Posts Tagged ‘Nick Johnson’

Starting Nine: American League East

January 11, 2010

I was rummaging through some articles last week and I came across a piece by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star. He gave an early look at what the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup might look like in 2010.

That piece got me thinking. With all the moves that happen during the free agency period it’s hard for a casual fan to keep up with their favorite team. Why not take an early look at each lineup in baseball as presently constructed?

So what I will do give each team’s starting lineup by division for the next six days. Obviously this will change as the offseason progresses, so I will do an update to these posts as the season approaches.

We will start in the American League and with the best division in baseball, the American League East.

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Nick Johnson, DH

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Jorge Posada, C

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Curtis Granderson, CF

8. Nick Swisher, RF

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Quick Take – Best and deepest lineup in baseball. Could made even better if Johnny Damon accepts a one-year deal to play left. Cano and Posada could flip-flop between fifth and sixth in the order.

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Victor Martinez, C

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. J.D. Drew, RF

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Quick Take – Not a classic Red Sox lineup. Not a lot of high OBP guys and nobody jumps out and scares you. Terry Francona is loyal to Ortiz, so he bats fifth ahead of Beltre in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF

2. Carl Crawford, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Carlos Pena, 1B

6. Pat Burrell, DH

7. Kelly Shoppach, C

8. Gabe Kapler, RF

9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Quick Take – This lineup will go from very good to great if Upton and Burrell come back strong in 2010. Kapler will find himself in a platoon situation with Matt Joyce to start the season.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Brian Roberts, 2B

2. Nick Markakis, RF

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Luke Scott, DH

5. Nolan Reimold, LF

6. Matt Wieters, C

7. Ty Wigginton, 1B

8. Garrett Atkins, 3B

9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Quick Take – First four in this lineup is very good, but after that, this lineup gets very weak. Orioles are still looking for a first baseman, so don’t expect Wigginton to be a starter for too much longer.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Bautista, RF

2. Lyle Overbay, 1B

3. Aaron Hill, 2B

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Vernon Wells, CF

6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

7. Travis Snider, LF

8. Alex Gonzalez, SS

9. John Buck, C

Quick Take – My lineup is a little different than Campbell’s as I have Overbay hitting in the two-hole. This lineup has the potential to be good, but Gonzalez and Buck represent too many automatic outs to be really dynamic.

Tomorrow, I will cover the American League Central.

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

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New York Yankees Sign Nick Johnson, End Johnny Damon Era

December 18, 2009

The New York Yankees signed a left-handed hitter to hit second in their lineup in 2010 and it’s not Johnny Damon.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, via Twitter, is reporting that the Yankees have signed 1B Nick Johnson to a one-year, $5.5 million contract. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2011 for $5.5 million.

Johnson returns to the Bronx

The signing of Johnson essentially ends the Damon era in the Bronx.

Damon played the same game Jason Bay tried to play with the Red Sox. Both thought they were being undervalued by their current team and wanted to get paid what they thought their market value was.

It’s fine for them to try to get what they think they deserve, but you can’t strong-arm a big market team that isn’t desperate to sign you. It just doesn’t work.

CC Sabathia was able to strong-arm the Yankees last season because the Yankees were desperate to sign him. Their entire offseason last year was based on signing Sabathia. That is why Sabathia was able to get one more year and $20 million more out of Brian Cashman.

If a big market team is not desperate to sign you, then they will just find other options. The Red Sox found Mike Cameron and the Yankees now have found Johnson.

Johnson is more than an adequate replacement for Damon in the Yankees’ lineup. Johnson will serve as the primary DH and hit second for the Yankees in 2010 and it looks like Melky Cabrera will be the Yankees’ left fielder.

Johnson hit .291 with eight home runs and an .831 OPS in 133 games for the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins in 2009. By comparison, Damon hit .282 with 24 home runs and an .854 OPS in 143 games for the Yankees last year.

So for $7.5 million less than what Damon was asking for ($13 million, the same amount he made last year), the Yankees got a very comparable player.

Johnson played three years for the Yankees from 2001-2003 and has played eight seasons in the major leagues. He has a career .402 OBP, which is ninth amongst active players.

And for those of you who are concerned with the loss of Damon’s power in the Yankees’ lineup, remember, Damon’s power surge in 2009 was greatly influenced by the joke that is the new Yankee stadium.

Johnson could hit 10-15 homeruns in that ballpark.

Last year, the Yankees paid Hideki Matsui and Damon a combined $26 million. Their replacements in 2010–Curtis Granderson and Johnson are making a combined $11 million.

The Yankees could get more value out of Granderson and Johnson both offensively and defensively than they did out of Matsui and Damon and in the process save $15 million.

Not a bad deal for the Yankees.

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

Alex Rodriguez Will Not Need A Second Surgery On His Hip

December 18, 2009

As if the New York Yankees needed more good news.

According to the Newark Star Ledger, Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez will not need a second surgery on his right hip.

Rodriguez visited his hip specialist on Monday, Dr. Marc Phillippon. Phillippon informed Rodriguez that a second surgery will not be needed and he is free to begin his offseason workouts.

No more surgery for ARod

Rodriguez, who had hip surgery last March, missed the first five weeks of the regular season, but still managed to hit 30 home runs and have a .933 OPS.

This has kind of been a week filled with mixed emotions for Rodriguez. On one hand, I am sure he is happy he won’t have to go under the knife again. On the other hand, he did break up with Kate Hudson this week.

I wonder what Rodriguez is happier about? Not having surgery or breaking up with Hudson? I am going to go with the later.

Speaking of Yankee news, it’s being widely reported that the Yankees are on the verge of signing Nick Johnson to be their DH in 2010. Johnson needs to pass a physical before the signing is official.

With Johnson’s injury history, that physical might not be done until the new year.

I will have a write up on the Johnson signing once it becomes official.

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

As July 31st Approaches, What Do The Contenders Need Update..

July 28, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on what do the contending teams around baseball need at the July 31st trading deadline. With already a couple deals taking place and the trading deadline just a couple of days away, I thought I would update this post.

Here are the needs of the 21 contending teams and who they could potentially target.

Philadelphia Phillies

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Phillies are going for it again and are looking for a big time pitcher.

The Phillies signed Pedro Martinez.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny, Cliff Lee, Jarrod Washburn

Florida Marlins

Needs – Bullpen. With Lindstrom out, the Marlins need help in the pen.

Potential Targets – Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, Matt Capps, John Grabow, George Sherrill

Lee is very popular these days

Lee is very popular these days

Atlanta Braves

Needs – Leftfield. The Braves have already traded for Nate McLouth and Ryan Church, but their offense could use another bat.

Potential Targets – David Dejesus, Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff

New York Mets

Needs – Leftfield, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Mets should not be contenders, but in New York, there is no such thing as sellers.

Plus, after Omar Minaya’s press conference yesterday, it’s official – Omar Minaya is out of his mind.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Luke Scott, David Dejesus, Aubrey Huff

St Louis Cardinals

Needs – The Cardinals acquired Mark DeRosa and then acquired the best hitter on the market in Matt Holliday. The Cardinals also acquired Julio Lugo from the Boston Red Sox

I don’t think the Cardinals have any prospects to deal to make another trade.

Potential Targets – None

Milwaukee Brewers

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Brewers’ starting rotation has fallen apart recently. Offense is not the issue with this team.

The Brewers have already acquired Felipe Lopez from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Jarrod Washburn, Ian Snell

Chicago Cubs

Needs – Bullpen. The Cubs just need the players they already have to play better. They could use another arm in the pen.

The Cubs have signed BJ Ryan

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Danys Baez, Jamey Wright

Houston Astros

Needs – Third Base, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Astros are now in the thick of the NL Central and Wild Card race. With Lance Berkman going on the DL, the Astros could now use a solid bench player for insurance.

Problem Astros will have making trades is that their farm system is not that good.

I love Mark Teahen for the Astros. Can play 1st, 3rd, 2nd, and the outfield.

Potential Targets – Jon Garland, Brian Bannister, Doug Davis, Bobby Crosby, Mark Teahen

Cincinnati Reds

Needs – Offense. With Jay Bruce now out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured wrist, the Reds are desperate for offense. They should really be sellers, but they are still only 7.5 games out of first in the NL Central.

Potential Targets – Mark Teahan, David Dejesus, Marco Scutaro, Scott Rolen

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs – Bullpen. With Roland Belasario out with an inflamed elbow (it was only a matter of time before Joe Torre blew someone’s arm out) and Jonathon Broxton suffering from a toe injury, the Dodgers could use some insurance in the pen.

The Dodgers have also been linked to ace’s Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, John Grabow, George Sherrill, Danys Baez, Ron Mahay, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Jarrod Washburn

San Francisco Giants

Needs – Offense. The Giants can use all the offense they can get.

The Giants acquired Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians last night.

Potential Targets – Jermaine Dye, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Nick Johnson, Alex Rios, Josh Willingham

VMart could be traded

VMart could be traded

Colorado Rockies

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. Everyone thought the Rockies would be sellers at this point, but they are the leaders of the Wild Card race. As usual, the Rockies could use some pitching help.

The Rockies acquired Rafael Betancourt from the Cleveland Indians.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Takashi Saito, Danys Baez, Miguel Batista

Boston Red Sox

Needs – Offense. I don’t want to hear the Red Sox are fourth in baseball in runs scored – they need offense.

The Red Sox acquired Adam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chris Duncan from the St Louis Cardinals last week.

Potential Targets – Victor Martinez, Mark Teahan, Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Roy Halladay

New York Yankees

Needs – Starting Pitching, Bullpen. The Yankees are having back of the rotation issues right now and they could use another arm in the pen. The Yankees have been linked to Halladay, Cliff Lee, Washburn and Bronson Arroyo.

The Yankees have already traded for Eric Hinske

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Joe Beimel, John Grabow, Cliff Lee, Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Washburn, Ian Snell

Tampa Bay Rays

Needs – Starting Pitching, Catcher, Right Field. I still think the Rays could use another solid, depandable arm in the pen, but they seem to have targeted Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

They are also looking to upgrade the Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler platoon in right and also at the catcher position. Dioner Navarro has been disappointing this year.

Potential Targets – Jamey Wright, Danys Baez, Mark Teahan, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez

Detroit Tigers

Needs – Bullpen, Offense. The Tigers have two top of the rotation starters in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. However, after watcing them versus the Yankees, I think they could use another bat

I also think they could use another arm in the pen to go along with Rodney. Joel Zumaya recently landed on the DL.

Potential Targets – Matt Capps, Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Mike Gonzalez, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Jarrod Washburn

Minnesota Twins

Needs – Middle Infield. Freddy Sanchez makes so much sense it’s scary.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, Adam Kennedy, Orlando Cabrera, Marco Scutaro

Where will Doc land?

Where will Doc land?

Chicago White Sox

Needs – Starting Pitching. Kenny Williams already tried for Jake Peavy, will he go after Roy Halladay?

The White Sox have already acquired reliever Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. For the first time in a long time, the Angels offense is not the problem. The Angels need bullpen help in the worst way and of course, they might be in on Roy Halladay.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir, John Grabow, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, George Sherrill

Texas Rangers

Needs – Starting Pitching. Isn’t it always about pitching with the Rangers? The Rangers have the farm system, but do they have the money? That is the question with the Rangers.

The Rangers bullpen might get a boost with Neftali Feliz. He has been pitching from the stretch recently and is preparing for a bullpen stint with the Rangers for this year.

Potential Targets – Doug Davis, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Ben Sheets (free agent), Takashi Saito, George Sherrill, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee.

Seattle Mariners

Needs – Third Base, Leftfield, Shortstop. The Mariners might hold the key to the trading deadline. The have potentially one of the most desirable pitchers on the market, if the Mariners should pack it in – Jarrod Washburn.

Erik Bedard picked the worst time to go on the DL for the M’s.

The Mariners are 51-47 and 7.5 games back of the Angels in the AL West. They have dropped 3.5 games in the standing since this original post. I still see them trying to add instead of giving up players.

They have already acquired 3B Jack Hannrahan from the A’s.

Potential Targets – Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jack Wilson, Marco Scutaro, Orlando Cabrera, David DeJesus

So there are the 21 teams and the players they might be interested in. Who do you want your favorite team to target? Let’s discuss.

Giants Should Make a Run At Johnson….

May 21, 2009

MLBTradeRumors.com via the San Jose Mercury News is reporting the Giants have kicked around the idea of trading for Nationals 1st baseman, Nick Johnson. If I am playing the role of Giants’ GM, Brian Sabean I try to get Nick Johnson.

To say the Giants’ offense is bad is like saying Heidi Klum has an okay body. No, the Giants’ offense is horrific and Heidi Klum has a great body. The Giants rank 14th in the NL in OBP (.315), 14th in runs scored (151), 16th in OPS (.680) and 16th in slugging % (.365). They are truly inept.

The Giants need this OBP machine

The Giants need this OBP machine

 The Giants two primary 1st baseman are currently Travis Ishikawa and Rich Aurilla. Despite hitting 16 HR’s and driving in 46 runs in 48 games in 2008 for Triple A Fresno, Ishikawa has not shown that power in the major leagues. Ishikawa is currently hitting .236/0/12/.296 in 89 ab’s. While Rich Aurilia has been a nice player over the years, at 37 he is nothing more than a bench player.

Nick Johnson would solve a lot of the Giants’ problems. As you can see, he would be a clear upgrade at 1st base and would vastly improve the Giants in both OBP and batting avg. Johnson is currently batting .333 with 4 HR’s, 22 RBI and a very solid .432 OBP. Plus, Johnson would be a nice fit for AT&T Park. That park is made for linedrive hitters, not HR hitters and Johnson fits that category. According to Fangraphs, Johnson has a 33.1 linedrive % on batted balls in 2009.

The Giants are currently have a record of 19-19 and sit in 2nd place in the NLWest. With their pitching staff, they will always have a chance to win a game. However, if the Giants want a legit chance to not only make the playoffs, but to win the NL Pennant, they are going to need more offense. Nick Johnson would be a good start.

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.

Predicting The Comeback Players Of The Year

April 1, 2009

The Comeback Player of the Year Award is given to the player in the AL & NL who have “re-emerged” as a player during a single season. Past winners include Jason Giambi (o5, Yankees), Nomar Garciaparra (06, Dodgers) and Cliff Lee (08, Indians). Speaking of “re-emerging,” the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented by Viagra. Good times. VIVA, VIVA VIIIIIAGRAAAAAA!!! I feel that is the only commercial you see these days.

Here are the candidates and my picks for the Comeback Player of the Year…

NL

Candidates – Chris Carpenter, Todd Helton, Aaron Harang, Nick Johnson, Mike Hampton & Jeff Francouer

Helton has been killing it

Helton has been killing it

Comeback Player of the Year – Todd Helton

WHY – This will be a race all year between Helton and Carpenter but I think the chances of Helton staying healthy are greater than Carpenters. Helton is hitting the ball all over the park this spring to the tune of a .515/4/14 in just 33 ab’s. Back injuries usually mean a player will lose his ability to hit the long ball so look for Helton to mirror Mattingly at the end his career. Which means .280-.290 with 10 hr’s and somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-80 rbi.

AL

Candidates – John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Chris Ray, Carl Pavano, Jorge Posada & Kelvim Escobar

Comeback Player of the Year – John Smoltz

WHY – While the National League will be a 2 horse race between Helton and Carpenter, the American League has about 8-10 legitimate candidates for this award. In the end I think Smoltz will win because

1. He will have a significant impact on the pennant race when he comes back in June.

2. The fact that he is trying to comeback after surgery at the age of 42 is amazing.

3. He is “John Smoltz.” He will always get the vote over someone else.

A dark horse candidate is Escobar. After missing all of last season, he has looked really good this spring. It looks like has time table for joining the Angels has been moved up from June to May. He could have a major impact on the injury riddled Angels staff if healthy.

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

 

 

Dunn Signs With Nationals….

February 11, 2009

As I predicted in my “Where will they end up?” post, free agent 1B/OF has signed with the Washington Nationals according to The Washington Post.

I am really surprised there wasn’t more of a market for Dunn. I understand he probably can no longer play the OF but he is a legit 40 HR hitter (5 years in a row) and knows how to work a count which is coveted by GM’s these days. In his 7 full big league seasons, Dunn has averaged 108 BB a season.

Are you telling me the Giants, Angels, Royals and Blue Jays couldn’t have used Dunn as a 1B/DH type player? Dunn would have been a perfect fit as a DH for the Blue Jays but JP Ricciardi had to open his big mouth last year.

Good signing by the Nationals. With Dukes, Milledge, Zimmerman, Willingham and now Dunn in the line up, the Nationals are moving 1 step closer to competing by the day.

Also, now that the Nationals have signed Dunn, look for them to move 1B Nick Johnson. One possible destination…The A’s. Johnson is a “money ball” type player and A’s GM Billy Beane has had a man crush on Johnson for years.