FANTASY BASEBALL OFF-SEASON ADDITIONS: NL
Finally..A fantasy sport that has no threat for a lockout to start the season.
Baseball is one of the most entertaining fantasy sports of them all. Not only is it every day with pretty much every team playing. But it is also a game of streaks where anyone from Prince Fielder, to Kurt Suzuki can be the hottest player in the league. Then a week later only to see Dee Gordon come out of nowhere and steal four bases, the sport is unpredictable.
Beast Dome will be posting fantasy baseball articles all season long, and during spring training. Enjoy the content, and as always feel free to ask questions. An expert will get to them.
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ARIZONA DIAMOND BACKS:
JASON KUBEL (OF)- Kubel is a solid bat who has never gotten his chance to be a full time guy all season. This year Kubel should feel no heat from the bench as he gets his chance to show what he’s got. 20-25 Homeruns are definitely in reach for what could be the one of the most undervalued players in fantasy baseball.
I expect Jason Kubel to be a solid fantasy OF option in a majority of leagues.
TREVOR CAHILL (SP)- Cahill is a very legitimate pitcher who goes through streaks of dominance. Last year he ended up with an ERA over 4.00. When pitchers go from the AL to the NL, their numbers usually get better because NL teams are built for small ball compared to the AL power houses.
I expect Trevor Cahill to be a very relevant pitcher in fantasy baseball, owned in all leagues.
No OFF-SEASON moves.
IAN STEWART (3B)- Ian has always been a player of expectations but never showed the consistency to have what it takes to thrive as a big time player. Moving to Chicago where Aramis Ramirez once held the position is likely to put some pressure on the 26 Year Old.
I expect Ian Stewart to be a fantasy option worth owning in all leagues who will go through hot streaks.
DAVID DEJESUS (OF)- Dejesus is not the greatest of fantasy options, but he can give you low end 20-20 type production if he has a great season. The Cubs will depend on him to be a catalyst of scoring runs, which will make him a decent option.
I expect David Dejesus to be a good option in the OF in deeper leagues.
PAUL MAHOLM (SP)- Maholm is a solid pitcher, but not one that can be counted on every start. Moving to Chicago could help resurrect his career, but that does not seem likely. Do not expect a lot of K’s, and it would not be surprising to see him lose his rotation spot at some point this season.
I expect Paul Maholm to be waiver wire material.
TRAVIS WOOD (SP)- Wood has always had lots of potential to be a great starting pitcher, and Chicago could be the right fit for him. Wood has not shown that he can be a good pitcher for a duration of a season, but I do expect Wood to have a hot streak here and there to put up decent numbers.
I expect Travis Wood to be a decent pitcher in deeper leagues.
MATT LATOS (SP)- The Reds needed a star pitcher and Matt Latos could be the man. Latos was a great pitcher for SD a couple years ago, though pitching for the Padres is not an easy team to get wins. Pitching for the Reds means you will get plenty of run support which should be enough to make Latos a good fantasy option. Excellent strikeout pitcher with the capability of getting 1 K per inning.
I expect Matt Latos to be one of the sleepers of fantasy baseball.
RYAN MADSON (CP)- Madson proved to be a very nice quality closer in his first chance at the gig full time for the Phillies. The Reds desperately needed help in their bullpen, and you can debate that Madson is an upgrade over Cordero. But the fact remains this is a ball park that favors big power hitters, and saves will always be an issue for this team. I do expect Madson to rack up a good amount as long as he stays consistent.
I expect Ryan Madson to be a candidate for 30 saves this season.
SEAN MARSHALL (RP)- Marshall will provide a solid 8th inning guy who should get the job done more often than not. If Madson struggles with his second year closing, expect Marshall to get his chances like he did a season ago for Marmol.
I expect Sean Marshall to be a good relief fantasy option in very deep leagues.
RAMON HERNANDEZ (C)- Ramon has nice potential playing in the thin Colorado air. People may think he is over the hill, but he still possess power. After hitting 12 Home Runs in 91 games, it would not be that surprising to see Hernandez top that number and some as the team’s only catcher.
I expect Ramon Hernandez to be a good source of late power at the catcher position.
MARCO SCUTARO (2B)- Scutaro is a very average hitting 2nd baseman. Playing in Colorado does help his bit of pop, but to expect a break out 20 Home Runs could be a bit of a stretch. If you need an average specialist who will not hurt you in any categories, Scutaro is your man.
I expect Maro Scutaro to be a solid backup 2nd baseman in deep fantasy leagues.
CASEY BLAKE (3B)- Blake is over the hill and the Dodgers were witnessing his down fall as it happened a season ago. Move him to the hitters park in Coors field, and you potentially have a player that could have a bounce back season. Blake still knows how to get the ball in the air and could provide a cheap source of power.
I expect Casey Blake to be a solid backup 3rd baseman in deep fantasy leagues.
MICHAEL CUDDYER (RF)- Cuddyer is the man for the Rockies this season. He is a great power hitting OF option, he has SB potential, and Cuddy will not hurt you in the average position. With the full time gig and potentially batting cleanup of 5th, Cuddyer should be a solid option.
I expect Michael Cuddyer to be a good fantasy option that can reach 20 Home Run 15 Stolen Bases.
JEREMY GUTHRIE (SP)- Guthrie was an okay pitcher for the Orioles. Not a lot of K’s but every now and then you will get some decent starts. Moving to Colorado does not help, but moving to the NL West will. Guthrie use to face the Yankees, Red Sox, D-Ray, Blue Jays. Now the toughest hitting team in his division could be the Diamondbacks who have only a couple of players that might start on those major teams.
I expect Jeremy Guthrie to be a solid pitcher to have on the back-end of your roster.
JED LOWRIE (SS)- Jed has a lot of power potential, but last season he did not get the chance to show it full time. Moving to a tiny ball park in Houston where pitchers complain that they can even hit HR’s. Lowrie is poised to have a huge season.
I expect Jed Lowrie to be a starting SS in a majority of fantasy leagues by the time the season is over.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS:
MARK ELLIS (2B)- Ellis is a nice 2nd Base option that is past his prime. Ellis use to be good for 20 Home Runs, but now playing for a Dodger team that is more small ball than Ellis ball. It would be hard to imagine him hitting more than 15. Crazier things have happened, and Ellis could be a nice option if you need depth in deep leagues.
I expect Mark Ellis to be a solid backup 2nd Base option in a majority of fantasy leagues.
AARON HARANG (SP)- Harang had his moments to start the season last year for SD, which lead to a nice comeback season where he is ERA was under 3.50. This time around he joins the Dodgers in a very similar situation. A team with little offense, but a great pitching ball park. Don’t expect a lot of K’s, but he can find a way to get wins with bad teams.
I expect Aaron Harang to put up solid numbers that make him bench worthy in a majority of leauges.
CHRIS CAPUANO (SP)- Capuano is either on and can pitch a complete game shutout, or he can last 4 innings and get rocked. That is perfect for a Dodgers team that can win his close ones for him with small ball, but most likely lose his bad outings. Being the 5th starter he will have a mental edge of very little pressure and just to perform. Capuano is a K machine.
I expect Chris Capuano to be a great source of K’s in fantasy leagues this season.
JOSE REYES (SS)- Stolen Bases, a bit of power, Jose Reyes should have a fantastic season in Miami. Reyes is ready to breakout and have a MVP candidate type of season after batting .337 with 39 stolen bases a season ago. He stole that amount in 126 games. Reyes could easily be a top 5 pick on draft day.
I expect Jose Reyes to make the biggest impact on the SB category especially coming from the SS position.
AARON ROWAND (OF)- Not a bad signing considering he will be a backup OF option for the Marlins. His power is still semi-there, but you count on his defense more than anything.
I expect Aaron Rowand to be waiver wire material in all fantasy leagues.
MARK BUEHRLE (SP)- Buehrle is a solid pitcher who won’t rack up K’s but he will rack up wins. Pitching from the AL to the NL always helps, but pitching with this new and improved roster will help tremendously. Mark can easily be one of the league leaders in wins if he pitches the same way he has for the White Sox in the past.
I expect Mark Buehrle to be an excellent sleeper in all fantasy leagues this season.
CARLOS ZAMBRANO (SP)- If anyone needed a change of scenery it was Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano was done as a Cubs pitcher, but moving to Miami where he has had a lot of success in his career with a new and improved offense can only mean big things. Zambrano is a great pitcher when he is on, and pitching for Miami could cut out all that drama.
I expect Carlos Zambrano to be a solid pitcher worth taking late in all fantasy leagues.
HEATH BELL (CP)- Moving from a team that struggles to win games, to a team that can potentially win the world series only helps. The fact that he was an elite closer and always near the top in saves in SD should result into potentially leading the league in saves this season.
I expect Heath Bell to be an elite closer this season in fantasy baseball.
ALEX GONZALES (SS)- Gonzales has always had a lot of power, but lately has not shown the consistency to produce all season. Gonzales always falls towards the end of drafts which is a good place to find him especially because he has hit 38 Home Runs in the last two seasons.
I expect Alex Gonzales to be an excellent SS to own as a bench player in deeper leagues.
ARAMIS RAMIREZ (3B)- The slugging 3rd Baseman moves from Chicago to division woe Milwaukee. A change of scenery could be good for Aramis as he was putting up similar numbers with the Cubs throughout. Moving to a new ball park and trying to replace Fielder’s bat could put some pressure on him. But then again, not a lot of people can hit the ball like Aramis.
I expect Aramis Ramirez to be a top 10 3rd Baseman in all fantasy leagues.
NEW YORK METS:
FRANK FRANCISCO (CP)- Francisco is back to getting his shot at the closer position before blowing it with Toronto the year before. Usually when closers get a second chance after blowing it you do not hear about them much longer. Think about it and try to name three guys. The Mets also have some quality arms in the bullpen like future closer Bobby Parnell if he struggles.
I expect Frank Francisco to lose his closer spot at some point this season.
JON RAUCH (RP)- Rauch who stole 11 saves from Francisco a season ago gets his chance to do it again in NY. Rauch is a quality arm who will provide great depth for the Mets. At some point he should get his chance to close some games.
I expect Jon Rauch to be a solid relief option in very deep leagues.
TY WIGGINGTON (3B)- Ty is expected to play a utility role for one the best teams in the NL. If Placido Polanco starts to struggle I can see Wiggington being a nice candidate for some in field power. He always finds ways to get AB’s, and it is a long season so an injury to the infield is expected.
I expect Ty Wiggington to be a nice candidate to use from time-to-time throughout the season.
JONATHAN PAPELBON (CP)- Closing for the Phillies is one of the best situations in baseball. They can win every game, and if the closer blows the save. There is a solid chance they can earn a win. Moving from the AL to the NL will also help Papelbon as he faces a whole group of hitters that do not know what he is capable of.
I expect Jonathan Papelbon to be an elite option at the closer position.
CHAD QUALLS (RP)- A solid Middle reliever, Qualls could provide a nice quality 6th or 7th inning guy. He was once a dominant closer for the Diamondbacks for a brief period. Before he unraveled and traveled from bullpen to bullpen.
I expect Chad Qualls to be a waiver wire option in all leagues the whole season.
ROD BARAJAS (C)- Rod is just pure power. If you want a catcher who can bang out a cheap 20 Home Runs than Barajas is your guy. No matter where he goes, or how often he plays, he always has a chance for a nice power season. If Rod holds the job all season long he can be a great draft day steal.
I expect Rod Barajas to be a nice sleeper candidate for 20 Home Runs.
CLINT BARMES (SS)- The days of expecting 20+ Homeruns may be past Barmes. But Barmes is finally on a team where he doesn’t have to worry about where he is going to play, or if he is going to play. Being an everyday SS could bring him back to his prime, especially playing on a team that has a bunch of bounce back candidates. They will most likely encourage each other to play at their highest level.
I expect Clint Barmes to be a solid candidate for a bounce back season and approach 15 Home Runs.
CASEY MCGEHEE (3B)- Casey is a big hitter looking for a comeback year. Playing on a rebuilding Pirates team that will look for him to be a solid bat all season is a good situation for him to be in. I believe Casey can bounce back to his 23 Home Run potential easily.
I expect Casey McGehee to be a solid 3rd Base option in all fantasy leagues.
AJ BURNETT (SP)- Burnett is on a mission to prove to the MLB that he is still a great pitching option. Burnett had a terrible season with NY, but moving to Pittsburgh where this is less pressure, and worst hitting in the NL. Burnett should be a solid candidate for the James Shields award. (Pitcher who had a bad season to come back with a great one.)
I expect A.J. Burnett to be a solid option in fantasy leagues that will most likely get under drafted.
ERIK BEDARD (SP)- Bedard was inconsistent last season. Before he hit an injury towards the middle of the season he was dominant. Moving from the AL- to the NL will help him. Demonstrated by his dominance over teams like the Padres in Interleague play. Bedard is a decent pitcher who can rack up K’s but not innings.
I expect Erik Bedard to be a solid pitching option when he is on in fantasy leagues.
SAN DIEGO PADRES:
YONDOR ALONSO (1B)- Yondor is supposed to be a big time hitter at some point in his young MLB career. Right now he is still young and has a lot to prove. Playing in San Diego’s big ball park will not help his numbers, but the team has enough talent where he could see some decent RBI opportunities if he gets a good spot in the batting order.
I expect Yondo Alonso to be a solid 1st Baseman who can approach 80 RBIs in the right lineup spot.
CARLOS QUENTIN (OF)- Quentin is now on a team where he becomes the marquis hitter. The chances to Carlos performing in that position is good, but his batting average and slumps could put the Padres in a bad spot. The good news is Quentin will be counted on every night by the Padres which could result into nice fantasy stats.
I expect Carlos Quentin to be a solid OF option in fantasy leagues that can approach 100 RBIs.
EDINSON VOLQUEZ (SP)- The accuracy from Volquez is past his peak. The strikeouts can always come at a very high volume. The chance of getting a terrible fantasy start from Volquez happens to frequently. However moving to Petco’s spacious ball park could help Volquez and his fly ball rate. The real problem for Volquez is his BB.
I expect Edinson Volquez to be a fantasy pitcher that has his moments, but will most be on your bench.
HUSTON STREET (CP)- Huston is a nice closer that moves to a team that made Heath Bell an elite fantasy baseball pitcher because of their style of play. The Padres will have a lot of close games and it would not be surprising to see Street be one of the top closers in fantasy baseball.
I expect Huston Street to be an elite option at the closer position if he stays healthy.
RYAN THERIOT (SS)- The Riot is not an excellent fantasy hitter. His average is average, and his steals will not wow you. However playing at the SS position if you need a solid amount of stolen bases, than the Riot is your guy.
I expect Ryan Theriot to be more of a bench player than a starting fantasy option.
ANGEL PAGAN (OF)- Pagan is a solid hitter for what the Giants look for in a Center Fielder. Solid average, and decent power, but excellent speed. Pagan may end up batting lead-off, but you can expect a nice OF option with 10 HR, 35 SB potential.
I expect Angel Pagan to be a good sleeper to have on the back-end of your fantasy team.
MELKY CABRERA (OF)- Melky finally broke out last season, and now finds himself in a ball park where Home Runs come at a very small rate. Playing in a big ball park will not help Melky’s numbers, but potentially batting cleanup will. He is expected to be the lead-off hitter to start the season, but expecting that to last all season is not likely.
I expect Melky Cabrera to be a good source of RBIs this season in fantasy baseball.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS:
CARLOS BELTRAN (OF)- Beltran has 1st round type potential, but he will most likely end up with numbers that leave you a bit disappointed. He is one of the best switch hitters, but playing on a new team could put him at a slow start like it did when first joined the Giants. I would rather take the safer guys than the OF option who has not reached his elite level in a few years.
I expect Carlos Beltran to put up great fantasy numbers.
GIO GONZALEZ (SP)- Gio is a very special pitcher who can rack up K’s and now goes from the AL to the NL. Which means his stats are due for an increase. The Nationals are also a very solid team this year with legitimate hitting throughout. Do not be surprised to see Gonzales as one of the top pitchers in fantasy baseball.
I expect Gio Gonzalez to be an elite option this season.
EDWIN JACKSON (SP)- Edwin was a very inconsistent pitcher last year, and throughout his career. Pitching for the Nationals should help him as he could be the #4 pitcher with very low expectations. With low expectations usually comes great results making Edwin a very intriguing pitcher to draft low on draft day.
I expect Edwin Jackson to be a great fantasy sleeper this season.
BRAD LIDGE (RP)- Lidge is at the end of his career, and is nothing more than a 7th or 8th inning man. That should be great for the team’s starting pitchers as they have one more reliever to get them to the promise land.
I expect Brad Lidge to be a solid relief pitcher, but not a great fantasy option.
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