Saturday, March 30, 2013

MARDI GRAS MADNESS: St Bernard Giants

Felipe M

I continue to review our league's fantasy baseball teams.  To read our preview on the Beer Belly Mashers, click here


The following team is one of the more successful clubs in our league's history as he dominated with a juiced-up Barry Bonds early on and continued to succeed after he retired and "Fat Albert" took charge of the team.  

WEST DIVISION--St Bernard Giants (fighting out of Louisiana)


BATTING LINEUP

Like: Albert Pujols: that is all.  But he won’t have to carry this team on his own as he has a nice supporting cast this season: Miguel Montero, Brandon Phillips, Marco Scutaro, Alex Gordon, Jose Bautista, and Matt Holliday should be able to reach their projections this season.  

Dislike: I’m just nit-picking at this point, but Michael Young as a starting 3B just seems out-of-place because he’s not the prototypical power-hitter at the position, but I really don’t have a problem with it.  This is as close to a negative I could find on this team.

Look Out For: This is a team full of established veterans so if I have to choose one player to keep an eye on, it will be Kyle Seager as many publications marveled at his potential for 2013.  Seager finished 2012 on a strong note and it will be interesting to see if he can keep up the pace or if his successful September was just a fluke.

Bench: Paul Konerko is just overkill on a team that really didn’t need a big bat like his.  The team needed another starting pitcher so I’m dubious at this pick.  Considering they have Pujols at 1B and Holliday at DH, plus David Ortiz on the DL, when exactly is Konerko going to be used on this squad?  I also like the possible platoon system at CF with Michael Bourn and Alejandro De Aza.  De Aza has a bit more pop, while Bourn was born to run.  It should be interesting to see which of the two will be more productive in our points league this year.  


2013 Hitting Projections
Player
Team
Pos
BB/K
AB/K
AB/HR
OBP
SLG
OPS
SB
Michael Young
Philadelphia
1B/3B
0.49
7.74
57.50
0.336
0.411
0.746
4
Kyle Seager
Seattle
3B
0.40
5.31
35.18
0.324
0.417
0.741
11
Alejandro De Aza
White Sox
CF
0.44
4.95
55.31
0.345
0.415
0.760
26
Michael Bourn
Cleveland
CF
0.44
4.36
108.24
0.337
0.369
0.706
45










PITCHING

Like: Matt Cain proved last season why he should be considered one of the game’s elite starting pitchers.  And we just explained how good Adam Wainwright is.  Unheralded, Dillon Gee is also on the team.  The club is also waiting for Phil Hughes to come back from injury. They even found a way to sign finesse pitcher, Kyle Lohse.

Dislike: I have yet to read a positive review on the progress of Tim Lincecum in the spring as control, command, and drop in velocity have plagued the former Cy Young winner this spring.  However, he can still rack up the strikeouts and that alone is enough to believe in him.  Nevertheless, this team is depending too much on him to emerge as the team’s 3rd best starter.  He’s definitely in the right place, but a guy that’s plagued with so many issues is not the way you want to build your top-half of your pitching staff. 



Bullpen: John Axford is looking for a bounce back season and I was surprised to find plenty of publications explaining his struggles last from 2012, but seeing him blow games last season is too fresh on my mind to even consider selecting him for this season.  As much as I have rage for Grant Balfour, it seems that he always finds a way of losing the closers’ spot one way or another, but this might be the year he can be the closer for a full year.  And I've used Steve Cishek as a benchmark to compare other mediocre closers before.  

Look Out For: It will be interesting to see if Vance Worley can overcome elbow issues and a bad spring to be the ace that the Twins are looking for.  He was recently named the team’s Opening Day starter.


2013 Pitching Projections
Player
Team
K/BB
K/9
BB/9
H/9
WHIP
HR/9
John Axford
Milwaukee
2.73
11.57
4.24
7.84
1.34
0.90
Steve Cishek
Miami
2.17
8.46
3.90
7.52
1.27
0.67
Grant Balfour
Oakland
2.83
10.45
3.70
6.75
1.16
0.64
Vance Worley
Minnesota
2.84
8.28
2.92
8.46
1.26
0.89
Dillon Gee
Mets
2.18
7.11
3.26
8.53
1.31
0.89











PREDICTION: This team has plenty of hitting to make them a threat for the playoffs, but the pitching is missing something as they're depending on breakout years from a few guys.  Cain and Wainwright can definitely carry a staff throughout the year, but eventually, somebody is going to have to step up and if Lincecum continues to struggle, I just don't see who else can emerge as the #3 starter.  Axford and Cishek, at any point, can be replaced as their team's closers.  

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