Hot Stove Topics
I'm busy as all get out right now. I'm not sleeping much, I've got a bit of a twitch in my right eye, and for those of you that have been listening to me on the radio you know my voice is shot (that's what happens when you party in Las Vegas with the Fantasy Alarm and porn stars. I know, I live a charmed life. Note, the Alarm partying and the porn star partying were at different times. There is no truth to the rumor that signing bonuses with the Alarm include lap dances). Why am I so busy? I'm helping to mold the 2014 Fantasy Alarm / Baseball Guys Draft Guide. It's going to be, in Twitter terms, #EPIC. Count on it. It's absolutely going to be worth all the lost sleep and energy drinks that are helping me work late into the night (it should drop by the end of the month).
With that long preamble out of the way, here are some quick and random thoughts on the world o' baseball. Not that I'm every very ordered. Actually, I'm almost always ordered, even when it seems unordered. Does that make any sense? Is that a talent? Am I losing 75 percent of my readers?
To the baseball.
Bobby Abreu might return to action. If he does he could, notice I wrote could, have some value in league specific setups. It's a long shot though.
Nate Jones seems to be in the lead when it comes to the pecking order for closing for the White Sox (Daniel Webb and Matt Lindstrom are also in the mix). Why is it that I never hear anyone talking about him? Are you looking at the wrong things when judging pitchers (this is a topic I will delve into extensively in the Draft Guide). I know Jones had a 1.38 WHIP in 2012 and that he had a 4.15 ERA in 2013, but I also see dominating stuff and a relative avoidance of beating himself. For his career Jones owns a 9.26 K/9 mark which I love. His walk rate is a tad high at 3.49 but it's not awful when you take into account two other factors. (1) Jones doesn't get beat deep. In two seasons he has allowed a total of nine homers leading to an impressive 0.54 HR/9 mark. (2) He keeps the ball on the ground. Last season his ground ball rate was over 50 percent and for his career he owns a 1.60 GB/FB ratio. What do I always say? Give me a pitcher with strikeouts and grounders an I'll show you a guy I want on my team.
If Clayton Kershaw throws the same amount of pitches this season as he did last year he will earn about $8,750 a pitch. I'd love to make that much in a month, wouldn't you?
I love car audio. Scroll down in the link I just posted and check out the sub-woofer section and the pictures to the right. I think I need to trick out my Ford Focus, don't you? Truth be told, I used to have a Mustang GT with two 12-inch subs, tweeters and mids everywhere, a crossover, two amps pumping 500 watts in a customized box that was painted with a plexiglass cover to display the hardware. Pimp My Ride had nothing on me.
It sounds like Matt Kemp will not be available for the Dodgers first series of the season which commences on March 22nd in Australia (why MLB plays games that count in foreign countries is beyond me). Kemp's agent, long time pitcher Dave Stewart, dropped the news that Kemp should be ready for April 1st when the seasons starts for most but that the early series is in serious doubt at the moment. Kemp had shoulder and ankle surgeries in October and the club obviously is going to err on the side of caution as he works his way back to full health. It remains to be seen if my selection of Kemp in the FSTA Draft will be a boom or bust choice. He still has immense talent. Let's just hope he's more of the 2008-11 healthy version than the broken down player we've seen the past two seasons.
People seem to think that Jurickson Profar is going to explode this season. Why do “they” think that? Sometimes in fantasy people make the following mistake. They read a scouting report of a player that is glowing. It says his tools are excellent, the future is bright, etc. But here's what is missed. Fantasy baseball isn't the real world. In the majority of leagues we're concerned with five offensive categories not the overall games that scouts gush about at times with players. (1) It doesn't matter how great Profar will one day be (unless you are in a keeper league). Will he be good this season? That's what we need to know. (2) Does what makes Profar an elite prospect translate to the fantasy game? I don't think we are there yet. Let's say he hits 10 homers, steals 15 bases and hits .275 (I'm not locking down that he will get there, I'm just throwing those numbers out there to make a point). I would take that level of production from Profar but would you? If he did reach those numbers what's the difference between Profar and Daniel Murphy? The answer may be nothing. Profar might be great, it might even start this season, but people seem to more in love with his talent than realizing talent doesn't always lead to immediate fantasy success (no one can argue with a straight face that Murphy doesn’t lose the talent battle to Profar handily, but at this stage of their respective careers Murphy might still outproduce the phenom from Texas). Be careful you don't just jump on the hype train and close your eyes. You need to honestly asses players unless you want to be on the train that finds itself at the end of the line smashing into the retaining wall.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 5-8 PM EDT and Sunday 7-10 PM EDT), Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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