Notes from the fantasy staff on several backstops you should consider selecting in your drafts this spring.
As our eminent leader Bret Sayre outlined in the Baseball Prospectus draft prep guide, the fantasy staff here at BP is aiming to bring you a comprehensive look at each and every position on a weekly basis. From prospects to veterans, superstars to scrubs and sleepers to potential busts, we want you to have a thorough understanding of every player at every position when you hit your drafts this winter and next spring.
With that in mind, we’ve polled the fantasy staff here for a player to target and a player to avoid for each position, to run every Monday and Friday, respectively. We don’t always agree on every player, which is why you’ll see some names pop up more than once, but we hope those debates give you even more insight as to who you should or shouldn’t select on draft day.
Plus Hunter Pence is hot, Wilson Ramos never rests, Carlos Gomez robs another homer, and what to watch on Monday.
The Weekend Takeaway
With a chance to complete a decisive sweep and pad a commanding lead in the American League West, the Athletics gave the Rangers a fighting chance.
Scheduled starter Jarrod Parker, unbeaten since May 22, was scratched with an illness. Tommy Milone, who entered with a 4.96 ERA in 14 road outings, and whom the Rangers thumped for six runs in 3 2/3 innings on August 2, took his place. Yoenis Cespedes, who opened the series with a three-run first-inning homer on Friday, was sidelined by a shoulder ailment. Nate Freiman, a much less powerful hitter, took his place as the DH.
Where will CJ Wilson's next contract take him, and how much money can he expect?
With CC Sabathia staying put, this winter's free-agent market for starting pitchers is a particularly thin one, no pun intended. Unlike last winter, there's no rotation ace equivalent of Cliff Lee, nor is there even a frontline starter who offers the track record that the 2009-2010 winter's belle of the ball, John Lackey, did—a reminder that big-ticket items carry big-time risks. The pitcher drawing the most interest is 31-year-old lefty C.J. Wilson, who has spent all of two seasons in the rotation, converting following a rocky tenure in the bullpen that included some time spent as a very hittable closer.
Now that the regular season has wrapped up, here's a look at who BP staffers think should win the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff choices for the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
The tater trots for June 5: Wilson Ramos gives us *a lot* of drama with his slow trot; Albert Pujols hits back-to-back walkoff home runs.
I usually do my best to keep abreast of the day's goings on in the baseball world (through Twitter and whatnot) so that I don't accidentally miss something home run-related when I watch through the videos. There are times, though, when I don't get a chance to do that and, as such, go into the home run videos pretty blind only to discover some pretty interesting things happened. Sunday was a day like that.
Two Royals graduate from the VP list, but a backstop from Florida and one from Washington step up to replace them.
After last week's tumultuous Value Picks turnover, one week of baseball has passed and the VP portfolio has mostly remained steady, with a few changes. This week, a couple of middle infielders leave VP in favor of a plethora of catching options.
Tom Nieto and Floyd Rayford are bullish on Wilson Ramos, and for good reason. The 22-year-old Ramos is not only one of the top prospects in the Twins organization, he is among the best catching prospects in the game. A solidly-built native of Venezuela with light-tower power, Ramos is beginning the 2010 campaign in Triple-A Rochester. Nieto and Rayford, the club’s manager and hitting coach, respectively, discussed the talented young backstop prior to last night’s International League opener.