Hello everybody, remember me? That’s right, Hallam is back! I might have taken a few months off, but I was never really out of the fantasy game. I don’t really want to dwell too long on things because none of you really care about the how and the why, all you really care about is fantasy baseball information which I am more than happy to pass out. We are about six weeks into the season, and we can separate the contenders from the pretenders by who can identify who is merely off to a fast start and who is going to help your team all of 2012. It is time to identify players that, if they are on your team, you need to try to capitalize right away and trade them for all they are worth. Those who hold on too long to one month wonders are those who start the season in first place, often end the season in fifth. We here at Fantasy Alarm help to make you someone who finishes in September at the top of the heap.
Guess whose back….back again…..Hallam’s back……tell a friend. ……No really, tell a friend. And then you can contact me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter at @ryanhallamFA.
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Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals. OK, I’m starting with an easy one here. I know folks, it seems like the Cardinals have some magical way to rejuvenate some careers (see Lance Berkman last season). And it looks like right now that Beltran is on that magical ride. He already has more home runs in 30 games this season than he has had in three of the last four seasons. But let’s be honest, he is playing on two bum knees and just turned 35. Unless there really is some spell of good health on Beltran, it is just a matter of time before he either hits the skids or ends up on the DL. He hasn’t played more than 98 games in the last four years. The stock on him will never be higher, do your best to move this hot starter ASAP!!!!
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Oh wait, now I have your attention!!!! Yes people I know that he is 3-0 and just struck out 13 Pirates a few days ago, but let’s remember he is just coming off of Tommy John surgery and is the future of the Nationals franchise. I really don’t think anyone envisions Strasburg throwing 200 innings this season, and therefore there is a huge chance that Strasburg will be shut down near the end of the season, and that would be in the middle of your fantasy playoffs. You want to get the mother lode for him, but I would try to shop Strasburg. Unless of course you are in a keeper league, in that case, there aren’t many deals that I would take for this guy, he is a future fantasy ace.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals. All right Hallam, now you've gone and lost your damn mind! The hype machine on this guy has been in total overdrive, way back to when he was first put in most fantasy leagues and had catcher eligibility. Well, he has come out of the gate slow, and is only OF eligible. Every league has one (or more than one) player in it that always overpays for prospects and rookies. If you have Harper, look for him or her, and find their best player and go for it. Maybe not who they drafted in the first round or two, but shoot high. Like Strasburg, Harper is going to be an amazing fantasy player, but likely it won’t be in 2012, so if you are in a seasonal league, see if you can hit the jackpot on this young kid. I bet you can get much more than he is worth. If not, he still should be a nice fourth outfielder on your team. Do it now, he just hit his first home run today.
Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees. Granderson was the toast of the town last year in the Bronx, and he’s gotten off to a pretty impressive 2012 with the Bombers, although he has cooled down of late. Still, as of the middle of May he still has double digit home runs after having 40+ last season. Granderson still has just one stolen base to this point, and his batting average has been subpar throughout his career. He is a fine fantasy player, but between the fact that there seem to be Yankee fans in every fantasy league, and the guy had a huge 2011 and a good start to this year, I have to believe that you can cash in on Granderson right now and probably get more than you should.
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays. Encarnacion has been a favorite of many fantasy experts over the years, but he has been a guy that I have never believed in. Sure, the dude has some awesome power. Unfortunately, he also has rarely seen a pitch he doesn’t like, and let’s face it, when have you ever heard of a successful athlete named Edwin???? Encarnacion also has five swipes to start the season, which is also out of character, so the time has never been better to take advantage of his value. Third base has also been a waste land of injuries again, so there has to be a taker for Edwin right now.
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers. This seems completely crazy right? The guy is absolutely mashing and he is on his way to a triple crown race. However, let’s remember a couple of things. One, every hot start comes to an end, and Hamilton is due to cool down big time. Second, this is Josh Hamilton. Sure, the guy has finished the season with respectable numbers (32 and 25 homers the past two seasons despite playing 133 and 121 games), but he often finds his way to the Disabled List. Hamilton has hurt himself severely by running into the fence, sliding into first, and swinging a bat. He doesn’t need a catastrophic event to miss a large portion of the season. He is too big of a risk for me, and with the 16 homers in early May, his value is sky high right now. Shop him around and see what kind of treasure you can get back for him.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox. Many years ago there was a larger than life character in Boston named Big Papi. David Ortiz used his charisma and huge bat to collect million dollar contracts and fantasy greatness. His last two seasons have been pretty good, but again this is a guy who can only help you at the utility position and he is closing in on 37 years old. The Red Sox are a flaming tire fire, and outside of Dustin Pedroia I’m not sure that I want any Bostonian on my fantasy roster these days. If you can get big value for Big Papi, I would jump on the opportunity.
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals. OK, so he isn’t off to an amazing start by any stretch, but the dude already has four stolen bases??? Yadier Molina? That fat ass is still hitting very well, and while he might not be that marketable, I wanted to take the time to point out that a catcher has four steals in the first six weeks. Hey if you can trade him and another significant piece for a catcher off to a slow start like Posey or Santana, jump all over it, but this was more for me to laugh at Molina’s slowness than him actually being tradable.
Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox. Peavy is one of the early feel good stories of 2012. He has been amazing so far this year. He has gone at least six innings in every start so far, and even has a three hit shutout on his resume. To put the icing on the cake, he has struck out at least five batters every time he has taken the mound. As you can expect, here comes the but………and folks it is a heavy but, in a healthy season, starting pitchers make 30 starts in a season. Peavy hasn’t made 20 starts in the last five years. And his injuries haven’t been minor. He shoulder blade injury among a cast of others have taken major time out of Peavy’s seasons. He is about to turn 31 years old and he seems to be an old 31, and his slider doesn’t have the bite it used to. Be smart, cash in on Peavy before he comes back to Earth.
Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals. Lynn has been one of the best pitchers in the majors in the 2012 season. Not best young pitchers, one of the best pitchers. He was tagged with his first loss on Sunday, but he still was far from awful. It was the first time that Lynn had allowed more than two earned runs, and he has struck out at least four batters in all starts than one. Let’s be honest folks. I am a Cardinals fan, but I am not about to be so delusional to think that a guy who was good, but far from great in the minor leagues is going to step in and rule in the majors. Lynn might have a decent future ahead of him, but he isn’t going to be a Cy Young candidate. Take advantage of the huge start and deal Lynn before he has more outings like Sunday.
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins. Wait Ryan, I hear you say, most of the guys on this list are off to amazing starts and you just don’t think they can keep it up for one reason or another. But Mauer is hitting under .275, has just one homer, and two steals through six weeks. Well, for those of you who are new to Fantasy Alarm or to my writing, welcome to my hatred for Joe Mauer. To those of you who remember me from last year, you aren’t the least bit surprised to see him on my list. Fantasy players who like Mauer love to cite his one huge season and batting titles, not to mention position scarcity for why this guy is worth his draft status. I say batting average is over rated, and his homers and steals have disintegrated over the years. He is perhaps the most overrated player in fantasy baseball, and I would rather have Yadier Molina at my catcher and a great player elsewhere than Mauer and a subpar outfielder or starting pitcher. Trade Mauer if you can and improve your team somewhere else. You will thank me later. I have converted many people over the years since I started this campaign when it was cool to draft Mauer in the second and third rounds.
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Rounding the Bases: Last Call for Puig and Biogenesis
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspecitve- Hitting Their Way Back
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