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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: KEVIN YOUKILIS 1B/3B BOSTON RED SOX

With the infusion of superstar top ten talent to the third base position this season with Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera both making the move to the hot corner, what was at once time looking like a shallow, injury-wracked position is now appearing completely stocked with high end bats.  In fact you can clearly argue that the third base position goes 12 deep for 2012 which means every owner in a standard 5 x 5 mixed league format will end up with a useful option there.  As I mentioned earlier however, third base is a big time injury-prone spot this season as evidenced by the fact that almost every top guy spent time on the DL last season so despite the depth, you as a fantasy baseball owner need to be aware of some of the pitfalls when looking at these guys.  One such guy that falls into the risky category in my opinion is Boston Red Sox 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis who comes off his second consecutive injury-filled campaign.  The Greek God of Walks is having a very tough time keeping himself in one piece along with some other parts of his game that has me looking at him as a potential draft bust candidate.  Lets dig in and find out why this is the case when it comes to Youkilis.

The first aspect to look at when it comes to Youkilis is the fact that he is now 33 years old which is getting up there for a third baseman.  And in fact Youkilis' move back to third base last season is undoubtedly the prime reason for all the additional aches and pains he has suffered over that time period.  Third base is a very physically demanding position that is very rough on the body and as a player gets into his 30's, the body starts to break down.  Look no further than Alex Rodriguez and all the trouble he has had staying health the last three seasons for more proof of this.  So its not surprising at all that Youkilis is having a tough time getting out onto the field on a consistent basis and it only figures to get worse as he is another year older.  So right there Youkilis is a sizable injury risk you should try to avoid.

As far as his game, and specifically his hitting is concerned, there has been some erosion there as well which again can't be looked at as a surprise since he is now 33 years old.  Youkilis has always been a guy show struck out more than average but that was offset by his very high walk rate.  Well 2011 saw him show a spike in his K rate to go along with a drop in his walk rate which is not the way you want to go as a hitter.  Also looking at Youkilis' career as a whole, he has never hit for 30 home runs, he has drove in 100 runs just once (with his next season-high in RBI being only 94) and he hasn't scored more than 100 runs since way back when in 2006.  The fact Youkilis generally was drafted between a fourth and fifth round pick made him a bit overrated in my book and I am afraid the same thing is going to happen again this season.  He can't stay healthy and in addition his advanced stats are saying he is going in the wrong direction with his approach.  Also don't give me the dual eligibility thing because you would do yourself a disservice by playing Youkilis at first base where his bat can't stand up to the other behemoths in the league who reside there.

All in all, I think Kevin Youkilis has to be put on the lower end of the top 12 third baseman for 2012 fantasy baseball.  Put him above Pablo Sandoval and Michael Young but leave him behind the always reliable Aramis Ramirez and the hot up-and-coming Brett Lawrie.  Again I always advise not getting into bed with aging fantasy baseball player no matter how big the name and Youkilis qualifies as such as player for this upcoming season.

2102 PROJECTION:  .289 23 HR 88 RBI 90 R 2 SB

OUR NEWEST VENTURE IS HERE WITH THE RELEASE OF OUR THE VERY FIRST MONTHLY ISSUE OF FANTASY BASEBALL DIGEST. ISSUE HAS JOSE BAUTISTA ON THE COVER AND IS THE ONLY MONTHLY WORK DEDICATED JUST TO FANTASY BASEBALL YOU CAN PICK UP THE INAUGURAL ISSUE HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3783507



BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485

ALSO BE SURE TO PICK UP THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3757918


FINALLY YOU CAN PICK UP THE 2012 SPORTING NEWS AND LINDY'S DRAFT GUIDES ALONG WITH OUR OTHER ANNUAL GUIDES HERE AT OUR SHOPPING CENTER PAGE: http://www.thefantasysportsboss.com/p/purchase-2011-fantasy-baseball-draft.html


2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED SECOND BASEMAN RANKINGS


Its time to take another look at the updated 2012 fantasy baseball second base rankings as things are moving round a bit.  Lets see how I have things looking with fantasy baseball leagues starting up real soon.

1. Robinson Cano
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. Ian Kinsler
4. Dan Uggla (+1)
5. Rickie Weeks (-1)
6. Brandon Phillips
7. Chase Utley
8. Ben Zobrist (+1)
9. Michael Young (-1)
10. Howie Kendrick
11. Jason Kipnis
12. Martin Prado
13. Jermile Weeks (+2)
14. Aaron Hill (+3)
15. Kelly Johnson (-2)
16. Ryan Roberts
17. Danny Espinoza (-3)
18. Dustin Ackley
19. Neil Walker
20. Placido Polanco

-It was revealed on Monday that Rickie Weeks is still not 100 percent from the significant ankle injury he suffered last season that wiped out a huge portion of his season.  Weeks claims that he is "very close" to being all the way back but its just a reminder of how injury-prone he is and how slow a healer he is as well.  Thus Dan Uggla is the much safer pick despite Weeks having the higher ceiling.
-I undervalued Ben Zobrist during the first batch of 2012 second base rankings and thus the adjustment.  He fell only one steal short of a 20/20 season which is what his baseline is now.  His average wont be great due to a high K rate but the outfield eligibility makes him a very solid investment. 
-Chase Utley is one guy I wont tough with a ten foot pole.  He is losing stats everywhere and injuries are becoming a huge problem.  Don't buy the name this spring and instead look at how he is a shell of his former self.
-Aaron Hill once again is intriguing as he really started to his once he got moved to the D-Backs.  Evidently Arizona liked what they saw as they quickly re-signed him this offseason.  The ballpark is a launching pad and Hill learned how to steal bases last season so he makes a nice late round lottery ticket.

There you have it.  As always let me hear what you have to say on this.

OUR NEWEST VENTURE IS HERE WITH THE RELEASE OF OUR THE VERY FIRST MONTHLY ISSUE OF FANTASY BASEBALL DIGEST.  ISSUE HAS JOSE BAUTISTA ON THE COVER AND IS THE ONLY MONTHLY WORK DEDICATED JUST TO FANTASY BASEBAL/  YOU CAN PICK UP THE INAUGURAL ISSUE HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3783507



BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485

ALSO BE SURE TO PICK UP THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3757918


FINALLY YOU CAN PICK UP THE 2012 SPORTING NEWS AND LINDY'S DRAFT GUIDES ALONG WITH OUR OTHER ANNUAL GUIDES HERE AT OUR SHOPPING CENTER PAGE: http://www.thefantasysportsboss.com/p/purchase-2011-fantasy-baseball-draft.html


Monday, January 30, 2012

EXCITING NEWS FROM THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS: THE BIRTH OF OUR MONTHLY



Hello everyone.  I am very excited to announce the next big project from the Fantasy Sports Boss family.  we are proud to present to you the very first issue of The Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Digest which will be the very first of its kind yearly publication dedicated solely to the world of fantasy baseball.  These paperback book form issues will be released each month of the year and are chock full of everything and anything you need to succeed at the game we all love and obsess over. 
Issue #1 can be purchased through our publisher here:  https://www.createspace.com/3783507

Some of the regular features that will be included each month are:

-Rookie Report:  An updated look at the top prospects in the minor leagues and how they are doing down on the farm.  We will also updated their ETA or Expected Time of Arrival to the majors along with handicapping how they will impact things once they make it to the big leagues.

-Ninth Inning Madness:  Our monthly look at the world of the closer and all the craziness that goes with it.  We will continuously updated the standing of each and every closer in the game along with fine-tuning who their replacements are in case a change is made.  Finally we will keep firm track of those closers who could be on the move by the trade deadline.

-Point/Counterpoint:  Two of our writers will engage in a literary debate about some of the pressing topics and issues that month in fantasy baseball.  Which argument will you side with?

-Letters:  We will answer letters and e-mails each month regarding all of the questions you have about fantasy baseball. 

-Advanced Statistics Corner:  Here we will look into my favorite part of the game, the world of advanced statistics and how they relate to fantasy baseball.  Each month we will identify those hitters and pitchers who are benefited or suffering from good or bad luck and we will make recommendations on them accordingly. 

-Fun With Numbers:  This feature will contain predictions and thoughts on certain fantasy baseball players.

-Monthly columns and features on anything else of importance in fantasy baseball that we didn't already get to.

All of this and much, much more.  We will be offering 6-month and yearly subscriptions very soon and the issues will be made available through our publisher and through Amazon.  Stay tuned for more details of this exciting new venture.  Be sure to pick up Issue #1 through our publisher here:  https://www.createspace.com/3783507

BE SURE TO GET YOUR 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDES

FANTASY BASEBALL/ FANTASY FOOTBALL SHOPPING CENTER



1. Here at the Fantasy Sports Boss, we are always chugging out the latest guides to help you prepare for the 2012 fantasy baseball season. Thus we are proud to present to you the 2012 Fantasy Baseball Advanced Statistics Draft Guide by our wonderful site contributor Eric C. Wright. This book goes a bit beyond the standard draft guide through the use of advanced statistics in forecasting what all the key players will do this season based on indicators and trends through the sabermetric world. You can pick up your paperback copy through our publisher here at this link for $12.99: https://www.createspace.com/3775485




Here is the official book description. Enjoy.


Authored by Eric C. Wright
The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Advanced Statistics Draft Guide is your primer for the upcoming season from a sabermetric point of view. The Moneyball craze has taken firm hold of the fantasy baseball community and never before has such tools served to accurately predict future performance. The trends and indicators speak for themselves and yield the values to the players with some opinions thrown in as well. Included in this season's edition are the following and more:
-Primer on the key advanced stats that carry the most sway in today's fantasy baseball.
-Charts of those hitters who had the most luck and non-luck when it came to the 2011 season and the odds of a stat correction in 2012.
-Position-By-Position rankings of all the spots on the diamond with a heavy emphasis on how advanced stats impacted play last season and how it will impact them for the upcoming campaign.
-The key position eligibility for all of the big name players of the game.

All of this and more in a easy to follow manner. A useful tool as you prepare for your fantasy baseball draft this spring.


2. The 2012 Sporting News Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide is now available for purchase here at the Fantasy Sports Boss for only $8.99 (plus $5.00 shipping). There are over 700 players analyzed in the magazine along with all the other usual needs for the upcoming season. Use the BUY NOW tab to the right on the main page to purchase.





3. Be sure to pick up your copy of the 2012 Lindy's Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for the cover price of $7.99 (plus $5.00 shipping). Use the BUY NOW tab to the right to purchase your copy. Let me do all the work for you in getting you the guide right to your door like I do every season.



4. The Fantasy Sports Boss 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide is now available in print form for only $12.99. Guide is the same one as the e-mailed version but this one comes in a paperback book form for easy reading. Just click here to purchase your copy: https://www.createspace.com/3757918

Included in the guide which is 100 pages long are the following and more:


-Position by position rankings of each spot on the diamond along with captions on each player that goes very deep.


-Projections for each player for the upcoming season.


-2012 fantasy baseball busts and sleepers.


-Strategies on how to draft each position.


All of that and more so please hurry and get your copy. The first draft guide ANYWHERE for the new season.


5. The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Yearbook is now on sale for the cover price of $9.99 (plus shipping) with Albert Pujols on the cover. Guide has 895 players ranked along with projected stats of 1,000 others. Sleeper picks, predictions, top prospects and more. Use the BUY NOW tab to the right of the home page or on the Shopping Center page to purchase.







6. The newest annual from the Fantasy Sports Boss is currently available for $14.99 through Amazon and thats our 2012 Sports Boss NFL Draft Guide. The Guide has Stanford QB Andrew Luck on the cover and is jam packed with everything and anything you need for pro football's annual gala for procuring college football's best talent. Inside you will find rankings and scouting reports for every position on the football field put together after watching endless games and film on all of the best prospects in America. In addition, take a look at our NFL Round 1 Mock Draft along with a close examination of what all 32 teams need most from the draft. A must own for all NFL and college football fans. Click the link here to purchase through Amazon: https://www.createspace.com/3757918



7. If you haven't done so already be sure to pick up your copy of the 2012 Fantasy Sports Boss An Advanced Guide To Winning Your Fantasy Baseball League paperback book for only $9.99. It can be picked up through the publisher for all of my books at this link: https://www.createspace.com/3740824

Included in the book are the following:
The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Advanced Guide To Winning Your League" is an in-depth discussion of all the tried and true methods and strategies that have helped me and thousands of others win countless leagues and money along the way. Included inside are some of the following winning formulas for success:

-An in-depth look at how to attack all 10 5 x 5 scoring categories both during your draft and during the season.

-How to adequately prepare for your draft so that there are no mistakes.

-How to handle spring training stats.

-The importance of mock drafts.

-How you should act and behave in front of your leaguemates and the strategy that goes with this to catch them off guard.

-The positions you need to attack at various parts of your draft.

-How to handle saves and steals.

-How to draft the catcher position.

-Keys to the very end of your draft.

-The art of trading.

-When you should use the number 1 waiver pick.

-How to make the other party accept your trade.

-Why you should never talk trash.

-How to handle pitching in an innings capped league.

-Why its a necessity to use advanced stats for everything.

-How to handle total moves capped leagues.

All of this and much more. This is a must own for all fantasy baseball fanatics.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM REPORTS: MINNESOTA TWINS

We all done with our tour of the AL East and we now delve into the Central with our team-by-team fantasy baseball previews.  Lets take a look at what is in store for the perennially contending Minnesota Twins.

1.  Is there anything positive to say about former stud 1B Justin Morneau?  The truth is very little.  Morneau has been a complete shell of his former MVP self with two straight disastrous campaigns filled with injuries and underperformance.  Morneau's injury history reads like a script from Grey's Anatomy, with persistent after-effects from a massive concussion suffered in 2012 being chief among them.  He is still only 31 years old but Morneau is about as risky a fantasy baseball option as you can get.  Outside of the injuries, Morneau has to deal with the worst hitting park in the majors in Target Field so that alone makes it very unlikely he will ever come back to his glorious past.  Don't give yourself agita by owning this fading star this season.

2.  Speaking of fading injury-prone stars, what do we make of Joe Mauer?  Mauer is perpetually on my Biggest Busts list every fantasy baseball season and that won't change going forward.  His 28-homer 2009 bonanza of a season was one of the biggest flukes ever which was backed up by two straight underwhelming campaigns where Mauer couldn't stay on the field.  The average is very good on the rare instances when he is in fact healthy but there is not much more than 10-home run power in that park and the next injury is just waiting around the corner.  His name value turns Mauer into an extremely negative draft value every season as he goes about 3-4 rounds earlier than he should so the price can't be justified no matter how good the average is.

3.  Matt Capps is back to close games for the Twins?  They can't be serious are they?  Yup in fact they are as Capps was brought back to man the ninth inning after he threw the gig away in a series of complete meltdowns in 2011.  With Joe Nathan signing with Texas, the Twins needed to fill the role and for some reason in a free agent market rife with closers, they felt Capps was the guy.  As far as his repertoire, Capps has lost some serious velocity which caused his K rate to crater and his pitches to become much more hittable.  He is a prime candidate to be one of the worst closers in the game in 2012 and is not worth the aggravation.  Glen Perkins would be worth adding though is there was a change taking place.

4.  Francisco Liriano is completely maddening!  Anything changing on that front for 2012?  Not really. Liriano continues to confound and frustrate his fantasy baseball owners with terrible mechanics which supplies a ridiculous walk rate.  His stuff is still dazzling on the rare occasions when everything is in sync as evidenced by the no-hitter he threw last season but the ERA and WHIP could really put a hurt on you.  He will come real cheap this season off his terrible 2011 and I have no problem taking a flier on him if the price is right but don't even think about making him anything more than a back end starter.

5.  Sounds like its all bad when it comes to discussing the Twins.  Anything positive at all to look at?  In fact there is one player I really like on Minnesota and he resides in the rotation.  His name is Scott Baker who you might not remember after missing so much time with injuries the last few seasons.  The fact of the matter is that Baker is a very good starting pitcher who is on the cusp of a big time fantasy baseball season.  In fact he was on his way there in 2011 as he put up a 3.14 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while raising his K rate to strike out 123 batters in only 134.2 IP.  Baker just has to stay healthy and a season of 15 wins with a low 3.00-ERA is very possible.  Pick him up late and enjoy the value. 

There you have it.  As always I welcome your comments below.  Keep it clean please.


BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485

ALSO BE SURE TO PICK UP THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3757918


FINALLY YOU CAN PICK UP THE 2012 SPORTING NEWS AND LINDY'S DRAFT GUIDES ALONG WITH OUR OTHER ANNUAL GUIDES HERE AT OUR SHOPPING CENTER PAGE: http://www.thefantasysportsboss.com/p/purchase-2011-fantasy-baseball-draft.html









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FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: RED SOX OUTFIELDER CARL CRAWFORD (WRIST) TO START SEASON ON DL

The Boston Globe is reporting that Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will begin the 2012 season on the DL due to recovering from January wrist surgery. 

Analysis:  Here we go again.  Crawford has a black cloud hanging over his head since signing with the Sox and this is more ammunition for me to tell you to not bother with him this season.  Even before the injury I said to avoid Crawford due to the fact he will be hitting sixth in the lineup this season which will stunt his steals and runs which is his best attribute and now we have injuries to complicate things further.  No thank you. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: BREWERS 2B RICKIE WEEKS' ANKLE STILL NOT 100 PERCENT

Milwaukee Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks has reported that the severe ankle injury that cost him a large chunk of the 2011 season is still not 100 percent healthy.  Weeks was on record saying that he is "close" but that he is still rehabbing the injury six months after it happened.  He claims he will be ready to go to start the season.

Analysis:  This is a bit disconcerting to hear but its par for the course for the perpetually hurt Weeks.  I wouldn't worry too much since he has a bunch of time to get ready for the opener but this is a reminder of how big a risk he is.  Weeks is right there with Dan Uggla, Ben Zobrist, and Brandon Phillips as far as fantasy baseball this season is concerned.

FANTASY BASEBALL POLL RESULTS: STRASBURG OVER MOORE

Last week I asked all of you to decide who you would pick over the other in 2012 fantasy baseball drafts between the two biggest pitching prospects in the game in Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals and Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays.  I argued that I thought Moore was the better pick due to the fact he will be allowed to throw 200 innings this season whereas Strasburg will be limited to 160 which means you get more bang for your buck by picking Moore.  Also Strasburg is the bigger injury risk due to his awkward delivery.  Finally Strasburg will likely be picked around 2 rounds earlier than Moore which is bad draft value when you compare the two together.  I was interested to see what the rest of you would say but the results were not surprising in that Strasburg won the poll by a tally of 138 to 92.  It was good to see that it was somewhat close but the pull of the much more hyped Strasburg is just too much of an allure for some to ignore. 
What do you think about this debate?  How did you vote? 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEEP SLEEPER: DEVIN MESORACO CATCHER CINCINATTI REDS

Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues open up next Tuesday and draft will start around two weeks later.  Hence its time to look at another sleeper candidate for the 2012 season.  We will head behind the plate and take a look at Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco who is aiming to become the latest in a recent line of good hitting players to come to the majors from the position.  Catcher is always historically a shallow fantasy baseball position to fill and so owners are always on the lookout for the next hyped prospect to come down the pike.  Mesoraco is just such a player so let's find out a little bit more about him and figure out what he could supply his fantasy baseball owners this season.
Mesoraco solidified himself as a solid hitting catcher prospect as he absolutely tore up minor league pitching in putting up .300 averages with very good power.  In fact the Mesoraco has hit a tremendous total of 48 home runs his last two seasons on the farm and so he clearly had some big time ability when it came to swinging the stick.  The Reds called him up for a cup of coffee late in 2011 where he failed to impress in a small sample size as he hit .180 but he wouldn't be the first prospect to come up and struggle.  The 50 at-bat total is way to small to even conclude anything and also consider that Mesoraco had a very unlucky .184 BABIP during his time with the Reds which makes it easy to throw out those numbers.  Mesoraco will break camp with the Reds from Opening Day and even though Ryan Hannigan is still around, he will be given the starter's role according to team officials. 

As far as what Mesoraco could supply this season, the fact he hits in a big time home run park in Cincinnati makes it a strong possibility that he could approach 20 home runs if he can quickly adapt to major league pitching.  The average will take some more time to catch up to the power but Mesoraco has a very refined approach that could net an average around .265 which is not terrible for a catcher.  Put it all together and you have a possible top ten catcher in 2012 fantasy baseball.

All in all, I think Devin Mesoraco is a very good late round sleeper pickup due to the fact he is a very good hitter who plays a very shallow position.  He may not wow you are first and he could very well stumble during his first season like Matt Wieters did but the cost will not be too great to swallow if you have to move on early in the season. 

2012 PROJECTION:  .262 16 HR 65 RBI 57 R 1 SB


BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485

ALSO BE SURE TO PICK UP THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3757918


FINALLY YOU CAN PICK UP THE 2012 SPORTING NEWS AND LINDY'S DRAFT GUIDES ALONG WITH OUR OTHER ANNUAL GUIDES HERE AT OUR SHOPPING CENTER PAGE: http://www.thefantasysportsboss.com/p/purchase-2011-fantasy-baseball-draft.html









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Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: LOGAN MORRISON OUTFIELDER MIAMI MARLINS


If it seems like I have been talking about the Marlins a lot in the last week, that's because I have.  After taking a closer look at Hanley Ramirez and than Mike Stanton, next up is outfielder Logan Morrison who I feel is a very good fantasy baseball 2012 sleeper target.  Most know Morrison from his exploits on Twitter and for the fact it helped get him sent to the minors last season in order to correct some "behavioral" issues but in between, Morrison proceeded to open eyes by hitting a very impressive 23 home runs in only 462 at-bats.  So with that nice sample size to go off of, lets dig in and find out what Morrison could supply his owners this season at a very appealing price.

When Morrison was coming up through the minor leagues with fellow 1B (that was Morrison's original position before moving to the outfield), he was known as a very good hitter as far as putting up very good batting averages while lacking in the power department.  Morrison showed off this repertoire during his rookie season in 2010 when he hit a very respectable .283 but with only 2 home runs in 244 at-bats.  Sanchez meanwhile was hitting for some power and so he was chosen to be the first baseman of the future with Morrison shifting to the outfield.  Well 2011 was the complete opposite for Morrison as far as his scouting report was concerned as he hit a poor .247 but with a major explosion in power with the 23 bombs.  If Morrison would have gotten 550 at-bats, he had a shot at 30 homers at the age of only 24.  So which exactly is the real Morrison?

First let's look at the average.  The .247 mark he put up last season was a major outlier from what Morrison had even done as a pro and when you consider he was a bit unlucky in the BABIP department, it means he will very likely get back up to at least the .275 mark with an even higher average possible.  With regards to the power, Morrison is developing into his body at 25 years old and it is at this stage where a young player starts to grow into their power which is what we saw from him last season.  Whereas I don't think we are there yet as far as Morrison hitting 30 home runs, a line of .280 with 25 dingers is very attractive indeed.  His price tag will be cheap this season as owners will focus too much on that poor .247 average and the fact he got suspended so there is major profits to be earned with his bat.

All in all, I think Logan Morrison is one of the better value plays in the outfielder for the 2012 campaign.  His developing power and solid batting average is sure fire outfielder 3 material and he has the chance to do even more.  If you are smart enough to snag him late in your draft, than you can honor Morrison by tweeting to all of your friends about how smart you were with your astute pick.

2012 PROJECTION:  .282 27 HR 93 RBI 82 R 2 SB

Friday, January 27, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: WHITE SOX TO GO WITH MATT THORNTON AT CLOSER AND THAN WORK IN ADDISON REED

According to reports, the Chicago White Sox are planning on going into the 2012 season with Matt Thornton as their closer, with a long-term plan of getting rookie Addison Reed prepared for the gig.  Thornton was terrible at the Sox closer to start off 2011 before losing the job to Sergio Santos but the team doesn't have much in the way of candidates outside of Reed who has the explosive fastball and repertoire to be a long-term option.  Team brass don't feel comfortable throwing a rookie into the role right off spring training however so Thornton will get the nod.

Analysis:  Understandable.  Thornton has great stuff and has been quite possibly the best setup man in the game the last four seasons but he melted when put in the closer role which calls into questions whether he has the mind for the job.  Reed is a real genuine sleeper to watch as he has a ton of ability, especially after seeing what Craig Kimbrel did last season.

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: ANGELS 1B KENDRYS MORALES DRAWING ATTENTION IN CAMP

Rehabbing Anaheim Angels 1B Kendrys Morales, who has missed the last season and a half withthe after effects from a broken ankle, is drawing rave reviews around camp due to his impressive work in the batting cages.  Morales has ramped up his on-the-field work the last few weeks and is pretty much cleared to do whatever he can baseball-related as he prepares for the 2012 season. 

Analysis:  As a big Morales fan, I am certainly payting attention to all of the news coming out about the slugger.  If Morales continues on this path, than he should be drafted in all leagues as a legitimate sleeper candidate.  There will be some rust for sure but Morales is not that far removed from being a .300 hitter/30 HR weapon.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: MIKE STANTON OUTFIELDER MIAMI MARLINS


After profiling Miami Marlins SS/3B Hanley Ramirez earlier in the day, we stay in south Florida and head into the outfield to take a closer look at super power hitting stud Mike Stanton.  At only 23 years old, Stanton is already quite possibly the bets pure power hitter in the game outside of Jose Bautista as he comes off his first full major league season in 2011 when he hit 34 home runs with a .262 average in 516 at-bats.  The fact Stanton was able to put up such a good season at the age of 22 while dealing with injuries was very impressive and his outlook as a fantasy baseball stock is incredibly bright.  So with all that said, let's take a closer look at Stanton the player and figure out where we are headed in 2012 from a statistical point of view.

Stating the obvious, Stanton's biggest attribute is the long ball as his legendary bombs in the minor leagues made him a cult-like figure on the farm.  Once he was called up to the Marlins in 2010 at only 21 years old, Stanton proceeded to go out and slug 22 home runs in only 359 at-bats.  When combined with his 34 taters in those 516 at-bats last season, its easy to see that Stanton's home run rate is as good as it gets in the major leagues and that he is ready to run off a string of 40-plus homer campaigns real soon.  In fact I firmly believe Stanton will hit that mark this season with good health.  In fact if he didn't get injured in spring training last spring which cost him precious development work, Stanton could have hit 40 home runs in 2011.  With the home runs of course come the RBI's of which there should be plenty with Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez getting on base ahead of him.  Stanton also have a nice walk rate so runs will be decent too but not to the level of his power game. 

The one big negative about Stanton however is batting average as he hit .259 and .262 his two seasons in the majors.  While he is not awful in that regard, he is not helpful there either and guys with poor averages cut into the value supplied elsewhere which in Stanton's case is home runs.  Think of it this way, the high ranking points you get in a standard 5 x 5 league in home runs with Stanton are offset but the lower rankings in overall team average that he helps put forth.  His very high K rate is primarily responsible for this and he needs to drastically cut into that number if he wants to sniff even .280.  Keep in mind however that Stanton is only 23 years old and so I surely see improvement on its way as he ages.  This season may not see much in the way of progress though so prepare for something around .265.  Anything more than that is a bonus you can appreciate.

All in all, I think Mike Stanton is right there at the top as one of the best home run hitters in the game.  In this day and age of pitching, guys like Stanton who can hit consistent home runs are taking on more value than ever and his price tag won't be cheap on draft day.  Just be sure you have average covered if you do take his big bat onto your roster.

2012 PROJECTION:  .265 40 HR 97 86 R 2 SB

2012 FANTAYS BASEBALL UPDATED THIRD BASEMAN RANKINGS: WELCOME TO THE CLUB HANLEY

This position is looking montrous all of a sudden with two of the top hitters in the game in Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramires both gaining eligibility early on this season. Their presence at third now gived this position 12 very good starters which basically means there is one for every owner in a standard mixed-league. The fact Pablo Sandoval and Kevin Youkilis are the the last two of that twelve speaks to how deep third base is this season. Here is an updated list of the rankings which now include Ramirez who I kept out for a bit in order to see if he was going to continue with his opposition to playing there. It looks like he is now on board with the move so hence he is included below.




1. Miguel Cabrera
2. Jose Bautista
3. Evan Longoria
4. Hanley Ramirez
5. Adrian Beltre
6. David Wright
7. Ryan Zimmerman
8. Alex Rodriguez
9. Aramis Ramirez
10. Brett Lawrie
11. Kevin Youkilis
12. Pablo Sandoval
13. Michael Young
14. Mark Reynolds
15. Jhonny Peralta
16. David Freese
17. Pedro Alvarez
18. Ryan Roberts
19. Lonni Chisenhall
20. Chipper Jones
21. Mike Moustakas


-The only change is that Ramirez has been inserted number 4 on the list. I would take Cabrera, Bautista, and Longoria over Ramirez no matter the position in a standard draft which is why he is behind those three. Whereas both Cabrera and Bautista see better value by playing third base, Ramirez is much better served being your team's shortstop since the position is so bereft of talent.


BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485
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2012 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: HANLEY RAMIREZ SS/3B MIAMI MARLINS


Perhaps no player elicited more vulgarity immediately after mentioning his name in the 2011 fantasy baseball campaign than Miami Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez who no doubt ended up being quite possibly the biggest bust in the game based on draft position.  With Ramirez going as a top five pick (and number 1 overall in many cases) in almost all league formats, the horror show of a stat line that he put up last season made him a whipping boy and deservedly so across the fantasy baseball universe.  With injuries causing Ramirez to miss almost a third of the season, he went on to hit only .243 with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases which were by far the worst numbers he ever put up in the majors.  Fading quickly are the memories of Ramirez was a 30/30 dynamo who was the best player in baseball and at the always shallow shortstop position to boot.  To make matters worse, Ramirez continued with his attitude problems as he had major run-ins with management and even popped off in the offseason after Jose Reyes was signed which meant he would have to move to third base.  So with 2012 quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to figure out the riddle that is Hanley Ramirez and determine why the guy's stats are going in the wrong direction when he should be at his best as he enters his prime.  Lets dig in and figure out what numbers he could provide and whether he warrants a first round pick again.

First things first and that's the fact that I feel very strongly that Ramirez lost 2011 season can pretty much be thrown out as it was a major outlier from anything he ever did before.  Injuries played a big role in things along with the fact his BABIP was among the most unlucky numbers in the league which was why the average was so bad.  Look for Ramirez to easily get back to the .285 range with the possibility of more.  Also the fact that Ramirez still stole 20 bases last season in limited time shows you that he is still very much aggressive on the basepaths and so 30 stolen bases is a likely possibility as well this season.  Throw in the fact that he will be hitting second or third in the lineup and the runs and RBI opportunities should be plentiful as well.  So it all looks pretty good right?  Well not exactly. 

Let's discuss Ramirez power a bit which is where some concern comes into play.  In 2008 at the green age of only 25, Ramirez hit 33 home runs to go with 35 steals and a .301 average in one of the most awesome fantasy baseball seasons seen in years.  Well from that point on lets see Ramirez' home run totals:  24, 21, and last season's 10 which was on pace for 19 before he got hurt.  That's a very noticeable and sharp decline which is shocking in that Ramirez was 26, 27, and 27 during those campaigns which is when a hitter is supposed to tap into their full potential as they reach their prime and thus have their biggest output of power.  One off season in home runs is nothing to worry about but three in a row, with each season being worse than the other is certainly something to be a bit concerned about.  There were whispers that Ramirez was a steroid user in the past and his decline coincided with the new testing procedures for the 2009 season.  Sure we have no proof Ramirez did take them but the trends are screaming out that something is up.  That means when judging Ramirez' value for 2012 when it comes to home runs, you have to place him in the 20-25 range and whatever else he adds onto it will be a bonus.  When combined with the rest of his numbers, Ramirez still looks pretty darn enticing as a middle first round pick. 

All in all, I think Hanley Ramirez should be given a mulligan when it comes to his bad 2011 season and that he deserves to be a first round pick once again.  The fact he will gain third base eligibility to go with the always shallow shortstop makes him even more attractive pick than before.  As long as you don't expect those 2008 numbers and he stays healthy, Ramirez should give you what you expected as far as production this season.

2012 PROJECTION:  .291 24 HR 93 RBI 104 R 34 SB


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Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL YEARBOOK NOW ON SALE


The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Yearbook is now on sale for the cover price of $9.99 (plus shipping) with Albert Pujols on the cover.  Guide has 895 players ranked along with projected stats of 1,000 others.  Sleeper picks, predictions, top prospects and more.  Use the BUY NOW tab to the right of the home page or on the Shopping Center page to purchase. 

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM REPORTS: TAMPA BAY RAYS

We continue to plow along in the AL East with our annual fantasy baseball team reports and as always, this team is filled with very promising youngsters who are on the cusp of stardom.  Lets take a look at some of the main storylines centering around last season's wild card winners.

1.  Wow Desmond Jennings was impressive once he was called up last season.  How much better can he get this season and is he worth reaching for?  Jennings has been a name we have been hearing about in fantasy baseball the last three seasons but it wasn't until 2011 when he finally stuck in the big leagues for good with very exciting results indeed.  We all knew he could run like the wind and steal boatloads of bases but he found a power stroke for the first time early last season in the minors and he carried it over to the Rays.  All in all Jennings hit 10 home runs with 20 steals in only 247 at-bats.  Extrapolate that over a full season and you are looking at a 20/40 hitter.  Its always dangerous to do such a thing with stats but Jennings is the real deal and absolutely should be reached for in drafts this season.  He could approach 50 steals if all breaks right with 100 runs scored.  While I don't think he will reach 20 home runs just yet, something along the lines of 15-18 is likely.  The only wart could be his average as Jennings has a very high K rate which is not that uncommon in young players.  Let's say something along the lines of .280.  Put it all together and you have a borderline outfielder 1 at the young age of 26. 

2.  Speaking of Rays outfielders, is it time to stop waiting for that B.J. Upton bust out?  Upton flat out is one of the top 3 most frustrating fantasy baseball players to own every season and he remains so despite still being a young 28 years old.  His absolutely disgusting batting average (.241, .237, and .243 the last three seasons) ruin the rest of a pretty solid package.  Upton raised his fly ball rate in 2011 which spiked his home runs to 23 with 81 RBI which went very well with his always reliable speed (36 steals).  For a guy with big time speed however Upton has never even reached the 90 run mark.  In other words Upton is still a very flawed player whose likely sixth spot in the batting order will negatively impact his runs and steals some while also boosting his RBI.  I hate guys who screw me over in average which negates some of the other positives they bring so I won't be doing back to this well in the faint hopes of the guy finally figuring it out.

3.  Did Evan Longoria in fact really have an "off" year in 2011?  Longoria caused a lot of stress for his fantasy baseball owners last season as he spent an early stint on the DL with an oblique strain and saw his batting average crater to an ugly .244.  On top of that, Longoria showed little interest in stealing bases as he collected only three bags.  Bad year right?  Not exactly.  Longoria's average was a major outlier and one look at his advanced stats bore this out.  The Rays third baseman had one of the unluckiest BABIP's in the entire game in 2011 which was the main reason his average sank.  Once his luck corrects this season, he should be back to his customary .280 levels.  Longoria's high K rate wont allow him to hit .300 unless he makes strides there however.  The rest of the package was very good last season though as Longoria cracked 31 home runs in only 483 at-bats. He is looking at 35-plus is he stays healthy this season with the requisite 100-plus RBI.  Finally as far as the steals are concerned, Longoria was never much of a burner and guys like him tend to lose that stat first as they fill out and mature.  Longoria no doubt could swipe 10-plus bases this season but don't pay for them.  Whatever he does there would than be a nice bonus.  He is a late first round pick in my book but make sure Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista are off the board first if you are looking for a third baseman.

4.  Ben Zobrist really is a nice player is he not?  Yes Zobrist is very solid across the board and is one of the most underappreciated players in fantasy baseball.  He fell one steal short of a 20/20 season in 2011 and how about these power/speed numbers the last three seasons?

2009:  27 HR/17 SB
2010:  10 HR/24 SB
2011:  20 HR/19 SB

That's very nice indeed and Zobrist also carries dual eligibility at second base and outfield.  The average is a bit shaky (.257 career) due to a high K rate but everything else is very useful.  Be sure to own him at second base though which is where his value is the highest.

5.  Should I trust Kyle Farnsworth again as the closer?  Farnsworth finally figured out how to pitch after 10-plus years in the majors in 2011 as he held down the closer's role all season with very good success.  He nailed down a total of 25 saves with a tiny 2.12 ERA as he introduced an effective cutter to his arsenal.  Farnsworth is still risky in my book as his 2011 season was a major outlier but I wouldn't dismiss entirely either as the cutter was a new pitch that he is surely to lean on again.  Don't pay too much and you won't be disappointed. 

6.  You already said that Jeremy Hellickson is a major bust candidate this season.  You really don't like him do you?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  This one is as easy as it gets.  A quick primer for those who haven't read the 17679732348 posts I have done on him already.  Hellickson had THE LUCKIEST BABIP in the game for pitchers last season as his XFIP adjusted ERA was 4.40 which is a far cry from the 2.95 mark he put up last season.  He also strikes out a bit more than 5 batters per 9 IP which is a very low mark and is HUGE trouble in the AL East where you need to miss bats.  Hellickson also walks more than the league average of batters which again is big trouble in that terrible division.  Finally Hellickson is an injury risk as he went past the Verducci Rules last season in pitching more than 25 innings over his previous high the season before.  Put it all together and Hellickson is possibly the biggest named pitched to avoid this season.

7.  David Price saw his numbers dip last season.  No concerns righ?  Not at all.  Price simply saw a correction from a somewhat lucky BABIP-fueled 2010 campaign when he put up a flukish 2.72 ERA.  His 3.49 mark from 2011 was more in line with his rate stats but Price surely can improve across the board with another year of experience under his belt.  He lowered his walk rate last season which lowered his WHIP while raising his K rate which earned him his first 200-punchout campaign.  Yes the division is tough but Price has the stuff to get it done there.

8.  Matt Moore the next Tim Lincecum?  Say what?  Believe it.  This is one guy I am firmly drawing a line in the sand with and declaring that he is the next great power pitcher in the mold of Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, and yes Lincecum.  Moore's 2011 minor league season was beyond ridiculous with regards to how great it was and it was right there with Lincecum's last campaign on the farm which says a lot.  He was excellent in his cup of coffee with the Rays at the end of 2011 and in the playoffs and his very high K rate could net the kid 200 strikeouts this season with a mid-3.00 ERA.  Pitching in the AL East is tough but Moore no doubt in my mind is worth grabbing a round or two earlier than projected due to his incredible talent.

There you have it. As always ask away with any other Q's you may have on the Rays.


BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485



ALSO BE SURE TO PICK UP THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3757918


FINALLY YOU CAN PICK UP THE 2012 SPORTING NEWS AND LINDY'S DRAFT GUIDES ALONG WITH OUR OTHER ANNUAL GUIDES HERE AT OUR SHOPPING CENTER PAGE: http://www.thefantasysportsboss.com/p/purchase-2011-fantasy-baseball-draft.html

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS REQUESTS: WHO DO YOU WANT ME TO PROFILE?

Once again I will put it out to all of you with regards to which players he would like me to profile more in depth as far as 2012 fantasy baseball is concerned.  Check out the Player Analyzer, Busts, and Sleepers pages to see the ones we have done so far and be sure to post below or send me an e-mail at rangerfan28@yahoo.com to request a specific name to look at.  As always I am here to help with all your needs for the coming season.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: VERDUCCI RULES VIOLATORS ARE PITCHING INJURY RISKS

By now if you don't have any idea of what the "Verducci Rules" are, than you better do your best to get familiar with what this is all about.  In a nutshell, Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci came up with a very keep study on young pitchers and how increasing their workload can lead to poor performance the next season on top of increased injury issues.  Talking more specifically, Verducci concluded that pitchers 25 years and younger should not exceed 25 more innings than the totals they had the previous season.  For example, if a pitcher who is 24 years old throws 160 innings in 2011, he than shouldn't exceed 185 innings the very next season as per the Verducci Rules.  He found that those who violated this dictum more often than not either got hurt or saw their performance drop off by a decent margin due to having a tired arm.  Two big name examples of this were Cole Hamels of the Phillies who had a very poor season the year after throwing over 260 innings in 280 when the team won the World Series at the age of 25 along with Mat Latos who came down with an injured shoulder which landed him on the DL early last season after blowing way past the innings cap from the season before.  The arm just doesn't respond well to a major increase in workload on such a young body and so this is one aspect of fantasy baseball that you need to be aware of.  There are some violators of this rule that you should get to know for 2012 and even though I am not suggesting to stay away from them entirely, you have to realize that the chance for a poor season or an injury-filled campaign is possible.  So let's take a look at the list and examine each on a case-by-case basis.

2011 Verducci Rules Violators

1.  Derek Holland
2.  Michael Pineda
3.  Yovani Gallardo
4.  Matt Harrison
5.  Jaime Garcia
6.  Daniel Hudson
7.  Jeremy Hellickson
8.  Mike Leake

All right let's look at each one specifically speaking.

1.  Holland:  Holland has a ton of talent that he started to show off in 2011 as he was very good down the stretch and into the playoffs.  He still was inconsistent where he would throw a 2-hitter one outing and than follow that up with a 6-run bomb.  Being a lefty in Texas is not as rough as being a righty so don't totally shy away due to the ballpark but the innings increase could leave him a bit rubber-armed.  Since he is not a finished product yet, its best to leave Holland for someone else due to the risk.
2012 Injury Risk:  Medium

2.  Pineda:  This is a big one as Pineda sailed past the Verducci innings cap and the fact he tailed off so dramatically last season showed you how tired his arm got from the increased use.  Now the fact he is going to pitch in the hellacious AL East is only going to compound the matter with more stress on his arm.  Pineda has had some elbow issues in the past and so he is a big time injury risk.
2012 Injury Risk:  High

3.  Gallardo:  The biggest name on the list, Gallardo put it all together last season as he pitched 226 innings last year including he postseason which was 41 more than the year before.  His K rate spiked big time the last month of the season however so he seemed to handle the increased workload just fine.  I wouldn't worry too much but he could be a big more walk prone as a result.
2012 Injury Risk:  Low

4.  Harrison:  Harrison is not worth discussing too much as this soft-tosser is best suited for AL-only and deep formats.  Still he went way past the innings cap and he has a long history of injuries.
2012 Injury Risk:  High

5.  Garcia:  Garcia came back to earth in his performance last season as his BABIP luck went back to normal and now the innings jump will compound matters.  This is a guy who has Tommy John surgery just a few years ago so he should be looked at with a wary eye.
2012 Injury Risk:  High

6.  Hudson:  I really like Hudson a lot this season as I think he is on the cusp of ace-like status but the innings jump has me worried a bit.  Still like with Gallardo, Hudson rocked during the second half of the season as he didn't seem to be bothered by it.  Draft him with confidence and I will make a line in the sand and say he will be a top-15 pitcher this season.
2012 Injury Risk:  Low

7.  Hellickson:  The innings jump is yet another of about a thousand reasons why Hellickson is a HUGE bust candidate for this season.  If you want to read more, click this link: 
2012 Injury Risk:  High

8.  Leake:  Leake is a bit of a soft tosser who doesn't put a ton of stress on his arm with his delivery.  He is improving and was a high first round pick for a reason but his lack of K's make him a low end mixed-league starting pitcher.
2012 Injury Risk:  Medium

There you have it.  Tread carefully with these guys and don't let last season's stats totally cover up these issues.  No one wants to draft a pitcher who goes bust and you want to minimize risk as much as you can so outside of one or two of these guys, I would leave these names alone this season if you can.

BE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEWEST BOOK "2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" WHICH IS A DEEPER LOOK AT THE SABERMETRIC SIDE OF THE GAME IN PREDICTING THIS SEASON'S NUMBERS WHICH YOU CAN PURCHASE THROUGH OUR PUBLISHER HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3775485



ALSO BE SURE TO PICK UP THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE: https://www.createspace.com/3757918


FINALLY YOU CAN PICK UP THE 2012 SPORTING NEWS AND LINDY'S DRAFT GUIDES ALONG WITH OUR OTHER ANNUAL GUIDES HERE AT OUR SHOPPING CENTER PAGE: http://www.thefantasysportsboss.com/p/purchase-2011-fantasy-baseball-draft.html

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM REPORTS: BALTIMORE ORIOLES


The Baltimore Orioles are up next in our tour around the major leagues.  Let's take a look at some of the prime issues facing the club from a fantasy baseball angle.

1.  Matt Wieters took some major steps to becoming the top notch hitting catcher we all expected in 2011.  How much better can get in 2012?  The answer to that is what makes Wieters so exciting to own this season.  Wieters started to put things together in 2011 after struggling his first two season with the massive expectations that were attached to his name.  Catchers have quite possibly the toughest road to acclimating to the majors leagues in that they must learn how to call a game at a very young age in addition to learning how to hit at the big league level.  So its really not a surprise that Wieters took some time to get going.  Getting back to 2011, Wieters upped both his fly ball and home runs rates which allowed him to hit 23 home runs along with cutting his K rate and improving his walk rate which has his average on the upswing.  In fact the .262 he hit last season was hurt by an unlucky BABIP and so Wieters very well could hit .280 or even better in 2012.  The power is likely to continue to spike as well and so we could be looking at a .280 hitter with 25 home runs at a cheaper than he should be price.  Guys like Wieters who didn't fulfill early expectations fall into the post-hype sleeper category which is where you can make a major profit.  Look no further than Alex Gordon and Adam Jones last season as proof positive of this.  Wieters is the perfect catcher target if you decide to pass on the top names which I suggest you do (unless its Carlos Santana).

2.  Speaking of Jones, how close is he to being an OF 1?  Close but not there yet.  Jones continues to make good on is potential as a post-hype hitter the last two seasons after some early struggles.  In 2011 he hit 25 home runs with 12 stolen bases to go with a .280 average.  The power is definatrly starting to spike which is no surprise since Jones is only 27 years old and growing into his body.  The steals will likely not get much higer than where ther are now despite very good speed and he needs to cut into his high K rate in order to improve the average a bit.  Outside of that, Jones is a sure fire OF 2 who has the ceiling to improve even more in 2012.  A very good fantasy baseball outfield target.

3.  Should I even bother with Mark Reynods and all those strikeouts?  My answer to that for years has been a resounding "No."  Yes Reynolds can hit home runs with the best of them which is very valuable in today's pitching-dominated game but the all-time high K rate destroys his batting average to Mendoza line proportions.  Reynolds is downright pathetic in that department as he has hit only .198 and .221 the last two seasons and that is a major detriment to you roster in that the hit to your team average is extreme and once you fall behind early in that category, it becomes almost impossible to come back from it as the season progresses.  The hit to the average offsets the power gain and even though he remains with dual eligibility at third base and first base, I wholeheartedly advise you to not even glance in his direction this season.

4.  Is there anything useful to come out of that pitching staff?  The Orioles have a ton of youngsters in their rotation who have shown nice glimpses in the past but who overall have no place on fantasy baseball rosters unless its an AL-only or deep league.  Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton have very good stuff and movement on their pitches but a lack of strikeouts make them only spot start material.  Jeremy Guthrie has put up some nice ERA's in the past but he too lacks strikeouts so he is only for deep leagues.  As far as the bullpen, Jim Johnson is their closer and despite some good setup seasons, he is one of the lowest rated closers in the game. 

5.  Can J.J. Hardy do it again?  Hardy was one of the very best fantasy baseball values in the game in 2011 as he hit 30 home runs after missing most of April with injury.  Many owners wondered where the heck that came from but the power is really not a surprise since Hardy was a mid-20's home run slugger when he first started out with the Twins.  Injuries derailed him however for a couple seasons before the Orioles gave him a shot and things all worked out.  Believe it or not Hardy is only 30 years old and his power should stick around for another few seasons.  His average of .269 was about right in line where he was before he started getting hurt as well so Hardy has the chance to do duplicate what he did in 2011.  What's attractive about Hardy is that most owners doubt he can in fact do it again so his price tag will once again be cheap.  That's a buying opportunity if I ever saw one.

There you have it.  As always let me know if you have any questions.

2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS "ADVANCED STATISTICS DRAFT GUIDE" CATCHER SAMPLE PREVIEW

The latest Fantasy Sports Boss book to come down the pike was the 2012 Fantasy Baseball Advanced Statistics Draft Guide" which was written by colleague Eric C. Wright which examines the players through the use of sabermetrics to predict future performance.  Its available for purchase here through our publisher here https://www.createspace.com/3775485

 for only $12.99.  Here is a small sample of the catcher portion of the guide. 



2012 CATCHER POSITION RANKINGS


CATCHERS

1. Brian McCann

Advanced Stats Outlook: McCann is in line for a better average due to the slightly lower BABIP in 2011. He is also flat in his prime and could threaten the 30 HR mark with full health. Was the most dependable catcher in the game last season and that carries over to 2012 as well.

PROJECTION: .281 25 HR 83 RBI 55 R 2 SB

2. Carlos Santana

Advanced Stats Outlook: Santana is a true stud who very well could hit 30 home runs this season while being eligible at catcher and first base. His 2011 BABIP of .263 was very low which was why his average was so surprisingly poor. He was a consistently good average guy coming up through the minors and he could very well obliterate the field in production this season. The fact he is one of the few catchers who will play everyday due to the DH and being an option at 1B does wonders for his counting stats. Go get him.

PROJECTION: .284 29 HR 86 RBI 85 R 7 SB

3. Buster Posey

Advanced Stats Outlook: Posey was a colossal bust in 2011 and it wasn’t even his fault as a busted leg from a violent home plate collision ended his season in May. His fly ball rate was in outlier territory in 2010 but it came

back to earth in 2011 before he got hurt. Expecting more than 20 home runs this season is wishful thinking in 2012 but he appears healthy and ready to go. He has a very advanced approach at the plate for his age and a string of .300 averages is likely for awhile. Don’t worry about the injury and draft him with confidence.

PROJECTION: .291 20 HR 78 RBI 70 R 3 SB

4. Mike Napoli:

Advanced Stats Outlook: No one on the face of this earth expects Napoli to hit .320 again this season but the power is legit folks. He has earned the benefit of playing everyday and in Texas that means 30-plus home runs if things break right. His .344 BABIP last season was the main reason for the shocking average and so there is some major correcting that will be done in 2012. His high fly ball rate and slow speed ensure this correction even more. However Napoli will offer rare power production for the position so by all means draft him.

PROJECTION: .278 31 HR 80 RBI 71 R 5 SB
 
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2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED THIRD BASEMAN RANKINGS

This position is looking montrous all of a sudden with two of the top hitters in the game in Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramires both gaining eligibility early on this season.  Their presence at third now gived this position 12 very good starters which basically means there is one for every owner in a standard mixed-league.  The fact Pablo Sandoval and Kevin Youkilis are the the last two of that twelve speaks to how deep third base is this season.  Here is an updated list of the rankings which now include Ramirez who I kept out for a bit in order to see if he was going to continue with his opposition to playing there.  It looks like he is now on board with the move so hence he is included below.
1.  Miguel Cabrera

2. Jose Bautista

3. Evan Longoria

4.  Hanley Ramirez

5. Adrian Beltre

6. David Wright

7. Ryan Zimmerman

8. Alex Rodriguez

9. Aramis Ramirez

10. Brett Lawrie

11. Kevin Youkilis

12. Pablo Sandoval

13. Michael Young

14. Mark Reynolds

15. Jhonny Peralta

16. David Freese

17. Pedro Alvarez

18. Ryan Roberts

19. Lonni Chisenhall

20. Chipper Jones

21. Mike Moustakas

-The only change is that Ramirez has been inserted number 4 on the list.  I would take Cabrera, Bautista, and Longoria over Ramirez no matter the position in a standard draft which is why he is behind those three.  Whereas both Cabrera and Bautista see better value by playing third base, Ramirez is much better served being your team's shortstop since the position is so bereft of talent.



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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2102 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: PRINCE FIELDER 1B DETROIT TIGERS

By now I assume you all have heard the new that on Tuesday the Detroit Tigers signed free agent 1B Prince Fielder to a mammoth 9-year/$214 million dollar contract which was a move no doubt pushed forward by the loss of C/1B/DH Victor Martinez for the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL.  Outside of the ridiculous amount of money being spent on the deal, the Tigers now lay claim to owning two of the top five first baseman in the game who also happen to be two of the best power hitters around.  So with the ink still fresh on the new deal, lets dig in and look at how the move impact Fielder's numbers for 2012 fantasy baseball and what overall he should supply to his owners this season.

First things first, Prince Fielder is just really entering his prime hitting seasons as he will be only 28 years old during the 2012 campaign.  Even though it seems like he has been around forever, Fielder is still considered a pup when it comes to baseball.  He also comes off a big time 2011 season where he hit 38 home runs with a ridiculous 120 RBI while hitting .299.  Guys who can hit for that kind of power and still supply a .300 average are the cream of the crop when it comes to fantasy baseball and so Fielder's status as a top 5-7 option overall going into 2012 is still very much intact even though he has a new home.  Now that he is in fact in Detroit, we have to assume Fielder will hit right behind fellow monster Miguel Cabrera who will now shift over to third base (more on that in a separate post) along with splitting 1B and DH duties.  Hitting behind Cabrera has to be the second best position in all of baseball outside of who is hitting behind Albert Pujols.  Count on Fielder seeing a ton of nice pitches to hit and thus an average around the .300 mark is once again very possibly and even likely.  Also the 120 RBI he put up last season is also very much in play as well.  Even if things are reversed between the two in the order, just subtract some RBI and add some runs which makes it all even when you break down the total package. 

As far as the home runs itself are concerned, Fielder has gone past the 40 mark twice (50 in 2007 and 46 in 2009).  However Comerica Park in Detroit is a neutral hitter's park which has been proven to be tough on home run hitters.  Proof positive of this is the fact that Cabrera himself has not hit 40 home runs as a Tiger despite being among the strongest sluggers in the game along with being possibly the all-around best hitter.  Thus I would have to say that Fielder is likely to reside in the 35 range going forward due to the ballpark dimensions but that is still nothing to sneeze at by any means in today's pitching-dominant game.

Overall, I think Prince Fielder going to Detroit doesn't drastically change his fantasy baseball outlook much at all.  Like I said he likely won't ever get to the 40 home run mark again but the rest of the package will be terrific.  Its almost unfair to see both Fielder and Cabrera on the same team but both guys will likely hear their names called during the first 7 picks of all drafts in a few short weeks.

2012 PROJECTION:  .295 37 HR 119 RBI 96 R 2 SB


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FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: TIGERS 1B MIGUEL CABRERA COULD BE MOVED TO THIRD BASE ON OCCASION

In potentially huge news for fantasy baseball, the Detroit Tigers are entertaining the idea of using 1B Miguel Cabrera at third base at times now that Prince Fielder has been brought aboard.  Cabrera came up as an outfielder and than moved to third and than first base as he has matured over the years as a player but the team feels confidents he can handle the transition back there this season.

Analysis:  HUGE news as far as 2012 fantasy baseball is concerned as Cabrera will move to number 1 pick status with third base eligibility.  With third base being a very shallow and injury-riddled position, Cabrera will instantly move to the top of that class along with quite possibly the entire league.  Stay tuned. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: BLUE JAYS SIGN FREE AGENT RP FRANCISCO CORDERO TO ONE-YEAR DEAL FOR 4.5 MILLION

The Toronto Blue Jays signed free agent closer Francisco Cordero to a one-year deal for 4.5 million dollars.  Cordero will serve as the setup man for new closer Sergio Santos who was brought over in a trade earlier this offseason.

Analysis:  Good move by the Jays who have insurance in case Santos can't hack it in the much tougher AL East in the closing role.  Cordero had a good 2011 season but his velocity is down and his walk rate is up.  Ultimately I think Santos will be one of the better closers in the league this season so Cordero will have little fantasy baseball value in 2012.

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: TIGERS INK 1B PRINCE FIELDER TO NINE YEAR DELA FOR $214 MILLION

After losing stud hitting catcher Victor Martinez for the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL, the Detroit Tigers made a gigantic move to replace him in signing free agent 1B Prince Fielder to a nine-year deal for $214 million dollars.  Fielder will split his time between 1B and DH for the Tigers and joins Miguel Cabrera in having two of the top 5 first baseman in the game on one club.

Analysis:  Wow what a move.  Detroit is a neutral park that can be tough to hit home runs in unlike Milwaukee which had kept Cabrera from reaching the 40-homer mark but Fielder is still in line for years of big time production no matter where he would go.  Hitting behind or in front of Cabrera will give him plenty of fat pitches to hit as well so Fielder remains a top five fantasy baseball first baseman.  I will do a Player Analyzer on him later. 

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED RELIEF PITCHER RANKINGS

Been way too long since I updated the relief pitcher fantasy baseball rankings for the 2012 season so lets get right to it and see how they currently stand.

1. Mariano Rivera

2. Craig Kimbrel

3. Jonathan Papelbon

4. Heath Bell

5. John Axford (+2)

6. Jose Valverde (-1)

7. Brian Wilson (-1)

8. Joel Hanrahan (+1)

9. Andrew Bailey  (+8)

10. Ryan Madson (+20)

11. JJ Putz (+4)

12. Drew Storen (-1)

13. Jason Motte (-1)

14. Sergio Santos (-1)

15. Joakim Soria (-1)

16. Jordan Walden (-6)

17. Chris Perez (-2)

18. Carlos Marmol (-1)

19. Huston Street (-1)

20. Brandon League

21. Rafael Betancourt

22. Joe Nathan

23. Frank Francisco

24. Kyle Farnsworth

25. Javy Guerra

26. Jim Johnson

27. Matt Thornton

28. Grant Balfour

29. Matt Capps

 30. Brandon Lyon

-All right lets get to the movers and shakers.  Ryan Madson took a huge jump up as the last time I did these rankings he was not listed since he had not found a closing job.  Now after signing with the Reds where he will be the team's stopper, he is right in the top ten realm.  He did a great job in the crucible of Philadelphia and so the less pressurized Cincinnati will be a layup.
-Jordan Walden is on the way down due to the increasing chatter the team will sign free agent Francisco Cordero.  Cordero has been a dependable closer for years and even though he is declining, he represents a strong threat to Walden who blew double digit saves last season at a very young age.  Walden has great potential but you have to wonder if he will get distracted with Cordero around.
-Andrew Bailey shoots way up after signing with Boston.  If he stays healthy than Bailey is a clear top ten guy.  Add Mark Melancon as a clear handcuff however if you pick Bailey in your draft this spring.
-Believe or or not the disgusting Brandon Lyon could possibly close for the sad sack Astros after they deal Melancon.  There really are no other good alternatives.  Stay far away.  I would rather have no closers than have Lyon.
-Grant Balfour is looking like the guy for the ninth inning in Oakland and he is intriguing due to the fact he has had some big time strikeout seasons in the past.  He is shaky however when it comes to closing as he has thrown away opportunities in the past but he could be this year's Madson.
 
There you have it.  As always share your opinion below. 
 
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