Monday, April 1, 2013

MARDI GRAS MADNESS: Houston Steelers

Felipe M

We continue on our reviews for our fantasy baseball league, Mardi Gras Madness.  Please take some time to read about the Texas Power Drinkers


Next up is yet another team that hails from the largest state in the continental U.S.

WEST DIVISION--Houston Steelers (guessing from Houston, TX)


BATTING LINEUP

Like: Joey Votto is one of my personal favorite players.  I traded Votto to this team a few years ago for Ian Kinsler as I was looking for somebody at 2B to replace Chase Utley.  Tough trade to perform, but one that I felt I needed to do (I guessed it worked since I was the league runner-up last season).  One of the most dangerous hitters in the Majors, he is truly a fun player to watch at the plate.  And most of you know, by now, that Evan Longoria is one of my favorite players at 3B. Both Votto and Longoria will have to carry this team on offense for the majority of 2013.

Dislike: Josh Rutledge should not be starting in any Big League ballclub.  Don’t be fooled by most “experts” who declared his 2012 campaign as a “breakout year.”  Terrible plate discipline and a .306 on-base% does not make for a formidable fantasy player. And as much as I like Josh Reddick’s tenacity as a player, he is simply not a starting OF in fantasy right now.  The same can be said about Hunter Pence, who depends more on luck and hustle than actual skill.  Finally, Dayan Viciedo has the tools to be a really good hitter in the Majors, but outside of power, he has shown very little of anything else.  He’s had a really good spring so far, but it remains to be seen if he can streamline that success into the regular season.  Viciedo should be given a wait-and-see approach instead of being this team’s starting DH.  



2013 Hitting Projections
Player
Team
Pos
BB/K
AB/K
AB/HR
OBP
SLG
OPS
SB
Josh Reddick
Oakland
RF
0.38
4.38
22.60
0.314
0.458
0.773
8
Hunter Pence
San Francisco
RF
0.41
4.74
28.50
0.330
0.436
0.767
8
Dayan Viciedo
White Sox
LF
0.28
4.49
22.19
0.321
0.451
0.772
1









Look Out For: Reports out of Spring Training are mostly positive for Wilin Rosario, who needed to show improvements in his swing and defense coming into this season.  If his improvements are legit, he can be a real steal at the position.  Time is running out for Dustin Ackley, who at one point in his young career was bestowed as the next Chase Utley at his position.  Clearly, it’s a make or break year for Ackley as he’s had very little success during his time in the Majors. And as down as I was about Lorenzo Cain during the offseason, he had a very successful spring where he was putting a pounding on the ball.  Cain has been hyped up since making it to the Royals.  If Cain can live up to that hype, this team is looking pretty good for 2013.

Bench: There is no bench to speak of as the Steelers have overstocked on pitching.

PITCHING

Like: I’m a huge fan of Yu Darvish as I thought he should have been given the privilege to start Opening Day this season.  Also on the staff is Clayton Kershaw. Another lefty on the staff is Jonathon Niese who is the Mets’ #1 starter.  And if Yovani Gallardo can continue to drop his BB/9, then this team is looking like an intimidating foursome.  That’s not all, however: Jaime Garcia, Shelby Miller, Hyun-Jin Ryu provides this squad with good depth as well.

Dislike: Just not a big fan of Trevor Cahill as his pitch-to-contact style is marred by a high WHIP.  Instead of wasting a roster spot for Cahill, the team could’ve added depth to their batting lineup.

Bullpen: He was ready to start the season after the WBC, but Fernando Rodney does have a few concerns, mainly the 10th worst BB/9 among closers.  But when he has everything working properly, he can be near unhittable in the 9th inning.  Also coming out of the bullpen is Aroldis Chapman and his 100mph fastball. 

2013 Pitching Projections
Player
Team
K/BB
K/9
BB/9
H/9
WHIP
HR/9
Jon Niese
Mets
3.63
6.65
1.83
9.21
1.23
0.81
Yovani Gallardo
Milwaukee
2.90
9.18
3.16
7.93
1.23
1.11
Juan Nicasio
Colorado
3.24
8.13
2.51
8.62
1.24
1.15
Jose Quintana
White Sox
1.90
5.79
3.05
9.47
1.39
1.00









Look Out For: There’s a few candidates that make the list here: TylerSkaggs is part of a trio of young, pitching prospects that will be forever linked to each other (Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole are the other pitchers).  In stunning fashion, Jose Fernandez did indeed make the Big League club as the Marlins, because of injuries, had no choice, but to add him to the rotation.  Fernandez is the top prospect in the organization, per Baseball Prospectus.  Shelby Miller belongs on this list of young hurlers as well, but I’m really high on Miller’s ability.  

Also worth watching is Juan Nicasio as many think that he’ll be able to pitch like he did in 2011—if not, better.  Finally, Jose Quintana may not be the pitcher who we think he is as many publications are really high on this SP.  Quintana, projected to be a mediocre pitcher in 2013, has impressed many with his spring performance and have cited his minor league numbers as a sign of hope. 

PREDICTION: The pitching might be good enough to help this team make a playoff push, but the lack of depth in their batting lineup might be this team’s ultimate doom in 2013.  I just don’t understand the need to stockpile with 13 pitchers when it looks like 9 or 10 pitchers would suffice.  They are depending on too many gambles on offense and that’s just not the way to build a winner.



No comments: