MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 16: Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a RBI single in the top of the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 16, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
I've lumped in a bunch of World Series links in with today's fantasy stuff, for which I will not apologize. World Series!
In short: if Berkman starts hot, whether due to BABIP luck or just solid performance, I expect pitchers to keep approaching him in a way that he's proven he can exploit. If he doesn't, they'll treat him like 2010 Berkman which, combined with his age, could be his downfall in 2012.
Fielder cut his two-strike miss percentage to 22 percent this past year. That helped make him one of the best two-strike hitters in the game. Prince batted .249/.347/.447 when he didn't have a strike to spare in 2011, compared to the pitcher-like .180/.247/.274 league average in such situations. While Fielder's price tag and girth could give teams pause, he's still in the prime years of his career and enters free agency with a highly impressive hitting dossier. With a 143 career OPS+, Prince ranks in the top 50 all-time among batters through their age-27 season. If he retains his two-strike contact boost, Fielder could be even more of a threat at the plate.
While [Roberts] will strike out a decent number of times, his ability to draw a walk and command of the strike zone doesn’t lead me to believe that a lot of what we saw in 2011 flirts with a fluke.
R and RBI: Michael Young is Predictably Unpredictable | Roto Hardball
A good point here: Next spring, watch Michael Young to see where he's deployed in the lineup.
Freese probably wasn’t going to be valued too highly by fantasy leaguers in 2011. His postseason performance has now certainly gotten him noticed and his cost in drafts will likely rise as a result. However, he has real potential to contribute positively in the batting average category, while hitting near the 20-homer plateau. In a weak third base position, that is quite solid. Thus, I don’t think he will necessarily be overvalued, but your chances for making a nice profit have obviously decreased.
If [Furcal] could even play 125 games, his peripherals still suggest that he could approach double-digits in both HRs and SBs while maintaining an average between .280 and .290. Assuming he sticks in the leadoff spot, add 75-80 runs to the equation. That can be especially helpful in NL-only leagues, where the top shortstops after the first tier of Tulo, Reyes and Hanley are Jimmy Rollins, Stephen Drew and an endless supply of question marks.
Exactly how we value Lavarnway will depend on how the Red Sox offseason unfolds. However, the one thing that we know is that he should be on all fantasy radars for 2012. We’ll revisit him again as the start of the season nears, but make sure you keep his name in mind.
The only two-time winner of Milwaukee's Minor League Player of the Year award, the 5'10" Green doesn't have anything more to prove on the farm. He's not particularly impressive physically but has decent pop in his bat from the left side, good knowledge of the strike zone, and is a "hard worker" with "amazing heart" who was compared by Zduriencik to legendary Los Angeles Dodgers firebrand Ron Cey.
2011 End of Season Player Rankings | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
A valuable resource as you get ready for 2012.
2011 Positional Review – Second Base | Baseball Guys
Looking forward, who do you like better: Cano or Pedroia? (or Kinsler?) My answer: Cano, hands down.
2011 Positional Review – Third Base | Baseball Guys
This position is so terrible, guys. Good thing Jose Bautista is eligible there next season.
2012 NL Starting Pitching Keeper Rankings: Tier One | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Fangraphs posted the first tier of their keeper rankings for every single position yesterday. I'm not going to link to every one (that would take up too much space). This is the most recent one. Click on it, then look for "Recent Stories" on the right to find the others.
AL: Beyond the Elite First Basemen | Roto Hardball
American League first basemen thin out quickly and the next tier options have warts large enough that sticking with elite might be your only option for success.
There's no rush for you to go out and draft him in your standard league formats, and in dynasty and long-term keeper leagues, Miller is already off the board. But for those of you who focus more on who is in the majors now, keep Miller in mind as someone who might be there sooner than later.
WORLD SERIES LINKS
World Series Prospectus: The Midwest Showdown | Baseball Prospectus
Hands down the best preview of the World Series out there...and it's free!
Saturday Night Live World Series Sketches | NBC.com
Classic baseball sketches to honor the World Series. "GET ON THE BAG!"
And your 2011 World Series Winner is… | Seamheads.com
Using the Bill James Prediction System.
Let’s Go, Rangers | Mike Scioscia's tragic illness
Must read sections: Joe Buck & Tim McCarver and Michael Young.