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The Triumphant Return of John Lackey…Sort Of

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The Triumphant Return of John Lackey…Sort Of

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Will Emerson

There is talk, as there so often is around Spring Training camps, of John Lackey being in the best shape of his life (I am being a bit hyperbolic, but you get the point) and ready to return to his old self.

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The bulldog, big game winning, innings eating, ace-like pitcher of yore. Obviously the Red Sox would love that. Well, sort of. I mean, they would be glad take anything better than Lackey’s 2011. To say John Lackey’s 2011 was atrocious would be, well, pretty accurate. In 28 starts with the BoSox, Lackey was 12-12 with an ERA of 6.41. Although, managing 12 wins with an ERA like that is impressive, even if it was mainly due to having a very good offense behind him. His FIP of 4.71 was also, well, terrible, but it does show that he was tad better than the ERA would indicate. Would be hard to be worse, wouldn’t it? Once you close in on an ERA around five or higher though, the difference is somewhat negligible, in my mind. Now, if Lackey was making the league minimum in 2011, the Red Sox could just be like, “Oh well, moving on”, but Lackey was not making the league minimum in 2o11, was he? No, he was not, in case you were actually unawares of his salary. Lackey made $15.95 million in 2011 or exactly $15.95 million more than what I will make writing about him in this little post. Now the Red Sox won’t have to pay him nearly as much as that in 2013, so rest easy Red Sox fans. No, no, he is only due $15.25 million in 2013 or roughly $15.2498 more than I have in my savings account. So, needless to say, the Red Sox are hoping to get something out of that chunk of change, preferably what they thought they were paying for. But what exactly did the Rouge Hose pay for?

The Sox backed up a Brinks trunk to get Lackey in a Boston uniform, shelling out loads of cash for a pitcher who was one of the big names on the free market back in ought nine. (It may have technically happened in 2010, but I just wanted to type ought nine.) Lackey certainly had an aura around him. Big game pitcher? Check. Yankee killer? Check. The latter being the biggest reason the Sox would pursue him…that and not letting the Yankees get their greasy mitts on him. You see, back in the olden days of the early 21st century the Red Sox and Yankees would play the free agent market like a game of poker at Teddy KGB’s. If one showed interest in a big-ish name free agent, the other would as well. The team to show initial interest may not have even wanted the player, but they knew they could bluff the other into making a move. So if the Yankees showed interest in John Lackey the Red Sox would do the same, even though the Yankees may not have really wanted him in the first place, but rather wanted the Red Sox to throw money at him, when the Yanks really only had mild interest. Got all that? Sort of, maybe? (That is not the proposed sequel to the Ryan Reynolds vehicle Definitely, Maybe…yet) Well, anywho, the Sox went out and threw money at Lackey. Lackey was considered to be a workhorse, innings eater as well a previous mentioned big game pitcher and Yankee killer. Or so everyone thought.

I guess Lackey just has that bulldog mentality and because he pitched well in big games, he was a gem. A gem worth $18.7 million to the Red Sox in 2010. I recall severall pundits and what-have-yous, having their mindholes blown by the contract the Red Sox doled out to this thirtysomething hurler. Why? Lackey was ace like or at the very least a serviceable number two starter, right? In the words of Willy Wonka, “WRONG! Wrong sir!” In ten major league seasons Lackey posted an ERA below 3.44 just once and below 3.66 just thrice! All three of those seasons were in his mid to late 20s. Now of course you should know by now, that ERA is a flawed statistic and should not be the number to completely judge a pitcher at all. So try these numbers on for size. In his career Lackey has posted an xFIP below 3.83, exactly once. Once! In that season he had a 3.59 xFIP. Even his regular ol’ FIP was high, only coming in under 3.50 twice! Surely they advanced stat mavens in the Sox front office looked at these numbers, right? Oh wait a tick! Lackey is a Yankee killer, that’s why the Red Sox gave him the big bucks, right?

In 2009, Lackey had a 2.57 ERA when he pitched against the Bronx Bombers in the regular, posting a K/9 of 7 and a WHIP of 1.29. Well, that’s pretty darned good, isn’t it? It sure is! He dominated the Yankees in that one regular season start. Well obviously the Angels and Yankees did not meet much during the regular season, but it was Lackey’s ’09 postseason performance against the Bombers that basically earned him his 2010 contract. It had to have been, right? In two ALCS starts against the Yankees in 2009, Lackey threw 12 innings, allowing five earned runs on 15 hits, striking out ten, and walking six. That’s an ERA close to four, folks, which I guess against the Yankees could be considered pretty good. But $82.5 million over five years pretty good?  Although conversely, Lackey’s last three postseason starts against the Red Sox for very good. In those starts Johnboy tossed 21 innings allowing four earned runs on 15 hits, stymieing the Sox. So, maybe they just wanted to spend that money to avoid seeing Lackey in the postseason? That’s a lot of money to insure you don’t have to face a certain pitcher in the postseason, but the Sox have deep pockets, so to each their own. I know, I know, all of this is hardly new information and something that could not have been written back in 2009-10, but I am going somewhere with this, I swear. You see, many fantasy players are certainly eyeing Lackey as a possible sleeper, hoping he can return to form. But what form is that and is it really sleeper worthy form?

First off, there is no way in heck (I sometimes look at John Lackey and feel he says “heck” and “shucks” a lot, but that’s neither here nor there) you should expect him to return to the form of his career season in 2007. That 19-9 campaign with a 3.01 ERA was a big anomaly (Big Shucks? I think I just found John Lackey’s new nickname). As in a season not to be repeated by John Derran Lackey. So what is Lackey’s “form”? Well, just for craps and giggles, let us take a look at Lacker’s three best seasons. In those three seasons Lackey averaged a 3.86 xFIP, but a respectable 3.33 FIP. Coincidentally his overall ERA for those three seasons was also 3.33. Of course that season with the 3.01 ERA in there certainly helps. Lackey also posted a K/9 close to eight! Wow, a solid three seasons it seems, even though his overall ERAs were a bit lower than they should have been. So if, if, he were to return to that form he would be a sleeper for sure. Unfortunately in the four seasons Lackey has pitched since then, he has not really quite approached that level of goodness, so the three seasons prior to that disaster of a 2011 season are more likely your best case scenario for Lackey in 2013. That translates into a borderline sleeper at SP, I suppose. You would probably get 12 wins, with an ERA right around four, WHIP of about 1.30 and a K/9 in the mid sixes. That’s sleeperish if not for just the wins, I would think, but remember that is the best case scenario for Lackey in 2013.

What you are more likely to get out of Lackey, still eight to ten wins, sure, but an ERA closer to 4.50, with a WHIP of about, well 1.30-1.40 and very few Ks. Hey, look at that! Not too far from the best case scenario I just laid out for you, huh?! For fantasy purposes though, you are in luck, because unlike the Red Sox, you will not have to pay big bucks for Lackey, so he could very well be worth a late round, or $1 bargain bin auction, pickup.  I don’t foresee myself drafting Lackey in any format, but at the very least, in shallow mixed or AL-only leagues, he could be a viable streaming option from time to time. So keep John Lackey in the back of your mind (and start calling him Big Shucks) as the season progresses, but don’t expect anything ace-like that is for darned sure.

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Pedro Martinez is Back!  Get Excited!

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Pedro Martinez is Back! Get Excited!

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Trish Vignola

Pedro Martinez is back! But not in the way the Red Sox could probably use him. It was announced today that the man easily considered one of the best pitcher in the franchise’s history is returning as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

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“We are very excited to have Pedro on board with us and back in the Red Sox organization,” said Cherington said to MLB.com. “He was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history. Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship and instruction of young players in Spring Training and throughout the season.”

“I’ve been away long enough now to spend time with the family and I think the situation is right,” said Martinez to MLB.com. “I think they need people like me that could probably relate to the players, relate to the office, have a good communication and interest that they need right now. I think the players somehow still see me a little bit like a player. They can actually communicate with me. I’m also a veteran, a real old veteran. I think I can probably offer some advice to some of them about how to handle different situations.”
Full of that familiar enthusiasm Red Sox fans came to love over the years, Martinez said he looks forward to throwing on uniform No. 45. Although not officially retired, hasn’t been worn by any Red Sox player since his departure. Pedro said that he will be there during Spring Training, and whenever else he might be needed.

The way the Red Sox played last year, the second in the rotation?

“Of course,” said Martinez. “I miss the field myself. I’m going to be in the field, and once I get to the field, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get involved and get going. I like the field. I like feeling the heat of the sun and sweating in the field. Hopefully some of the knowledge I have, I’ll be able to communicate with someone, and have someone take advantage of it.”

“It probably means he has to be on time now,” quipped Terry Francona to MLB.com. He was Martinez’s manager in 2004. “I’ll tell you what, if you want to get input on how to pitch, you can’t go to a smarter guy. I think it’s great. I think it’s a good fit. When you start bringing guys back like Varitek, Pedro, they are the Red Sox. I think it’s terrific.”

“I love to teach,” said Martinez. “I love to deal with the players. I have a very good relationship with the players and I’m also fun. I’m also fun. I like to have fun, and I think they need a little bit of that in the clubhouse.”

“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said. “Ben Cherington’s meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again. My heart will always live in Boston.”

“I believe if I can have the patience of the talent that’s coming up and understand that they’re going to be their own way in some parts, I should be able to handle it,” Martinez said. “I’m not going to force them to be like me. It’s impossible to be Roger [Clemens], but you can also pick and choose some of the things that you can help them with and hopefully help out.”

Regardless of where the Red Sox place this year…they definitely became interesting.

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Playing the Name Game

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Playing the Name Game

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Daniel Aubain

We’ve all seen the fantasy baseball articles where the writer will compare one nameless player’s statistics to another nameless player’s statistics and then hit you with a ton of reasons why you should be looking past simple name recognition if you want to be winning your fantasy baseball league. And do you know why you see articles of this type all over the fantasy baseball blogosphere? Because they’re very helpful when evaluating your roster and the “who’s who” out there on waivers.

I’ll run through a few of my own comparisons (using standard 5×5 categories) for your fantasy baseball viewing pleasure and hopefully give you something to mull over as you assess your roster(s).

Player A: .275 BA (84/305), 48 R, 14 HR, 44 RBI, 12 SB
Player B: .292 BA (85/291), 42 R, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 1 SB
Player C: .249 BA (77/309), 48 R, 18 HR, 57 RBI, 5 SB
Player D: .279 BA (96/344), 59 R, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 15 SB

A quick glance at these statistics shows distinct advantages for one player over the others depending on which category you choose to compare but, overall, Yahoo! ranks these four players as having “similar” value; all four being separated by only 12 places in their rankings. To be fair, all four of these players qualify at the same fantasy baseball position for 2012: outfield.

Which of these four players would you guess is the most widely owned? Well chicks and fantasy baseball owners truly love the longball because Player C comes in at 97% owned yet has the lowest batting average of the group at .249. Player D is the least owned at 72% but leads this group in hits, runs and stolen bases. Player A seems to be the most balanced player in this group and, deservingly so, is also the highest ranked at #58 overall with a 93% ownership rate. Player B leads this group in batting average and RBI and eeks in at third place in ownership numbers at 73%.

Any idea of who all four of these players are yet? Drum roll, please. Player A is 58th-ranked Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves. Player B is 66th-ranked Jason Kubel of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Player C is 67th-ranked Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds. And Player D is 70th-ranked Alejandro De Aza of the Chicago White Sox.

My fantasy perspective: With ownership numbers of over 70% for each of these four players, they probably aren’t readily available on waivers in any league worth a damn at participating in here at the midway point. So let’s focus on what name recognition could do for you on the trade market. You’d probably think I was smoking something whacky if I offered you my Kubel for your Heyward in a deal. But think of the reverse for a moment. What if you owned Heyward or Bruce. You could possibly pry a Kubel or De Aza plus a second player from an owner who weighs a deal on name recognition rather than what truly counts in fantasy baseball…statistics! Obviously if your league is a keeper or dynasty format you may value certain players differently for their long-term value but the average fantasy baseball player ins’t in a league of these types. You may only have a few weeks left to make a trade in your league so start doing your homework. Now may be the time to trade away some of your “big name” players for multiple pieces to help you in your drive for a fantasy baseball championship.

***

Player A: .246 BA (82/334), 46 R, 12 HR, 44 RBI, 12 SB
Player B: .269 BA (88/327), 41 R, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 10 SB

For comparison purposes again, I picked two players who qualify at the same fantasy baseball postion for 2012: third base. Player A also qualifies at shortstop. A quick look at the statistics of these two players shows each are within a close enough margin to deserve comparison. Only 14 players have accomplished a 10 HR/10 SB or better line so far in 2012 and each of these players fall into that rare group at the midway point. Player A is the 110th-ranked player on Yahoo! while Player B is close behind at 115th. So can you explain to me why Player A is owned in 98% of all Yahoo! leagues and Player B is only 51% owned? I can. Name recognition and “potential”. Have you guessed the players yet? Well, Player A is Hanley Ramirez of the Miami Marlins and Player B is Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres.

My fantasy perspective: Headly is a player possibly on the move before the July 31st Trade Deadline and now might be a good time to pick him up in fantasy baseball. If he is traded away from PETCO Park to a contender with a hitter’s park, his fantasy value instantly jumps. Come to think of it, a trade to any other team in any other park increases his fantasy value. HanRam, on the other hand, is probably NOT getting traded in real life (although the Marlins would be smart to explore all offers) but could bring in a haul if someone in your league believes he’ll have a big second half (I don’t). Play up that he was a second round pick with third base and shortstop eligibility. Unfortunately he’s been pretty awful lately (last 33 gmaes: .192 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI). If he gets hot, MOVE HIM!

***

Player A: .286 BA (98/343), 43 R, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 0 SB
Player B: .299 BA (59/197), 29 R, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 2 SB

In over 40% LESS at bats, Player B is providing comparable  offensive numbers to Player A. Unfortunately, Player A was ranked 9th overall on Yahoo! to start the season, cost you a 1st round pick to draft him and is currently ranked 162nd while Player B was ranked 494th overall, went virtually undrafted and is currently ranked 170th. Yet Player A is 98% owned while Player B is just 53% owned. Any guesses who these two players are? Player A is Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox and Player B is Tyler Colvin of the Colorado Rockies.

My fantasy perspective: In no way am I suggesting that you should drop Gonzalez and pick up Colvin off waivers if he’s available. But what we see here is a fantasy owner handcuffed by Gonzalez and his struggles. There’s not a lot of people out there willing to trade away Gonzalez at this point because you’d probably wind up having to accept less than market value. And if that’s the case, why not simply hold on to him in hopes he heats it up in the second half while you’re trying to make a run at a title. Colvin, on the other hand, is a player who should see more real-world opportunities in Colorado and continue to provide fantasy value in the second half and should continue to see ownership numbers rise. If only the Rockies had the huevos rancheros to trade away Todd Helton and Jason Giambi. IF ONLY…

Winning at fantasy baseball is determined by which team accumulates the most statistics to earn the most points in categories that matter not by collecting your favorite players or the players whose names you hear on Sports Center the most (PS, if you watch ESPN for baseball news you’re doing fantasy baseball wrong). If you’re able to look at the numbers it takes to get back into the race or keep your team ahead of the pack while removing the personal connection we all have to our perception of a player’s value based on name and/or past performances then there are opportunities to be had to be successful in building and maintaining a winning team.

Were you able to guess any of these players’ names while you were reading this article? If so, which ones? Leave me a comment below or connect with me on Twitter @DJAubain to continue the conversation.

NOTE: All statistics quoted are accurate through games played through July 15th unless otherwise noted.

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OOTP 13 – The Road To Release, Part 1

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OOTP 13 – The Road To Release, Part 1

Posted on 03 April 2012 by Out Of The Park

OOTP 13 – The Road To Release, Part 1:
The New GUI – Redefining how you play OOTP

Welcome to the 2012 edition of Road to Release, the series where we invite you, the user, to follow along the journey leading up to the release of the best edition of Out of the Park Baseball yet, version 13!

From the first looks at the revised graphic screen designs to the first in-game screenshots, it was clear from the outset that the GUI was going to get one of the biggest overhauls yet in OOTP 13. And the good news for you the user is that every improvement is aimed at delivering on one important goal, making your OOTP experience the best that it can be. So let”s dig into the GUI and see what”s changed and what”s new for OOTP 13.

Starting at the top

No better place to start than at the top of the OOTP screen and the completely revamped header. If you”ve ever thought that the user interface design of OOTP is a haphazard or casually implemented feature, think again. Markus and team worked long and hard to strike that delicate balance between aesthetics, usability, and plain old coolness factor.

The new header is clean, slick, organized and now features a completely redesigned pop-up menu designed to better categorize and explain each option”s purpose. Veteran players will like the reorganized layouts and newbies will enjoy not having to dig through lots of different menus to find the right page to actually access organization depth or the league injury log.

With the introduction of the new Real-Time Sim mode, the header has also become more functional. When you enter Real-Time Sim Mode, the header displays the running clock and allows you to tweak the time factor. It also displays notable highlights from the games as well as the score of the game your team is playing.

A new toolbar that you display your way

User opinion on the bottom toolbar was mixed at best, at least among the beta team. Some loved it and used it every time they played while others thought rapid opiate detox has developed safe and painless detox protocols for opioid drug use, benzodiazepines and opiate pain medication. its presence a nuisance and turned it off. (Did you know you could do that? Many on the beta team never had any idea.) The toolbar has been slightly modified for OOTP 13, but the biggest change you”ll see is where it Ved at spille Casino spil for rigtige penge optjenes der bonuspoint. is located now and how to turn it on and off. It can be turned on and off using a button at the top of the toolbar and is aligned to the right or online casinos in australia left side of the screens, so those of you who are Adobe users will feel right at home with this change.

Redesigned “Home Pages”

Each and every home page in the game has been refurbished for OOTP 13. The HTML pages have been replaced by screens that feel more like part of the game Du har helt sikkert hort at Norsk Tipping skal lansere nett casinoet . and aim to provide you with the essential information for that particular home page.

The online casino first and Big articles to check out are Pay Less For Going Out, which includes details on all lasting family day out deals and how to get free annual credit report hold of them, and DVD Rentals, which”ll show you how to get free annual credit report a steady supply of films for next to nothing. most important home page is the Manager Home Screen. This is your starting screen and has been redesigned to work more like a task organizer, helping you tackle your important tasks while presenting information vital to the success of your club, right to the top. No more forgetting that trade offer until it”s been expired for a week. You”ll see it right before your eyes as soon as you load up the game.

Browsing the game home page? You”ll see summaries of all the leagues in the game, including their upcoming schedules, league leaders, and playoff hopefuls.

On the revised league home page, you”ll get the league”s top news items and league batting and pitching leaders. You”ll also get a tabbed summary box containing the league standings (broken down by sub-league), events, recent transactions, injuries, and milestones.

Team home pages have also been revamped to display divisional standings, upcoming schedule, team leaders and a starting lineup snapshot.

Getting the right information to you in an efficient and organized way was the top priority of the OOTP 13 GUI redesign and we think you”ll be pleased with these exciting new screens

Don”t forget the footer

Remember where the icon toolbar used to be at the bottom of the screen? Well, say “Hello” to the new OOTP Ticker. This handy little bar scrolls recent game scores. Click a score and it opens up the box score. Neat, huh?

Additional Enhancements

In addition to the exciting new features above, here are some of the other great new additions and improvements in OOTP 13:

  • New player image sizes and transparent backgrounds
  • HTML pages gone within the game (same for box scores and game logs)
  • New default OOTP 13 skin (with more planned)
  • and much, much more!

 

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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DOs And DONTs: Colorado Rockies

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DOs And DONTs: Colorado Rockies

Posted on 10 February 2012 by Daniel Aubain

This edition of DOs And DON’Ts will focus on the 40-man roster of the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have been very active this offseason, tinkering with a roster that, as a whole, underachieved in 2011 despite having two of the game’s best offensive players as well as a bunch of very useful fantasy baseball options.

  • DO what you can to draft SS Troy Tulowitzki as the best shortstop option in the game. He’s currently being drafted with an ADP (average draft position) of 4.61 in mock drafts on MockDraftCentral.com and could easily give you a robust 5×5 return of .300/100/30/100/10 in 2012. Don’t forget, he stole 20 bases in 2009 but has steadily declined (11 in 2010; 9 in 2011) since then so keep the stolen base expectations low and be happily surprised if he runs more this season.
  • DON’T expect 1B Todd Helton to give you the production you need out of your primary first base option. He’ll give you a decent average and near 15 home runs as a corner infielder (CI), infielder (IF) or a utility player (UTL) in very deep, mixed league formats or NL-only ones with expanded rosters. With two season left on his current contract, look for the Rockies to start auditioning some younger guys (Tyler Colvin) as the season wears on with an eye on the future.
  • DO pair up OF Carlos Gonzalez with Tulo if you love the Rockies and love winning at fantasy baseball. CarGo gives you the exact same 5×5 line as Tulo (.300/100/30/100) except with the ability to steal 20+ bases. Injuries robbed him of some of his numbers in 2011 but you need to be drafting him under the assumption he’s healthy and ready to be an elite fantasy option in 2012.
  • DON’T invest a pick in any of the players in the mix at third base for the Rockies (Casey Blake; Chris Nelson, etc.) not named Nolan Arenado unless you’re in a dynasty league or another type with a minor league system built in. He may not make it to the majors in 2012 but is currently the future at this position for the Rox.
  • DO watch to see what positions 1B/OF Michael Cuddyer qualifies for in your league come draft day. He played 17 games at second base in 2011 and has the most fantasy impact at that position. RotoChamp.com projects a .274/71/18/75/9 line for him in 2012 and that would rank as the 12th-best option at second base.
  • DON’T rush to grab SP Jhoulys Chacin too early, no matter how much you love him as a sleeper. He’ll probably go undrafted in your standard 8-10 team shallow leagues and is currently notching an ADP of 192.21 on MockDraftCentral.com. His sub-4.00 ERA, 13+ Win potential and 175+ Strikeouts will definitely help you in deeper leagues but be aware of his career 4.2 BB/9, 1.89 K/BB and 1.31 WHIP. General Manager Dan O’Dowd has already called out Chacin for being overweight and not working hard this offseason. Stay tuned.
  • DO draft OF Dexter Fowler for his speed. After stealing 27 bases in 2009, he’s been sort of a let down on the base paths with only 13 steals in 2010 and 12 in 2011. Expect him to be a fixture in the leadoff spot for the Rockies in 2012 with the green light to run.
  • DON’T forget new CL Rafael Betancourt when drafting your closers. His high Strikeout numbers (10.5 K/9) coupled with rarely walking batters (1.2 BB/9) led to a superior K/BB ratio of 9.13 and a minuscule WHIP of 0.87 in 2011. It will be interesting to see how he performs during his first true shot as a team’s closer.
  • DO look for C Ramon Hernandez to have a successful first season in Colorado. Look for him to get 300-400 at bats and provide a dozen or so home runs with a batting average you can live with. He’s a “must own” in all two-catcher format leagues and and in NL-only leagues, where he’s possibly the 5th or 6th-best option (Brian McCann; Buster Posey; Miguel Montero; Yadier Molina; Jonathan Lucroy) behind the plate.
  • DON’T draft newly-acquired SP Jeremy Guthrie. He’s not much of a strikeout pitcher (5.5 K/9 career rate) and will probably be no better than he was with the Orioles.
  • DO keep an eye on 2B/SS Marco Scutaro this Spring. He could wind up being the Rockies everyday second baseman and hitting in the number two slot in the order. Again, he’s really only on your radar in NL-only or very deep, mixed leagues with additional roster spots for middle infielders.

The Rockies should continue to be competitive in the relatively weak NL West especially if an additional wild card team is added into the playoff mix for 2012. Keep an eye on some of the Spring battles surely to take place (third base; second base if Scutaro falters; starting pitching) for players who could climb into the “sleeper” category for those of you who draft later rather than sooner than most.

Be sure to leave a comment if I overlooked a player you have your eye on or one that I’ve over/under-valued. I’m very active on Twitter at @DJAubain talking mostly baseball but adding a certain level of snarkiness to my tweets most seem to appreciate and enjoy.

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