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February 29, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Jim (Gardena, CA)

Giancarlo Stanton? Really.....

Eric
  (3:00 PM)

Hey, if Mike Stanton wants to change his name, I'm all for it.Hello everyone and welcome to the latest fantasy baseball chat session. I am Eric. I have not changed my name. We've got an hour of fun here, so thanks for showing up and let's get it started!

Brian (NYC)

Hey Eric, so Tristan said last week he would look into when you guys are putting up the live draft results...im literally dying here, i click refresh about 100 times a day to see if they pop up, i need them for retention adjustments!!! Help me!!!

Eric
  (3:01 PM)

I don't think you quite understand what the word literally means. Beats me. I'd assume soon, but ADP isn't exactly something Tristan or I control! Don't panic, they're coming!

Eric Jespersen (Weston, CT)

Is it necessary to take a first baseman in the first 2 rounds?

Eric
  (3:02 PM)

Nope. In fact, it's not necessary to do much of anything in the first 2 rounds, but you do need to make 2 picks. They can even be pitchers if you like...you can still win. Personally, I'm taking hitters early, and it might include a first baseman. The position hasn't been this weak for fantasy since Keith Hernandez was playing.

dave (Philly)

what round should i take ryan howard, or not at all?

Eric
  (3:04 PM)

Late. Like Round 18 or 20. He's gonna miss at least April, probably May. And let's be clear: Not an awesome fantasy option even when healthy, though the 30 homers and 110 RBIs are always nice. There are more balanced power hitters out there.

dave (WI)

don't you think the ryan braun home run projections are a little low?

Eric
  (3:04 PM)

I think he hits 32 or so homers, knocks in 110, steals 25 bases, hits .310. I have no concerns here. He's the top player off the board for me. No, literally.

Eric
  (3:05 PM)

Anyone else a little sad that The Monkees' Davy Jones passed today... time to cue up some Monkees...

Mike (Virginia)

Better for keeper league: Joey Votto or Justin Upton? Our league doesn't count steals, so those are out.

Eric
  (3:06 PM)

Both are great. I'd take Upton because I think there's plenty of upside left, and I don't think Votto will get much better. Take positions out of this: Yes, outfield is far deeper in proportion to first base this season, but that sort of thing is cyclical. In 2 years Ike Davis, Freddie Freeman, Mat Gamel and 5 other guys could be stars.

Jake (school)

Hey Hey We're the...just answer my question. Wekks and Choo too much to give up for Giancarlo?

Eric
  (3:07 PM)

Makes sense. It will take a bit of time to get used to Stanton changing his name... I will watch Stanton hit a home run on a Pleasant Valley Sunday....

Al (Phoenix)

EK any chance you can put the word in to have some 14-16 team mock drafts? I feel like 10 and 12 team leagues don't leave room to start or even draft deep sleepers.

Eric
  (3:08 PM)

I can mention it. Or perhaps the editors will actually read this chat! OK, I will mention it. I think 10 teamers are really shallow, but a LOT of people play those. I like the 20-teamers!

kyle (kentucky)

if drafting Miggy, do you grab a 3B late in case that move doesn't go as planned?

Eric
  (3:09 PM)

Well, he's NOT a 3B yet, so I don't even consider his position change as relevant in the early part of the first round. I mean, you're gonna take him anyway. And I could easily argue 1B is more shallow than 3B, so you'd probably use Miggy at 1B anyway.

Jason (Long Island)

Which three guys would you Keep? Tulo, Braun, Upton, Ellsbury?

Eric
  (3:10 PM)

Seems like an awfully shallow league, no? In that group Ellsbury is left out... wow.

Ray (Burlington, NJ)

HAnley in your Top 10...really? power is down the last few years and he is coming off shoulder surgery.

Eric
  (3:11 PM)

And he's a shortstop eligible who INCLUDING last season's debacle has averaged 18 homers, 26 steals and a .303 average the past three years. He'll be fine.

Al (St.Louis)

If you know who Davy Jones is, then perhaps you're too old to be playing fantasy baseball.

Eric
  (3:11 PM)

Perhaps. But I know who George Washington is, too. And Arostotle. And Chipper Jones. Oh wait. I think it's A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.

Jeff (San Diego)

Would you rather have Votto/Rollins or Hosmer/Hanley?

Eric
  (3:12 PM)

That's easy. Hosmer/Hanley. When it comes to Hosmer, yep, I'm A Believer.

Tim (Colorado)

Do you ever answer questions about pitchers--sheesh---who will have a better season, Price or Garllardo?

Eric
  (3:13 PM)

Nope. Only hitters. Sorry.

Eric
  (3:14 PM)

And I'll take Price over Gallardo, but both made my top 15 starters.

Malik (Tucson, AZ)

You're trying to make your mark in society,You're using all the tricks that you used on me,You're reading all them high-fashion magazines,The clothes you're wearing, girl, they're causing public scenes.I said, I-I-I-I-I'm not your steppin' stone. RIP Mr. Jones.

Eric
  (3:14 PM)

Yes, they really were brilliant songwriters.

John (SoCal)

With the recent good news for Justin Morneau, does he move up in your rankings?

Eric
  (3:16 PM)

Wrote about him Tuesday as a sleeper, but I need to see him play in March before really making him viable in a 10-teamer. But I could see him cracking the top 20 first basemen at some point...wow, could we have imagined that 2 years ago?

John (NY)

EK...give me 3 hitters that will be undervalued at draft thaht might bring huge payoffs....thanx

Eric
  (3:17 PM)

Rasmus, for starters. Berkman again. Few seem to believe. And Ike Davis. His manager says he'll hit between 30 and 40 home runs. Why stop there? Why not 50 home runs???

Brian (NY)

Can you write a column on contract year players vs club option guys? Is Cano essentially in a contract year?

Eric
  (3:18 PM)

I could, but I think that stuff is irrelevant, so I'm probably not the right person to write it. For every Adrian Beltre going nuts in a walk year there's Andruw Jones falling apart. I just don't buy it. They're all trying all the time. And Cano is going nowhere.

Ryan Zimmerman (DC)

Any chance I have a better year than Longoria?

Eric
  (3:18 PM)

Always a chance, especially when you've got two guys with injury history. I'll take Longoria. When each is healthy, I think he's an MVP candidate. Zimmerman is not.

Dan (Boston)

EK: Did the Monkees play their own positions?

Eric
  (3:19 PM)

I think Tork was eligible at second base and relief pitcher.

Andrew (New York)

Any mock drafts coming for points league? Any more articles?

Eric
  (3:19 PM)

Yes! I do believe I heard a rumor that we're mocking a points league soon. Or something like that.

Rob (Philly)

People seem to not be mentioning Cano is now batting 3rd and Tex is bumped to 5th. That seems like a big deal to me.

Eric
  (3:20 PM)

It certainly matters some, but Cano is already a mid first rounder. I can't jump him over anyone because he might knock in more runs. And Teix seems a bit undervalued because all anyone is looking at is his bad 2011 batting average... like all the years prior didn't happen. OK.

Steve (Hampton)

Wow, you really don't answer any questions about pitchers- what do you see Fister doing this year?

Eric
  (3:21 PM)

Regressing. He has to. And people keep forgetting that the Cabrera move to 3B will do Mr. Fister and Mr. Porcello no favors at all.

gobizzle (DC)

This is only a Baseball chat? why does it say fantasy lol it shud say fantasy baseball

Eric
  (3:21 PM)

Ask a football question and I'm sure I could find the 30 seconds to answer it. I just don't see any.

Rob (Philly)

With Dee Gordon on my sleeper radar, I was surprised to see Gramling take him in the 15th round of the mock draft. Jumping early because drafting with experts or should I adjust my ranks?

Eric
  (3:22 PM)

I think Gordon has monster upside. Consider where Michael Bourn gets overdrafted. Gordon could steal those bases. And he plays shortstop! Now there is risk, but I'd say Round 15 is about right, perhaps a bit late. Don't wait if you really want a certain impact player.

James (Utah)

Is there any validity to the arguement: "he's a 4th pitcher in the rotation so he'll be facing other teams 4th guys"? Doesn't that get all jumbled after a month or so anyhow???

Eric
  (3:23 PM)

Means absolutely nothing. Put that argument on the Last Train to Clarksville. Honestly, after a week it gets jumbled.

Drew (Williamsport)

Could you see Zambrano having a bounce back year in Miami? Maybe 10-12 wins with a low 3 era?

Eric
  (3:24 PM)

I can see the wins, but the ERA seems a bit optimistic. It's been awhile since he's done that... but if the park plays like Petco or Citi, who knows. Z man is on my deep pitcher sleeper list, the really secret one...

avey (corvallis)

Eric, big fan. Morse or Hosmer? Higher average, more HRs?

Eric
  (3:25 PM)

Thanks! I think Hosmer is going to be a superstar, like now. In 2014 drafts he'll be in the rankings where Votto is now. Honestly. And there's no way Morse hits .300 again with that walk-K rate. More like .260. But legit power. Hosmer might not hit 30 homers like Morse, but he's a better player easily.

Brian (NY)

Do you believe in Mat Gamel despite his poor K:BB ratio?

Eric
  (3:26 PM)

I don't look at any of the major league numbers Mr. Gamel has produced so far. In the minors he wasn't a walk machine, but he held his own. I'm not real concerned.

Phillip (Lockport, IL)

Do you feel it is too much of a reach to grab LoMo in the 9th round?

Eric
  (3:27 PM)

Probably some, because outfield is deep and there must be other options available then... but I do like the upside for when he hits for average and power the same season. And then he'll tweet about it!

David Freese (St. Louis)

You buying or am I all hyped from the post season?

Eric
  (3:29 PM)

He's overhyped. I have him in a deep keeper league and I'd like to see at least ONE season of 400 at-bats! Give me one! I'd draft him in a 10-teamer, but be prepared... some people just don't have that health skill, and it is a skill.

Luke (Montana)

What PITCHER takes the biggest step forward this year?

Eric
  (3:31 PM)

Oh, how about Matt Moore. And watch to see if Matusz has his velocity back. And Travis Wood wins the NL Cy. OK, maybe not.

Phillip (Lockport, IL)

Why is there no pub for Chris Sale? He could K a batter per inning and could be had much later than Brandon Morrow with a better WHIP.

Eric
  (3:32 PM)

He COULD. He hasn't done anything like it as a starter yet, though. He might not even be a starter. I think he has more upside than Morrow for everything but Ks.

Rob (Philly)

What would you say is the likelihood of Jesus Montero getting catcher eligibility?

Eric
  (3:33 PM)

Like 90 percent. He will play... I don't think he plays 10 catcher games in April, but by mid-May. Mariners don't need him to catch, really. It's not like they have another top DH option. The past 3 years their DH choices have been a joke.

Damon (MO)

Keep 3 of the 4, Cockroft, Berry, Ravitz, Mass.

Eric
  (3:33 PM)

Like choosing between your children... can't do it. Speaking of children...

Bill (Pittsburgh, PA)

Do you have any auction draft strategies you could pass along to a rookie here?

Eric
  (3:34 PM)

Balance... and don't worry so much what others do. Get good prices. Fill all the categories. Spend your money. Have fun.

Frank (Florida)

Wow, you really do answer questions about pitchers, you are a five tool chatter- what pitcher is reaching the end and should be avoided this year?

Eric
  (3:36 PM)

Well, I try. I think that Strasburg guy is getting up there in years. OK, I'd avoid Ubaldo. And I think Edwin Jackson is ordinary. And Colon and Freddy G. Yuck.

Noah (NY)

Eric, while you and Tristan may not control when ADPs are published, it's not unreasonable to think you might know when they will be released. Also, your attempts at humor generally fail, so I'd suggest not even trying. LITERALLY!

Eric
  (3:37 PM)

That ... is .... really .... mean. I ... might ... cry.

Mike (San Diego)

SPRING TRAINING STARTED TODAY! I love baseball.

Eric
  (3:37 PM)

I hear ya.

Jazzy (Costa Rica)

David Ortiz..Is this the season he finally falls below 30 HRs? I cannot justify keeping him in my UTIL spot.

Eric
  (3:38 PM)

There was nothing hidden in Ortiz's 2011 season to think he will fall apart now. He might hit only 29 home runs, but he's pretty safe. I wouldn't worry. Cut him if you must, but he'll hit.

Bob (PA)

Any chance Arenado wins the 3b job in colorado this spring? Are you drafting him in a 12 team NL only?

Eric
  (3:38 PM)

No, I think he needs at least a half season at Triple-A. He's like 12 years old. OK, he's 20.

Lou (Head stuck in the ground)

Just heard that the Mets are moving in their fences... What does this mean for David Wright? Can we expect a 2007 stat line again?

Eric
  (3:39 PM)

I have no concerns about Wright. And frankly the stuff about the fences... doesn't change value much to me. I like quite a few Mets as sleepers... Ike, Duda, Murph, Wright, Niese...

Brett Myers (Houston (TX))

Can I still effectively close out games like I did in Philadelphia a few years ago?

Eric
  (3:42 PM)

Houston's move is a ridiculous one for his value, but yes, he can be fine and save 25 games for a bad team. It's foolish to take a safe 200 inning guy and dump him in the bullpen. Carpenter, Abreu or Lyon - well, perhaps not Lyon - could save 25 games, too. Not a wise move here. But draft Myers with other flawed closers like Capps, Santos, Francisco...

Noah (NY)

Seriously, please find out when ADPs come out.

Eric
  (3:43 PM)

We're efforting an answer. Literally. It's not like one guy is sitting there in the corner controlling ADP and curling his stache saying "how can I anger these people!"

Mike (San Diego)

You and Jonah Keri should do a podcast together where you predict the over/unders for win totals on every team. That would be awesome.

Eric
  (3:43 PM)

I'm up for it. Jonah does terrific work, and we can both talk.

Rick ((Still Snowing in CT))

Surprised you took a catcher in Rd 12 in the mock. It seems you and Lipscomb took the last catchers of the tier (M. Montero, Avila). Do you feel they are that much better than those selected in Rd 20 (Molina), Rd 25 (Soto) or those not drafted at all (Arencibia, Martin or even Perez)?

Eric
  (3:44 PM)

I didn't want to do it. Part of it was I really didn't like the other choices, but I also thought Montero that late was a huge bargain. I really wanted to take my catcher in the last round and make a point... in a shallow 10-team league that makes sense. I mean, some catchers didn't even go. But I thought it was really nice value there.

Drew (Williamsport)

Approximately how many fantasy leagues are you in each year? I'm aiming to do four and think it's going to be VERY time consuming.

Eric
  (3:45 PM)

I'm actually cutting down my leagues... already left a few of them. I want to concentrate more on the leagues I care about this season... because when you have too many leagues, you find you're not paying enough attention to any of them. I don't like that. I think around 5 is a good number, if they're different.

Avey (corvallis)

Eric, making your way to any ST - Florida or Arizona? Don't know if you have vacation time lined up...

Eric
  (3:47 PM)

I am actually headed to Arizona this week for the USA Today LABR drafts... I should catch a game or two. Love that trip every year. Hoping to get to Florida as well... if only the boss would send me! In the past I've gone to Clearwater/Dunedin/Tampa with pals for a weekend trip...but can't do it this year.

Dave (Philly)

ERIC/drew you guys have no LIVES..... wow 5 leagues. who does that. I do one and think thats enough.

Eric
  (3:47 PM)

On the contrary, I feel I have an enriched life. I'd say most people play in more than one league...

Mike (San Diego)

I can't believe that you have Braun #1. You know Fielder left right? If Braun doesn't have protection, he probably won't even hit .250. Now Miguel Cabrera will bat .500

Eric
  (3:48 PM)

Fielder left? When did that happen. Of course I know. And I don't care. Braun is pretty good... I blogged about this on Monday giving my reasons. Won't hit .250? OK, we shall see...

John (NJ)

When will BB Today be true to its name and be daily? It's more like BB this week now.

Eric
  (3:49 PM)

Hey, we're lucky we get to do one podcast a week in the offseason.... I'm told we're going daily the week of March 19. We shall see...

Mike (San Diego)

Hey Dave in Philly, you realize this is Eric's JOB, right? So playing in 5 leagues and taking about 2 hours per day per league would be about what most people spend on jobs.

Eric
  (3:49 PM)

Let's not let the facts get in the way of a decent argument.... but um, yeah. What he said.

Mike (San Diego)

That was sarcasm BTW...just pointing out how dumb it is to link production so heavily to protection.

Eric
  (3:50 PM)

Oh, I thought it might be...

Al (New Brunswick)

Do you ever have a partner in any of the leagues you are in? IF so, how do you approach an auction?

Eric
  (3:51 PM)

No. Never a partner. Never works out. Two guys have to agree to even offer a trade out... the weekly moves... I'm sure some people will say it works, but I wouldn't do it. Running a fantasy team isn't that tough.

Jonny (Fredericton, NB)

You mentioned the value of Pocello and Fister being affected by the Tigers infield. Does Verlander take a hit as well?

Eric
  (3:52 PM)

Not really. He misses a lot of bats. But I don't want to overrate the Cabrera move, either. Fister was gonna regress even if a young Brooks Robinson was playing at the hot corner...

Tim (Colorado)

25:4 that is the ratio of hitter to pitcher questions you have answered in this chat-c-mon Eric who is the best young pitcher out of this bunch, Beachy, Bumgarner, Kennedy or Zimmerman....

Eric
  (3:53 PM)

Really? Wow... I am so biased. I'd take Bumgarner here... but Kennedy and Zimm are also tremendous. Beachy doesn't belong in the convo yet.

Justin (Boston)

Eric- you worried about Freeman's knee injury? Still like him to improve this year?

Eric
  (3:53 PM)

Sounds like he should be fine in about 2 weeks, so no, not worried. Good opp to buy low actually.

Jeff (ME)

No one worries if Pujols has no protection. No one worries about Kemp, Bautista, Upton, or Car-Go. Yet these guys still produce. Why the concern for Braun now? Braun is the type of player that will provide protection for his teammates, making them better players... and worth targeting as well. Which, in turn, will help Braun. Just my two cents.

Eric
  (3:55 PM)

I agree with those two cents. I mean, if I believed in lineup protection, Pujols has Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells back there. C'mon! Lineup protection is a myth. Doesn't exist. Yet, people think it does!

James (NY)

Really wanted you to answer my Pence question as you are a Phillies fan.

Eric
  (3:56 PM)

There are a lot of questions in here and I see like 10 at a time....I like Pence. What was the question? I think he gets a career high in RBI, prob 25 homers, 105 RBI, 12 steals, .280. He's hitting cleanup half the season, if not more.

James (NY)

Really, I sent the Pence question in 11 times this draft and you print that.

Eric
  (3:56 PM)

Yeah, sorry.

Dan (NY)

RE: Tigers Pitchers.... AJ said last week that he thinks their ERAs might drop with the bad defense due to more errors, do you buy that at all?

Eric
  (3:57 PM)

That point is legit as well. But ultimately I don't think the defense factor will make major waves. Earned runs, unearned runs... it's not like Cabrera is going to make 30 errors over there... well, probably not.

Rick ((Still Snowing in CT))

Another Philly question. I like Mayberry to go .280 with 30 HR's, 90 RBI's, 15 SB's. Can you see that happening?

Eric
  (3:58 PM)

That seems like a lot of home runs for someone that MIGHT be a regular... but probably in a platoon. Of course, I'd play him over Ty Wigginton 10 times outta 10 and every day of the week... but I am not the manager.

Philip (Ottawa)

any issues with owning too many players from same MLB team?

Eric
  (3:59 PM)

If they are Mariners or Orioles or Pirates, I do. But in general, no. Of course, in a H2H weekly, if all games are rained out for a week, or it snows in Cleveland... then yeah, I have an issue.

Eric
  (4:00 PM)

Well, I had fun. Did you? It's fantasy baseball talk, and if you're not having fun then you're missing the point. Thanks to all for playing along, showing up, asking questions, and I'll be back chatting same time next week, I think... Adios!