Draft Guide Sampler: Faces In New Places
The following is an excerpt from the Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Guide Powered By Baseball Guys which is on sale now:
In this piece Howard Bender goes team by team and profiles all players who switched addresses this offseason. This is just a snippet of all of the players Howard discusses in his article.
New York Yankees
Brian McCann, C – After two years of subpar help from behind the plate, the Yankees were aggressive in their signing of the former Braves backstop to a five-year, $85 million deal with a sixth-year vesting option for $15 million. After six-straight 20+ homer seasons in hitter-friendly Atlanta, the left-handed McCann is going to love the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, and while he’s getting older and has had his fair share of shoulder and knee issues, he should easily make it seven-straight. If he can stay healthy and maintain plate discipline numbers close to his career averages, we could be looking at a big year for him.
Carlos Beltran, OF – Despite the big signings of McCann and Ellsbury, the Yankees kept the vaults open and picked up Beltran with a three-year, $45 million deal. After three straight seasons of 140-plus games, Beltran silenced the critics who claimed his knee problems in 2009 and 2010 would cut the career short and he’s done it while maintaining excellent power numbers. We’re talking three straight years with 20+ home runs and no fewer than 84 RBI. Will he steal bases like the old days? No, but this is the guy who will benefit from the short porch in right as 214 of his 305 career home runs (70.2-percent) have come from the left side of the plate.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF – In an effort to improve their outfield and leadoff troubles, the Yankees signed Ellsbury to a mammoth seven-year, $153 million deal in the hopes of
locking down a solution for an extended period of time. While many still hold onto hope that he’ll resurrect that 32-home run season of yesteryear, the fact remains that he is not a power hitter. Stolen bases are his bag and any expectations of a 20-homer season because of the short porch in right should be tempered. Can he hit 15? Perhaps, but
health is also a major issue. He’s suffered a serious injury in three of the last four seasons and in two of those years, he’s played fewer than 75 games. Now, his supporters will cry foul for the ‘injury-prone’ label, citing fluke injuries over nagging, recurring ones, but that’s not the whole reason he gets the tag. While we all love a guy who goes all-out and plays with reckless abandon, the fact remains that Ellsbury’s style of play invites those “fluke” injuries. He is more susceptible to the injuries based on the way he plays the game, whether it’s crashing into the outfield wall or trying to break up a double-play with a head-first slide. And the fact that he’s a slow-healer doesn’t help either. Nevertheless, he will be out there patrolling center field every day... until he can’t.
New York Mets
Chris Young, OF – Once a perennial 20/20 threat, Young’s career has taken a downward turn over the last few years thanks to a consistently poor strikeout rate and steadily declining batting average. His defense is strong and there’s still likely some power left in that bat, but the negatives have outweighed the positives of late and he’s more of a fourth outfielder than a regular starter these days. That could change this year, depending on what the Mets do with some of their younger hopefuls, but banking on a return to form seems like a mistake for fantasy purposes. He’s penciled in as the starting right fielder, but a lot could change between now and Opening Day.
Curtis Granderson, OF – A somewhat surprising four-year, $60 million contract from the Mets landed them the former 40 home run star and he’ll now patrol left field in Queens rather than in the Bronx. Granderson’s season last year should almost warrant him a mulligan as a hit-by-pitch in spring training landed him on the DL with a broken arm and upon his return, a broken finger put him right back on the shelf, limiting him to just 61 games in total. The high strikeouts, the low average and the lack of a short porchin right field are certainly noticeable red flags, particularly for fantasy owners, but a full year of health and a spot in the middle of the order could return Granderson to the 25-30 home run range once again.
To read more of this article and 199 more pages of Fantasy Baseball Bliss, get the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide Powered by Baseball Guys and the great Ray Flowers.
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