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March 9, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric. Thanks for showing up today. Hope you're enjoying the spring baseball action like I am... just 3 more weeks until Opening Day... OK, let's get this moving along... any questions?

Ashley (cANADA)

Where's Baseball Today? Need your thoughts on players and teams to make my day the best it can be!

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

It is posted on the podcenter page and I tweeted it out (@karabellespn). With co-hosts Keith Law and Mark Simon today... Starting Monday we go daily. Thanks for the support!

Knish (NYC)

J Hellickson $2, D Hudson $2, D Storen $2, Prado $4 Adam Jones $11 which 2 do I hold onto in a 12 team 5x5?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Wow. I would try to keep a bunch of those players at those prices. Have to rule out Jones off the top, and probably Storen, too. I'd keep Hellboy and Hudson.

Big Gigolo (Sacramento, CA)

What do you think of Micheal Pineda this year, does he have a chance to have a year like Matt Latos did last year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Interesting. Major difference is probably the teams they are on. Pineda is a Mariner. That can't be good. Latos seemed a bit further along to me, but I do think Pineda will be a big K pitcher... at some point this season. But I take the under on 20 starts.

Gary (Omaha)

What are your thoughts on Soto this year? As far as catchers go, he's proven to have a good eye at the plate with some decent pop. Does he have a shot to move into the top tier of catching options?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

He's already safely in the top 10 of catchers. I don't think he can get to Mauer territory, nor to Posey, McCann and Victor.. but he is close. We'd have to get a safe batting average plus 20 homers.

ryan (seattle)

Tex, prince, zimmerman, youk. Pick two keepers no rules, just first two picks used on them.

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Probably Teixeira and Youkilis. The latter gets his third base eligibility by this time next month.

Patrick (NYC)

Can an argument be made for taking Longoria with the first pick in a 10 team league? I am considering this move with the hope that Prince or Texeira fall in rd 2. If they don't, worse case scenario I can take Zimmerman and trade one of my 3bs or take Dunn in rd. 4?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Don't you think Pujols is better? Or Cabrera? Or Hanley? I can make the case for Longoria at 3 overall, I suppose. It is your team, though. Who cares what others think of your team?

Keith (IOWA)

Gaby Sanchez or Ike Davis?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

I'll go with Gaby. He doesn't seem to be getting much love in fantasy circles, but that was a strong rookie campaign. Stronger than Davis. By the way, I'm about to watch Astros-Mets..Chris Young on the mound. Each time I watch him pitch I do wonder, "is this the last time for awhile?" Hopefully he can stay healthy..

Bob (Philly)

EK!! Help please!! I have my mixed keeper league (6x6, OPS the extra cat) draft TONIGHT and I have Chase Utley. At this point, would you keep him over Buster Posey? Thanks!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

You know, I think at this point I would keep Posey, and I think a lot of people overrate Posey. But I'm scared about Utley's knee... like he could need surgery or miss more time than anyone imagines. Hopefully he's ready for April, but that seems unlikely. Blog on Utley/Rollins and others I will not draft should be up.

Chris (Phoenix)

In a restart Keeper league draft. I have the 5th pick and I expect to take Longoria, but I REALLY want Michael Stanton this year, what is the Highest you would take Stanton in a Keeper League? I am thinking 5th maybe 4th?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I know someone in our start up draft today that took Stanton in round 1... I can see it. A little bit of a stretch with all things equal, but if you really want him and can draft wisely later, sure.

Schroed (IL)

What are your thoughts on Greinke vs. Haren from a keeper standpoint?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I want Greinke. Look, he's going to miss April, no big deal. It's a few starts. I like Haren as well, and they are about even in our rankings after this Greinke broken rib news, but I feel confident he will have a terrific year.

Nelson (New Jersey)

Since Starting Pitching is so deep. What round would you consider drafting your first SP?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Literally, every draft is different. In our mock yesterday I didn't take a starter until the 13th round, and my rotation was fine. No ace, but in h2h, so what. In other leagues if a Halladay or Lincecum falls a bit, I'd take them. In general I pass on starters to the point 9 of my first 10 picks could be hitters. I often get one anchor type.

Dave (Denver)

EY Jr have any shot at winning the 2'd base job in Colorado?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

It's not looking good. For one, he's still rehabilitating from the leg injury. Two, he's not a good defender and doesn't hit enough to make up for it. I think Jose Lopez will have a decent season at 2B for the Rox, actually. Young has that look of a pinch hitter/runner for 200 at-bats, 20 steals.

Dan (VA)

What is the earliest you would take Josh Johnson? Berry and Ravitz keep saying they wouldn't touch him but if he can get healthy he could be a stud again.

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

It's doubtful I will end up with JJ in any leagues... I want a safer anchor if I take one at all. I like him, but there's risk of injury.

Brando (Valpo)

I hear and read all sorts of draft strategies, but doesn't it really break down to take who you want when you want??

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Of course, but say I really want Shane Victorino; well, I don't need to take him in the first six or so rounds. So you try to get a lot of players you want but in the right spots.

Mike (San Diego)

Do you draft any differently based on whether you are playing roto or head to head?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

A tad. I don't worry so much about top starting pitching in h2h, because (if rules allow) I will likely stream starters anyway, and I feel like I can find starters. There is so much starting pitching out there. So I want an even stronger offense in h2h. Also, in roto I don't care about players like Teixeira getting off to slow starts. In h2h I do.

Tony (Lon Gisland)

Sneak peak into your Won't Draft list for someone who's Insider subscription just ran out (no, seriously)...?! Pretty please...

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

The Philly middle infield. Love the Phillies personally, but from a fantasy aspect, I don't see sleepers. I see busts on that offense.

Brandon (San Jose)

What do you expect from Jose Bautista this year and when is the earliest you would draft him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Can't say what round for sure, but I suppose the fifth seems right. I expect more than 35 home runs, passable .260 batting average. I haven't been getting Bautista in any leagues, because others obviously like him more.

Jason (Queens)

With my first four keepers strong hitters, who you keeping amongst Kinsler, Sabathia, Hanson (no penalty)? Kinsler's batting leadoff now and is having a great spring so far...

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Where he hits and what he does in March has no meaning at all, really. Kinsler is my choice no matter what. I almost always take the hitters over pitchers in keeper formats. Two years ago Kinsler was 30/30, so obviously he could do it again.

Brian (NH)

Why do you see h2h as being easier to not have an ace pitcher? would you recommend having no top pitchers in a h2h?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Because, in theory, you can have an ace or two but if they start only once that week, a wise owner with a bunch of two-start guys can still top you across the board. I would love having aces, but not at the expense of good hitters I can simply leave active.

Andy (Denver)

Good first inning for Chris Young. If he can stay healthy where will he rank among pitchers? Good last round flyer in a 15 team mixed league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

So far so good. Man, is Brett Wallace just awful at the plate? How could so many teams be wrong about him... or maybe they were right, which is why he kept getting dealt! Young generally pitches well, just not enough. I suppose if he makes 25 starts he could win half with a 3.50 ERA. Yeah, not a bad flyer.

CK (Maine)

Where do you position Michael Young in 3B rankings if he were to be traded to Philly?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Not gonna happen, unless Utley is essentially out for the year, and Philly can take on a LOT of salary, which seems unlikely. But I like Young now...what's the difference? He would probably protect Ryan Howard in Philly...but it's a pipedream.

Jason (Queens)

^Whoops, I forgot to say keep two of the three...Sabathia vs Hanson is really what I'm having a problem with.

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I know everyone loves Hanson, but I can't vault him over a guy that wins 19 games every year. I think there's a lot of Hanson love.

Nicky D (Sacramento, CA)

Karabell, horrible team in the NL LABR league. Too many risks at pitcher, not enough AB. Horrendous overpay for the K-machine Rasmus. Be honest, you got railroaded this year, huh?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Ha! Absolutely not. In fact, I think this is a very good team, and others agreed (and they weren't just being nice. When it's a bad team, they say so.) Thanks for the kind words, though. Rasmus is totally worth $24. I don't know why you people care about the strikeouts when there is power, the potential for average and enough steals to matter. And Carpenter is not a risk. He'll be fine. To each his own!

john (minneapolis)

do you think justin morneau is going to be worth an early round pick this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

No, I feel only a bit safer with him than on Utley, which is to say avoid both. What a shame.

Arthur (Al's)

A.Chapman, what will his role be this year and will we ever see him as a starter or is he more of a closer?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I see Aroldis being a setup man this season, getting about 70 innings, 90 strikeouts, 3.00 ERA... and about 3 saves. Cordero is the guy. And in a year the Reds move him into the rotation. That's what I see.

Mark (San Francisco)

Eric, what's your take on the team that took Hanley-Tulo-Rollins for $41-$35-$25 in the NL LABR Auction?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Seemed awfully odd to me, but in a way that impacted the entire league. I didn't really get a shortstop. But they have trade bait. Problem is I don't think Rollins will be so awesome.

Tom (PA)

Doesn't Magglio Ordonez deserve a little more love?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Why? Not sure I see the upside, and it's not like he's a potential 25-homer guy.

Patrick (NYC)

I am seeing Nick Swisher drop in a lot of Mock Drafts - why is that? With power coming at a premium, I find myself wanting to reach for a 30 HR lock...?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I think most people expect a huge drop in batting average. I see some drop, maybe to .270, but power is power. I like him more than most.

kev (chgo)

"Carpenter is not a risk"That must be a joke of a statement considering his injury history. Carpenter is the definition of a risky pitcher.......as well as C. Young....

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Nobody in baseball made more starts last year. Seems safe to me. And this hammy injury has nothing to do with an arm or his past. He's fine.

Alex (NYC)

I have Neftali Feliz as a keeper- he will cost me a 17th round pick. In my opinion, regardless of whether he moves to SP or remains a RP, his talent is worthy of the 17th round. What do you think and do you have any idea on where he will land for this upcoming season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I think he SHOULD start but it's starting to look like the Rangers want him closing again.. kind of a waste of his potential, really. He can't have a better year closing than he just did, and 200 innings is always more valuable than 70, but to each his own. Yeah, 17th round is OK.

Ryan (GA)

How far with news of Greinke's rib injury would you wait to grab him now? 2 rounds later?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Two rounds at most. Will be a bargain now. It's one month out of six.

Justin (Indiana University)

YO, EK, how much does Brett Gardner's value increase if he hits leadoff??

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Not really. Hitting ninth in a deep lineup he still runs a lot and still scores runs. It probably overrates him in the big picture.

Brian (NY, NY)

I haven't heard anything about how Javier Vazquez is throwing in ST. Have you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Last I heard his velocity was coming back some, to the low 90s. That's all he needs in the NL to get 175 strikeouts and keep a sub-4.00 ERA. I'm serious. Totally different situation now, he should be a bargain. I'd draft him in a mixed league... and I know a lot of people who would not.

Brian (NY, NY)

Any chance on Shelby Miller breaking camp w/ STL?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

As K.Law said on our podcast today, very unlikely he even makes the majors this season. He's 20. Shelby, not Keith.

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

....And there goes a Chris Young pitch over the wall...wow.

Mike (San Diego)

I feel like Swisher is going to fall into the category of boring guys with limited upside that many people undervalue a la Konerko, Dunn, Torii Hunter, etc. I personally love the "old reliables" who you know what you're getting.

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Agree, agree, agree. Doesn't mean you like old players, but you see value. Good for you! Throw Abreu in there, too.

Tyler (KY)

Who contributes the most to fantasy this year out of Bailey, Wood, and Leake?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I honestly do not think Leake will be in bigs for awhile... they have options on him, and Bailey has to be in the bigs. Wood earned it. I think Wood has a nice season, maybe 12 wins, 3.60 ERA, and Bailey can get Ks and hopefully not get lit. Leake? He might not pitch very much past Triple-A.

Allen (Ottawa)

KC 1B and DH positons over the season, how do you foresee things being played out with Butler, Kila and Hosmer? AB? HR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I see Butler/Kila splitting 1B/DH, with Butler hitting around 18 homers, Kila hurting people in batting average and hitting maybe 12 homers. When Hosmer is ready, he plays. Simple as that. Let's say August he gets called up.

Sean (NY)

Any update on Kendry Morales condition? Ready for opening day?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Seems doubtful he plays every day in early April, though he should avoid the DL. I'm not a fan of his value these days.

Curt (NJ)

EK, which young first baseman has the better chance to make fantasy noise this season: Freddie Freeman or Justin Smoak?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

Wouldn't trust either to start in a mixed league, but certainly Freeman would be my choice. I don't think Smoak has enough pop or the ability to hit .280. Freeman can.

Bill (Athens, GA)

What's your take on Trumbo? Worth a few bucks in an AL only league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I think he will get some at-bats in April, and if he hits, he can see DH time. Abreu has a contract clause and I could see the Angels sitting him on occasion, or moving things around in the outfielder to make room. It's not like Bourjos has hit yet.

John (Detroit)

I need to decide between keeping Kinsler and Youkillis. Who would be your choice?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Youkilis. I feel better about him reaching big stats. His injuries aren't the same as Kinsler's. Middle infield is weak, but so is third base.

Ryan (NYC)

Thoughts on Mauer this year? Between injuries and that new park, I am leary...

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Well, the park was new last year. I expect fewer than 10 home runs, but a strong batting average. The knee problem is an issue, but this guy always hits.

Steve (Vancouver, WA)

Why do people think 2B is a scarce position? I feel it may be the deepest position amongst hitters.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

C'mon! It's awful!

Steve (Phoenix)

Does Barton add any pop this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

No, he is what he is, which is more valuable in real life because of the walks and the defense he plays.

Jake (NY)

What do you think of Jose Tabata this year? Thinking about keeping him at 10 instead of Jacoby at 20.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Wise. I wouldn't keep Ellsbury at double the price... for what, the extra 15 steals?

JP (Fredericton)

Sean Rodriguez's value seems high in AL only cheat sheets for someone who has 1 mediocre year under his belt and lots of comptetition for playing time. How do you justify a $10 or $12 value as some lists seem to have him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

He's tough to predict. I personally believe with his defense at 2B he is a lock for 500 at-bats, with Zobrist playing RF and 1B. I do not think S-Rod will walk much or hit right-handers, but I could see a 20/20 season in time because he has power and speed. i can justify the $10 because 2B is weak.

Joe (Kansas)

Who has the bigger gains this year: J. Upton, Butler, Lind, or Wieters?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

In order, I would say Upton, Wieters, Lind and then Butler last. I don't see Butler getting a ton better.

Brian (NY, NY)

Can you guys do a column on the Rays crowded batting order? Between Manny, Damon, Zobrist, S-Rod, Brignac, are we looking at a few platoons?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Nope. I think al those guys are regulars. But I could write that up at some point. I see it going Jaso-Damon-Longoria-Manny-Zobrist-Upton-Joyce or Dan Johnson-S.Rod-Brignac

Mitch (Rutland Vermont)

Eric. Great stuff. What are the chances Montero starts the year on the active Yankee roster?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Slim. I think the Yankees want to be patient and have him work on his defense more.

Curt (NJ)

Why aren't people seeing that Mike Stanton is Mark Reynolds 2.0? Amazing power, but so many Ks..... What say you, EK?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Not even close. Stanton might not hit .300, but he's not gonna hit .200. And the strikeouts, they just don't matter in the big picture. They're just outs. We want power hitters swinging for the fences. Ryan Howard has been fine. Stanton has a bright future.

Speed Round (PA)

Keep one! J. Chacin $6 or J. Garcia $6?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Chacin, definitely. Worried about Garcia's innings. And Chacin is a bigger K guy.

Marc (NY)

Danny Espinosa...do you think he can be a major sleeper at a thin 2b position? he seems to have 20/20 potential.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I do think he's a sleeper, but there's also a chance he's doing 20/20 in the minors if he can't make enough contact.

Brian (NY, NY)

What do you expect from James McDonald in PIT?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

I realize he pitched well later in the year, but I remain skeptical. He's a Pirate. It's a natural reaction.

Jon (Toronto)

AL only 4X4 with no K's, should Braden's value go up significantly this year with a better team? Already keeping Anderson, anything wrong with 2 starters from same team?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Nothing wrong with two A's starters at all... and if no strikeouts, yes, it changes everything with starting pitchers.

Bill (Athens, GA)

What are the odds Gardner has a full time job in 2012? Trying to make decisions about his long term keeper status for my AL only league.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I don't see why the Yankees would be so eager to replace him. They have power elsewhere, and Gardner gets on base and is an elite left fielder. I think he's safe.

Cory (Fort Worth)

Trying to draft like EK this year (pitchers late). Colby Lewis or Hiroki Kuroda?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Definitely Kuroda. His three-year WHIP would be a top-10 figure every year. One of these years he will win some games.

Jim (Marietta)

Fill in the blank: This year's most over-hyped player is _________ .

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

CarGo, Posey, Hanson jump to mind. I like them all, but people think they'll all get so much better.

Mike (Madison, WI)

I don't understand why you don't like Kendry(s) Morales' fantasy value. Even if he misses the first week or two, you are talking about a guy who can give you 30 homers, 100 RBIs, a .290 average and 80 runs scored in the eighth round of a 10-12 mixed league draft.

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Sure, he can do that. But he's also done it only once in his career, and his leg remains a problem. At the only deep hitting position it's tough to justify him over Konerko, who is older but just hit 39 home runs.

Greg (Boston)

Are you expecting a big bounce back for Kemp?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Oh yeah, he's in my second round.

Justin (Boston)

Fowler or Venable? Cheap speed....

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

I think it's Venable. Possibility he gets platooned, but that's better for us, actually. He was awful against lefties. Fowler just seems average to me.

Vernon Bong (SF Area)

Posey over-hyped? Karabell, did you watch last season?? Yeah your a Dodger fan. Good luck, again, good luck.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

You guessed it, I'm a Dodger fan. C'mon! My question on Posey... you think he'll do considerably more than last season, without playing any first base? What, 30 homers? A batting title. Be careful here, Giants fans...

John (Denver)

Adrian Beltre - am I crazy to think the injury is minor and he should be a 3rd rounder given how weak 3B is?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I think the third round is a bit much, but certainly top 50. I do think the injury is not a big factor.

Bill (Athens, GA)

What are the odds Santana ends up as the number 1 AL catcher this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

If Mauer needs a DL stint or more, then it's certainly possible.

Steve (Newark, NJ)

Over/Under 29 HRs for Justin Upton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Over. Big year coming.

marc (CT)

Thornton or Sale as White Sox closer?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I think it's clearly Thornton, but it's possible even Ozzie hasn't decided.

Gary (Simi Valley)

Thoughts on Stephen Drew? He doesn't feel like a keeper to me but I'm thinking of holding onto him over Victorino, Hart, and Marmol because SS is so thin.

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Oh, I would keep Drew among those options. Definitely.

Cory (Fort Worth)

Buzzer-beater! We're using Quality Starts for the first time. Should I draft SPs differently? Just ignore run support?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Run support is only part of it... a bullpen matters, too. Look at the QS leaders, you'll be shocked. Some very different names are there.

bill (ny)

please pick one for a keeper...kinsler, phillips, ethier...DEADLINE IS TOMORROW!?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Phillips for me.

jack (richmond hill)

Hamilton or Holliday? Which side of the fence?

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

The healthier guy.

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, my time is apparently up. Thank you so much for the questions and your interest in ESPN Fantasy games. We do appreciate it. Have a great day, watch some baseball, practice some drafts and I'll chat with you soon. Adios!