As the fires from countless Memorial Day barbecues cool off, Michael looks at who’s hot this week among corner infielders.
Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on the relative unimportance of fantasy sports, where injuries are rarely life-threatening, the battles are (mostly) metaphorical, and hitting a bomb is considered a good thing. My deepest thanks to the uniformed men and women who allow (among many other freedoms) these players in a different sort of uniform to play a kids’ game while we fans to watch, before spending inordinate amounts of time dissecting their exploits for the sole purpose of bragging rights in our fantasy leagues. Play ball!
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Michael graduates his first VP of the season, but he still points out plenty of undervalued corner infielders to be found on your league’s waiver wires.
For our nation’s scholars, graduation is just around the corner, but we start things early here at Value Picks, bidding adieu to our first departee. He leaves the list after quickly exceeding ownership thresholds, but I’ve got lots of other players ready to prove themselves to VP readers, including several bubble candidates in Playing Pepper.
Michael leads off the regular season Value Picks with a fresh slate of productive players you can find on the waiver wire, even in the deepest leagues.
The principle at Value Picks is simple: find valuable players with less than 20 percent ownership in most (preferably all) of the Big Three fantasy sites (Yahoo!, ESPN, and CBS). It’s not always easy to find players fitting this description, but in past seasons, I’ve called readers’ attention to then-undervalued players like Gaby Sanchez, David Freese, and Lucas Duda, who enjoy much higher ownership rates these days.
Michael looks at Value Picks to be found in the first-base battles in Cleveland and Pittsburgh
Part of the excitement of Spring Training is watching Opening Day rosters take shape—usually, this involves whether a top prospect will start the year in the minors or which utility man grabs the final bench spot. Less often, we get to watch two players compete for the right to start, an especially important choice at the power position of first base. While both Cleveland and Pittsburgh seems to have made their choices at the cold corner, there are still some other options that could rise to the challenge and bring value to their fantasy owners.
Who didn't make it to last year's College World Series, but rate highly enough to be seen as likely contenders this year?
Last week we looked in detail at the spring prospects for last year's eight Omaha finalists, and found that not one of them looks a sure bet for a repeat trip. So as I continue a comprehensive look at the nation's top programs and 2008 contenders, the logical next step is to see what teams that were close last season are poised to make the last leap. For today, I reviewed the final top 25 rankings in the Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, and the USA Today Coaches Poll from last June. Outside of the eight Omaha teams, 18 other universities were ranked in the top 25 by at least one of those three polls. Below are the prospects of each of these teams. Next week, we'll finish out this series on the eve of college baseball by looking at the team's that could rebound from a disappointing 2007 with a big finish in 2008.
What does the future hold for the eight teams who made it to Omaha last year?
In the three weeks we have left before the college baseball season begins, it's time to turn our attention to the teams most likely to vie for this year's championship. To start that process, let's being with a progress report on the eight teams that were in the hunt for last year's championship at the College World Series. Omaha in 2007 was scene one of the most unlikely combinations of Cinderella stories the CWS has ever seen, so it was only fitting for Oregon State to make the glass slipper fit again in a successful title defense. It's hard to imagine Omaha this year featuring all eight of last year's teams back, because as you will see each team is facing some pretty big hurdles this spring.
This year, some college programs suddenly found themselves with holes on their roster before the school year even began.
At various points on last Wednesday, the draft's signing deadline day, Mike Moustakas was going to USC, and Matt Wieters was supposedly returning to Georgia Tech. At different times, both Rick Porcello and Madison Bumgarner were all but packed to head to Chapel Hill. Jack McGeary was, without question, going to continue Stanford's decade-long streak of bringing commits to Palo Alto.
Top college talents try to boost their future draft stock while getting used to woodwork.
There aren't many baseball leagues where a 700 OPS is above-average, and anything much higher guarantees a player major dollars, but you can bet Neifi Perez wants to live there. The Cape Cod League is college baseball's biggest summer stage, but with college hitters becoming re-introduced to wooden bats, the pitchers always end up with better numbers. In the last two summers the average hitter has hit .230/.311/.313, and last summer, just seven hitters had an average above .300. Many hitters from the College World Series, including a couple from the championship Oregon State Beavers, will begin to arrive this week, and thereby give the offensive crop some depth, but the league is already more than two weeks underway. While offense is as scarce as ever, coaches have nevertheless found a new group of players that have impressed them at the plate in the early going.