It is shocking the future hall of famer is already 38 years. While Ichiro no longer has elite speed, I'm still expecting him to swipe 30 bags. His .311 OBP is cause for concern, and the threat of his dropping in the batting order is a very real possibility.
After 11 seasons in the majors, Father Time has finally begun to catch up with fleet-footed Ichiro Suzuki. Now 38, Ichiro saw his streak of consecutive 200-hit seasons end come to an end in 2011 when he collected only 184 and hit a career-low .272. While he did steal 40 bases, there are indications that Suzuki has lost some of his trademark speed. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Thursday he's leaning toward moving Ichiro out of the leadoff spot for the coming season.
Fantasy players have very short memories. It was not so long ago that Thornton flashed elite skills in the bullpen. After his abysmal April last year, the 35 year old was very close to brilliant with the fewest hard-hit balls of any time in his career. At some point look for the youngster Addison Reed to claim the closers gig. Just ask the brilliant @RichWilsonfsg for info on Reed!
The trendy pick seemed to be youngster Addison Reed, but manager Robin Ventura is currently leaning toward veteran lefty Matt Thornton to handle the closing duties as spring training approaches.
Hart has already taken reps at 1B, and could gain eligibility very quickly in 2012. 2012 is clearly a make or break year for the former elite prospect Matt Gamel.
Hart said he’s taken grounders and throws at first base as recently as September. "I didn’t think I was going to be a first baseman again, but you never know," he said. "You see a lot of guys that play outfield who came up as an infielder, and there’s always a chance you can go back and mess around once in a while. I kind of thought there might be a chance in the future that I might be stuck over there again. I thought I’d go over there and mess around a few times this year. Practice is one thing, but you definitely need some game time experience to get comfortable over there."
Brad Peacock isn’t even ranked in the top 150 starters for CBS. Then again they have Javier Vazquez ranked 47th overall and he retired, so there’s that. Here’s what I said when he was traded to the A’s, "Peacock had a great season in Double- and Triple-A last year, putting up a 2.39 ERA and a 177/47 K/BB line. The A’s basically got Gio Gonzalez back. I’m gonna be all about Peacock in 2012 like I just woke up from a nap after drinking seven glasses of water." And that’s me quoting me! I obviously thought the acquisition of Peacock by Pitt was a great get. I wonder if skinny Jonah Hill is as good a baseball evaluator as fat Jonah Hill. I know he’s not as funny. He’s not even as easy to look at. Nothing worse than the nerd who gets the summer makeover and thinks he’s now cool. You’re still a nerd, embrace your Jew-fro. Don’t make me take off my mustache and smack you with it. Peacock is done with the minors. He has nothing left to prove, so I do think the understaffed A’s will show off their Peacock in their Opening Day rotation. So what can we expect of Brad Peacock for 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Michael Bourn (58.1) gets no respect. He’s the elite stolen base threat in the game, and because of his wheels he’s been a top-50 overall performer the past three years. Still, his ADP is outside the top-50 and he is being taken behind guys like Jay Bruce (40.4) and Desmond Jennings (55.9). That’s a mistake in my book. Speaking of Bruce, I know he is young and people love to think that he has another level to take his game, but why in the world is he being drafted ahead of guys like Shin-Soo Choo (65.3), B.J. Upton, Adam Jones (74.6) and Shane Victorino (74.8)? Hell, Lance Berkman (92.4) was better than Bruce last year and he also qualifies at first base.
PHIL HUGHES- Keep a close watch on Hughes' spring training, especially radar gun numbers before drafting him. He could be a late round steal if you are willing to take a chance that he can get back to what he once was before his dead arm issues in 2011. He did have better numbers after returning from his disabled list stint although they still were not as good as we saw in 2010.