With the season just a few short weeks away, Derek is back with plenty of fantasy advice to get you ready!
Derek Carty: Terribly sorry I'm late guys. Traveling back from Arizona for LABR was a nightmare. There's a lot of questions lined up, though, so I'll try to answer as many as I can and then have another chat where I'm on time one day very soon.
Geovany Soto (Spring Training): In the annual you imply that my play is related to my weight. So how am I looking this year?
Derek Carty: I think you're looking pretty good this year. I just grabbed you for $12 in LABR NL, which is a fantastic price. The annual comment certainly makes some sense, and you've been working out this off-season, so I'm optimistic.
Prospecting (Holding pattern): What kind of playing time do you reasonably expect for John Mayberry this season?
Derek Carty: A lot. He should be the primary first baseman while Ryan Howard is on the shelf, and once Howard comes back, I fully expect him to get a lot of the playing time in left field as long as something crazy doesn’t happen, like Domonic Brown coming up and demolishing or Juan Pierre blackmailing Charlie Manuel.
Joe Benson (Fort Myers): I see you picked me for your CBS team, but seriously, how many AB's should I get with Revere and Span in front of me? Will I really contribute much from a fantasy perspective?
Derek Carty: In the reserves of an AL-only league like CBS, you were an amazing pick. There are injury concerns all over the place in Minnesota. Span still has small concussion concerns (though reports from camp are good), and Willingham, Mauer, Morneau, and Doumit are all perennial injury risks. Someone's going down, and Benson makes a lot of sense to come up and replace whoever it is (he'll play outfield, but if it's, say, Mauer who goes down, Doumit could play more catcher, maybe Willingham DHs some, and Benson in the OF). 250-300 AB wouldn't surprise me at all, with upside on that if the team suffers multiple injuries.
DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Derek, how do you see the closer situations playing out in Colorado and LA (Dodgers)? Thanks, Dan
Derek Carty: Rafael Betancourt is the man in Colorado, no question. In LA, Guerra looks like the favorite with Jansen trailing. Lots of people think Guerra losing the job is inevitable, but I'm not convinced. I'd project them for a 25/15 split of the saves. Jansen's superior skills, however, make him a better fantasy player in most leagues despite fewer saves.
Tony035 (Toronto, ON): Players like Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon will/may miss chunks of the season but for different reasons. Which older players with either reduced roles or other circumstances limiting games played are worth gambling on this season?
Derek Carty: Juan Pierre is interesting in Philadelphia, at least for the first couple months of the year for cheap steals. Tim Hudson might miss a month of the year, but he'll be good when he's healthy, and he came pretty cheap in LABR this weekend ($7). A.J. Burnett same deal ($3), but I like him in the NL and PNC Park.
BR (NYC): Derek, thanks for chatting! Question for you on drafting Yu Darvish. In Yahoo! mocks, he's dropping into a cluster of SPs the likes of CJ Wilson, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, Josh Beckett, Michael Pineda, Dan Hudson, and Mat Latos.
How would you rank these 9 players on your draft board?
Derek Carty: Hmm... off the top of my head, I'll go Beckett, Johnson, Wainwright, Bumgarner, Darvish, Hudson, Wilson, Pineda, Latos.
JKries (Chicago): Derek,
Was it wise to draft Addison Reed with the last pick in my 5x5 and H2H league (I drafted two solid closers earlier in both drafts)? Will Reed start the season in the majors or, should I have taken a wait-and-see approach?
Derek Carty: Oh, he should start the season in the majors, but Matt Thornton appears to have the inside track on the closing gig. If it's a deep league he's fine to roster, especially with the last pick, but if we're looking at a 12-team mixed league and there are other closers on the wire, you may be able to do better than Reed.
Steve N (Delaware): Best be for this year, Pineda or Beachy? Long term?
Derek Carty: Beachy this year, long-term Pineda.
Casey Blake (Rocker): At what point will I be replaced this season?
Derek Carty: If Nolan Arenado hits in the minors, it may be no later than the All-Star break. If Blake doesn't hit, it may be no later than April 30. The team doesn't have any high quality options, but they could easily try someone like Chris Nelson or Jordan Pacheco if Blake is struggling.
cooldude (Mpls): For this year and the future, who provides more value: Jean Segura or Tyler Pastornicky?
Derek Carty: This year: Pastornicky. Future: Segura. Be careful with Pastornicky, though. He's a good bet for full-time at-bats, but if he bats 8th (he should), that's the kiss of death for a National League speedster, and the Braves SS doesn't offer much else.
aaron (LB): A-Rod: over/under 130 games played?
Derek Carty: I'll take the under.
Charlie Sheen (Cheers bar): How's Ashton doing with my show(life)?
Derek Carty: Eh, I watch it, but I always felt Two and a Half Men was extremely overrated to begin with. There's at least 10 funnier shows on TV. That said, I don't think it's fell off much from when Charlie Sheen was on it.
Dan Wallace (Syracuse): Who ends up getting the majority of the saves for the Mets?
Derek Carty: Frank Francisco. As long as he's healthy and doesn't have a terrible first two weeks, I think he'll be a fantasy bargain this year.
Francois (Toronto): What's a good strategy for money allocation in an auction draft? I'm doing my first one in a few weeks and am worried I could make some big mistakes.
Derek Carty: That really depends on what kind of league you're in. The depth of the player pool is very important in answering this question.
CheeCheesh(Starsky) (Canada): Travis Snider or Eric Thames in LF for the Jays? between the two who has a bigger bat this season? avg. and power wise.
Derek Carty: I like Thames better, simply because I don't have a good answer for what happened to Snider this past year, and anyone I've tried to talk to who might be close to the situation has been tight-lipped about it. I like Thames's bat anyway, though, and as long as he gets some ABs, he's a great AL-only pick. And if he's playing full-time, he's deep-mixed-worthy too. That said, Snider has bigger power upside.
Andrew (Las Vegas): So based on your LABR draft, you're expecting bounceback years from Wright and Heyward?
Derek Carty: Yeah, I am. With the Mets moving the fences in, I'm banking on more power from Wright this year. Heyward has such enormous potential and such a quick bat. He dealt with some injuries that sapped his productivity a bit last year. $25 was more than I wanted to pay for Heyward, but offense in that area was going for more overall, so I bit the bullet and grabbed him.
Harry (Shibe Park): What is your opinion of bumping guys up or down a round or two based on spring training? Hunter Pence and A-Rod are good examples after this weekend.
Derek Carty: Don't buy into ST stats unless someone plays REALLY well. ST is much more important for fringier guys where roles will be determined. And if you see something in a guys mechanics or such that indicates he could be in trouble, that's important too. But an 0-for-5 performance alone is nothing to worry about.
ChuckR (Chicago): I had Leonys Martin penciled in as a keeper for a starting OF spot this year, but Ron Washington now says otherwise. Any thoughts on AL minor leaguers who might be making an impact come June/July?
Derek Carty: Wash said as long as guys stay healthy, which is impossible for Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Martin is very near the top of such a list. Also, Mike Trout's a possibility given injuries or trades, Joe Benson in Minnesota, Jacob Turner (if he doesn't start the year with the team), the Oakland pitchers (Peacock, Parker, Milone to a lesser extent), and Danny Hultzen for Seattle.
The Potential (Cincy): Homer Bailey - does he finally reach his potential this year? If not, is this the end of his run in Cincinnati?
Derek Carty: I like Bailey this year. The presence of Chapman the Starter is a little worrisome for his 2012 prospects, but as long as he starts with a rotation spot, I expect him to do well enough to keep it with an ERA around 4.00.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): Derek, how badly will Marlins Park hurt Miami's hitters? Marc Normandin has a post today at SBNation indicating things don't look promising from a HR perspective.
On a related note, would you keep Gaby Sanchez at $13 in an 8-team, NL-only, 5x5 league with no keeper limit concerns?
Derek Carty: Yeah, I've been saying for a while that the deeper fences could hurt their power hitters. I'm pretty much avoiding Marlins power guys this year unless they come at a discount. Stanton is really expensive, so I'm not owning him anywhere despite really liking his skills. John Buck could be a catcher bust since all he has is power. Logan Morrison might not be as bad because the far right field fence is actually shallower, and as a lefty with pull power he could manage to not lose much. In an 8-team NL-only league, I throw Sanchez back at that price unless your keeper system causes some heavy inflation.
Save Me (Bullpen): NL only league with 3 yr contracts that can extend 3 more yrs. Saves are big $$. Is Brothers a good buy this year looking forward? At what price does the value end at?
Derek Carty: Definitely no more than $5. Betancourt should be a great closer, although if you could potentially own Brothers for six years, he might be worth grabbing if owners in your leaguemates tend to stash potential long-term closing options.
cooldude (Mpls): Is Lavarnway a starter-worthy in an AL-only league?
Derek Carty: Not to start the year, since he'll begin at Triple-A. If Salty gets injured, though, I wouldn't be shocked to see him promoted to starting catcher for the Red Sox. He has a great bat, and Kelly Shoppach is sketchy. I suppose there's some chance too he might DH if Ortiz gets hurt. He'll be a boom or bust type guy this season, entirely dependent on someone else failing so he can get a shot.
Tom (Wildwood, NJ): We decided to schedule our draft for before the Japan games. I would like to hear your opinion on the whole thing.
Do these games require an early draft? Is it verboten to retro the stats from the Japan games? Do you scrap the games and have the draft April 1st?
Derek Carty: All of my drafts come before the games this year, but I have no problem waiting until after the games and then retroactively adding the stats.
cooldude (Mpls): I am looking at having to start Giovatella or Raburn at 2B in my AL-only league this year. Is this the year Raburn finally puts it together?
Derek Carty: I hope so. I have him at MI in CBS AL-only. Coincidentally, I have Giovatella at 2B too. Ramon Santiago doesn't pose much of a threat, but apparently Brandon Inge is looking pretty good at 2B, and he could cut into his time. As a cheap MI in AL-only, his power upside makes him worth the gamble, but this Inge news is certainly disconcerting.
chiefsalsa (Utah): In mocks, I am seeing a ton of steals still on the board in the later rounds. What is your 2012 philosophy on steals?
Derek Carty: You're right that there are a lot of late steals in mixed leagues this year. I like Ben Revere a lot for steals. Jose Altuve may be a decent MI speed source. Bonifacio can play everywhere. Even Coco Crisp is like a 15th rounder. Waiting on speed in a mixed league isn't a bad play this year.
Kyran (Albany, NY): My pitchers include Madson, Putz, Moore, Scherzer and Beachy. At the auction are Halladay, Greinke, Hamels, Dan Hudson, Felix, CJ Wilson, CC, Lester, Gallardo and Strasburg. I have plenty of money - who do you think is the best complement to what I have on hand?
Derek Carty: That's a solid core, so grabbing a guy like Hamels, Greinke, or Gallardo could be enough if you add one or two more guys in the Scherzer/Beachy area, a Ryan Dempster or Ted Lilly type.
CharlieWerner (York, PA): What do you make of Shawn Marcum's shoulder trouble?
Derek Carty: It worries me a little. Not enough to avoid him entirely, but I'll bump him down a couple bucks on my sheet. I love Marcum's talent, and he went through this last spring (apparently a worse version) and was fine for most of the year, so I'm cautiously optimistic.
Rookie time (Cubs): Your crystal ball appears to be working, so here is one for you. Who wins the battle this year for PT and what happens long term between LaHair and Rizzo?
Derek Carty: LaHair should start the year at 1B, and if he hits well, there's no guarantee Rizzo comes up this year. Hoyer admitted to rushing him to the bigs last year in San Diego, and I don't expect him to make that mistake again. In an NL-only league Rizzo is a fine buy for cheap; if he hits in the minors and LaHair struggles at all, he could be up by mid-season. I don't believe he's MLB ready now, though, so he'll need to convince the Cubs by mid-year that he is.
Chris Snyder (DL): Can I provide enough to warrant any contract in a NL only league?
Derek Carty: Absolutely. You were actually on my LABR NL target list. If I wasn't able to get a full-time catcher for a bargain, you were my $1 target. You're much better than Jason Castro, who may begin the year on the DL (although word is he's progressed faster than expected and might be ready by Opening Day), and could show a lot of power for a catcher in Houston. The team says they're committed to Castro as the starter, but if you make the most of any time as a starter with Castro on the DL, it's possible that changes. Even if not, you'll be one of the better backup catchers in the NL and well worth a roster spot.
Doog (Blaine, MN): How much more than Rasmus and Belt do I need to give for Teixeira in a dynasty league?
Derek Carty: I would think that would be enough in a dynasty league. Two young, relatively high-ceiling guys for an aging slugger who's struggled with BA over the past couple years.
Mark (Cleveland): Any picks for non-closers worth taking for pure K/WHIP/ERA/maybe win-stealing upside? Basically Tyler Clippard types...
Derek Carty: Kenley Jansen #1, but his save upside will make him expensive. Clippard is good. Mike Adams, Sergio Romo (if they let him face more lefties this year and he gets more than 40 IP), Jonny Venters, Hong-Chih Kuo (if healthy), Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour (if he doesn't close), Matt Thornton/Addison Reed (whoever doesn't close).
stewbies (Rochester, NY): I'm in a 14 team mixed dynasty league and we can keep 4 guys for as long as we want. I have Braun, Santana and Longoria. Should my 4th guy be Tex or Jennings?
Derek Carty: Go with Jennings. Tex will be a bit more valuable this year, but not nearly enough to give up the rest of Jennings's career.
Jeff (Atlanta): Drew Stubbs and Cameron Maybin both have similar skill sets, and seem to be raked close to one another. Which do you prefer this year? Why?
Derek Carty: I'll take Stubbs. Longer track record, more power, better lineup, still lots of SBs.
Senior (Lost in my mind): Who are your top undervalued targets for NL only leagues this year?
Derek Carty: Just had LABR NL this weekend, so I've got a bunch. Not all went for as low as I wanted, but how about: Michael Cuddyer, Lucas Duda, Jon Jay, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, Jose Altuve, Ryan Ludwick, Tyler Greene. None are sure things, obviously, but that's the nature of undervalued targets. In general, I think these guys will come cheaper than I'd pay for them (although that wasn't the case for Cuddyer, Duda, Mayberry, Byrd, and Altuve this weekend in a tough LABR crowd).
VirgilDahl (Waterloo, Iowa): realizing that it is only his first spring outing, what did you think of Teherans meltdown?
Derek Carty: I didn't actually see him pitch, so I can't speak to how he looked, but as I said in an earlier response, don't worry about spring stats. And pitchers especially, they're still building up arm strength and possibly working on certain pitches, so don't let it bother you too much.
Matt (Madison, WI): What's up with Ryan Madson's elbow? Anything to worry about, or is this just common soreness/tenderness associated with loosening up for the season?
Derek Carty: Arm trouble is never a *good* thing for a pitcher, but this appears to be mild, it's the very start of camp, so definitely don't panic. He should be fine.
Silv (NY, NY): NL only, twelve team league (which I won last year) and I have an embarrassment of (some expensive) riches. 260 limit, so I need to cut down to 12 or fewer keepers and still field a team...Mesoraco (6), Votto (19), Altuve (12), Uggla (29), Chipper (8), Tulo (41), Kemp (36), McCutchen (33), Cain (34), Gallardo (29), Harang (5), Jurrjens, (4), Kershaw (26), Brett Myers (11), Venters (6), Lincecum (30). Help!
Derek Carty: Kemp, Votto, and Kershaw for sure. Myers, Chipper, and Altuve should be good keeps at those prices. After that, it's going to depend on inflation. I wouldn't keep any of the rest in a league with no inflation, but with heavy inflation, I could see a case for McCutchen, Lincecum, Jurrjens, and Mesoraco too.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): Thanks for the feedback, Derek. Yes, we have had significant inflation over the years such that top-flight hitters who used to go for $40-42 now are $50-plus, and the best pitchers have climbed in price from $35 to over $42-45.
Pujols and Fielder are now in the AL, Votto is being kept, I already have Morse, Howard is a question mark, and the rest of the 1B pack is middling, making me think a .265/15/70/1/70 Sanchez is reasonable at $13.
I'll spend my way to more offense, though, because I have terrific, cheap pitching ($7 Strasburg, $7 Latos, $5 Josh Johnson, $1 Wainwright, $1 MadBum, $1 Luebke, $1 A. Sanchez).
Derek Carty: Yeah, in a league like that, I'd keep Sanchez.
cooldude (Mpls): How about Johnny Cueto this year? It would be nice to see him become a solid #2 type.
Derek Carty: It would, but I'm not banking on it. He'll be overvalued this year based on his low 2011 ERA, which wasn't fully deserved. He's much more of a 4.00 ERA pitcher.
waniac (Illinois): Hey Derek i'm in a 12 team h2h keeper league, I have the 1st pick in the draft should Kemp be my pick 4 sure because Hanley, Ellsbury, Reyes,Granderson,Cano, & Pedroia are all available, also i might be able 2 talk pujouls owner into trading him. Whats my best option? Thanks
Derek Carty: I'd take Pujols over Kemp, if you can trade your first pick for Pujols. I'd do it for Braun too, and probably Votto and Cabrera. Barring a trade, I'll take Kemp before any of the other guys you listed.
Tony Danza (Italy): Any chance George Constanza is the Braves 4th OF and steals 25?
Derek Carty: Tough to bank on 25 steals from a 4th OF, and manager Fredi Gonzalez says he might only be the 5th OF (the team has a more potent Eric Hinske bat around plus Matt Diaz). As a 5th OF, I think you're looking at more of 10 SB, but he does have good speed and could steal more with some injuries or good play that nets him more PT.
Abe Froman (Chicago): Cliff Pennington a top 10 AL SS?
Derek Carty: Well, there are only 14 starting SSs in the AL, and some that aren't very good, so yeah, Pennington is 9 or 10.
thewah63 (Grand Junction): Is there a top 300 list? Based on BP's projections?
Derek Carty: No top 300 list per se, but you can use the PFM to customize rankings to your league.
mgaynor (Rhode Island): Long term keeper league: A. Rendon or J. Profar?
Derek Carty: Profar for sure.
pekovitch (Chicago): I've read much about winning fantasy player's strategies. Mr. Carty, what do "advanced stats" of a ballplayer, mean? And where would one find them, to essentially study from? Thank you.
Derek Carty: "Advanced" stats basically just mean anything that's not the usual drek you see on broadcasts (Batting Average, RBIs, Wins, ERA, etc). Basically, advanced stats try to distill the player's talent and remove as much of the outside influence as possible. They try to look at things a player has more control over and is more indicative of his skill level. BP's stat section has a lot of "advanced" stats. For example, a pitcher's FIP is a better indicator of his run-preventing skills than his ERA is.
Derek Carty: Alright guys, that's going to do it for today. Sorry again for being late, and I'll be sure to schedule another chat very soon to make up for it.