Which of these Buckeye State backstops is a better long-term bet for fantasy owners?
The year was 2014. Taylor Swift was running wild on the Billboard charts, Transformers was inexplicably tops at the box-office, and the state of Ohio boasted two of the best young catchers in baseball. Devin Mesoraco was being compared to Johnny Bench after blasting 25 bombs and slashing .273/.359/.534 in 440 plate appearances. His cross-state counterpart, Yan Gomes, broke out as well, smacking 21 homers with a .785 OPS and stellar defense. Then just as quickly as the hype train got started, the wheels came off, pretty much literally.
Injuries, regression, or some combination of both have ravaged the promise that Mesoraco and Gomes carried only two short years ago. That said, both players offer interesting bounce-back potential that could present decent value, especially in dynasty leagues. Let the Battle for Ohio (or at least for catchers in their late 20’s that are both coming off injury riddled seasons) begin!
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Sam checks in on his predictions about which players you'd fall for this year.
Just after the World Series last year, I told you who your five favorite players were going to be this season, now that Koji Uehara’s on a major label . A prediction that isn’t revisited is just an opinion, so in the interest of accountability it’s important that we periodically make sure that one of these players has become your favorite player. So, nearly two weeks into the season, is one of these players your favorite player? Yes! One of them is. Here are your New Favorite Player power rankings:
Buster Posey and Joe Mauer headline a large group of high-end backstops, followed by thinner groupings below.
Today we kick off our positional tier rankings. For the second year in a row, we have made this into a collaborative effort. Players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by the number of stars.
Five-star players are the studs at their position. In general, they are the players that will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and they'll fetch auction bids in excess of $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be earl- round selections, and they're projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late-round sleepers and roster placeholders. The positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of last year’s values but rather try to offer some insights into what we expect will happen in 2014.
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.
You and Uehara had a good thing, and you'll never forget his 89-percent strike rate in three-ball counts. But while you’ll never stop loving him, your guys’ relationship has probably peaked. Now your mom is starting to ask you about him, and once that happens it’s time for a new squeeze, one your mom knows nothing about. Who will your favorite player be next year? A few suggestions:
Notes on prospects in the Arizona Fall League, Dominican Winter League, and Venezuelan Winter League.
It was great to see some baseball news back on my Twitter feed, even though the only significant roster-altering move on Wednesday (Padres catcher Yasmani Grandalsuspended 50 games after testing positive for elevated testosterone) hurts the team that I've been cheering for since I was a kid. Rumors are always fun, though, and there were some interesting names, including Justin Upton), mentioned as potential trade candidates and a few teams (Mariners, Orioles) being named as possible favorites in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes. Speaking of which, make sure you're getting caught up on all things Hot Stove with Daniel Rathman's Rumor Rounduphere at Baseball Prospectus. Now for notes around the AFL, DWL, and VWL.