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While we were all preparing for the 2013 fantasy baseball season, I did a lot of work examining ADP rankings and many of the trends that were developing in both mock and real drafts right up until Opening Day. What I noticed was that a number of players who were receiving a lot of sleeper hype from the fantasy experts were climbing up draft boards at a fairly rapid rate and were, in my opinion, losing a lot of their value due to the unexpected increase in price you were paying for their services. They were the guys most of us coveted somewhere around the 18th round but were suddenly going as high as the eighth or ninth because the players went from unknown sleeper to mainstream selection. I called them the trendy picks and it’s now time to check in with some of them and see how their respective seasons are going.
When the Toronto Blue Jays began their roster overhaul during the offseason, things were looking pretty good for the Great White North. The deal with the Marlins landed them an elite shortstop in Jose Reyes, a highly touted starting pitcher in Josh Johnson, a speedy super-utility guy in Emilio Bonifacio and a veteran lefty in Mark Buehrle all for very little. They then brought in Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey and Maicer Izturis to add to a fairly strong core group that already consisted of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow and J.P. Arencibia. They immediately went from also-rans to top contender in the American League.
Justin Verlander. Clayton Kershaw. Stephen Strasburg. Craig Kimbrel. These are the elite pitchers heading into the 2013 fantasy baseball season if you listen to the scuttlebutt around the water cooler. We all know that. But are there instances where lesser known names, the A.J. Burnett's of the world, are also worth taking note of on draft day? Remember, while we all need production on the field, if you can consistently find value at any spot, pitching is no different than hitting, you can come out well ahead in the fantasy game. You can let someone take Justin Verlander in the first round and if he returns first round value fantastic. But what if you grab Homer Bailey and Alexei Ogando in the 15th and 16th rounds and they return 8th and 9th round value – which move would be the better fantasy play based on a return on investment perspective? In this article we'll hit on some numbers that just might change your perception about hurlers for the coming campaign.
With six shutouts, four teams held to just one run and overall, 17 of 30 teams being held to three runs or fewer, it makes for a pretty quick recap article. It happens sometime. What can you do? Not every day can be filled with fireworks. It does make for some nice pitching highlights overall, which we’ll get to, but rather than try to create something out of…well, literally nothing…we’ll just get on with the regular highlights. I mean, we could sit here and discuss the dissension within the Red Sox organization, but how many people really enjoy talking about what a huge a-hole Bobby Valentine is and how many times can you actually say it? He does it enough with both his words and his actions. So without further ado, let’s just hit the highlights.
For years, all I heard out of my granddaddy’s mouth were a few colorful sayings that any nine year old boy would love and the ever popular, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Didn’t matter how many other people knew something to be true, if he didn’t see it first hand, he refused to believe it. “Hey Grandpa,” I would say earnestly. “They make popcorn that you can cook in the microwave in under five minutes.” “Pffffffft! I’ll believe it when I see it.” “Hey Grandpa, they make telephones you can carry around with you and make calls any time you want.” “Bah. I’ll believe it when I see it.” Over and over again, that curmudgeonly, raspy, almost cartoon-like voice echoed in my head. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
So goes the life of a journeyman slugger in the twilight of his career. Just one week after “saving” Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies with his record-setting 13th career walk-off home run, Jim Thome was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a pair of minor league players. Thome, now on his sixth team in the last three years is coming back to the AL and working as a full-time DH which really, is the best thing for him, the Orioles, and for fantasy owners.
Just a quickie today, folks! Maybe it’s been some sort of stomach flu. Maybe it was that order of Clams Casino the chef recommended as he listed the specials. Or maybe it was the fact that I opted to watch the Royals game. Wow, they look awful right now. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been sick as a dog for the last 12 hours and barely have anything left in me to bring you the highlights (and lowlights) from Wednesday’s games.
Are you there, Dr. Andrews? It’s me, Jacoby. Red Sox Nation and fantasy owners around the world took it in the you-know-where Friday when Jacoby Ellsbury slid into second base and Tampa Bay shortstop Reid Brignac fell onto the outfielder’s shoulder. You could tell by the look on Ellsbury’s face – or maybe it was the obscenities that he was screaming as he lay there in pain – that this was going to be bad. He was helped off the field and immediately rushed for an MRI. A shoulder subluxation is what they’re calling it right now and owners are looking at missing their first-round draft choice for a minimum of six weeks. Further tests are going to be run – it won’t be less time, but it certainly could be more.