FantasySports.org » fantasy baseball draft http://fantasysports.org A site dedicated to people who enjoy playing fantasy sports Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:25:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.6 2013 Relief Pitcher – Fantasy Baseball Rankings http://fantasysports.org/2013-relief-pitcher-rankings/ http://fantasysports.org/2013-relief-pitcher-rankings/#comments Thu, 28 Mar 2013 14:55:27 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=1378 Ah it’s time for the closer/relief pitcher rankings. It is incredibly hard to predict the success of a closer. It is the most volatile position on a baseball team. At the lower end of the rankings, there will be so much jockeying that half the guys listed will be passed by another half of players ...

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Ah it’s time for the closer/relief pitcher rankings. It is incredibly hard to predict the success of a closer. It is the most volatile position on a baseball team. At the lower end of the rankings, there will be so much jockeying that half the guys listed will be passed by another half of players that may or may not even be ranked. In 2012 we saw even the most stable closers like Mariano Rivera falter.

We also saw some of the most amazing relief performances in MLB history from Craig Kimbrel and Fernando Rodney. It is a craps shoot. Some will say to draft roles. I like to draft skills. Neither is founded in more validity than the other. Most experts will agree on one thing, don’t pay for saves. I believe Matthew Berry was the first to really preach this principle. Whether you abide by it or not, is irrelevant and is probably has little effect on your success. Just know that the position is unstable and very risky.

Spend and draft wisely.

Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

aroldis-chapman-fantasy-baseballGuys I Like:

Aroldis Chapman RP CIN- Oh hallelujah! Praise the Lord that Chapman has officially been named the Cincinnati Reds closer moving Broxton to the set-up role. Chapman was made to be a closer. He’s a flame throwing lefty that has devastating movement on his pitches. Maintaining command, he’ll pepper the zone with unhittable stuff.

There is no doubt in my mind Chapman eclipses 100 strikeouts and 40 saves. I only have him ranked ahead of Kimbrel because I think he’ll strikeout more batters. You could do no wrong with either. Chapman is special. Kuddos to the Reds for being smart about this, and kuddos to Chapman for not going after the money he would have received by being a starter instead of reliever. It will work out for him.

Tom Wilhelmsen RP SEA- Wilhelmsen passes my eye test. I used him a lot last year in my daily leagues when League went down, and he never disappointed me. He struck out 87 batter in 2012 and closed out 29 ball games. It’s not crazy to think he saves 30+, but we could see that ERA creep up a bit from the 2.50 he had in 2012. I’m not worried about the fences or the dominant lineups of the AL West. Draft skills, and Wilhelmsen is filthy.

Steve Cishek RP MIA-  Cishek goes back to the whole draft skills strategy. He has a great sinking fastball that is really hard to hit. When he’s on and keeps his pitches in the zone, he’s dominant. I don’t know how many save opportunities he’ll get closing for the Marlins, but I think he should garner 30 plus and strikeout more than a batter per inning.

Cishek is one of the last relievers off the board and should be solid there. The only thing concerning about Cishek is the trade cloud that surrounds all Marlins players. If he gets traded out of his closer role, his value disappears.

Guys I Don’t Like:

Addison Reed RP CHW- For some reason every expert and their mama think that Reed is going to be absolutely amazing this year. I’m not one of those guys, and my mama doesn’t like the White Sox. Reed seems very hittable to me. I’m going to go next level here for a second. He threw more pitches in the strike zone than any reliever in baseball (55.1 percent). He also had the second lowest swinging strike percentage of all 2013 opening day closers (9.3 percent). What that means is that Major League hitters don’t miss his pitches.

Combine the not missing pitches with the fact that he throws pitches in the strike zone says to me he can be hit and probably hit hard. You’re welcome.

 

 

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2013 Starting Pitcher – Fantasy Baseball Rankings http://fantasysports.org/2013-starting-pitcher-rankings/ http://fantasysports.org/2013-starting-pitcher-rankings/#comments Thu, 28 Mar 2013 14:44:30 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=1376 Starting pitching is my wheelhouse. You can pretty much throw all my other rankings out the window. Pay attention to these. You have been warned. Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros   Guys I Like: Stephen Strasburg SP WAS- He’s the most talented pitcher in the history of pitching. He has all the tools to ...

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Starting pitching is my wheelhouse. You can pretty much throw all my other rankings out the window. Pay attention to these. You have been warned.


 

Strasburg-FantasyBaseballGuys I Like:

Stephen Strasburg SP WAS- He’s the most talented pitcher in the history of pitching. He has all the tools to have a Roger Clemens-like career. With no innings restrictions, I think you’ll see Strasburg separate himself from Verlander and Kershaw in 2013 and win his first of many Cy Young awards.

Yu Darvish SP TEX- Sometimes there’s a reason why all the experts like the same guy. In this case, the reason is that Darvish and his twenty pitches are ready to take it to the next level. We saw in 2012 how dominant his stuff is. He has just now started to get comfortable with the ball, the pace, and the surroundings of the American game. If he continues to harness that same control he has so far this Spring, the sky is the limit to how great a pitcher he could be. People forget that Darvish dominated the Nippon league for five years. He comes to America and strikes out 220 batters and wins 16 games while struggling with his command. You must roster Yu seriously.

Jon Lester SP BOS- Oh man, Lester is back! That’s what they say at least. I’m buying on this one. Lester has overcame a lot in his life, and I tend to draft guys like that. Pitching can be so mental sometimes, and you had to know he would right the ship eventually. Lester has been the best pitcher in Spring this year. For the price, there is no reason to pass on the chance that Lester has regained his ace status.

Alexi Ogando SP TEX- If Texas would only stop yanking Ogando around and messing with his development then we would be already watching a top 20 pitcher. Instead we’ve seen them run him out as a reliever, to starter, back to reliever, and now back to starter. The guy threw as fast as any reliever last year and faster than any starter. Understand that Ogando won’t be bringing his 97 MPH fastball to his starting gig, but he has the stuff to more than pay off the 200 or so ADP you’ll be paying for him.

Matt Harvey SP NYM- Harvey is fantastic. Some say he’s not quite as good as the other Mets prospect Zack Wheeler, but I tend to favor Harvey. He has two plus fastballs, a plus curveball, and a good changeup when he can keep it under M-control. Thankfully the Mets have done a great job with his usage thus far, and we, as owners, can expect 200 or so innings and more than 200 strikeouts.  He won’t win a ton of games, but you draft Harvey because he’s a stud not because of some luck based stat. Mark it down, there will not be one team of mine that won’t have Harvey anchoring the back half of my rotation.

Andrew Cashner SP SD- Tell me where I can draft a player at the end of my draft that could pay of 180+ strikeouts and an elite ERA. Look no further than Andrew Cashner. He has struggled with injuries and therefor his value is extremely depressed, but Cashner is money at the back ends of drafts. He throws hard and knows how to pitch. Calling Petco home doesn’t hurt either.

Guys I don’t Like:

Justin Verlander SP DET- He’s due to get injured. I’m not placing a hex on him, but it’s time. If he stays healthy he’ll be his nasty self, but I’ll draft a hitter at the round/price that it will take to secure Verlander. If you must go starter this early, go Strasburg.

Roy Halladay SP PHI- I said last year, “Don’t draft Halladay.” I’ll say it again this year, “Don’t draft Halladay!” He’s not right. The velocity isn’t there. He’s giving up exponentially more home runs than at any other time in his career. I love to see depressed value in starting pitchers with proven track records. I’m sorry Halladay. I don’t love you. If you feel the need to draft a pitcher and Halladay is sitting there on the board draft the next guy on the rankings. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw something come out soon about an injury or damage to his shoulder. It’s  time to put Halladay out to pasture.

Tim Lincecum SP SFO- I used to wear Tim Lincecum pj’s to bed. I brushed my teeth with a Lincecum toothbrush, and I only picked up dollar bills off the ground in the mold of a Lincecum delivery. With all that said, he looks done people. His frame and motion defied the laws of pitching for long enough. If the Giants move him into the bullpen, Timmy might regain his form, but as a starter, he should be left for someone else to draft. If you have to draft him there is good news that his velocity is back up a bit, but nowhere near where it was when he first made me a believer. He needs a Ricky Vaughn awakening.

Jeremy Hellickson SP TB- Hellboy is so lucky. He is an oddity in that he pitches better from the stretch than he does from the wind-up (Greinke is the opposite in case you were wondering). You pitch from the stretch when runners are on base for all you baseball newbies out there. I never like pitchers that don’t have solid advanced stats. Hellickson is in that club. In fact, he’s the club’s president. I’m sure he’ll be a good(lucky) pitcher again in 2012, but I won’t draft him unless he apologizes for making me look stupid for all the years I’ve hated on him, and he’s performed well.

 

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Jose Bautista Will Be Valuable, But…. http://fantasysports.org/jose-bautista-will-be-very-valuable-but-not-nearly-as-valuable-as-you-might-think/ http://fantasysports.org/jose-bautista-will-be-very-valuable-but-not-nearly-as-valuable-as-you-might-think/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:25:49 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=1087 #2. Jose Bautista will be very valuable, but not nearly as valuable as you might think. (See #1. Josh Hamilton Might Be an Angel, but…) I promise this isn’t personal.  Yes, it’s true that my championship run last year was derailed by Jose Bautista in the one league I truly cared about.  The day was ...

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#2. Jose Bautista will be very valuable, but not nearly as valuable as you might think.

(See #1. Josh Hamilton Might Be an Angel, but…)

I promise this isn’t personal.  Yes, it’s true that my championship run last year was derailed by Jose Bautista in the one league I truly cared about.  The day was July 15th, 2012.  I had just pulled off a trade that would surely distance myself from all the competition in my rear view.

The deal:  

I send away Edwin Encarnacion and Tommy Hanson.  I receive Jose Bautista and Roy Halladay.  After giggling to myself for what seemed like hours after the deal was accepted (in actuality it was more like… well, actually it was hours), I basked in my own glory as I cleared space on my bookshelves.  The trophy would look so beautiful as a centerpiece.

36 Hours Later

jose-bautista-wrist

My joy, and the championship dreams attached to it, died less than 36 hours later.  Jose Bautista gave me three at bats before his wrist exploded.  Three.  While I have to admit, this article is written with clenched teeth, I can promise it’s nothing personal.

The Jose Bautista picture on my dart board has long since been replaced by Maurice Jones-Drew.  I’m over it and I wish Jose the best in all he does, which is hit home runs and drive in runs.  He’ll do both, but how much value will he bring in doing so?

Bautista’s Question Marks

The question marks surrounding Bautista’s production are primarily based on the health of his wrist.  While it seems the wrist is back at full strength, it’s important to note that, in one scout’s words “A wrist injury to a hitter is like an elbow or shoulder injury to a pitcher and especially for a guy like Bautista, the way he hits. He’s got exceptionally quick hands. And as hard as he swings, I think something like this is problematic. We’ve all seen hitters with wrist problems take a long time to get back to what they were.”

Can he rebound from this injury and produce Jose Bautista numbers instantly?  It’s possible, but we should be expecting lower power numbers in the first two months of the year.  Once we adjust our expectations (somewhere around 95/35/100/.255/5), we have to look at his draft day value in relation to his outfield only eligibility this year.  If you want Jose Bautista, you’ll have to pull the trigger in the second round.

In years past, you’d be thrilled with a top 4 option at third base.  This year, with the same pick, you’d have to settle for Bautista as a fringe top 10 outfielder.  I’d rather use that pick to take a top end option at second base with Dustin Pedroia/Ian Kinsler, third base with Adrian Beltre/David Wright, or at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez/Jose Reyes and build my outfield later.  Bautista’s real value is dictated by the players drafted around him.

Save yourself some trouble, steer away from Joey Bats, and clear out that space on your bookshelf.

Tomorrow’s Sneak Peak: #3. Alex Rios, Fantasy Supernova

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Josh Hamilton Might Be an Angel, but…. http://fantasysports.org/josh-hamilton-might-be-an-angel-but/ http://fantasysports.org/josh-hamilton-might-be-an-angel-but/#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 02:47:18 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=1046 This is a series of articles of five things you have to know before you draft. You can follow Jeff on Twitter: @Fantasy4G 1. Josh Hamilton might be an Angel, but the devil is always in the details. Hey, did you hear that Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels?  Uh yeah, duh. And what about ...

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This is a series of articles of five things you have to know before you draft. You can follow Jeff on Twitter: @Fantasy4G

1. Josh Hamilton might be an Angel, but the devil is always in the details.

Hey, did you hear that Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels?  Uh yeah, duh. And what about Justin Upton, did you know he’s a Brave now?  Surely, but you may not have noticed Martin Prado on the other end of that trade, and there’s a good chance that you haven’t thought about what that means for his fantasy numbers this year.

It’s easy to process these factors during the season because of the immediacy of the impact each of these moves carries with it.Josh-Hamilton-Angels

The off-season moves happen in a flurry that is hard to properly evaluate when compounded with the long wait before the season starts.  In other words, a lot happens in a short amount of time, and it’s too far removed from the action to care about.

But these moves matter, and if you do your off-season homework (or just read my columns – you know what, just read my columns) and pay attention to detail, then you’ll be more prepared for the draft than the competition.  Lets take a look at some of these players and see what impact it should have on how you value them on draft day.

Josh Hamilton, LA Angels of Anaheim

Most of the preseason attention being directed at Hamilton relates to his potential off the field distractions. Whether those concerns are real or not, I can’t say.  What I know is that he’s leaving a hitter’s paradise for a more pitcher friendly home stadium, which doesn’t bode well for his fantasy prospects when combined with his  increased strikeout rate from last year (up 8% to 25.5%) and his ever-present injury concerns.

It’s also clear that Hamilton pressed, and struggled as a result, during the second half of the season as the on-field pressure and off-field scrutiny converged.  I’m going out on a limb here, but something tells me the scrutiny and pressure will only increase with a new team and big new contract.

Most still see Hamilton as a mid/late second round pick.  I wouldn’t take a chance on him until the middle of round three, just ahead of Jason Heyward and the 9th OF off the board.

R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays

Generally, the first thought that comes to mind with R.A. Dickey (I refuse to address him by his last name only; it still makes me giggle) is that his Cy Young season in 2012 was a fluke.  But take a look at the numbers and you might be surprised.  R.A. Dickey’s statistics for the last 3 years are, in a word, consistent.  In two words: consistently excellent.  The only outlier I find is in his increased k/9 last year, as he jumped from 5.8 k/9 in ’11 to 8.9 k/9 in ’12.

The obvious argument against R.A. Dickey is the effect of his move from the NL East to the AL East.  While that is a factor worth consideration,  he’s a knuckleballer with a groundball percentage that will be around 50%, so my concerns are minor.  Right now, our friends at ESPN have him at #15 in their rankings.  I think he’s worthy of a spot just inside the top 10.  And would you really be surprised if he ends the year as a top 5 starter?  Not this guy.  You could do a lot worse than R.A. Dickey in the sixth round, which is probably where he’ll be taken in most drafts.

Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox

It’s my first column, so lets keep this positivity flowing.  The move to Boston will make Mike Napoli a draft day steal for those wise enough to take him.  He’s eligible at catcher and first base, and will most likely play most of the year at first base, which should alleviate our concerns about his troublesome hip.  He’s also a powerful right handed hitter with a fly ball percentage just shy of 45% for his career.  Green Monster, party of Mike Napoli.

Your draft is all about finding value where others have missed it.  I believe Napoli, with a 14th round price tag, will hit the numbers we expected from him as a 6th round pick last year.

Other fresh faces I like:  Jose Reyes, Justin Upton, Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Trevor Bauer

Fresh faces I’d pass on:  Josh Johnson, Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Morse, James Sheilds, Tommy Hanson

Sneak peak – Day Two: Jose Bautista will be valuable, but not nearly as valuable as you might think

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2013 First Base Rankings http://fantasysports.org/2013-first-base-rankings/ http://fantasysports.org/2013-first-base-rankings/#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 01:43:55 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=999 When assessing the first base position, you must adjust your expectations. First base differs from all other positions in that the deviation from the mean isn’t as severe. The fifth best first baseman will probably not be that much more spectacular by way of stats the the thirteenth best. There is a surplus of quality ...

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When assessing the first base position, you must adjust your expectations. First base differs from all other positions in that the deviation from the mean isn’t as severe. The fifth best first baseman will probably not be that much more spectacular by way of stats the the thirteenth best.

There is a surplus of quality at the position which is why you will always see first baseman outperform other positional players only to be drafted far later. Being judicious here is key. I’m not saying to bypass drafting first basemen early. In fact, I have three of these guys rated in my top nine overall. I’m just saying there are some positions worth the reach. First base is not one of them.


Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

Guys I Like:

Allen Craig 1B/OF STL- Craig is a clutch performer, and I’m going to seriously miss that second base eligibility. I picture him improving this year on last year’s breakout performance. I liken him to Joey Votto. If he stays healthy and gets at bats, I would pencil him in for .300+ AVG/ 25+ HRs/ 100+ RBIs. I don’t mean to dismiss the fact that Craig had two DL stints in 2012 and only had 459 at bats, tops of his career. Penciling in at bats is no sure thing.

Fantasy baseball is about managing risk. For me, Craig is well worth a flier as his upside is immense. He hits line drives and can hit both lefties and righties well. If you are looking for a first baseman to return decent value for his salary in daily leagues, Craig has been given a modest 3500 dollar price tag by Fanduel. That puts him in the Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, and Justin Morneau range. All I have to say to that is, “Yes, please!”

Brandon Belt 1B SFO- If there has ever been a bugaboo for me in rankings, it’s guys like Brandon Belt. I absolutely love his left-handed swing. I love his potential to be great. Unfortunately due to Belt’s inconsistency and Bochy’s idiocy, we haven’t gotten to see a large enough sample size to accurately project. Belt has a stellar Minor League track record. AT&T Park is built for a line-drive lefty. I’m salivating thinking of what could eventually happen with Belt’s progression. Honestly, I believe he is capable of turning into a Votto one day.

I don’t think that will be in 2013, but he’s just young enough where we can all dream. Belt’s ceiling is .300/25/100/15 for 2013. However, I think we’ll see something closer to .280/20/80/15 which is still ridiculous considering where you’ll find him in drafts. Just pray that Bochy doesn’t have some epiphany that Posey needs to be moved to first or Brett Pill deserves more playing time.

Todd Frazier 1B/OF/(3B) CIN- Frazier is not insanely talented. He’s not going to hit for a great average or hit thirty-five home runs. He’s a little old to finally be reaching a breakout. You sold yet? I like Frazier because he’s a grinder. He plays baseball everyday with intensity.

I owned him all over the place, and after the Votto injury, he didn’t leave my corner infield slot. He’ll be seeing 500+ at bats and has no fear of a job loss. I foresee an expansion on 2012 with a Chase Headley-like ceiling. Frazier will gain third base eligibility which is a huge bonus for roster flexibility.

Chris Carter 1B/(OF) HOU- Although not yet listed as an outfielder, Carter figures to find most of his playing time there. As I have been watching a lot of the pre-season coverage, Carter has been inching up everybody’s sleeper lists. I, for one, have bought in for the most part. Carter has shown to be a better hitter than he has displayed so far as a Major Leaguer. He has really struggled with the strikeouts and contact rate which has stunted his batting average. He will not be a .280 hitter but .250 isn’t lunacy. That’s the bad news.

The good news is Carter has near elite power potential. He hit 16 homers in 218 ABs for Oakland. He is no longer playing for Oakland; instead, Carter will call Minute Maid home which is considered the most righty-power friendly park in baseball.

Throw in the opportunity for everyday playing time, and you see why everyone is getting excited. Keep an eye on how Houston handles the depth chart as the Spring progresses, but I don’t think they will let this former top prospect ride the pine. I would be shocked if he had a high price tag on any site, but keep in mind those strikeouts when assessing risk especially on sites like Draftstreet and Daily Joust.

Guys I don’t Like:

Albert Pujols 1B LAA- Keep reading. I know it sounds crazy, and I still have Pujols ranked as a top three first baseman. I worry about this guy. He’s getting older, and he may not play any games this Spring. He’s becoming a slow starter, and all signs indicate that will continue again this year. Sure, he will still get you the stats, but I don’t think he merits being ranked over more stable guys like Votto and Fielder.

I know that statement will draw the ire of all you Pujols apologists out there, but I’m probably not going to be rostering Prince Albert this year. I see a solid line though just not solid enough. Furthermore, I’m down on the Angels as a whole. They are a few injuries from finishing fourth in that division.

Logan Morrison 1B MIA- He’s always underachieving. He’s always hurt. In fact, the only thing I see worthwhile in Logan Morrison this season is his twitter feed. Oftentimes entertaining on the internet, doesn’t necessarily equate to success on the playing field. Funny how that works.

Here we are as “experts”, and we are forced to speculate and find diamonds-in-the-rough. I will tell you right now. Logan Morrison is not that diamond and shouldn’t be owned in anywhere except deep NL Only leagues. Wow, you’d think I hate the guy. Maybe I do. Draft Chris Carter instead.

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Five Things You Have To Know Before Your Draft – Preview http://fantasysports.org/five-things-you-have-to-know-before-your-draft/ http://fantasysports.org/five-things-you-have-to-know-before-your-draft/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 06:59:29 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=1026 The first is always the most important. The first day on the new job, your first home, the first kiss, the first time you see your child, the first trip to a Major League Baseball game.  Your first fantasy baseball championship, maybe?  Our firsts are the ones we remember, the ones we look back on ...

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The first is always the most important. The first day on the new job, your first home, the first kiss, the first time you see your child, the first trip to a Major League Baseball game.  Your first fantasy baseball championship, maybe?  Our firsts are the ones we remember, the ones we look back on with fondness in our old age. They don’t define us, but they always set the expectation.

You may not know this, but we’re experiencing a first together as you read these words.  This is my first piece for fantasysports.org, which also means this is the first time you’re reading my material.  I hope it’s as good for you as it is for me (not the first time I’ve said that).  If all goes according to plan, this is the first of many articles we’ll have together. I look forward to getting to know all of the different ways you’ll tell me I’m wrong.

If you want to know a little bit more about me, I won’t bore you with the tawdry details of how I’ve come to be a sports writer.  You can simply follow me on twitter, see details below. Let’s just say I’ve chewbacca-fantasy-baseballtaken the long road into the fantasy sports writing career, and most of the ride I was hanging out of the sun roof screaming “Spring break!!!!! Panama City!!!! Wooooooo!!!!”

For the past few days, the question of what to write about for my first piece has been firmly running through my mind.  What topic could possibly be worthy of taking my fantasy writing v-card?  Certainly, I can’t give it away for something as cheap and easy as a top ten list.  No, I need something with depth, something helpful, something entertaining, something big.

So forget about just one topic, I’m giving you five.  Five things you HAVE to know before you draft.  Five topics over the course of the next five nights.  So have a read, learn a little, laugh a little, and remember, this article is the first of mine that you have ever read, so you know these words are important.

Up first: Josh Hamilton is Now an Angel, But the Devil is in the Details

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2013 Catcher Rankings – Fantasy Baseball http://fantasysports.org/2013-fantasy-baseball-catcher-rankings/ http://fantasysports.org/2013-fantasy-baseball-catcher-rankings/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 17:04:31 +0000 http://www.fantasysports.org/?p=967 I am so ready to get some fantasy baseball going. No offense to you basketball and hockey junkies out there, but America’s favorite past-time has been beckoning me since the beginning of February. I was lucky enought to have been able to contribute my pre-season rankings last year to Fantasy Pros as a member of ...

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I am so ready to get some fantasy baseball going. No offense to you basketball and hockey junkies out there, but America’s favorite past-time has been beckoning me since the beginning of February. I was lucky enought to have been able to contribute my pre-season rankings last year to Fantasy Pros as a member of The Hardball Times. I finished ranked top four of all fantasy baseball “experts” in the country.

I am now honored to bring those rankings and analysis here to FantasySports.org. Finding success in baseball on a daily basis involves more than preseason rankings, research, and analysis. It takes luck and decisiveness and the intestinal fortitude to stand behind your picks. We start the 2013 rankings with one of my favorite positions on the diamond, the catcher.

I was actually a catcher once but suffered from Rube-Baker Disease . If you don’t know what that means, then you are not a true baseball fan. I digress. Since I can not live my dream of squatting then let’s dive into these rankings. (You see what I did there.)

2013 Catcher Rankings


Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros


matt-wieters-catcher-fantasy-baseballGuys I Like:

Matt Wieters C BAL- It seems like we’re always waiting for this guy to reach the next level of his development. He’s been proclaimed aseverything from future hall-of-famer to bust and everything in between. His power is legit, a near lock for 20+ home runs. I don’t know how much batting average we can all expect, but he’s turning out to be a daily must-start against left-handers where he’s hit .331 and 16 homers in 254 at bats over the past two seasons.

Wieters is also holding down the clean-up spot in the Orioles lineup with guys like Adam Jones and Nick Markakis hitting in front of him. There should be plenty of counting stats to be had to warrant a top five rank. Any batting average gains would be icing on the cake.

Jesus Montero C SEA- Normally, I say draft catchers that don’t have to play games as a catcher. The thought behind that resonates on the fact that other position players stay healthier and have more at bats than catchers. Well, that is true most of the time. In Jesus Montero’s case that may not actually be accurate. As Chris Cwik of Fangraphs pointed out in this, Montero has performed much better as a catcher than as a designated hitter (.310 versus a .227 batting average).

It’s undeniable that he will have much better protection around him in the line-up. With his age and pedigree, I could definitely see a coming-out season for Montero. Don’t forget the fences are coming in at Safeco, and who can’t get excited about the fantasy potential of that?

Wilson Ramos C WAS- Very few guys can say they’ve lived through the stuff that Ramos has. He is very blessed to still be breathing in 2013 much less catching one of the best staffs in the game. Even though he has every excuse to have a bad season this year, I don’t think it’ll happen. Living through the adversity that Ramos has over the past 12+ months with the kidnapping and the blown out knee, could have only built his character.

I’m not saying that Ramos is going to be able to expand much on his breakout 2011, but if he can slide somewhere near there with a .265 AVG and 15+ HRs, he should easily be a top twenty catcher. Once I have seen that Ramos is fully healthy this Spring, I would not be afraid to use Ramos as my catcher in a NL only league or as a salary filler in April match-ups.

Welington Castillo C CHC-  Castillo will join Jon Jaso, Tyler Flowers, and Chris Stewart as back-up catchers finally getting their chance to play every day in 2013. Welington strikes my eye more than these other guys because he has very raw power potential. He has maintained a .163 ISO in his 224 plate appearances, and it’s been even better in his time spent in the Minors.

I believe Castillo will seize this opportunity in Chicago and garner 400+ at bats and profiles nicely as a number two catcher in deep leagues or a very cheap catcher fill-in for daily leaguers. He can strike out a lot but can mash lefties. I would use him as a spot start against lesser lefties all day.

Guys I don’t like:

Yadier Molina C STL- Don’t get me wrong; I loved this guy last year. The key phrase there is last year. I don’t hate Molina. He should be a decent middling catcher that could flirt with a .300 average and double digit home runs like he has for the past two years. Yady has a high floor, and he is very safe. The problem is that I think we saw the best possible season Molina could have last year. Therefor, I see his ceiling as lower than the seven guys I have ranked ahead of him.

I don’t think there is much difference between Joe Mauer all the way down to Miguel Montero, and that is why you stay away from guys like Molina that will cost a lot but not give you enough upside to warrant the high price.

Jonathan Lucroy C MIL- Really the only thing I don’t like about Lucroy is his plate appearances. Over the three years he’s been in the Majors, Lucroy has averaged 370 plate appearances.

He’s flanked with an above average back-up in Martin Maldonado who is much better defensively. Lucroy has potential to be every bit as good as his .320 AVG last year may suggest. I think that if he is healthy and achieves 500 plate appearances, he will undoubtedly make me look foolish. Reality is I’m not holding my breath.

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