Monday, February 18, 2008

2nd Base rankings

Here are my 2nd Base rankings:

(Please note that I didn't rank B.J. Upton...he is eligible in most fantasy leagues at 2nd, but I'm only ranking the potential starters for each team)

This list vs. others:

Name-Mine--> ESPN
Brian Roberts- 7-->4
Dan Uggla- 4-->7
Polanco- 5-->11
Jeff Kent-16-->9
Jose Lopez- 17-->25

1) Chase Utley, Phillies

Utley is the consensus #1 second baseman, and for good reason. He’s got great stats, plays in a great hitters park, and has a great lineup. There’s no reason for him not to be the first second baseman taken.

Prediction: 127 runs, 28 HRs, 115 RBIs, 14 SBs, .317 AVG

2) Brandon Phillips, Reds

Phillips had a huge break out year last year, and he more than doubled his career HRs. However, expect him to regress a little, as evidence in his slight slip in September. Even with a little bit of a regression, he’s still going to give you great stats, especially for a second baseman.

Prediction: 92 runs, 26 HRs, 88 RBIs, 26 SBs, .279 AVG

3) Robinson Cano, Yankees

Cano is a 4 category stud that gets a lot of help from the potent Yankees lineup. Expect him to improve on his overall numbers from last year, especially considering he hit over .340 after the break in ’07.

Prediction: 95 runs, 18 HRs, 102 RBIs, 4 SBs, .321 AVG

4) Dan Uggla, Marlins

All of Uggla’s numbers other than his average have been very good the last two years, and he’s entering his 3rd year in the league as well as his prime. However, there’s no more Miguel Cabrera backing him up, so expect for his runs to go down while the rest of his numbers go up.

Prediction: 92 runs, 34 HRs, 92 RBIs, 3 SBs, .262 AVG

5) Placido Polanco, Tigers

Polanco’s another player whose numbers will go up due to a better lineup. With the addition of Cabrera and Renteria, he’ll have Sheffield, Ordonez, and Cabrera knocking him in all year, and Pudge/ Granderson batting in front of him, his “counting stats” will sky rocket, to go along with his great average.

Prediction: 110 runs, 7 HRs, 78 RBIs, 5 SBs, .327 AVG.

6) Ian Kinsler, Rangers

Kinsler’s another player that’s entering his prime and could surprise some people. He’ll give you some decent power numbers.

Prediction: 99 runs, 24 HRs, 67 RBIs, 22 SBs, .271 AVG

7) Brian Roberts, Orioles

Roberts, who happened to be in the Mitchell Report, had a breakout year in ’05, but hasn’t come even close to those numbers since. The Orioles are going younger this year, so don’t expect him to be able to do it this year. He had 50 SBs last season, but don’t expect the 30 year old to even reach the 40 level this year.

Prediction: 92 runs, 11 HRs, 53 RBIs, 37 SBs, .285 AVG

8) Aaron Hill, Blue Jays

Hill had a huge spike in numbers last year, and expect them to stay up, especially after batting over .400 in September. He turns 26 in March, so look out.

Prediction: 92 runs, 21 HRs, 86 RBIs, 4 SBs, .291 AVG

9) Kelly Johnson, Braves

Johnson missed all of ‘06 with an elbow injury, but he bounced back nicely in ’07. Johnson batted in the one whole for the majority of the year, but look for him to drop to #8 in ’08. His runs will suffer.

Prediction: 78 runs, 16 HRs, 72 RBIs, 12 SBs, .284 AVG

10) Freddy Sanchez, Pirates

Sanchez, who signed an extension in the off-season, could see an increase in his RBIs this year if Jason Bay can come back and the rest of the lineup can emerge like I think it will. Solid fantasy starter here.

Prediction: 87 runs, 9 HRs, 82 RBIs, 1 SB, .317 AVG

11) Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians

Cabrera came up for the Indians mid year and helped them make their push into the ALCS. Cabrera will be hitting in the 2 whole for most of the year in front of two of the best hitters in the game, Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Expect him to get a ton of runs, and RBIs for that matter with Grady Sizemore hitting in front of him.

Prediction: 92 runs, 7 HRs, 75 RBIs, 1 SB, .278 AVG

12) Howie Kendrick, Angels

Kendrick has yet to play a full season, mostly due to injury. He’s had some good stats, but it’s still a question of if he can remain injury free. His value will go up if you are in a keeper league.

Prediction: 87 runs, 7 HRs, 72 RBIs, 11 SBs, .315 AVG

13) Rickie Weeks, Brewers

Weeks has been one of the most annoying players for fantasy owners since his rookie 2005 season. It seems like every year he’s hurt in some capacity, and it has affected his potential numbers. There will be other productive second baseman this year, and definitely some with better value, so I would not take him unless you want to deal with whether or not you should start him all year, and if he’s even going to play.

Prediction 92 runs, 17 HRs, 42 RBIs, 28 SBs, .254 AVG.

14)Mark Ellis, A’s

Part of the A’s lineup was traded away in the off season, so expect Ellis’ team related stats to go down.

Prediction: 74 runs, 21 HRs, 69 RBIs, 7 SBs, .269 AVG

15) Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

Pedroia came up big for the Red Sox last year in his rookie season. Pedroia was consistent most of the year, and if he can improve on the putrid .182 he hit in April, look for him to improve. However, he is due for the “sophomore slump”, and I don’t think he’ll match the numbers he had last year, unless he can improve on the .263 he hit with RISP, and .241 with RISP and 2 outs.

Prediction: 88 runs, 7 HRs, 58 RBIs, 8 SBs, .309 AVG

16) Jeff Kent, Dodgers

Kent is getting old, and his numbers are stating to slip. Look for them to drop a lot more sharply this year, even after a second half in which he raised his average 58 points. He’ll still get you solid stats, but don’t expect him to be a top 10 second baseman as some say he will be-40 is just too old.

Prediction: 69 runs, 13 HRs, 70 RBIs, 0 SBs, .285 AVG

17) Jose Lopez, Mariners

Lopez is entering his 3rd season as a 24 year old, and looks like a possible sleeper pick. He’ll score a decent amount of runs hitting in front of Ichiro and Jose Vidro, but he won’t get that many RBI opportunities. What it may come down to is which Jose Lopez shows up- the one that had a .284 AVG and 8 HRs in the first half, or the one who hit .213 with 3 in the second half. I expect him to stay consistent this year.

Prediction: 75 runs, 13 HRs, 68 RBIs, 1 SB, .275 AVG.

18) Orlando Hudson, D’Backs

Hudson has been an average 2B for the last few years, and don’t expect that to change. He’s not going to save your season, but he won’t kill it either.

Prediction: 64 runs, 11 HRs, 62 RBIs, 8 SBs, .292 AVG

19) Brendan Harris, Twins

It looks like Harris is going to start for the Twins at second this year. I believe the Rays lineup is better top to bottom, where he was last year, than the Twins, but expect Harris’s RBIs to go up do to who’s hitting in front of him. He batted .256 after the break and all of his numbers dropped, however.

Prediction: 74 runs, 11 HRs, 67 RBIs, 3 SBs, .279 AVG

20) Akinori Iwamura, Rays

Iwamura came to the Rays last year and put up decent stats. Look for his runs to go up even more, with Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena hitting behind him. Also look for his RBIs up, as the bottom of the Rays lineup continues to improve.

Prediction: 94 runs, 9 HRs, 47 RBIs, 15 SBs, .279 AVG

21) Luis Castillo, Mets

One of Castillo’s best fantasy stats has been his SBs, but he’s not getting any younger, and turns 33 at the end of the year.

Prediction: 83 runs, 1 HR, 35 RBIs, 15 SBs, .297 AVG

22) Mark Derosa, Cubs

Derosa’s getting up there in age, but you can still expect him to produce at about the same rate as last year, especially with the Cubs lineup. It doesn’t look like there are any younger prospects coming up to take his spots, so he should still get his ABs.

Prediction: 66 runs, 9 HRs, 69 RBIs, 1 SB, .289 AVG

23) Mark Grudzielanek, Royals

Grudzielanek has had solid stats the last years, but nothing special. He’s a good backup second baseman in a deep league that won’t hurt you in any categories when you need him to start, but won’t necessarily help you either.

Prediction: 78 runs. 5 HRs, 49 RBIs, 4 SBs, .297 AVG

24) Ronnie Belliard, Nationals

Belliard will give you solid numbers, but nothing special. He hits in a horrible hitters park, but he still managed to hit 11 out last year.

Prediction: 55 runs, 10 HRs, 62 RBIs, 2 SBs, .282 AVG

25) Kazuo Matsui, Astros

Matsui, who signed a 3 year contract with the Astros in the off-season, will possibly have even more protection than he did in Colorado with Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee behind him. However, Matsui’s numbers away from Coors are horrible. Do not draft him unless you desperately need the SBs.

Prediction: 65 runs, 1 HR, 25 RBIs, 27 SBs, .267 AVG

26)Danny Richar, White Sox

Richar came up to the majors midway through last season, and Ozzie Guillen has said that he thinks Richar can make an immediate impact in the majors. If he wins the spot, which he’s the odds on favorite to do, I agree that he’ll make an impact for the White Sox, but not necessarily for your fantasy team.

Prediction: 68 runs, 14 HRs, 35 RBIs, 2 SBs, .255 AVG

Players to avoid:
Jayson Nix, Rockies

Nix looks to be the starting second baseman for the Rockies, but don’t expect him to be your starting baseman. He had decent stats in AAA last year, but nothing to be overly impressed with.

Tadahito Iguchi, Padres
Iguchi came over from the Phillies in the off season, and I see his numbers dropping- he’s going to be in a worse lineup, a much tougher pitchers division, and a worse hitter’s parks. His numbers dropped off a ton as it is in ’07 from ’06, so I wouldn’t waste a pick on him.

Ray Durham, Giants.
Durham’s getting old, the Giants lineup is worse than it was last year, his stats from last year weren’t that good as it is. Why bother with him?

Brendan Ryan/ Adam Kennedy, Cardinals
Look for LaRussa to platoon the two players at second, along with possibly Aaron Miles. Ryan would have been a decent sleeper pick if not for LaRussa loving his veterans.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Preseason 1st Base Rankings

My list of catcher didn’t post the way I wanted it to, so I’m not going to include stats in my first baseman rankings. However, if you’d like the numbers, email me…..Anyways, to the list…

This list vs. others
Derrek Lee-->3rd, ESPN-->10th
Adrian Gonzalez-->6th, ESPN-->11th
Ryan Howard-->5th, ESPN-->2nd
Richie Sexson-->12th, ESPN-->26th
Joey Votto-->14th, ESPN-->22
Albert Pujols-->avoid, ESPN--> first

Strategy for picking first baseman:

There are 8 elite first baseman, and after that you can pick and choose the order. Try to grab one of the first 8 if you can.

1) Mark Teixeira, Braves

Teixeira’s numbers have gone down since his breakout year in ’05, but expect him to reverse that trend in his first full year as a Brave. He has a solid lineup around him, and he ended very strong last year, ending with 10 HRs, 32 RBIs, and a .315 AVG in August, and 7 HRs, 24 RBIs, and a .320 AVG in September. Expect him to get his numbers to jump from where they’ve been the last 2 years.

Prediction: 159 games, 102 runs, 41 HRs, 123 RBIs, 1 SB, .310 AVG

2) Prince Fielder, Brewers

Fielder had a huge jump in his numbers last year, and if it wasn’t for the potential in the rest of the lineup, I wouldn’t see him matching what he did last year. I don’t see any way in Hell he hits 50 again, but I think the rest of his stats should be about the same. He’ll produce as the 2nd best first baseman for the year.

Prediction: 159 games, 107 runs, 43 HRs, 112 RBIs, .282 AVG

3) Derrek Lee, Cubs

Lee’s September numbers were amazing-7 HRs, .365 average. Expect him to build off of that, and produce a top 5 ranking. With the lineup the Cubs are going to throw out there, Lee will have a ton of protection.

Prediction: 152 games, 107 runs, 35 HRs, 92 RBIs, 5 SBs, .323 AVG

4) Justin Morneau, Twins

Morneau, who turns 27 in May, is one of the many first basemen entering his prime. Without Santana, the Twins offense is going to have to step up. They’ll have a decent amount of pop, and look for Morneau to increase all phases of his stats. He only batted .243 in the second half, but look for him to rebound nicely and have a career year in ’08.

Prediction: 157 games, 99 runs, 36 HRs, 135 RBIs, .319 AVG

5) Ryan Howard, Phillies

Howard has been in arbitration talks all off season, and I look for him to get off to a slow start, and then come out blazing. He won’t match his stats from last year or ’06, but after about mid-May, look for him to put up the best stats in the league the rest of the year. This would be a good candidate to try to get off of an impatient owner.

Prediction: 148 games, 89 runs, 45 HRs, 132 RBIs, .272 AVG

6) Adrian Gonzalez, Padres

Gonzalez is entering the beginning of his prime (he turns 27 in May) and he’s coming off a great 2nd half in which he batted .302 and had 2 more HRs in 36 less ABs than in the 1st. Look for him to step into 1st tier of fantasy first basemen.

160 games, 112 runs, 34 HRs, 108 RBIs, .305 AVG

7) Lance Berkman, Astros

The last of the killer B’s left, Berkman is hitting in probably the best lineup there’s been since he’s been in Houston. Last year, he hit .298 with RISP. In ’06, he hit almost .400. If he gets that average in the middle somewhere and with the addition of Tejada hitting in front of him, he’ll be back on track in the RBI department.

Prediction: 154 games, 95 runs, 31 HRs, 121 RBIs, 5 SBs, .293 AVG

8) Carlos Pena, Rays

Pena had a break out year in ’07; don’t expect him to come close to the HR numbers again this year, but it is safe to assume that with the an extra year of experience for rest of the Rays lineup, he should be able to keep his team related stats high (RBI/runs)

Prediction: 142 games, 101 runs, 37 HRs, 118 RBIs, .276 AVG.

9) Carlos Guillen, Tigers

With the improvement of his lineup, and the transitioning to an easier position of 1B, look for Guillen to have even better numbers this year. He’ll also have SS eligibility in almost every league, so that’s an added bonus.

Prediction: 156 games, 94 runs, 23 HRs, 112 RBIs, .304 AVG

10) Todd Helton, Rockies

Helton looked rejuvenated during the Rockies run towards the playoffs, and I see him caring it into this season. With an additional year of experience for the younger guys, his team related stats (RBIs/runs) will go up. Look for another great year for Helton.

Prediction: 148 games, 92 runs, 19 HRs, 102 RBIs, .318 AVG

11) Adam Laroche, Pirates

The 28 year old turned around in the second half of ’07. He batted .312 after the break, and .348 in August. Look for him to build on that into ’08.

Prediction: 153 games, 79 runs, 28 HRs, 94 RBIs, .276 AVG

12) Richie Sexson, Mariners

Sexson numbers have been steadily going down with his age, but this is a contract year for Sexson, so look for him to pick his numbers up a bit.

Prediction: 149 games, 78 runs, 29 HRs, 89 RBIs, .255 AVG.

13) Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

The “Greek God of Walks” has a strangle hold on the Red Sox first base job, and is right in the middle of the lineup. His ABs went down last year as he batted later in the order, as did his runs, but expect all of his stats to go up this year as he enters his 3rd full year. Any time you bat behind Manny and Ortiz you’re going to get a ton of RBI opportunities.
Youkilis was consistent throughout the whole year, other than in May, where he batted .402, and July, when he batted .219. He looks very consistent, and won’t kill you in a H2H league by being streaky.

Prediction: 144 games, 89 runs, 19 HRs, 88 RBIs, .292 AVG

14) Joey Votto, Reds

By all accounts, Votto will get the starting nod over Scott Hatteberg, and will bat either 2nd or 8th. He hit 22 HRs in AAA in 133 games last year, batted .321, and had 92 RBIs. The Reds lineup is loaded this year, so look for him to get his fair share of RBIs, but if he bats all year in the 8 hole, he will not score you a ton of runs. Look for him to split time between to the two spots, getting a decent amount of both RBIs and runs, but not a ton of either. Great sleeper from the 1B spot.

Prediction: 142 games, 85 runs, 19 HRs, 89 RBIs, .301 AVG

15) Paul Konerko, White Sox

Konerko is getting older, and his numbers are reflecting that. Expect his numbers to continue to go down. However, his numbers will still be nothing to scoff at.

Prediction: 149 games, 67 runs, 26 HRs, 84 RBIs, .251 AVG

16) Conor Jackson, D’Backs

Jackson is coming off of a solid season and will be batting in the middle of the D’Backs order. With the extra year of experience for Jackson and the rest of the lineup, and if he can avoid the injury plague, look for his stats to jump this year.

Prediction: 147 games, 76 runs, 18 HRs, 83 RBIs, 3 SB, .287 AVG

17) Mike Jacobs, Marlins

Jacobs is entering his prime during his 3rd season of his career, and he has plenty of upside. If he can avoid injuries and get back to the around the 136 games he played in ’06, he could give you very good numbers.

Prediction: 139 games, 74 runs, 24 HRs, 69 RBIs, .264 AVG

17) Ryan Garko, Indians

Garko will again play about 4 out of 5 days this year, with the 5th day being when Victor Martinez is moved to first in to allow Kelly Shoppach to go behind the plate. Garko will give you some decent power numbers, but with Martinez playing first every 5th day, his RBIs and runs will not have a chance to go up.

Prediction: 140 games, 67 runs, 23 HRs, 64 RBIs, .293 AVG

18) Casey Kotchman, Angels

Kotchman is one of the Angels heralded prospects, and for good reason. However, he still has things to work on and most likely will not be a fantasy starter this year. However, he’s worth taking a late round flier on, especially in a keeper league.

Prediction: 142 games, 72 runs, 14 HRs, 76 RBIs, .302 AVG

19) Carlos Delgado, Mets

Delgado’s numbers dropped off significantly last year, and they’re going to keep on slipping this year. He turns 36 midseason, and, even with the Mets lineup, he will not be able to get his numbers back up.

Prediction: 134 games, 64 runs, 18 HRs, 79 RBIs, .251 AVG

20) James Loney, Dodgers

Loney is a pretty good prospect for the Dodgers, but there could be a risk involved in drafting him. If Nomar gets a small injury or if Andy Laroche beats Nomar out at 3rd, you could see Garciappara moving to 1B and taking a decent amount of ABs from Loney.

Prediction: 134 games, 58 runs, 19 HRs, 76 RBIs, .314 AVG

21) Daric Barton, A’s

Daric Barton, who came over to the A’s in the Mark Mulder deal, looks to be the everyday first baseman in Oakland this year. Barton is the real deal. Barton doesn’t have much power (9 HRs in 516 minor league AB’s last year), but he’ll give you a fair share of average, runs, and RBIs.

Prediction: 152 games, 74 runs, 10 HRs, 79 RBIs, .299 AVG

22) Aubrey Huff, Orioles

Nothing special here. No upside, average stats. No point in really taking him unless you absolutely need a first baseman. His power dropped off considerably last year, and don’t expect him to be able to regain it.

Prediction: 147 games, 65 runs, 10 HRs, 63 RBIs, .276 AVG

23) Ben Broussard, Mariners

Broussard will give you average stats, and should really only be used as a filler. Not worth a draft pick.

Prediction: 124 games, 43 runs, 15 HRs, 42 RBIs, .273 AVG

24) Shelly Duncan, Yankees

Duncan is projected to start the year as the Yankees starting first baseman, but don’t expect him to get a ton of ABs. First base is most likely going to be a rotation of overpaid players who are injured and need to play first, or they need to DH, forcing Jason Giambi to play first. He’s got power potential, but he won’t get enough ABs to do anything with it.

Prediction: 78 games, 32 runs, 10 HRs, 34 RBIs, .254 AVG

Players to stay away from:

Albert Pujols, Cardinals

I’ve already into why I don’t think Pujols is worth a first round draft pick this year, and I’m standing by that, but I’ll still give you a projection of where he could be if you believe he will remain healthy.

145 games, 105 runs, 37 HRs, 112 RBIs, .325

Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays

Overbay had a procedure to remove screws from his hand last year, and the hands are not something you want a hitter to be worried about. He is not worth the risk, even with the risk being so small.

Nick Johnson/Dimitri Young, Nationals

You probably won’t know until the middle of spring training whose won this job. I see them ending up splitting time anyways, with Young getting the ABs against the lefties, and Johnson the righties. If that happens, neither will probably get enough ABs to justify a roster spot.

Ross Gload, Royals

Don't waste your time with Gload. He does not have the best of stats as it is and will split time with either Ryan Shealy or Billy Butler

Dan Ortmeier, Giants

There’s no reason to even look at Ortmeier unless you’re in a very, very, very deep league.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ramirez vs. Reyes

One of the biggest debates in fantasy baseball this year is that of Hanley Ramirez vs. Jose Reyes. Here is how I serve up the comparison:

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins

Even with the absence of Miguel Cabrera, Fredi Gonzalez says that Ramirez will remain in the leadoff spot, so he will not be losing any ABs from last season. If he’s going to stay in the leadoff spot, his RBI chances most likely will not go up, but with the extra year of experience, expect him to be around the 95 range. However, look for his runs to drop to the 100 level without Cabrera backing him up. Ramirez should still be able to get his share of HRs, again being around the 30 range-I don’t see him getting that much over where he was last year. He dropped his SO numbers by more than 30 last year, and if he can get to them down another 15-20, in combination with another year of experience, you could see him put up about a .340-.345 average. With the extra times on base Ramirez will also get an increase in his SBs. Another thing that will result in greater SBs is the absence of a big time HR threat. Without that threat this year, Cabrera will get the green light more often. Expect his SBs to go up to about the 65 level, but don’t expect him to break 70. Ramirez is truly a 5 category stud.
Prediction: 156 games, 103 runs, 32 HRs, 93 RBIs, 62 SBs, .343 AVG

Jose Reyes, Mets

Reyes numbers dropped off the charts in the second half of ’07. He only batted .251 after the all star break, and .205 when his team was crumbling under the September pressure. However, he did have 5 of his 12 HRs in August in September. He’s obviously not as bad as he was in September, but don’t expect him to be as good as he was in April (.356 AVG). There haven’t really been any changed to the Mets lineup, other than that they’re a year older, which is not good for the veteran laden team. His K/AB went down last year, and his BB/AB went up. His SB also jumped by 14 in the extra 7 games he played in. His RBIs dropped significantly last year, which is a result of his putrid AVG with RISP, .259, and .195 with RISP and 2 outs. If he gets back to his ’06 numbers where he batted .336 with RISP and .414 with RISP with 2 outs, his RBIs will go up with them. Look more for him to be around the middle, and end up with about 70-75 RBIs.
Prediction:158 games, 122 runs, 15 HRs, 73 RBIs , 76 SBs, 292 AVG.

My pick: Ramirez
You can’t go wrong with either one of these two. You’ll get more runs and SB from Reyes, but everything else is in favor of Ramirez. If I had a draft pick and these were the two best available players, I would have to take Hanley Ramirez due to the huge difference in AVG and HR, and the slim threat that Reyes can’t get back to his numbers from the beginning of the year.

The Purple Iguana

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fantasy catcher rankings and strategies

Strategy for fantasy catchers:
The catcher spot is pretty top loaded. If you do not get one of the top 5-6 catchers, wait. You can get approximately the same value in later rounds as you can get for the number 10-11 catchers. The middle of the pack is where you can get your catcher, and you won’t lose much.

This list vs. others:
Ronny Paulino will be a steal, as long as the Pirates don’t acquire another catcher before the season begins. ESPN has him at # 15, but he’s going to produce as the number 5 this year.
Kurt Suzuki is #17 on ESPN. He will produce as the #12, so try and pick him up as about the 15-16th catcher taken.
J.R. Towels is ranked 24. Expect #10 production out of him.
John Buck is thought to be the # 22. If you can get him as the 17-19th catcher, he will be a steal.
Stay away from Ivan Rodriguez. ESPN has him as #8, but his numbers are slipping.
Also stay away from Bengie Molina. He is somehow the #7 on ESPN, but he’s only going to produce as the #23.

1)Victor Martinez, Indians
2005 147 547 73 20 80 0 1 0.305
2006 153 572 82 16 93 0 0 0.316
2007 147 562 78 25 114 0 0 0.301

Look for Martinez’s RBIs and Runs to go up this year. Sizemore and Hafner were down, so you can expect Martinez’s numbers to go up.
Prediction: 148 games, 567 ABs, 86 runs, 27 HRs, 123 RBIs, .312.

2)Russel Martin, Dodgers
2006 121 415 65 10 45 10 5 0.282
2007 151 540 87 19 87 21 9 0.293

Russel Martin will still be one of the best fantasy catchers in the game in ’08, and I love his toughness/how hard he plays, but I think he played in way to many games last year. 25
Prediction: 135 games, 472 ABs, 80 runs, 17 HRs, 85 RBIs, 15 SBs, .285

3)Joe Mauer, Twins
2005 131 489 61 9 55 13 1 0.294
2006 140 521 86 13 84 8 3 0.347
2007 109 406 62 7 60 7 1 0.293

If he can avoid the injuries that plagued him last year, expect his numbers to go up closer to his ’06 numbers.
Prediction: 135 games, 498 ABs, 83 runs, 14 HRs, 82 RBIs, 6 SBs, .299.

4)Brian McCaan, Braves
2006 130 442 61 24 93 2 0 0.333
2007 139 540 51 18 92 0 1 0.270

McCaan’s RBIs will definitely go up this year hitting behind Teixeira for a full season. Other than that, there won’t be that much of a change in his number, except for possibly a little less ABs from dropping down in the order.
Prediction: 135 games, 470 ABs, 50 runs, 19 HRs, 101 RBIs, .280 AVG.

5)Ronny Paulino, Pirates
2006 129 442 37 6 55 0 0 0.310
2007 133 457 56 11 55 2 2 0.263

Paulino’s power went up last year but his average dropped. If the 26 year old catcher can put it all together this year, he could produce great stats for you. It’s his third season in the league, and he’s entering his prime, so it’s likely.
Prediction: 130 games, 463 AB’s, 70 runs, 16 HRs, 69 RBI’s, .280 AVG.

6) Jorge Posada, Yankees
2005 142 474 67 19 71 1 0 0.262
2006 143 465 65 23 93 3 0 0.277
2007 144 506 91 20 90 2 0 0.338

2007 was an aberration as far as Jorge Posada’s AVG and runs go. Don’t expect him to come close to those numbers again in ’08.
Prediction: 145 games, 480 ABs, 78 runs, 19 HRs, 87 RBIs, .285.

7)Kenji Johjima, Mariners
2006 144 506 61 18 76 3 1 0.291
2007 135 485 52 14 61 0 2 0.287

Johjima has a strangle hold on the catchers job in Seattle. Expect #1 type production out of him in his third years in the majors.
Prediction: 137 games, 492 ABs, 56 runs, 16 HRs, 67 RBIs, .289

8) John Buck, Royals
2005 118 401 40 12 47 2 2 0.242
2006 114 371 37 11 50 0 2 0.245
2007 113 347 41 18 48 0 1 0.222

Buck is entering his prime this season. Expect his HRs to climb, as well as his RBIs. One more year of experience for the rest of his team will give him a lot more RBI chances. He will give you a lot of pop for a catcher.
Prediction: 120 games, 352 ABs, 47 runs, 24 HRs, 56 RBIs, .241.

9)Jason Varitek, Red Sox
2005 133 470 70 22 70 2 0 0.281
2006 103 365 46 12 55 1 2 0.238
2007 131 435 57 17 68 1 2 0.255

Varitek’s obviously the Red Sox starting catcher, and there’s no reason to expect him to play less than 125 games and his base numbers to drop, as long as he avoids injury
Prediction: 127 games, 403 ABs, 50 runs, 16 HRs, 65 RBIs, .260.

10)J.R. Towles, Astros
2007 14 40 9 1 12 0 1 0.375

Towles is a sleeper pick from the catchers spot this year. I see Ausmus getting some time behind the dish, but Towles will get the majority of the ABs. His numbers were very good last year, but then again it’s too small of a sample to expect him to do that over a course of a season. It would be ridiculous to expect him to keep up that average.
Prediction: 108 games, 334 ABs, 54 runs, 7 HRs, 63 RBIs, .312 AVG.

11)Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rangers
2007 93 308 39 11 33 0 0 0.266

Saltalamacchia is easily the highest profile young catcher, mostly because of the trade for Teixeira, but the he is worth the hype. He is one of the best fantasy catchers in the game, especially for keeper leagues.
Prediction: 124 games, 415 ABs, 54 runs, 17 HRs, 51 RBIs, .263

12)Kurt Suzuki, A’s
2007 68 213 27 7 39 0 0 0.249

Suzuki is coming into his first full season. He's going to get close to twice the number of ABs that he had last year. He had about 1 HR every 10 games, and he should be able to pick that up this by playing every day. The increase in HRs will also result in an increase in RBIs and runs. That would put him up there as about the best 12 fantasy catchers of '08.
Prediction: 121 games, 396 ABs, 52 runs, 16 HRs, 82 RBIs, .252

13)Geovany Soto, Cubs
2006 11 25 1 0 2 0 0 0.200
2007 18 54 12 3 8 0 0 0.389

Sotto will most likely be the Cubs starting catcher….This could be a decent sleeper pick, but I see him splitting time with Henry Blanco. You could see some great RBI numbers though hitting behing Soriano, Lee, and the rest of the Cubs lineup
Prediction: 90 games 302 AB’s, 55 runs, 15 HR’s, 52 RBI’s, .302 AVG.

14)Ramon Hernandez, Orioles
2005 99 369 36 12 58 1 0 0.290
2006 144 501 66 23 91 1 0 0.275
2007 106 364 40 9 62 1 3 0.258

If Hernandez can get back to his 2006 numbers, he could be a pretty good value if you can get him late in the draft. I’d expect him to be more around last years numbers, though, especially with the fact that the lineup is depleted.
Prediction: 115 games, 396 ABs, 43 runs, 15 HRs, 65 RBIs, .262

14)Chris Snyder, D'Backs
2005 115 326 24 6 28 0 1 0.202
2006 61 184 19 6 32 0 0 0.277
2007 110 326 37 13 47 0 1 0.252

Snyder would be an average catcher for you, with a little bit of pop for you. You may see his numbers go up going into his 4th season and turning always beneficial 27 this week.
Prediction: 108 games, 322 ABs, 40 Runs, 15 HRs, 55 RBIs, .259 AVG.

15) A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox
2005 128 460 61 18 56 0 2 0.257
2006 140 509 65 16 64 1 0 0.295
2007 136 472 54 14 50 1 1 0.263

Pierzynski’s not really going to help you anywhere, but he’s not going to hurt you either. Not a lot of upside at this point in his career.
Prediction: 132 games, 462 ABs, 53 runs, 12 HRs, 54 RBIs, .258

16)Dioner Navarro, Rays
2005 50 176 21 3 14 0 0 0.273
2006 81 268 28 6 28 2 1 0.254
2007 119 388 46 9 44 3 1 0.227

Expect Navarro to be the Rays everyday catcher again this year. Look for his RBIs to go up as the Rays lineup gets even better.
Prediction: 121 games, 402 ABs, 48 runs, 12 HRs, 52 RBIs, .253.

17)Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers
2005 129 504 71 14 50 7 3 0.276
2006 136 547 74 13 69 8 3 0.300
2007 129 502 50 11 63 2 2 0.281

Don’t expect Rodriguez to continue the level you’re used to him playing at-he’s getting a lot older. His runs and average will go down, but with the improvement in front of him in the Tigers lineup, expect his RBIs to stay about the same.
Prediction: 132 games, 511 ABs, 42 runs, 9 HRs, 60 RBIs, .249

18) Yadier Molina, Cardinals
2005 114 385 36 8 49 2 3 0.252
2006 129 417 29 6 49 1 2 0.216
2007 111 353 30 6 40 1 1 0.275

Molina, whose got in my opinion the best arm for a catcher, is finally stepping is up at the plate. Molina will get more AB’s this year by moving up in the order, but I don’t think he can keep his average up.
Prediction: 125 games, 411 AB’s, 39 runs, 9HR, 55 RBI’s, .270.

19) Gregg Zaun, Blue Jays
2005 133 434 61 11 61 2 3 0.251
2006 99 290 39 12 40 0 2 0.272
2006 110 331 43 10 52 0 0 0.242
Zaun is an average fantasy catcher. Nothing special here.
Prediction: 108 games, 325 ABs, 44 runs, 11 HRs, 50 RBIs, .248.

20) Josh Bard, Padres
2005 34 83 6 1 9 0 0 0.193
2006 100 249 30 9 40 1 0 0.330
2007 118 389 42 5 51 0 1 0.285

Bard is a decent catcher for your team, but his ABs will be limited with a full year of Barret on the team. This would be a great tandem to platoon, but only if you have the available bench spots.
Prediction: 103 games, 255 ABs, 41 Runs, 6 HRs, 49 RBIs, .280 AVG.

21) Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
2007 111 368 41 6 52 0 0 0.258
Ruiz, like most catchers, will be concentrating on handling the staff more than his stick to the Phillies potent lineup. He’ll give you passable stats, but don’t expect him to be a game changer for you.
Prediction: 108 games, 356 ABs, 42 runs, 7 HRs, 55 RBIs, .262 AVG.

22)Yorvit Torrealba, Rockies
2005 42 108 14 2 8 0 0 0.241
2006 65 223 23 7 43 4 3 0.247
2007 113 396 47 8 47 2 1 0.255

Torrealba took over for Chris Iannetta during the season in ’07, but expect Iannetta to steal a decent amount of ABs from Torrealba this year.
Prediction: 105 games, 380 ABs, 43 Runs, 8 HRs, 45 RBIs, .259 AVG.

23)Bengie Molina, Giants
2005 119 410 45 15 69 0 2 0.295
2006 117 433 44 19 57 1 1 0.284
2007 134 497 38 19 81 0 0 0.276

Last year Molina played about 15 games more than he had in either ’06 or ’07. The extra games from last, coupled with the fact that he turns 34 mid season and that most of the power from the Giants team of ’07 is gine, I expect his numbers to drop off significantly.
Prediction: 98 games, 373 ABs, 35 Runs, 13 HRs, 40 RBIs, .250 AVG.

24)David Ross, Reds
2006 90 247 37 21 52 0 0 0.255
2007 112 311 32 17 39 0 0 0.203

Ross got close to 70 more AB’s last year than in ’06, yet all of his numbers significantly dropped. Don’t expect them to go up this year. He’ll give you some pop, but that’s about it.
Prediction: 103 games, 295 AB’s, 30 R, 15 HRs, 38 RBI’s, .210 AVG.

25)Jason Kendall, Brewers
2005 150 601 70 0 53 8 3 0.271
2006 143 552 76 1 50 11 5 0.295
2007 137 466 45 3 41 3 4 0.242

Kendall’s SB went down significantly down last year, along with all his other stats (other than HR). He has said that his vision has improved greatly from last year due to eye surgery, so I’d actually expect him to get up closer to his ’06 numbers, but that’s still not anything to gawk at. He’s worth taking a flyer on in a deep league.
Prediction: 125 games 450 ABs, 38 runs, 1 HR, 40 RBI, 2 SB, .255 AVG.

Catchers to completely avoid:
Paul Lo Duca, Dodgers
I would Lo Duca at all costs unless you can pick him up very late or very cheap. He messed up his knees in the off-season, but should be ready to go by the start of the season. However, with the banging a catchers knees take to begin with, this does not look good. We also have no ideas if there will be any fall outs from the Mitchell Report. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also moving into a more spacious park. Avoid at all costs.

Mike Rabelo/Matt Treanor,Marlins
At this point in time there is a position battle going on in Florida, and even in the unlikely case that one of them wins the job and is not platooned, neither of them are good enough to be more than an emergency catcher unless you are in a very deep league.

Brian Sneider, Mets
Sneider was brought in to control the Mets staff, and nothing more. No reason to have him on your team.

Mike Napoli/Jeff Mathis, Angels
This is another position battle. Mathis might be worth taking a flier on, but I expect that they will end up splitting time.

If you would like a copy of these rankings in an easier to read excel document, or you would like a copy of NL and AL only rankings, feel free to email me at

The Purple Iguana

Monday, February 11, 2008

Marquee Players to stay away from

Here are two marquee names that I would shy away from in your up coming fanasty drafts:


I know this is blasphemy, especially for a Cardinals fan, but there was an article awhile back where Pujols said he wasn't going to play through the pain if it got as bad as it was last year. He also said in that article that he couldn't even extend his arm. When the Cardinals are out of it by July, I see him sitting out the rest of the year. One person who would benefit from a Pujols injury is Chris Duncan. If he is moved to first base, it would allow him to move back to his original position, and a chance to play everyday.


Everybody's making a lot out of his trade to the NL, and how he's now going to be even better. However, I think that the former CF prospect is going to be on about par with what he did last year, which will not make him the consensus best pitcher as everyone is saying he will be. I would pick Danny Haren, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, and Jake Peavey all before I would take Santana.


Here's the fantasy baseball portion of my blog. I'll have up a list of fantasy catchers up by tommorow or Wednesday