Archive for January 31, 2009

Quik Hit: Kelly Johnson

At 2B, Kelly Johnson has proven to be a solid option for fantasy owners, though far from the top tier of players available to you.  Let’s take a look at the numbers before we get into all of the details:

547 At Bats
.287 Batting Average (157 Hits)
12 Home Runs
69 RBI
86 Runs
11 Stolen Bases
.349 On Base Percentage
.446 Slugging Percentage
.344 Batting Average on Balls in Play

When I’m looking for a 2B, I’m looking for him to give me something, be it power, speed or runs scored.  While Johnson gives you numbers in all three, he doesn’t give you elite numbers anywhere.  That certainly is a problem.

He’s never going to be among the top power options, he’s just never shown that type of potential at any level.  Yes, he hit 23 HR in Single A in 2001, but that is the only time he’s ever hit more then 17 in a season.  At 27-years old, I’m sure people are going to be hoping that he suddenly has a power burst, but I’d like to see something in the numbers that would indicate that. Read more

Is Samardzija Worth Watching?

There’s a lot of talk as to which role would best fit the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija.  Should he be stretched out for the rotation?  Is he best suited to be a power arm at the back of the bullpen?

As probably the favorite in the NL Central, you’d think the Cubs rotation was pretty well set, meaning the team would be better off utilizing his talents in the bullpen.  He was successful there last season after his recall, posting an ERA of 2.28 over 27.2 innings.

The thing is, those numbers are a little bit skewed.  He was nearly unhittable in August, giving up just 10 hits and 0 earned runs over 14.1 innings pitched.  He then struggled a bit in September, posting an ERA of 5.40 over 8.1 innings.  He allowed 10 runs, though only 5 were earned.  It wasn’t just one or two bad outing either, giving up runs in 5 of his 10 appearances.

The Cubs also seem to be pretty set at the back of their bullpen, even with the departure of Kerry Wood.  Carlos Marmol has established himself as one of the best late inning pitchers in the game, and the team also imported Marlins closer Kevin Gregg to help replace Wood.

There are some question marks after that, but that’s a very good start.  As for the rotation?  It is no perfect situation either. Read more

Quick Hit: Carl Crawford

One of the players people had questions after the OF Rankings were posted was Carl Crawford, and rightfully so.  Here is a player that in years prior has been considered a borderline first round pick.  Last year he struggled with injuries, tumbling down draft boards a bit as we head into 2009.  Let’s take a look at his numbers:

443 At Bats
.273 Batting Average (121 Hits)
8 Home Runs
57 RBI
69 Runs
25 Stolen Bases
.319 On Base Percentage
.400 Slugging Percentage
.301 Batting Average on Balls in Play

The first thing to discuss is the stolen bases.  After stealing at least 46 bases each of the 5 previous seasons (4 of those at 50 or above), he just wasn’t running as much as in years past.  At 27 years old, did he simply lose his speed?  Come on, I’m not buying it.  A drop in OBP (which goes with the decrease in average I’m going to touch on in a minute) obviously played a role in the number of chances he had to run. Read more

Ask the Expert: Colorado Rockies

This week, I had the opportunity to pose five questions to The Denver Post’s Troy Renck in the latest Ask the Expert.  He shed some light on many of the intriguing questions surrounding the team, like the closer’s role, if Troy Tulowitzki will rebound and who will emerge as the team’s ace.  It is some great insight into a team that we all have questions about heading into our fantasy drafts.

To read more from Renck, you can check out his blog by clicking here.  Now, without further adieu, let’s take a look at what he had to say:

1) The Rockies have a pair of top quality OF prospects in Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler.  How much playing time do you see them receiving in 2009 and how do you see them producing?

Troy Renck: Dexter Fowler has enjoyed a terrific winter, adding muscle that could help make him a factor sooner rather than later. He is the Rockies’ top prospect, but skipped Triple-A so he’s probably going to need more offensive seasoning. I see him in the big leagues by July. Carlos Gonzalez will be there sooner. If he shows better strike zone discipline, he will compete for the starting left field job in spring traning with Seth Smith. He oozes confidence. The issue is whether he can correct his offensive approach in spring or need time in Colorado Springs. Read more

Teahen to 2B? Who Cares…

Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star has reported that the Royals will be trying Mark Teahen out at 2B this spring, marking the third straight season that he’s going to be learning a new position.  Will he be successful there?  Who knows, though it doesn’t seem likely.  The battle is wide open, with the other candidates including Alberto Callaspo and Willie Bloomquist, far from top-notch options, so I guess who really knows.

After 2006, when Teahen hit 11 HR after the All-Star Break, fantasy owners have been waiting for him to turn the corner and become a viable option.  The problem is he just has not shown the type of power that owners covet from a 3B or OF, with just 22 HR over the past 2 seasons.  He showed flashes in the first half last season, with 10 HR, before regressing back with just 5 in the second half.

How does that translate as a 2B?  Well, he’s not going to be among the elite, that’s for sure.  Last season there were 8 players eligible at 2B who hit more then Teahen’s 15, with Rickie Weeks and Robinson Cano falling just short at 14 apiece.  The number looks better, but he still isn’t going to give you an edge there, assuming he continues on his current path.  I know, he’ll be 27-years old this season, but outside of ’06 what has shown us to believe he’s going to be a big source of power?  His career high was in 2006, with 18 HR in the majors and another 2 at Triple A.  It would appear that 18-20 is his ceiling, and one that I wouldn’t count on him reaching. Read more

2009 Outfield Rankings: #1-20

On Tuesday we took a look at the Outfielders who I ranked #21-40, so today let’s take a look at who made the Top 20.  I don’t think there are any major surprises as to who is in this group, but what do you think?  Is there someone else that you feel should be included here?  Share your thoughts in the comments, but for now, let’s take a look at my thoughts:

  1. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Grady Sizemore – Cleveland Indians
  3. Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
  4. Carlos Beltran – New York Mets
  5. Alfonso Soriano – Chicago Cubs
  6. Matt Holliday – Colorado Rockies
  7. Manny Ramirez – Free Agent
  8. B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays
  9. Carlos Lee – Houston Astros
  10. Alex Rios – Toronto Blue Jays Read more