Monday, June 2, 2008

Fred Slacks Fantasy Stats: Part 1 of 6 - NL Central

Well as much as I liked the Aimless Ramblings I'm gonna take a bit of a break right now from them and do something that a few others have asked for on here. For the next six weeks I'll go through each division and talk about each team and give my thoughts on players to acquire, get rid of, or wait and see.

I'll probably be more inclined to get this out for Mondays rather than Sunday nights, so you can expect it then. Without further ado lets start with the NL Central since we do throw our support behind the Brewers. This in no way will be used to predict any kind of MLB standings or anything, just my thoughts on fantasy happenings. Behold, its long.


CHICAGO CUBS

Players to Acquire:

1B Derrek Lee - Even though the past few years have been tough his power is seemingly back and he should be around 35 homers and 100 RBI's while hitting about .300, plus you have to like lineup around Lee right now.

3B Aramis Ramirez - His power hasn't truly been shown yet this year. He could be someone that a manager would part with and give you a great power boost.

Players to Hold:

OF Alfonso Soriano - The frustrating thing with Soriano is that for a high draft pick, he's wildly streaky. One week he will carry you while the next week going .100 with a solo homer or two. And since he's so bent on hitting in the lead-off spot he tends to hit alot of solo shots. If he goes on another huge binge look to shop him a bit but for now just ride him out.

OF Kosuke Fukudome - He'll probably hit around 12-15 homers and steal 12-15 bases while hitting around .300.

RP Kerry Wood - He looks good so far and he's probably going to save 35 games this year, if he stays healthy. And there within lies the rub, his injury history hinders him becoming someone to go out and get.

RP Carlos Marmol - I'd say go out and get Marmol, but the problem is he ranked ridiculously high at this point. And any smart manager will demand a boat load in return. At the same time, he won't close at all this year unless Wood seriously falters or gets hurt.

SP Ted Lilly - I loved him about a month ago, I've cooled on him recently but he is still much better than his ERA suggests. With this Cubs team, 15 wins is still achievable.

SP Carlos Zambrano - Psycho Z has lived up to his ace status thus far by getting his wins and eating up big innings. Still, his strike-outs are down and a blow up is always just a back to back homer away. Couple that with his ability to hit 18-20 wins, and he finds himself sitting on the hold list.

Players to Sell:

OF, 2B, 3B Mark DeRosa - His flexibility and good start could allow you to get good value in return. His average and on base percentage is the best during the month of June, but he has had a power outage during this month as well.

2B, SS Ryan Theriot - He's scrappy and gets it done with average and stolen bases. Look for someone with SS injury problems(i.e. Furcal) and see if you can get a good return. He showed last season that holding that high average all season will be hard.

SP Ryan Dempster - He looks good right now, but seriously he has shown in the past that he couldn't handle being a starter and with the hot start he should be a great player to get a better return value.

C Geovany Soto - He's cooled considerably over the past 2 weeks or so. Save one year his minor league stats were very ordinary. While he still should be a 18-20 home run guy, his average will most likely fall to around .280. He's has been a monster in a weak position, see if you can net a big return.

Stay Away From:

SP Jason Marquis - Yikes. Just stay away.
SP Sean Gallagher - He's young and supposed to be a prospect, there are better options.
OF Reed Johnson - Jim Edmonds has now put him in an OF rotation. pass.
OF Jim Edmonds - He's done people and in a rotation.
1B, OF Micah Hoffpauir - Not going to play over Lee often.
2B, SS Ronny Cedeno - Theriot has a firm hold on the SS position.

Minor League Talent:

SP Rich Hill - Still looks like he's a month or two away, while in the minors he was place on the DL. He's currently throwing simulated games.



CINCINNATI REDS

Players to Acquire:

OF Adam Dunn - Look he's gonna get 40 homers and 100 RBI's whether its with the Reds or elsewhere. Especially in leagues with OBP he is a monster. If he's traded and people try to claim his stats will go down because hes not in Great American Ballpark anymore, don't buy it. He doesn't hit cheap homers. Get him.

2B Brandon Phillips - He's quietly putting together another big year. He will have another season of 30 and 30. It probably won't be easy, but if you can exploit a hot hitter or pitcher and get Phillips in return you will reap the benefits all year.

SP Aaron Harang - He's got a nice WHIP and ERA right now and is striking out a good number of batters but he's only 2-7. This can be exploited. Go get him, and just maybe the manager who owns him may not appreciate what he has done.

SP Bronson Arroyo - His ERA is inflated and fairly inconsistent. But over his last 5 starts he has been crazy good. 32 k's in 32 and a third innings while accumulating an ERA of 1.97. He should come cheap but he's definitely in a groove right now and too good to pass up.

Players to Hold:

RP Francisco Cordero - CoCo has been solid for the Reds and should net around 30-35 saves. Once again his home/road splits are a bit concerning. His home ERA is 1.23 while his road ERA is 3.27. That was his problem in Milwaukee as well but the Reds seem to be getting hot so for now he's just a hold.

1B, OF Joey Votto - His power is a little bit of a surprise. Coming up from the minors he was touted as a Lyle Overbay type first basemen who hits for a high on base percentage while sacrificing some power. Well the power is there, and while the last few weeks have been a bit dry he's still a great player.

Players to Sell:

OF Jay Bruce - I'm probably crazy right. The guy is hitting home runs and stealing bases. He's taking walks(something he wasn't doing in AAA) and he's hitting for a high average. He's a huge stud right now and with people in love with his potential he could get a fantastic player in return. Shop him and see what people are willing to offer.

3B Edwin Encarnacion - Seriously this guy is tough to have on your squad. Always has potential, that's the only thing that keeps him from being a stay away from guy. See if you can get anything for him.

SP Edinson Volquez - He leads the league in K's and hes probably the NL Cy-Young if it was handed out right now. However, and stay with me people, his walk rate is high and his career ERA is 4.50. While it is evident that he is a great talent and should be a pitching main stay for years to come, he's going to hit a rough stretch soon. His value right now is astronomically high and could net a big player in return for someone you most likely picked off of waivers, or drafted real late.

SP Johnny Cueto - He came out in a big way, and since has cooled. While he also looks like a special pitcher, he's really young and his name and hype carries more value than his stats at this point.

OF Ken Griffey Jr. - He'll probably be traded and even if he isn't, he is not much of a heavy hitter these days. His average is down, his power is down, and he's 38. Again his name carries more weight than his stats, find a Ken Griffey idolizer and get a better return value.

SS, 3B, 2B, OF Jerry Hairston Jr. - He's a good fill in player and right now he's playing like a stud. Batting lead off and stealing bases he has looked like a great find for people. However, Jeff Keppinger was looking equally good before his DL stint, and the un-deserving Alex Gonzalez always seems to sneak into playing time. There is just no telling what the Reds do from here on out when these two come back.

Stay Away From:

SP Josh Fogg - He's hurt and he's bad.
SS, 3B Jeff Keppinger - Who knows what the Reds will do with the SS position, he's not worth a DL spot.
3B, 2B, OF Ryan Freel - Not likely to get much time in the OF anymore or at 2B, don't waste your time.
SS Alex Gonzalez - He's hurt, when he plays he has pop. Don't waste your time.
C Paul Bako - If you own him, I just feel sorry for you, even in NL only leagues.

Minor League Talent:

SP Homer Bailey - Matt Belisle was just sent down and Josh Fogg got hurt. Bailey will probably get the call up. He's worth a flier if he's still available in your league. If you own him get ready, although he has struggled recently in AAA he's a highly touted prospect

OF Corey Patterson - Who knows where he'll resurface and when. I doubt it will be with the Reds, barring injury.



HOUSTON ASTROS

Players to Acquire:

SS Miguel Tejada - Although he's 33 not 31 he has been hitting well this year. His power numbers are down some but I like his right handed bat with that short porch in left field. He most likely won't be too costly and could be in for a power streak soon. Hitting after Berkman and before Carlos Lee he has nice protection to keep seeing good pitches.

SP Roy Oswalt - It's been a rough season so far for the 'Stros ace. He's been knocked around quite abit but you have to believe he'll find his groove sooner or later, hes been too good over his career. Also if the Astros falter and fail to stay in the playoff race, he may be a trade chip that could move him which could benefit him.

RP Doug Brocail - You aren't gonna trade for him, but I do like him as a guy that could be a nice RP for you in a pinch. Jose Valverde is a notoriously terrible pitcher in even years and if he starts to get rocked Brocail would be the man that steps in. Good for a few scavenger saves and a decent K rate makes Brocail a solid last RP option.

Players to Hold:

OF Hunter Pence - Pence is a fun player to watch. He is a lanky, awkward looking fellow but he does play the game with a lot of spunk. He started out really slow but got really, really hot. He's going to strike out alot and is too inconsistent at this point in his career for me to buy on him, but he's definitely a hold candidate.

1B, OF Lance Berkman - What do you want me to say. He's probably one of 4 MVP candidates in the NL at this point and has been insanely good. His SB's are up and his power stroke has maintained. At this point you can't trade him and honestly to trade for him will likely cause you to give up too much.

OF Carlos Lee - The care free character will do his thing and get 35 homers and be among the league leaders in RBI's. He's on track with his usual stats with the exception of his unusually low average. Expect that to come up. I would say go get him, but again I feel that you'll have to give up too much to go after him.

SP Wandy Rodriguez - He's fresh off the DL and he got touched up in his first game back. But he did look good before that. Watch out for his road starts but, play him with confidence at home.

Players to Sell:

OF Michael Bourn - It's no secret, I've pined for people to sell on him from the start. His average and OBP are pathetic and he doesn't even score runs at a good clip. He has virtually zero power. He is a great defender, but that obviously doesn't matter in the FB world. He has 24 steals, and people always overvalue SB's. Rid of him and you'll find you won't even miss his SB's.

SP Brandon Backe - In years past he's been good but this year he just doesn't seem to have it. If you own him shop him, and see if you can get anything. He does strike people out at decent clip but hes just isn't worth the headache.

2B Kazuo Matsui - I have never been a big fan of the guy. While he is a SB threat, he never has hit home runs like people thought he would and his average is not very good. He always seems hurt as well. But he does play 2B so he carries some overrated value. Sell.

RP Jose Valverde - I've pointed out his even year woes in past. He has gotten on track and had a good May. I personally am not sold on him, nor will I ever be. A lot of people do believe in him so getting good value should be easy.

Stay Away From:

C J.R. Towles - The rookie seems like he needs more seasoning.
3B, 2B, 1B Ty Wigginton - The flexibility is nice but pass until he improves his power numbers.
SP Chris Sampson - The youngster doesn't strike anyone out.
SP Shawn Chacon - Owning him and using him is playing with fire.

Minor League Talent:

SP Runelvys Hernandez: The Astros have one of the worst minor league systems right now. Although Hernandez could reemerge soon. Remember this guy, he had an insanely hot start for the Royals about 5 years ago then disappeared. Don't go out and get him, really I just wanted to bring him up because I totally forgot about him.



MILWUAKEE BREWERS

Players to Acquire:

1B Prince Fielder - He looks like he's starting to get the big bat going again. I still have faith he hits around 40 homers but he'll need to improve his average some. I could see this happening. He should be around .290 somewhere, and the RBI's will climb once the team gets on track which looks to be happening.

OF Corey Hart - The man has 30 - 30 ability. He is hitting over .300 and leads the league in average with runners in scoring position. With Weeks, Cameron, Braun and Fielder he should continue to see plenty of RBI opportunities. Get the man.

OF, 3B Ryan Braun - It's hard to list him here because he would be extremely tough to acquire but he has shown this month that last year was no fluke. His stolen base number aren't where people thought they would be but his power, average and RBI's have looked on par. With the rest of the team starting to get hot, he could be in for even better stats.

2B Rickie Weeks - Right now he leads the league in runs scored in the lead off position. While his average is bad his career averages suggest hes a .250 hitter with an OBP of around .350. If he gets to match those numbers or even gets on par with his number for last year he's a force. Right now I see Weeks finishing the year with 20 homers and around 25 steals.

Players to Hold:

SS J.J. Hardy - If you own Hardy, you have to think he's gonna pick it up sooner or later. Although no one expects him to be the 26 HR hitter he was last year, he is better than what he's doing now. Acquiring him isn't necessary, but if you have stuck through with him thus far, you might as well stick it out for when he gets hot offensively. He also isn't hitting in front of the pitcher anymore which could help.

SP Ben Sheets - He's a beast but his injury history makes him a risk to acquire. Still he's too valuable when healthy to ship because of his K rate and sparkling ERA.

SP Manny Parra - I love what he is capable of. At times he has shined. But his walk rate is high and he doesn't over power people with strikeouts. He's a guy you could pick up but not necessary at this point, however look down the road and after the all-star break if he looks to be gaining steam gobble him up.

3B Russell Branyan - This is more for NL-only owners but I suppose he could be a quick power fix in mixed leagues, as long as you are paying attention to whether the opposing pitcher is right or left handed. He should continue to be Adam Dunn light versus righties.

RP Solomon Torres - He is currently the closer and looking good. He had a rough go in Pittsburgh as the closer but seems comfortable right now. Who knows what happens when Eric Gagne comes back, for now though reap the benefits of a solid closer.

OF Mike Cameron - He's still looking like the 25-25 man I thought he would. His average will be awful and he will strike out alot but hes still got a lot left in the tank.

Players to Sell:

3B, OF Bill Hall - He hits lefties well but hits righties like a blind folded man swinging at a pinata. He is in a full platoon. The only thing saving him is his 9 HR's. See if you can get anything for him.

RP Eric Gagne - He's on the DL and Torres looks good. Either way, its not advised you keep Gagne around on your DL, try shopping him and maybe think about dropping him.

C Jason Kendall - If you still own him, ditch him. He's not going to hit like he did earlier this year. He is a classic case of his on field value far out weighing his fantasy value.

RP Carlos Villaneuva - Look for someone who thinks this guy will still be a starter down the road, but most likely just drop him. He is looking like a great middle reliever, however which is a good sign for the Crew.

Stay Away From:

SP Yovani Gallardo - There are thoughts he could be back by September. He's not worth stashing.
SP Jeff Suppan - Sure he has a good outing here or there, but pass.
SP Dave Bush - Way, way, way too inconsistent.
SP Seth McClung - This experiment will be over soon.

Minor League Talent:

1B, OF Matt LaPorta - He has looked great this year, while slumping recently. He could be up at September call ups, or if Prince would happen to be traded.

1B, 3B, OF Mat Gamel - Just destroying AA right now. Like Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera destroying. See Matt LaPorta.

C Angel Salome - Also crushing the ball in AA. While the AAA squad looks weak, the Brewers tend to keep their best talent in AA rather AAA. Right now the Brewers have one of the top 3 systems in the league which will only get stronger after their 6 of the first 62 picks are used up in the draft. A few of these guys could be used in a deal to get a starting pitcher or be brought up if anyone with the Brewers is traded.



PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Players to Acquire:

OF Jason Bay - He seems to be returning to form and making last year seem like a distant memory. He still seems to be doing this with out much fanfare which makes him a perfect candidate to get. His average is up and his power is back.

RP Matt Capps - He has 10 saves at this point, but I still think he'll be up around 30 by the end of the year. There seems to be a stigma that closers on bad teams are no good, but Chad Cordero made a pretty good career in Montreal and Washington doing it.

SP Ian Snell - His ERA looks terrible. However in the past he has been a solid pitcher. His K rate is still decent and once he figures out what hes doing wrong he should return to his solid form. Plus he's at literally his lowest value.

C, OF Ryan Doumit - He should be returning within a couple days and take over where he left off. Assuming he was dropped he could be a nice catcher upgrade.

Players to Hold:

1B Adam LaRoche - I've stated before, hes a second half beast. His average always ends up around .280 after hitting .220 in the first part of the season. The power will come and so will the hits. Plus right now hes probably unowned or he'll come really cheap. He usually starts to feast in July.

OF Nate McLouth - I've also stated how much I believe in McLouth in the past. He was thought of last year as a possible thriving prospect. Well it only took him one more year to show it. His power has been his biggest surprise. At this point you can't even sell McLouth because he's maintained his hot start.

2B Freddy Sanchez - While I do think he's going to increase his average, the rest of his numbers just aren't there. He should be a decent source of average and runs. He just doesn't have much value right now.

Players to Sell:

OF Xavier Nady - He has been real hot, then cold and now seems to be heating up again. Now is a great time to sell. I don't see his numbers being any higher than last years 20 HR, 79 RBI and .273 average.

Stay Away From:

3B Jose Bautista - Many better options out there.
SS Jack Wilson - Great defender, nothing special at the plate.
SP Tom Gorzelanny - Very inconsistant.
SP Paul Maholm - Former first rounder, needs to start acting like it.
SP Phil Dumatrait - His WHIP is high for ERA and doesn't strike many out.
SP Zach Duke - Just a terrible disappointment.
C Ronny Paulino - Back to being a backup with Doumit back soon.

Minor League Talent:

OF Andrew McCutchen - He's a lone bright spot in a dismal minor league system. He should be a force once up as a CF much like Mike Cameron when he first came up. Right now hes hit 7 homers while stealing 19 bases and hitting .288. He's blocked by McLouth and Nady right now, but if Nady or Bay is traded look for McCutchen to contribute in The Show.

1B, OF Steve Pearce - Currently struggling in AAA but he was hot during spring training and pushed for a big league job. Look for Pearce in lieu of an injury, trade or September call ups. He's a classic power hitter.



ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Players to Acquire:

OF Rick Ankiel - His average is down, but the power possibities are still there. He seems to strike out too much, but he could make a great 3rd or 4th OF and come at a rather cheap price look to acquire him maybe as a throw in, in a deal.

3B Troy Glaus - I was never a big fan of Glaus but right now he only has 4 homers. I still consider him a 30 homer type of player when healthy. Obviously I see him as a buy low type of player right now so see if you can get him if you need a power boost, because you know it will come sooner or later.

SP Adam Wainwright - His ERA is great and his WHIP is even better. His K/walk rate is phenomenal. There isn't much not to like about this guy. Yet he's never mentioned among the top few tiers of pitchers. His under-the-radar type fantasy game is perfect if you can swindle a manager into acquiring this player.

Players to Hold:

1B Albert Pujols - Well his health has held out and the Cardinals are contending. If the Cardinals slip out of the race after the All Star Break look for Pujols to possibly shut it down. For now though he'll continue to produce at the level people expect, thus making it very hard to trade away his services.

SP Todd Wellemeyer - He has looked good as being one of the slew of relievers pitching coach Dave Duncan has turned in to a starter. While I do see the Cardinals as falling out of the race eventually, Wellemeyer's K rate and ERA look consistant enough to be a solid starter.

RP Ryan Franklin - He's the closer as of now, but don't get too excited over his status. The past few games he's given up runs and the Cardinals promoted Chris Perez who is being groomed as the closer of the future. Right now Franklin has a hold on the job but watch Perez, he's already setting up for Franklin.

RP Jason Isringhausen - Since he's on the DL he makes a great DL spot candidate. He is a player that could have huge value if he figures out his woes and regains his form. If you have a DL spot, stash him and see what happens down the road, I don't think he's done yet.

SP Chris Carpenter - I really like Carpenter as a DL stash worthy player. If he can return to any kind of past form he is a real steal down the stretch. He is currently starting simulated games right now. He's probably still a month or two away.

Players to Sell:

SP Braden Looper - Last year he started hot then went real cold by the end of the season. Look for much of the same this year, if you have him and can deal him great, if not, send him to the wire.

OF Ryan Ludwick - He's been a huge surprise this year, but the fact remains his value is at an all time high. With no past evidence of maintaining this hot start, that makes him a great sell candidate. He should return moderate value such as a 3rd tier pitcher or a solid offensive player.

Stay Away From:

C Yadier Molina - Don't bother.
SP Kyle Lohse - His past number suggest he's not worth it, plus he's been sketchy of late.
SS Cesar Izturis - Probably the worst offensive starter in the league.
2B Adam Kennedy - Doesn't do much of anything.
OF Brian Barton - Too much moving around in the OF to be worth anything now.
OF Skip Schumaker - See Barton.
SP Mark Mulder - May need another surgery, may retire, just forget him.
SP Matt Clement - Hes starting his rehab assignment, don't bother unless he looks good out of the gate.
SP Mike Parisi - New guy in town needs to prove he's worthy of a spot.

Minor League Talent:

OF Colby Rasmus - The uber-stud(on the same plane as Jay Bruce) was pinned as a possible starter from the start of spring training, however the play of Schumaker and Ludwick and Rasmus' shotty performance in the minors has kept him down at the moment. He will make his presence sooner or later and should be a good major league player.

OF, 1B Chris Duncan - Duncan was just sent down to sort out his hitting woes. Likely he'll be back up, he has too much power not to succeed as at least a solid MLB player. If the Cardinals OF lacks or if Pujols gets hurt look for Duncan to be recalled immediately.

5 comments:

Winks said...

You keep writing posts this long, we're going to need to develop a Bucky Channel Insider.

Kevin Khakis said...

This is quite an epic effort! Mad props to Bear for taking the time to come up with this.

The only troubling thing about this format is that by the time you get through the whole league it will be the All Star Break. I'd recommend something a little more concise that you can easily change each week.

Maybe make a list with each team. Have three players for each team ... who's hot, who's not, & who's coming up (or who's a waiver wire steal). Maybe do the hot,not, & WW for a position player, SP, & RP for each team. 6 guys per team. Just a quick list.

You give good information but a lot of it is common knowledge.

Tony Brown said...

Any thoughts on my trade in our league with Caleb? Giving up Jeter, getting Delgado and Peralta. I figure I'm in last place, so it can't do any harm. How soon do I start playing for next year?

Bear said...

Kahkis, Yeah I started it, and just rolled with it and by the time I was done I was like this is really, really too long.

I'll have to change something, your suggestion makes sense. Originally I wanted to do a thing on each player who started, but your suggestion is probably much better. Plus I bet it would save me alot more time, cause this one pretty much destroyed my Sunday night.

E-mail the Buckychannel, and have winks shoot you my email, if you have any pre-input, ill add it and of course give credit where its due.

I'll play around with the format a bit this week and see what works, I'm sure it will be alittle more consice this time.

Bear said...

Tony,

I'm really, really anti-delgado. But it really depends what you need on your team. In a Roto league Jeter is really valueable because he does so many things fairly well. However if you were looking to boost your power numbers getting Peralta and Delgado will help.

As for looking towards next year. Since it's a keeper league, you could look to deal some of your better players for some young talent that wont cost you dearly in next years draft but nets you a bonafide stud for years to come.
Try to target playoff condending managers who could use now help and afford to give up a young, late draft pick stud.

I would have tried to shop Jeter for a guy like Greinke or Marcum or of that ilk.

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