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Everyone wants to get their hand on this years Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Folks, there isn't going to be a Trout or Harper this season. That doesn't mean that one, two or a handful of rookies won't have a significant fantasy impact – they certainly will – but elite production like that duo offered last season rarely comes for from guys in their first full season. In this piece we'll discuss some of the youngsters that everyone is asking questions about on a daily basis. A couple are already in the big leagues trying to make the case that they deserve to be every day player this season, while a handful of others are chomping at the bit in the minors trying to prove they deserve a shot in the bigs.
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?
While 2012 has been filled with a variety of different story lines, it could be the rookie impact that really defines the season and sets it apart from most others. From the spring hype of Bryce Harper to the amazing dominance of Mike Trout to the now suddenly surging Manny Machado, this year has been all about the youngsters. With each and every step closer to the playoffs and World Series, the buzz around the league remains with the inundation of young talent that MLB has seen, particularly from these three individuals.
If Albert Pujols struggled, and he did, the brainiacs among you remained patient knowing things would turn around. His track record of excellence dictated it. If you owned Mark Teixeira you remained patient knowing full well that his production seemingly always improves as the season moves forward. You've been rewarded for your patience. However, what do you do if a player doesn't have a track record like these two? What do you do if a player is coming back off an injury? What do you do if a player is aging or inexplicably unable to perform of late? Should you be panicking or should you hold fast with said players?
Well I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July on Wednesday. Nothing better than skipping out on work (not that you had to be there, I hope), grilling up some burgers and dogs, enjoying some late night fireworks and, of course, a full day and night of baseball. Plenty of action that started nice and early with the Giants and Nationals and wrapped up late with some Padres and Diamondbacks. Bu the real baseball fireworks came out of Houston when word broke that the Astros finally traded Carlos Lee. No, not to the Dodgers like everyone thought would ultimately happen, but to the Miami Marlins. In exchange, they received third base prospect Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Overall, it looks like a deal that works for everyone.
What with the three-game slate here on Thursday and the late start, I was able to take my time a little with the Wednesday wrap. Apologies if it ruined your morning cup of coffee, having to go read somewhere else, but this could be a nice lunch break/afternoon snack for you while you waste some time at the job. Offenses were exploding on Wednesday as we saw 13 teams plate six runs or more, likely boosting the totals for numerous fantasy teams out there. Unfortunately for some, the pitching didn’t fare as well and we saw some nasty ratio damage done. Here’s a look at how everything shook out the other day.
Well, when no one is jacking three home runs in a game and you’re not quite ready to announce who the newest Fantasy Beast of the Day is just yet, it’s tough to focus on just one thing from Tuesday’s games. Do I talk about the possibility that Albert Pujols is this year’s Adam Dunn? The wild finish between the Rangers and the Blue Jays? News of Cory Luebke’s sore elbow and the perpetual concerns one should have with the health of young pitchers? Really, the options are almost limitless. So rather than just pick and choose, I’m just going to run through each game and toss out some fantasy nuggets that you may find useful as our season moves along. In no particular order, here’s what I noticed on Tuesday…
Welcome to Bizarro baseball. While the anticipated debut of Yu Darvish was on everyone’s minds on Monday, the real excitement ended up coming from a very unlikely source. Barry Zito, the $126M albatross that hangs on the neck of the Giants organization and its fans, turned in a gutsy and vintage performance to help his team ruin the Colorado Rockies 2012 home opener. With the Giants seeking their first win of the season, Zito turned in a complete game, four-hit shutout with four strikeouts and no walks as the Giants offense went to town and pummeled the Rockies pitching for seven runs. Zito hurls a shutout? The Giants offense scores seven runs in a game? Bizarro baseball, indeed.
The weekly Top Ten list will now transition back to fantasy baseball as we approach the Super Bowl. Sure some of you still may be playing fantasy football playoff leagues or survivor pools, but most of you are now getting ready for baseball. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in a month and fantasy magazines are hitting the newsstands. After an incredible end to the 2011 MLB season and a very entertaining World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers, everyone gets a clean slate and a fresh start. Part of starting anew is evaluating what changes have been made during the offseason. So, without further adieu, here are the Top Ten baseball offseason transactions (as of January 18, 2012) with the most fantasy implications.
Happy Labor Day everyone, and as we say goodbye to summer, it is important to remember not to say goodbye to your fantasy baseball team as we roll through the last month of the season. Tonight we have a couple of returning players, one young one that I have all the hopes in the world for to finish the year strongly, the other is an older player that I gave up on long ago and took a lot of grief over my rankings of him before the season started. We have news on a couple of the more exciting young players in the majors, as well as an injury not for the Red Sox. But there is so much more than that as we come into the home stretch of the season so please don't miss Rounding The Bases.