If you want to talk about your fantasy life, you might want to keep it about baseball and put your question's to BP's Marc Normandin.
Marc Normandin: Hello again, everyone. I had a chat about two weeks ago, and despite going on forever still had far more questions left unanswered than answered. It was kind of like Lost, except without all of the unnecessary talk about philosophy, time travel and whatever else they use to pad the storyline.
This is the first chat with my new netbook, so hopefully nothing explodes like last time on the PC. Chat veterans know the drill--baseball, video games, music, whatever.
Andrew (Arizona): Who would be your top five first basemen from both leagues?
Marc Normandin: Oh, you sly dog. I'll be answering that question in article form soon enough, once we get the PECOTA cards up and I can check out the other percentiles.
ExExposFan (Frozen Tundra): Does Weiters break out this year and become a fantasy must have?
Marc Normandin: Nah. I think he'll work towards that, but 2011 is when I expect him to be worth picking up early. My quick take is that he builds on his late-2009 success but doesn't become an upper echelon catcher just yet. Maybe late 2010?
JT (Michigan): Marc, I respect and appreciate very much what you do. I mean zero offense, but would BP ever consider expanding its fantasy coverage? There is a market void on keeper/dynasty leagues, and that would or could fuel some stellar content from you and some new colleagues.
Marc Normandin: No offense taken. Fantasy has been a one-man operation for awhile now, and I understand the desire to expand on that. We're taking steps towards it, I promise you. I just can't tell you what they are now.
To shed some light on things though, I have been named the "Fantasy Manager" at BP, so now when you send me e-mails and chat questions about things you want to have done with our fantasy product, I can take those suggestions and do what I can to implement them. We'll also be expanding coverage when the blogs are up, as I will be able to do much more in-the-moment analysis, and you won't have to wait until the designated day to hear what I have to say. We're also going to take an extended look at the Player Forecast Manager soon and see what we have and what we can add to it in order to make the fantasy product a better one for you. That sound like a good start?
firejerrymanuel (ny): Miguel Montero. Looks pretty tasty to me. Your thoughts?
Marc Normandin: Thanks for stopping in. I'm a big fan of Montero, especially if he's picking up the playing time he deserves. I probably ranked him too high last season considering he was in a time share, but then he ended up starting and inadvertently made me look like I knew what I was talking about. Thanks, Miggy!
sawred14 (Forked River, NJ): thoughts on Joey Votto this year? he seems to be all over the place in everyone's rankings.
Marc Normandin: Vottosaurus Rex is great, I just have to figure out how great when compared to other first basemen. 1B is seriously stacked--Kendry Morales was just a little above-average last year despite the great line he put up. I like Votto more than most though--dude is what people thought/think Justin Morneau is.
Jacob348 (St. Paul, MN): Marc, when can we expect your 2010 fantasy positional forecasts? Also, thoughts on what type of numbers you'd expect from Hudson here in Minny?
Marc Normandin: Well, here's the bad news. I'm waiting on the PECOTA cards before I start. But I have good news that should redeem that, as I can pump these things out faster than before since I'm not stuck giving you a certain amount of pieces per week. You won't have to wait a month for me to finish the hitters this time around.
Jimmy (DC): Will Josh Johnson be better in 2010?
Marc Normandin: That sounds like a tall task. Wouldn't being just as good be plenty? None of his numbers seem out of line at first glance, so I don't expect much regression in either direction as long as he's healthy.
Marco (San Diego): Love a fantasy baseball friday! Marc, I'm really excited about Evereth Cabrera's avg./Sb/run potential, what kind of numbers are you thinking?
Marc Normandin: I think Petco will help kill those average aspirations, but he can definitely swipe a bag. I'd like him be caught a little less often, but hopefully he'll learn. The Padres lineup is better than people give it credit for, so hopefully he'll be able to put up some runs too. He did get 59 in a little over a half-season in 2009, so just prorate that over a year.
My brand new Padres hat came in yesterday. Road replica with the gold lettering--I'm very excited.
keithkowalski (Holts Summit, MO): Marc:
Any chance the Royals will sign Washburn? The AL Central is winnable this year and with a rotation lead by Greinke and Meche his addition would certainly make the Royals more competitive.
Marc Normandin: I think if you're depending on Jarrod Washburn to put you over the edge then your chances aren't as good as you think. See: Tigers, 2009.
tommybones (brooklyn): Desmond Jennings will be a full timer with the DRays by _________, and put up a final 2010 line of _________ .
Marc Normandin: 2011. I don't see him playing much in 2010 unless someone gets injured.
rentree (Pennsylvania): Is there an update on the status of Chris Snyder of the Diamonbacks. He was a very productive catcher prior to last year's injuries, with good on base + power. Montero has clearly beaten him out at this point, but shouldn't the Snakes be shopping him? I would think with the dearth of decent catchers he would have some real value.
Marc Normandin: I'm with you on thinking the lack of rumors about deals is strange, given how good Montero is (it's not like 2009 was a surprise, just the fact he got to play all the time was). Maybe the D'backs are waiting until someone gets to spring training and realizes they can't get by with their catcher situation.
Jimmy (DC): If you had to choose one player for the next 10 years out of Adam Jones and Pablo Sandoval, who would you pick?
Marc Normandin: Sandoval has the better bat, but Jones plays a weaker position and can field well...I still think I may go with Sandoval. I really, really, really love his bat.
Marco (San Diego): Hopefully you have the Garry Templeton jersey to match! Follow-up on cabrera is .285avg. 50+ steals realistic?
Marc Normandin: Kyle Blanks! I should pick a young pitcher next, but I feel like I can't make that decision until Poreda shows what he's got in the majors. Snagging a Latos one sure is tempting though...
Anyways, that average seems high to me still. Petco is a cruel mistress. I would lean more towards 40 steals this year, maybe 45. Let's see how well he does now that everyone knows he's going.
mase1361 (Boston): What to do with Beckett? Wait and see? Make an offer - something like 4 years at 70 million?
Marc Normandin: I'm very torn on this one. Beckett is great, but he's never as great as I feel like he should be, which kind of clouds my judgment when I don't remind myself that he's still great regardless. As long as they pay him more than Lackey, then I think Beckett will bite. He strikes me as the kind of pitcher who wants to be in a rotation of talented pitchers so he can prove he's The Man. I don't know that for sure, just the kind of feeling I get from what I've heard from him. As much as I love Pedro, kind of the opposite of that.
don (lansing, MI): when baseball america released their annual a couple weeks ago, they had an all day chat with a bunch of their writers coming and going. great idea, right? BP wants to do that too, right?
Marc Normandin: Don't we do stuff like that with playoff game days? I'll post this so someone notices, maybe they'll get an itch to do a roundtable.
Dennis (LA): Non baseball question: Best strategy game for the Nintendo DS?
Marc Normandin: Disgaea, Final Fantastic Tactics A2, or Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is also great, but it's more puzzle-strategy than pure strat.
Travis (San Diego): Thoughts on the Kouz trade? It needed to be done, but I wish the Pads would have got a little more back in return. Am I underestimating the potential of Cunningham?
Marc Normandin: I'm pretty pleased with the return personally, but that's because I assumed that the market for Kouz, given his Petco numbers, was small anyways. When you take Cunningham, Hairston, and the boost you get from moving Headley, Blanks, etc. around position wise, you end up with a much larger return than what you read in the trade headline.
Adam (Dayton): I'm pretty sure Theo will let Beckett walk away and gladly gobble up the draft picks.
Marc Normandin: And replace him with...? Ortiz and Lowell have their contracts expire this year, so they can afford Beckett easily.
kgoodson3 (New Orleans): What's your philosophy on the UTIL position? Do you fill it early, or do you purposely avoid filling it until you've filled your other hitting positions 1st?
Marc Normandin: It depends on the draft. Sometimes I'll get greedy and realize that there is still a ridiculous hitter left who may do more for me even if his main position is already filled. I'm a best available talent guy early on more than so scarcity. Not a popular stance, but it's worked well for me more often than not.
lyndon (Columbus): COD? Will I see you on the battlefield?
Marc Normandin: Not really my scene. CoD is alright, but I prefer Battlefield every day of the week if you're sticking me with a realistic war shooter. Very excited for Bad Company 2 when it hits in March.
kgoodson3 (New Orleans): I believe you have discussed this before, but will you have tiers in your rankings this year?
Marc Normandin: Yes I will. And I'm going to use star rankings in a non-relative sense, so you can easily compare one position to another. If there's no five star player at a certain position, I'm not going to force it. That will help in case I can't pump out a top 250 or whatever in time for everyone.
Corey (Boston): Beckett's not going to re-sign for a one or two year deal. With Lowell and Ortiz likely gone, isn't a better strategy to let Beckett walk, sign two bats, and give Bucholz, Bowden a chance. Kelly should also be ready in another year or two.
Marc Normandin: I don't expect him to sign for one or two years. But they will have the money they have been using in the past to replace him thanks to Ortiz and Lowell disappearing, and why let Kelly replace Beckett when he can replace Dice-K? Lester, Beckett, Lackey, Kelly, Bowden? Sweet Jebus.
bigrick0016 (Cleveland): If I stop calling Pablo Sandoval Kung Fu Panda will you answer my question?
Marc Normandin: Patience, my friend. I'm not going anywhere soon, and the question queue is loaded with more ammunition than an NRA meeting.
Adam (Dayton): Wait. You don't like the Panda, Marc? WTF man.
Marc Normandin: Uh, Sandoval is one of my favorite players. Again, I've got a ton of questions already and am trying to get through them :-)
kgoodson3 (New Orleans): What young player do you think takes the biggest step forward this year for fantasy purposes...Rasmus, Bruce, McCuthchen, or A.Jones?
Marc Normandin: Jay Bruce. I expected him to struggle in the first half, and he did. I'm excited to see what he does now that he's healthy and has some more experience against MLB pitching behind him.
I'm listening to 3 Inches of Blood. What does everyone else have on?
nschaef (Connecticut): Do you think it's possible that position scarcity has become so emphasized that picking the best available player is a way to exploit a market ineffciency?
Marc Normandin: Yes. A friend and I have had discussions about this in the past. People are so desperate to pick up players at positions with scarcity that they miss out elsewhere. Sure, there's a lot to choose from at certain positions, but what happens when you base your team off of Jose Reyes because shorstop sucks and then he misses the year? You're not going to get anyone nearly as good without extreme luck or dealing from a strength, weakening yourself again.
strupp (Madison): No love for Clay Bucholtz in that future Sawx rotation? What's a guy gotta do?
Marc Normandin: Oh, duh. I knew I was forgetting someone obvious. Sorry Michael Bowden, but Clay showed up late and he wants his seat back.
mattymatty2000 (Philly, PA): Hey Marc, What do you think of Verlander's new extension? I think if his K rate stays similar to last season he could make it worthwhile for the Tigers, but he's taken a lot of abuse over the past few years too...
Marc Normandin: I like the extension plenty. 2008 is a lost year as far as I'm concerned due to his mechanical issues, so I'm basing him off of 2007 and 2009 more than anything. He's a great pitcher who didn't get nearly as much love as he should have in 2009.
dandaman (Sea Cliff): Mark- BP is my bible and I took your rankings last year as the Gospel of Marc. After throwing away a keeper slot on Lastings Milledge and trading for David Wright, I picked Corey Hart, Elijah Dukes, Nalasco, Matt Weiters and several other disappointments. Needless to say it wasn't a great season for me. Why should I be more believing this year? Help me restore my faith. Thanks,
ps feel free to answer this privately if you felt it came across too critical.
Marc Normandin: Nope, this is exactly why I did that review of my rankings, because I felt like you. It seemed like I drafted every major mistake I made, so I wanted to learn from my mistakes to keep it from happening again. I think the 2010 rankings will be better for it.
jphan (boston): I have the first two picks in a 15 team league where each time keeps 5 players. Lester, Lind, Hill, Bay, Granderson, V-mart are all unkept. who do i take?
Marc Normandin: Lester, definitely. The second one is a little tougher...I like Lind a lot, but Granderson in NY seems like a recipe for loads of R, RBI along with HR and SB.
chris (bklyn): marc - what games would you recommend to a new PS3 owner? i'm mining their back catalog to pick up good titles on the cheap. i've already grabbed MLB '09, Uncharted, and Fallout 3. Got any other suggestions?
Marc Normandin: Valkyria Chronicles is a hybrid strategy RPG and third-person shooter, you can get it for $20. Metal Gear Solid is about the same price now. The original Resistance is a lot of fun for $20 if you can find someone to play it co-op with you. Set the difficulty as high as you can and prepare to work to get through battles.
Ethan (NYC): How much are the pluses of Roy Halladay's move to the NL offset by pitching in Citizen's Bank Park?
Marc Normandin: Halladay doesn't put the ball in the air that much, so it won't affect him in the same way it didn't bother Lee much. I think he'll gain much more from facing NL hitters (and no DH) then he will lose by moving to CBC.
Matt K. (devil, fingers): I'm still an Alex Gordon in real basebal fan for some reason... but in my AL-only 5x5 keeper league, he inflates to $10 this season... am I better off cutting bait, or should I keep the faith?
Marc Normandin: For $10 I would cut bait. I'm sure you can pick him up for less than that at auction, no? Let someone else overpay for him and pick up a replacement that will most likely do better for you for less or the same.
For what it's worth, I like Gordon too, but I can't imagine spending $10 on him right now.
jaysbluejays (pdx): I'm in a NL only, auction, keeper league. We can keep up 15 players off of our 25 man roster. budgets size is $285. I have both Jay Bruce ($15) and Jonathan Sanchez ($10) coming into the final year of their contracts. Neither haas been great (or average) to this point, but I believe their best days are ahead. My question is: do I keep them at their present price for this year only or do I put them back and try to get them back (at probably similar salary) in order to have them for 2 additional years. Thanks for commenting and chatting.
Marc Normandin: I would think it might be tough to guarantee you'll get Bruce back--you may end up starting a little bidding war with someone else who likes him and pay about the same anyways. Is that worth the risk of losing him? Sanchez you may be able to swing with that strategy though.
dianagramr (NYC): Can you pass a message onto TPTB that us fantasy geeks would like some sort of ScoresheetID (or other unique identifier) on all players for ALL fantasy draft info. Its very hard matching up PFM, weighted projection and health data when the names are in different orders, or have different spellings? Thanks Marc!
Marc Normandin: I'll see what I can do to simplify it for you. I won't be the one instituting the actual programming changes to the PFM, but I can certainly ask.
bigrick0016 (Cleveland): I have 2 keeper spots left. I need to choose between Kung Fu Panda (I have 1st and 3rd covered though, Wainwright, Carpenter, Cain
Marc Normandin: I would keep the pitchers and try to get Sandoval back during draft him if you can to fill a utility spot if you've got one. If you didn't have the positions covered, I would vote Sandoval, but it seems superfluous to do so since they are filled. Any chance you can trade him (and maybe one of those pitchers) before you need to cut them to someone who needs another keeper or two?
Hands22 (Ottawa): What's your favorite roto scoring system? Are you a traditional 5x5 guy, or do you like encompassing some other stats that correlate to real life value a bit more.
Marc Normandin: I tend to play in a traditional league, but also one where we mess with things each time out. Last year we set it up so relievers were useless--except for ERA and WHIP, everything was a counting stat, and saves/holds were not categories. It made starting pitching incredibly valuable and scarce, as people would put high prices on below-average guys because they needed the K and IP.
Matt (Whippleville, NY ): In my auction league, I need pitching and I have plenty of money to spend. Availables include Halladay, Sabathia, Gallardo, Hamels, Haren, Baker, Johnson, Felix. Who should I target? Go for broke with Doc or target two of the less expensive arms?
Marc Normandin: Assuming that's Josh? Go with Johnson and Felix if so. Halladay's great, but two for the same money is good on you.
Hands22 (Ottawa): All the major reviews have drug White Knight Chronicles through the mud. Is the online play good enough to still warrant a purchase, or should we just get another month of Demon Souls in until FFXIII comes out.
Marc Normandin: It's time to go through another playthrough of Dragon Age as you wait for the expansion pack in March! Demon's Souls is obviously a quality choice on its own. I haven't had a chance to play White Knight Chronicles--it should be showing up at my door soon--but the early reviews are not encouraging.
Cam (Walla Walla): Any possiblity you could incorporate a bit Scoresheet advice along with the standard 5x5 stuff?
Marc Normandin: It's something I'm looking into, because I'm aware I don't give you guys anything to work with in this regard. I've got a few ideas to make it work, so hopefully one of them bears fruit.
Nick (Long Island): How many starting pitchers do you in a normal head to head league? You can change your starting lineup every day.
Marc Normandin: Daily lineup changes? In my league without closers, I think I had 10. Normally 7-8. I do my best to start runs on starting pitching when everyone else is chasing scarcity.
strupp (Madison): Are we going to see a good MLB game on the XBox in 2010?
Marc Normandin: I hope 2K puts out a decent baseball game at some point, but nothing out there can touch MLB The Show right now. Hell, the second best baseball game on the market is the chibi-anime MLB Power Pros, and that's not on the 360 either.
crperry13 (Houston): Brandon Wood? Real deal or Quad-A?
Marc Normandin: This will come back to bite me, but I've never been a fan, even when he was tearing up the minors. He's got a ton of power, but you need to make contact if you want to send the ball into the stands.
Chris (Boston): In a dynasty league and just picked up Ben Zobrist. Do you see him coming close to his 2009 production and how long do you think he'll be around for?
Marc Normandin: Zorilla! I'm not sure he'll have as much power as he did in 2009, but he'll have enough to make it worth it, and enough that if he ends up in right field he'll be very worthwhile there as well.
Henry (Fairport NY): Do you have any concerns about Tulo, Longoria or Zimmerman taking a big step back from last year due to their still relatively young ages?
Marc Normandin: I love all three going forward. Any concerns I have are squashed by the positives.
JaMarcus (Baltimore): Whatever happened to ol' fair fellow Kiley McDaniel?
Marc Normandin: Kiley decided to take a break from baseball writing in order to start a career in music, but as it turns out, Kiley has no musical talent. Alas, he ended up as a roadie for a bar band that had sworn they were going to hit it big--except they had been saying that for 20 years. After many long, drunken nights in smoke-filled bars up and down the east coast, and one awkward experience with a chicken at a highway rest stop, Kiley was stopped by someone who works in an MLB front office during one of his bands gigs--they wanted to know if they could borrow his cell phone to call a tow truck for their expensive luxury vehicle, which had broken down outside of the dive bar. Kiley had made a new friend, one that didn't smash guitars on his head or kick him out of the room when groupies came to visit, and he traveled with this friend to his new, non-musical job. This is a long way of saying I know where he is and what he's doing, but I don't know if I'm supposed to tell anyone.
Brendan (Chicago): In a 20 team keeper league that starts 4 outfielders I'm going into the draft with an outfield of Kemp/Snider/Fowler/Rasmus and Seth Smith after trading away too-pricey Granderson and Hamilton in the offseason. Assuming I get a decent OF in the draft (Think JD Drew), how screwed am I, assuming I'm well above average everywhere else?
Marc Normandin: That's definitely serviceable with Drew, as long as you're above-average everywhere else as you said. It's kind of a zero-sum game, so you'll most likely be lacking somewhere, unless your draft goes perfectly or everyone you play with is bad at this.
xxx (yyy): Chris Davis looked like a future All Star in 2008, was horrible the first half of 2009, and then supposedly made some tweaks in the minors and was okay after getting recalled. What do you see for him in 2010 and going forward?
Marc Normandin: PECOTA is a big fan of him for 2010. Maybe a little more so than I, but I'm still optimistic about him. I thought he was pretty boom or bust for 2009, and though he was a lot more bust at first, he picked things up as you said. I'd like to see his 25th percentile to see what kind of spread PECOTA has in store for him.
steve (NJ): over under on 35.5 homers for Longoria this year...
Marc Normandin: Tough one. I'll say over, but it won't be by very much.
Steve (NJ): In my long term keeper league, should i be concerned that Lincecum's average fastball velocity dropped from 94.1 to 92.8 when comparing his 2008 to 2009 seasons? or should i just chill out and remind myself he will be a perennial ace?
Marc Normandin: Lots of questions about this. I'm not concerned, as Lincecum appears to be using his fastball less often anyways. This may be intentional--I think I would be more concerned if he couldn't ratchet it up to the mid-90s at all, given that his 2009 was better than 2008.
Patrick (MPLS): Not a Lost fan? The philosophy and time travel aspects are what keeps it from being nothing more than a bunch of people running around the jungle with guns yelling at each other.
Anyway, how much stock do you put into positional scarcity?
Marc Normandin: I've lost interest in the show waiting for it to wrap up. I don't think I'm even going to bother when it's finished and available on DVD.
I like positional scarcity, and recognizing it is important, but people put too much stock into it to the point of not realizing they are hurting themselves when they could just ignore that position until everyone is the same level of talent.
Jeff (San Diego): Who fills out the Padres' rotation after Young, Garland, Correia, Richards? Stauffer is out of options, so I'd rather see him in with Latos in AAA until someone (Young) gets hurt.
Marc Normandin: It's disappointing Stauffer is out of options, because I want Latos in the majors. It's probably best to avoid using up his service time right now though. He's probably the safest bet just so they don't lose him, because if/when Young goes down, you'd rather have him around.
Rob (Alaska): Is one reason teams aren't lining up to trade for Chris Snyder the fact that they would have to think about the injury he sustained last year (which shall not be named)? Also he makes 4.75M this year, 5.75 next year and has a 2012 club option for 6.75 (with .75 buyout). That seems a little rich for what he brings to the table?
Marc Normandin: That's why I think the D'backs are hoping someone approaches them in desperation later this spring. Probably the one way the D'backs wouldn't have to pay dearly to be rid of him.
bctowns (Chicago, IL): "...they could just ignore that position until everyone is the same level of talent."
Marc, can you clarify this statement? As in, every player remaining at that position is the same level of talent, or generally the talent on your fellow competitor's teams is the same? Or other? Thanks, because I used positional scarcity to draft last year, and had an atypically down year in all my leagues.
Marc Normandin: After the few top guys at positions like shortstop are gone, there are generally another 5-6 players who are all around the same talent level left there, before you get into the very pathetic options at the back end. There's no need to rush out and grab one when you can load up somewhere else and still have one of those players left later on to select. And if everyone else wants to waste their picks and pick up those players early, then good, you get to grab important players elsewhere. I tend to make picks for pitching here.
In AL- or NL-only leagues, this is a bit tougher to get away with--things are even more scarce at some positions.
David (NJ): Do you see David Wright bouncing back this year? Is he a first round pick?
Marc Normandin: Yes and yes. The Mets seem to think they know what he was doing wrong, and he's shown himself to be quick at adjusting before once the problem is known.
Stan (Cicero): I usually scoff at curses, but for 7 straight years now my first round pick has either spent half the year on the DL or just had a terrible year. Is it ok for me to use my first round pick as a weapon against a team I dislike, or do I just take the best available player?
Marc Normandin: Weapon! Weapon!!! I would go with best available player, but if the temptation to go with weapon is too tempting to overcome, I won't blame you.
Matt (DC): Marc, what do you expect from James Shields this year? A return to his 2008 form or numbers more like he put up in 2009?
Marc Normandin: There wasn't that much of a difference between the two seasons--his ERA was a bit lucky in 2008, and unlucky in 2009. Something in between wouldn't surprise me in 2010.
chumsferd (pasadena): How come no one is talking about Dexter Fowler?
Marc Normandin: Because he's pretty good, and with an impressive ceiling, but he isn't there yet and plays a position that already has loads of talent.
Drew (Dade Co.): Your comment on Brandon Wood resembles Mike Stanton.
Marc Normandin: Oddly enough, I kind of like Mike Stanton, but I do feel wary for some of the same reasons.
I hate to cut things short folks (because two hours is short, apparently) but I probably can't stay much longer. I'll stick it out as long as I can though.
Adam (Dayton): Concerning fantasy: is there any gap larger in fantasy than Joe Mauer versus the catchers? Does that mean he's worth a top-7-or-so pick?
Marc Normandin: If Jose Reyes doesn't return to form (a big if, in my opinion) than SS would probably have something to say about that discussion, but yes, I think Mauer/C is the largest gap as things stand. I'm not sure what that says about his draft position yet though, because I'm still trying to wrap my head around just what it is I expect from him in 2010.
Bob Nutting (Pittsburgh): When will the fans get off my back?
Marc Normandin: When you send me an Andrew McCutchen t-shirt. I wear a medium or a small, thanks.
nschaef (Conn.): Perhaps this will be in an article, but after Albert and Hanley, who are your 3-4-5 overall? I don't know that it's as clear as it has been to me in years past.
Marc Normandin: I'm still thinking it over. 20009 threw a wrench into a lot of our assumptions about where players belong I think--lots of breakouts, lots of players falling apart and breaking down. I'm excited to get going on the rankings so I can organize all of this in my head.
Sadly I have a draft in an experts league before I do that. I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend.
nschaef (Connecticut): I think Hanley is certainly farther from the field at SS than Mauer is from McCann.
Marc Normandin: I used to think Mauer and McCann were interchangeable at the top, but if Mauer is going to hit about as many homers as McCann, that argument kind of goes out the window. Hanley and Reyes are as close or a smidge closer if both of them are healthy.
Greg27 (San Fran): I loathe the Molina signing. Is Buster Posey the everyday catcher in San Fran by the all-star break?
Marc Normandin: I try not to get into the head of Brian Sabean, but I should hope that this is the case. They handled the Molina thing well, all things considered. I'm not sure what else Posey needs to do in order to get himself the gig...
robertcfox (DC): Hi Marc, do you have a strong gut feeling about any of these guys?: Buchholz, Brett Anderson, Dice-K, Scott Baker, Matusz, Wade Davis, Ricky Romero, Justin Masterson, Homer Bailey. Let's assume Tommy Hanson was gone several rounds ago. Please help or my entire pitching staff will be sleepers!
Marc Normandin: Brett Anderson and Clay Buchholz would be the two I suggest to you. Buchholz showed some positive growth in 2009 that I'm excited to see in 2010, and Brett Anderson is a future beast.
Zooey (LA): Why should I buy BP2010 for my bf's birthday this year?
Marc Normandin: There's a lot of bang for your buck in the book, as there is enough to read in it to keep your boyfriend more than occupied until pitchers and catchers report and well after. We have loads of our new writers within it this year, as well as some new features we're showing off.
In addition, we will also have Zakk Wyle and Geddy Lee perform their hit song, Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary, at no extra charge, given that this is for a birthday. Banjo-playing scorpions not included.
Ron (Vancouver): Roy Halladay 22.5 wins: Over or under?
Marc Normandin: Under. Again not by much though.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Jaff Decker-is he the first of the Padres prospects to make it to the big leagues?
Marc Normandin: Considering he was just in A-ball last year and the Padres outfield is pretty set, I don't see why he would be called up this year for any length of time, if at all.
malmstorm (Minneapolis): Pick two of these for my final keepers? Tulo, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Reynolds. I'm leaning Tulo and Adrian. (already keeping Miguel Cabrera, Lincecum and Kemp)
Marc Normandin: Tulo and Adrian is how I would pick as well. Reynolds did much better last year than I ever expected him to, but I would have a hard time giving him a keeper pick based off of just the one season.
Dave (Boston): Is the Pirates tee shirt for your little brother or your girlfriend?
Marc Normandin: Oh hush. I'm not a big guy, but I probably still tower over Rosenthal.
andyfoy (Rochester, MN): You sir, have gained my ultimate respect after your Josh Homme reference from the last chat.
Songs for the Deaf is getting dangerously close to the top of my list for greatest album of all time.
Marc Normandin: Songs for the Deaf is probably my favorite Queens album. Rated R is also fantastic (okay, I love all of them, but those are the two big ones).
dianagramr (NYC): BP Radio needs to get Geddy Lee on the show!
Marc Normandin: Make this happen, Will.
Maggie (Boston): Do you feel like a lot of people are kind of forgetting about Posada for fantasy purposes? I mean, yes, he was injured, but he's still a beast at the plate. And it doens't matter that he DHs a lot of the time.
Marc Normandin: Haven't noticed, though I was guilty of it last season. Which is probably why he was so good.
Scott (NJ): Is this the year for Cameron Maybin's breakout?
Marc Normandin: I say he turns it on by June, but what's his ceiling these days? Are we still looking at Eric Davis, or is he Mike Cameron?
Mac (Lansing, MI): I take it proposing "slipper" as the opposite of "sleeper" didn't impress; still, I'd love to hear whom you think will drop off (be bad value off of ADP) in 2010.
Marc Normandin: I actually like the "slipper" term as an antonym for "sleeper", but I'm having a hard time thinking of who I would put into it. I'll have a better sense after I do some mock drafts this weekend in preparation for Tuesday's draft.
Tim Lincecum (Seattle): Why in the world are the Giants playing hardball with me? I'm a 2 time Cy Young winner and I have earned a big payday.
Marc Normandin: Probably because they fear what they will have to pay you when you're earning an even higher percentage of your free agent value.
Bubba Brown (Roy, UT): Will Chipper bounce back from last season's awful second half to put up a solid .300, 20 hr, 85 rbi campaign?
Marc Normandin: I hope so--PECOTA seems optimistic. I want to see the 75th and 25th percentiles for him to see what kind of range of outcomes the system is expecting.
Hammer (Pumps & A Bump): Given your fandom, do you find you end up with more or less Red Sox on your fantasy teams each year?
Marc Normandin: I don't think I draft very many Red Sox players at all. Padres, either. I feel like I'm double-rooting for them, and that's just too much pressure.
I find it easier to root for James Shields to throw eight scoreless against Boston and have Tampa Bay's bullpen blow it in the ninth than it is to count on Dustin Pedroia to win it for two teams.
Cody (Whistler): What's your approach to prospect in keeper leagues?
Marc Normandin: I like a good mix of players who might help me that year and those who are just coming through the ranks. I might not have prospects in one of my keeper leagues though, because my friends are complaining about it.
Sean (Auburn, CA): Does Matt Gamel start at 3rd for the Brewers, and if so, what kind of numbers do you see from him?
Marc Normandin: The depth charts say yes he does, but I'm not too excited about that, at least for not early 2010. He's yet another player who I want to see the 75th percentile for so I can gauge his present-day ceiling appropriately. His weighted-mean forecast isn't that great for fantasy purposes.
Victor (Riverside, CA): Thoughts on Neftali Feliz for fantasy purposes this year?
Marc Normandin: PECOTA thinks he'll take a step back as he adjusts to the majors, and also has him as setup man. I would think that the transition to starting may hold his numbers back further until we know for sure he has his footing. That potential is very exciting though, and he may be worth a late pick just for stashing purposes.
Marc Normandin: That's all for today everyone, but as always, contact me via e-mail or Twitter to ask me questions or suggest improvements for our fantasy content. It won't be long before pitchers and catchers report now...