Results tagged ‘ National Fantasy Baseball Championship ’
In January the Cubs traded Andrew Cashner and another minor leaguer to San Diego for 22 year old first baseman Anthony Rizzo. It’s the third time that Chicago GM Jed Hoyer has acquired Rizzo. Hoyer was part of the Red Sox organization in 2007 when Rizzo was originally drafted in the June amateur draft. Then as GM of the Padres he received Rizzo as part of the trade package that sent Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego to Boston. And now of course he traded with the Padres to bring Rizzo to Chicago. I think it would be fair to say that Hoyer and the Cubs believe Rizzo is Chicago’s first baseman of the future. The question is however; Is the Cubs first baseman of the future already here?
In January of 2010, Jim Hendry made a little noticed signing of minor leaguer Bryan LaHair. LaHair had played 6 seasons in the Seattle Mariners system and was granted free agency after only making it up to the major league club once (2008) during his career. Bryan was sent to Iowa where he would play with the AAA Cubs for the 2010 season. Although LaHair had some previous minor league success, 2010 was his best season to date when he hit .308 with 25 HR’s.
I don’t know what hopes Bryan had of starting for the Cubs as their first baseman in 2011 after Derrek Lee was traded to Atlanta in August of 2010, but those hopes were dashed after the Cubs signed Carlos Pena to a 1yr/$10M contract in December that fall.
Last season LaHair was sent back to AAA Iowa where he again feasted on Pacific Coast League pitching. Bryan hit .331 with 38 HR’s and 109 RBI in 129 games. That performance won LaHair the PCL Most Valuable Player Award and a September call-up with the Cubs. In 16 starts, 14 of which were in the outfield, LaHair hit .288 with 2 HR’s. It wasn’t a headline grabbing debut, but with the Cubs 25 games out of first place, no one on the Cubs was making headlines.
Now comes 2012. Derrek Lee is long gone, Carlos Pena was not resigned and has left for Tampa, and Tyler Colvin was traded away to Colorado. So first base looks to be wide open for LaHair this year. This summer will be his best shot at a fulltime starting job. And at age 29, it could be his last shot.
Read my other positional reviews here……..
One is my prediction for LA outfielder Matt Kemp, the other is my prediction for the Cubs outfield trio of Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and David DeJesus. I’ll let you guess which is which. Ouch!!!
Rice, Lynn, and Evans…this outfield is not……………
I know the Cubs have a new manager to go along with new management, but other than DeJesus, they have the same players. Not that that is Epstein and Hoyer’s fault.
No one is gonna take Soriano and the $56M he is owed off the Cubs hands. And if they aren’t going to contend this year, which they won’t; there is no reason to get rid of Byrd now on the last year of a very reasonable $6.5M contract. I don’t expect Byrd to be around all year though. His play, his contract, and most importantly his leadership almost demand that a team in contention come calling for his services around July 1st. And I expect Hoyer to make that trade and free up center field for the last three months of the season to Brett Jackson.
David DeJesus was a fine signing for the price (2yr/$8.5M), just don’t expect the stats he had with KC. At the age of 32, his speed has dropped off (just 7 total SB’s in ‘10-’11) and his average against left-handed pitchers took a nose dive last year (.174). I think you can expect to see Reed Johnson (.305 vs LHP) start in place of DeJesus every time there is a lefty on the mound.
Barring an injury, you can expect to see Soriano start 140 games in left for the Cubs. I know the thought of that turns some people’s stomach, but the truth is……..he’s your best hitting outfielder folks. The last two seasons he has hit an average of 25HR’s and 84RBI’s with a respectable .251 average. He’s not Billy Williams, but he’s not Gene Clines either.
So as I said, don’t think Rice/Lynn/Evans with this crew.
This post is about fantasy baseball.
I wanted to get that out of the way right from the start. I know that among baseball fans, the topic of fantasy baseball can be just as dividing as the DH, inter-league play, and ketchup on hotdogs.
I love playing fantasy baseball and have been in one league or another for over 20 years. The past 5 years I have been participating in a high stakes event, The National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC).
Each March baseball fans from around the country gather into several regional locations to take part in one large Main Event. It’s a contest comprised of some of the best fantasy players in the country with the season ending winner taking home the national trophy…… and oh yeah, $100,000.
Last years Main Event winner, Lindy Hinkelman, won the contest for the second time in three years. He received quite a bit of publicity back in October. Here is just one of the many stories posted by the NY Times and other publications about his win.
But the NFBC doesn’t just have high stake events, they also run what they call satellite and slow draft leagues which start at much lower price points. And believe it or not, some of those leagues have already started. In fact the first league started just one week after the last pitch of the 2011 regular season.
I started my first league last week. It’s a 15-team mixed league 5×5 draft. The draft takes place online and each participant gets up to 8 hours to make a pick. We are currently in round 14 after 8 days.
I had the first pick in round 1. I thought I would post the entire first round to give people an idea of how the 2012 fantasy baseball season is starting to shape up.
Pick 1: Albert Pujols – This was my pick. Albert has been the overall number 1 fantasy player for a decade. Yes he is getting older, yes he is changing teams and leagues. But no one has been more consistent, and until the day he actually stops producing huge numbers, he is number 1.
Pick 2: Matt Kemp- Kemp is just 27 years old. He was one HR short of a 40/40 season. The only thing that kept him out of the number slot is the lack of consistency and his position, OF.
Pick 3: Miguel Cabrera- Another first baseman that is rock solid for a 35+HR/ .320+ BA season.
Pick 4: Adrian Gonzalez- Getting a premium first baseman is a must, and so the fourth pick in the draft is the 3rd first baseman to go. As expected last year, power dropped a little in BOS but the average went up.
Pick 5: Jacoby Ellsbury- Last year went 30/30 and probably would have won the MVP award if not for Boston’s September collapse.
Pick 6: Jose Bautista- Qualifies at the very thin 3B position. 97 HR’s the last two years and even bumped his average up to .302
Pick 7: Joey Votto- Another quality 1B goes off the boards.
Pick 8: Troy Tulowitzki- The best hitting SS in the game. Has yet to put up back-to-back 500+ at-bat seasons.
Pick 9: Dustin Pedroia- Solid second baseman, SB’s moved back up last year, went ahead of Cano in this draft, but usually is 2nd second baseman taken.
Pick 10: Justin Verlander- First pitcher taken off the board. Verlander was all-everything last year. Can he repeat?
Pick 11: Carlos Gonzalez- A wrist injury hurt his power late last year. A full season of AB’s, good power, good speed, and Coors Field make this guy an easy 1st rounder.
Pick 12: Robinson Cano- He has returned first round value two years in a row. I see no reason that will change this year.
Pick 13: Clayton Kershaw- Last years NL Cy Young Award winner. Kershaw is young, pitches in a great pitchers park, strikes hitters out, and he is still improving.
Pick 14: Curtis Granderson- Last year he went 41HR/119RBI/25SB/136Runs, the only thing keeping Granderson out of the top 3 this year is his .262 average.
Pick 15: Roy Halladay- He’s really good. He absolutely dominates your ERA and WHiP categories with a consistent 230+ innings each year, he pitches for a winning team and best of all he’s Really Really Good.
So there you have it, an early look at Fantasy Baseball’s first round players.
Now that Ryan Braun has won his appeal against MLB, he is a top 4 player without doubt. Go ahead and put him down for a minimum 25/25 season.