Tag Archive | "Last Chance"

Finding Keepers:  Los Angeles Dodgers

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Finding Keepers: Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted on 13 March 2012 by Mark Sherrard

With all the off the field distractions last year concerning Frank McCourt, its easy to forget about the actual team on the field. The Los Angeles Dodgers did manage to finish above .500 last year and with Clayton Kershaw winning the Cy Young and Matt Kemp finishing second in the MVP voting, the Dodgers have two of the best players in the NL.

However, even with the talent at the top, you do not have to dig too far to find some potential keepers on this team. Here is a look at some of the players who could become keepers.

RP Kenley Jansen is slated to work as the setup man for closer Javy Guerra this year, but that may be just temporary. Jansen has been dominant, when healthy, and could take over the reigns as closer if Guerra should happen to slip. With a career K/9 rate of 15.3, he certainly has the stuff to close, its just a matter of opportunity. Now might be your last chance to grab him before he assumes the closer role.

OF Andre Ethier reportedly has battled a knee injury the last two years, before finally undergoing surgery last September. Its highly likely that his knee issues sapped his power, holding him to only 11 homeruns in 487 at bats in 2011. If he is healthy, the power should return and he still maintains a career .291 average to go with it.

SS Dee Gordon has speed to burn and is slated to start at short. After getting a tryout last year, in which he hit .304 with 24 stolen bases in 224 at bats, Gordon should easily double that stolen base output in 2012. He is another player to target now before his value skyrockets.

SP Nathan Eovaldi ranks as one of the Dodgers top 5 prospects and is currently 6th on the Dodgers starting pitching depth chart. Given that its rare for any rotation to make it through a whole season intact, look for Eovaldi to get another shot as a starter in 2012. He is a good pitcher to stash in a bullpen or bench spot.

OF Jerry Sands is a former top prospect who didn’t live up to his billing last year. However, with only Juan Rivera ahead of him on the depth chart, Sands should get another shot to prove himself in 2012. Worse case scenario is he spends a good chunk of the season in AAA, but with Rivera only signed through 2012, Sands could be worth stashing away for 2013.

SP Rubby De La Rosa came out of the gates hard, when he was called up last June, posting a 3.71 ERA and striking out 60 in 60.2 innings. It all came crumbling down when he underwent Tommy John surgery in August and he is expected to miss most, if not all of the 2012 season. However, he is another player worth stashing for 2013.

The rest of the Dodgers roster does not look keeper worthy. RP Javy Guerra will be the closer, at least at the start of the season, and could net you some cheap saves. However, with Jansen breathing down his neck, he will have a very short leash.

SP Clayton Kershaw was dominant last year on the way to his Cy Young award. However, that alone will likely make him overvalued in 2012 and unless he can repeat his performance from 2011, he is unlikely to get you full value in 2012.

The same goes for OF Matt Kemp, who put up a near 40/40 season while also producing a .324/.399/.586 slash line. Despite his predictions of a 50/50 season, some drop off is expected and he is unlikely to earn what you will have to pay for him.

Finally, 1B James Loney just does not produce like a first baseman and should be left to deeper NL only leagues or at best your utility spot. He has hovered around the .280-.290 mark with 10-13 homers the last 4 years and is unlikely to produce much more than that.

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Finding Keepers:  New York Mets

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Finding Keepers: New York Mets

Posted on 11 March 2012 by Mark Sherrard

The New York Mets find themselves in a bit of a rebuilding year, after finishing 4th in the NL East in 2011. However, with low expectations comes lower perceived value, which means more opportunities for Finding Keepers.

Here is a look at some Mets players who could be undervalued in 2012 and end up keeper worthy.

After a strong rookie year, in which he hit .264/.351/.440 with 19 homers, 1B Ike Davis missed most of the 2011 campaign with an ankle injury. Add to that the speculation that he may have Valley Fever and many fantasy owners will steer clear of him. However, in 36 games last year, he did hit .302/.383/.543 and looked like he was well on his way to a breakout year before the injury. If he proves healthy this spring, snatch him up before someone else does.

2B Daniel Murphy is not a flashy guy, he will not get you a bunch of homeruns or stolen bases, but he did manage to hit a quiet .320/.362/.448 last year, while qualifying at 2B, 3B and 1B. His multi-positional eligibility might make him a bit more valuable to some, but moderate numbers in the counting stats might just keep his value low enough to be considered keeper material.

SS Ruben Tejada is another player who will not carry a team and will barely raise a blip on most owners radars. He offers no power and little speed, but his .284/.360/.335 line last year and multi-positional eligibility (2B/SS) make him valuable in deeper, NL only leagues. A couple bucks or a late round pick could net you a quality UT player.

OF Lucas Duda got some regular playing time last year and played well, earning the starting right field job for 2012. He has some power and with a .292/.370/.482 slash line in 2011, he showed that he can handle big league pitching. This might be the last chance to get him cheap, because I expect bigger and better things from him this year and into the future.

C Josh Thole is another under-the-radar kind of guy. He is not going to provide a lot of homeruns, but he will hit for a good average and will likely be undervalued in most leagues. He is your typical won’t hurt you second catcher and could be a good keeper in deeper leagues.

2B Reese Havens has been the second baseman of the future for the Mets ever since he was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft. Problem is, he has not been able to stay healthy for a full season. He owns a career .269/.366/.463 line in 4 minor league seasons, but has hit .301/.379/.505 in AA. For those of you with reserve or minor league spots, you might want to consider taking a flier on Havens.

SP Johan Santana is coming off shoulder surgery, an injury that has felled many a quality pitcher, such as Brandon Webb. That alone will scare many owners off. However, he pitched well in his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday, topping out around 92 mph. If his changeup is still working, he could start back up where he left off in 2010. He should come cheap and, at age 32, he should still have a few good years left in him.

I am not sold on the rest of the Mets starting pitchers. Mike Pelfrey, Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee have shown some flashes, but have not been consistent enough to be considered keepers. R.A. Dickey had a strong 2011 season, posting a 3.28 ERA, but at age 37 his better days are probably behind him.

Finally, OF David Wright is one guy who will likely be overvalued based on his name alone. His 2011 season was marred by back issues, which may keep his value down, but should also make you reconsider drafting him.

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