Saturday, May 14, 2016

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Catcher (C) Deep Sleepers

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Catcher © Deep Sleepers. Catcher © Deep Sleepers selections are based on a standard scoring system in mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball leagues for the 2011 season. Scoring system stats include: runs scored, homeruns, rbi, stolen bases, and batting average – (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG). AB = at bats during the 2010 season.

Catcher © Deep Sleepers selections are based on players who are flying under the radar to begin the 2011 season. Catcher © Deep Sleeper selections include players who are widely considered to be a backup player behind an incumbent starter, or are a minor league prospect with little or no major league experience entering the 2011 season. Catcher © Deep Sleepers are players to select with your last pick in your fantasy baseball draft to begin the 2011 season, or simply keep an eye to begin the season.

Top 3 – Catcher © Deep Sleepers 2011

Wilson Ramos – Was
Acquired in a trade deadline deal with the Twins last season, Ramos is a true major league caliber type catcher who is waiting for his chance to claim a full time roll with the Nationals in 2011. Possessing a solid eye as a hitter as well as a little pop in his bat, Ramos has the ability to tally 10 homeruns and a .280 batting average as a rookie during the 2011 season. At age 23, there is little holding back Ramos from overtaking the seemingly ancient 39 year old Ivan Rodriguez as the starting catcher in Washington for the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 357 AB, 39 R, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 1 SB, .257 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 79 AB, 5 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, .278 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 45 R, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 0 SB, .280 AVG

Hank Conger – LAA
Since being drafted by the Angels in the 1st round of the 2005 draft, Conger has had little problem becoming one of the best hitting catchers in all of the minors. With a proven track record that includes Conger tallying at least 10 homeruns and a .290 batting average over each of the last four season in the minors (2007-2010), there seems to be little doubt that Conger could easily notch a 10 plus homerun rookie season in the majors if given the opportunity for playing time in 2011.
2010 Minor League Stats: 387 AB, 56 R, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 0 SB, .300 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 29 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, .172 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 50 R, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 3 SB, .280 AVG

Jesus Montero – NYY
After notching a 21 homerun and .289 batting average season at Triple-A during the 2010 season, Montero only solidified his position as the Yankees best minor league prospect entering the 2011 season. With the 39 year old Jorge Posada likely relegated to DH duties, Montero is one step closer to making his major league debut in 2011. However, with Montero being just 21 years old and still working on improving his defense, and with Russell Martin signed to be the starting catcher, the Yankees have no reason to rush Montero to begin the 2011 season. Nonetheless, if Russell Martin struggles to regain his hitting ability to begin the season, the Yankees may have no other choice but to finally give Montero some major league playing time at some point during the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 453 AB, 66 R, 21 HR, 75 RBI, 0 SB, .289 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: no major league experience
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 35 R, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 0 SB, .285 AVG

For additional 2011 fantasy baseball rankings, articles, and draft tips, check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball: Catcher © Deep Sleepers

2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: LF Tier Rankings

2011 Fantasy Baseball Left Field LF Tier Rankings are based on a 1-year standard scoring system in mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball leagues. Scoring system stats include: runs, homeruns, rbi, stolen bases, and batting average. Left Field LF Tier Rankings include the Top 10 Tiers for fantasy baseball LF eligible players entering the 2011 fantasy baseball season. All LF players are ranked in tiers based on 2011 preseason fantasy baseball draft value and draft position as compared to other LF eligible players in the same tier bracket.

For additional 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings and Info check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports

EARLY 2011 TIER RANKINGS – updated February 11, 2011

Other Positions: C / 1B / 2B / 3B / SS / OF / LF / CF / RF / SP / RP

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2011 Fantasy Baseball – Left Field LF Tier Rankings

Tier 1
1. Ryan Braun – Mil
2. Carlos Gonzalez – Col

Tier 2
3. Carl Crawford – Bos
4. Josh Hamilton – Tex
5. Matt Holliday – StL

Tier 3
6. Jason Bay – NYM
7. Delmon Young – Min
8. Carlos Lee – Hou
9. Aubrey Huff – SF

Tier 4
10. Adam Lind – Tor
11. Alfonso Soriano – ChC
12. Raul Ibanez – Phi
13. Bobby Abreu – LAA

Tier 5
14. Jason Kubel – Min
15. Denard Span – Min
16. Brett Gardner – NYY

Tier 6
17. Jose Tabata – Pit
18. Logan Morrison – Fla
19. Tyler Colvin – ChC
20. Chris Coghlan – Fla
21. Travis Snider – Tor

Tier 7
22. Rajai Davis – Tor
23. Luke Scott – Bal

Tier 8
24. Alex Gordon – KC
25. Johnny Damon – TB
26. Brennan Boesch – Det
27. Matt LaPorta – Cle

Tier 9
28. Austin Kearns – Cle
29. Jonny Gomes – Cin
30. Juan Pierre – CWS
31. Josh Willingham – Oak

Tier 10
33. Nolan Reimold – Bal
34. Seth Smith – Col
35. Matt Joyce – TB
36. Pat Burrell – SF
37. Conor Jackson – Oak
38. Rick Ankiel – Was
39. Trevor Crowe – Cle

40. Kyle Blanks – SD
41. Chris Carter – Oak
42. Yonder Alonso – Cin
43. Ben Revere – Min
44. Casper Wells – Det
45. Allen Craig – StL
46. Eric Young – Col

32. Lastings Milledge – CWS
47. Juan Rivera – LAA
48. Melky Cabrera – KC
49. Jack Cust – Sea
50. Fred Lewis – Tor
51. Jay Gibbons – LAD
52. Fernando Martinez – NYM
53. Gerardo Parra – Ari
54. Jeremy Hermida – Cin

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2010 Fantasy Baseball – Left Field (LF) Tier Rankings

To give you an idea of the potential accuracy of my rankings and projections, here is a look back at my Left Field (LF) Tier Rankings from last year to begin the 2010 season.

Left Field (LF) Tier Rankings 2010

Tier 1:
Ryan Braun – LF – Milwaukee Brewers (26)

Tier 2:
Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals (30)
Carl Crawford – LF – Tampa Bay Rays (28)

Tier 3:
Jason Bay – LF – New York Mets (31)
Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – Boston Red Sox (26)
Adam Lind – LF – Toronto Blue Jays (26)

Tier 4:
Carlos Quentin – LF – Chicago White Sox (27)
Adam Dunn – LF/RF/1B – Washington Nationals (30)
Carlos Lee – LF – Houston Astros (34)
Manny Ramirez – LF – Los Angeles Dodgers (38)
Raul Ibanez – LF – Philadelphia Phillies (38)

Tier 5:
Bobby Abreu – LF/RF – Los Angeles Angels (36)
Shin-Soo Choo – LF/RF – Cleveland Indians (27)
Carlos Gonzalez – LF/CF – Colorado Rockies (24)
Johnny Damon – LF – Detroit Tigers

Tier 6:
Alfonso Soriano – LF – Chicago Cubs (34)
Denard Span – CF/LF/RF – Minnesota Twins (26)

Tier 7:
Kyle Blanks – LF/RF – San Diego Padres (23)
Chris Coghlan – LF – Florida Marlins (25)
Garrett Jones – LF/RF/1B – Pittsburgh Pirates (29)
Jason Kubel – LF/RF – Minnesota Twins (28)
Juan Rivera – LF/RF – Los Angeles Angels (31)
Julio Borbon – LF – Texas Rangers
Nyjer Morgan – LF/CF – Washington Nationals (29)
Mark DeRosa – LF/RF/1B/3B – San Francisco Giants

Tier 8:
Matt LaPorta – LF/RF/1B – Cleveland Indians (25)
Jake Fox – LF/1B/3B – Oakland Athletics (27)
Nolan Reimold – LF – Baltimore Orioles (26)
Lastings Milledge – LF/CF – Pittsburgh Pirates (25)
Travis Snider – LF/RF – Toronto Blue Jays

Tier 9:
Gerardo Parra – LF/CF/RF – Arizona Diamondbacks
Michael Brantley – LF/CF – Cleveland Indians
Chase Headley – LF/3B – San Diego Padres
Rick Ankiel – LF/CF/RF – Kansas City Royals
Juan Pierre – LF/CF – Chicago White Sox
Marlon Byrd – LF/CF/RF – Chicago Cubs

Tier 10:
Conor Jackson – LF/1B – Arizona Diamondbacks
Luke Scott – LF/1B – Baltimore Orioles
Josh Willingham – LF/RF – Washington Nationals
Daniel Murphy – LF/1B – New York Mets
Chris Heisey – LF – Cincinnati Reds
Fernando Martinez – LF/CF/RF – New York Mets

Tier 11:
David DeJesus – LF – Kansas City Royals
Delmon Young – LF – Minnesota Twins (24)
Randy Winn – LF/CF/RF – New York Yankees
Scott Hairston – LF/CF – San Diego Padres
Melky Cabrera – LF/CF/RF – Atlanta Braves
Jeremy Hermida – LF/RF – Boston Red Sox
Carlos Guillen – LF – Detroit Tigers
Matt Diaz – LF/RF – Atlanta Braves

Tier 12:
Ryan Raburn – LF/CF/RF/1B – Detroit Tigers
Ryan Spilborghs – LC/CF/RF – Colorado Rockies
Skip Schumaker – LF/RF/2B – St. Louis Cardinals
Ben Francisco – LF/CF/RF – Philadelphia Phillies

Tier 13:
Ken Griffey Jr – LF – Seattle Mariners
Jose Bautista – LF/RF/3B – Toronto Blue Jays
Andruw Jones – LF/RF – Chicago White Sox
Seth Smith – LF – Colorado Rockies
Ryan Garko – LF/1B – Seattle Mariners
Jonny Gomes – LF/RF – Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Sweeney – LF/CF/RF – Oakland Athletics
Felix Pie – LF/CF – Baltimore Orioles
Micah Hoffpauir – LF/RF/1B – Chicago Cubs
Mitch Maier – LF/CF/RF – Kansas City Royals
Eric Byrnes – LF – Seattle Mariners

Tier 14:
Josh Reddick – LF/RF – Boston Red Sox
John Mayberry – LF – Philadelphia Phillies
Sam Fuld – LF/CF – Chicago Cubs
Michael Saunders – LF – Seattle Mariners
Allen Craig – LF/1B – St. Louis Cardinals
Dustin Ackley – LF – Seattle Mariners

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: LF Tier Rankings

2011 Fantasy Baseball: First Base (1B) Rankings

Get ready for the 2011 Fantasy Baseball season by dominating your draft with my personalized fantasy baseball rankings, stat projections, and player info, all right here for free. First Base (1B) Rankings are based on a 1-year standard scoring system in mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball leagues for the 2011 season.

Scoring system stats include: runs scored, homeruns, rbi, stolen bases, and batting average – (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG). AB = at bats during the 2010 season.

For additional 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings and Info check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports

RANKINGS UPDATED – March 26, 2011

Other Position Rankings:
Catcher © First Base (1B) Second Base (2B) Third Base (3B) Shortstop (SS) Outfield (OF) Left Field (LF) Center Field (CF) Right Field (RF) Starting Pitcher (SP) Relief Pitcher (RP)

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Top 50 – First Base (1B) Rankings 2011

1. Albert Pujols – StL

2. Joey Votto – Cin
3. Miguel Cabrera – Det

4. Adrian Gonzalez – Bos
5. Ryan Howard – Phi
6. Mark Teixeira – NYY
7. Prince Fielder – Mil

8. Kevin Youkilis – Bos
9. Adam Dunn – CWS
10. Buster Posey – SF
11. Justin Morneau – Min
12. Victor Martinez – Det
13. Kendry Morales – LAA

14. Billy Butler – KC
15. Pablo Sandoval – SF
16. Paul Konerko – CWS

17. Adam Lind – Tor
18. Aubrey Huff – SF
19. Ben Zobrist – TB
20. Mike Napoli – Tex
21. Carlos Lee – Hou

22. Gaby Sanchez – Fla
23. Ike Davis – NYM
24. Derrek Lee – Bal
25. Howie Kendrick – LAA
26. Adam LaRoche – Was
27. Carlos Pena – ChC
28. Michael Cuddyer – Min
29. Michael Morse – Was

30. Luke Scott – Bal
31. James Loney – LAD
32. Lance Berkman – StL

33. Brett Wallace – Hou
34. Freddie Freeman – Atl
35. Kila Ka’aihue – KC
36. Justin Smoak – Sea

37. Garrett Jones – Pit
38. Ty Wigginton – Col
39. Jorge Cantu – SD
40. Mitch Moreland – Tex
41. Edwin Encarnacion – Tor
42. Daric Barton – Oak

43. Matt LaPorta – Cle
44. Mark Trumbo – LAA
45. Jake Fox – Bal
46. Brandon Allen – Ari

47. Brad Hawpe – SD
48. Dan Johnson – TB
49. Lyle Overbay – Pit
50. Xavier Nady – Ari
51. Casey Kotchman – TB
52. Chris Davis – Tex
53. Todd Helton – Col
54. Travis Hafner – Cle

55. Brandon Belt – SF
56. Eric Hosmer – KC
57. Yonder Alonso – Cin
58. Chris Carter – Oak
59. Jerry Sands – LAD
60. Anthony Rizzo – SD

61. Juan Miranda – Ari
62. Steve Pearce – Pit
63. Troy Glaus – FA
64. Hank Blalock – TB
65. Jeff Clement – Pit
66. Garrett Atkins – FA
67. Lars Anderson – Bos

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2010 Fantasy Baseball – First Base (1B) Rankings

To give you an idea of the potential accuracy of my rankings and projections, here is a look back at my Top 20 First Base (1B) Rankings from last year to begin the 2010 season.

First Base (1B) Rankings 2010

#1 – Albert Pujols – 1B – St. Louis Cardinals (30)
Finally turning age 30 this year, Pujols has been leading fantasy baseball teams to championships over the past nine years. Now entering his 10th year in the MLB, Pujols is once again the clear cut #1 ranked 1B for fantasy baseball teams heading into the 2010 season.
2009 Stats: 568 AB, 124 R, 47 HR, 135 RBI, 16 SB, .327 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 115 R, 45 HR, 130 RBI, 8 SB, .330 AVG

#2 – Mark Teixeira – 1B – New York Yankees (30)
If you thought that the pressure of playing in New York might affect Teixeira’s production last season, then you would have guessed wrong. As the premiere run producer in the Yankees lineup, Teixeira should once again produce a banner year in the stat columns. Now add Curtis Granderson to the top of the Yankees lineup, and Teixeira could be looking at a career high in RBI totals this season.
2009 Stats: 609 AB, 103 R, 39 HR, 122 RBI, 2 SB, .292 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 105 R, 40 HR, 130 RBI, 2 SB, .295 AVG

#3 – Ryan Howard – 1B – Philadelphia Phillies (30)
Entering the 2010 season on the heels of posting 4 consecutives season of tallying 45 plus homeruns and 135 plus RBIs, Howard is one of the safest and most reliable 1B options for fantasy baseball teams this season. At age 30, Howard is at the pinnacle of his career and should once again continue his streak of tallying 45 plus homeruns and 135 plus RBIs this season.
2009 Stats: 616 AB, 105 R, 45 HR, 141 RBI, 8 SB, .279 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 100 R, 45 HR, 140 RBI, 2 SB, .275 AVG

#4 – Prince Fielder – 1B – Milwaukee Brewers (26)
A career year last season has Fielder riding high on the minds of fantasy baseball teams entering the 2010 season. With seasons of 50 and 46 homeruns in two of the last three years, Fielder at just age 26 actually has the potential to surpasses those numbers in 2010 as well as for several years to come. With his patience growing at the plate by taking a career high in walks and raising his batting average to a career high .299 last season, Fielder is turning into a superstar if you do not already consider him at that level.
2009 Stats: 591 AB, 103 R, 46 HR, 141 RBI, 2 SB, .299 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 100 R, 45 HR, 125 RBI, 2 SB, .295 AVG

#5 – Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers (27)
For Cabrera, the stats have been as consistent as any fantasy baseball team could want over the past six years. However it isn’t Cabrera’s bat that is worrisome, but rather his heart and head, as he does not always seem to be in the game or even care about the game at some points. So while his typical 30 homeruns and 100 RBI is very likely to result this season, I feel Cabrera offers a much lower ceiling in terms of overall stat potential because of his lack of work ethic.
2009 Stats: 611 AB, 96 R, 34 HR, 103 RBI, 6 SB, .324 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 95 R, 35 HR, 105 RBI, 2 SB, .315 AVG

#6 – Mark Reynolds – 1B/3B – Arizona Diamondbacks (26)
A career year last season may have set up Reynolds to be the dreaded fantasy bust this season. And realistically, after posting 44 homeruns and 24 stolen bases last season, Reynolds could easily have an extremely hard time matching those stats once again in 2010. I would expect stats closer to 30 homeruns and 15 stolen bases this season. So draft Reynolds based on those 30-15 stats rather than the 40-20 homerun-stolen stats. However on the upside for Reynolds is the fact that he offers fantasy baseball teams duel position eligibility at 1B and 3B, which helps boost Reynolds fantasy value heading into the 2010 season.
2009 Stats: 578 AB, 98 R, 44 HR, 102 RBI, 24 SB, .260 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 90 R, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 15 SB, .260 AVG

#7 – Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – San Diego Padres (28)
Flying under the radar in San Diego, Gonzalez has amassed excellent stats over the past four seasons, while transforming himself into an excellent mid ranked fantasy baseball 1B. So if you do not want to use an early round pick on one of fantasy baseballs elite 1B options, then Gonzalez is someone you need to target as he is a proven and reliable stat producer.
2009 Stats: 552 AB, 90 R, 40 HR, 99 RBI, 1 SB, .277 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 95 R, 35 HR, 100 RBI, 0 SB, .280 AVG

#8 – Justin Morneau – 1B – Minnesota Twins (29)
After getting last season cut short because of a stress fracture in his back that required surgery, Morneau is considered to be right on track to begin spring training and to be 100% healthy by Opening Day. At just age 29, Morneau is plenty young enough to rebound from this injury and bounce back to his typical 30 homerun and 100 plus RBI standard that he has set for himself over the past four years.
2009 Stats: 508 AB, 85 R, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 0 SB, .274 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 90 R, 30 HR, 110 RBI, 0 SB, .290 AVG

#9 – Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds (26)
In what was supposed to be his breakout year, Votto was struck by an illness that limited him to get 465 at bats last season. With health back on his side entering the 2010 season, Votto offers one of the highest upsides for a breakout year as any 1B in all of baseball. A 40 homerun and 110 RBI season is possible if Votto can stay healthy this year.
2009 Stats: 469 AB, 82 R, 25 HR, 84 RBI, 4 SB, .322 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 95 R, 35 HR, 110 RBI, 5 SB, .310 AVG

#10 – Kevin Youkilis – 1B/3B – Boston Red Sox (31)
Simply put, Youkilis is a steady and reliable hitter who plays in a potent run scoring Boston lineup. Combine that with his duel eligibility at 1B and 3B, and fantasy baseball teams have a solid sure bet starter for their team. On the downside, Youkilis is more of a 25 homerun and 90 RBI guy, rather than the big bopper of 35 homeruns and 120 RBIs.
2009 Stats: 491 AB, 99 R, 27 HR, 94 RBI, 7 SB, .306 AVG
2010 Stat Projections: 95 R, 25 HR, 95 RBI, 3 SB, .305 AVG

First Base (1B) Rankings: #11-20

#11 – Víctor Martinez – 1B/C – Boston Red Sox (31)
#12 – Pablo Sandoval – 1B/3B – San Francisco Giants (23)
#13 – Adam Dunn – 1B/LF/RF – Washington Nationals (30)
#14 – Lance Berkman – 1B – Houston Astros (34)
#15 – Kendry Morales – 1B – Los Angeles Angels (27)

#16 – Billy Butler – 1B – Kansas City Royals (24)
#17 – Carlos Peña – 1B – Tampa Bay Rays (32)
#18 – Derrek Lee – 1B – Chicago Cubs (34)
#19 – David Ortiz – 1B – Boston Red Sox (34)
#20 – Chris Davis – 1B/3B – Texas Rangers (24)

For additional Fantasy Baseball Rankings and Info check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball: First Base (1B) Rankings

2011 Fantasy Baseball Player Analyzer: Andre Ethier of Los Angeles Dodgers

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At least as far as myself is concerned, when it comes to filling out my OF, I almost always set out looking for guys who contribute across the board. Players such as Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, and Carlos Gonzalez right at the top and than the Nelson Cruz’s and Andrew McCutchen’s after that. This cause’s me to sometimes overlook very solid fantasy baseball OF’s who might be deficient in one category or another. Now I am not referring to someone like Adam Dunn who supplies great power and RBI but who offsets that with awful stolen base and AVG. numbers. No I am talking about someone like the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier who has turned out to be a very solid outfielder the last few seasons and who other than stolen bases is a more than solid fantasy baseball option. With that being said, I thought it was an appropriate time to take an in-depth look at Etheir and what he might be able to provide those who own him for this season.

As far as Ethier is concerned, he enters the 2011 season turning the age of 29 in April and no doubt that age is usually associated with a player being in the early portion of their prime years. In other words, a players statistical baseline is usually established at this point and they hover around this region until their middle thirties. In regards to Ethier, many are still holding out hope that he still has some more to give and his great start to the 2010 season had a lot to do with that thinking. Ethier opened up the season like gangbusters as he proceeded to hit .392 with 11 homers by middle of May until landing on the DL with a finger injury. Once Ethier got back into the lineup, he was seemingly a shell of the earlier player and finished out the season with a disappointing 23 homers and 82 RBI while batting .293. Surely those numbers on the surface look very solid but after such a torrid start, many felt let down as to how things finished up.

So now the fantasy baseball world is asking themselves whether Ethier slowed down due to the finger injury or whether he just cooled off like anyone would after a hot streak that just so happened to come at the start of the season. I think the answer is somewhere in between as Ethier has shown himself to be a very solid power hitter since becoming a regular with the Dodgers in 2006. Since that debut season, Ethier has seen his home run total rise from 11 to 13 to 20 to 31 to the 23 he hit last season. It is likely that Ethier would have hit close to the 30 if not for last season’s injury so its safe to say his baseline power numbers are in the high 20’s to low 30’s. Ethier has also been very good with driving in runs with 106 and 82 RBI the last two seasons and he figures to be close to the 100 mark again with good health. So all in all Ethier is a very dependable power hitter in the classic statistical sense.

Now lets get to the batting average. If Ethier were a solid .300 hitter, his value would be very close to upper tier level but the fact of the matter is that he has been all over the place in this regard. Ethier has ranged from .272 to .305 since his debut season and so its very tough to predict where he will fall this season. A big issue that is in play here is the fact that Ethier has struggled in his career against lefties to the tune of a .247 career average. This struggle will no doubt show up in a negative way as far as the average is concerned and so asking Ethier to hit more than .300 is foolhardy.

In conclusion, Andre Ethier is a very solid OF 2 for 2011 fantasy baseball and yes there is a chance he can put up career numbers this season with full health. Either way, Ethier is one of those guys who is just under the top tier of OF’s which is not such as bad place to be.

2011 PROJECTION: .291 98 R 27 HR 104 RBI 4 SB

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Player Analyzer: Andre Ethier of Los Angeles Dodgers

2011 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT TOSS UP: ZACK GREINKE/JUSTIN VERLANDER SP

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Time for another look at a 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Toss Up as we head into the starting pitcher group. The Milwaukee Brewers’ Zack Greinke and the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander are two the brightest young pitchers in the game today who combine high strikeout totals with very tough offerings to hit. Both guys are also being drafted right around the same time in 2011 fantasy baseball mock drafts so with that in mind lets compare the two in all four relevant starting pitcher categories to determine who should be picked ahead of the other.
Wins: This one is tough to discuss since Greinke was saddled with pitching in Kansas City all those years while Verlander was habitually winning games in Detroit. Greinke now throws in Milwaukee and is backed by one of the best offenses in the game so wins should be plentiful. Verlander is an innings-eater who also will fall into his fair share of upper level wins.
Advantage: EVEN

ERA: Verlander has settled into the lower-3.00 ERA realm while Greinke has a low-2.00 ERA season on his ledger. Now that he is in the NL, its quite possible Greinke settles back into the 2.00 range due to the fact he pitches in the much easier league.
Advantage: Zack Greinke

Strikeouts: Yes Greinke struck out 242 batters in his incredible 2009 season but thats the only occasion he reached that plateau. Verlander meanwhile is a perennial 200 punchout guy so he gets the nod.
Advantage: Justin Verlander

WHIP: Another tough one to call as Greinke has been up and down here the last few seasons while Verlander has been at 1.16 and 1.18 the last two campaigns. Again the move to the NL should boost Greinke here and a return to the 1.10 range is very possible here.
Advantage: Zack Greinke

WINNER: Zack Greinke

As always things were very close but Greinke wins out. The move to the NL makes him the favorite as he will have the advantage of pitching to the much weaker lineups. Verlander is a heck of a pitcher but facing the DH has a way of upping the stats a bit. You cant go wrong with either guy but Greinke would be the one to select this spring.

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Tags:2011 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT TOSS UP: ZACK GREINKE/JUSTIN VERLANDER SP

2011 Fantasy Baseball Second Half Fade Guys

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When I sit down and start formulating my fantasy baseball draft cheat sheets, there are many variables that go into whether or not a certain guy is someone I will target or avoid like the plague. Injuries, bad ballpark, bad lineup support etc. are some of the themes I look at when deciding whether a player is worthy of being on my two money league rosters. Another very important variable are players who tend to do their best work in the first half of the seasons and fade once the last pitch of the All Star break has been thrown. In my opinion, guys who tend to “lose their stats” when fantasy baseball championships are decided is a very big no-no in my book as far as guys who cant be on my team. We all know Angels SP Dan Haren has been the poster boy for such a player but there are quite a few who start all over the diamond with similar second half issues. So without delay lets take a look at some other players you might want to avoid on draft day so as not to be let down when the stakes are the highest.

Starting Pitchers

Dan Haren: Of course we have to start with Haren who has been one of the most notorious second half stumblers in recent memory. Basically the edict when owning Haren was to ride the great first half and than deal him in late July before the inevitable struggles began. He is so known for this now that nobody in your league is not aware of this which makes drafting him even more risky. Last season Haren actually reversed the trend as he was bad in the first half and decent in the second but his history is too set in this regard.

Yovani Gallardo: Gallardo has been downright miserable in the the second half the last two seasons and its proven to undermine what on the surface looks like starting pitcher 1 stuff. We all know he walks too many batters but he his ERA the last two second halves have been 4.56 and 5.77 which shows you that he is getting tagged in addition to the struggles with walking opposing batters. Sure he strikes out a ton of guys but the fact he doesn’t win enough games due to leaving starts early as a result of inefficient pitch counts, walks the ballpark, and gets hit in the second half are really a huge batch of negatives to digest if you get involved.

First Baseman

Justin Morneau: Morneau is a distinct first half hitter and second half fader and no one seems to talk about it much. It could be due to the fact Morneau has more pressing injury problems the last few seasons but the stats dont lie. Morneau is a .306 first half hitter to .260 in second halves. That is a stark dropoff which when combined with the injuries make Morneau one to avoid.

Second Baseman

Brandon Phillips: Phillips is a guy I always seem to own and I have to admit I do like the guy (head over to the Player Aanalyzer Page to see how much) but you cant ignore the fact he takes a dive in the second half. As far as the stats are concerned, Phillips is a .273 hitter in the first half to only .258 in the second half. The power drops bad in the second half too as Phillips has cracked 69 first half homers in his career to 43 for the second half. Phillips dipped below the 20/20 mark for the first time in four years last season and he struggles against righthanders (and we live in a righthanded world) so I am inclined not to look his way this season.

Third Baseman

Kevin Youkilis: The Greek God Of Walks tails off in the second half as he bats .304 with 72 HR in the first half in his career to .279 to 40 in the second half. Its not a stark drop but he loses steam nonetheless. Unlike some of the other guys on this list though, I would not hesitate to draft him in 2011.

Outfielders

Alex Rios: Rios once again did his very good first half and pretty poor second half in 2010 as he went from 15-6 home runs and his average went from .305 to .258. This has been the habit for Rios throughout his career so keep that in mind if you are an owner.

So there you have it. There are more players like them but these are some of the more notorious. Just keep that in mind when you are debating between these players and a similar stock.

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Second Half Fade Guys

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Top Five AL Sleeper Draft Selections

Any fantasy baseball owner knows that the success of their team comes in the later rounds of the draft rather then the top few.

They spend spend countless hours doing research on players most casual fans have never heard before with the hope of finding those few keys to fuel their championships.

These are five sleeper selections from the American league who will be on the winning team at the end of the season.

Adam Jones (BAL)

The outfielder from the Orioles is going to benefit greatly from the bats upper management brought in during the off-season. Even more important will be the play of Brian Roberts at the top of the order. While his average of .280 may be nothing to write home about, Jones should see increases in his offensive production across the board.

Edwin Jackson (CWS)

When it comes to pitchers, it is sometimes more lucky than the skill of the fantasy baseball owners. It does not take luck to see the potential in Jackson with his 172 strikeouts he threw in 2010. Jackson will continue to improve with an offense behind him.

J.P. Arencibia (TOR)

If you are like most fantasy owners, you normally wait until the later rounds once Mauer is off the boards. Arencibia is one of those catchers who gives you the option to wait until the final rounds. A lackluster average can be outweighed by the 20 homeruns he should hit in 2011.

Ryan Raburn (DET)

Raburn came on strong during the second half of 2010 with .315 batting average with 13 homeruns and 46 runs driven in. As a result, he has earned himself a starting role for 2011. There is no reason why a owner should pass on him as their fourth outfielder because he is going to pay huge dividends.

Chone Figgins (SEA)

Yes, he almost dropped off the face of the baseball world in 2010 with a disastrous first season in Seattle. While he may not return to the same level of his 2009 production, there is no reason not to expect him to hit around .290 with 100 runs and another 40 plus stolen bases.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Updated Starting Pitcher Rankings

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As we continue to chug along towards the 2011 fantasy baseball season, lets take a look at the latest starting pitcher rankings and where they stand currently.

1. Roy Halladay
2. Felix Hernandez
3. Cliff Lee
4. Adam Wainwright
5. Jon Lester
6. Tim Lincecum
7. Josh Johnson
8. Clayton Kershaw
9. CC Sabbathia
10. Ubaldo Jimenez
11. Justin Verlander
12. Mat Latos
13. Cole Hamels
14. Jered Weaver
15. Zack Greinke
16. Tommy Hanson
17. Chris Carpenter
18. Francisco Liriano
19. David Price
20. Roy Oswalt
21. Dan Haren
22. Ted Lilly
23. Yovani Gallardo
24. Brett Anderson
25. Wandy Rordriguez

-In all honesty, after Halladay and King Felix, from Cliff Lee all the way to Justin Verlander can be in a million different orders and I would have no issue with that. All of these guys are pure aces and they all are more than adequate to anchor your staff. If I were to try and decipher between this group, I placed Verlander the lowest among them due to my fear of injury with the insanely high amount of pitchess and innings he has thrown (MLB high the last two years in total pitches thrown) and his ERA has seemed to settle in the lower mid 3.00 range whereas guys like Kershaw Wainwright, and J Johnson have gone to the 2.00 range.
-As far as Ubaldo Jimenez is concerned, don’t be concerned at all about his average second half. The luck got away from him a bit but this is still a mid 3.00 ERA, 200 plus K guy who is a sure ace.
-Mat Latos is generating a lot e-mail to me this season ( rangerfan28@yahoo.com if you have any fantasy sports questions) and I understand why. Drafting a supremely YOUNG stud like Latos is always risky due to the fear of the league catching up to him, injury due to innings jumps, and other issues but in my opinion this kid is worth it to reach for without debate. Latos doesn’t walk anyone, he strikes out crazy batters, and he plays in Petco Park. Introducing you to the new Curt Schilling.
-I LOVE Ted Lilly and you can read why here: http://ift.tt/1TcoAu6
-Chris Carpenter is a guy who absolutely scares me though as we all know the very lengthy injury history he has and the fact he is due for a DL stint after being relatively healthy the last two seasons. His age is getting up there and the strikeouts wont come near the 200 mark again so be aware you could lose a bit of value here and a heck of a lot more if he lands on the DL which is a 50/50 scenario.
-Folks don’t think that what Jered Weaver did last season was a fluke because it wasn’t. There was no BAPIP help or high strand rates that helped him in 2010 so he was absolutely legit and is someone to target for sure. The West Coast bias is in your favor as Weaver’s ADP is currently in the 90’s which is a travesty. Take advantage.
-Don’t forget about last year’s favorite sleeper Brett Anderson. Sure he was annoying to own in 2010 due to elbow issues but he was very good when he was on the mound. This kid absolutely has ace stuff so be sure you look this way in your drafts.

There you have it. That’s how it stands right now. Lets hear some dissenting opinions.

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Updated Starting Pitcher Rankings

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Second Base (2B) Sleepers

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Second Base (2B) Sleepers. Second Base (2B) Sleepers selections are based on a standard scoring system in mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball leagues for the 2011 season. Scoring system stats include: runs scored, homeruns, rbi, stolen bases, and batting average – (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG). AB = at bats during the 2010 season.

Second Base (2B) Sleepers selections are based on players who have the potential to make a significant statistical impact during the 2011 season. Second Base (2B) Sleepers are players to consider drafting late in fantasy baseball drafts or pick up as free agents to begin the 2011 season.

Second Base (2B) Sleepers 2011

Dustin Ackley – Sea
As the #2 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Ackley has just one year of minor league experience under his belt, but that should not slow him from making his major league debut during the 2011 season. In fact the real question is not whether Ackley will make it to the majors in 2011, but rather when he will get the call up. Boasting loads of talent as a pure hitter with an excellent stroke that makes him an ideal contact machine, Ackley could easily become one of the best hitting second basemen in all of baseball over the next two years. All in all, keep a very close eye on Ackley during spring training. Because if he does well, Ackley could definitely take the same fast track to a starting job as what Jason Heyward did with the Braves last season. If this is the case, Ackley will become a near must draft in all fantasy baseball leagues to begin the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 501 AB, 79 R, 7 HR, 51 RBI, 10 SB, .265 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: No Stats Available
2011 Stat Projections: 70 R, 5 HR, 45 RBI, 10 SB, .280 AVG

Danny Espinosa – Was
While his September call up and major league debut to finish the 2010 season with the Nationals was nothing special, Espinosa did show his solid power hitting ability and potential, while racking up 6 homeruns in just 103 at bats as the Nationals second basemen. With the starting second base job his to lose in Washington to begin the 2011 season, Espinosa is one power hitting second basemen that all fantasy baseball teams will want to know about entering the 2011 season. And after tallying 18 homeruns and 29 stolen bases at Single A during the 2009 season, and 22 homeruns and 25 stolen bases between Double A and Triple A during the 2010 season, there is no doubt that Espinosa could be on the cusp of becoming one of the next great fantasy baseball second basemen.
2010 Minor League Stats: 481 AB, 80 R, 22 HR, 69 RBI, 25 SB, .266 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 103 AB, 16 R, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB, .214 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 70 R, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 20 SB, .270 AVG

Scott Sizemore – Det
After entering the 2010 season as the Tigers new opening day starting second basemen, the rookie learning curve was a tough road to handle for Sizemore, as he was eventually sent back down to Triple A at the end of May. During that demotion, Sizemore was able to reestablish himself as he went on to tally 9 homeruns, 23 doubles, and a .298 batting average over 299 at bats at Triple A. At age 26 for the 2011 season, and just the aging and injury prone Carlos Guillen standing in his way to claim the everyday starting 2B job in Detroit, a more experienced Sizemore could easily take hold of his opportunity and never let go in 2011. Offering a solid power/speed combination for a second basemen, as well as the ability to hit for average, Sizemore has plenty of potential to become a 10-15 homerun and 10-15 stolen base player for fantasy baseball teams during the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 299 AB, 49 R, 9 HR, 37 RBI, 2 SB, .298 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 143 AB, 19 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB, .224 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 65 R, 12 HR, 50 RBI, 12 SB, .280 AVG

For additional 2011 fantasy baseball rankings, articles, and draft tips, check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball: Second Base (2B) Sleepers

2011 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME to the SHOW: MICHAEL PINEDA SP SEATTLE MARINERS

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The latest word out of Seattle is that hotshot starting pitching prospect Michael Pineda has an open spot available to him as the team’s fifth starter right out of spring trasining. Upper management went on record yesterday confirming this account and they dont plan on holding him back to delay his arbitration clock like with most young prospects these days. So with that being said, its time to seriously look into what Pineda can offer fantasy baseball owners this season and if he can have a decent impact throughout the course of his rookie campaign. Lets take a look.

The first aspect regarding Pineda that needs to be looked at is the fact he is very young as he will be only 22 when the season starts. No matter how much talent a prospect might have, there will undoubtedly be stumbles along the way as they try to acclimate themselves to the big leagues. We saw this with teammate Felix Hernandez who took a few years to become the pitcher he is today and Pineda is likely to undergo ups and downs all season. The key will be whether there will be more ups and downs and with that, we must look a bit deeper into Pineda’s arsenal to determine if this is likely to happen.

Looking at Pineda’s time on the farm, its easy to see the power pitcher profile that was bestowed on him right away was not misguided as he has struck out 396 batters in 404 minor league innings. That my friends is the classic power pitcher K/IP ratio and so Pineda certainly will be a help in the strikeoout department right off the bat which generates the most excitement from fantasy baseball phenom pitchers. His last full season in the minors in 2010, Pineda put up a 3.36 ERA over 25 starts between Double and Triple-A and through is first 7 innings in spring training, has struck out 5 batters with 3 walks. His radar gun readings were in the mid to high 90’s so on the surface Pineda looks ready to challenge major league hitters.

The other caveat we have to take into consideration if you get involved here is the fact Pineda has a history of elbow problems which ruined his 2009 season. He does have a delivery that worries many due to the fact its anything but smooth but so far he has held up well over the last season-plus. On top of the injuries, the team will certainly impose an innings limit on Pineda which will be around the 150 level. So know going in that you wont get a full season of starts from the kid when you draft him this spring.

All in all, Michael Pineda has the makeup to be a very big fantasy baseball asset in short order. He wont be an All Star by any means but since you can get him incredibly late in drafts and off the waiver wire in those leagues that already picked their players, the value is significant for sure.

2011 PROJECTION: 11-7 3.88 ERA 171 K 1.28 WHIP

Tags:2011 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME to the SHOW: MICHAEL PINEDA SP SEATTLE MARINERS

2011 FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM PREVIEW: SAN DIEGO PADRES

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The San Diego Padres had a better than expected season in 2010 and came within one game of making the playoffs. Unfortunately the team was forced to trade All Star 1B Adrian Gonzalez in the offseason to the Boston Red Sox and have made it known that stud closer Heath Bell is also on the block. Be that as it may there are still some fantasy baseball stocks worth looking into on the club so lets get to the preview. As always the players are rated from 4 stars to 1 with a description of each group noted.

4 STAR PLAYERS (top tier guys who are among the best at their positions)

Heath Bell: Even though he likely wont finish the season with the team, Heath Bell has been a top 3 closer the last two season with over 40 saves in each with 2.71 and 1.93 ERA’s in those campaigns. The one cloud obviously is the trade talk and not for the distraction it will cause. Bell doesn’t seem like the type who will struggle due to all the rumors but if he ends up somewhere as a setup man than all his value goes to the wayside. I don’t think that would happen as there are big time teams that will be in the playoff hunt who could use a closer like Atlanta and St. Louis. Don’t hesitate to draft this gem.

3 STAR PLAYERS (very good fantasy baseball options who are just under star level):

Mat Latos: This will probably be the last season that Latos will be nothing less than a 4 star guy and his rookie season was downright silly in how good it was. The unreal streak that Latos had of giving up 3 runs or less at such a young age is a testament to how good he is. Latos does everything well in order to be a big time stud. He strikes out everyone, he doesn’t walk batters, and he gives up few hits. He gives up his share of home runs but that’s the only knock I can come up with. Outside of his ability, there is a concern about the HUGE jump in innings Latos went through last season so its possible his arm will “bounce” some and his numbers will spike a bit. Be that as it may this kid could be a top five starter as soon as this season.

2 STAR PLAYERS (lower end fantasy baseball starters and decent bench guys):

Chase Headley: Headley hasn’t taken that next step that everyone anticipated but he did up his steals rate last season to go with all right pop. The ballpark obviously hurts his home run tally as it does everyone who plays here but Headley still can grow a bit more this season which will keep him in the third base conversation for another season at least.

Will Venable: Hitting 13 home runs with 29 steals is not bad at all and Venable certainly has earned a place on fantasy baseball rosters. Really that spot is as a lower end OF due to his poor batting average and possibility of platooning. Still the nice power/speed combo is very useful for sure.

Aaron Harang: Harang is intriguing this season due to his move to the best pitchers park in the game and people forget he had back-to-back 200 K seasons not too long ago with solid ERA numbers. A lottery ticket late in drafts who could surprise.

Clayton Richard: Richard is symbolic of pretty much the bottom 3/5 of the Padres’ starting rotation. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters but has a decent ERA with a higher than you want WHIP. Its also recommended to start these guys at home.

Jason Bartlett: Bartlett bottomed out last season which was not totally surprising due to his fluky 2009 campaign but the shortstop spot is so shallow that he deserves some attention this spring. Bartlett is a better player than what he showed last season and stands a good chance of getting his steals back to the 20 range with a good enough average. Worth some attention.

1 STAR PLAYERS (waiver wire guys):

Tim Stauffer: Stauffer did some nice things for the team upon promotion last season and he has nice upside to boot as a former top draft pick. Keep his name in mind very late in your draft.

Brad Hawpe/Jorge Cantu: Both guys will platoon at first base and so that pretty much destroys their value. Both also have done their best work in the past and age has eaten into their numbers. Leave them alone for now.

Cameron Maybin: I know he is still young but I am not paying attention anymore to this kid. His approach at the plate is a joke and his move to Petco Park eliminates what was left of the intrigue surrounding his name.

Mike Adams: Either Adams or Luke Gregerson will step in and close if/when Heath Bell is traded so keep these two on your WATCH lists.

Luke Gregerson: Ditto.

Orlando Hudson: Hudson is nothing but a nice average with all right runs. Not enough power. Not enough steals. Not enough value. Not worth your time for sure.

Ryan Ludwick: He has fallen pretty quickly the last few seasons and he is nothing but waiver fodder at this point.

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Tags:2011 FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM PREVIEW: SAN DIEGO PADRES

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