Namaste... we've got one hour of fantasy chat ahead of us, so let's not waste any time getting at it. Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?
Greetings AJ, what fantasy ace do you have the most workload concerns about: Felix, Josh Johnson, Jered Weaver?
None of the above, really. It's not quantity that concerns me rather than unusually stressful workload -- which I guess could describe Felix, who needed to be perfect to even have a chance at winning last year... that's fairly stressful.
Hello, Mr. AJ. Who would you rather have for this year - myself, or my friends Matt Kemp or Andrew McCutchen? How bout for the future?
I think we can throw out Kemp's 2010 as the fluke, so for one season, I'd give him a chance to prove as much. Longterm, I like Cutch.
In a dynasty keeper league that uses OBP & Offensive K's in addition to the 5 standard categories, would you prefer Kemp or Cruz? Cruz seems to have better stats currently but Kemp's upside is very tempting (especially in a dynasty league).
With Cruz it is always coming down to health. I do have some pause that he'll not be 100 percent the whole year.
Hello AJ, what are your thoughts on veteran SS Jeter and Rollins? Will they bounce back or more regression?
You'll be able to see this very question answered in my shortstops preview in the ESPN Draft Kit... no, I don't have an exact time it will be up -- but it will be soon. Obviously, those who read the Mock Draft article know I think Jeter bounces back.
G' Morning AJ. Why the general fantasy world skittishness toward Clay Bucholz? He was in the Cy Young conversation last season but he's ranked 45th in the ESPN pitcher projections. Is he bound for a regression or is pitching REALLY that deep this year?
Pitching is pretty deep...and I think that 2.20 ERA at Fenway does scream for a regression, and while wins are unpredictable, 16 with a 3.20 ERA seems to be the right ballpark here.
Are platoon players more valuable in leagues in which you can change lineups daily? Before this year I always played in weekly leagues and avoided these players...
Yes and no... they're not going to play any more/less for their teams, so the stats are the stats... but if your rosters aren't deep enough to support your own platoon, then they don't help you that much. If you do, then of course.
Similar question regarding Trevor Cahill. He was also a Cy Young candidate, why is he ranked so low?
Again, stats don't carry over... and cracks were definitely showing a bit in late August/September.
Are you high on Utley as an elite 2B this year, or is someone like Pedroia closing the gap fast? Basically, is Utley a top 10 draft pick still?
I'm not drafting him as such. I think an argument can be made for Cano in Round 1 and Utley in Round 2.
A Cargo question: If his performance was so unexpected last season, is there a chance he ends up as the next Carlos Quentin? MVP-type one year, disapointment the next?
Regression? Would not be surprised. But I think as well as he played in Colorado, he's a near lock for .300 and 25 HR. If you draft last year's stats though, you will be disappointed.
Should I buy into some of the Drew Stubbs hype? Would you take him over Bruce, especially since you can get Stubbs at a much later point in the draft (most likely)?
I don't like how often he K's, which will likely keep him from the top of the order and as such, lower his SB numbers. Value-wise, you can certainly get him later and smile, but the hype is a bit loud for me.
For the next two seasons only....Choo (bless you) or Cutch?
Close call. I'm going to say Choo... but only because Cutch may have trouble driving in runs and getting driven in by the ghosts in his lineup.
Over/Under 40 SB's for Jose Reyes?
I say he matches SB and RBIs. Make of that what you will...
Are there any SP's who are ranked out of the top 10 who you see finishing in the top 10? Greinke? Liriano?
Plenty of guys have a chance - you end up splitting hairs over value at that level and the difference between Verlander winning 16-20 or Carpenter doing the same may determine top 10 or not.
How do you see the Oakland outfield sorting out this year?Can any of them stay healthy enough count on this year?
Likely Coco, DeJesus and maybe Jackson if healthy... it's not exactly a murderer's row.
Ok, after Tulo and Hanley are off the board, do you just suck it up and wait until the middle rounds for Alexei and Drew, or do I take a guy like Reyes and pray I get 2/3 of a season from him?
Personally, if I don't get one of the top 4 SS, I'm waiting until Round 15 or so... the cliff has dangerous rocks below... and I'm not sure I want Jose as a life-vest.
Bounce back year for Gordon Beckham or bust?
I'm on the bust side here. I don't like the penchant to chase bad pitches.
Speaking of platoon guys, what kind of role do you see for Luke Scott this year? They don't seem to have a lot of AB's available for him.
I don't think you pay a guy $6 million and not start him just about everyday.
What do you think of Desmond and Pennington at SS this year? Seems like they can be late-round bargains who can perform like mid-round guys.
Higher on Pennington than Desmond. With Ian I just feel there's no substance there.
Thoughts on Evan Meek and Kuo. Will either end up closing for their teams this year?
Meek definitely should at some point. Don't think Kuo has to.
There is no such thing as a bad pitch.
Is Jesus Montero going to get enough playing time to be useful in fantasy?
Not if the Yankees are in a pennant race. Defensively, he's a liability.
What about Nishioka for SS? Worth a gamble over Pennington? OVer Desmond?
Japanese players are tough calls... I can't say I'm not a bit concerned that he was posted at such a young age... don't expect Ichiro Jr. here, but he could give you MI flexibility.
Quick one, rank these late-round 1B: Barton, Butler, Ike Davis
Butler, Barton, Davis.
Who needs a bullpen? See you guys in October! Happy Halladay and Merry Cliffmas
Are you a buyer or a seller on Liriano? Seems no one has a real good opinion of him this season?
Depends on when I need to take him. As my No. 3 guy, I'm all over it. Earlier than that, probably not.
Great work AJ...Let's say I miss out on Longo, Wright, and Zimmerman. Who are you taking and when would you target them (10 team league)?
I'd be fine drafting any of the next few guys: A-Rod, Bautista, Beltre, Young... would probably wait until one or two of those guys are off the board if I was picking in the middle of the snake.
What do you see from the guy with the Hawaian name on KC? Thanks.
Not sure if the Royals score, so the runs/RBIs are going to be low... still Kila's got 25 HR potential.
No Youk at 3B???
Eventually, yes, but in ESPN leagues, he doesn't start off with eligibility.
If you've got the 10th and 11th pick in a 10-team snake draft, are you targeting position scarcity, or just going best two overall, even if it's 1B and OF
If Cano/Tulo are still on the board, you could argue you're doing both...
So what you're saying is that 3B is actually deeper than most think this year?
Compared to 2B/SS and even OF? Yes.
If I take Teixeira(sorry about the spelling)should I take another 1st baseman to start until June?
Not sure why you would... he's batting .293 lifetime in May. Yeah, I know we all like to point fingers at his slow starts, but there's not really any reason he can't have a strong April.
He spelled Teixeira right.
Yes, he did. Gold star.
Do you still love me?
I'd consider taking you around the 7th Round. Does that constitute love?
What do you expect from Morneau this season? He just recently picked up a bat for the first time.
I say we monitor his progress carefully. Concussions are scary, and until we are sure the symptoms are gone, he's a risk. Having said that, once he is OK, he'll be the Morneau we know.
Is it smart to take anyone besides joakim soria if he is still on the board when its your pick?
I'm not breaking the seal on closers, and if I was forced to, Bell is first on my list.
Early mornin chat out here, love it...Is Posey getting WAY too much love? He is a catcher, which means he's limited to 4 starts in 5 days.
He can play first base as well, so I don't necessarily agree with that conclusion. But yes, he is getting too much love.
Greetings from Canada, do you see bouncebacks for both Hill and Lind this season? I don't pretend to use BABIP that much, but Hill had historically low #'s
The entire team didn't hit LHP at all -- I have to think it was a statistical anomaly and the whole team bounces back some in 2011.
What do you think of Alex Rios this year? Is 20/30 too much to hope for?
I think it is at the northern border of his possible outcomes, but not impossible.
Lincecum or halladay or hamilton or rollins or cc or mauer who you take if you have the 10 and 11th pick
I go with Halladay and Hamilton at that point.
Why does every site cater to 5x5 leagues when less than half of owners play in a roto league?
We allow you to set up your league however you wish... so regardless of how you want to play, you can do so on our site.
keeper question: kinsler or phillips?
I'd stick with Kinsler. Waiting on Phillips is getting old.
That's all the time we have for today, gang. If I didn't get to your question, there's always Twitter... and check out the Mass Confusion blog as well... Until the next time, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.