Sunday, 23 October 2011

Second to None: Top Ten Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen for the 2012 Season

Although most fantasy baseball owners look to first base and the outfield when drafting players to provide offensive punch to their rosters, there are some very viable options in the middle of the infield as well. A common strategy in regard to second base is for owners to forgo the position until the later rounds and hope to draft a serviceable player to fill the position. However, if you are able to get one of the top players at second base, not only will you help your overall fantasy baseball performance, you will also help shore up a position at which other owners may be weak. In other words, there are lots of good outfielders and first basemen available in the later rounds. Whether considering fantasy keepers or draft picks, keep these top ten fantasy baseball second basemen in mind:


1)     Robinson Cano (NYY)
Hitting in the middle of an always potent line up, Cano is as close to money in the bank as you’ll find in fantasy baseball. His splits show he is a consistent performer regardless of the situation. If the Yankees add any other offensive pieces in the off season, it will only increase Cano’s value.

2)     Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
Putting the injury-plagued 2010 season behind him went a long way to quelling critics who were wary of his rambunctious playing style. He delivered an MVP-worthy season in 2011 and is a leader on a perennial contender. He also increased his power and patience this season which is a great sign moving forward.

3)     Ian Kinsler (TEX)
Kinsler’s blend of skills at the position sets him apart. If he could ever hit for average away from Arlington, he would be atop the list. That being said, there is nothing wrong with a .255 BA when it comes with a 30-30 season attached to it.

4)     Rickie Weeks (MIL)
An All-Star at mid-season, Weeks once again fell victim to his injury-prone ways in the second half. It’s all about staying healthy for Weeks. Draft him hoping for 20 HR and 50 RBI. Anything else you get is gravy.

5)     Dan Uggla (ATL)
What a year. After a first half which saw him hit well below the Mendoza line, Uggla rebounded with a 33 game hit streak and finished with his customary 30 HR season. For power (and little else), “Ugly Dan” is your man.

6)     Brandon Phillips (CIN)
Few second basemen can match Phillips’ 5X5 best but he always seems to leave you wanting more. With his stolen bases on the decline and his HR totals steady (expect 20), he is a solid, if unspectacular pick.

7)     Ben Zobrist (TB)
‘Zorilla’ rebounded this past season (albeit not quite to his 2009 level). Poor offensive stats at home held him back from having an even better season. After 3 seasons, we kind of know what to expect from him: .275/20/80. You could do worse.

8)     Howie Kendrick (LAA)
After getting on base consistently in the first half (.302/.360/.462), Kendrick regressed after the break (.263/.310/.466). Maybe he will never be the future batting champion everyone thought he may become but he did increase his power in 2011 (18 HR), so all is not lost.

9)     Chase Utley (PHI)
Utley’s lack of power (11 HR) this season was blamed on his inability to condition his leg muscles due to his recurring knee issues. Injuries (47 games missed in 2011) and poor production have knocked Utley down the list. There is still no better second baseman in the game but Utley simply cannot be counted upon to provide a healthy and productive season at this point of his career.

10) Jemile Weeks (OAK)

Weeks showed some productivity with a .303 BA and 22 SB. His steal rate is a little concerning (11 CS) but with a full year at the top of the Athletics’ line up, Weeks is a nice option for fantasy owners. Just don’t expect the late season pop he showed in his bat to translate into big power numbers in 2011.

When considering fantasy baseball second basemen for 2012, these ten players should definitely be taken into account. Consider them “second to none” for your fantasy team.



* Robinson Cano photo by Keith Allison (Flickr.com) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
* Brandon Phillips photo by Rdikeman (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
* Jemile Weeks photo by Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Jemile Weeks") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Fantasy Fan League 2012

There are still spots available in the 2012 Fantasy Fan League. Here are the details:

  • 20 team mixed league
  • 4 divisions
  • No playoffs (full regular season)
  • Imaginary $100 FAAB (for waiver players only, FA are free to acquire)
  • Unlimited weekly transactions
  • 5 X 5 categories
  • H2H weekly format
  • Hosted on Yahoo Fantasy Sports
  • Live, online draft
  • 20 roster spots - C,1B,2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,RF,Util,SP,SP,SP,RP,RP,P,P, 4 bench spots
  • Keeper League moving forward (you will be able to keep 3 hitters and 3 pitchers for 2013)

If you are interested in joining, please contact me.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Year End Awards 2011 – Stan Musial Award (Top Player)

As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is honored to be able to participate in the BBA Year End Awards. The Awards are comprised of the following:

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)
Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)
Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)
Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)
Stan Musial Award (Top Player)

Each award has nominees and a winner in both the American League and National League.

Today, we focus on the final award, the Stan Musial Award, which goes to the top player in each league.

Stan Musial Award (Top Player):

American League:


Jose Bautista (TOR) **WINNER**



Note: Bautista is a leader on the field and in the club house. His ability to take control of a game or take the reins of a team are incredible and truly make him the best baseball player in the American League.

National League:


Matt Kemp (LAD) **WINNER** (LAD) **WINNER**



Note: Kemp was 1 HR shy of a 40-40 season. Throw in a .324 BA, 115 R and 126 RBI and you have yourself the best player in the National League. No questions asked.




* Jose Bautista photo by User Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "001U4334") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
* Matt Kemp photo by Ron Reiring on Flickr (Original version) User UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

First Aid: Top Ten Fantasy Baseball First Basemen for the 2012 Season

It is often said that you cannot win your fantasy baseball league without a premier player manning first base on your roster. While this may not be entirely true, you may want to consider utilizing a top pick (or keeper slot) on an elite first baseman to solidify your roster. Whether you are in a dynasty league and trying to determine your 2012 fantasy baseball keepers or just trying to get a jump on your 2012 fantasy draft, first base is a very important position. In order to determine the best value at the position, let’s consider the top ten fantasy first basemen for the 2012 season: 


1)      Albert Pujols (STL)
A free agent, Pujols could stay in St. Louis or land in any number of places (the Cubs are a rumoured destination). Regardless of where he plays, Pujols is the best pure hitter of his generation. Heal and ankle issues continue to plague him, but he is still the class of the position.

2)     Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Power (30 HR), run production (111 R, 105 RBI) and average (.344). What more could a fantasy owner ask for? Miggy even played through an arm muscle injury in the 2011 playoffs delivering 2 HR in his final game. He is the definition of a ‘fantasy stud’.

3)     Joey Votto (CIN)
The 2010 NL MVP repeated his triple digit stats in runs and RBI in 2011 while continuing to deliver a stellar batting average (.309). Although Great American Ball Park tends to inflate some offensive stats, Votto once again proved his worth by excelling on the road. He also set a career high with 599 at bats.

4)     Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
Finally escaping the confines of Petco Park, Gonzalez made a case for himself as AL MVP with a slash line of .338/.410/.548. With 77 RBI in the first half, “A-Gone” proved he is a force to be reckoned with in the Junior Circuit.

5)     Prince Fielder (MIL)
With the big spenders set at first base, it will be interesting to see where Fielder, a free agent in 2012, ends up playing. Weight and endurance issues are cause for concern in the near future but for now, Fielder delivers a combination of power and patience reminiscent of Frank Thomas in his prime.

6)     Mark Teixeira (NYY)
 As well-conditioned as they come, Teixeira’s power and run production have remained consistent. His average however, has slipped for 3 straight seasons with the Yankees. Although patient for a power hitter, “Tex” needs to get his batting average back to hovering around .300 to elevate himself to the top of the position.

7)     Paul Konerko (CWS)
Often undervalued, Konerko continues to put up solid offensive stats. In a season in which his teammates struggled, the White Sox first baseman battled through a calf injury which hampered him in the final 2 months of 2011. Expect him to be back to full strength in 2012.

8)     Gaby Sanchez (FLA)
After a solid 2010 rookie year which saw him net 85 RBI, Sanchez regressed somewhat in an up-and-down 2011 campaign. The subject of trade rumours, he could be in a line up which includes slugger Mike Stanton or find himself elsewhere in 2011. Either way, he is due for a bounce back season.

9)     Michael Young (TEX)
Getting displaced defensively from third to first base had no real effect on Young who delivered another solid year with 213 hits (and a .338 BA). He’s done this before, with 200+ hits each season from 2003-2007, so it is fair to assume more of the same. Young provides a superb average and run production even if his home run totals tend to fluctuate.

10)Eric Hosmer (KC)
Hosmer’s productive bat drove Billy Butler to the DH role and Kila Ka’aihue to the Athletics via a trade. The Royal’s rookie proved more than ready for big league pitching ahead of schedule and should be a mainstay in a resurgent KC batting order for years to come.

When considering fantasy baseball first basemen for 2012, these ten players should definitely be taken into account. Consider it “first aid” for your fantasy team.
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- Albert Pujols photo by Djh57 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Adrian Gonzalez photo by Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "20110428-0052") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Paul Konerko photo by Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Paul Konerko") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons




Monday, 17 October 2011

Catching Up: Top Ten Fantasy Baseball Catchers for the 2012 Season

With the end of the 2011 baseball season comes the preparations for the 2012 fantasy baseball season. It is never too early to get a jump on your competition and start considering your strategy for next year. If you are involved in a dynasty league (or keeper league), all the more reason to review each position and decide on who your keepers will (or should) be.

When considering the top fantasy catchers for 2012, it is definitely worth taking a look at the top ten catchers for the 2012 season and determining the value of each of these backstops from a fantasy baseball perspective.
1)  Carlos Santana (CLE)
Hitting in the middle of the Tribe’s batting order and delivering 27 HR and 97 BB speak volumes about Santana’s ability at the dish. A low BA (.239) is the one area he can improve upon. As he continues to show discipline at the plate, the average should come around. In year 3, he should be the class of the position.

2)  Victor Martinez (DET)
With 26 games behind the plate, V-Mart maintains his catcher status for 2012. That is great news for fantasy owners as he should continue to collect the lion’s share of the Tigers’ DH at bats. The lessened playing time at catcher means less chance of injury and more chance of delivering key offensive fantasy stats.

3)  Mike Napoli (TEX)
After a first half in which he hit for only a .232 BA, Napoli led all catchers (min. 175 PA) in the second half in HR (14), BA (.385), OBP (.468) with a major league best 1.158 OPS. Considering his eligibility at 1B as well his ability to pick up AB as the DH, Napoli ranks high at a shallow position.

4)  Brian McCann (ATL)
A steady performer, McCann’s penchant for missing games to nagging injury and enduring prolonged slumps are the only thing keeping him from the top of this list.

5)  Joe Mauer (MIN)
Once the crown jewel of the fantasy world, Mauer has displayed a persistent knack for being injury-prone recently, knocking him down a peg. Throw in the fact that he may be moved to first base and Mauer simply doesn’t deliver the necessary production to merit top status any longer.

6)  Miguel Montero (ARI)
 He proved that 2009 was no fluke by turning his game up a notch this season. Having a catcher who hits cleanup on a contending ball club is a nice building block for your fantasy team. The only question is if he can repeat his 2011 season.

7)  Buster Posey (SF)
Posey’s recovery from leg and ankle injuries has been ahead of schedule making the Giants optimistic for a full return by spring training. Temper your expectations a little and you won’t be disappointed.

8)  Matt Wieters (BAL)
Everyone’s favourite uber-prospect finally started to show some consistency in 2011. After 2 years of poor first half production, he finally had a balanced season. His defense had already established him as a valuable player on the field and his offense is starting to catch up.

9)  Alex Avila (DET)
After looking like he wasn’t ready to face big league pitching, Avila burst out of the gate with 10 HR and a .286 BA in the first half. With a second half of 9 HR and a .306 BA, Avila proved he is here to stay.

10)              J.P. Arencibia (TOR)
If you can weather the BA (.219) and OBP (.282), “JPA” should continue to deliver the power. He hit 23 HR and 78 RBI (both 4th among all MLB catchers) as a rookie. If he moves up in the line up, his numbers should improve.

When considering fantasy baseball catchers for 2012, these ten backstops should definitely be considered. Unlike some other shallow positions, you would be well served with any of these players manning your catcher spot. They all bring value from a fantasy baseball perspective.

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- Carlos Santana photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Brian McCann photo by User Chrisjnelson on en.wikipedia (From en.wikipedia; description page is (was) here) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Matt Wieters photo by Keith Allison from Kinston, USA (Matt Wieters  Uploaded by DieBuche) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Year End Awards 2011 – Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)


As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is honored to be able to participate in the BBBA Year End Awards. The Awards are comprised of the following:

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)
Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)
Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)
Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)
Stan Musial Award (Top Player)

Each award has nominees and a winner in both the American League and National League.

Today, we focus on the Walter Johnson Award, which goes to the top pitcher in each league.
Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher):

American League:

Justin Verlander (DET) **WINNER**

Jered Weaver (LAA)
C.C. Sabathia (NYY)
James Shields (TB)
Dan Haren (LAA)


Note: This was Verlander’s year. After finally starting a season with a decent April, the big Tiger right hander went on to dominate the American League with an MVP-type season.



National League:




Roy Halladay (PHI) **WINNER**

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
Cliff Lee (PHI)
Ian Kennedy (ARI)
Cole Hamels (PHI)


Note: Kershaw and Kennedy seemed to get most of the press but at the end of the day (or season, as the case may be), Doc is the best pitcher in the Senior Circuit. Period.


Next up.... Stan Musial Award (Top Player)


Justin Verlander photo by leadfoot on Flickr [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Roy Halladay photo by SD Dirk on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "D7K_4966") [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 14 October 2011

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Year End Awards 2011 – Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)


As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is honoured to be able to participate in the BBBA Year End Awards. The Awards are comprised of the following:

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)
Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)
Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)
Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)
Stan Musial Award (Top Player)
 

Today, we focus on the Goose Gossage Award, which goes to the top reliever in each league.Each award has nominees and a winner in both the American League and National League. Over the next week, I will be posting my final selections for the awards. 


Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever):

American League:

Mariano Rivera (NYY) **WINNER**

Jonathan Papelbon (BOS)(BOS)
Jose Valverde (DET)(DET)

Note: Papelbon had a great season (not including the final 2 days of the season). Valverde is not for the faint of heart but 49 saves is difficult to overlook. Regardless, Rivera is the class of the position.












National League:

Craig Kimbrel (ATL) **WINNER**


Note: Kimbrel was as dominant as a closer could be and did so as a rookie on a contending ball club.


Next up.... Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)


Photo by Keith Allison (originally posted to Flickr as Mariano Rivera) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Fantasy Baseball Player Rater 2012 - Relief Pitcher

The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Player Rater is now posted for relief pitchers. Take a look at the top 20 fantasy baseball relief pitchers for 2012. Please feel free to comment and we can adjust the list accordingly. The list is fluid and open to change throughout the off season based on injuries, trades, free agent signings, line up situations, etc.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Year End Awards 2011 – Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)

As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is honoured to be able to participate in the BBBA Year End Awards. The Awards are comprised of the following:
Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)
Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)
Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)
Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)
Stan Musial Award (Top Player)
Each award has nominees and a winner in both the American League and National League. Over the next two weeks, I will be posting my selections for each award.
Today, we focus on the Willie Mays Award, which goes to the top rookie in each league.
Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie):

American League:

Eric Hosmer (KC) **WINNER**


Note: Pineda was a pleasant surprise on an otherwise dismal Mariners squad but the offensive maturity the Royals’ first baseman displayed at the plate was simply too much to overlook.


National League:

Craig Kimbrel (ATL) **WINNER**


Note: It’s rare for a rookie to land the closer’s role to start the season. It’s even rarer for a rookie to hold the role on a contending club. Rarest of all is seeing that rookie succeed. Kimbrel not only succeeded, he was the best relief pitcher in the game.


Next up.... Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)


Eric Hosmer photo by Keith Allison [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Fantasy Baseball Player Rater 2012 - Starting Pitcher


The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Player Rater is now posted for starting pitcher. Take a look at the top 75 fantasy baseball starting pitchers for 2012. Please feel free to comment and we can adjust the list accordingly. The list is fluid and open to change throughout the off season based on injuries, trades, free agent signings, line up situations, etc.















Photo by SD Dirk on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "D7K_4966") [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Fantasy Baseball Player Rater 2012 - Designated Hitter

The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Player Rater is now posted for designated hitter. Take a look at the top 8 fantasy baseball designated hitters for 2012. Please feel free to comment and we can adjust the list accordingly. The list is fluid and open to change throughout the off season based on injuries, trades, free agent signings, line up situations, etc.















Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Adam Dunn") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 7 October 2011

Fantasy Baseball Player Rater 2012 - Outfield

The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Player Rater is now posted for outfield. Take a look at the top 60 fantasy baseball outfielders for 2012. Please feel free to comment and we can adjust the list accordingly. The list is fluid and open to change throughout the off season based on injuries, trades, free agent signings, line up situations, etc.









Photo by Steve Paluch on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "ryan-braun") [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Year End Awards 2011 - Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)

As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is honoured to be able to participate in the BBBA Year End Awards. The Awards are comprised of the following:

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)
Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)
Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)
Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)
Stan Musial Award (Top Player)

Each award has nominees and a winner in both the American League and National League. Over the next two weeks, I will be posting my selections for each award.

Today, we begin with the Connie Mack Award.

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager):
American League:

Joe Maddon (TB) **WINNER**

Ron Washington (TEX)
Joe Girardi (NYY)

Note: Joe Madden took it down to the wire but he managed to pull out the wild card in baseball’s toughest division.

National League:

Kirk Gibson (ARI) **WINNER**

Ron Roenicke (MIL)
Bruce Bochy (SF)

Note: This is Gibson’s prize and it’s not close. He took the Diamondbacks from 97 losses in 2010 to the NL West crown in 2011 with essentially the same roster.


Next up.... Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)