Saturday, March 30, 2013

MARDI GRAS MADNESS: The Evil Empire

Felipe M

We continue on our reviews for our fantasy baseball league, Mardi Gras Madness.  Please take some time to read the St Bernard Giants outlook.  

The next team is the newest owner in our league, but by no means is he a rookie to fantasy baseball.  Let's take a look at how our resident Yankee fan fared in his first draft in this league. 

CENTRAL DIVISION--The Evil Empire (from Illinois by way of New York)


BATTING LINEUP

Like: Strong left side of the infield with Ryan Zimmerman and Troy Tulowitzki.  As mentioned before, I truly believe that Tulo is the best SS in baseball, but there are injury concerns with him.  In the last 3 seasons, he’s only played in 64% of the Rockies’ games and has not played in over 150 games since 2009.  Carlos Gonzalez is on the squad as well as he’ll be showing off his power/speed combo. 

Dislike: Nelson Cruz, even though he has enough power to be a relevant fantasy player, is just too impatient for my taste.  He’s projected to post an on-base% of .326.  As an owner who had Carlos Beltran on his fantasy team last year, seeing him run out of gas late in 2012 was a tremendous letdown.  He did play in 150 games, but at 36 years-old, will he be able to get through a full season in 2013?  Adam Jones’ value comes from his counting stats, but eventually, the poor approach at the plate and the relatively low on-base% will catch up to him and screw his fantasy owners.  And even though Dan Uggla was picked in round five (virtual 12th round) of the draft, Uggla’s fall from the top of the 2B list should be alarming.

Look Out For: Manny Machado as his year can go either way: he will either flourish this season with the Orioles or his impatience will catch up to him and they will be forced to send him back to the Minors.  


2013 Hitting Projections
Player
Team
Pos
BB/K
AB/K
AB/HR
OBP
SLG
OPS
SB
Nelson Cruz
Texas
RF
0.35
4.30
21.07
0.326
0.484
0.809
10
Dan Uggla
Atlanta
2B
0.51
3.55
22.01
0.344
0.425
0.769
3
Adam Jones
Baltimore
CF
0.26
5.06
21.69
0.338
0.494
0.831
13
Manny Machado
Baltimore
3B
0.33
4.96
28.24
0.301
0.429
0.730
9










Bench: The Empire had a very interesting bench as the “homer” in him had him pick up a few Yankee players. Backing up Tulo will be Derek Jeter.  Currently, free-swinging, Adam LaRoche is starting at 1B, but most likely taking his place will be Mark TeixeiraKevin Youkilis is a good piece to have on your team because he qualifies at 1B/3B and can also be placed on the DH spot.  Victor Martinez was accidentally picked as a catcher, but he will only qualify at DH this season (until he plays 5 games at the backstop), but the team was able to acquire Matt Wieters after the draft in a trade.  Both are good options at catcher.  Even V-Mart makes for a great DH.  

PITCHING

Like: Johnny Cueto and James Shields are both top 25 pitchers.  Jeff Samardzija fell into our 3rd Tier list because of his BB/9, but when he has his control working, he can be pretty dominant.  Derek Holland can be useful on the right team and this club is right for him as a middle of the rotation starter.  Ryan Vogelsong is the last member of a solid 6-man rotation. 

Dislike: I’m still skeptical about R.A. Dickey.  I’ve explained before about distrusting kucklers, but his projections were good enough to place him ahead of teammate Shields on my top 25 list.  Clearly, this owner did not read my analysis on Justin Masterson.  

2013 Pitching Projections
Player
Team
K/BB
K/9
BB/9
H/9
WHIP
HR/9
Justin Masterson
Cleveland
2.09
6.85
3.27
9.26
1.39
0.73
Ryan Vogelsong
San Francisco
2.28
7.56
3.32
8.52
1.32
0.77
Jeff Samardzija
Cubs
2.33
8.82
3.78
7.98
1.31
1.02
Derek Holland
Texas
2.73
7.66
2.81
8.51
1.26
1.07
Brandon League
Los Angeles
2.13
6.75
3.18
8.34
1.28
0.53
Chris Perez
Cleveland
2.70
8.84
3.27
7.04
1.15
0.82














Bullpen: One of my favorite closers to pick on, Chris Perez is on the ballclub.  Bad enough that he can be a bit loose with his words and actions, but sometimes he goes through these stretches where he loses control and command of his pitches.  Brandon League has so many people rooting against him as they await for Kenley Jansen to take over in Los Angeles.  League’s stuff and projections also make him a questionable choice at closer. 

PREDICTION: Pretty good team despite the fact that it is being run by a new owner.  Starting pitching and offense might be good enough to keep this team in playoff contention, but they also have plenty of hitters that are susceptible to prolonged slumps.  In a fantasy points’ league like this one where you lose points for strikeouts, it can prove to be difference between making the playoffs and watching other teams playing for the championship.  


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