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January 16, 11:50 AM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning, gang. We're ready for some fantasy chattage yet again. NFL winding down, baseball hot stove warming up and of course it's never too soon to talk Bracketology either. What's your pleasure?

nick ( Perkiomenville Pa )

In my drafts so far people have been going crazy over Soria and I just don't get it this guy does play for KC, can U shed some insight?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

It does not matter what team a closer plays for... only how well he does with the chances he gets, and Soria is lights out good. And with a better ERA and better WHIP than K-Rod, in just as many IP, that's what people are looking at. He's definitely a top-5 closer.

bert (essex fells nj)

With the lack of OF depth, do you you think you must take an OF in the first 3 rounds?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I don't know if I agree with your premise. I'd rank around 9 or so OF in the top-25, which does mean I'd likely grab one of that bunch early, but I think there's plenty of depth.

Jmerms (NYC)

Hey AJ, would you pick CC Sabathia with a top ten pick?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I would not, as I rarely select pitchers in the first few rounds. However, CC is definitely one of the handful who I might look at in Round 2.

Dave (Chicago)

Good morn, young master AJ. Select two from the following five category studs...Kemp, Mclouth, Chris Young, Hart(I know the avg.)...Also, do you see B. Philips as a top 25 pick? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I'm a Nate believer, so I'd go with him and Kemp from that group. Phillips I don't see as being as high on my list this season, closer to a 7-8 rounder.

Ray (Salt Lake)

Which side do you like better in a potential trade- Pujols or Peavy and Big Papi?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I'd stick with Pujols. Still questions on where Peavy ends up and the drop in offensive numbers to Ortiz isn't worth it to me.

Phil (Grand Rapids, MI)

AJ - which youngsters would you rather have in a dynasty league...Scherzer or Galladro? How about for this season only?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I think long-term I'd go with Scherzer, although for 09 it's a coin toss. Gallardo looked good once he got back from injury, but my only concern is that the team babies him a bit, keeping him from reaching his stats potential.

Sean (New Haven CT)

With the lack of depth at 3B in the A.L. I'm struggling with evaluating Adrien Beltre. According to his BABIP numbers he should be in line for a strong bounce back this year especially now that he is healthy but I've also heard rumblings that his power is fading. Given the fact that he is in a horrendous lineup at Seattle is Beltre a keeper at $20 in an AL-only 12 team league with 15% inflation?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I currently have Beltre as my No. 2 AL-3B behind only A-Rod for the coming season. I think he definitely underperformed a bit last season in average and a bounce back is imminent.

al (DC)

AJ- a commish Q. 3 people are begging out of my keeper league,a fter only one year. the remaining 7 are strongly in favor of it. We are looking to add at least one team to make 8 (we prefer h2h). We assign keeper values by increasing the round the player was drafted in the previous year. Since we will be down two teams, how should we adjust the assigned value, if at all? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I wouldn't change the assigned values at all. Just by the mere fact that two teams will be lost, you're going to get enough throwback to devalue all players a bit anyway... no need to further complicate matters. Just get through the growing pains and move on.

Evan L. (TB)

You're taking Adrian Beltre over me?? Are you serious?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

There is no question that Evan's got a long career ahead. Who would I rather have longterm? Longoria. No doubt, and he's my AL-3B No. 3. More upside? Absolutely. More likely to hit a sophomore slump and fall slightly behind Adrian? That too. It's close.

Harry (Chapel Hill, NC)

If you had to pick between Matt Kemp and Delmon Young to keep as an OF, who would you pick? If you could keep both, would you?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Kemp. He's got far more power and is just a better overall talent. I might keep Young as well... but where as Kemp is a top-20 OF, Young's closer to top-50.

Phil (Grand Rapids, MI)

Long-term - Colby Rasmus or Travis Snider (offensively only)?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Snider. I think he needs to cut down on the Ks a bit, but Rasmus not getting called up spoke volumes, and I don't think it had as much to do with his knee as it was he's not ready.

kyle (Athens, GA)

Where are you taking AJ Burnett this season? Any higher than last year? He's still going to get hurt right?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

I hope not. I may not like the Yankees, but I'd hope they lose on the merits... Burnett is just outside the Top-10, if only for the run support he'll get in the Bronx.

Fernando (Pembroke Pines)

BASEBALL IS COMING!!! Hey AJ, in a 10 team h2h league would you have going 8th in the 1st round

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Probably Berkman or Beltran.

Shaun(NYC)

AJ, as posted you earlier.....you are seriously not interested in a 2B(B Phillips) who has gone 25/25 the last two years and bats in the middle of the order with potential 85plus RBI's until the 8th round?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

First of all, let me say I was really high on Phillips last year and even endorsed him over Utley... so I'm wary of getting burned by him again. Fool me once... Having said that, I think there's not much difference in Phillips and say, Uggla, Lopez, DeRosa and even Polanco... so I would wait.

The Mayor of Parraville, PA

Thoughts on Corey Hart...does he bring his avg back up this year? can an owner expect a 20/20 season again? who would you trade him for pitcherwise?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

At this time of the year, I tend to value hitters a lot more than pitchers. There's just more value to a 5-cat batter than any pitcher in standard categories. I have Hart in my top-50 hitters, though and expect good things.

Mike (Cincy)

Can Justin Upton go 25 hr - 15 sb this year? He was solid to start and finish last year and even when he slumped he still took walks.

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I don't see the SB, but powerwise, he should be close.

Rob (Philly)

Not much difference between him and POLANCO? Is it the 20 more homers or 20 more steals where there isnt much of a difference? And you included Lopez in there, shame on you.

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Did Phillips have a better 2008 than Polanco? No question. But Phillips power is a ceiling, and Polanco's batting average is so much higher that it's a wash. A player with that many more HRs should be as close in slugging pct as these two were.

Mike (Tampa, FL)

Back to AL 3B...where do you rank Mora this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Mora is next after Longoria... I think the RBI spike was a bit fluky.

Tim (Los Angeles, CA)

I have one keeper spot left and I have to decide between Soto or Alexei. Who would you keep? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I'd go with Soto based on positional scarcity plus the fact he's simply a bit better overall for fantasy purposes.

Steve (Miami)

Where do you rank Matt Wieters among catchers if the O's decide to start him at the beginning of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I don't think they will, but certainly if he wins the job I'd have to consider him at least in the neighborhood of where Ramon Hernandez would have been - top 15 overall, if not a tad higher.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

(That's overall catchers, obviously.)

Scott (NJ)

Speaking of AL 3B, what ever happened to Josh Fields?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Got caught between Joe Crede and a hard place last year. I think he'll get around 300 AB's this year though.

dan (detroit)

Miguel Cabrera - 1st round pick? Is there a 1B other than Pujols that you'd even consider ahead of him? Am I alone in thinking he's ready for a monster year?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I've currently got Miggy as my No. 5 1B, behind Pujols, Berkman, Tex and Howard... but you could easily make an argument for him to put him ahead of Ryan. Would I mind having him as my starter at 1B? Not one bit.

carlos (bx, ny)

another AL third basemen... alex gordon

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I'll answer since this has turned into "AL Chat - Third Baseman Edition" - Gordon right now would be next after Mora. Who's going to guess the next name on my list?

Dave (Chicago)

Riddle me this AJ...how has a player(Phillips) who is just 27 hit his power ceiling? Is that not the age most players turn up/on their HR potential?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

For power hitters, yes. For a guy who has gone from 46 to 47 to 50 percent (including 52 percent 2nd half of 08) of ground balls over his career, the trend is that he's not going to be launching more HRs. Unless he significantly changes his swing, he's not suddenly going to hit 30 HR's again.

Sean (New Haven CT)

Guillen

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Ding ding ding... we have a winner.

Chris (Baltimore)

How about Michael Young as the next AL 3rd Basemen on your list??

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Certainly once he gains eligibility there, we'd rank him highly, but in leagues which require a games played minimum, he's still a SS for now.

Josh (Canton, MI)

Carlos Guillen? The Tiger's LF?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Positional eligibility rules dictate where we place these players for now. Not projected play.

kyle (Athens, GA)

Doumit your 5th catcher off the board? how legit is he?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I actually have him neck and neck with B. Molina for the No. 5... I like him a lot, especially if he gets to gain eligibility at 1B this year, giving him a bit more flexibility.

Josh (Canton, MI)

Does Cabrera qualify as a 3B still?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Miggy? 14 games at 3B. If that's enough for your league then yes. In a 20 gamer, no.

Jay (Boston)

Curtis Granderson or Jason Bay as my last OF keeper?

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

Curtis has a huge bounce back year, but I still stick with Bay.

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Thanks all! That's all the time we have. I appreciate the Q's, and we'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!