Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Achievers/Bums - Opening Day Edition

Welcome back baseball! Here are the little urban achievers and bums from the first day (sorry Sunday Night Baseball) of the season.


Jason Heyward - OF - Braves - 2/5, HR, 4 RBI. I think that this guy will have a great MLB career. That being said, SELL, SELL, SELL. Seriously, when will his value be any higher than it is this morning? Sell him to That Guy in your league.

David Wright - 3B - Mets - 1/3, HR, 2 RBI. It is very nice to see Wright hit an HR in his first game. In my bold predictions, I lamented Wright's missing power. It would be great to be proven wrong.

Garrett Jones - OF - Pirates - 2/4, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 3 Rs. Last season, Jones put a line of .293/21/44 in just 82 games. Hopefully, this is the start of a great season for him and the Buccos.


Carlos Zambrano - SP - Cubs - 1.1 IP, 8 ERs, L. I don't like to overvalue early pitching performances, but this was just nasty. Not a good start for da Cubs.

Jason Frasor - RP - Blue Jays - .1 IP, L, BS. Newly named closer Jason Frasor did not win over many fans with his debut. Frasor's collapse also wasted Shawn Marcum's fine effort (7.0 IP, 6 Ks, 3 ERs). Maybe Tom Henke is working at a local LensCrafters.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Baseball terms that sound like sexual euphemisms in the wrong context - Golden Sombrero

Per Wikipedia, a "golden sombrero is a slang term used to describe a player's inglorious feat of striking out four times in a single game."

When does this sound dirty?

“So, last night, she came back to my house, and I gave her a(n) golden sombrero, if you know what I mean. "

Catcher - 2010 Rankings

I am not going to spend a lot of time on catcher, and neither should you. I don’t like spending a high pick on a catcher. My goal is to find a player in the later rounds who is healthy and will not hurt you in any categories.

First Tier

Joe Mauer – Twins

Joe Mauer had an incredible season in 2009 with a line of .365/28/96. However, his power numbers were tremendously increased from previous career highs. Mauer’s 28 HRs marked only the second time that he reached double digits in HRs (previous high was 13 in 2006). With such a discrepancy, it is logical to worry about a reduction to the mean. With Mauer costing a premium pick (current 7.5 rank), I would draft a safe IF (Longoria, Fielder, Howard, Teixeira, Cabrera).

Second Tier

Victor Martinez – Red Sox

VM is in a contract year and will be allowed to spend more time at 1B and DH, allowing him some extra rest. I would consider using a 3rd round pick on him, but I would rather grab a good Middle IF (Roberts, Phillps, Cano, Reyes).

The rest of my Top 10

Brian McCann, Russell Martin, Miguel Montero, Kurt Suzuki, Jorge Posada, Mike Napoli, Geovany Soto, Matt Wieters.

I really like Kurt Suzuki. Healthy (147 Games), plays for an AL team, and puts up solid numbers (.274/15/88). He is great pick at 149.7 ADP.

I believe the correct way to pronounce Matt Wieters is “2009 Geovany Soto.” Don’t waste a high pick on the prospect.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Third Base - 2010 Preview

For 2010, 3B is like an episode of a CBS nighttime drama. You have your established star (A-Rod), your young hotshot (Longoria), a mystery (David Wright and his missing power) and somebody really, really old (Chipper Jones).

First Tier

Alex Rodriguez – Yankees. Yes, he has been around forever, and he is an admitted steroid user. He also puts out great numbers (.286/30/100 in only 124 games) and plays for the strongest line-up in the AL. If you are drafting in the 3rd spot of your draft, your choice should come down to Chase Utley or A-Rod.

Second Tier

Evan Longoria – Rays – The former 1st round pick (2006) put up numbers worthy of his pedigree (.281/33/113 with 100 Rs). Yahoo’s overall pre-ranks have him at 11 overall right behind David Wright at 10. Be smart, and take the sure thing with Longoria.

Third Tier

Ryan Zimmerman, Kevin Youkilis, David Wright, Mark Reynolds

Ryan Zimmerman is a poor man’s Evan Longoria. Zimmerman has a great pedigree (1st round pick 2005) and better numbers than Longoria in 2009 (.292/33/106 with 110 Rs), but is tarnished by the stink that is the Washington Nationals. With Adam Dunn behind him again and an actual leadoff man (Nyjer Morgan) in front of him, Zimmerman should easily match last year’s numbers. Take advantage of his Zimmerman’s lower ADP (Yahoo – 37.7) and lock up a solid 1B with your first pick.

Kevin Youkilis is boring, but solid (.307/27/95 with 99 Rs in only 136 games). Youkilis currently has a 29.9 ADP. I wouldn’t overpay for him, but Youkilis will give you reliable figures.
To be blunt, David Wright is extremely overvalued. Last year, Wright experienced an abrupt drop in power, moving from .302/33/124 in 2008 to .307/10/72 in 2009. On Yahoo, he is currently ranked 10 overall with an ADP of 12.1. While Wright has potential to improve, why would you risk a 1st or 2nd round pick on him? Ignore Wright and focus those high picks on sure things (Longoria, Teixeira, Howard, Fielder, Cabrera).

As I mentioned in the 1B rankings, Reynolds has tremendous potential, but bears the weight of 223Ks. As 3B is lacking the depth of 1B, I think Reynolds is a better risk at this position, especially at his current Yahoo ADP of 49.3.

The rest of my Top 10

Pablo Sandoval, Aramis Ramirez, Chone Figgins, Michael Young

Sandoval is similar to Reynolds in that he is a better pick up at 3B than 1B.
I want to like A-Ram, but last season’s injury-plagued campaign (only 82 games) the beginning of the decline?

Figgins hurts you at HR and RBI (5/54), but helps you with R/AVG/SBs (114/.298/42). However, I would be wary of the pending jinx from his new contract (4-year/$36 million) and weak lineup (Jose Lopez, Milton Bradley, Casey Kotchman and Ken Griffey, Jr.)

Michael Young hit more HRs last year (22) than he did in the past two seasons (21). Pick him for his AVG (.302 career) and don’t expect much else.

Don’t forget about ..

Gordon Beckham - White Sox – The 2008 1st round pick has quickly found success in the majors. I would not avoid him, but except some decline as the league adjusts to him.

Jorge Cantu – Marlins- Cantu put up decent numbers overall (.289/16/100). Not a bad pick up at 154 ADP.

But what about …

Chipper Jones – Braves – Dude is old. I like Chipper in later rounds a Utility/DH, but he is too fragile to be relied on your primary 3B.

Chris Davis – Rangers In 2008, Chris Davis hit 17 HRs in 80 games, leading to great expectations for his first full season in 2009. Before you could say “Kevin Maas,” he followed his debut with a stinky line of .238/21/59. Let him be.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Baseball terms that sound like sexual euphemisms in the wrong context - Intentional Base on Balls

Per Wikipedia, “an intentional base on balls, usually referred to as an intentional walk and denoted in baseball scorekeeping by IBB, is a walk issued to a batter by a pitcher with the intent of removing the batter's opportunity to swing at the pitched ball.”

When does this sound dirty?

“So, last night, she came back to my house, and I gave her a(n) Intentional Base on Balls, if you know what I mean.

Shortstop - 2010 Preview

Shortstop is not as glorious as it was a few years ago with A-Rod, a roided Miguel Tejada,and a younger Jimmy Rollins roaming the middle infield, but there are still some very good players in the top tiers, with some solid if not exceptional players in the later rounds.

First Tier

Hanley Ramirez – Marlins. HanRam did not flinch in moving to the 3rd spot in the line-up last season, responding with a .342/24/106 with 101 Rs and 27 SBs. In my mock drafts, I have alternated my #1 pick between him and St. Albert. For some reason, my teams seem better in the end with Pujols, but Hanley is a great #1 pick.

Second Tier

Troy Tulowitzki – Rockies – Tulo recovered from his injury-riddled sophomore slump with a resounding line of .297/32/92. I am still scarred from 2009, but numbers, like hips, don’t lie, including a .344/16/55 post-All Star line.

Jose Reyes – Mets – There is no way around it – 2009 was awful for Reyes. While it might be risky to invest in a SBs guy recovering from hamstring surgery, I think that Reyes will bounce back. Despite how weak the Mets’ line-up is, Reyes can generate his own numbers, averaging 65 SBs, 113 Rs and 158 Games from to 2005 to 2008.

Third Tier

Derek Jeter – Yankees – I don’t want to like Jeter for multiple reasons, including his advanced baseball age (35 years), numerous World Series rings (5) and unnecessarily hot girlfriend (Minka Kelly). However, he brings good numbers every year and will have A-Rod behind him for a whole season, in addition to having A-Rod batting behind him for the whole season.

Jimmy Rollins – Phillies – I don’t think Rollins will return to the numbers he reached in his prime (.296/30/94 with 139 Rs and 41 SBs in 2007), but he is still a good player at a weak position. Like Jeter, he has a great line-up behind him, but I would not risk a 3rd pick on him.

The rest of my Top Ten

Jason Barlett, Yunel Escobar, Ben Zorbist, Elvis Andrus, Alexei Ramirez

Bartlett and Zorbist are both on the Tampa Bay Rays, and both have SS eligibility. I would take Bartlett over Zorbist. In the minors, Zobrist highest HR total was 7 in 61 games in 2007. Don’t expect him to continue last year’s pace.

The only difference to me between Escobar (.299/14/76) and Ramierz is (.277/15/68) is Ramirez’s advantage in SBs (14 to 5). I would not overreach for Alexei, unless you receive points for the unnecessary extra “E” in his name.

I like Elvis Andrus. Last season, he had 33 SBs in 148 games. You can pick up him up late (104.7 ADP at CouchManagers.com) , and he plays with good lineup in a hitter’s park. If you miss out on a great player early, remember that Elvis is everywhere.

But what about …

Rafael Furcal, Miguel Tejeda

Sorry, but their time is past. I thought that Furcal would recover from his back injury last year, but it did not happen (.269/9/47 with 12 SBs.) Tejeda had a good season with the Astros (.313/14/86), but he will not repeat it in the AL with the Orioles.

Don’t forget about

Orlando Cabrera - Reds

Orlando Cabrera is always available in the late rounds, and he always provides decent production, including .282/9/77 with 83 Rs in 2009. If you don’t want to waste an early pick on SS, you can start the season with Cabrera and try to trade up as the season begins.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Second Base - 2010 Preview

Second base has some great players this year. While not as deep as 1B, there are some players that can help you across most categories.

First Tier

Chase Utley – Phillies - Like the cheese, Utley stands alone at 2B. Last season, Utley brought .282/31/93 with 112 Rs and 23 SBs to boot. While the general lack of depth at 3B steers me toward A-Rod for # 3 in my mocks, you can’t go wrong with Utley.

Second Tier

Ian Kinsler – Rangers - Kinsler came into his own last season with .253/31/86 with 101 Rs and 31 SBs. His lack of average (down from .319 in 2008) keeps him out of first tier range, but it is tough to find this production at this position.

Third Tier

Brandon Phillips, Brian Roberts, Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedoria

Phillips puts up very similar numbers to Kinsler (.276/20/98 with 78 Rs and 25 SBs). If you don’t want to spend a high pick on Kinsler, Phillips is a great substitute.

In my drafts, I find myself picking Brian Roberts a lot. With a 2009 line of .283/16/79 with 110 Rs and 30 SBs, he helps you with SBs without hurting you at RBIs. Even in a weak Orioles line-up, a guy who hits 56 doubles will still be able to get you some runs. You can grab him with your 4th pick depending on the size of your draft.

The rest of my Top Ten

Aaron Hill, Ben Zobrist, Dan Uggla, Jose Lopez

Hill and Zobrist worry me, as their numbers last season seem ready made for fall to earth this season. I would rather waste a higher draft pick on a sure thing, but if I had to pick, I would grab Zobrist as Tampa Bay’s line-up appears stronger.

Uggla’s awful batting average (.243 in 2009) scares me every year, but he has hit 31 or more HRs since 2007. You could do much worse at 85.6 ADP. Lopez is in the same category. In drafts where I am looking behind on RBIs, I have taken Lopez, who had 96 RBIs last year and will now have Chone Figgins hitting ahead of him.

But what about …

Howie Kendrick – LA Angels

Yahoo’s Preseason Ranks have him at 9. Why? Despite a good 2nd half (.358 AVG), he has yet to put together a full season and does not seem to stand out at any category.

Bobby Bonilla Update

I frankly cannot believe that this is true, but it is on the internet so it must be.

Courtesty of Phour Phour


First Base - 2010 Preview

The Marina Trench, The Federal Deficit. The Grand Canyon. Paris Hilton’s … bank account. Like all of these examples, first base is quite deep this year. While you will be tempted to fill a shallow position and put off 1B until the next round, don’t look past some of the upper tier players available in Rounds 1 and 2.

First Tier

Albert Pujols – Cardinals.

Pujols is in a league of his own, except with him you don’t have to worry about Rosie O’Donnell. Zing!

In my humble opinion, Pujols and H-Ram are your only two viable options for the #1 pick. In my mock drafts, I have alternated taking St. Albert and Hanley at the #1 spot, but in the end, my teams appear stronger with Pujols.

Second Tier

Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeria, Ryan Howard, Miguel Cabrera

These guys are going later the first and early in the second, depending on the number of teams. I was big on Fielder (no pun intended) last season, and he rebounded nicely last year with .299/46/141. I am not sure about 141 RBIs again, but he should help you with R, HR and RBIs.

Last season, Teixeira started slow (.200/3/10) and continued to have a difficult last name to spell. However, he finished strong (.292/39/122), and most importantly, did not let the NY media mess with his head. I do not anticipate a decline.

I was worried about Ryan Howard last season, especially with the absence of Pat Burrell, but he put up his usual numbers (.279/45/141). He still strikes out way too much (186 Ks), but it should not be an issue as long as your league does not penalize Ks.

Miguel Cabrera finished the year with a bang and then spent the off-season drying out in rehab. It is hard to believe that Cabrera is only 27 years old. Don’t be scared off by the way his season ended. If you have a late first round pick, he is a great pick up.

The rest of my Top Ten

Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn, Joey Votto

Dunn is a poor man’s Ryan Howard. A mere two HRs ended Dunn’s streak of 40 or more HRs lasting from 2004. Votto’s post-All Star line was .300/11/42 with a .399 OBP. Expect a big year from him.

But what about …

Kendry Morales - LA Angels - Votto just edged out Morales for my 10th spot. He still has the risk of taking sophomore slump, but his strong 2nd half (.330/19/59) indicates a solid 2010.

Mark Reynolds – D’backs – Reynolds had an incredible season .260/44/102 with 24 SBs while breaking his own dubious MLB record with 223 Ks. Reynolds makes Rob Deer look like Tony Gwynn, except that Deer did not rock a Jheri curl until 1998. With the risk of a decline, I would choose a solid vet at 1B and consider Reynolds at 3B, where talent is thin this year.

Victor Martinez and Pablo Sandoval – While Martinez should have a great year, he is better utilized at catcher. Accordingly, I don’t like Sandoval as much as a 1B as I do at 3B. Also, don’t draft Sandoval with the hope that we will return to catcher, as the Giant’s signing of Bengie Molina put an end to that possibility.

Back again for 2010

I like that title. I sound like a rapper from 1986.

Where was I? Yes, Donny and I took 2009 off, but we had good reasons.

New jobs. A baby. Books about Jane Austen and zombies. However, this year we are back.

As of this date, we have participated in over 213 mock drafts. Yes, I know what you are thinking. However, all of our wasted time is here for your benefit.

Thanks for visiting, and we hope that we can help you have a great pretend baseball season.

Play fake ball!

Contributing Achievers