One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the Baltimore Orioles will not be a very good team on the field in 2012 (and beyond) but that doesn’t mean a few of their players won’t have impactful fantasy baseball seasons.
Below is an evaluation of their entire 40-man roster and which players should have a significant fantasy impact this season as well as those you should probably avoid.
- DO realize the best the O’s have to offer, fantasy-wise, is OF Adam Jones. He’s currently sporting an ADP of 75.35 on MockDraftCentral.com and should provide a steady return (.280/80/25/90/15) at that point in your drafts. Just keep an eye on some of the other outfielders being drafted around this spot (Shane Victorino 75.15; Mike Morse 78.22; Drew Stubbs 81.57) who could provide a better return simply by being on better teams.
- DON’T bother drafting any of this team’s projected starting pitchers per RotoChamp.com (Jeremy Guthrie; Zach Britton; Wei-Yin Chen; Jake Arrieta; Tsuyoshi Wada) unless you have an affection for sub-10 Win guys with plus-4.00 ERAs with 2:1 K:BB ratios.
- DO draft C Matt Wieters as your primary catcher (ADP 99.43) before the bottom falls out of viable options around this point. He’ll provide a standard 5×5 line around .270/70/20/70/0 and save you from killing yourself for having to draft the likes of Chris Iannetta, Miguel Olivo and Josh Thole.
- DON’T worry. 1B/3B Mark Reynolds will probably hit over .200 this season. Probably. On the bright side, he’ll definitely hit over 30 home runs. Okay, okay. That’s a probably, too. There are so many negatives to drafting him that you’re probably better off letting someone else draft him. Make that definitely better off.
- DO continue to expect steady production from OF Nick Markakis in line with his career numbers. He’s averaged (over 162 games played per Baseball-Reference.com) a .295/89/18/85/9 line over six seasons in the Bigs and seems to be a safer bet than Jones to continue doing so.
- DON’T expect much out of 2B Brian Roberts until he proves he’s fully recovered from his concussion. He’s only played in a combined 98 games over the last two seasons and reports have him and the O’s being cautious moving forward through Spring Training. Grabbing him in the final rounds of your deep mixed leagues and stashing him on the bench until his health concerns become clearing is not a bad strategy but keep your expectations low.
- DO draft SS J.J. Hardy if you like 15-25 home runs from your low-average, zero-speed shortstop position. AL-only and very deep leaguers have no choice but to draft him when needed but in those 8-10 team mixed leagues that don’t utilize extra roster slots like MI or IF, you’d be better off aggressively pursuing a top-tier shortstop and leaving Hardy’s ownership to some other unfortunate sucker.
- DON’T you dare draft 1B/3B Chris Davis! How many times are you going to be fooled into believing he’s “on the verge of big things”. Until he actually proves he can provide “big things”, stay away.
- DO you think RPs Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg or someone else will emerge as the team’s closer? Does it matter? One of these guys will get 20-30 Saves and my money would be on Johnson.
What Orioles’ player(s) are you most excited to draft and which are you avoiding like the plague? Be aware, though. This is the kind of team that could throw in the towel pretty early and start shipping valuable players off in deals to go young and cheap. Why else would they be linked to Manny Ramirez? And if they do start a fire-sale, what young players get first crack at the big leagues?
This article is the latest installment of “DOs And DON’Ts”. Be sure to check out all of the other teams covered already here and keep an eye out for your favorite team sure to be covered soon.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on my assessment of the Orioles and the value that this series brings to your fantasy baseball drafting strategies. Use the comments section below or interact with me on Twitter @DJAubain.