Tag Archive | "Workhorse"

DOs and DONTs: Chicago White Sox

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DOs and DONTs: Chicago White Sox

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Jared Thatcher

At first glance there weren’t really that many players I would draft from the White Sox this year. But upon further investigation, they may have some very valuable middle to late round picks that could add depth and production to your team.

DO find solace in the many young arms in the bullpen this year. Addison Reed, Matt Thornton, and Jesse Crain should all be lock down out of the bullpen no matter what order you put them in. They probably won’t have a ton of save opportunities, but should provide innings and strikeouts.

DONT even think about drafting most of their starting rotation this year. Gavin Floyd is injury prone and doesn’t put up great numbers. Jake Peavy is an absolute mystery, even to himself. He has lost velocity and doctors say his arm is as good as it’s going to get.

DO consider drafting John Danks as your number 3-5 starting pitcher. He has had a rough couple of years but I’m confident he can pitch 200 innings this year with an ERA under 4.00. The 150 strikeouts from him will be nice also toward the back of your rotation.

DO not overlook a couple of the other young arms on the team, Philip Humber and Nestor Molina. Molina came over in a trade from the Blue Jays and is a decent prospect. Humber provided over 200 innings of 4.00 ERA ball last year while striking out 150 batters. He should once again be a workhorse in 2012.

DONT take the chance on any of their outfielders unless you are absolutely desperate. Alex Rios had a terrible year in 2011 and there is no reason why he should be any better this year. Alejandro De Aza had a nice line over 54 games in 2011 but he is unproven. Dayan Viciedo was a good prospect in his day and still has some potential, but I would stay away until he proves himself.

DO DO DO pick up Paul Konerko as at least your DH this year. He is an RBI machine and has a great batting average to go along with it. He should be the same productive player he has always been, even considering his age.

DONT draft young infielders Brent Morel or Gordon Beckham. They were touted as future superstars and have shined at times, but the shine tarnished quickly and they were revealed to be below-average players. Don’t take the chance on these two guys until they can prove they can be productive week in and week out.

DO not expect Adam Dunn to hit under .200 again. Although the batting average is never very high for Dunn (he strikes out a ton), he should regain his swing and once again hit at least 30 home runs. Let Dunn slide as far as you can in the draft but don’t be afraid to take him as your DH in 2012.

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DOs And DONTs:  Miami Marlins

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DOs And DONTs: Miami Marlins

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

With the team moving into a new stadium in 2012, the Miami Marlins looked to make a big splash this offseason and build an instant contender. The additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle make the team a formidable foe for the likes of the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

Here is a look at the Do’s and Don’ts as we run through the new and improved Marlins roster:

DO watch Hanley Ramirez closely this spring.  After a year in which he struggled with back and shoulder issues, posting the lowest OPS (.712) of his career, we should expect some regression to the mean from Hanley, provided he’s healthy.  Keep an eye on his power stroke this spring to see if he’s fully back.  Also, with his move to third base, Hanley will soon gain dual eligibility this season, thus increasing his value.

DON’T sleep on Jose Reyes.  He is still one of the top shortstops in the majors and won the NL batting title in 2011.  He probably won’t reach double digit homeruns again and I wouldn’t count on another batting title.  But he’s still good for around 40 stolen bases and an average over .300.

DO monitor Josh Johnson‘s progress this spring.  Coming off a shoulder injury, no one knows exactly what to expect this year for the Marlin’s Ace.  He made only 9 starts in 2011, before being sidelined, but, if healthy, he is one of the top 3-4 pitchers in the NL.  He threw a pain free bullpen session on Wednesday and hopes to be ready for the start of the season.

DON’T expect much from Carlos Zambrano and you won’t be disappointed.  Acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Chris Volstad, Zambrano is a shell of his former self.  After pitching over 200 innings each year from 2003-2007, Zambrano has failed to reach that mark each of the last 4 years.  Part of that is due to suspensions he received the last two years, but its pretty clear that he is no longer the workhorse he used to be.  Leave him for the NL only leagues.

DO expect a rebound from Omar Infante.  He had some bad luck last year, but seemed to turn things around in the second half of the season.  Just don’t expect much in the speed or power departments.

DON’T draft John Buck.  He has some power, but his average will hurt you, especially in Roto leagues.  Unless you have a Ryan Braun on your team, who can offset Buck’s low average, you should pass.

I DO expect big things from Mike Stanton.  The guy has some prodigious power and could easily top 40 homeruns this season.  He probably won’t hit much more than .260, but if he gives you 40+ homers and 100+ RBI’s, you can forgive him for a modest batting average.

DON’T expect to hear from Chris Coghlan, at least not in a Marlins uniform.  The former Rookie of the Year, has fallen out of favor with the Marlins and will likely begin the season in the minors or with another team.

I DO like Anibal Sanchez.  After struggling with injuries early in his career, he has put together back-to-back strong seasons.  If he can continue to stay healthy, look for more of the same in 2012.

I DON’T like Ricky Nolasco.  He has failed each of the last 3 years to rekindle the magic of his 2008 season and was rumored to be on the trading block.

DO expect bigger and better things from Gaby Sanchez.  Although he put up nearly identical stats in 2010 and 2011, there are signs of growth.  He showed a better eye in 2011, increasing his walks from 57 to 74, while keeping the same high contact rate (83%).  He could approach .300 and 25 homeruns in 2012.

I DON’T know what to make of Logan Morrison.  I considered him a bit of a sleeper last year, but while he increased his power output, he struggled with a .247 average.  He was demoted to the minors mid-year and later filed a grievance against the club, prompting speculation that he could be traded.  For now he is still with the team, the question is for how long?

DO draft Emilio Bonifacio.  An excellent source of speed, Bonifacio should net you 40+ stolen bases.  However, be wary of that .296 average from 2011, as a second half hit % of 40% is not sustainable.  Expect something more in the .260-.270 range.

DON’T waste a roster spot on Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez).  The former Marlins closer was caught in an identity fraud this winter and may not start the season with the team.

DO draft Heath Bell.  With Oviedo’s status uncertain, the Marlins signed Bell to assume the closer role.  He is one of the best and most consistent closers in the majors and, barring injury, should be the Marlins closer for the next 3 years.

Finally, DON’T forget about Mark Buehrle.  He is not a sexy pitcher and he will not rack up a bunch of strikeouts.  But what he will give you is 13-15 wins and an ERA around 3.50.  So, while other guys are chasing the next big rookie, don’t be afraid to take Buehrle in the middle rounds.

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2012 Top 10 Minor Leaguers You Should Draft

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2012 Top 10 Minor Leaguers You Should Draft

Posted on 02 February 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Fantasy baseball is not won with the superstars you draft in the first five rounds. Fantasy baseball is won by being active and owning the break out players before anyone else knows who they are. Injuries and cold streaks affect most MLB players so you need to be ready to replace them with someone who can produce for at least a short period time. The players you will see listed below will not start out the year in the big leagues most likely and should be drafted in the later rounds of your fantasy draft. These are guys who will be knocking at the door in 2012 and will at some point probably be called up. I did not include Jesus Montero or Matt Moore because they will start out the season on their team’s big league squad. The players you are about to consider for your draft are well kept secrets and/or have MLB talent but still have something to prove in the minors before their promotion.

Shelby Miller / Photo By Erika Lynn

  1. Shelby Miller – SP – Cardinals

Miller will make his MLB debut this year barring a serious injury and he should dominate. The Cards will need him to be their third ace if they want a repeat championship. They have lost a major offensive contributor in Albert Pujols and will need the added pitching to get to the playoffs. Miller is a strikeout machine and has the control to go along with the stuff. He has some injury risk but as long as he shows up to Spring Training in good condition and with the right attitude, he will contribute in a major way this year. Draft him in the later rounds and let him sit on your bench. He may become the ace of your staff in no time.

  1. Trevor Bauer – SP – Diamondbacks

Bauer was a workhorse pitcher in college and I fully expect him to be a workhorse this year for the Diamondbacks. He boasts having over 8 different pitches and he can control them all although I’m sure they will hone that down to only about four pitches. Bauer’s off-season workouts and delivery are strange and unconventional but they seem to work just fine for him. I expect him to show up to Spring Training in great shape and battle for a rotation spot. Draft him in the middle rounds on the hopes that he can become even half of the pitcher scouts compare him to – Tim Lincecum.

  1. Danny Hultzen – SP – Mariners

Hultzen’s stuff is already major league ready and all he needs is the chance to go out and prove it. He dominated hitters in the AFL last year with a wicked slider and a pin-point fastball. There is a rotation spot open inSeattlenow that they traded away Michael Pineda to the Yankees. Hultzen will get the chance to pitch in the rotation but probably not right out of Spring Training. Use your last draft pick on him if he is still available and hope for half a season of brilliant pitching.

  1. Tyler Skaggs – SP – Diamondbacks

Skaggs is the youngest player on this list at 20 years old, but quite possibly has the most fantasy upside. Strikeouts are always a good thing in fantasy baseball and this guy racks them up like they are nothing. The keys to Skaggs are that he is left-handed and not only throws a loopy curve-ball but can also come straight in with an above-average fastball. He has the command and mechanics to be a 200+ innings #2 starter for years to come. He excelled at Double-A last year and I expect him to start the year there again. Draft him late or pick him up off the waivers in early 2012 and wait for him to get his shot at major league hitters.

  1. Matt Harvey – SP – Mets

Harveymostly makes this list because he is in the Mets system and they have terrible pitching at the major league level. He has good stuff and decent command that should allow him to easily become the ace of the Mets rotation. He may break camp with a rotation spot but most people will probably overlook him in the draft. Let him fall as far as you possibly can and pick him up for his Ks and innings. He may not pick up very many wins and his ERA could easily be over 4.00 with the team the Mets have this year. He will have fantasy value and the upside is true ace potential.

  1. Gary Brown – CF – Giants

Our first position player! Most people see Brown as a 2013 call-up. I disagree. With the outfield the Giants have they are going to give this kid a shot to see if he can spark their offense and defense. He has blazing speed on the base paths and could easily steal 30 bases in half a season. If he can become the Giants leadoff man he will have tons of fantasy potential. I expect a midseason call-up so draft him in deep leagues and let him ride the bench until he arrives inSan Francisco.

  1. James Paxton – SP – Mariners

Another Mariners starting pitcher who should get his chance this year! Paxton may even get the call-up before Hultzen. Paxton has shown he can get hitters out at every level of the minor leagues and he should make his MLB debut this year early in the season. Although he may not get a ton of wins, he should get strikeouts and have a low ERA with his control. Draft him in deeper leagues and keep an eye on him in any other league.

  1. Leonys Martin – OF – Rangers

Martin might make it easy for the Rangers to keep Josh Hamilton in left-field. His defense is stellar and he has the tools to be a high average hitter with average power in the big leagues. At 24 years old the Rangers should give him a chance this year to see what he can do. They want to go back to the World Series so look for them to make many adjustments this year including bringing Martin up. If you can’t draft an elite outfield, draft him in deeper leagues and wait for his call-up.

  1. Tyler Pastornicky – SS – Braves

The Braves were so close to the playoffs last year and will be a contender this year as well. The team is shedding its older players to make room for the up-and-coming young talent. There should be no reason Pastornicky won’t be this years Jason Heyward or Freddie Freeman. He made it to Triple-A last year and showed he could hit at that level. The Braves are unhappy with their situation at shortstop and should give Pastornicky the opportunity to start right out of Spring Training. Draft him as a backup SS and watch as he turns into your primary SS.

  1. Jaff Decker – LF – Padres

The Padres are essentially in a rebuilding mode with tons of young talent in the minors after some big trades this off-season. Decker is one of those talents. He struggled to make contact last year at Double-A but when he did, he smoked the ball. He had 19 HR last year at Double-A and the Padres need some power in their lineup. He may not make contact enough to stay in the big leagues but keep your eye on him this season because he may have a powerful year inSan Diego.

Follow Jared on Twitter @Jared_Thatcher

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