Last Season’s Fantasy Highlights
Despite missing about six starts, Clayton Kershaw pitched himself into consensus top-five overall fantasy status. Dee Gordon parlayed a solid effort in the second game of the season-opening Australia series into a regular job and 64 steals, paving the way for the deal to Miami. Adrian Gonzalez showed there’s still some power left in his bat thumping 27 homers en route to his fifth straight 100-RBI campaign (it would be eight save for falling one short in 2009). Kenley Jansen firmly established himself as an elite closer, fantasy and otherwise.
What Has Changed?
Matt Kemp moved a few miles south to sunny San Diego while Hanley Ramirez jetted 3,000 miles east to Boston, returning to the team that drafted him. Top rookie prospect Joc Pederson will be afforded every opportunity to claim center field while Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins form a new veteran keystone combo. Yasmani Grandal supplants A.J. Ellis as the primary catcher. Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson were signed to fill out the back-end of a solid rotation.
What to Expect:
From a fantasy perspective, the big question is where Puig hits in the order. He sat in the two-hole for much of last year which boosted his runs but put a big dent in his RBI potential. If Puig moves down a spot or two the additional run production potentially puts him in the overall top-25. Temper Expectations on Pederson until he shows he can make consistent contact against MLB pitching. He could easily fall into a platoon role with both Scott Van Slyke and Chris Heisey around to rake against left-handed pitchers.
This Year’s Surprise:
The impact will be lessened since he’s likely to only play against right-handers but Carl Crawford’s production when on the field should be his best since his salad days with Tampa. The aforementioned Van Slyke and Heisey should help keep him fresh and the overall team construction should allow Crawford to settle in and do his thing.
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers||91||71|
|2||San Francisco Giants||87||75|
|5||San Diego Padres||68||94|