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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

My Fantasy Baseball Team 

It's a slow day so I thought I'd bore you all with my fantasy baseball team. I'm in a 10 team Yahoo head-to-head league, consisting mostly of a bunch of old high school buddies. Head-to-head is fun, as it makes for a lot of trash talking and strategy comes into play when deciding whether or not to play or sit pitchers toward the end of the week. It's pretty high maintenance compared to rotisserie style though. And with 40 moves and unlimited trades the league really favors those that add and drop players to play the hot hand as opposed to those who draft a good team, plug them in, and try to ride them out. I had the seventh pick in the draft.

Bats

C: Jason Phillips/Matt LeCroy

I missed out on the Big Three Ps - Piazza, Pudge and Posada - but I think I have my bases, or my home plate, covered with Phillips and LeCroy. Who cares if neither of them actually catch much this season. The less they catch, the fresher their bats will be. If Phillips can build on his rookie season, 15-20 HRs with a near .300 average is not a stretch at all. In limited playing time LeCroy belted 17 HRs in only 345 ABs. I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of these catchers puts up better numbers than Javy Lopez who someone in my league took in the third round as the first catcher drafted.

1B: Phil Nevin/Rafael Palmeiro

Not psyched about these two at all. I don't know what happened in the draft but I left to refill my Jack and Coke and when I got back all the first basemen were gone. I was really hoping to get Derek Lee or Richie Sexson. I think Palmeiro, out of the friendly confines of Arlington, is going to have an awful season. His numbers have been declining the past few years in one of the best hitter's parks in the AL. Nevin has the potential to be a fantasy stud but he can't keep himself healthy. His 2001 season of 41/126/.306 seems like ages ago. He already reaggravated his shoulder injury from last season in spring training so I'm not too optimistic. I might hold onto Nevin because of his great upside but I'd really like to replace Palmeiro and his big hard bats.

2B: Alfonso Soriano

While the last thing I want the Mets to do is trade a top prospect for Soriano to plug up their right field hole, that doesn't mean that I don't think he's going to have a monster year for Texas. The last two years Soriano has had a 1.409 and 1.533 OPS in Arlington. This may be a sign of great things to come from Soriano this year.

SS: Angel Berroa

Like the catcher position, the big guns went quick and I was left hanging. No A-Rod, Nomar or Tejeda. At that point I waited because I just didn't see much difference in fantasy value between Jeter, Renteria, Cabrera, Furcal, Berroa, Reyes, Matsui, and Cintron. I like Berroa. I see him as Reyes without the injury issues.

3B: Eric Chavez

Rolen was the first third basemen drafted, which left good candidates in Blalock and Lowell. Blalock's atrocious home/road splits will kill you in head to head (.342/.260) and Lowell hitting only 4 HRs after the All Star break is not too encouraging.

RF: Maglio Ordonez

There are not many better all around, consistent hitter than Maglio Ordonez. He's accumulated over 500 ABs every year since his rookie season, never Kd more than 73 times, takes his share of walks, and is a virtual lock for at least 30 HRs and 100 RBI. Along with all this, his numbers are basically the same at home versus on the road (lifetime .307 home vs. .308 on the road) and against righties and lefties (lifetimes .308 against lefties vs. .307 against righties). Talk about a model of consistency. You plug him in and forget about him.

CF: Carlos Beltran

Beltran fell in my lap in the sixth round! The only reason I can think of why this happened is that both Brian Giles and Garrett Anderson will be playing CF this year and will qualify at the position in Yahoo after they play something like 9 straight games at CF. Jim Edmonds and Vernon Wells were also drafted before Beltran. At 27 years old, playing half in games in Kauffman Stadium, in his walk year - I'm hoping I got the steal of the draft.

LF: Cliff Floyd

When healthy Floyd puts up damn good numbers. Even last year playing on one leg, he hit 18 HRs, had 68 RBI and posted .290/.376/.518 in 365 at bats in a Mets line-up that offered no protection. If he can stay healthy hitting behind Reyes, Matsui and Piazza, there's no reason he can't put up 30/100/.300.

Reserve: Edgar Martinez

Old but productive. The guy hasn't posted an OBP below .400 since 1994. Is that a typo?

Reserve: Carl Everett

Everett qualifies for all three outfield positions and may thrive flying under the radar in a city where English is the second language and in a great hitters park.

Reserve: Jose Cruz

I'm hoping Sweet Lou gives Cruz the sweet stolen base green light. I may drop him for pitching. Brett Myers is still in the scrub pile.

Reserve: Pat Burrell

Last year was a fluke right? I'm still bitter as I drafted Pat the Bat pretty high last year and waited too long for him to come around. I'll leave him on my bench to see what he does.

Starting Pitchers

Roy Halladay

I took Halladay as my number one overall pick after Pujols, A-Rod, Helton, Bonds, Prior and Manny were already taken. I guess I could of taken Pedro, Schilling, the Unit or Schmidt, but Halladay seems like the safest bet to me. He logs a lot of innings. Gets great run support. Strikes a lot of guys out. And posts very good ERA and WHIP. Plus he adds some sentimental value. Last year after he got off to an awful start (0 and 2 in 5 games started with a near 5.00 ERA) someone in my league dropped him in the scrub pile. Like a vulcher I swooped in, picked him up, and Halladay didn't lose again for another three and a half months! Oh, and of course I reminded the guy that dropped him after each win. "That's 8 wins in a row." That's 9." "That's 11" Etc...

Roy Oswalt

Despite all the hype of the Astros pitching staff, does anyone really doubt that Oswalt is the ace of this staff? When he's healthy he's a top five pitcher. With a groin injury last year that limited him to 127 innings, he still struck out 108 while only walking 29. The little guy is nasty.

Johan Santana

Left handed Pedro minus the big mouth. Santana will be in the AL Cy Young hunt this year.

Rich Harden

Harden showed signs of greatness last year. Hopefully as the A's fourth or fifth starter he'll get some favorable matchups.

Matt Clement and Carlos Zambrano

Innings pitched, complete games and complete game shutouts are pitching categories in our league. Go get em Dusty!

Jeff Weaver

Another player I'll stick on my bench until he shows me he does not suck. Hopefully Dodger Stadium will help him rebound. The lack of run support from the Dodger's line-up will annoy me, as our league counts wins and losses, and will also annoy cry baby Weaver.

Closers

Troy Percival and Arthur Rhodes

I missed out on the Gagnes and Wagners, but I'm hoping Percival has some saves left in his tank and with a good Angels line-up and solid starting staff, he should get his share of save opportunities. As for Rhodes, I think Billy Bean as a some kind of machine that he sends average pitchers into and they come out 30 save closers.
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