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DOs and DONTs: Atlanta Braves

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DOs and DONTs: Atlanta Braves

Posted on 04 March 2012 by Gary Marchese

The Atlanta Braves are coming off a miserable collapse.  Yes believe it or not the Boston Red Sox weren’t the only team that collapsed last year.  This is a look at their 40 man roster as we head into the 2012 season.  The other 29 teams in baseball have been covered by me and my colleagues so take a look at all 30 Dos and Don’ts before you draft your fantasy baseball team.  Here we go with the Atlanta Braves.

Do take a look at Jason Heyward.  He did have a bad year last year but he had a good rookie year and I would expect him to bounce back this year.  He still hit 14 homeruns last year after hitting 18 the year before.  I would expect him to be able to hit 20-25 consistently and bat around 275.  He suffered a sophomore slump but that is all behind him now and he is looking to have a productive 2012.

Don’t take Chipper Jones because of his name.  He has played regularly and with the Braves since 1995.  He has had a great career but he is getting older and just isn’t the same player.  He is still pretty productive though.  He hit 275 last year with 18 homeruns and 70 RBI.  He won’t play all the time though and is injury prone now.  If you take him your taking a big risk.

Do look at Dan Uggla for second base.  I wouldn’t put him at the top of my list but  he will give you great power from a position that doesn’t always do that.  Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Chase Utley are all better all around players but Uggla will provide huge power for your team.  Uggla last year hit 233 which was the lowest batting average of his career.  He still hit 36 homeruns though and drove in 82.  The lowest amount of homeruns he hit in a year was 27 with 82 being the lowest amount of runs driven in by him.  He is going to give you 25+ homeruns and 80+ RBI, that is good production from a second baseman.

Don’t look at Matt Diaz as anything more then a potential bench player.  He is a career 296 hitter but has never had more then 135 games played.  He also doesn’t hit for much power or drive in many runs.  13 homeruns and 58 RBI were his best numbers for a single season.

Do like what you see out of Freddie Freeman for a first baseman.  He could suffer a sophomore slump but especially in a keeper league he is a guy worth looking at.  Freeman last season hit 282 with a 346 on base percentage.  He had 21 homeruns and 76 RBI.  He is a monster of a guy and should be a good power first baseman for years to come.

Don’t go crazy over Jack Wilson.  He isn’t a bad player but he isn’t one of the top second baseman.  He is good with the glove but his career batting average is at 266, he won’t hit many homeruns or drive in many.  His best homerun year was 12 and the most RBI he had in a season was 62.  A decent player but nothing real special and on his own team I would take Uggla ahead of him.

Do take a look at Eric Hinske.  He is a veteran and if for nothing else a winner.  He always seems to be on the team that makes the World series although Atlanta had to collapse last season and ruin that for him a little.  He is a nice backup/bench player.  He is an outfielder with some pop and he is very good in the clutch.  He is worth taking a look at as an extra player.

Don’t know if I would take Tim Hudson.  He has been a good pitcher for a long time but he is getting older.  He is also coming off of back surgery and that is a red flag for me.  He may return to the Braves in May but that is risky.  He did have a good season last year going 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA.  In the last two years he has pitched a lot of innings.  He pitched 228 innings in 2010 and 215 last season.  He is a good pitcher but I wouldn’t take a risk with him right now.

Tommy Hanson is a very good young pitcher.  I would say Do take a good look at him.  The only concern I would have with him is that he did suffer a concussion in February in a car accident.  I don’t think it will affect him long term and he seems to be ok right now but you never know with a head injury.  I still wouldn’t mind him on my team especially in a keeper league where I can take good young players and have them on my team for years to come.

Don’t take Martin Prado on your team if your looking for power.  He is a guy that can hit for average but  he doesn’t have much power.  He isn’t going to drive in many runs for you either.  He isn’t going to steal bases at all either.  He is a guy to have on your team if your looking at only batting average.  I would pass on him though.  He is also a guy that the Braves talked about trading away.

Do take Michael Bourn especially if your looking to add speed to your team.  Bourn is an exciting young player to have.  Bourn in the last four years has stolen 41, 61, 52 and 61 bases in that order.  He has a career 271 batting average.  He isn’t going to hit homeruns or drive in runs but that isn’t his game.  I would especially take him if I am looking for speed and he would be a good backup player to have.

Don’t take too much of a look at the Braves bullpen other then their closer Craig Kimbrel.  He had good overall numbers but even he blew eight saves and contributed to the collapse.  I wouldn’t look to hard at their bullpen.

Do love what Brian McCann can bring to your team as a catcher.  He is a 286 career hitter and also has some power.  He will give you 20-25 homeruns and drive in 80+ runs.  That is very productive especially coming from the catchers position.

Jair Jurrjens is another guy I want to mention to finish this article up.  Jurrjens was in trade rumors this off-season.  He is a good young pitcher and I would say Do take him on your team.  Last season he was 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA.  He does have a bad right knee which has slowed him down, at the end of the last two seasons.  That would be my only real concern with him.  He is a guy that is at least worth looking at even as a reserve guy on your team.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and all the Dos and Don’ts that our team has done for you.  We have worked very hard to get all 30 teams to you before the fantasy drafts start in the next couple of weeks.  If you have any thoughts and anyone I may have missed please don’t hesitate to let me know.  You can comment under the article here on the website.  If you are a Twitter person like myself, you can reach me there @gmarchesej.

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DOs and DONTs: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

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DOs and DONTs: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Gary Marchese

Coming off a year where they didn’t make the postseason but they got back in the mix, the Angels have a very good team.  They have been one of the better teams in the American League over the past decade but had seen a decline in the last couple of years.  They are back in a big way with the signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.  This is a look at their 40 man roster in regards to fantasy baseball.  I hope you enjoy my article and all the other Dos and Don’ts that me and my colleagues have been working diligently on.

Do take Albert Pujols as your number one pick.  I know this is pretty obvious, I am sure some people would debate this a little but to me there is no other choice.  He has clearly moved to the top of the pack as the best player in baseball right now.  I wouldn’t start my team with anyone else.  Pujols last year hit 299 with 37 homeruns and 99 RBI.  That for him isn’t a great year, he got off to a slow start.  I would have him on top of my list for the number one pick if I could get it or at least the first pick I make.

Don’t make the same mistake the Angels made with Vernon Wells.  I wouldn’t go near this guy,  he isn’t even close to the same guy he was in Toronto.  I don’t know what happened to him but once he got to Anaheim he became a complete bust.  The Angels made a big mistake with him, don’t you do the same.  He hit 218 last year with 25 homeruns and 66 RBI.

Do take whoever you can out of the Angels starting rotation.  I would go ahead and say they have the best rotation in baseball or at least the American League.  You can choose from Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren.  That is a bunch of very good pitchers.  I would take any one of them on my team.  Wilson might be the worst out of that bunch and he signed a big contract but I still wouldn’t mind him on my team.  Haren is an innings eater, a throwback pitcher who will complete games and win you 15-20 games with a low three ERA.  Santana can win you 12-15 games with a mid to low three ERA.  Weaver should be able to win close to 20 games and have an ERA in the two’s.

I would look at the flip side and say their weakness though is their bullpen.  There isn’t much that I would like to take from that group for my fantasy team.  Scott Downs, LaTroy Hawkins they are on the downsides of their career.  Hisanori Takahashi is a swing pitcher but he is average at best.  Kevin Jepsen didn’t pitch much last year and when he did it was bad.  He had his best year in 2010 but that was a 3.97 ERA.  That isn’t what you want to see from a reliever.  Jordan Walden had a good year last  year but can he keep it up??  He was 5-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 32 saves last year.

Howie Kendrick is a guy I Do like.  Kendrick always murders the Yankees so to me he is like a Lou Gehrig type player.  I have seen him so many times and he is always getting hits when I see him.  Kendrick is a good second baseman with some power and some speed.  He wouldn’t be my first pick for second base but I would put him on that next tier list and watch him.  He may even be a good bench player if I was able to pick up someone better.

Don’t pick a catcher off of their team.  Chris Iannetta was signed in the offseason but he isn’t anything to be excited about.  Bobby Wilson had a terrible year last year and Hank Conger wasn’t much better.  Iannetta is the best out of this bunch and his line last year was 238, 14, 55 and a 370 on base percentage.

I would say  Peter Bourjous would be a DO for your bench.  Bourjos is a decent hitter and he has speed.  He will steal you some bases.  He also has some power.  Last season he hit 271 with 12 homeruns and 43 RBI.  He had a 327 on base percentage and stole 22 bases.

Do not take Bobby Abreu even as a DH.  His better days are definitely behind him.  Abreu last season hit 253 with eight homeruns and 60 RBI.  He still was able to have a 353 on base percentage and steal 21 bases.

Do take a look at Torii Hunter.  He isn’t what he used to be but he is still a productive player.  I would look at him as a reserve outfielder or DH.  He hit 262 but still had 23 homeruns and 82 RBI.  I like him a lot and always felt he was a little underrated.  He is a very good defensive player as well.

I would love to hear your opinions.  Please let me know what you think of this article and if your on twitter follow me @marches.  Thank you for reading and I look forward to answering and discussing any comments you have.  If you feel there is anyone I left off also let me know that.

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