Posts Tagged ‘Jorge Cantu’

Starting Nine: National League East

January 14, 2010

Isn’t it funny how a couple of minutes could change an entire post? As I started writing this post last night, I found out the news that New York Mets’ center fielder, Carlos Beltran will be out of commission for three to four months.

Within five minutes, the Mets went from having a very good lineup to a lineup with a lot of holes in it. So now that Beltran is out for a couple of months, where does the Mets’ lineup stack-up against the rest of the National League East?

Let’s take a look at each lineup in the National League East as presently constructed today. Since the pitcher will hit ninth, I just inserted the team’s top pitcher in the nine-hole.

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS

2. Placido Polanco, 3B

3. Chase Utley, 2B

4. Ryan Howard, 1B

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Raul Ibanez, LF

7. Shane Victorino, CF

8. Carlos Ruiz, C

9. Roy Halladay, P

Quick Take – One through eight, this is the best lineup in the National League. This lineup has speed and power throughout. This lineup will be hard to shutdown in 2010.

Atlanta Braves

1. Nate McLouth, CF

2. Martin Prado, 2B

3. Chipper Jones, 3B

4. Brian McCann, C

5. Troy Glaus, 1B

6. Yunel Escobar, SS

7. Matt Diaz, RF

8. Melky Cabrera, LF

9. Derek Lowe, P

Quick Take – This lineup will only go as far as Glaus takes them. If he can come back healthy, then the Braves will have a very good lineup in 2010. It could be made even better when super stud prospect Jason Heyward makes his debut.

New York Mets

1. Jose Reyes, SS

2. Luis Castillo, 2B

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Jason Bay, LF

5. Jeff Francouer, RF

6. Daniel Murphy, 1B

7. Omir Santos, C

8. Angel Pagan, CF

9. Johan Santana, P

Quick Take – Not having Beltran will kill this lineup. The Mets could make up for the loss of Beltran by signing Bengie Molina and/or Carlos Delgado. The Mets have been rumored to be interested in both.

Florida Marlins

1. Cameron Maybin, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, LF

3. Hanley Ramirez, SS

4. Jorge Cantu, 3B

5. Dan Uggla, 2B

6. Cody Ross, RF

7. Gabby Sanchez, 1B

8. John Baker, C

9. Josh Johnson, P

Quick Take – If Uggla and Cantu stay, then this lineup becomes a lot better than most people think. This is a big year for Maybin. I think he really needs to show something this year.

Washington Nationals

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF

2. Christian Guzman, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam Dunn, 1B

5. Josh Willingham, LF

6. Elijah Dukes, RF

7. Ivan Rodriguez, C

8. Ian Desmond, SS

9. Jason Marquis, P

Quick Take – This lineup is certainly getting better. I like the one through five, especially Zimmerman. The Nationals are talking to Orlando Hudson, but if he doesn’t sign with them, I don’t mind Desmond as their Opening Day shortstop. I think he can be good.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the National League Central.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Possible Replacements For Delgado….

May 16, 2009

I always believed a good GM prepared for days and months in advance for Plan B, just in case Plan A doesn’t work out. In this case, plan A was that Carlos Delgado, the slugging 1st baseman of the New York Mets would be a fixture at 1st base and would slug 25-30 HR’s and drive in 100+ runs in 2009. In recent days it looks as if plan A is not going to happen for the Mets. In baseball’s latest injury from hipgate (seriously, what is going on with all the hip injuries lately? Utley, Arod, Lowell, Gordon, etc…Has someone looked into this? It’s crazy.), the New York Post is reporting that Carlos Delgado’s season may be in jeopardy because of a hip injury. Specifically, Delgado has an impingement in his right hip, a small bone spur in the hip and a partial tear of an unspecified area of the hip. To quote my buddy Sean at work…”That sounds terrible.”

Now, it hasn’t been announced that Delgado’s season is over, nor has he even been put on the DL. However, we here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham are always like to plan ahead and are always willing offer our assistance to any GM, so we would like to help Omar Minaya with a Plan B.

Another hip injury victim

Another hip injury victim

Here are potential options for the Mets, just in case Delgado is out for the season and the Mets have to resort to Plan B.

Internal Options

Daniel Murphy – The most logical everyday choice. Murphy played 3B in the minors and even played 13 games at 1B when he was in Double A Binghampton. I always believed if you can play 3B, you can play 1B.

Fernando Tatis – Has played 1B in Delgado’s absence. More of a bench/spot starter at this point in his career. Not an everyday player.

Michel Abreu- Currently the Mets’ 1B in Triple A Buffalo. Hitting .212/2/10 with a .246 OBP. Not one of the Mets top prospects.

Nick Evans – Evans had a cup of coffee with the Mets last year but was so dreadful in Triple A (.093 avg) this year, that they sent him down to Double A. Not a candidate to get called up.

Fernando Martinez – If the Mets move Murphy to 1st, the Mets could call up Martinez to play LF. Martinez is currently the Mets’ #1 prospect and is hitting .281/4/20 through 33 games in Triple A.

External Options

Nick Johnson, Nationals – The Nationals stink, Johnson is making $5.5MM and he is a free agent at the end of the year. If and that is a BIG IF, Johnson could stay healthy, he would be a perfect fit in the #2 hole behind Reyes. I thought Johnson would have been perfect for the Royals in the offseason but that is for a whole other post.

Aubrey Huff, Orioles – One of the more underrated players in baseball, Huff is making $8MM this year and is a free agent at the end of the year. Orioles would move him in the drop of a hat.

Garrett Atkins, Rockies – Played 1B last year but has been terrible so far this year. Teams are concerned with his 3 year splits of .266 avg on the road and .346 avg at home. The Rockies would love to move his $7.05MM salary so they can put Ian Stewart at 3B full-time.

Ryan Garko, Indians – What the heck happened to this guy? 2 years ago he was hitting 20+ HR’s and now he can barely get playing time. Garko doesn’t figure into the Indians’ future plans as I can see them moving Victor Martinez over to 1B full-time once Carlos Santana is ready. They also have LaPorta, who can play 1B. Garko is still only 28.

Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks – It appears the Diamondbacks are in free fall and would be willing to trade some spare parts. Tracy’s health is a concern but he did hit 20 HR’s in 2006. Has $3.75MM remaining on his contract for 2009.

Jorge Cantu, Marlins – Would the Marlins trade Cantu to a division rival this early in the season? Probably not. However, Cantu is making $3.5MM this year and probably $5MM-$6MM next year, which is like $10MM in Marlin terms. That might be enough to trade him to the Mets.

Those are the internal and external 1st base candidates for the Mets. Now, if the Mets decide to put Murphy at first, they are going to need a better LF than Sheffield or Tatis. Possible OF’s that might be available are…

Carlos Lee, Astros

Matt Holliday, A’s

Magglio Ordonez, Tigers

Jermaine Dye, White Sox

One problem the Mets will have acquiring either a 1st baseman or an OF is that their farm system isn’t the best in the world. Baseball America has them ranked 17th amongst the 30 teams. It will be interesting to see what the Mets do if Delgado is out for an extended period of time or perhaps this year. Hopefully this post gave the Mets some options for Plan B.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/27-5/3

May 4, 2009

The first weekend of May got off to a flying start thanks to a record tying performance from Carl Crawford. Crawford wasn’t the only player who had a good week. Here are the fantasy studs, players we are concerned about and some other fantasy news from the week of 4/27-5/3

Fantasy Studs

Raul Ibanez – .500/3/9. Ibanez is quickly making everyone forget about Pat Burrell.

Todd Helton – .478/1/7. My pick for NL Comeback Player of the Year is starting to rake.

Jorge Cantu – .346/4/14/.432. Cantu is out to prove last year was no fluke.

Jose Guillen – .357/3/10. Guillen is back with a vengeance. I watched a lot of that Royals and Twins series and Guillen was a force in the middle of the lineup. 

Chase Utley – .462/3/5. The 2nd Philly to make this list, Utley’s fast start will give confidence to other players trying to come back from hip surgery.

Dan Haren – 2-0 with a 1.59 era and 21 K’s in 17 IP. Haren is keeping the Dbacks afloat while their young hitters continue to struggle. Haren will be in the Cy Young running this year.

Verlander was lights out this week

Verlander was lights out this week

Justin Verlander – 2-0 with a 0.64 era with 20 K’s in 14 IP. Verlander dominated both the Yankees and Indians in a 7 day span. This is the type of performance that both the Tigers and fantasy owners were looking for from Verlander.

Trevor Hoffman – 3 saves with a 0.00 era and 5 K’s in 4 IP. Hoffman has come off the DL and has provided some stability to the Brewers bullpen.

Reasons for Concern

Brian Fuentes – 0-1 with a 13.50 era with 1 blown save and 4 H in 3 IP. Fuentes has been a disaster so far for the Angels. I watched his blown save against the Yankees and Fuentes was terrible. Couldn’t get anyone out and looked like he has no confidence on the mound.

Chris Davis – .158/0/1 – Everyone’s mancrush has gotten off to a slow start in 2009. Davis is too good to be this bad. He could be in line for a huge 2nd half

David Ortiz  – .208/0/12/.298 for the season. How bad has Ortiz been this year? Using Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis Tool, a lineup of the legendary Nick Green would outscore a lineup of Ortiz, 5.8-2.9. That’s right, a lineup of just Nick Green would score double the amount of runs that a David Ortiz led lineup would. Ouch!!!

Josh Beckett – 0-1 with a 13.50 era with 10 H in 4.2 IP. Outside of his first start against the Rays, Beckett has been terrible this season. By all accounts Beckett is healthy so I am really not sure what is wrong with the Red Sox ace.

Injuries

Josh Hamilton – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a strained rib cage. Eligible to come off on May 12th

Brandon Morrow – Placed on the 15 Day DL with biceps tendinitis. Hopes to return when he is eligible to come off the DL on May 9th.

Carlos Delgado – Day to day with a hip injury. This is an injury that fantasy owners hate. Not hurt enough to go on the DL but is healthy enough to pinch hit from time to time. What a waste of a roster spot. He should be on your bench until he proves to be healthy

Carlos Zambrano – Left Sunday’s start with strained hamstring. He may be in jeopardy of missing his next start.

Potential Pickups

Chris Ray – According to Orioles manager, Dave Trembley the orioles will go “day to day” in regards to their closer situation. If Sherrill ultimately losses his job, Ray would be next in line for the closers role. If you have a roster spot open, might be a good idea to pick him up now.

Homer Bailey – Bailey was rushed to the majors by the Reds when he clearly wasn’t ready to pitch in the majors and it showed. It seems like Bailey has been a “top prospect” forever but he is still only 23 years old and it looks like Bailey is starting to pitch like he is capable of. Bailey is off to a great start in Triple A going 3-0 with a 1.86 era so far. With Micah Owings struggling out of the gate (1-3 4.84 era), Bailey might take over his spot in the rotation sooner rather than later.

Luke Hochevar – I wrote a couple of weeks ago that Hochevar should be called up and with Sidney Ponson now 0-4 with a 7.16 era, I feel even stronger about that statement. Ponson is a waste and everytime the Royals send him out there, they are basically saying “we don’t want to win today.” Hochevar is 5-0 with a 1.13 era in Triple A and should take Ponson’s spot in the rotation shortly.

David Aardsma – With Morrow on the DL, Aardsma should get some save opportunities for the Mariners.

Andruw Jones – Yes Andruw Jones is alive and is actually doing quite well in Texas to the tune of .333/3/8 in 33 ab’s. With Hamilton going on the DL, a spot should open up in the Rangers lineup for Jones to play everyday.

Looking At Fantasy 1st Basemen In 2009…

March 27, 2009

It’s time to take a look at the big boys of baseball….the 1st basemen. There are some serious sluggers in this group of 1st basemen which include Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder. In honor of the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania (April 5th from Reliant Stadium), let’s see who the top fantasy 1st basemen are. 4 Horseman style!!!

Ric Flair Division

These are the world champions. The best of the best. Look for these guys early in your draft and let them drive your limousine. WOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ric Flair

Ric Flair

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals. With Arod shelved for 1 month, Pujols is clearly the best player in baseball headed into 2009. He should go either 1 or 2 in your draft. If he is still there after that, grab him!!

2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. If Pujols doesn’t go #1 it is because someone took Cabrera instead. Now that Cabrera has adjusted to the AL, he should be a force in 2009. If the Tigers can compete in the very average AL Central, Cabrera might be in line for the MVP.

3. Lance Berkman, Astros. One of the most consistent hitters in baseball. You know what you are going to get with Berkman. .300 avg, 25-35 hr’s, 100 rbi’s and an obp hovering around .400

4. Mark Teixeira, Yankees. As I wrote in my first ever post here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, “The Unexciting Teixeira,” I felt Teixeira was highly overrated. That thought hasn’t changed but he will put up .300/30/110 hitting in the Yankees lineup. With Arod out, it will be interesting to see how Teixeira reacts to being “the man” in New York.

5. Justin Morneau, Twins. Morneau has finished in the top 2 in MVP voted 2 out of the 3 years and there is no reason to think he won’t put up MVP numbers in 2009. His numbers might suffer if Mauer misses significant time, but not to the point where you would be turned off by him.

6. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox. Youkilis had a career year in 2008 putting up a .312/29/115/.390. I think Youkilis can repeat those numbers in 2009. Youkilis qualifies as a 3B and a 1B

Arn Anderson Division

Solid. Dependable. Never the star on the team but someone you knew always produced. Like Arn Anderson, these next 6 guys fit that description.

7. Ryan Howard, Phillies. Howard would be higher if A. he didn’t kill your team with K’s (199 the last 2 years) and B. he didn’t kill your team in batting avg. and obp. I am not trying to kill Howard, but know what you are getting into before drafting him. Great hr’s and rbi’s. Below average avg., obp and a massive amount of K’s.

8. Prince Fielder, Brewers. Seriously, go back to eating meat!!!

Mr. Dependable

Mr. Dependable

9. Derrek Lee, Cubs. OK Cubs fans, Derrek Lee is not going to return to his 2005 form when he hit .335/46/107 ever again. At this point in his career, Lee is a .300/20/90 hitter. Which is good but nowhere near his 2005 season.

10. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. Gonzalez is quickly moving into the Paul Molitor category of “if he played in NY, he would be a superstar.” How good is Gonzalez? He drove in 119 runs on a team that only scored 637. That is incredible. Gonzalez is getting better with age and should have no problem putting up .281/33/110 in 2009.

11. Chris Davis, Rangers. Everyone’s mancrush headed into 2009. The term “sleeper” no longer applies to Davis because I think even my mother knows who he is. Davis will put up his numbers hitting the Rangers lineup but don’t jump the gun and draft him too early.

12. Joey Votto, Reds. Love this guy. The runner up in the ROY voting should improve on his .294/24/84 in 2009. The 25 year old, who hits like a seasoned 29 year old will be an All Star in 2009. You heard it here 1st.

Barry Windham Division

Windham was a great, great wrestler but is often overlooked when talking about the best wrestlers of all time. Mainly because he was overshadowed by Ric Flair and left the WWF right before it exploded in the late 80’s. Don’t overlook these next 6 guys as they can be solid contributors to your team.

13. Garrett Atkins, Rockies. Many people don’t realize that Atkins played 61 games at 1B last season so he qualifies at both 1B and 3B. Atkins’ hr’s, rbi, avg and obp have dipped each of the last 3 years so don’t go crazy over Atkins. Expect a .285/25/95 season from Atkins in 2009.

14. Carlos Pena, Rays. Interesting note…In the same amount of ab’s (490) in 2008, Pena had 15 less hr’s, 19 less rbi’s, and hit 35 points less than he did in 2007. So the question is can he hit like he did in 2007 in 2009? Ummm no. 2007 for Pena was one of those magical seasons that won’t be repeated. Expected something similar to his 2008 of .247/31/102 in 2009.

Huff is Windham

Huff is Windham

15. Aubrey Huff, Orioles. If anyone screams Barry Windham it’s Huff. Often overlooked but nobody realizes he just put up a .304/32/108 last season and qualifies at both 1B and 3B.

16. James Loney, Dodgers. Loney quietly drove in 90 runs last year with the Dodgers. Loney should benefit from having Manny Ramirez in the lineup for a full year. 100 rbi’s is a possibility in 2009.

17. Adam Dunn, Nationals. Dunn played in his postseason during the WBC. Now he will go play for the last place Nationals and hit .240/42/105/.380. Dunn also qualifies as an OF.

18. Hank Blalock, Rangers. I am higher on Blalock than most. I believe Blalock will have a year similar to is .276/32/110 of 2004 season. Blalock also qualifies as a 3B.

Steve McMichael Division

Now you are getting into some of the shakier 1B options out there. McMichael was a mediocre member of the 4 Horsemen and these next 6 guys would be mediocre members of your team.

The mediocre McMicheal

The mediocre McMicheal

19. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks. Doesn’t Conor Jackson look and sound like he should be better than he is? He looks like he should be a .290/25-30/90-100 type guy. But instead he is a .290/15/75 type guy.

20. Adam LaRoche, Pirates. One of the few draftable Pirates, LaRoche has hit more than 20 hr’s in each of his last 4 seasons and more than 85 in each of his last 3.

21. Carlos Delgado, Mets. Let’s get this out of the way right now, Carlos Delgado is not going to hit .271 with 38 hr’s and 115 rbi’s again. It is just not going to happen. .255/26/92 seems more like it.

22. Jorge Cantu, Marlins. After being useless in 2006 & 2007, Cantu surprised everyone with a 29 hr and 95 rbi season in 2008. Cantu will not sneak up on anyone again in 2009 and I expect a little drop in 2009.

23. Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Another “sleeper,” Sandoval qualifies at 1B, 3B and in some leagues may qualify as a C. Sandoval hit .345 in 145 ab’s last year and with a full season under his belt a .310/15/80 is not out of the question. Just don’t expect obp as Sandoval only walked 4 times in those 145 ab’s.

25. Billy Butler, Royals. I have Butler this high for 2 reasons. 1. His age, he is only 23 and 2. His potential. If you are in a keeper League and can afford to let Butler develop on your bench while occasionally giving him a spot start against left-handed pitching (.340 the last 2 seasons), then it might pay dividends in the future.

Paul Roma Division.

Roma was the worst member in 4 Horsemen history. These last guys are your worst options for fantasy 1st basemen

26. Paul Konerko, White Sox. Terrible year last year and he is not getting any younger

27. Jason Giambi, A’s. Giambi will give you hr’s and obp and that is about it.

The worst of the horsemen

The worst of the horsemen

28. Mike Jacobs, Royals. Start only against righties and don’t complain about your team’s obp (.299 for Jacobs last season) after you draft him.

29. Casey Kotchman, Braves. A younger version of Lyle Overbay

30. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays. Wasn’t he supposed to be a great hitter?

31.Todd Helton, Rockies. Smoking the ball this spring (.423/4/11 in just 26 ab’s) but can his back hold up?

32. Carlos Guillen, Tigers. Guillen will qualify at 3 positions this year (1B, 3B and OF) but has age caught up with this versatile player?

33. Gabby Sanchez, Marlins. Potential Rookie of the Year candidate

34. Kendry Morales, Angels. The has big holes to fill replacing Teixeira

35. Russell Branyan, Mariners. This years Carlos Pena?

36. Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks. In a battle for playing time in the desert but could still hit between 10-15 hr’s.

37. Nick Johnson, Nationals. Mr. Injury. At least you will get obp with him.

38. Ryan Garko, Indians. Will be really hard pressed for playing time.

39. Travis Ishikawa, Giants. Officially your worst choice as a fantasy 1B. If you draft him, just call it a day

 

 

Looking At Fantasy 3rd Basemen In 2009..

March 20, 2009

In honor of March Madness, I am going to do a tournament to determine who is the best fantasy 3B in 2009. This is a 36 player tournament and seeds are broken down from 1-8 in 4 regions. The 4 regions are the Mike Schmidt Region, George Brett Region, Eddie Mathews Region and the Brooks Robinson Region.

Since there are 36 players who will be participating in this tournament, the last 2 seeds in each bracket (8 players total) will play in a play-in game to determine who advances to the actual tournament. Let the tournament begin….

Mike Schmidt Region

Play In Game

Bill Hall vs Andy LaRoche. Winner – Andy LaRoche

Longoria is a #1 seed

Longoria is a #1 seed

1st Round

#1 Evan Longoria vs #8 Andy LaRoche

#2 Garrett Atkins vs #7 Scott Rolen

#3 Ryan Zimmerman vs #6 Mark Reynolds

#4 Chone Figgins vs #5 Mike Lowell

Winners – Longoria, Atkins, Zimmerman, Lowell

Analysis – Longoria hit 27 hr’s and drove in 85 runs in only 122 games in 08. Baring injury Longoria should put up 35+ hr, drive in 120+ runs and even swipe double digit steals in 09. He is the #1 seed in this region and should be one of the 1st 3B on your draft board.

Mark Reynold’s K’s (204 last year) were too much to overcome against Zimmerman, who should have a nice bounce back year. Figgins has been injury prone the last 2 years (hasn’t played in more than 116 games) and I believe his 07 season was a fluke. Lowell looks good this spring and that enables him to pull off the upset against Figgins.

Brooks Robinson Region

Play In Game

Eric Chavez vs Russell Branyan. Winner – Russell Branyan. It is pretty amazing how far Chavez has fallen in such a short period of time. Branyan qualifies as a 3B but will get 1st crack at being the Mariners everyday 1B. Maybe Branyan will be the Mariners version of Carlos Pena?

1st Round

#1 Alex Rodriguez vs #8 Russell Branyan

#2 Chipper Jones vs #7 Casey Blake

#3 Aubrey Huff vs #6 Pablo Sandoval

#4 Mark DeRosa vs #5 Carlos Guillen

Winners – Rodriguez, Jones, Huff, DeRosa

Analysis – Despite probably missing the 1st month of the season, Rodriguez still remains 1 of the 4 best fantasy 3B in baseball. He still should be able to put up 30 hr’s and 90 rbi, which is better than most.

Chipper Jones, headed into his 16th season still has a lot to offer fantasy owners. His batting avg. has increased each of the last 3 years and he can single handily win you OBP in a head to head league.

Aubrey Huff is often over looked in fantasy drafts but all he did last year was smack 32 hr’s, drive in 108 runs and hit .304. Expect the same from Huff this year, as the Orioles will have a solid lineup in 2009.

George Brett Region

Play In Game

Jed Lowrie vs Chris Johnson. Winner – Jed Lowrie

1st Round

#1 David Wright vs #8 Jed Lowrie

#2 Chris Davis vs #7 Troy Glaus

#3 Adrian Beltre vs #6 Melvin Mora

#4 Alex Gordon vs #5 Jorge Cantu

Winners – Wright, Davis, Beltre, Gordon

Analysis – David Wright goes into 2009 as the #1 fantasy 3B. Wright has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting the last 3 years and that trend should continue in 2009. What separates Wright is 1. His durability (160 games played in 3 of the last 4 years) and 2. His ability to steal a base. Wright was a 30/30 man just 2 years ago. I don’t think he will go 30/30 again but 20 sb’s can be expected.

A lot has been expected from Alex Gordon ever since the Royals drafted him the 2nd pick overall in the 2005 draft. Gordon showed some progress last season by raising his avg. 13 points and his OBP by 37 points. If he can continue this trend maybe a .275/20/80 is doable in 2009.

Chris Davis has been the hot name going into fantasy drafts due to his 17 hr and 55 rbi performance in just 60 games last year. Is he another Kevin Maas or will he break out in 2009? I think hitting is contagious in that Rangers lineup and Davis will put up a nice .282/33/101 in 2009. Davis also qualifies as a 1B as well

One last note on this bracket. Jed Lowrie is probably the best #8 seed in this tournament. With Julio Lugo going down with a knee injury, Lowrie becomes the starting SS in a powerful Red Sox lineup. Lowrie qualifies as a 3B but has more value as a SS.

Eddie Mathews Region

Play In Game

Brandon Inge vs Josh Fields. Winner – Josh Fields. Fields wins based on his sleeper potential. You know what you are going to get with Inge…which isn’t very good

1st Round

#1 Aramis Ramirez vs #8 Josh Fields

#2 Kevin Youkilis vs #7 Joe Crede

#3 Kevin Kouzmanoff vs #6 Edwin Encarnacion

#4 Michael Young vs #5 Hank Blalock

Winners – Ramirez, Youkilis, Kouzmanoff, Blalock

Analysis – Aramis Ramirez has been one of the most productive 3B in the league since joining the Cubs in 2003. You can pretty much lock Ramirez in for 25+ hr’s and 100+ rbi every year.

Youkilis is the strongest #2 seed in this tournament and if Arod was out longer, would move into a #1 seed. Youkilis also qualifies at 1B but has more fantasy value at 3B. If your league has OBP as a category, then Youkilis (.380 or better 4 years in a row) is a must grab.

Blalock upsets Young in the first round because I believe Blalock will have a year similar to is .276/32/110 of 2004 season.

Mike Schmidt Region – Sweet 16

#1 Evan Longoria vs #5 Mike Lowell

#2 Garrett Atkins vs #3 Ryan Zimmerman

Winners – Longoria and Zimmerman

Analysis – Atkins batting avg, OBP, hr’s and rbi have dropped each of the last 3 years. That is not a good sign and to make matters worse, Atkins will be hitting in a lineup without Matt Holliday and has Ian Stewart breathing down his neck. Zimmerman will revert back to his 06 and 07 seasons when he averaged 22 hr’s and 100 rbi.

Brooks Robinson Region – Sweet 16

#1 Alex Rodriguez vs #4 Mark DeRosa

#2 Chipper Jones vs #3 Aubrey Huff

Winners – Rodriguez and Jones

Analysis – I will bet a lot of money that DeRosa will not have 21 hr and 87 rbi again in 2009. Last year is what we call a “career year.” I look for more DeRosa like 15 hr and 65 rbi in 2009 and thus ending DeRosa’s tournament run.

Even knowing that Jones is going to miss at least 20 games, I would still take him over Aubrey Huff and that is the reason he advances.

Wright is a top 4 3B

Wright is a top 4 3B

George Brett Region – Sweet 16

#1 David Wright vs #4 Alex Gordon

#2 Chris Davis vs #3 Adrian Beltre

Winners – Wright and Davis

Analysis – Gordon might be improving but he is no match for Wright. Davis vs Beltre is an interesting matchup because Beltre is a free agent at the end of the year and you know what happened last time Beltre was a free agent. Beltre lit up baseball with a .334/48/121. I don’t think Beltre will put up those numbers but I think Beltre will be better than he was last year. However, Davis edges Beltre in the end due to his age (keeper consideration) and his potential for a great year.

Eddie Mathews Region

#1 Aramis Ramirez vs #5 Hank Blalock

#2 Kevin Youkilis vs #3 Kevin Kouzmanoff

Winners – Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis

Analysis – Ramirez and Youkilis advance pretty easily to the Elite 8. What hurts Kouzmanoff is his OBP. Last year it was a pretty pathetic .299. If Kouzmanoff can learn a little plate discipline, he would be more highly regarded in fantasy drafts.

Elite 8

#1 Evan Longoria vs #3 Ryan Zimmerman

#1 Alex Rodriguez vs #2 Chipper Jones

#1 David Wright vs #3 Chris Davis

#1 Aramis Ramirez vs #2 Kevin Youkilis

Winners – Rodriguez, Longoria, Wright, Youkilis

Analysis – Youkilis pulls off the upset due to him hitting in a better lineup than Ramirez and Youkilis’ ability to play 1B. Having players who can play multiple positions is a bonus to any fantasy roster. So the Final 4 is set with the 4 best fantasy 3B in baseball. Longoria, Rodriguez, Wright and Youkilis. These are the 4 guys who should on the top of your list come draft day.

Final 4

#1 Evan Longoria vs #1 Alex Rodriguez

#1 David Wright vs #2 Kevin Youkilis

Winners – Longoria and Wright

Analysis – Due to Arod’s injury Longoria gets the nod on draft day. In the other matchup in the Final 4, David Wright gets the edge on draft over Youkilis. Wright’s sb potential sets Wright apart.

Finals

#1 Evan Longoria vs #1 David Wright

Winner – Wright

Analysis – Wright went into this tournament as the #1 3B and comes out of this tournament the #1 3B. If Wright is available to you on draft day, don’t hesitate to grab him.

I hope you enjoyed this fantasy 3B tournament and good luck in your NCAA Basketball bracket.