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Down On The Farm: Arizona Fall League Part 1, Mesa Solar Sox

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Down On The Farm: Arizona Fall League Part 1, Mesa Solar Sox

Posted on 05 September 2012 by Blake Murphy

With most minor leagues winding down to playoff time, September generally brings one of two big pieces of news for prospects – a September call-up to the Majors, or an assignment to the Arizona Fall League. Running through October and November, the AFL operates as a league of extra seasoning for top prospects, and is usually a haven for scouts and prospect junkies alike. With few time-relevant minor league updates to make throughout September, the focus of Down On The Farm, for the next few weeks at least, will shift  to the Arizona Fall League rosters.

An assignment to the roster is definitely a positive for a player, though many top prospects are not sent due to the scarcity of roster spots, innings limits, commitments to native countries, and more, so a non-assignment is certainly not an indictment on a player. The league has six teams, so for each of the next sixweeks I will look at the rosters for one team at a time, hoping to shed light on the prospects sent from various teams and what the assignment may mean for their development.

This week we start with the Mesa Solar Sox, the team affiliated with the Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Astros, and Dodgers.

Mesa Solar Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Michael Belfiore, LHP, 23 – 2.71 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) out of the bullpen, 78K in 66 IP. Extra work assignment.
Chris Petrini, LHP, 25 – 2.49 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) out of the bullpen, 81K in 83 IP. Extra work assignment.
Clay Schrader, RHP, 22 – 1.86 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) out of the bullpen, 68K and 51BB in 58 IP. Extra work assignment, control the likely focus.
Mike Wright, RHP, 22 – 4.06 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) over 20 starts, 22BB in 108 IP, .279 OPP AVG. Likely working on developing an out pitch.
Brian Ward, C, 26 – .592 OPS at AA, 1 HR, 24:24 BB:K in 161 AB. Punishment, perhaps?
Jonathan Schoop, 3B, 20 (ESPN #56, BP #85, BA #82) – .710 OPS at AA, 14 HR, 50:103 BB:K in 485 AB. Extra work assignment to continue accelerated development for AAA assignment in 2013.
L.J. Hoes, OF, 21 – .759 OPS over two levels (AA and AAA), 5 HR, 20 SB, 12 CS, 65:75 BB:K in 513 AB. Possible mechanical assignment to improve ISO, potential 5th OF in 2013.

Chicago Cubs
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, 23 – 4.81 ERA over 26 starts at AA, 78K in 142 IP, .298 OPP AVG. Extra work assignment to accelerate slow development.
Kevin Rhoderick, RHP, 24 – 4.99 ERA out of the bullpen at AA, 53:47 K:BB in 57 IP. Extra work assignment, control the likely focus.
Zach Rosscup, LHP, 24 – 3.45 ERA over three levels (AA peak), 45K in 31 IP. Extra work assignment to recuperate time lost to injury.
Nicholas Struck, RHP, 22 – 3.18 ERA over 26 starts at AAA, 123K in 155 IP, .238 OPP AVG. Assignment a potential audition for 2013 rotation spot and to continue gradual workload increase to MLB level.
Tony Zych, RHP, 22 – 3.67 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA), 64K in 61 IP. Extra work assignment.
Javier Baez, SS, 19 (ESPN #95, BP #66, BA #61) – .888 OPS over two levels (A and A+), 16 HR, 24 SB, 14 BB in 293 AB. Struggled at A+, extra work assignment to continue development and recuperate time lost to injury.
Rubi Silva, OF, 23 – .727 OPS over two levels (A+ and AA), 15BB in 500 AB, 10SB, 18CS. Extra work assignment, likely focusing on plate discipline and baserunning.
Matthew Szczur, OF, 23 (BA #64) – .751 OPS over two levels (A and AA), 42SB, 14CS, 79:61 K:BB in 438 AB. Possible adjustments to improve ISO and contact ability.

Detroit Tigers
Tyler Clark, RHP, 23 – 1.62 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) out of the bullpen, 66L in 50 IP. Extra work assignment.
Matt Hoffman, LHP, 23 – 3.69 ERA out of the bullpen at AAA, 32:16 K:BB in 46 IP. Extra work assignment, likely working on an out pitch for potential 2013 promotion.
Michael Morrison, RHP, 24 – 3.14 ERA out of the bullpen at AA, 72:40 K:BB in 63 IP. Extra work assignment, likely focusing on control.
Luke Putkonen, RHP, 26 – 4.92 ERA out of the bullpen at AAA in 56 IP, with a 6.52 ERA in 10 IP MLB audition. Potential audition for 2013 bullpen role.
James McCann, C, 22 – .589 OPS over two levels (A+ and AA), 18BB in 380 AB. Extra work assignment, likely focusing on plate discipline and contact ability.
Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, 20 (ESPN #37, BP #71, BA #45) – Potential stud had 1.014 OPS at A+, struggled with .678 OPS at AA, striking out once per game. Assignment for further development of plate discipline and to further move to RF.
Aaron Westlake, 1B , 23 – .711 OPS at A over 465 AB. Extra work assignment to expedite development.

Houston Astros
Jared Cosart, RHP, 22 (ESPN #78, BP #48, BA #50) – 3.30 ERA over two levels (AA and AAA), 92:51 K:BB in 114 IP. Extra development time for potential 2013 rotation spot and to recuperate some time lost to injury.
Chia-Jen Lo, RHP, 26 – 0.90 ERA over two levels (A and A+), primarily out of the bullpen, 31:6 K:BB in 30 IP. Extra development time to recuperate time lost to injury.
Alex Sogard, LHP, 25 – 3.62 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) out of the bullpen, 52K in 69 IP. Extra development time, likely working on out pitch.
Jiovanni Mier, SS, 22 – .805 OPS at A+, 34:39 K:BB in 171 AB. Extra development time to recuperate time lost to injury.
Jonathan Singleton, 1B, 20 (ESPN #46, BP #73, BA #34) – .893 OPS, 21HR, 7SB, 131:88 K:BB in 461 AB at AA. Extended development to prepare for AAA in 2013 with potential MLB call-up.
Bobby Borchering, OF, 21 – .756 OPS across three levels (AA peak), 24HR, 159K in 479 AB. Has profile of Quad-A hitter eventually, will likely work to improve contact, possibly at the expense of some power.
George Springer, OF, 22 (ESPN #60, BP #49, BA #59) – .955 OPS at A+, 22HR and 28SB in 433 AB, though struggled to .630 OPS in 22 AA games. Extra work to expedite development, could reach AAA in 2013.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Eric Eadington, LHP, 24 – 3.63 ERA over three levels (AA peak), 77K in 67 IP. Extra work assignment to build on successful season and continue expedited development.
Red Patterson, RHP, 25 – 3.07 ERA at AA out of the bullpen, 71K in 70m IP. Extra work assignment, preparing for AAA assignment in 2013.
Steven Rodriguez, LHP, 21 – 0.92 ERA over two levels (A+ and AA) out of the bullpen, 32K in 19 IP. Continuation of expedited development for 2012 draftee touted as Major League ready.
Andres Santiago, RHP, 22 – 3.69 ERA across two levels (A+ and AA), primarily starting, 122K in 112 IP. Extra work to increase season inning load as building block for 2013 at AAA.
Gorman Erickson, C, 24 – .673 OPS at AA, 56:44 K:BB in 274 AB.. Extra work to recuperate time lost to injury.
Rafael Ynoa, 2B, 25 – .715 OPS, 23SB at AA. Extra work to expedite what has been a slow development.
Joc Pederson, OF, 20 – .913 OPS, 18HR, 26SB, 14CS in 434 AB at A+. Great season to be put closer under the microscope, with a likely promotion to AA in 2013.
Yasiel Puig, OF, 21 – 1.076 over two levels (R and A+), 5HR, 8SB in just 82 AB. Extra work to further development, as he was just signed out of Cuba in late June.

I should reiterate that these assignments should be taken in the vain I tried to explain – for some, it is extra grooming for promotions, while for others it is simply extra work for the sake of extra work. The top prospects are the ones to keep an eye on, and hopefully over the next few weeks Down On The Farm can help to highlight who to focus on as you see the scouting reports and stat lines begin to trickle in.

Follow me on Twitter, @BlakeMurphyODC.

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Finding Keepers: San Francisco Giants

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Finding Keepers: San Francisco Giants

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Aaron Somers

Pitching is king when it comes to the San Francisco Giants, as the team is led by a pair of aces most other teams would love to have. But ever since the Giants’ World Series winning run in 2010 the organization has been striving to get back there, attempting to assemble a reliable (and consistent) offense while integrating some youth for the organization’s minor league system. But amid all that roster turnover, are there any viable keepers on this roster?

SP Tim Lincecum and SP Matt Cain are unquestionably the first names for this, or any similar list. Lincecum has thrown 200+ innings, won 13+ games, and struck out 200+ batters in each of the past four seasons, winning a pair of Cy Young Awards in the process. Meanwhile, Cain offers similar innings totals and an equally impressive ERA, but isn’t quite the dominant strikeout pitcher his teammate is. If you can get your hands on either player in your league, it’s a move worth making.

C Buster Posey is another easy choice, regardless of the positional scarcity. When he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2010 he hit .305/.357/.505 with 18 HR and 67 RBI. It seems safe to assume that in time he could be even better. He just needs to stay healthy and avoid any detrimental collisions at the plate.

SP Madison Bumgarner is coming off a big 2011 season in which he went 13-13 with a 3.21 ERA in 204.1 innings. The left-hander proved in his first full season that he’s capable of being a reliable and quality Major League starter. Control has proven to be an asset for him, as he struck out 191 in 2011 versus a mere 46 walks, and could make him an asset to your fantasy baseball lineup under the right league setup.

OFs Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan are two names worth keeping an eye on, as they offer a fair combination of power (HR, 2B) and speed (SB). Neither is really worth a keeper selection, particularly with how deep the outfield class tends to be each year.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@BlogFTBleachers) for more of my thoughts on the great game of baseball. You can also follow my coverage of the Washington Nationals at District on Deck and the game as a whole at Blogging From The Bleachers.

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bmccann_braves

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Finding Keepers: Atlanta Braves

Posted on 14 March 2012 by Daniel Aubain

Most generic fantasy baseball leagues utilizing the ” keepers” feature are going to allow each team to keep “x” number of players from the previous year’s roster. I’ve seen most leagues keep five players per team and most of those leagues had 12 teams. So doing the math, we’re talking about 60 players for a league of that size. Following this logic deeper, players being targeted as keepers should probably be ranked somewhere within the top 75 players (top 100 if you keep a player based on position scarcity).

Now I’ve seen dynasty leagues with minor league systems in place or auction leagues that assign a value to each player you keep. I’ve even seen intricate formulas used based on what round or price you paid in the previous year to calculate the cost of keeping a player on your roster for another season. This kind of keeper article can’t possible address all the factors needed to call a particular player a keeper over another. So we’ll go with the “inside the top 100″ strategy because a player ranked much lower than that can probably be targeted during the redrafting rounds if you really want them on your roster for another season.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at which players on the 2012 Atlanta Braves should be considered “keeper-worthy”.

OF Michael Bourn consistently brings your team Stolen Bases (50+) and Runs (90+) with a Batting Average (.270+) you can easily live with on your roster. I was surprised to see how differently he was ranked on the big three fantasy baseball sites: ESPN #35; Yahoo! #50; CBS #74. In any format, Bourn is a no-brainer keeper.

C Brian McCann is easily a top 5 fantasy baseball catcher, netting you 25 HR and 99 RBI per 162 games played over his seven year career. You can expect another .270+/20+ HR/80+ RBI season and should definitely consider locking him up as a keeper for 2012. Here are his rankings on the big three fantasy sites: ESPN #69; Yahoo! #86; CBS #41.

2B Dan Uggla frustrated his fantasy owners in the first half of 2011 with a measly .185 BA but rewarded the ones who stuck around for the .296/21/48 second half. It’s hard to stay away from a top 5 second baseman with 30+ HR/90+ RBI/90+ Runs potential, even at the cost of a sub-.260 Batting Average. His fantasy rankings are as follows: ESPN #42; Yahoo! #103; CBS #103. I’d target Uggla as a keeper for his power numbers as a second baseman but would be pairing him up with a high average/stolen base guy to fill the holes in his game.

RP Craig Kimbrel is definitely the first closer coming off the board in drafts with an ADP of 57.73 and with good reason. His 14.8 K/9 and 3.97 K/BB ratios, 127 Strikeouts in 77 Innings Pitched and 46 Saves are enough to justify him as a keeper, for sure. So if you’re thinking of keeping a closer and own Kimbrel, do it. He’s ranked: ESPN #62; Yahoo! #114; CBS #39.

Best of the rest but not a keeper

3B/OF Martin Prado should chip in a dozen Home Runs and a .290 Batting Average but with an ADP of 190.22, you can easily target him late in the drafts if you must own him.

3B Chipper Jones has fantasy value but only in deeper or very shallow NL-Only types. You can hope for 125 games played and around 15 Home Runs. Hope. With an ADP of 234.88, there’s no reason to target him as anything more waiver help.

OF Jason Heyward let fantasy owners down in 2011 but look for him to turn things around in 2012. Look for a return to the 20 HR and 12 SB range for him. Unfortunately there is risk involved, so you wouldn’t want to use a keeper on him. His ADP of 109.90 means he should be on your radar by the 8th or 9th rounds and you’ll probably have a few owners steering clear out of fear.

NL Rookie of the Year runner-up 1B Freddie Freeman posted great numbers in 2011 and should be in line for more of the same (.280/80/25/80/5) but most sites have him ranked somewhere around the 15th-best option at first base. That’s not keeper-worthy but definitely a fine option at first base to target around the 10th round according to his ADP of 121.97.

SP Brandon Beachy burst onto the scene in 2011 with a 7-3 record, 3.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP with a 10.7 K/9 and 3.67 K/BB ratios. With an ADP of 114.51, he should be a target to occupy a spot on your pitching staff, just not as a keeper.

SP Tommy Hanson missed the final eight weeks of 2011 with a rotator cuff injury and is coming into 2012 working on a revamped delivery. Nothing about this seems like positive news. Not only is he not a keeper, I’d be weary of drafting him at all this season.

Does your league use a unique keeper system that makes these or any other Braves’ players keeper-worthy heading into your 2012 drafts? If so, I’d love to hear all about it. Leave a comment so we can all appreciate the complexity some leagues use.

Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain and Full Spectrum Baseball @FullSpectrumBB.

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Players with power and speed you should be targeting on draft day

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Players with power and speed you should be targeting on draft day

Posted on 09 March 2012 by Daniel Aubain

Standard fantasy baseball leagues use five basic statistics as offensive scoring categories (AVG, R, HR, RBI, SB) and finding the players who will contribute across most categories, if not all, should be your primary objective while those types of players are still available in the drafting pool. But what if I told you which of the two statistics  you should be paying attention to more than the others that would pay off dividends in all five categories?

Targeting players who provide both power and speed is a strategy sure to pay off, if done right. Only 24 players had 15 or more home runs and 15 or more stolen bases in 2011 and produced an average 5×5 line of .273/95/24/83/25. Not too shabby. It’s  quite the collection of players but some of the names on the list may surprise you.

The Elites (30/30 potential)

OF Matt Kemp (39 HR/40 SB), OF Jacoby Ellsbury (32 HR/39 SB), OF Curtis Granderson (41 HR/25 SB), OF Ryan Braun (33 HR/33 SB) and 2B Ian Kinsler (32 HR/30 SB) are serious candidates to go 30/30 in 2012. Kemp (ADP 2.18), Braun (ADP 4.65) and Ellsbury (ADP 9.30) are all being drafted in the first round, so you’ll probably only get a shot at one of these players unless Ellsbury were to fall to the turn (12th pick).

Imagine pairing up one of these first-round elites with a second-round pick of Kinsler (ADP 24.04). Personally, I’d go for Kinsler over Granderson (ADP 19.93) simply because of position scarcity. Coming out of the first two rounds of your draft with a cornerstone outfielder and elite second baseman who can combine to go 60/60-plus is how you start build a winning fantasy baseball team.

The Very Good (25/25 potential)

OF B.J. Upton (23 HR/36 SB), OF Justin Upton (31 HR/21 SB), 2B Dustin Pedroia (21 HR/26 SB), OF Carlos Gonzalez (26 HR/20 SB) and OF Andrew McCutchen (23 HR/23 SB) all came close to a 25/25 season in 2011 and nothing in their respective games suggest they can’t come close to or achieve these same numbers or better in 2012. OF Drew Stubbs (15 HR/40 SB) is a player who’s averaged 21 HR and 37 SB per 162 games played so far in his young career. A low batting average (.251 career average) and high strikeout rate (28.9% of the time) are red flags to his game but you shouldn’t ignore his 3-category potential (R, HR,SB).

This group, just like The Elites, is made up of outfielders and a second baseman. Dustin Pedroia (ADP 19.62) is being drafted before Kinsler, which means depending on your draft slot, you still have a shot to pair up one of these second baseman with your elite outfielder. CarGo (ADP 14.52) should be available on the turn and could easily elevate his game enough to join The Elites.

B.J. Upton (ADP 64.36) could be the biggest bargain of the bunch as a fifth or sixth-round target. He’s a similar risk to your batting average (.257 career average) as Stubbs but there’s no denying his fantasy eliteness when it comes to power and speed combos. If you’re targeting him for your team, just don’t get stuck pairing him up with other low-average hitters.

Justin Upton (ADP 9.40) and Andrew McCutchen (ADP 26.12) join Gonzalez as the players in this group most likely to take their game to 30/30 level of The Elites.

 The Good (20/20 potential)

OF Chris Young (20 HR/22 RBI), OF Jayson Werth (20 HR/19 SB), 2B/OF Ben Zobrist (20 HR/19 SB), 2B Danny Espinosa (21 HR/17 SB), OF Melky Cabrera (18 HR/20 SB), 2B/3B Ryan Roberts (19 HR/18 SB) and OF Shane Victorino (17 HR/19 SB) all showed the coveted 20/20 potential fantasy owners should be looking for in the draft.

This group includes the third, fourth and fifth second base-eligible players (of 24) as well as a shortstop and a third baseman, all at a significant discount than what you’ll be paying for earlier in the draft. Danny Espinosa is a batting average risk (.232 career average in the majors) but did hit .270 overall in the minors. If he can get that average up to an “acceptable” range (.260′s), Espinosa would be a steal (no pun intended) with an ADP of 147.19.

Chris Young (ADP 122.23) has averaged 24 HR and 21 SB per 162 games over his young career but his .240 career batting average brings a level of risk to your team’s scoring category (are we seeing a pattern here?). Jayson Werth (ADP 96.52) has averaged 29 HR and 20 SB over his last four seasons in a full-time role with an acceptable .267 batting average. Shane Victorino (ADP 72.95) has never reached the 20 HR mark in his career but has come close over the last two seasons (18 in 2010; 17 in 2011). He’ll be a free agent after this season unless the Phillies lock him up to a long-term deal, so we could see a career year from him. Ben Zobrist (ADP 78.79) has averaged 21 HR and 22 SB over the last three seasons in a full-time role, so continue to expect the same from him in 2012.

Melky Cabrera came close to a 20/20 season virtually out of nowhere, so it’s hard to gauge if this will be his new norm or simply a statistically anomaly. I’d bet for something on the higher end of a 15/15 season and with an ADP of 175.39, there’s little risk as a fourth or fifth outfield option.

Ryan Roberts is another “out of the blue” 20/20 threat but what makes him so attractive in fantasy baseball is his 2B/3B eligibility and relatively low risk (ADP 195.56) .

The Best of the Rest (15/15 potential)

SS Jimmy Rollins (16 HR/30 SB), SS Asdrubal Cabrera (25 HR/17 SB), OF Jeff Francoeur (20 HR/22 SB), OF Alex Gordon (23 HR/17 SB), 2B Kelly Johnson (21 HR/16 SB) and OF Johnny Damon (16 HR/19 SB) round out the list of 24 players who accomplished at least a 15/15 season in 2011.

Jimmy Rollins (ADP 88.70) has averaged 17 HR and 37 SB over his career, so his value is with his speed over power. The Phillies are looking old as a team, so expect Rollins to provide a majority of the offensive spark in 2012.

If you’re still looking for a value at second base, be sure to target Kelly Johnson (ADP 240.21) in the late rounds for his 20/15 potential. He could find himself near the top of the Blue Jays lineup and nothing about that would be bad news to his fantasy baseball owners.

Alex Gordon (ADP 61.01) has averaged 20 HR and 13 SB in has career so far, so 20/20 might be a stretch. That’s okay, though. Fantasy owners have been waiting since 2008 for a return to productiveness as a fantasy option and he finally came through. I’m waiting a year to see if he can duplicate or surpass his 2011 numbers.

I’m less than optimistic that Asdrubal Cabrera (ADP 75.67) and Jeff Francoeur (191.00) can reproduce (or exceed) their 2011 numbers since neither has a history of 15/15 or better. The only reason I’d be targeting these two players is because Cabrera plays a premium fantasy position (SS) and Francoeur comes at a low-cost draft position. Oh, and I guess Johnny Damon needs a job before he’ll be fantasy baseball-relevant in 2012.

Other Power/Speed Threats for 2012

2B Aaron Hill (ADP 231.49) had 36 HR in 2009 and 21 SB in 2011. Deeper league players should think about drafting him as late as possible and seeing what the month of April brings. Is 15/15 really out of the realm of possibility?

OF Jason Heyward (108.92) slumped miserably in 2011 but is a 20 HR/15 SB season out of reach for this 22 year old?

Per 162 games played over his young career, OF Adam Jones (ADP 74.38) has averaged 19 HR and 11 SB. Now is the time for him to step up and take his game into the 25/15 club. It would be a lot easier to invest a sixth-round pick in him if he weren’t on the Orioles.

OF Carl Crawford (ADP 40.95) flopped in his first season with the Boston Red Sox but still managed to produce an 11 HR/18 SB season. A wrist injury will slow the start of his 2012 season but I’m betting he returns to form with a season of at least 15 HR and 30 SB. His high draft position would scare me away from drafting him, though.

OF Alex Rios (ADP 216.40) produced a 21 HR/34 SB season in 2010 before dropping off to a 13 HR/11 SB season in 2011. Split the difference with a 17 HR/22 SB campaign in 2012? There’s not a whole lot of risk involved to find out the answer.

2B Brandon Phillips (ADP 60.38) missed the 15/15 club in 2011 by one stolen base. He’s averaged 20 HR and 22 SB per 162 games in his career and should see a return to those levels playing for a new, long-term deal.

OF Shin-Soo Choo (ADP 62.56) had back-to-back 20/20 seasons in 2009/2010 before and injury-riddled 2011. Look for him to return to form in 2012. Teammate 2B Jason Kipnis (ADP 165.18) had 7 HR and 5 SB in 36 games played in 2011, so a 15/15 season seems realistic for 2012.

1B Eric Hosmer (ADP 54.02) produced a 19 HR/11 SB season in just 128 games in his rookie season and could provide a 25 HR/15 SB during his sophomore campaign. That kind of power/speed combo is rare for first basemen these days. Are you sold on him in the fifth round?

Los Angeles Angels teammates 2B Howie Kendrick (ADP 104.28) and OF Peter Bourjos (ADP 131.59) each just missed going at least 15/15 in 2011 and should both be considered locks to join this group in 2012.

SS Hanley Ramirez (ADP 20.34) has lots to prove heading into 2012 after an underwhelming 2011. He’s averaged 25 HR/41 SB per 162 games over his career and should be a top target if you are buying into my power/speed drafting strategy. Oh, and the third base eligibility coming soon makes him even more valuable to fantasy baseballers.

OF Angel Pagan (ADP 165.25) and OF Andres Torres (ADP 314.34) were traded for each other this offseason and each have the potential to provide 10 HR and 30 SB. Could either step it up the power and go 15/25 in 2012? I’ll be targeting them BOTH in late rounds of my deeper leagues.

Will moving the fences in at CitiField help 3B David Wright (ADP 32.70) return to the upper ranks of fantasy baseball greatness? He’s averaged 27 HR and 22 SB over his career and should be able to put a disappointing 2011 season behind him.

If any catcher were to make a run at the 15/15 club, Russell Martin (ADP 250.24) would have to be that guy. I don’t see it happening but if you’re a “punt the catcher position” strategy type, grab him late hope the speed returns. He did go 18/8 in 2011.

It doesn’t look like OF Domonic Brown (ADP 266.77) will get a chance to show his stuff full time in the crowded Phillies outfield in 2012, so look for him to be on my 2013 list of 20/20 guys.

Pirates OF Alex Presley (ADP 258.50) had 4 HR (22 XBH) and 9 SB in 52 games in 2011 and could produce an under-the-radar 15/25 season hitting out of the #2 hole in front of McCutchen.

Now that OF Ichiro Suzuki (ADP 102.15) has been moved into the #3 slot in the Mariners batting order, could his power numbers increase too? Is a 15 HR/30 SB season a possibility? Thoughts?

2B Dustin Ackley (ADP 137.58) had 6 HR/6 SB in 90 games in 2011, which would have put him just under the 15/15 club. I like his chances at accomplishing this in 2012.

Could OF Desmond Jennings (ADP 56.34) really make a run at a 20 HR/45 SB season? Well his 10 HR and 20 SB in just 63 games in 2011 had him on pace for this type of monster season. I hope the Rays commit to him for 162 games so we can all find out. BUY NOW!

Okay. I get the hype over 3B Brett Lawrie (ADP 55.45). But I was shocked at what I saw on his projections page on RotoChamp.com. A 26/25 season coming in 2012? Really? Wow. He did have 9 HR and 7 SB in just 43 games, so this should be very interesting.

Targeting players who can provide you with both power (HRs) and speed (SBs) is a strategy worth looking into when deciding whether or not to draft Player X or Player Y. A 30 HR/0 SB player could cost you a lot in the early rounds whereas two 15/15 players should come relatively cheap later in the draft. Remember, fantasy baseball is about finding the statistics and the right combination of players to help you win NOW! So do yourself a favor. Please. Avoid Bryce Harper for 2012. He’ll help you win in 2013 or 2014. I promise.

NOTE: All ADP numbers are courtesy of MockDraftCentral.com and were accurate as of March 5th, 2012.

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