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Everyone wants to get their hand on this years Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Folks, there isn't going to be a Trout or Harper this season. That doesn't mean that one, two or a handful of rookies won't have a significant fantasy impact – they certainly will – but elite production like that duo offered last season rarely comes for from guys in their first full season. In this piece we'll discuss some of the youngsters that everyone is asking questions about on a daily basis. A couple are already in the big leagues trying to make the case that they deserve to be every day player this season, while a handful of others are chomping at the bit in the minors trying to prove they deserve a shot in the bigs.
At no point in the season do 50 at-bats or 18 innings mean more than they do right now. A guy goes out and hits .222 in spring and people drop that player 14 spots in their rankings. Another player hits .386 and guess what, he's now a potential breakout star in fantasy baseball. I always caution people not to read too much into small sample sizes, and I also tell people not to put an overabundance of value into spring stats. Maybe a batter faced a lot of Double and Triple-A pitchers and he hit .480 off them. Maybe he hit only .190 against big league arms. You see him hitting .320 and think he's had a great spring. Is that really accurate? Maybe a pitcher, unconcerned with the results, went out and threw his curve ball 40 percent of the time and got hammered because he was working on honing a new grip with the pitch. Does he all of a sudden stink? The bottom line is that spring numbers don't always tell the whole story. I'll touch on a few players though that really stood out this spring and give you my thoughts on what some reasonable expectations should be for the players in 2013.
Every year we get the rush of people who, acting like it's a holiday sale at Walmart, aren't afraid to run over their competitor to add the hot new toy to their basket (in this case we're talking hot shot youngster to their fantasy team). Believe me I understand the temptation. Just look at what guys like Trout and Harper did last season. But for every successful rookie standout there are tons of youngsters who fail to live up to the overblown expectations of many in the fantasy game. I'll try to lend some sanity here. I'll then touch on some of the news of the day including will Manny Ramirez play in 2013? Is Joe Saunders a reliable innings eater? What were the Phillies thinking signing an unreliable veteran righty? Is Mike Napoli every going to sign with the Red Sox? Is Jose Valverde's career as a closer over even though he had 35 saves last year?
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.”
In the wake of hearing about rehab setbacks for both Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford, the baseball world got a little bit of good news as the Phillies finally activated first base slugger Ryan Howard on Friday and got him into the lineup immediately. The slugger had been on the shelf since the final at-bat of the Phillies final game of 2011 when he ruptured his Achilles tendon. The road to recovery was cumbersome, but he’s back now and fantasy owners that had him stashed are looking to reap the benefits as we get ready to head on into the second half of the season.
What with the three-game slate here on Thursday and the late start, I was able to take my time a little with the Wednesday wrap. Apologies if it ruined your morning cup of coffee, having to go read somewhere else, but this could be a nice lunch break/afternoon snack for you while you waste some time at the job. Offenses were exploding on Wednesday as we saw 13 teams plate six runs or more, likely boosting the totals for numerous fantasy teams out there. Unfortunately for some, the pitching didn’t fare as well and we saw some nasty ratio damage done. Here’s a look at how everything shook out the other day.
I hate to kick a guy while he is down, but is it all over for Francisco Liriano? He came into the year with great expectations and he has done nothing but flop on his face and he did so in monumental fashion on Wednesday. Liriano threw 83 pitches in just three innings on his way to giving up seven runs. He did strike out four, but he also walked four in what could only be described as a disaster. I actually had picked up Liriano in a league over the weekend, and I am not ready to jettison him back to free agency just yet, but two or three more starts like this and I will be forced to throw in the towel on him. Try to remain patient, but I can't blame you right now if you can't be.
Tuesday nights are typically reserved for sheer boredom and dreading the following work day. This is not the case my friends while baseball is in season. Reminiscent of hanging out in a hotel room with Charlie Sheen the baseball world was filled with drama and intrigue. This typically bland Tuesday revealed three post hype first baseman who are begging for the fantasy world's attention. We also have an ex Red Sox who is making an improbable run to perfection, not to mention a current Sox player who is baffling his owners after imploding once again. As you wade through the plethora of fantasy news you also come across closers grabbing the job by the horns and ones who might have blown a once in a lifetime opportunity. With all that has happened today in the world of baseball, Tuesday's have become a fantasy owners guilty pleasure.
Not a ton of news from around the world of fantasy baseball, but what we have is pretty significant. We have another change at closer, this time for a fairly prominent National League team, as well as one of fantasy's finest catchers who is going to sit for a couple of weeks. There is also news about an already injured pitcher who has a setback, and a budding slugger who is going to miss a few days with a family matter. It is another installment of Rounding The Bases, your daily look at all of the most relevant fantasy news.
Happy Hump Day to you all as we are in the middle of another fine fantasy week in the regular season. Tonight on the pitching side we see what could be the end of a closer in Chicago, a major concern in Minnesota, one ace rolling again and another one on the mend. The guys with the bats in their hands see a couple of Jeff's favorites going yard, an under the radar shortstop staying hot, and a change of identity in St. Louis. We also run down some of the guys who let the dogs out tonight on both sides of the diamond. We hope that your teams are absolutely crushing the competition, but if you need some help don't forget that you can send an email which is located in the article below. Sit back, pop a cold one, and enjoy the show!