First Baseman are First in Fantasy Depth — 2015 Fantasy Rankings

Nov 09

First Baseman are First in Fantasy Depth — 2015 Fantasy Rankings

I’ve already taken part in two mock drafts, including the first round of a 2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft on FantasySports.About.com (with the second round posted on this site) and one that MLB.com hosted here. In both instances, Miguel Cabrera, who lost his third-base eligibility for 2015, was the top first baseman selected (second and third overall). MLB.com’s Cory Schwartz explained his choice (after Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen were taken first and second respectively), this way: “It’s aawwwwfully tempting to take Giancarlo Stanton here but I’ll stick with chalk and take Miguel Cabrera. In a down year by his standards he hit .313-25-109 with 101 runs, and his career averages are around .320-35-120. Losing the 3B eligibility hurts (although he’ll still have it in 10-game leagues), but he’s in a class by himself as far as money-in-the-bank four-category production.” – @Schwartzstops The other Fantasy writer that took Cabrera (second overall), was RotoWire.com’s Jeff Erickson, who mentioned that he doesn’t think Cabrera’s stats will fall off a cliff just yet, despite his age (32), and that he should be a 30-100-.300 player again this season. Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt was a close second place, getting picked up among the top seven overall draft picks in each draft. Who’s the Worst at First? Despite Billy Butler’s trip to the World Series, he just doesn’t have enough power to serve as a top-20 Fantasy first basemen. If he can go back to batting over .300 on the season, like he did three times in the past six years, then “Country Breakfast” would certainly shoot up the rankings inside the top 15. And two players with big names on high profile teams will likely go higher than their true Fantasy value deserves are Mark Teixeira and Allen Craig. Big Tex will be 35 next season, and wrist surgery sapped his ability to hit safely – hitting just .216 on the season, which was his first year under .245. If he regains some strength, in both his wrists and upper body, he could be a 25-HR hitter...

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Free Agent Pablo Sandoval is Not Worth the Money

Nov 05

Free Agent Pablo Sandoval is Not Worth the Money

Free agent Pablo Sandoval declined a $15 million qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants. He declined a three-year $40 million extension earlier in the season. Sandoval is a three-time World Series Champion, who owns a .426 BA in 47 ABs across 12 World Series games, but his career batting average of .294 is a bit inflated from his younger, lighter years in the Bigs. Sandoval has not hit .284 since the 2011 season, when he finished with a .315 BA. He has seen a decline in average, hitting just .279 over his last 3 seasons. The Boston Red Sox will most likely win the bidding war for the Panda, but they are going to overpay, something they wouldn’t do for Jacoby Ellsbury last offseason and they traded away Jon Lester this season, who is entering free agency. Back in December of 2012, a 29-year-old (turned 30, days later) David Wright signed an 8-year $138 million extension with the New York Mets. He earned $20 mil last season, and hit just .269 with 8 home runs and 63 RBI.  Wright has hit 20 home runs in just 2 of the last 6 seasons, driving in 100 runs just once. He is also grossly overpaid, but the difference between Wright and Sandoval is that Wright is the face of the franchise. 2010-2014 Team G HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG WAR David Wright Mets 661 90 355 378 72 10.40% 19.60% 0.285 0.361 0.463 20.6 Pablo Sandoval Giants 675 78 295 348 6 7.40% 13.40% 0.283 0.336 0.442 14.8 Since the 2010 season, Sandoval (348 RBI) is one of 53 players to drive in 345 runs. Of the 8 “third basemen” to reach that, Sandoval is 7th, behind Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, Aramis Ramirez, Wright and Mark Reynolds. Only Ramirez and Reynolds have a lower WAR, and just Longoria and Reynolds a lower a BA.  Longoria won’t make $15 mil until the 2020 season, when he is 34 years old. Sandoval does not strike out often, but he doesn’t walk much either. I understand that runs scored is a team stat, but Pablo’s speed is what we call, not fast, and he has scored just 295 runs since 2010. Ryan...

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Catchers are Like Adam Sandler Movies

Nov 03

Catchers are Like Adam Sandler Movies

In Fantasy Baseball, catchers are like Adam Sandler movies: “Happy Gilmore,” “Billy Madison” and “The Wedding Singer” are some of the most quoted movies of our generation. Yet, it’s hard to believe “Little Nicky,” “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” and “Jack and Jill” came from the same mind? And then there are a whole bunch of movies in between that are fair-to-middlin’, depending on who you ask, like “The Waterboy,” “Grown Ups,” and “Big Daddy.” In that same vein, Fantasy Catchers have some great ones, led by the two unquestioned leaders at the position entering 2015, in San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Milwaukee’s Jonathan LuCroy. 2015 Fantasy Catcher Rankings These catcher rankings are for standard Rotisserie formats for 12-team leagues that reward home runs, RBI, runs scored, stolen bases and batting average. Rk Player Notes 1 Buster Posey, SF Coming off his 2nd-best season ever 2 Jonathan Lucroy, MIL Led Cs in AB, R, H, doubles in ’14 3 Salvador Perez, KC Stayed healthy again 2 yrs in a row 4 Yadier Molina, STL Struggled in ’14 with injuries 5 Yan Gomes, CLE Next in Tribe line of great Cs 6 Devin Mesoraco, CIN New top slugger among Cs? 7 Wilin Rosario, COL Better BA, worse power in 2nd half 8 Evan Gattis, ATL Could  lead position in HRs 9 Brian McCann, NYY 7 consec. years with 20 HRs 10 Travis d’Arnaud, NYM Big 2nd-half has us smiling for ’15 11 Matt Wieters, BAL Had Tommy John surgery in June 12 Miguel Montero, ARI Inconsistent ’14 should scare many 13 Wilson Ramos, WAS Averaging 84 gms played since ’12 14 Russell Martin, FA Expected to re-sign with Bucs. 15 Derek Norris, OAK Solid hitter available late, just 26 yo 16 Dioner Navarro, TOR Back-to-back “pretty good” seasons 17 Mike Zunino, SEA Hi K-rate (33%) but low BABIP (.248) 18 Yasmani Grandal, SD Good power, walk rate, bad park 19 Jason Castro, HOU 450 ABs w/. 221 BA really hurts 20 Tyler Flowers, CHW Led Cs in strikeouts (159) 21 A.J. Ellis, LAD Big decline since breakout ’12 22 Alex Avila, DET With another team in 2015? 23 Josmil Pinto, MIN Promising hitter, stuck as a backup 24 Carlos...

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2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Round 2

Oct 14

2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Round 2

Just when you thought the Fantasy Baseball season was behind us – we publish the first two rounds of a 2015 Fantasy Baseball mock draft among 12 Fantasy writers from across the industry. I already posted the first round of this draft over at FantasySports.About.com, and there have already been some fireworks from some of the later picks in that first round. We’re only doing two rounds right now, but we’ll start up another 2015 Fantasy Baseball mock draft in a few weeks. I asked each of the writers drafting to share a couple sentences of analysis on why they picked their players also, so you get a little more than just a name. You get some reasoning. We do these throughout the offseason, so stay tuned for more like them. The writers that joined me for this mock draft included: Jake Ciely of RotoExperts.com Bryan Curley of BaseballProf.com Nando Di Fino of FNTSY Sports Network Ray Guilfoyle of FakeTeams.com Tim Heaney of USA Today Fantasy Eric Mack of BleacherReport.com Nick Raducanu of ProjectRoto.com Cory Schwartz of MLB.com Zach Steinhorn of Fantasy411.MLBlogs.com Derek VanRiper of RotoWire.com Todd Zola of Mastersball.com, FantasyAlarm.com David Gonos of DavidGonos.com 2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Round 2 This mock draft is for a 12-team, mixed Rotisserie draft that counts batting average, runs, RBI, home runs and stolen bases for the hitting categories, along with saves, wins, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP in the pitching categories. 2.01 Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle “And this is coming from a guy that loathes early pitching picks. However, if not for some guy named Kershaw, King Felix would have been king of the pitchers. In fact, Hernandez posted his best season with a 2.14 ERA, wait, what’s that… I have to squint… oh, a 0.92 WHIP and 248 strikeouts in 236.0 IP. Chip in a modest 15 Wins, and we have a true, and rare, four-category pitcher. I might miss on an elite second hitter, but I do get the only pitcher who is allowed to have his name whispered in the vicinity of Kershaw.” – Jake Ciely of RotoExperts.com 2.02 Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto “Another Jose (Altuve) and Michael Brantley crossed my mind, but I’m one for grabbing power early. And...

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