Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric, and we'll be talking fantasy baseball and, if you choose, fantasy football today. Lots going on. Tim Redding to the Rox! OMG! OK, let's go...
What's your thought on position scarcity this year. The podcast boys think it's at third base, but middle infield looks suspect again.
I think infield is kinda weak, except for obviously first base. We did a mock draft last week and let's just say those who filled second, short and third in the first six or seven rounds were pleased. Those who didn't, not so much. And catcher is always weak.
E, love the chat and work you do. Am I crazy for thinking about taking Adam Dunn over Jason Bay? The Mets are such a mess, I don?t like the vibe I?m getting. Both players will have similar #?s except Dunn will get a few more HR and Bay more SB.
Not too crazy. I'm not a big Bay fan this season, because he might see a drop in power to 22-25, but he does run some, and unlike Dunn, his batting average doesn't scare me. Don't avoid Bay just because the Mets are a mess. He'll still get some numbers.
Panicking dynasty league owner here - What is the effect of the Thome signing on Delmon Young? Is there any hope of him reaching the lofty status that he reached as a prospect?
Didn't we all give up on Delmon 2 years ago? I think the Thome signing really puts the pressure on Young to hit in April, or this could be a platoon. The Twins say Thome is a bench guy, but we know he can hit. The difference in Thome and Young OBPs is startling. If I owned Young in a dynasty, I wouldn't see this signing as a good thing.
Who do you think is the best sleeper option for saves - Chris Perez, Jason Motte, Franklin Morales or Jose Ceda?
Love the closer talk! I'd say Perez in Cleveland. If the Tribe have another nightmare season then Kerry Wood would be prime trade bait. I'm not the biggest Ryan Franklin fan, but I think he keeps the job, as does Street in Colo. Ceda barely even pitched in 2009.
With Kinsler moving down the lineup, are you scared to draft him? Will this affect his steals?
No, actually I kind of like it. I don't know the exact splits on how he hit in what spot without looking, but I do know guys who run find a way to do so no matter where they hit in the order. Colleague Tristan Cockcroft wrote an article about this last year. Kinsler could go 30/30 again for sure, and now he'll knock in runs as well.
Keeper question Texiera @ $30 or Mark Reynolds @ $1?
Well, that dollar keeper option is pretty startling. I realize Teixeira hits for average, and it could be a monster difference there, but Reynolds can easily match Teix in power. I'd go Reynolds, let Teix go and see if I could get him back.
With 1B being such a deep position do you like Nate Ravitz believe that keeping a guy like Lind or Mark Reynolds for $1 is a better keep than say keeping Texiera for $28?
Yes. Absolutely. First base is deep, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't keep Teixeira at $28 or $30. He is a first round pick to me. Even if 1B is deep, you still want to get two power first basemen.
What value do you see in Curtis Granderson? Will his horrendous split stats righty/lefty continue?
I'm not sure Granderson will ever hit lefties, really. I do like him to hit for more power this season at Yankee Stadium, maybe even 35 jacks. Overall, however, I don't think he'll be a great fantasy option. I doubt he runs much, and since he'll hit about .150 against lefties, it hurts his overall batting average. Yankees should find someone to take his AB against lefties... Jamie Hoffman maybe?
Holliday or JUpton?
Both made my top-20. I don't think you can go wrong with either. If you're a believer in the young player, go with J-Up. Holliday is probably a bit safer.
With second base being scarce as it always is do you think that Brandon Phillips or Brian Roberts is better guy to target after top tier? TMR seems to like Roberts a lot based on the mock draft
I don't think we can assume that from his mock pick. Look at the 2B that were already gone. I kinda reached at Cano at pick 30, and nobody else thought that was too early. Phillips went a few spots later. I think it's fine. Middle infield is not strong, get your guys early.
Do you believe in Leo Nunez this season?
Not one bit. Way too many HR. And that was for Florida! Imagine if he pitched in a bandbox. Yikes. Nunez has the job now, but I take the under on 25 saves.
After an under-the-radar 2009 what is your take on Jeff Niemann?
Not sure there's a ton of upside here, but his is a solid arm with 15-win potential, maybe 150 Ks and 3.75 ERA. Nothing special, but probably should be drafted in standard leagues.
I saw you took Steven Drew in your mock draft - any chance he lives up to the hype of 2 years ago?
I had to! Man, shortstop gets lame fast after the first few rounds, and I can see Drew going 20-80 or so. I don't think he'll be a superstar, but good enough for the 10th round.
In a league that counts holds/saves as 1 category does this diminish the DONT PAY FOR SAVES mantra even more?
Absolutely! I have a league like that and I don't even bother with saves. I take the top holds guys, half of whom end up getting saves anyway. Look what I did in the mock... waited forever and still got Brian Wilson and Aardsma. Those guys might not follow up with great peripherals, but that's 70 saves.
Lets put it this way with Texiera or Reynolds if i keep Reynolds i have no chance at Tex b/c he will go for $40+ this year. Still Reynolds?
Yep. Use that money for another slugger. Reynolds could hit .260 again. I realize everyone thinks he'll slump to .230 or so, but there's no reason to believe his 2009 stats were a fluke. He's got power, and has always run some.
What type of numbers do you see from Kendry Morales - with Figgy and Vlad gone, he's going to need to step up his production, no?
Not sure how much better Kendry can get, actually. Isn't he pretty good now? Probably a 30-100 guy, but looking at how I ranked him against what others think, doesn't appear I'm a big fan. He's fine. But I don't see a 40-120 season.
Eric I know your a Philly guy but can I afford to take on Jayson Werth's batting average woes if I already have Mark Reynolds as a keeper?
I don't think Werth is what we'd call a batting average killer, but he doesn't help you. And Reynolds did not kill teams there in 2009. I try to avoid more than one BA killer on my team, but then again, I couldn't in the mock. Just balance it out with guys who hit for average. Production is production.
Does the trade to Detroit let the air out of Max Scherzer's promising sails? I'm worried the AL is going to eat this guy alive
I still think the biggest issue with Max isn't performance, but durability. I want to see a 200-inning season. We might never see one. I could see an ERA around 4 and 170 Ks again.
Do you see a Chris Carpenter 2009 type year for Brandon Webb?
I do. I see Webb missing some time, but when he pitches, he should pitch very well.
Rank the following pitchers: Sheets, Webb, Harden, Peavy
Ugh. Peavy is first here, easily I believe, and then Webb. I am not a Harden fan... but would still probably choose him over Sheets. Let's just say I'm not likely to ever get Harden or Sheets in drafts this season. I see the upside, but pitching is so deep, I'll just choose others.
NL East pitching staffs? rank them?
Braves are tops, then I'd say Marlins, Phillies and Mets. Nats last. Plenty of good options in this division for fantasy owners, but ATL has a strong 4-man group, and Kawakami is worth a few bucks in NL-only formats. I like Philly's top 4 options, but not the bullpen. Really, I should flop Phils and Marlins here. Fla's bullpen is not good, as well.
How would you rank these keepers: Charles, Greene, Forsett, Harrison?
Football! Finally! I'd say Charles is first, as he made my top 10 at RB. Harrison next, then Greene, and Forsett is an afterthought until we know his role. I doubt he is the starter.
Would Ian Kinsler be a first round pick if we could count on him for 155 games instead of just 130?
I could make the case he's top 10 now, but it's not really his health, but his batting average that scares people. Then again, a year ago Grady Sizemore was a top-5 guy in many leagues. Obviously Kinsler doesn't have that durability, but that's about the only diff.
Eric, do you think it be crazy to consider Sidney Rice a keeper? Or was his success this year tied to Favre throwing to him?
I certainly think if it's Tarvaris throwing to him Rice would not have those numbers.
Would you keep Reyes at a first round price?
Oh no. Not after seeing him miss half of 2009. I'd say third round pick is about right, but you can't take him over Jeter until we see him healthy and running.
I see a lot of rankings placing Tulo in the top 20 - can you make a case for this because I think the risk outweighs the reward with him, even with ss scarcity
Tulo made my top-20, so I think it makes sense. I don't know if Tulo will run as much, but a 30-homer SS with a decent batting average, that's top-20 to me. Doubt I'll get him in many leagues, but I think it's worth it.
What is your take on having too many players on one team? ie 4 Indians players. DO you like to spread it out or does it not matter in a 5x5 roto league.
In roto I wouldn't worry about it. In h2h if the Tribe miss another week with snowouts, it's a problem. And I do try to avoid too many starting pitchers from the same team - and division. But hitters, no worries.
What are your predictions for Josh Hamilton this year?
Trying to be positive, but have to assume at least one DL stint, don't we? Maybe 120 games, but 25 homers. Honestly, nobody knows what to do with this fella, so that's why he's not worth taking as early as a year ago.
Once we make it to the super bowl's MVP announcement and ST is merely days away, will the fantasy baseball content start flowing? You seem to be soldiering away in solitude this year.
I believe so. Thanks for noticing! I assure you our draft kit will be comprehensive ...
Is 40/30 the best case scenario with Justin Upton this year? Is he more likely to take a step in the power or speed?
Probably power. I wouldn't be all that surprised if he hit 40 homers, actually. But the speed, I don't know if he wants to run that much.
Hi Eric What do you think of Matt Capps this year? Thanks
I think I would avoid. He made my top-25 right at No. 25. At some point Drew Storen is going to get saves, and it's not like Capps is a stud.
Will Howie Kendrick get 500 at-bats this year? Major league at-bats, I mean.
Ha! We have a fellow on staff who loves Kendrick. I don't think I can reasonably project 500 atbats, sorry. Let's see 400 first, ok! The guy can hit, though. We can pretty much count on a batting average near .300, I think.
i saw that you took Weiters in the mock. What are the numbers you'rew expecting him to post this year?
I knew Wieters was about to go to someone else in that round, so I pounced. I don't think it was a reach at all. Had I not gotten Wieters, catcher would have been my last-round pick, probably a Molina. Anyway, I could see 20-90 and a .300 batting average, which is awesome for a catcher.
Eric, I was shocked to see you go with Greinke in Round 4 of the ESPN Mock Draft. I realize that this is just the first mock but you went away from your mantra of drafting hitting early and often in Rounds 1-5. Was this more about having to get an ace in 2010 or perceived value?
Yeah, I was shocked, too, to be honest. That's not me. But you will notice Greinke was the ONLY pitcher I took in the first 10 rounds, so I have that going for me. I don't simply ignore pitchers... I do like to get an ace at a bargain price if I can. Greinke is terrific. Basically, when my picks were up then, I didn't like any other hitters. So I took an ace.
I made trades for Wright and Sizemore - tell me I will be very, very happy.
I think you will be very, very happy. I have Wright in my top-10, expecting the power to go back over 20. And Sizemore just needs to play. Big sleeper in round 4.
What kind of numbers are you expecting from Marlon Byrd as he moved over from the AL to the NL?
The prediction is for ... pain. You don't want this guy. The 2009 numbers are not coming back.
Over/Under on 30 saves for Raphael Soriano?
Have to say under based on his usual health, and the fact this franchise lately has shared the role quite a bit.
Eric, why take Wright in the 1st round when you can get Zimmerman in the 4th or 5th? Wright will steal more, higher average, but is that worth the cost in rounds (not to mention downgrade in power and runs)?
I see your point, but if you can get a potential 30/30 guy, a 5-category fantasy producer, I think you have to do it early. And Zimmerman had a terrific year, but he had been sketchy before that. Zimmerman and Aramis are nice 3B types in round 4... but to get 30 steals, too...wow
Which Giant will be more fantasy relevant in 2010: MadBum or BustPosey?
I don't think either are going to get much run, but I'd say Posey is closer to helping fantasy owners.
What are the chances that Drew Storen is closing for the Nationals in September?
I'd say the chances are excellent.
Great Scott! Crawford at 7! What are your thoughts on this? Wouldnt a guy like Texiera their made more sense?
Crawford barely made my top-20 overall. I'd be careful here. Only 16 steals after the All-Star break... not a power guy. But he always does well on our Player Rater, because there are so few 50-steal guys.
Hey Eric, I need to make my final cuts in my dynasty league baseball league this week. Who should i keep as my 5th starter, Brett Anderson, Phil Hughes or Scott Baker? Thanks
I think Anderson is going to be a star really soon, maybe this season. I'd keep him, and it's not close. Hughes might start, and he might relieve. And Baker doesn't have great upside. Anderson could strike out 200 this year.
Bounce-back season for Matsuzaka?
He's one of my big sleepers. I don't know why everyone seems to hate this guy, but I think we can count on 15 wins, 175 Ks. There is no WBC this season... Dice-K is supposedly in great condition, too. And he's not old.
Eric love your work, keep it up! What do you expect from Chris Coghlan? Afterall he did win NL ROY...
Another of my favorite sleepers. I interviewed Coghlan for the Baseball Today podcast last week, and he said he's going to steal a lot more this season. His minor league numbers bear out that he can, and he's got power. The .300 average was no fluke. I was stunned at where we ranked him, but he's right around my top-100. Plus, someday soon he could add 2B eligibility.
As an EAGLES fan you have to answer this!!!....Kolb or McNabb????? Kolb a top 10 QB next year if he starts?
I know a LOT of Eagles fans who want to punt McNabb for a draft pick, because they assume Kolb is safe and will be great. We do not know that. Kolb has barely played. McNabb is the better choice for 2010, and he's in my top-10. Kolb would not be.
If offered Kemp for Howard how fast do you click accept?
I would prefer Kemp, but it's not like Howard is a fifth-rounder... I've got him at like 14 or so.
Mauer worth a second round pick? Or will he revert back to 6th round production?
I think he's a bit risky, but I'm seeing him go in round one consistently. Won't be me. He's a catcher. They get hurt all the time and wear down.
I agree with you on Dice- K Eric! What about Tim Hudson this year? like Dick-K he came back at the end of last season looking pretty good?
I like Hudson as well, but note he's not a big stirkeout pitcher. Main difference there, plus, who knows if the Braves will get him run support.
I know you like Nolan Reimold. Is he going to get enough ABs to make him worth taking?
I think he's the Orioles starting left fielder, if healthy. Anyone could lose their job, in theory, but I think he's pretty safe for about 20 homers, with upside for more and stolen bases. If Felix Pie hits and Garrett Atkins does not, then Reimold can play first base.
Rank'em: Ludwick, Snider, Garrett Jones.
I think Ludwick is a sleeper to do what he did in 2008. And I got Jones in nearly the last round of the mock.. he was pretty good in half a season, and he stole bases. Maybe he's not a corner infielder, but fifth outfielder, oh yeah. Snider last.
does andrew bailey have a successful year as Oakland's closer, or will he fall victim to the sophomore curse?
I think he probably takes a few steps backward overall, but 30 saves seem likely. It's amazing how this guy's minor league numbers showed nothing to make him a great closer, but he had a great year. Really, all factors in place he might have been baseball's top reliever. He didn't make my top-10 closer rankings for 2010 though.
what do u expect out of Randy Wynn now that he is with the Yankees?
Man, this disappoints me. Johnny Damon got some really bad advice. He's still out of work. He could have made a reasonable deal, short term, batted second after Jeter and won a World Series again... now he's unemployed. Can't believe the Yankees wanted Winn, but hey, he can play all three outfield spots and he doesn't throw like a 10-year-old. He doesn't hit or walk much, but maybe the Yankees didn't want a regular left fielder. Gardner has some promise. Overall, Winn is not likely to get 500 at-bats, and even in that park, I don't think he'll be great. What Melky did last season, I don't think Winn will do even that.
Crawford @ $19 or Texiera @ $30?
I guess Crawford. He's the clear value here.
Sleeper team this year is....
Well, Oakland for one. Much improved rotation, good bullpen, and if they just let Jake Fox hit 30 home runs, they'll score.
Last year, many experts recommended waiting on SP. Do you recommend that strategy for this year?
This year, last year, every year. I still like to get one anchor, but as you can see in the mock, only one of my first 10 picks made his living throwing a baseball. And my rotation looks fine.
Nick Markakis break out or more of the same?
I think what we see is what we get. Good batting average, 20-100 guy, maybe he runs some. But a year ago he was a top-20 guy to many! Not anymore.
You really think Fox will get enough AB for 30 HR?
No, not now he doesn't. It's a shame. Let the guy play. The Kouzmanoff trade and Cust re-signing kills Fox's value. But I think the guy can rake...
do you think Porcello's strikeouts start to go up this year or is he still a few years away from being a fantasy stud?
I think we see a progression of the Ks going up, but I doubt he gets to 150 this season. In a dynasty league, this guy is going to be a monster in about 2 or 3 years.
Do you see Belliard as a sleeper if he gets the full time job in LA? Or does he put up subpar numbers?
I doubt the Dodgers intend to play Belliard regularly. Some of it depends on whether Blake Dewitt hits/walks and fields his position well enough, and they have Jamey Carroll too. Belliard is not a starter. He's a guy to hit the lefties.
What does Juan Pierres ending line look like? 300avg, 100 runs, 45 SB?
I could see all of those, but would take the under on the average and runs.
Do you think waiting on SP is wise in H2H leagues as well? My league plays a H2H points system, and I find that the top tier SP's have a lot of value.
Starting pitchers have value in every system, but the fact is they change quite a bit from year to year. That's the reason I don't draft them early, not because I don't think they're valuable. In a h2h league I definitely get an ace, and would probably take a Javy Vazquez type before round 10 as well... but I still don't draft a lot of SPs early.
The deepest position this year is ____?The shallowest position this year is ___?
Deep is first base and starting pitching... shallow is catcher then shortstop...
Any thoughts on Alex Avila? Picked him up for $5 midseason. Worth keeping?
Not sure he's worth 5 bucks even in AL-only... but there's upside at the plate here. Problem is the Tigers have a terrific thrower behind the plate...
Last year everyone was scared to draft Utley and Mauer. Not me. I picked them up immediately, and rode them deep into the playoffs. What big name player, of whom I can take advantage again, is going to drop a few rounds this year?
I'd say Sizemore and Johan Santana jump to mind...
Will Colorado play a short fielder to accommodate Hawpe/Fowler/Smith/CarGo? If not, who sits most?
I doubt the Rox view Seth Smith as a regular. And Hawpe will play some first base so Helton doesn't get abused.
Lester a top 7 starter?
I think he made the back end of my top-10, or was close. There's nothing wrong with Lester.
how's my boy lackey gonna do now that he's a part of the 2010 world series champs???
What, he got traded to the Phillies today? Or the Yankees? OK, he should be a 15-game winner for the Red Sox..but the ERA and WHIP worry me a tad, as well as his durability. He's missed starts the past two seasons.
Are you buying Valverde as a legit 30 save guy?
Absolutely. Made my top-10.
Keeper Q - Kinsler in the 6th or Zimmerman in the 10th??
Is Ubaldo a good starting pitcher to target late this season?
Oh yeah... 200 Ks!
what starter is going to have the biigger year for the phillies?
Well, after Halladay... I'd take Hamels to bounce back some. I'd be very careful buying into what Happ did.
Brian Roberts or Granderson as a round 2 keeper?
Well, neither, but I would take Roberts first.
Football Question: Could LT be successful again, at least for a season, if he was traded?
Traded? No, he's a Charger. That's not why LT struggled.
Better Keeper @ $3: Figgins or B. Roberts? thanks for your great work.
Wow and wow... both! I take Roberts though.
OK, that's about all the time I have for today...that was a LOT of questions and answers, so thanks for that and have a great day. I believe I'll continue on Wednesdays chatting, and check out my blog if you want daily advice. Thanks...