Saturday Morning Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Brett Lawrie, Johan Santana, A.J. Burnett, and Others

Does anyone listen to SiriusXM Radio's fantasy station? I was listening to it on Thursday afternoon and there was a commerical where former Mets GM Steve Phillips was pushing fantasy baseball advice. How does one go from being the GM of the Mets to pushing fantasy baseball advice? Most former GMs get jobs as a scout or assistant to the GM in other organizations, or talking baseball on ESPN or the MLB channel. Phillips did work for ESPN till he found himself chasing interns.

There is nothing wrong with providing fantasy baseball advice, because I do it here. But, I am not a former GM.

Speaking of the Mets, former ace Johan Santana threw 25 pitches off a mound yesterday and said he felt great afterward. That sounds good, but I want to know how he feels today, and in his next throwing session. ESPN's Tim Kurkjian reported last night that he was told my "Mets people" that getting 100-125 innings from Santana this season would be a bonus. I am of the opinion that he won't make more than 15-20 starts this season. Its ashame what shoulder injuries do to pitchers.

More fantasy baseball thoughts after the jump:

More on SiriusXM's fantasy channel: I was listening to the fantasy baseball show on SiriusXM last night, and a caller asked the hosts on the show, Kyle Effrick and Ray Flowers, whether he should trade Shelby Miller for Brett Lawrie. Kyle responded by saying that Lawrie is one of the top 12 third baseman in baseball. i said to myself, i think he is a little better than that. Lawrie is the 5th third baseman off the board according to Mock Draft Central right now. Want proof?

Mixed 5x5 - Premium Average Draft Position
for 752 qualifying drafts run between 02/04/2012 - 02/18/2012
(last updated on 02/18/2012 at 6:38 AM EST)
copyright © 2010 MockDraftCentral.com
Player Pos Team ADP Earliest Target Bargain Latest Draft % Chart
1 (12) Evan Longoria 3B TB 11.54 2 8 13 21 100.0% ADP Breakdown Chart
2 (30) Adrian Beltre 3B TEX 31.30 14 26 35 44 100.0% ADP Breakdown Chart
3 (33) David Wright 3B NYM 32.87 16 28 35 52 100.0% ADP Breakdown Chart
4 (41) Ryan Zimmerman 3B WAS 42.21 19 35 46 63 100.0% ADP Breakdown Chart
5 (54) Brett Lawrie 3B TOR 55.12 25 43 64 83 100.0% ADP Breakdown Chart

So Lawrie is being drafted in the 5th round of mixed league drafts. Is that too high for a player who has just 150 major league at bats under his belt? He is being drafted ahead of Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Pablo Sandoval and Aramis Ramirez.

Frankly, I like Lawrie and don't have a problem with him coming off the board ahead of those guys, but there is some risk to taking him this high, ahead of more established hitters. He certainly has the bat to be ranked in the top 5. or top 3, by the end of the season though.

The Yankees traded finally traded starter A.J. Burnett, and around $20 million, to the Pirates for two low level minor league prospects we will never see in prospect rankings. I like the deal for the Buccos and think Burnett can pitch effectively in the NL Central. Even though his HR/FB rate has increased the last 3 seasons, I think it will come down moving to the NL. He strikes out more than 8 batters every 9 innings, and induced a ground ball rate of 49% last season, so he has two parts of the holy trinity that Bret wrote about yesterday in his piece on Jaime Garcia. The last part of the holy trinity where Burnett needs improvement is with the free pass. If he shows just a little improvement in the walk department, and reduces the big fly rate, I think he can be an effective pitcher you can get late in NL-Only league drafts, and should be on your waiver wire watch list in mixed leagues.

We also learned last night that the Phillies were one of the teams interested in new Pirates hurler A.J. Burnett. Why? is there a player on the free agent market that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. isn't interested in? I would not be surprised that he talked to the agents for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder this offseason. With that said, I like that about him. He is doing his job to put a winner on the field. And he is not afraid to trade an established player, think Cliff Lee, for prospects. I just think he should have received more for Lee than he did. Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez are certainly not household prospect names.

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