Results tagged ‘ Mark Reynolds ’
I write about the Indians over at www.wahoosonfirst.com and Bleacher Report when I’m not writing things here. You should check these out, just in case you need something to read while the sky is falling due to a lazy Mayan:
Who is going to DH for the Indians with the current roster? http://wahoosonfirst.com/2012/12/20/who-will-be-tribes-dh-in-2013/
Three pretend trades that the Indians should try to make:
2013 Indians Batting Order:
How many wins is Terry Francona worth?
Seven starting pitchers that the Indians should target:
Why the Indians can win now with Terry Francona:
November 30 is the last day to offer a contract to arbitration-eligible players, and if team’s are uninterested in doing so, they are non-tendered, allowing those players to hit free agency. There are several names that hit free agency yesterday that could help out your favorite team. Let’s take a look at those top, new free agents.
Brian Wilson, RHP
Wilson is just 30 years old and was one of the top closers in baseball from 2008 to 2011, compiling 163 saves over four seasons. In late 2011, Wilson started having elbow issues, then he made just two appearances in 2012 due to Tommy John surgery. He is expected to be ready to go in spring training, but he may have to settle for a one-year deal, similar to Ryan Madson with the Angels, to show he is fully recovered and capable of regaining form.
Jair Jurrjens, RHP
Jurrjens will only be 27 years old on Opening Day in 2013 and he already has 53 wins and 750 innings under his belt; however, it’s the wins and innings he doesn’t have that are the concern with him. He made $5.5 million in 2012 in his second year of arbitration, and the Braves let him go after they were unable to trade him, and with good reason, his shoulder was a great concern. Jurrjens shoulder issues could be overblown, as they started in August of 2007, but then in 2008 and 2009, Jurrjens went 27-20 with a 3.10 ERA over 403.1 innings. He had issues with tightness and inflammation, once again, in February of 2010, but it was his knee issues, which needed surgery, that caused him to miss starts. Jurrjens rebounded to a 13-6 record and 2.96 ERA in 2011, only to miss more starts due to his knee. If Jurrjens can prove to teams that it is his knee that was of concern and not his shoulder, I don’t see why he shouldn’t have a line of teams knocking at his door while you’re reading this.
Rafael Perez, LHP
He’s breathing and he is left-handed, but more than that, Perez has been a very, very effective relief pitcher for a number of seasons. Perez had one really, really bad season, 2009, when he posted a 7.31 ERA over 54 games and 48 innings, but if you look at the rest of his career, Perez has a 3.01 ERA over 284 games and 281 innings. He missed 146 games due to a shoulder ailment, which he didn’t have surgery on until late September, so team’s may be hesitant to guarantee him much. An incentive-laden, one-year contract would be a good way for the lefty to get a job quickly.
Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B
Reynolds is an American League team’s dream. He can handle third base or first base, but not really play either well, while providing an incredible amount of right-handed power to the lineup. He also will frustrate teams with his tremendous number of strikeouts, while posting a batting average near the Mendoza-line every season. He is what he is, as Reynolds has been this player since 2007. Reynolds doesn’t even turn 30 years old unti August of 2013 and he has compiled 181 home runs and a career .807 OPS in his six seasons. He has also struck out in 32.6 percent of his career at-bats. With his ability to sit in the middle of an order to provide power as a first baseman, third baseman, or designated hitter, Reynolds will interest several clubs.
Brandon Snyder, 1B/OF
Snyder was non-tendered by the Texas Rangers and the 26-year-old could be very valuable for the right team. He just turned 26 and Snyder only has 98 career at-bats, but he posted a .275/.331/.431 line over six seasons in the minors. He has more doubles power than home run power, having hit 14 in 2011 in Triple-A as a career high, but he would be a solid, affordable platoon partner for a club.
Geovany Soto, Catcher
Soto will be turning 30 in January and he will be very popular in coming days. After hitting .264/.370/.466 with 73 doubles and 51 home runs from 2008 to 2010, Soto has hit just .214/.297/.381 with 38 doubles and 28 home runs the last two seasons. Soto had shoulder surgery in September of 2010, so the fall in productivity could be related. Soto wasn’t ever above average behind the plate, but teams seem to be picking on his arm the last two seasons, stealing 150 bases while getting caught just 57 times (28 percent, which is league average). He’ll have plenty of suitors as a young, power hitting catcher.
Mike Pelfrey, RHP
Pelfrey will be 29 years old in January and he is about as average as it gets as a starting pitcher. He’s had a couple of seasons with an ERA around 3.70 and a few hovering around 5.00. Pelfrey has statistical averages that put him at around 200 innings per season with an ERA of 4.36, so he would be a solid filler in the back-end of a rotation. The 6’7″ right-hander had Tommy John surgery in May of 2012, so he will probably be getting an incentive-based, one-year contract to show that he has recovered. He may not be ready for the start of the season due to the 12 to 18 month recovery time for the elbow surgery.
Tom Gorzelanny, LHP
After posting a 2.88 ERA for the Nationals in 2012, it was surprising to see Gorzelanny’s name on the non-tender list. It is possible that his experience as a starter in his career would drive up his arbitration costs, although he made just one start in 2012, after making $3 million for Washington last season. Gorzelanny has proven himself as a valuable left-handed reliever, posting a 3.32 ERA over 82 games and 114 innings, with a 1.25 WHIP. When you look at those numbers, you can see why teams would jump at the opportunity to sign the 30-year-old southpaw; however, if a team is looking at him as a starter, they may want to look at his 4.61 ERA over 111 starts and 621 innings, with a 1.48 WHIP. Gorzelanny would do better for himself if he locks himself in as a solid, left-handed relief pitcher, and teams should only view him as such.
Ben Francisco, OF
Francisco is a platoon outfielder, and he has been that player for his entire career to every team that he has played for, outside of the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, he really isn’t a platoon player. Francisco has a career .260/.324/.430 line against right-handers and a .252/.329/.414 line against left-handers. Francisco, at 31, is nothing more than a 25th man. He can play left and right field and he can provide a little bit of pop, a little bit of speed, and a little bit of patience at the plate. He keeps getting chances and he keeps getting platoon roles, but I’m not sure that he is any better than what some minor league free agent types could do if given around 200 at-bats per season. Teams may still be interested in him, though, for whatever reason.
Ian Stewart, 3B
Stewart turns just 28 in April, which is shocking considering it feels like he has been around forever, having received his first taste of the majors in 2007. Stewart was once one of the most promising, having been rated as high as No. 4 by Baseball America, prior to the 2005 season. That sort of thing happens when a guy hits 30 home runs as a 19-year-old in Low-A. Stewart has even had some success at the big league level, as he hit 53 home runs and drove in 172 runs between 2008 and 2010. Stewart’s .246/.346/.454 line over that time wasn’t fantastic, but the Rockies gave up on him in 2011 after he posted a .156/.243/.221 line. He didn’t do much better for the Chicago Cubs in 2012, but he had wrist issues, which he had surgery on in July of 2012, which dated back to August of 2011, when Stewart was in Triple-A with the Rockies. Still very young, a healthy Stewart deserves another opportunity. He has proven capable of hitting major league pitching in the past and he will be very affordable. It’s unfortunate that he may become a career backup due to one miserable season and some injuries.
The Baltimore Orioles are one of the surprising teams in MLB in 2012, having gone 32-26 through Friday. The O’s sit one game back of Tampa Bay in the AL East and they are tied with the Yankees for the Wild Card lead.
Baltimore started hot out of the gate, going 14-9 in April, thanks in large part to the 3.03 team ERA that their pitching staff posted in the first month of the season. Things have changed since April, though, as the team ERA rose to 4.16 in May (though they did finish 15-13 in May), and it is up to 5.02 in June, while the team is now 3-4 this month after losing three straight games.
You can’t blame the pitching entirely for the recent slide, though. The offense is 19th in MLB in team average (.247) while leading the majors in strikeouts with 487, thanks in no small part to Robert Andino (59), Chris Davis (55), Mark Reynolds (46), and Adam Jones (42). While the O’s struggle to make contact, they can mash, as shown by their 80 home runs (3rd in MLB) and a .733 team OPS (9th in MLB).
The rotation is currently in flux due to Jake Arrieta’s recent struggles. The young right-hander is 2-8 with a 6.32 ERA. While Arrieta was solid in April (1-2, 4.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .216 BAA), but he was miserable in May (1-4, 6.17 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, .306 BAA), and attrocious in June (0-2, 13.50 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, .342 BAA). He will go to Triple-A with Tommy Hunter coming back, but the club has had great contributions from Jason Hammel, Wei-Lin Chen, and Brian Matusz to this point.
Adam Jones was just extended, Dylan Bundy has pitched like the the greatest pitching prospect in years, and the Orioles have a group of solid prospects in Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Nick Delmonico, and others. The future is bright in Baltimore, but this probably isn’t the year.
Baltimore has dealt with a lot of injury issues. Nolan Reimold was fantastic before back issues set in, Brian Roberts is and has been out with a concussion, and Nick Markakis is now out through the month of June due to a broken right hamate bone. Add in Matt Lindstrom’s finger injury in the bullpen, Tsuyoshi Wada being lost for the year before he ever really got started, and the lack of contact skills in the lineup, and the luck seems to be continually going against them.
Much like the Pittsburgh Pirates temporary resurgence in 2011, the Orioles temporary return to glory has been very cute. However, it just isn’t meant to last this year, but the future remains bright…if that sounds familiar to Orioles fans…
Overall rankings will consist of the player’s value in a points format, earning points for each H, R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, basically a formula of Total Bases + RBI + Runs = Total Value. Here are the rankings for 2B, projections are italicized:
1a. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
.302/.447/.608, 24 2B, 2 3B, 43 HR, 103 RBI, 9 SB in 513 AB
.308/.454/.603, 29 2B, 1 3B, 38 HR, 112 RBI, 6 SB in 509 AB
Joey Bats should maintain 3B eligibility in some formats. It’s doubtful that he’ll play more than 10 games at 3B unless Brett Lawrie gets hurt or goes all Travis Snider on the Blue Jays, deciding he can’t hit anymore. Bautista has 97 HR the last two seasons and his lineup is getting better around him. He could hit 50 HR again if he isn’t walked 132 times like he was last year.
1b. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
.344/.448/.586, 48 2B, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 2 SB in 572 AB
.327/.431/.596, 49 2B, 37 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 579 AB
He’s listed here due to the trial that Jim Leyland believes is going to work. He’ll have 3B eligibility once he plays there and he will be the top 3B, along with Bautista. You can’t go wrong with either of them, and Cabrera’s arrival to 3B makes the position strong once again…along with:
2. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
.243/.333/.379, 16 2B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 10 SB in 385 AB
.305/.380/.505, 37 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 85 RBI, 35 SB in 594 AB
Sure, he’s been declining/injured, but the guy is still just 28-years-old. Ramirez is an elite level talent when he is playing to his abilities. With Jose Reyes coming aboard and Logan Morrison becoming a top offensive talent, he has a lineup that he can become the catalyst within again. This may be an over-the-top ranking, but even in a ballpark that we don’t know how it will play, you know that Ramirez is going to work to prove that 2011 was not who he is.
3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers
.296/.331/.561, 33 2B, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB in 487 AB
.311/.346/.594, 39 2B, 38 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 591 AB
Why so high on the projections? Because Beltre only played in 124 games last year and he posted his ridiculous power numbers. A full season with Cruz, Kinsler, Hamilton, Napoli, and Young around him, if he stays healthy, would allow Beltre to join into a 1c role with Cabrera and Bautista.
4. Evan Longoria, Rays
.244/.355/.495, 26 2B, 1 3B, 31 HR, 99 RBI, 3 SB in 483 AB
.293/.401/.521, 33 2B, 2 3B, 38 HR, 113 RBI, 2 SB in 576 AB
Longoria struggled to get the ball where others weren’t last season, posting a BABIP of just .239 in 2011. His career average is now .301, counting 2011. He’s in for a huge return to glory. Nevermind the fact that he is just 26, Longoria is already a top player in baseball. If you have him in a keeper league…keep him. He’s very likely to pass 40 HR in 2012.
5. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
.289/.355/.443, 21 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 3 SB in 395 AB
.296/.361/.489, 42 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 91 RBI, 5 SB in 581 AB
If the shoulder holds up…No wonder third base looked so weak without Cabrera and Ramirez – Everyone else who mattered was hurt for portions of 2011. Zimmerman is still within tier-one of 3B, but he isn’t capable of the outlandish numbers that the top five can put up.
6. Pablo Sandoval, Giants
.315/.357/.552, 26 2B, 3 3B, 23 HR, 70 RBI, 2 SB in 426 AB
.309/.361/.561, 36 2B, 3 3B, 27 HR, 98 RBI, 2 SB in 591 AB
Kung Fu posted solid numbers after healing from his wrist injury last year, developing and showing power that should excite his owners. His body may continue to make people uncomfortable in “gambling” on him, but he posted his 2011 totals in 109 starts and 117 total games. With Posey back and Belt replacing older junk on the Giants roster, he should become the heart of the order in San Francisco in 2012.
7. David Wright, Mets
.254/.345/.427, 23 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 61 RBI, 13 SB in 389 AB
.281/.366/.485, 34 2B, 3 3B, 23 HR, 88 RBI, 15 SB in 564 AB
Move the fences in all you want, there isn’t going to be anyone to knock in when Wright comes up. Davis and Duda are solid, but the Mets are going to struggle. Wright is going to continue to be an injury risk due to his back issues. He could very well be traded to a better team/ballpark, but you can’t count on those things. He should be solid again, but it is doubtful that he is ever elite.
8. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
.276/.362/.461, 21 2B, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 4 SB in 373 AB
.281/.366/.488, 32 2B, 2 3B, 26 HR, 91 RBI, 6 SB in 539 AB
He’s aging and declining but you can see that in 99 games in 2011, he was still productive. You may want to handcuff him like a fantasy football running back with Eduardo Nunez, just in case, but ARod still has a couple of solid seasons in him…or the Yankees and their fans better hope so, given his absurd contract.
9. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
.293/.373/.580, 8 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB in 150 AB
.281/.349/.508, 34 2B, 6 3B, 24 HR, 91 RBI, 22 SB in 567 AB
Based on last season, Lawrie could be a 30 2B, 15 3B, 34 HR, 26 SB, .953 OPS guy. It’s a small sample size, but that is probably his peak season. He isn’t there yet. He’s going to be valuable immediately and he will continue to improve, but don’t expect a 30/30 season in his first full year. He’s an incredible athlete and should be fun to watch.
10. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
.306/.361/.510, 35 2B, 1 3B, 26 HR, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 565 AB
.286/.354/.484, 28 2B, 1 3B, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 1 SB in 547 AB
Aramis had what I like to call a “contract year” (make sure you’re doing the Chris Farley as Matt Foley quotations with your fingers while you say that back). Ramirez will be turning 34 in June and was signed for $12 million per season for three years with a mutual option for a fourth year. The Brewers won’t want or need that fourth year. Ramirez had issues staying healthy in the past and something tells me that this is going to end up like a Carlos Lee deal – he’ll end up at first base before the end of this deal, if not in 2012. He won’t come close to replacing Prince Fielder, but the Brewers had to do something.
11. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
.258/.373/.459, 32 2B, 2 3B, 17 HR, 80 RBI, 3 SB in 431 AB
.279/.398/.488, 38 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, 96 RBI, 4 SB in 576 AB
12. David Freese, Cardinals
.297/.350/.441, 16 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 1 SB in 333 AB
.284/.339/.446, 25 2B, 2 3B, 18 HR, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 519 AB
Don’t be one of those guys who thinks that he is who he was in the postseason. Billy Hatcher once had an awesome postseason, too. Freese is 29 in April. He is what he is and he isn’t going to get a whole lot better – an injury prone, late-blooming hitter who strikes out too much.
13. Mark Reynolds, Orioles
.221/.323/.483, 27 2B, 1 3B, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 6 SB in 534 AB
.231/.334/.491, 31 2B, 1 3B, 38 HR, 96 RBI, 5 SB in 547 AB
Reynolds can mash when he makes contact. He’ll probably play more first base in 2012 than anything, and he may not even qualify for 3B in some leagues if you have position changes in season. Reynolds will keep what he does best…strikeout and occasionally hit a homeless man outside of Camden Yards with a massive longball.
14. Chipper Jones, Braves
.275/.344/.470, 33 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 2 SB in 455 AB
.301/.366/.484, 36 2B, 2 3B, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 501 AB
I can’t get over Larry calling out Jason Heyward for not playing hurt. When ol’ Larry and Heyward are on the field together, magic will happen. Look for one last solid season before Chipper disappears into the sunset.
15. Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks
.249/.341/.427, 25 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 18 SB in 482 AB
.257/.346/.439, 27 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, 71 RBI, 16 SB in 543 AB
Roberts posted solid values last season across the board. If you have a 5 X 5 league and can deal with his average, picking him late will allow you to focus on pitching/closers earlier.
16. Mike Moustakas, Royals
.263/.309/.367, 18 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 2 SB in 338 AB
.286/.331/.411, 24 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB in 566 AB
The guy was 22 for all of last season and struck out in just 14% of his AB. He wasn’t overmatched, he just didn’t have a lot of luck. He may not become an immediate All-Star, but he is going to begin hitting.
17. Chase Headley, Padres
.289/.374/.399, 28 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 13 SB in 381 AB
.293/.376/.402, 34 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 61 RBI, 17 SB in 536 AB
18. Danny Valencia, Twins
.246/.294/.383, 28 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 72 RBI, 2 SB in 564 AB
.268/.324/.401, 31 2B, 3 3B, 17 HR, 76 RBI, 1 SB in 549 AB
19. Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians
.255/.284/.415, 13 2B, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB in 212 AB
.261/.301/.411, 21 2B, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 3 SB in 401 AB
Chiz may not start the year as the 3B in Cleveland. That would be a shame since the other option is Jack Hannahan (barf!). He is going to struggle against LHP and he may always be that guy. He is someone that you’ll want to look ahead for matchups, like you should do with Matt Joyce if you own him. Chisenhall has enough pop in his bat to be valuable while posting unimpressive AVG and OBP numbers.
20. Wilson Betemit, Orioles
.285/.343/.452, 22 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 4 SB in 323 AB
.270/.334/.435, 26 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 5 SB in 476 AB
I’ve always thought Betemit could put up solid numbers if he played every day. He has enough power in his bat to offset the huge strikeout totals he would post, too. He may be playing 3B everyday in Baltimore if the O’s do put Reynolds at 1B, so he is worth a look in deep leagues.
Alberto Callaspo, Angels; Mark Trumbo, Angels; Scott Rolen, Reds; Juan Francisco, Reds; Placido Polanco, Phillies; Ty Wigginton, Phillies; Ian Stewart, Cubs; Pedro Alvarez, Pirates; Casey McGehee, Pirates; Brent Morel, White Sox;
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
.344/.448/.586, 48 2B, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 2 SB in 572 AB
.327/.431/.596, 49 2B, 37 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 579 AB
How can one of the best hitters in baseball get even better? Adding Prince Fielder to the lineup. The Tigers are going to need run production with Cabrera playing some 3B, as their defense may become as ugly as the Patriots secondary.
2. Albert Pujols, Angels
.299/.366/.541, 29 2B, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 9 SB in 579 AB
.313/.389/.563, 36 2B, 34 HR, 112 RBI, 5 SB in 599 AB
Pujols had a “down” year in 2011. If only everyone could look so good when they’re so “bad.” He’ll rebound with health, and he’ll maintain that health with the ability to DH on occasion. His lineup is filled with vets, but it shouldn’t hold him back THIS YEAR. I still don’t think he’s going to be worth the contract by 2015 or 2016…ARod style.
3. Prince Fielder, Tigers
.299/.415/.566, 36 2B, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 1 SB in 569 AB
.315/.426/.588, 43 2B, 35 HR, 119 RBI, 1 SB in 559 AB
Prince isn’t losing anything by moving away from Ryan Braun’s protection with Miguel Cabrera filling that role nicely. He immediately makes Detroit a contender with his arrival, especially since they were already there before he got there. Scary good with the Comerica Park gaps.
4. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
.338/.410/.548, 45 2B, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 1 SB in 630 AB
.327/.422/.553, 39 2B, 33 HR, 124 RBI, 1 SB in 614 AB
Gonzalez will have a full season of a not-God-awful Carl Crawford to drive in, and he’ll be comfortable in Fenway to start the year, so he won’t lose a month of power like he did at the start of 2011.
5. Joey Votto, Reds
.309/.416/.531, 40 2B, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 8 SB in 599 AB
.329/.426/.569, 36 2B, 38 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB in 587 AB
Votto is a very patient hitter in a lineup that lacks patience. He’ll take pitches and lose RBI’s due to guys not getting on around him, and walking about the same number of times that he strikes out. He’s going to step up his production as he heads towards Free Agency after 2013, developing a market for himself early. He’s in a great ballpark, Great American to be exact, to make it happen.
6. Eric Hosmer, Royals
.293/.334/.465, 27 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB in 523 AB
.287/.362/.501, 31 2B, 26 HR, 89 RBI, 14 SB in 598 AB
Hosmer had a strong rookie season and is only going to get better. 2012 will be the first signs of what he is capable of, but his numbers will continue to climb from here. He has power and is athletic enough to continue stealing bases. He could eventually become a Ryan Braun clone at 1B, with fewer stolen bases. I have him high on the list because he showed what he is capable of in the 2nd half of 2011.
7. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
.248/.341/.494, 26 2B, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 4 SB in 589 AB
.253/.339/.513, 28 SB, 35 HR, 103 RBI, 2 SB in 594 AB
Teixeira’s AVG and SLG have fallen significantly in the last several seasons, and his high strikeout rate suddenly screams that he is on the decline, as he can’t keep up with fastballs like he used to. With that being said, he is still mashing. I have a slight bounceback coming, but he isn’t capable of the high averages and power like he used to be.
8. Michael Young, Rangers
.338/.380/.474, 41 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB in 631 AB
.318/.372/.468, 37 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 97 RBI, 5 SB in 639 AB
Young just keeps hitting. He led the league in hits last year and continues showing the ability to be versatile, which has a lot of value in various fantasy formats. Look for more of the same with a solid lineup around him, even as he continues aging. He showed no signs of breaking down last year.
9. Freddie Freeman, Braves
.282/.346/.448, 32 2B, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB in 571 AB
.294/.357/.467, 34 2B, 25 HR, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 584 AB
With a name this bad, you’d think there was no way that he would be a successful baseball player. Maybe a plumber or sales guy…however, Freeman is very young and is a polished hitter. He’s hitting better than previous super-prospect Jason Heyward has to this point, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues to do so in coming years. He may never hit 30-35 homers per season, but he will do more than enough to be an asset in fantasy and for the Braves.
10. Michael Morse, Nationals
.303/.360/.550, 36 2B, 31 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB in 522 AB
.286/.342/.549, 34 2B, 33 HR, 107 RBI, 1 SB in 571 AB
Morse came out of nowhere, kind of, to post very valuable fantasy numbers in 2011. He has tremendous power and a long swing, which still will make his susceptible to slumps and strikeouts. The Nationals are improving around him, though, so he should continue to build value. He will ultimately be a first baseman, but he will patrol left field to open the season. He could move to first if or when Adam LaRoche’s next injury strikes, but he’ll certainly be there by 2013 for good.
11. Billy Butler, Royals
.291/.361/.461, 44 2B, 19 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB in 597 AB
.314/.379/.501, 41 2B, 26 HR, 101 RBI, 1 SB in 599 AB
12. Ike Davis, Mets
.302/.383/.543, 8 2B, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 0 SB in 129 AB
.291/.372/.538, 32 2B, 28 HR, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 586 AB
Davis was headed towards a breakout prior to the ankle injury that he suffered in 2011. Imagine the capabilities in an offense that is relying heavily on him, especially after the fences were moved in. This is the year.
13. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
.301/.412/.547, 23 2B, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 2 SB in 488 AB
.283/.394/.527, 21 2B, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 1 SB in 506 AB
He won’t hit as well with added pressure to perform, but he should maintain health by moving to first. He’s aging, even if he posted a solid season for what seems like the first time in years in 2011, so don’t think he is going to get a whole lot better than last year.
14. Ryan Howard, Phillies
.253/.346/.488, 30 2B, 33 HR, 116 RBI, 1 SB in 557 AB
.247/.339/.479, 23 2B, 26 HR, 82 RBI, 0 SB in 486 AB
Decline City. Major injury + drops in OPS over the last few years = the NL version of Teixeira with a whole lot less to offer. Howard will miss the first month, but he’ll still post solid power numbers. He isn’t a top of the line bat anymore, and he and his teammates are aging quicker than Benjamin Button, only the opposite way.
15. Paul Konerko, White Sox
.300/.388/.517, 25 2B, 31 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB in 543 AB
.309/.392/.524, 28 2B, 33 HR, 110 RBI, 1 SB in 564 AB
There’s no way that Konerko can’t be better in 2011 because Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, and Gordon Beckham will be better around him. He’ll drive in more runs and see more pitches.
16. Mark Reynolds, Orioles
.221/.323/.483, 27 2B, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 6 SB in 534 AB
.232/.331/.489, 26 2B, 39 HR, 91 RBI, 4 SB in 541 AB
17. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
.250/.333/.474, 9 2B, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 4 SB in 156 AB
.259/.341/.510, 28 2B, 25 HR, 84 RBI, 7 SB in 533 AB
18. Yonder Alonso, Padres
.330/.398/.545, 4 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB in 88 AB
.309/.389/.508, 36 2B, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 531 AB
19. Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
.266/.352/.427, 35 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 3 SB in 572 AB
.271/.354/.449, 37 2B, 18 HR, 83 RBI, 2 SB in 576 AB
20. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
.284/.346/.459, 29 2B, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 11 SB in 529 AB
.279/.339/.453, 31 2B, 17 HR, 76 RBI, 8 SB in 559 AB
21. Carlos Lee, Astros
.275/.342/.446, 38 2B, 18 HR, 94 RBI, 4 SB in 585 AB
.271/.341/.439, 36 2B, 21 HR, 89 RBI, 2 SB in 591 AB
22. Justin Morneau, Twins
.227/.285/.333, 16 2B, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 0 SB in 264 AB
.264/.326/.411, 21 2B, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 0 SB in 403 AB
If he stays on the field, he’s still going to have to adjust and be consistent. Chris Parmelee may be the best Twins first baseman to own going forward.
23. Justin Smoak, Mariners
.234/.323/.396, 24 2B, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 0 SB in 427 AB
.271/.359/.489, 31 2B, 22 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB in 568 AB
This is the year, guys! Smoak stays healthy, has help with Montero coming over, and he develops. He’s still just 25!
24. Aubrey Huff, Giants
.246/.306/.370, 27 2B, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 5 SB in 521 AB
.261/.326/.409, 31 2B, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 4 SB in 535 AB
25. Carlos Pena, Rays
.225/.357/.462, 27 2B, 28 HR, 80 RBI, 2 SB in 493 AB
.231/.379/.491, 26 2B, 29 HR, 84 RBI, 2 SB in 519 AB
26. James Loney, Dodgers
.288/.339/.416, 30 2B, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 4 SB in 531 AB
.281/.341/.421, 34 2B, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 3 SB 546 AB
27. Casey Kotchman, Indians
.306/.378/.422, 24 2B, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 2 SB in 500 AB
.311/.386/.441, 31 2B, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 1 SB in 562 AB
28. Adam Lind, Blue Jays
.251/.295/.439, 16 2B, 26 HR, 87 RBI, 1 SB in 499 AB
.255/.310/.441, 18 2B, 29 HR, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 512 AB
29. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
.259/.320/.414, 22 2B, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 2 SB in 464 AB
.265/.329/426, 29 2B, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 3 SB in 520 AB
30. Todd Helton, Rockies
.302/.385/.466, 27 2B, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 0 SB in 421 AB
.294/.376/.459, 24 2B, 13 HR, 67 RBI, 0 SB in 432 AB
Well, we finally made it to the American League. Thanks for your patience and if you’re a Baltimore Orioles fan, I know you have some. Baltimore finished in last place in the AL East for the 4th straight season and completed their season with a 69-93 record, their 14th straight losing season. New management and another rebuilding effort is in the works, as the O’s look for a way to get back to the glory of the…70′s…which seems like forever ago to their fans because it was. Who are the 25-men on the current roster?
2 Catchers: Matt Wieters and Taylor Teagarden
1B: Mark Reynolds
2B: Brian Roberts
3B: Josh Bell
SS: J.J. Hardy
LF: Nolan Reimold
CF: Adam Jones
RF: Nick Markakis
DH: Chris Davis
Bench: Endy Chavez (OF), Robert Andino (INF), Matt Angle (OF)
Starting Pitchers: Jeremy Guthrie, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada
Relief Pitchers: Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Pedro Strop, Troy Patton, Alfredo Simon, Darren O’Day and Brad Bergeson
The O’s didn’t have the success that they hoped to with the young arms that they were stockpiling. Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz have been total flops, while Arrieta and Britton seem to look like solid arms, but not really the top of the rotation guys that all four were hoped to become. Britton still has a shot, though. Adam Jones finally reached his potential last year, and at age 25, he is either someone to build around or someone to deal. It sounds like Dan Duquette is in the middle of deciding what that is going to be. Markakis is solid and average at the same time. J.J. Hardy looks like a great piece to keep until Manny Machado is ready, and the O’s have some talent in the pipeline to look forward to until they matter again. If only they moved to the NL Central, they could contend now.
They should probably look to deal Adam Jones. At 25, Jones is under team control until 2014. He would be an asset for a team that wants to contend. He would fit perfectly in the Braves outfield, they could trade Prado and put Jones or Bourn in LF, and he could get one or two of the Braves arms back in return. But you have to wonder if taking on arms is what the O’s need to do. They’ve added a couple of arms from Asia this offseason in Chen and Wada, basically eliminating rotation spots for Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter and Chris Tillman…if they even wanted them there in the first place…and their system hasn’t had much luck with developing arms. Luckily, the Braves have Minor, Teheran, Delgado and Vizcaino ready. Packaging one of those arms with Edward Salcedo, a highly ranked 3B prospect, would be an excellent package for Jones.
The O’s aren’t going to contend in 2012. They won’t contend for a few more years. They need to come to grips with that and start looking at the next wave of talent. Manny Machado at SS, Dylan and Robert Bundy at starting pitcher, and Jonathan Schoop look like top to above average prospects. Because of their future being two years out, they shouldn’t be starting anyone over 30. No more Derrek Lee’s or Vladimir Guerrero’s, even if they sign on the cheap. This team needs to invest in the draft, international signings, and player development. With the talent in the AL East, they have no choice but to build a little and THEN start signing talent via Free Agency. They have to have more key pieces on the field before they start filing holes. So they should waste their money on signing guys like Edwin Jackson or even spend time checking in on Prince Fielder. Let other teams spend now. Trade Nick Markakis to the Red Sox for Ryan Lavarnway and Anthony Renaudo, even though he is young (28 in 2012), you aren’t going to win with him. J.J. Hardy can help you win some games, but he could also get you a nice return from, say, the Reds, at the trade deadline in 2012 if Zack Cozart doesn’t work out. Trade Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Roberts to the Rockies for Seth Smith and Hector Gomez, giving the Rockies the solid arm they need to contend now, while the O’s get a spot for a young arm to try to prove themselves again.
There are a lot of things that the Orioles can do in 2012, but winning isn’t one of them. They have an interesting lineup with Jones, Markakis, Reimold, Hardy and Wieters, but they just don’t have enough consistency out of those guys to win, plus the pitching is just as questionable. Wada is a Japanese clone of Jamie Moyer, hitting 87-88 with his fastball. Chen can throw some heat, but he also has had some shoulder issues. We know that their young arms haven’t been consistent…or good…as Tillman and Matusz have been busts. But they are young enough to keep getting chances, especially when your team isn’t going to be good.
If you trade Jones, Markakis and Guthrie, it makes for an ugly roster, but after going 69-93 with them and not seeing an end to the losing with four solid teams in front of you in the AL East, you’ve got nothing to lose. Matt Angle, Reimold, Smith, and Endy Chavez would be your outfielders. You’ve got a 2B of the future in Gomez on the way (he spent all of 2011 in Double-A), with Machado coming up at SS, and Schoop at 3B. Lavarnway can play 1B or DH, Reimold could do the same thing. Draft college players early, high ceiling guys later, maybe get in on Yoennis Cespedes, the CF from Cuba and get him now. Why not? He’s someone to plug-in now. How would that change the roster for 2012:
2 Catchers: Matt Wieters and Taylor Teagarden
1B: Nolan Reimold
2B: Ryan Adams (.284/.341/.454, 28 2B, 10 HR in 94 games at Triple-A in ’11)
3B: Mark Reynolds
SS: J.J. Hardy
LF: Seth Smith
CF: Yoennis Cespedes
RF: Endy Chavez
DH: Ryan Lavarnway
Bench: Robert Andino (INF), Matt Angle (OF) and Chris Davis (1B/3B)
Starting Pitching: Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Chen/Wada (whoever looks best in Spring)
Relief Pitchers: Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Pedro Strop, Troy Patton, Alfredo Simon, Darren O’Day and Brad Bergeson
The fake deals that I made would make Hector Gomez (2B in 2013?), Anthony Renaudo (#3 pitcher in 2013?), Randall Delgado/Arodys Vizcaino/Mike Minor (#2 pitcher in 2013?), and Edward Salcedo (3B in 2014) a part of the organization. They’re solid guys who could force the O’s to move other players around, like Schoop to 2B or Salcedo to 1B (as his defense is still weak/raw). It is all made up and some of the deals may not be possible, but it is worth a shot. The O’s won’t win again until they build from within to create their own talent. See the Blue Jays, Rangers and Rays for current examples of this type of development.