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For two straight years, Dee Gordon, son of former All Star reliever Tom Gordon, was listed among Baseball America’s top 50 prospects thanks to a slick glove in the field and blinding speed on the base paths. He got his first taste of the big leagues back in 2011 and over a 56 game span that saw him come to the plate 233 times, Gordon hit .304 with 34 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. But in 2012, when he was given the starting shortstop gig to open the season, Gordon struggled mightily at the plate. Yes, he swiped 32 bases over 87 games, but he also hit just .228 and had a woeful .280 on-base percentage. He was shipped back down to Triple-A and his overall fantasy value took a hit. And when the Dodgers traded for Hanley Ramirez and announced that he would play shortstop in 2013, Gordon became even more of a forgotten man as there was, obviously, no room for him on the big league roster. Well guess what? He’s baaaaaaaaack!
Another day, another bullpen mess to deal with. The Cubs, by my count, appear to be on their 5th closer, and boy is he a blast from the past. The Tigers are promoting Jose Valverde and it looks like he will be given a shot in the 9th inning right away (so much for the Tigers saying, oh for about five months, that they had no interest in Valverde closing for them). The Yankees continue to have to deal with injuries and it's seeming more like, with each passing day, that they aren't being honest. Asdrubal Cabrera has been a mess at the plate, and the injuries are piling up. The Mariners have two guys who can't hit at shortstop, but the backup is now the starter as the team is making a change. Finally, should we be looking at Brandon Belt as a total failure at this point?
At no point in the season do 50 at-bats or 18 innings mean more than they do right now. A guy goes out and hits .222 in spring and people drop that player 14 spots in their rankings. Another player hits .386 and guess what, he's now a potential breakout star in fantasy baseball. I always caution people not to read too much into small sample sizes, and I also tell people not to put an overabundance of value into spring stats. Maybe a batter faced a lot of Double and Triple-A pitchers and he hit .480 off them. Maybe he hit only .190 against big league arms. You see him hitting .320 and think he's had a great spring. Is that really accurate? Maybe a pitcher, unconcerned with the results, went out and threw his curve ball 40 percent of the time and got hammered because he was working on honing a new grip with the pitch. Does he all of a sudden stink? The bottom line is that spring numbers don't always tell the whole story. I'll touch on a few players though that really stood out this spring and give you my thoughts on what some reasonable expectations should be for the players in 2013.
Every year we get the rush of people who, acting like it's a holiday sale at Walmart, aren't afraid to run over their competitor to add the hot new toy to their basket (in this case we're talking hot shot youngster to their fantasy team). Believe me I understand the temptation. Just look at what guys like Trout and Harper did last season. But for every successful rookie standout there are tons of youngsters who fail to live up to the overblown expectations of many in the fantasy game. I'll try to lend some sanity here. I'll then touch on some of the news of the day including will Manny Ramirez play in 2013? Is Joe Saunders a reliable innings eater? What were the Phillies thinking signing an unreliable veteran righty? Is Mike Napoli every going to sign with the Red Sox? Is Jose Valverde's career as a closer over even though he had 35 saves last year?
On this special day in our nations history – by the way it might be more applicable for us to celebrate on July 2nd and not the 4th (see my report on why) – I'd like to extend my thanks to everyone who has ever fought for our freedoms be it with a sword, a cannon, a gun, a voice or the pen. Thanks you for giving us the freedom to do things like play fantasy baseball. Oh yeah, there's also some baseball stuff in this article too – though there really is no rhythm or reason today. I'm going to mention young hitters – guys like Brandon Belt and Ike Davis – I'll talk young callups on the hill like Chris Tillman and Trevor Bauer, and I'll also mention old guys like R.A. Dickey. Hey, what do you expect from a guy who is already four beers deep at 11 AM?
Just a quickie today, folks! Maybe it’s been some sort of stomach flu. Maybe it was that order of Clams Casino the chef recommended as he listed the specials. Or maybe it was the fact that I opted to watch the Royals game. Wow, they look awful right now. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been sick as a dog for the last 12 hours and barely have anything left in me to bring you the highlights (and lowlights) from Wednesday’s games.
We are all looking for value at the draft table. One of the easiest ways to determine the value of a player is to consider what position he plays. With the growing trend toward people drafting based on “position scarcity,” I thought it would be worth my time, and my time is extremely valuable so it must be important, to give a list of some of the bigger name players who qualify at more than one position on the diamond (to be listed below the player has to have appeared in at least 20 games at each position – the standard qualifier in almost all fantasy leagues). To be clear, I'm not saying you should draft Mike Aviles before J.J. Hardy simply because he qualifies at more than one spot. What I am saying though is if you are trying to decide between Mike Aviles and Jason Bartlett that maybe you should lean toward Aviles because he will be able to help you out in two spots (in Aviles case he'll also qualify at middle and corner infield, further increasing his usefulness).
It is the end of another week of fantasy baseball and hopefully this article finds you on the good end of another matchup. Injuries and other factors are going to play a bigger and bigger role as we head down the stretch and every week now becomes more and more important as we get closer to the fantasy playoffs. Only three or four weeks are left until we are playing against the best of the best, and you need to make the moves now to maximize your roster in order to make it the best that it can be. Have you been holding on to that injured guy forever? Is he going to come back in time to help you? These are the decisions that need to be made before it is too late. We will continue to give you the news as it happens to help you win a championship here at Fantasy Alarm with Rounding The Bases.
It was a shortened schedule in the Major Leagues which means there isn't much to talk about in Rounding The Bases, but we have one of the most devastating injuries to date happening, as well as a middle infielder who goes down, while one that just came back who left the yard. A few outfielders are showing more muscle than anticipated, while another Mets' player goes down due to injury. As we get closer to June it means that each game is more important, and your subscription to the Fantasy Alarm service is even more vital to your championship, so visit the homepage now and get all of your player updates sent to your cell phone or to your email inbox tomorrow!
It was a huge schedule on Wednesday as there were 17 games in total with doubleheaders included, and there is a ton to talk about. We have a elite player who takes a leave, one of the best back on the field, and a couple of younger hitters who won't be on it for a little while. We have one of the hotter prospects in baseball headed back to the farm, and a disappointing closer who seems to have found his groove. There is all of that news and so much more as we take you around the box scores and give you every piece of fantasy relevant happenings and how it should affect your team.