he has a high number of strikeouts, and his average is a little less than stellar. Overall though, he’s definitely good for a one-year contract for the Sith Lords. Besides… The Yankees, the Evil Empire, Sith Lords. It all makes sense.

Grandy is my Darth Vader.

In the second round, I picked up Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox. Now this is the pick of my top five that I’m dreading down the road. Youk is known for his hitting prowess, hitting around .280 or above his whole career (save his rookie season and last season). Decent RBI numbers and a reasonable K/BB ratio give a solid overall performer. The only nagging thing is that Youk has been a bit of a ‘porcelain god’ the last few seasons. Injuries have robbed him of some time during those crucial peak years, and he’s already banged up this spring (stiff lower back a few days after the draft). To quote ESPN’s fantasy assessment of Youk: “… While the injury risk is still quite prevalent, when he is on the field, Youkilis should perform at his customary levels…”. I would expect a little tail-off of his numbers due to age and normal decline, but the injury bug distresses me. That is the one thing I can see Spring Training being a sign of, as injuries there tend to either affect a player longer, remain nagging all season, or (at worst) re-occur during the season. I’m hoping for the best from Youk (purely for my team’s sake, of course), but am already plotting out an ‘emergency exit strategy’ as we speak.

My first pitcher came in the next round in the guise of Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke. Transitioning from one league to another is usually a pain for a pitcher, having to learn new batters and getting used to not batting (or in this case, now batting). Zack seemed to take it well in stride, posting numbers (16-6, 3.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 19 HR, 201 K, 45 BB) that were comparable to his career averages (10-9, 3.82, 1.26, 16, 142, 41). Greinke was showing signs of steady improvement in Kansas City (save 2010), and I see no reason that Greinke won’t continue that trend with his first year in the NL behind him. Zack is 28, still young;  he bounced back from a fractured rib quite handily in ’10, displaying a resiliency that should keep him in the Brew Crew’s rotation for several full seasons to come. Barring any major arm or elbow injury, he should enjoy continued success at the peak of his career.

A couple of other solid picks in the draft were the Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki (Round 5) and Carlos Beltran from the St. Louis Cardinals (Round 9). Ichiro had an atypical off-year batting average wise. At 38 years of age, most fans would probably say that Ichiro is on the verge of becoming a non-factor. However, he was his normal speedster self (40/47 SB), and most of the rest of his offensive production was similar to his career averages with only one game played less. While Ichiro is certainly in the twilight of his career, he is more than capable of touching .300 again, adding in solid production numbers across the board and his trademark speed. Carlos Beltran came back like gangbusters after microfracture surgery, batting .300 overall in 142 games. Beltran played in more games last season than he had since ’08 (161). Another player that has crested his best years, the fact that he played the majority of the season after major surgery gives good hope for continued resiliency and opportunity to produce for the Cards. His overall numbers may diminish, and he is definitely not the running threat he once was, but Carlos is still a viable, solid hitter. The Cards will need a good year out of Beltran to return to playoff contention in the post-Pujols era, and Carlos looks poised to deliver.

While I managed to avoid the “Home Team Syndrome” that new fantasy players can fall into, I did pick up two familiar names to Cleveland Indians fans: Ubaldo Jimenez and Vinnie Pestano. Pestano I have lauded over in two of my previous articles, and was a pretty easy choice to make: I have to back up all my love for the “Bullpen Mafioso”. Ubaldo, however, would seem like a head-scratcher of a choice, given the league and team adjustment after a mid-season trade, diminished velocity on his fastball, and now a looming 5-game suspension from the MLB front offices. Looking at Jimenez in Spring Training this year, he found a good chunk of the speed he had originally “lost”. This bodes well in a pitcher’s park like Progressive Field. Ubaldo also showed a bit for fire and vinegar with the plunk of Troy Tulowitzki in his last spring start. I won’t vilify or condone the action itself, but I will say that it is nice to see someone with a fire in them on the Indians squad. That kind of thing is contagious, and was something the team lacked a bit of last year as they were plummeting out of the AL Central race. Jimenez won’t be a leader in the clubhouse, but I feel he will be a much-needed spark and a more than serviceable pitcher. Not league-best, but mid-3 ERA with 150+ Ks.

Here is the complete rundown of how my draft evolved:

Pick #5 (Round #1) Curtis Granderson (CF, NYY)
Pick #28 (Round #2) Kevin Youkilis (3B, BOS)
Pick #37 (Round #3) Zack Greinke (SP, MIL)
Pick #60 (Round #4) Chris Young (CF, ARI)
Pick #69 (Round #5) Ichiro Suzuki (RF, SEA)
Pick #92 (Round #6) Howard Kendrick (2B, LAA)
Pick #101 (Round #7) Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, CLE)
Pick #124 (Round #8) Neil Walker (2B, PIT)
Pick #133 (Round #9) Carlos Beltran (RF, STL)
Pick #156 (Round #10) Brandon Beachy (SP, ATL)
Pick #165 (Round #11) Jordan Walden (RP, LAA)
Pick #188 (Round #12) Adam Dunn (1B, CWS)
Pick #197 (Round #13) Daniel Bard (RP, BOS)
Pick #220 (Round #14) Yadier Molina (C, STL)
Pick #229 (Round #15) Vinnie Pestano (RP, CLE)
Pick #252 (Round #16) Sean Rodriguez (SS, TB)
Pick #261 (Round #17) Alex Rios (CF, CWS)
Pick #284 (Round #18) Chris Davis (3B, BAL)
Pick #293 (Round #19) J.D. Martinez (LF, HOU)
Pick #316 (Round #20) Scott Downs (RP, LAA)
Pick #325 (Round #21) Will Venable (RF, SD)
Pick #348 (Round #22) Fernando Salas (RP, STL)
Pick #357 (Round #23) Alfredo Aceves (RP, BOS)
Pick #380 (Round #24) Chris Capuano (SP, LAD)
Pick #389 (Round #25) Brad Peacock (SP, OAK)

 

Overall not too bad of a draft. I only had to make one post-draft move (Brad Peacock didn’t make the Oakland roster, so he was dropped in favor of Matt Harrison, starting pitcher from Texas). But I could always use a little draft grading.

Any pick-ups that look suspect? Any sleepers I stumbled upon? Give me a comment below, or hit me up at Twitter at @JCPronkFan48!

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OOTP 13 – The Road To Release, Part 2

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OOTP 13 – The Road To Release, Part 2

Posted on 04 April 2012 by Out Of The Park

OOTP 13 – The Road To Release, Part 2:
Real-Time Simulation: Your New OOTP Addiction!

Remember September 28th, 2011?

Watching the day unfold, with all eyes on Atlanta, Baltimore, and Tampa, was an experience never to be forgotten.

In Out of the Park Baseball, fans have the ability to enjoy such excitement year-round. However, unless you watched one game play out, you were limited to simming out the day. It could provide a singular “wow” moment, but…well, the moment was fleeting.

Not so in OOTP13.

Welcome to Real-Time Simulation…aka, Your New Addiction!

(NOTE: The game does not ship with real logos! Screenshots containing logos were taken by using a beta version of the game and are for demonstration purposes only.)

What is Real-Time Simulation?

With Real-Time Simulation (RTS), you can watch the events of each day unfold in actual real-time. Or, if you wish, you can increase the speed of the day by factors of 2, 5, 10, 20, 60, 120, or 300. During RTS, you have the entire universe at your fingertips. You can look through any part of your league or association while the day plays out. But don”t worry about missing events as they happen: the RTS Live Update Bar, positioned atop the screen, gives you all scoring updates, as well as news of special events in the making. You also have the option of speeding up or slowing down your day, as well as pausing the action.

In this particular universe, fans woke up on October 3rd to a plethora of races. While Boston, Cleveland, and the Angels had punched their postseason tickets by winning their divisions, nothing else was settled. Here is how the standings looked heading into the final day of the season:

The key match-ups worth watching, as they involved teams with playoff aspirations, were:
7:10: Philadelphia (Worley, 7-14, 3.82) @ Washington (Gonzalez, 15-10, 3.98)
7:10: Boston (Beckett, 18-8, 3.58) @ NY Yankees (Sabathia, 12-14, 4.39)
7:35: Atlanta (Hanson, 12-7, 3.24) @ Pittsburgh (Morton, 9-16, 4.69)
8:10: Baltimore (Matusz, 6-5, 3.39) @ Tampa (Cobb, 8-13, 5.12)
8:35: Colorado (de la Rosa, 14.8, 3.67) @ Arizona (Kennedy, 15-10, 4.32)
10:10: LA Angels (Bell, 13.9, 3.73) @ Seattle (Beaven, 4.4, 2.79)
10:10: San Francisco (Bumgarner, 11-11, 2.72) @ LA Dodgers (Capuano, 13-12, 3.49)

(All times EST)

The big game, however, was found in St. Louis, where a de-facto one-game playoff for the NL Central crown was held. Mat Latos, who had lived up to the hype as a front-line starter, took his 21-7 record and 2.90 ERA against the Cardinals” ace Adam Wainwright (15-12, 2.82).

That”s a lot of channel flipping. Thankfully, with RTS, you”re only as far away as the click of your mouse.

How do I use RTS?

October 3, 2012 got off to a rousing start:

2:30pm: Justin Ruggiano hits a two-run home-run in Chicago, putting Houston up 2-0. Earlier in the day, Justin Morneau”s two homers, including one in the tenth, led the Twins to a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays.

In the screenshot below, you can see RTS Central. Note the Fenway-based scoreboards that show the entire linescore, as well as the most recent action of the game. You can also see the activity on the bases. Notice a rally taking shape? You can jump right into a game via the “Watch Game” button. You can also check out the box score to see how your fantasy players are doing.

You can look at the history of the day”s scoring updates, as well as a fluid list of the day”s top performers, at the bottom of the screen. The player names among the Top Performers are clickable and will take you to the player cards.

The day goes on and Houston holds off Chicago, 7-3, while Oakland cruises by Texas, 6-1. Now the fun begins.

The Joy of RTS: October 3, 2012

7:17: Mark Teixiera”s single scores Derek Jeter. With runners on the corners and one out, Robby Cano is the batter. With Beckett on the mound, this is a fantastic chance to see some early drama. Thankfully, with RTS, it”s easy to move in and out of games seamlessly. Click the “Watch Now” button to get into the game; after you arrive, you have an added “Leave Game” option that brings you back to the RTS screen.

7:22: The Phillies begin to mount a rally, putting two on with one out. After Carlos Ruiz pops up, Ty Wigginton”s single scores Chase Utley. Scoring updates can be found in green on the linescore.

7:36: Nick Swisher homers, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Want to check up on the latest news, injuries, leaders, or just about anything related to your league while the day is playing out? You”re in luck! During RTS, you have the entire universe at your fingertips. You can look through any part of your league or association while the day plays out.

But don”t worry about missing events as they happen: the RTS Live Update Bar, positioned atop the screen, gives you all scoring updates, as well as news of special events in the making. You also have the option of speeding up or slowing down your day, as well as pausing the action. During my time spent looking at the standings, the Red Sox rallied to tie the score. Getting back to RTS is easy: just click the League pull-down menu, then click on “LIVE SCORES” under Special Event. That brings you right back to the screen. You can also click on the RTS Update bar atop the screen, which will bring you right back to RTS Central.

7:54: Matt Hague doubles home two, giving the Nats a 3-1 lead over the Phillies. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh scores in the bottom of the first as Neil Walker singles home Andrew McCutchen. Braves fans are hoping lightning doesn”t strike twice.

8:05: The Yanks score two on ground-outs in the third to go up 5-3, while Washington adds another on Danny Espinosa”s single, giving the Nats a 4-1 lead. Miami has a 5-0 lead on the Mets, on Aaron Rowand”s three-run homer, while Cleveland is up 2-1 on the ChiSox.

8:17: Carl Crawford singles home Ryan Sweeney, then scores on Darnell McDonald”s two-run single, giving Boston a 6-5 lead in the fourth in the Bronx. Also, the Game Of The Day begins in St. Louis with a silencer: Joey Votto hits a three-run jack off Adam Wainwright, giving the visiting Reds a quick jump on the Cards.

8:27: The Phils load the bases on Gio Gonzalez in the fifth, only to see Ryan Zimmerman make a brilliant stab of John Mayberry”s liner, ending the threat. 4-1 Nats as the game is now official.

8:36: Kendrys Morales, acquired by the Angels earlier in the year, singles home a run, giving the Indians a 3-1 lead. Meanwhile, Jhonny Peralta hits a two-run jack, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead over the Royals in the second.

8:39: In Arizona, Carlos Gonzalez doubles home Todd Helton and Marco Scutaro, giving the Rockies a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The Rockies need a win, plus a Giants loss, to force a one-game playoff for the NL West title.

8:41: B.J. Upton”s ground-out scores Matt Joyce, giving the Rays an early 1-0 lead against the Orioles. The Rays are in the same spot as Colorado: they need a win, plus a loss by the Yankees, to force at least a one-game playoff for the Wild Card. So far, so good.

8:42: Michael Cuddyer hits a solo shot. 3-0 Rockies.

8:50: A-Rod scores Teixeira on a single. Tie game at Yankee Stadium after five.

8:54: Atlanta plates two in the fourth, the key being Drew Sutton”s triple, giving them a 2-1 lead in Pittsburgh. Sutton, used semi-frequently in a few cups of coffee to the show, has come through in a key spot in the game. You can see his 2012 stats in the screenshot below. A careful observer would also notice that Adam Wainwright”s single has gotten St. Louis on the board in the second. The Reds still lead 3-1, but the Cardinals are not going quietly into the night…not with a title on the line.

8:59: Ben Francisco hits a sac fly, scoring Miggy Cabrera and giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead over the Royals.

9:02: The Phils are at it again, putting two on with one out in the seventh against Gonzalez. The lefty strikes out Matt Diaz, then gets Dom Brown to ground out to first. Threat over…the Nats still lead 4-1. They are getting closer to paying back the Phillies for their fans invading their park over the years.

9:07: Helton blasts a two-run bomb, giving the Rockies a 5-0 lead in the second. The underachieving D”Backs seem to be rolling over.

9:18: Miggy Cabrera is 3-for-3 with a homer and 3 RBI. His two-run job gives the Tigers a 7-1 lead over the Royals.

9:12: Pedroia continues to be Captain Clutch. His third hit of the game nets RBIs three and four. Kelly Shoppach and Carl Crawford cross the plate, giving the Red Sox an 8-6 lead in the sixth.

9:28: The Red Sox have loaded the bases with one out. McDonald is at the plate against Boone Logan. This deserves a look-in, so we simply enter the game with a click of a button.

The crafty lefty got the K, only to face Adrian Gonzalez. Fortunately for Yankee fans, Gonzalez ripped it hard…but right at Cano. They go to the stretch at Yankee Stadium…Red Sox 8, Yanks 6.

9:35: And just like that, the Yanks have stormed back to the lead, behind A-Rod”s 29th home run of the year. The three-run jack gives him four RBI for the night, 104 for the year, and hands the Yanks a 9-8 lead. The Zoo is going crazy.

9:36: Daniel Murphy hits a homer. It”s too late to help the Mets, who fall 5-1 to Miami.

9:37: Matt ejphelps Holliday”s two-run homer ties things up in St. Louis.

9:38: The Nats add a run on Rogert Bernadina”s single, giving them a 5-1 edge over the Phils. Meanwhile, the Braves tack on a run, making it 3-1. Fans are closer to a 163rd game to decide the NL East.

9:46: Diaz scores Wigginton on a sac fly. It”s likely too little, too late for the Phils, who are about to become huge Pirate fans. Meanwhile, Justin Masterson was masterful, coming within one out of a three-hitter to get his 16th win as Cleveland wins 5-1 over the White Sox. Alex Cobb of Tampa is trying to grab the top performance of the day; his six innings of three-hit ball have him third on the list, behind Masterson and Anibal Sanchez (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R 6 K, 2 BB).

9:50: Sean Rodriguez” solo homer gives the Rays a 4-0 lead in the sixth.

9:53: The Phils lose in Washington. Now the scoreboard watching begins for the Phils.

9:55: They”re getting nervous in Tampa…a Yanks win ends any drama in the AL. Boston is running out of chances, ending the eighth on Cody Ross” double-play. Shawn Marcum is tossing a three-hitter in Milwaukee, handcuffing the Padres so far.

9:59: Chris Heisley hits a solo shot, putting the Reds back out in front of the Cardinals, 4-3. They continue to threaten with two on and one out. After loading the bases, they pull ace Mat Latos for pinch-hitter Todd Frazier. He promptly grounds into a double play, ending the threat and costing Dusty Baker his ace.

10:05: They go to the ninth in the Bronx…Yanks lead, 9-8. It”s Sweeney-Aviles-Shoppach for the Sox against the timeless Mariano Rivera. He promptly strikes out Sweeney.

10:10: Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounds out. Boston is down to their final out. David Ortiz grabs a bat.

10:10 (cont”d): Rivera throws a fastball, belt-high, on the inside part of the plate. It”s a mistake that he never makes. And Ortiz hits it a long, long way…but not long enough. Granderson catches it at the wall in right-center. The Yanks celebrate around their closer, who notched his 37th save. New York wins the AL Wild Card. The fact that it”s a come-from-behind win over the hated Red Sox…well, that”s a bit sweeter.

10:11: In Tampa, things just got very quiet.

10:12: David Ross walks for a RBI in Pittsburgh. The Braves are threatening to break it open, with the bases loaded and one out, owning a 4-1 lead.

10:13: Jason Grilli worked out of the jam, getting Michael Bourn to pop up before striking out Martin Prado. Still 4-1, Braves.

10:15: First pitch is thrown in Seattle. Thanks to the Yanks, it is a suddenly meaningless game.

10:21: The Giants and Dodgers are scoreless after one. The Giants need to win to avoid what the Phillies are hoping to escape: a one-game playoff. Unfortunately for their fans, the Rockies hold a 5-1 lead in Arizona.

10:25: The Braves are threatening again with two in scoring position and nobody out. Grilli appears to like pitching in tough spots…he just struck out Brian McCann.

10:28: Chipper Jones is walked intentionally, bringing up Sutton (2-3, 2B, 3B, RBI, BB). Sutton walks, giving the Braves a 5-1 lead.

10:33: They”ve played seven in St. Louis. 4-3, Cincinnati leads.

10:35: Milwaukee 2, San Diego 1 (F): Marcum is fantastic, tossing eight innings of four-hit ball, striking out eight.

10:41: Jake Fox lines out to open Accreditation StandardsFactors that raised Defensive what is defensive driving School’s rating include:Length of time business has been operating. the bottom of the ninth in Pittsburgh.

10:42: There are no theatrics in Tampa, online casinos australia but Alex Cobb finishes off a five-hit shutout of the Orioles. He struck out 13 against no walks, taking his place atop the top performers list.

10:45: Garrett Jones doubles, scoring Walker. 5-2, Braves. The Pirates have two on with two out and a pinch-hitter coming up for Chris Resop. Jonny Venters is on the mound for the Braves.

10:47: Miggy Montero walks home with a run for the Diamondbacks. 5-2, Rockies, in the seventh.

10:48: The pinch-hitter for the Pirates is Pedro Alvarez. It doesn”t matter. He strikes out to end the game and keep the Braves” season going for at least another game. Braves win, 5-2, and force a one-game playoff in Philadelphia tomorrow.

10:49: The nation”s eyes now shift to St. Louis, where the Cardinals cannot get any offense going. They trail the Reds 4-3 as they go to the ninth. Remember, the winner of this game wins the NL Central.

10:55: Drew Stubbs triples to open up the casino online top of the ninth for the Reds.

10:56; Brandon Phillips singles Stubbs home, giving the Reds a 5-3 lead. Fernando Salas immediately throws a wild pitch, then walks Votto.

11:00: Carlos Gonzalez homers for the Rockies, giving them a 6-4 lead over the D”Backs, who woke up in the seventh.

11:04: Another Salas wild pitch scores Phillips. He has totally unraveled here in the ninth, and it may cost the Cardinals. 6-3, Reds, as they head to the bottom of the ninth.

11:06: AJ Ellis homers for the Dodgers, giving them a 2-0 lead in the third over San Francisco. Will the Rockies begin to celebrate too early?

11:10: Rafael Furcal grounds out to open the bottom of the ninth in St. Louis.

11:12: Tyler Greene hits a pinch-hit bomb, cutting the Cards” deficit to 6-4. Sean Marshall is trying to finish things off for the Reds.

11:13: Chris Young homers for the D”Backs. 6-5 Rockies in the bottom of the eighth. It needs to be asked again…are they celebrating too early?

11:15: Yadier Molina lines out. Runner on first with two outs for Matt Holliday.

11:16: Holliday flies out to right, ending the game and the Cardinals” season. The Reds win the game, 6-4, as well as the NL Central. Latos picks up the win to go to 22-7 on the year, perhaps taking the Cy Young Award in the process.

11:17: Cole Gillespie”s triple scores Ryan Roberts, tying the game 6-6 in Arizona. The Rockies celebrated too early.

Special Updates During RTS

11:19: They”ve played four-and-a-half in Los Angeles and Chris Capuano has thrown five no-hit innings. The game will let you know of special events going on, such as four hits, three home runs, or, in this case, a no-hitter being tossed. You can find these among the scoring updates.

11:20: It may be a meaningless game now, but don”t tell that to the Seattle faithful. A packed house of over 43,000 are there to cheer on the M”s. So far, their team leads 1-0 over the Angels, who clinched the AL West title two days before in Seattle. A little under an hour ago, they found out they were eliminated from the playoffs altogether. Rough few days for the M”s and their fans, but they aren”t showing it.

11:22: Gerardo Parra singles home Gillespie. Suddenly, things get very tense in the Colorado dugout. D”Backs lead 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth. This was a 5-1 game at the seventh inning stretch.

11:25: They go to the ninth after Montero strikes out looking. 7-6, Arizona. Dexer Fowler, Helton, and Scutaro will bat for the Rockies in the top of the ninth against JJ Putz.

11:28: Fowler doubles on a 1-2 count to open the ninth.

11:29: Helton singles home Fowler. 7-7 game.

11:31: Eric Young Jr., in to pinch-run for Helton, steals second, and moves to third on Scutaro”s ground out. Gonzalez is walked intentionally for Troy Tulowitzki. That”s like bypassing Mike Tyson to fight George Foreman.

11:33: Putz walks Tulo, loading the bases for Jamie Hoffmann (.235-15-36), who entered as a defensive replacement for Cuddyer earlier in the game. Hoffmann has not had as big an at-bat in his professional career.

11:36: Putz works him to 0-2. Hoffman gets him to a full count before striking out swinging.

11:38: Tyler Colvin is the pinch-hitter. He promptly grounds out to end the threat. But the Rockies salvaged their season…for now.

11:40: Capuano: Six no-hit innings. The M”s still lead 1-0, on the strength of one hit, against the Angels after six innings.

11:43: James Darnell”s two-run homer puts the Dodgers up 4-0. A triple and a wild pitch later and it”s 5-0 Dodgers.

11:45: Aaron Hill walks with two outs, bringing up Chris Young. Young, who has homered already, hits a bomb to straight-away center…only to see the ballpark swallow it up. They”ll play free baseball in Arizona.

11:50: AJ Ellis strikes out, ending the sixth in LA. 5-0 Dodgers. Capuano heads back out to the mound.

11:52: Putz goes back out for another inning and is greeted by a Jonathan Herrerra single. Fowler to the plate.

11:54: Fowler triples home Herrera, putting the Rockies up 8-7.

11:55: Freddy Sanchez singles off Capuano, ending 6 1/3 no-hit innings for the Dodger starter. Meanwhile, Jordan Pacheco is hit by a pitch against new pitcher Bryan Shaw. Runners are on the corners with one out for Scutaro.

12:00: As the clock strikes midnight, Scutaro walks to load the bases for Gonzalez. Seattle still leads 1-0 (still with only one hit), while the Dodgers lead 5-0 against the Giants.

12:03: Gonazlez doubles home two runs, giving the Rockies a 10-7 lead. He also sets a regular season record for doubles in a game with his third. He is 4-for-5, 3 2B, HR, BB, 5 RBI on the day. Not bad when your season is on the line.

12:05: Hoffmann grounds out, scoring Scutaro. 11-7, Rockies, as they go to the bottom of the 10th.

11:12: The D”Backs finally lay down. Rockies 11, Arizona 7. If the score holds at Chavez Ravine, there will be another one-game playoff, this one for the NL West title.

12: 16: The Dodgers-Giants game goes to the eighth, LA up 6-0. Seattle still leads 1-0 as Blake Beaven is two outs away from his first-ever complete game shutout.

12:20: Mike Trout, who singled, has moved up to third base on a steal. He is the tying run for the Angels with two outs and Bobby Abreu at the plate. Brandon League has come in to shut things down. The question is…can he?

12:24: Nope. Abreu smacks a two-run homer off League. The Angels finally break through: Abreu”s round-tripper was the team”s tenth hit of the night. Angels lead 2-1 as they go to the bottom of the ninth.

12:35: With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, John Jaso takes Jordan Walden deep, tying the game. It his Walden”s fourth blown save and Jaso”s first home run of the season. In his defense, he spent most of the year in AAA Tacoma while Jesus Montero got the at-bats in Seattle.

12:36: And there will be another one-game playoff. Capuano pitches eight innings of one-hit ball before letting the bullpen finish a 6-0 victory over the Giants. The one-game playoff will be in Colorado tomorrow night.

1:31: Alex Liddi”s double scores Michael Saunders, sending Mariner fans home happy. Seattle wins 3-2 in 12.

The Wrap-Up (AKA “I Need A Cigarette”)

With Real-Time Simulation, you don”t have to let your world zoom by. You can stop to smell the roses and watch the action unfold before your very eyes. On one day, there were several games with severe playoff implications, along with comebacks, no-hit bids, the kind of clutch hitting you would want from your MVP candidates, and the types of moments that make us all baseball fans.

And you get to enjoy it all throughout the year.

OOTP 13 puts a host of new tools, a redesigned and improved user interface and countless functional improvements all under your control so you can mold and shape your mega-million-dollar major league franchise or small market independent start-up to its maximum potential. The game is truly yours for the taking, so come play it your way!

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Finding Keepers: Cleveland Indians

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Finding Keepers: Cleveland Indians

Posted on 30 March 2012 by Jeff Coleman

The Cleveland Indians are as much of an enigma in the fantasy baseball world as they are on the real baseball diamond. There are players that show enough flashes of talent to give fantasy GMs hope, but wind up either bowing out with injuries (Grady Sizemore), pure lack of overall production (Matt LaPorta), or some other off-the-field ‘excitement’ (Fausto Carmona / Roberto Hernandez).

This is enough to make any fantasy GM wonder: Are there any keeper-worthy prospects on the Tribe roster? The reality of the Indians’ piecemeal situation, especially in the outfield, would make the answer seem like a ‘no’. However, there are a few players that I would recommend for extended looks in a Keeper League.

  • RP Vinnie Pestano – It is difficult to judge a player off of only one year of Major League numbers, but Pestano was honestly dominant for a majority of the 2011 season. Sporting a sub-3.00 ERA, sub-1.20 WHIP, and around a 3.0 K/BB ratio throughout his career, both Majors and Minors, Pestano has shown a consistency that is very promising. He is also the best candidate on the Indians staff to poach saves from closer Chris Perez should the need arise. Pestano’s current ADP of 241.96 might make eyebrows raise, and his rankings in the “Big 3″ fantasy sites (ESPN #286, out of the top 100 RP on Yahoo!, out of the top 300 total on CBS) may leave owners wondering if my sanity has left me. However, I see Pestano growing into a solid, reliable, league-defining set-up man that will be worth setting aside a roster spot for.
  • RF Shin-Soo Choo – A tumultuous 2011 campaign seemed to have Choo on the ropes; off-the-field issues, injuries, and contract talk were predominant, and as a result his stats suffered greatly. A quiet off-season (and a stint with the South Korean Army) later, Choo seems more humbled, wiser, and ready to get his focus back onto baseball. Choo, even nearing the age of 30, has the potential to continue as a consistent .290/75/20/75/20 5×5 threat for several years, and the Indians will be relying on him heavily to produce if they have a chance in the AL Central. With an ADP of 63.50, and relatively high Big 3 rankings  (ESPN #75, Yahoo! #9 OF, CBS #75), a lot of folks are figuring for Choo to bounce back to the player of old.
  • SS Asdrubal Cabrera – Most people were surprised by AsCab’s power surge last year (25 HR, 92 RBI), but lost in that was another solid hitting (.273 BA) and running (17/22 SB) season. While we shouldn’t expect another power-laden season in 2012, the Indians will be expecting him to fill a major contributing and leadership role with the team this year. A line of .275/70/15/70/15 in your 5×5 league is not out of the question. Many folks have seen the low risk/high reward of the Tribe’s shortstop; Cabrera’s ADP sits at 78.96 (ahead of Rollins and Jeter), and the Big 3 set him as follows: ESPN #63, Yahoo! #5 SS, and CBS #86.
  • 2B Jason Kipnis – The Twitter hashtag #WeAreAllKipnesses made an appearance in the 2011 season when Jason Kipnis was called up to the Indians in July. The rookie wasn’t an instant hit, but put together an amazing month of August on the way to a final 5×5 of .272/24/7/19/5. Obviously using a keeper pick on anyone without a proven Big League record is inherently high-risk. But like Pestano, Kipnis has proven himself solid and consistent in his minor league career. With the chances high for the starting 2B job out of Spring Training, Kipnis’ upside is well worth the risk. His current ADP is 166.32, good enough to be in the top 15 in 2B league-wide. The Big 3 are equally kind, ranking him at #170 at ESPN, the #3 2B at Yahoo!, and #245 at CBS.

The Indians have a lot of decent pieces… But there are very few that will likely be breaking into Opening Day and producing consistently enough for recommendation. Plus there is the fact that the years past have proven that the weirdest things can happen in the City By The Lake. The above 4 players I see as key (and near untouchable) cogs in the quest to return the Indians to the dominance they had in the mid- to late-90′s.

Do you agree or disagree with my keeper recommendations? I’d love to get the conversations going with Tribe fans and non-fans alike! Go ahead and comment below, or feel free to follow me on Twitter (@JCPronkFan48) and continue the conversation there, too.

NOTE: All ADP values are from Mock Draft Central as of March 26, 2012.

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Finding Keepers:Toronto Blue Jays

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Finding Keepers:Toronto Blue Jays

Posted on 21 March 2012 by Gary Marchese

The Toronto Blue Jays are probably a better team then they seem.  They happen to play in the toughest division in baseball the American League East.  The Blue Jays have been winning 80-85 games which is very good considering they have to take on the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays 19 times a year each.  Here is a look at some guys on their roster who are potential keepers for your fantasy baseball team.

RF Jose Bautista, He is now one of the premier power hitters in the game if not the premier one.  He is a high on base guy also because teams walk him so much.  He wasn’t a fluke two years ago because he followed it up last year.  In the last two years he has hit 97 homeruns.  His best year before the last couple of years was 16 homeruns in one season.  He has also driven in 227 runs and walked 232 times.  Bautista has finally found a home in Toronto and is playing regularly now.

SP Ricky Romero, He is a good young lefty pitcher.  In the last three years he has won 13, 14 and 15 games in that order and lowered his ERA each year.  He had his best year last year when he was 15-11 with a 2.92 ERA.  He is also doing this in the AL East which is impressive.  Romero is a pitcher you would want on your team, any team especially a keeper league.

SS Yunel Escobar has always had a lot of talent.  He started in Atlanta and then was traded to Toronto.  He seems to have settled in as the leadoff hitter there now.  He had a year last year of 290, 11 and 48.  He wont hit many homeruns but has some pop and wont drive in too many runs but he isn’t supposed too.  He will hit for a good average though and has the potential to steal some bases.  I wouldn’t mind building a team around this player.

3B Brett Lawrie is an exciting young player.  We don’t know what he will be yet or his full potential.  He seems to be well on his way though and I wouldn’t want to part with him if he was on my fantasy team.  He made the majors last year and hit 293 with nine homeruns and 25 RBI in 43 games.  He also had a 373 on base percentage.  He looks like a very impressive young man.  I wouldn’t want to part with this guy at all.

Closer Francisco Cordero is a pretty good closer and has been for a while.  He isn’t great but I think you know what your getting with him.  The closer position is important and you want a reliable guy in that position.  If you can’t have Mariano Rivera or Jonathan Papelbon why not a guy like Cordero.  In the last three years he has had 37, 40 and 39 saves.  You can count on getting 35+ saves from him.  His ERA could be in the high twos or low threes but that won’t kill your overall team ERA.

C J.P. Arencibia is a catcher with power.  He hit 23 homeruns last year with 78 RBI.  In the minor leagues in 2010 he hit 32 homeruns.  If your looking for power from the catching position then I would keep him around on my team.  If your looking for average your not going to get it as he only hit 219 last year.

If there is anyone on this list that you feel I have missed please let me know.  You can comment on the article and if you have twitter you can reach me @gmarchesej.  Thanks for reading as always and I hope you continue to enjoy my colleagues and I finding keepers articles.

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