Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Great Article

Came across this article by David Ferris (Buller???) which talks about some players and their forecast for the 2012 season...


Ian Stewart, 3B, Cubs: The Rockies jerked him in and out of the lineup, the whims of Jim Tracy. The Cubs insist that Stewart will play every day, against all kinds of pitching. It's too early to say if Stewart can really handle left-handers -- he hasn't been given the opportunity. Here are the cheapest 25-30 homers you'll find on the board.

Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers: He's working with the best base-running coach in the majors (Davey Lopes), and that has us dreaming of a 50-60 steal breakout. Don Mattingly has already decided on Gordon as the leadoff man; the young shortstop earned that position with a monster September (.372, 21 runs, 12 steals). You won't get any pop from Gordon, but those stole bases are hard to look away from.

Brennan Boesch, OF, Tigers: He's going to open the year in the No. 2 slot in Detroit -- the catbird seat -- working in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Boesch would have ended the 2011 season with shiny stats if not for a thumb problem that ruined his season in August. There's a screen here, take advantage.

Jason Heyward, OF, Braves: Easy profit is coming here as we play the "last year's bum" card. Heyward had a bad shoulder in 2011, not to mention a poor rapport with former batting coach Larry Parrish. If Heyward's body cooperates, you'll see a much different player in 2012. You'll pay for him as your third outfielder, but he has a shot to be the No. 1 man on your depth chart when the counting's all done.


Carl Crawford, OF, Red Sox: He's a poor fit for Fenway Park and for the Red Sox in particular -- the lineup is already lefty-filled -- and now there's a wrist problem to deal with. Pay for 120-130 games at most when it comes to Crawford, and if you don't get him, you don't get him. His stolen-base total is no sure thing to rebound, because the Red Sox might have to slot Crawford in the middle of the lineup again.

Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Mariners: Last year was a washout as he struggled with a stomach problem. He was given a clean bill of health as camp opened, but it didn't last long; a pectoral injury has him likely to miss the first month of the season. Gutierrez looked like a sneaky power-and-speed sleeper a few weeks back, but now we can't take him seriously. Good luck with Casper Wells and Michael Saunders, Seattle.

Holding Steady

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Marines: His .272 batting average last year was one of the flukes of the season. Ichiro's BABIP dropped by 58 points despite a drop in strikeouts and a small gain in line-drive rate; that BABIP move doesn't pass the smell test. We're not saying you can still peg on Ichiro to challenge for a batting title, but he should be around .300. There's nothing wrong with his wheels either -- you can still pay for 30 bases -- and his overall run-production stats should be better now that he's Seattle's No. 3 hitter. You won't make a major profit here, but he'll earn more than what he costs.

Marco Scutaro, 2B/SS, Rockies: It's all about the batting slot with this veteran. If he lands in the No. 2 position in Colorado, go get him. He's a solid utility middle or first infielder off the bench in most mixed leagues. But, if Scutaro is forced to bat seventh or eighth -- the death sentence in the NL -- forget we had this conversation.

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