The Grand National Championships

February 20, 2009

Say you’re in a Yahoo draft, and like most in a Yahoo Draft…

You can’t be bothered to do research. There are 15 rounds in your head, and you’re in round 16. So what do you do? How do you queue this up? Well, I’ll give you 20 names for the end of your draft, and you use them how you will.

1) Erik Bedard (SP-Sea)

The thing about Bedard is that it was his hip that lead to the shoulder soreness. He should be healthy for the start of the season. And he may start slowly, kind of like Sabathia did last year. But you know what? He could be spectacular from June 1st on. I know Yahoo has a narrow bench, and if you can’t keep him you can’t keep him. But with a 2007 upside in the 17th-18th round? You have to take a flier.

2) Jered Weaver (SP-LAA)

Yeah, I know. His rookie year was a bit of a fluke. He’s been an injury prone pitcher who’s been above Braden Looper-Jeff Suppan levels, but barely. That being said? He’s got a chance to rebreakout this season. Now while he was a little worse in his second half, his peripheral stats were much better. He struck out a batter an inning and three for every batter he walked. He’s got a shot to rebreak out. He’s Age 26 with experience, after all.

3) Josh Johnson (SP-Fla)

He came back in the late season and was just as impressive as he was before he had his Tommy John surgery. He’s still just 25, and while he may not hold the same BB/9 as he did last season? He could still be a 15 win, 3.25 ERA, 160 K sort of a starter. It’s a beautiful thing.

4) Pablo Sandoval (1B/3B/C-SF)

I know, recommending a Giant on offense as a solid value is dancing with danger. And in the grand scheme of things? Sandoval isn’t going to be good as a rotisserie first baseman. But never mind that bollocks. He’s a qualified catcher and third baseman this year. He has a J.T. Snow sort of an offensive game. 15 homer power, .290 average. As such? He’s a top ten catcher. He could very possibly outhit Wieters.

5) Chris Perez (RP-St. Louis)

Now sure, you could find Brian Wilson or Joel Hanarahan toward the end of the draft. But if the Cardinals are smart? You can get yourself the next Fransisco Cordero. Chris Perez has the electric arm that is a requirement of the archetypal closer. He walks a little bit too much, and that is why the devil wanted a more established closer, but you know what? With the mixture of rotten luck in the bullpen and the thunder in his arm. Draft him. He will get 35-40 saves.

6) Ian Stewart (3B/2B-Col)

If you want a dude who would be a cheap source of .260/20/80? Here’s the guy. Now at third base, that potential is of a marginal quality at best. But at second base? That’s top ten numbers. You may want to get a second second baseman for the 70 games or so that the Rockies aren’t in a hitters park. But you could get 90% of Dan Uggla at 20% of the value. I say go for it!

7) Sin-Soo Choo (OF-Cle)

Obvious jokes about relish aside, he destroyed AL pitching in the second half. He does have the ability to send fly balls over the fence when he hits them. He gets 600 at-bats? It’s .300/20/90/20/90 time. It’s a worthwhile flier for you to take a shot.

8) Andrew McCutchen (OF-Pit)

Now some of you all want Wieters. And some of you all want Cameron [Annoying Chris Berman Nickname]. And this means McCutter, gets to go under the radar. In five years, he’s going to be Shane Victorino. But as for this year? He’s probably going to have a short stint in AAA as Njyer Morgan takes time. But you know what? You can get 30 steals out of him right now. I’d move McClouth out of to left and start the Pittsburgh McOutfield Era.

9) Mike Jacobs (1B-KC)

There are some who consider Mike Jacobs as something below young Billy Butler or old Adam LaRoche. Some think that Kila Cooey Cooey Cooey will usurp him on some level. (I doubt this, though Ryan Shealy, fandom of Justice League International, and a desire not to spellcheck may be blinding me.) I think Mike Jacobs is going to give you a .275/35/100 at first base. That’s Carlos Delgado numbers, and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.

10) Max Scherzer (SP/RP-Ari)

Never mind the bollocks if he doesn’t win a starting job. Look at Juan Cruz’ numbers as a Diamondback. Max could probably kiss the strikeout numbers with 5 to 10 less walks. Yeah, he’s going to be one of the few draftable middle relievers that you could feel safe in going and grabbing. But don’t reach if you’re uncertain.

11) Anibal Sanchez (SP-Fla)

This is a the speculative play. And if you’re in a shallow league, you may as well take a flier on one. And Mr. Sanchez here is a nice choice. Now, he was nowhere near as good upon his injury return as Josh Johnson would. But his peripherals are better than expected. If he can touch his 2006 magic? He’ll be great, if not a little wild. If healthy? He’ll generate an okay ERA, decent amounts of wins, and a solid strikeout title. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

12) Josh Fields (3B-CWS)

He and Arizona’s Mark Reynolds are very similar. The power numbers are real. Both have struggles putting bat on ball, but while Reynolds does have a double figures in steals upside, Fields has a much clearer path to the job. Chad Tracy has shown 30 homer skills. Wilson Betemit? A worse fielder with a worse approach at the plate. He’s going undrafted. And he really shouldn’t be.

13) Chris Snyder (C-Ari)

Now Chris Ianetta and Mike Napoli may be underpriced, as they will be studs in the act 3 of the 4 act fantasy draft. But Chris Snyder? He’s inexplicably ranked below Dioner Navarro. He has a shot to bring Ian Stewart levels of offense to catcher if he learns how to hit home runs in the BOB. Be willing to bet he can.

14) Luke Scott (OF-Bal)

Sometimes there isn’t much sexy to your sleeper. Luke Scott is the perfect example. Luke Scott is going to grow up to be Raul Ibanez. He’s not going to be all the way live yet. But he’s got really strong chance to get .270/28/80 this season. For your current 68th best outfielder? That is fringe starter numbers if the man is healthy.

15) Taylor Buchholz (RP-Col)

Tattoo this behind your eyeballs. Huston Street always gets hurt. Always always always. Taylor Buchholz is a solid middle reliever, even in Colorado. He is the closer in waiting for the oblique strain/shoulder inpingement that Street is eventually going to succumb to. (FWIW? Huston Street is still a cheap source of saves in the middle of the draft.)

16) Clayton Kershaw (SP-LAD)

Kind of like the whole thing with Chad Billingsley growing up from his split season to his first full season? You’ll see Kershaw with about 160 IP with a 3.62 ERA and 140 K if he keeps his walks under control. He’s imperfect in that respect. But the rest of him is a matter of when. But don’t fret to badly if someone else knows who he is.

17) Matt Joyce (OF-TB)

He doesn’t have that ol’ magic of a .280/30/100 hitter. He just doesn’t make enough contact. But the man did average a dinger in every twenty at bats when he was in Comerica. The Trop generates more power, so you could see Jack Cust power numbers with a support neutral batting average. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

18) Matt LaPorta (OF-Cle)

You want the guy most likely to get himself 30 home runs despite waiting until May? Crack open a bottle of this port. HAH! Sorry. He’s got an excellent approach at the plate, and with the Indians line-up? He’ll be well-protected. Give it six weeks, and he’ll be a big leaguer.

19) Kevin Slowey (SP-Min)

Why do you need to believe in Slowey? He’s got superb control of three pitches. And he doesn’t allow many baserunners. He’s learning how to get grounders. He’s going to get an ERA of 3.51 and a WHIP under 1.250. How many wins he gets is wholly dependent on the offense. It could be 10. It could be 17. I don’t know how well the Twins are gonna do.

20) The Murphy Brothers (David: OF-Tex. Daniel: 2B/3B/OF-NYM)

Both Murphys come with good value. David is going to be a Rusty Greerish type that will cull 500 plate appearances and good Aaron Rowand style numbers in doing so. Daniel is someone who could generate a Kelly Johnson season if he qualifies at second. So he’s good. There’s a third brother. I think his name is Dewey or Derek or Steve.

I think he’s retarded. Or lives in Oakland. Same difference.

There you go. A list of 20-25 sleepers for the edge of your fantasy baseball. And I tell you this. In 1863? These would have been true greats.

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4 Comments »

  1. Chris Snyder will be iffy if Miguel Montero takes more starts (much better offensively). Also, it hasn’t been the BOB in two or three years. It’s Chase Field.

    Comment by Hef — February 21, 2009 @ 12:52 pm |Reply

  2. And if so, then they will be come the modern day version of Scott Servais and Eddie Taubensee, thus fulfilling the prophecy. But Montero is injury prone.

    (And as a digression, I demand original corporate advertising.)

    Comment by Andrew — February 21, 2009 @ 1:54 pm |Reply

  3. daniel murphy will not play second for the mets this year.. unfortunately that job belongs to luis castillo but theyre also putting about 2 mil towards alex cora as a backup at second… he’s platooning in left with tatis

    Comment by Anonymous — February 22, 2009 @ 12:46 pm |Reply

  4. So second base is a bridge too far. As I type this, your left field starter is the selfsame Daniel Murphy. His offense should still be similar.

    Comment by Andrew — February 22, 2009 @ 6:19 pm |Reply


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