Tag Archive | "Target"

Three AL Players To Hate in 2013

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Three AL Players To Hate in 2013

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Patrick Hayes

We all have them, players we despise, that we wish to see fail, and 99% of the time for no apparent rhyme and or reason. That’s what this post is all about today. From a fantasy baseball perspective I’m placing this target on the back of three unsuspecting American League players. As I write this I have no idea who they will end up being, or what reasons I will come up with, but I guarantee that you’ll be with me by the end. Pitchers and batters alike, I’m playing no favorites.

Michael Bourn, Cleveland Indians, OF

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Face it, no one outside of Greater Cleveland wants to see this team do well. Their outfield no consists of three newcomers who were castoffs from their previous teams due to better acquisitions, continually failed expectations or just ugly mugs. Statistically speaking, Bourn sees his greatest success derive from his fleeted feet. He is a motor on the bases, stealing 40+ bases the past 5 years but that’s about it. Michael hits the ball into the ground over 50% of the time and will drive you bananas hoping for some stroke of power to emerge, it never will though. The main reason I’m hating him this year is because he reminds me of an outfielder that Cleveland had in their run in the 1990s, Kenny Lofton.

Jarrod Parker, Oakland Athletics, SP

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For starters, the spelling of his name, although unique, provides a solid foundation to build your dislike on. Jarrod is coming off a season in which he was a major contributor to an A’s team that overachieved greatly.  Although he spotted an appealing 3.47 ERA, his BB/9 ratio of 3.13 and is preventing him from reaching another tier of success. He strikes out a decent-ish 6.95 per 9, but face it, his whole repertoire is boring. He and the A’s will lull you to sleep when they play at home and do nothing to add excitement when they are visiting your home ballpark. It’s time for Parker and the A’s to step out of the spotlight and let the Rangers and Angels be the teams that tickle our fancy during the late Autumn Pennant Races this year.

Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, 1B

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Picking Mark was a bit of a surprise for me too. On the surface there isn’t too much to hate. He doesn’t cause a ruckus in the clubhouse, he stays out of the media frenzy in the Big Apple and comes off as a “good guy”. However, on the fantasy front, you won’t get anything out of him that resembles his production from a few years ago. His batting average has been a sliver of what it was in 2009 when he hit 39 HRs and batted in 122, hovering below .260 the past three years. Perhaps the short porch in right has become a distraction? Or is it his smug face that just beckons to have you shaking your fist at him? Either way, playing on “America’s Team” provides the deciding factor as to why I’m hating on him this year. This year he will be the second best first baseman playing in New York, Ike Davis, your time is now.

What say you? Do you agree or disagree? Stay tuned for my National League version later this week.

Follow me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Players on the mend: 6 players returning from injury after the Break

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Players on the mend: 6 players returning from injury after the Break

Posted on 12 July 2012 by T.J. McDonald

With this being the eve of the second half of the baseball season, today I will be profiling six players returning from injury either immediately or shortly after the All Star break. Some of these players may be on your own team’s disabled list. Others may be good trade targets and some of them may even be available for pick up via your league’s waiver wire. All of these players can help and impact any fantasy team for the remainder of the fantasy season.

The first three players profiled below could quite possibly be available on your league’s waiver wire for pick up with the next three either returning from your DL or could be a strong potential trade target with their owners possibly becoming frustrated with the players injury woes this season.

Lorenzo Cain- OF Kansas City Royals, percent owned: 2% ESPN, 7% Yahoo & 27% CBS

Cain was highly touted coming into the season having had a great AAA season last year, hitting .312, 16 SBs,16 HRs and 81 RBIs and following this up with a strong spring.  Expectations were high in Kansas City for him entering the year as the starting CF but unfortunately things have not gone as hoped. Five games into the season he was injured running into the center field fence in Oakland  and  has been on the DL ever since.  His initial injury was a left groin strain, then tearing his hip flexor in the same left leg while on his initial rehab assignment in April, causing him to be placed on the 60 day DL.  He seems to finally be healthy and after a recent rehab assignment where things seemed to have gone well, he was activated from the 60 day DL and is scheduled to make a full return and start Friday, Kanas City Royals first game after the All Star break. He is under 10% on Yahoo, ESPN & CBS and it is highly likely he is available on your league’s wavier wire and could be a valuable waiver wire pick up for those needing immediate outfield. Projected return July 13th.

Neftali Feliz- SP/RP Texas Rangers, percent owned: 37.8% ESPN, 40% Yahoo & 76% CBS

Feliz was converted from the team’s closer to a starting pitcher this season. While things started off fairly well, on May 21st he was placed on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation and has been on the DL ever since. Feliz was lights out as a closer and had 40 Saves and 32 SVs in 2010 and 2011 respectively.  He was 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA, 37 Ks and 23 Walks starting this season.  He recently threw a bullpen session July 7th and seems to be on track for a late July return.  At this time it is unclear if he will return as a starter or a reliever. With him being under 41% owned in both Yahoo & ESPN, there is a possibility he will be available on your league’s waiver wire. While his ownership is higher on CBS he could be a strong trade target if the owner is worried about his uncertain role upon  return. One thing to keep an eye on is what role he will  return to. If he returns as a starter as all indications are recently pointing to, he is a good fantasy play. Even if he returns strictly in a relief role in leagues that count holds, he will still be a valuable asset. He is scheduled to throw to live batting today and if there are no setbacks he is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment and pitch two innings this Sunday the 15th of July with anther three innings Sunday the 18th of July. Projected return late July.

Lance Berkman- 1B/OF St. Louis Cardinals, percent owned: 58.7% ESPN, 64% Yahoo & 82% CBS

Berkman had a great bounce back season last year hitting .301, 31 HRS and 94 RBIs.  After bouncing back from his 2010 struggles many thought he was back to his old form with many websites even having him ranked in their preseason top 100.  However 13 games into the season he went down with a torn meniscus in his right knee.  After surgery and an extensive rehab of the knee he is projected to begin a rehab assignment after the break with a return shortly after. Berkman has recently stated he would not need a rehab assignment but the team has announced he will be going on one before returning to the club. Although he is 58% owned  or higher there is a chance he may be available via your league’s waiver wire or could make for a good seond half trade target. Projected return late July early August.

Carl Crawford- OF Boston Red Sox, percent owned: 71% Yahoo, 80.8% ESPN & 88% CBS

By now most of you know the problems Crawford has had in the last year and a half since he signed his 7 year $142 million contract before last season.  He has only played in a total of 130 games  in 2011 & 2012, missing 32 games last year while hitting only .255  and has missed all of this year so far.  However in 2010 he hit .307, 47 SBs, 19HRs & 90 RBIs.  It is also important to mention he was very durable prior to last year. He had wrist surgery in the off season that caused him to miss the start of the season with his elbow also feeling discomfort at this same time. He was recently diagnosed with a sprained UCL, an injury that will most likely require minor to possibly major surgery this off season, with most even predicting Tommy John surgery.  He recently embarked on a rehab assignment but did have a minor setback unrelated to his UCL sprain: a tweaked groin He is expected to be back rehabbing in Pawtucket today. With him being over 70 % owned he is probably not available on your league’s waiver wire but there is a small chance he may be, also being a high risk high-reward trade target especially in dynasty/keeper leagues. His owner could be becoming frustrated with his poor play last year and injury woes this season. Projected return July 16th.

Emilio Bonifacio- 3B/SS/OF Miami Marlins, percent owned: 76% Yahoo, 88% CBS & 90.8% ESPN

Bonifacio is coming off his best season in the big leagues hitting .296, 5Hr, 36 RBis and 40 SBs last year. In 39 games this season he hit .268, 6 RBIs and 20 SBs with the 20 SBs leading the league at the time of his injury. He has been out of action since May 19th with  strained ligament damage in his left thumb which required surgery. While Bonifacio is over 75% owned and won’t be available on most league’s waiver wire, he would make a strong trade target as he is eligible at 3B, SS and OF and is a strong source of steals for teams needing help in the steals category. He is projected to return Friday, July 13th.

Jacoby Ellsbury- OF Boston Red Sox, percent owned: 94% Yahoo, 98% CBS & 99.7% ESPN

Ellsbury is coming off a career year. Last year he hit .321, 39 SBs, 32 HR and 105 RBIs and finished 2nd in the American League MVP voting. This year, however, has not been the same, he struggled out of the gate hitting only .192, 3RBIS with zero HRs and SBs. He then sustained a dislocated shoulder only 7 games into the season and has not played since.  While Ellsbury could now be considered injury prone with this being his second major injury in three years, he should come back 100% healthy and contribute to the Red Sox immediately. His 20 day rehab assignment is set to expire July 19th but it was announced Tuesday that he would be activated Friday, July 13th. Being 94% owned or higher he will not be available via your waiver wire but would be a solid buy low trade target, as well as big boost to any team that is currently stashing them on their DL. Projected return July 13th, July 19th at the latest.

Whether the players listed above are available on your leagues waiver wire, coming off your own DL or are a trade target for your roster, they all should be back very shortly after the break and can strongly impact any and all fantasy teams. Feel free to comment in the comments section and as always feel free to follow me on twitter @FantasyzrTJ to continue this discussion as well as getting updates on fantasy baseball and baseball in general.

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Time To Pounce On Jhonny Peralta

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Time To Pounce On Jhonny Peralta

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Bryan Geary

Shortstop is not an especially deep position this season — not that it ever is — and that means now is a great time to hunt for value at that spot. While the ESPN Player Rater is not a perfect tool, it is telling that only one shortstop ranks in the top 20 (Starlin Castro) and only two rank in the top 40 (Hanley Ramirez, Rafael Furcal). With Troy Tulowitzski’s groin injury and Emilio Bonifacio likely not back until after the break, owners will be looking for help, or perhaps just an upgrade. Jhonny Peralta can be that help.

Peralta’s 2011 campaign (.299/.345/.478, 21 HR) made him a top 10 shortstop and a target for many in their drafts for 2012. He did not do much to live up to the expectations over the first month of the season, hitting a dismal .236/.273/.347 without a home run in March and April. This left many owners frustrated and as a result, Peralta is now available in nearly 47% of ESPN leagues. I will tell you right now that I think that number is way too high.

One of the more astounding stats that I have come across this year is that Peralta currently ranks 4th out of 165 qualified hitters in line drive percentage, at 29%. But for as many line drives as he has been hitting, he was not rewarded in the first two months of the season. His BABIP in March/April was .304 and that number shrunk to .262 in May. Both numbers are below his career average of .314 and paired with his line drive statistics, they are evidence of a hitter that was subject to poor luck in the early goings. The good news is that things seem to be turning around in a big way for Peralta. So far in June he is hitting .385/.444/.590 thanks to a much more friendly BABIP of .405 that has taken his season number to a more appropriate .310. This number is still below his career BABIP of .314, so it is fair to assume that he settles somewhere in this range for the rest of the season.

Another reason for Peralta’s early struggles was a dip in his ISO, which stands for isolated power (SLG%-AVG). This stat measures raw power by looking at extra base hits per at bat. According to Fangraphs, league average is right around .145. Last year Peralta had a .179 ISO, which ranks as above average, while this year he is back down to an average .146 mark. Since Peralta is not a base stealer, most of his value is derived from his power numbers. After having only 13 extra base hits in his first 46 games, Peralta already has 6 in 12 games in May. While he is not going to reach 21 home runs again this season,  I would bet on 15, which is excellent from the shortstop position. All signs point to a strong second half from Peralta, so scoop him up now, especially if you are a Tulo owner.

One Overrated

Mike Aviles’ big start made him a must add early on for owners. He is currently 100% owned in ESPN leagues and ranked 6th on the Player Rater for shortstops. While Aviles has been good, I think owners should try to sell high before the fall. His season line remains respectable, especially the 8 home runs and 8 steals, but there is one glaring flaw that may spell doom. Aviles owns a walk rate of 2.9%, which is tied for 3rd worst among all qualified hitters. He makes plenty of contact (84%), but not many good hitters succeed without the ability to take a walk. Especially given that Aviles is on pace to play 161 games, easily a career high, pitchers are going to capitalize on his impatience. Over his last 43 games, he has drawn only 3 walks and is hitting .261/.269/.349. Get something for him while you can.

One Underrated 

I like Alcides Escobar, especially if you need help with average and stolen bases. He probably will not be a top 10 offensive shortstop in fantasy, but in deeper leagues I think he can be a nice asset. His .291 average ranks 4th among qualified shortstops as do his 12 stolen bases. While he has been helped by .348 BABIP which is 55 points higher than his career average, he is also hitting more line drives — 25% this year as compared to 20% in his career. If you have enough power on your roster, you could do a lot worse than Escobar as a Tulo fill-in or middle infield depth. He is also available in 57% of ESPN leagues so he is likely available in your league.

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Ozzie is at it again – This time without a Twitter character count!

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Ozzie is at it again – This time without a Twitter character count!

Posted on 20 May 2012 by Trish Vignola

You haven’t had a good week of baseball, if you haven’t gotten a little bit of crazy courtesy of Ozzie Guillen.

Does he’s go too far? Absolutely.

Do I make my bread and butter talking about it myself? Yup.

If there’s one thing I love writing about more than Roger Clemens, it’s Ozzie Guillen’s big mouth.

I still mourn the fact he ditched his twitter account.

Sans a 143 character count, Ozzie Guillen is still providing us with plenty of material. This time his target is not a significant section of Miami’s population. He is going after something just as big and just as ludicrous – Miami Heat Superstar, Dwyane Wade.

Wade may not be on Guillen’s team. He may not play his sport for that matter. Nonetheless, Guillen has never met a problem he didn’t want to butt in to.

Ozzie Guillen is apparently unhappy how Wade behaved towards the Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra after Thursday’s loss. Wade had a heated altercation with Spolestra during the third quarter of a 19-point loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game Three. Wade had only five points on 2-for-13 shooting as they fell behind 2-1 in the series.

Sigh. So much for Guillen’s promise to keep his non-baseball opinions to himself. Was Wade out of line? Absolutely. Nevertheless, is it actually necessary to take this outside?

“Players have to understand what kind of job we have,” Ozzie said. “Some players think they know baseball more than you do. But they can [only control] what they do on the field. They don’t know what we’re thinking. They don’t know what kind of moves we make.”

“I would kick his [butt],” Guillen said. “Listen, we’ve got a job to do. I’m not going to say I’m going to kick his [butt], because they’re bigger than me, and I’m older. But I would take my chances.”

That’s right Mr. Guillen. He’s bigger than you. He’s younger than you and now you are starting to sound like my crazy dad when we’re stuck in traffic on the Lincoln Tunnel helix. I highly recommend you don’t take your chances.

We all know Ozzie is talking to hear himself talk. Spolestra (the coach this actually happened to) isn’t even making the incident an issue. “That happens,” Spoelstra said. “Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen. That was during a very emotional part of the game. We were getting our butt kicked. Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season.” Wade brushed it off in the locker room as if it never happened.

Here’s the funny part. The Heat were having a meltdown a midst the playoffs. Does that happen? Absolutely. Come to think of it, when was the last time the Marlins or Guillen have a team in the playoffs? Maybe it’s time to worry about your problems at hand, instead of acting like “The Simpsons” Barney Gumble after one too many at Moe’s. (Remember what he did to Wade Boggs in “Homer at the Bat”? see image above)

I’m starting to think that asking Ozzie Guillen to kill his twitter account as well as to keep his non-baseball opinions to himself was too much. It’s like asking a bird not to fly… or me not to shop. I know, let’s set up a Friendster account for him and keep him out of trouble. He can chat all the heck he wants and no one of us will be on there to care.

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Cardboard Hunters: How to collect

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Cardboard Hunters: How to collect

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Jared Thatcher

When it comes to baseball cards, there are many different ways to collect them. Collections can be comprised of a favorite player, a favorite team, an entire set, only graded cards, a rookie collection, cards from a certain era, cards of players who have accomplished a certain feat (3000 hit club), autograph cards, etc. Some of these collections are becoming harder and harder to collect as card makers continue to produce low-numbered inserts that are hard to get a hold of.

I have dabbled in most of these collecting methods but currently, I am on a mission to collect every Ryan Roberts card ever produced. According to Beckett, there are 46 Ryan Roberts cards out there from companies like Upper Deck and Topps. I chose to start collecting Roberts cards because he has so few cards and I thought it would be a great place to start. Roberts is also my favorite player because I thoroughly enjoy his hustle on the field and the emotion he shows during all nine innings. So far, I have collected 13 of his 47 (I found a minor league card of his NOT listed on Beckett) cards, or 28%. I could probably own more than this but I haven’t pulled the trigger on the recent Topps card parallels from Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us yet. That would easily add another 6 cards to my collection but they are easy to come by so I’m not worried. The hardest part of this collection is finding the low serial numbered cards. Roberts was first seen in 2006 Upper Deck (which I have) and he also has a 2006 Upper Deck Gold #ed/99 (which I also have). In 2006 Roberts also had a rookie card in the Topps 52 set that was designed to look like the old Topps 1952 set. In this set he has a base card (have), a chrome card #ed/1952 (have), a chrome gold refractor #ed/52 (don’t have), and a chrome refractor #ed/552 (have). I just missed out on the chrome gold refractor on eBay the other night. I believe it went for north of $7 and the auction ended while I was sleeping (dang it). The hardest cards that I am attempting to acquire are the 2011 and 2012 Topps Printing Plates. They were randomly inserted in packs and they are numbered 1/1. ONE OF ONE!?!? How the heck am I supposed to get these? What if the pack holding this 1/1 card is never even opened?!?! Anyway, I figure these will be the hardest to come by and will probably cost a pretty penny when I do find them. Over the last two years Roberts has averaged about 20 cards a year spread out over different sets. That said, if you have any Roberts cards, please contact me because I want them! Thanks.

I first started collecting cards by putting together entire sets. My dad gave me a partial Topps 1970 set that I absolutely love. It has some very obscure players in it but also has a great looking Roberto Clemente card and a few good roookies. I intended to put together two sets and give one to my little brother and keep one for myself. You can buy the whole completed set for between $900 and $1100 on eBay but I figured it would be much more fun to build it myself. I will be truthful and tell you that I soon gave up. There are so many cards in the set and putting it together piece by piece soon became very expensive and time consuming. Putting together more recent sets is easier and I was able to collect the whole 2012 Topps Series 1 set with a hobby box and a few blasters. If you are a set collector, I applaud you. I understand how hard it can be and I respect you for having the passion and patience to do it.

Now let’s talk about a much easier and fun collection that is quickly catching on. This set it called The Trifecta. The idea is to collect 3 cards of a certain player; a rookie card, an on card autograph, and a memorabilia card. Some people want the cards to all be signed, some people want them to all be graded, but that is what’s great about this way of collecting, it’s easy and customizable! Collecting a Trifecta will allow you collect cards from lots of different players and are easy to “complete”. Some players do not have game-used memorabilia cards (like Roberts) but most have at least and autographed card and a rookie card. This is a fun and easy way to collect some of your favorite players and allows for you to show off your collection very easily.

If you want to talk cards and collecting tweet me @Jared_Thatcher or leave a comment below. I’m always looking for Ryan Roberts cards and the rookie cards from Hall of Famers for my collection.

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