This past weekend the NFBC held its annual draft at Citi Field in New York. As a life long Met fan it was literally the greatest place on earth for a fantasy baseball draft. Here's this year's team competing in NYC League #2.
1) David Wright, 3B - I believe he'll bounce back and 3B is brutally thin this year. 5 categories in the bank.
2) Jose Reyes, SS - The thyroid is find so now I just have to worry about the hammy. My thinking is that he's just too young and talented not to bounce back and he looked 100% earlier in Spring Training. A make or break pick.
3) Justin Morneau, 1B - 1B is loaded this year and I think that means it's critical to grab a top masher so you don't miss the party. I think Target field will greatly help lefties once it heats up a bit so I thinking career year.
4) Nelson Cruz, OF - Finally broke out last season but I still see some upside. In a full season 40+ HRs and a BA closer to .300 is possible. His projection is 'only' 30/20 which is still more than fine at this point.
5) Cole Hamels, SP - Victim of bad luck last season coming off of over work in 2008. Hamels will be this year's Verlander and bounce to be a top 5 pitcher this year.
6) Ricky Nolsaco, SP - Another hard luck pitcher in 2009 who has been unreal all spring, a perfect compliment to back up Hamels.
7) Heath Bell, RP - One of the top closers and still underappreciated.
8) Rafael Soriano, RP - Soriano has the stuff and opportunity to be a top 5 closer. I can’t understand why his ADP never shot up accordingly. Soriano in the 8th round is a key piece to my overall plan.
9) Juan Pierre, OF - Solid in 3 categories Pierre seemed like the most stable fit even though he didn't fill a pressing need.
10) Rickie Weeks, 2B - Weeks was a bit of a reach here but I wanted to pick up some power after the Pierre pick. His injury risk is mitigated by the lack of talent at 2B.
11) Miguel Tejada, SS - Still has a nice BA and will bat in good spot in the order so Tejeda will be productive. All in all I'm now fairly strong at the thin middle infield.
12) Alfonso Soriano, OF - I was shocked to see him here and was close to overlooking him myself. I wanted a power hitting OF and this is great value.
13) Yadier Molina, C - A little banged up at the moment but will hit for a nice BA. Didn't want to wait this long on a catcher but it hadn't worked out until now.
14) Magglio Ordonez, OF - He could still tickle 20 HRs again and the BA will be great. Maggs will still have plenty of chances to drive in and score lots of runs.
15) Nick Swisher, OF/1B - I wanted a pure power guy and had need at CI and OF so Swisher works here.
16) Conor Jackson, OF - The medicine for Swishers garbage BA. I'm a big believer in a Conor Jackson bounce back this year.
17) Buster Posey, C - I was getting panicky for a 2nd catcher. Word is they'll find some time at 1B for Posey so he should have a chance to cobble together a meaningful number of at bats. I like the BA potential but between Pose and Yadier left myself light in the counting stats.
18) Edwin Encarnacion, 3B - I needed another pure CI and still think there are some solid seasons in Encarnacion's future.
19) Aroldis Chapman, SP - This was a shock. Strasburg went in the 12th. I actually wanted to keep loading up on bats but Chapman could be a huge difference maker.
20) Alex Gordon, 3B - This was another extreme value pick that I rescued from free fall. I wanted some bench depth so this is big help.
21) Jermaine Dye, OF - I view the fact that Dye not being signed means his free to take a lot of steroids. 4 months of Dye should yield 20 HRs so I love the pick as my 7th OF.
22) Justin Duchscherer, SP - He won't sniff 200 innings but 100-150 really good ones will make Duchsherer a great spot starter.
23) Brad Bergesen, SP - Very underrated. Bergesen has a shot to have a sub-1.3 WHIP and 3/1 K/BB ratio which makes him a solid mid-rotation guy in a deep format like the NFBC.
24) Hank Blalock, 1B - I wanted some more pop on the bench. If you squint really hard you'll see a couple of high 20 HR bounce back seasons too.
25) Kenshin Kawakami, SP - Kawakami starts my end game pitching run. Not great skills but good enough to spot start and expect decent results.
26) Nick Blackburn, SP - Perfectly league average stuff. Blackburn won't help but more importantly he won't hurt.
27) Dallas Braden, SP - More league average stuff.
28) Kyle Lohse, SP - I could see a slight bounce back to 2008 form. He'll only be a spot starter.
29) Jon Niese, SP - It's not saying much but Niese may be the Mets 2nd best starter. He should have solid numbers but unlike my other recent picks has some upside.
30) Gil Meche, SP - Arm trouble this spring and last season have killed Meche's stock. He had 2 very solid seasons in 07 and 08 and is young enough to bounce back.
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Monday, March 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The Fantasy Pros 911 recently launched a FREE Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for the 2010 season. It's over 100 pages long and better than the ones you find at the news stands. The 911 stat projections went 42-0 last season and I've been using their 2010 projections to model some draft scenarios. Aside from that there's tons of analysis and rankings. It may be the only draft guide that you need for the 2010 fantasy baseball season.
Download a copy of the FREE Fantasy Pros 911 Draft Guide here.
You can also sign up for the Fantasy Pros 911 Premium content for additional draft prep and help throughout the 2010 fantasy baseball season.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
In preparation for the 2010 fantasy baseball season I've found 5 interesting outfielders that bare a closer look. Here they are listed in the order of their average draft position.
Matt Kemp, 7 - Kemp has been coming along for a few years and although he may have some upside left 7 overall seems a little too steep for me. He has a shot at 30/30 with a .300 BA but his R+RBI combo only projects out to 200. Really good but a little light at this point in the draft. Definitely someone to grab if he falls out of the top 10 but don't reach assuming there is more upside to be had.
Jason Bay, 23 - 2 seasons ago many speculated that Bay was finished. While he has rebounded it's hard to tell what he'll do in Citi Field. If the Mets lineup can get healthy 225+ R+RBI seems doable. His .280ish BA is nothing to get excited about but he's good for a dozen steals. It's Bay's HRs that will establish his return on investment. If he ends up in the low 20s it could cripple your fantasy baseball season. But if he cracks 30+ HRs he'll easily be worth the 23rd overall pick. In other words, he has a chance to be worth the price, but there are no guarantees.
Nick Markakis, 48 - Markakis was a rising star on a team that offered very little in the way of a supporting cast. At age 26 he's seen his HR and SB totals decline for 3 straight years. 30/30 may never happen but Markakis will bat in the heart of the lineup and is a lock to hit right around .300. As he continues to mature the Os seem intent on improving the team around him. As such I sense a nice bounce back year. His floor is stable but the upside is a BA well above .300, 25+ HRs, and 225+ R+RBIs with a dozen SBs for style points. Grab him with confidence anytime after pick 30.
Carols Lee, 68 - Although the power dropped a little bit the 33 year old still has plenty left and will post a solid .300 BA in the heart of the Astros lineup. Carlos Lee is longer a center piece player but probably still good enough to be a #1 OF on most fantasy baseball teams. He'll post elite numbers in at least 3 categories and is worth a pick anytime after 50.
Alex Rios, 106 - If you're still waiting for the Alex Rios breakout season that ship has sailed. That said I think he's a great buy-low player on draft day. There's a very good chance Rios will top a .290 BA again and make he's usual run at 20/20. Don't pick Rios for what once might have been but take advantage of the fact that most have soured on the once elite prospect. He'll be a decent #2 or great #3 outfielder worth consideration after pick 70.
Pick up a copy of the 2010 Baseball Forecaster (Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster)
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Last year the Fantasy Pros 911 introduced The Great Fantasy Debate. I was selected along with 11 other fantasy baseball bloggers to compete in a head to head weekly blogging competition. Thanks to all of the support from friends, family and the Bloop Single following I was one of the finalist and selected to write a weekly column on the Fantasy Pros 911. - http://www.fantasypros911.com/the-great-debate-everyone-is-a-winner.html
Starting just before the New Year I began Fantasy Baseball for Beginners. The editorial schedule that I put together calls for a series of topics presented in multi-part weekly articles. Right now I'm working on part 2 of a 6 part series covering fantasy baseball basics. Future topics will include Spring Training, Draft Prep, and Opening Day.
Look for Bloop Single to still include individual player profiles, my league strategies including draft results and memorabilia and baseball card collecting thoughts.
Here are the Fantasy Baseball for Beginners articles to date.
Pick up a copy of 2010 Baseball Forecaster (Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster)
Saturday, January 2, 2010
In prep for the upcoming fantasy baseball season I completed my first NFBC mock draft yesterday. I'm very rusty and have spent very little time studying 2009 fantasy baseball player performance. The first 10 rounds went pretty well but this early in the year it's tough to draw many conclusions beyond the first several picks.
Here are my draft results for the first 10 rounds with the 14th overall pick:
1) Tim Lincecum, SP - as much of a lock as you'll ever find with a pitcher in fantasy and should make a run at his 3rd straight Cy Young
2) Carl Crawford, OF - love getting tons of speed and a quality OF this early
3) Brian McCann, C - the NFBC requires 2 starting catchers so I'm inclined to invest in at least 1 really solid one
4) Kendry Morales, 1B - I think he's a legit .290+, 30 HR+ 1B and can still be had at a bit of a discount
5) Carlos Lee, OF - still has enough left in the tank to excel in 4 categories and chip in 5-10 steals
6) Jonathan Broxton, RP - the best closer on the board, will cement himself as elite this season
7) Brian Fuentes, RP - 2 stable closers means 1 less major worry throughout the season
8) Stephen Drew, SS - took a step back last year but the upside is still there at age 27
9) Roy Oswalt, SP - if he can stay healthy a great 2nd fiddle to Lincecum
10) Russell Martin, C - young enough to have a few more great seasons in him, paired with McCann no one will touch me at catcher
Pick up a copy of 2010 Baseball Forecaster (Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster)
Friday, January 1, 2010
"On August 2, 1907, I encountered the most threatening sight I ever saw on the ball field. He was a rookie... He was a tall, shambling galoot of about twenty, with arms so long they hung far out of his sleeves, and with a sidearm delivery that looked unimpressive at first glance... The first time I faced him, I watched him take that easy windup. And then something went past me that made me flinch. The thing just hissed with danger. We couldn't touch him... every one of us knew we'd met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ball park." - Ty Cobb
"The Big Train", Walter Johnson, went on to establish himself as perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time and if you owned him on your 1913 fantasy baseball team you would have had a shot to ride him to a championship. Walter Johnson was the AL MVP that year and led the majors in every major pitching category. 36 wins, 243 Ks, .78 WHIP and an utterly ridiculous ERA of 1.14 would dominate 4 pitching categories. Other notable stats include a league leading 11 shutouts, a then record 55.2 consecutive scoreless innings and a gaudy 6.39 K/BB (strikeout to walk ratio). Digging a little deeper we can see that Johnson's dominance was underpinned with .23 HRs per 9 innings and a .219 BABIP (batting average on balls in play).
A modern day equivalent looks like Greg Maddux's seemingly perfect '92 season with the Cubs. This was Maddux's first Cy Young season and despite his dominance he still comes up 7 shutouts short of Johnson's 1913 season. Known as a control artist, Maddux was also far off of The Big Train's pace with a less than spectacular 2.84 K/BB ratio.
As an MVP and league leader in 4 roto categories it's likely that Walter Johnson would have been the consensus #1 overall pick in the 1914 fantasy baseball draft. Although he wouldn't duplicate his 1913 success, he didn't disappoint either with a league leading 28 wins and 225 Ks.
Pick up a Walter Johnson baseball card on eBay!