Sunday Evening Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Pedro Alvarez, Buster Posey, and Others

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 13: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates gets a hit in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during the game on September 13, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 6-4. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

ESPN's Buster Olney does a great job linking to the baseball beat writers every day, and today he linked to an article about Alvarez with this intro:

Pedro Alvarez worked out in Nashville this winter, and when I was there last week, others talked glowingly about his physical condition and indicated they think he's ready for what will be a very big year for him.

I am not sure who "others" are, but this is a needed first step for Alvarez to regaining the confidence of manager Clint Hurdle and Pirates fans. He has the potential to outperform his ADP of 236.03, but will need a solid spring. He could be the key to pushing the Pirates over .500 for the first time in many years. Here's more from Bill Brink's article in Sunday's Pittsburg Post Gazette:

Alvarez, the second overall draft pick in 2008, spent the offseason in Newport Beach, Calif., where his agent, Scott Boras, owns a workout facility. He focused on flexibility and agility rather than strength or reps in the batting cage and appeared in good shape at PirateFest.

"We've been really encouraged by what Pedro's doing this offseason," assistant general manager Kyle Stark said. "Both in terms of how he looks, how he feels, the confidence. He's a part of this and can contribute significantly to what we're doing. I think the reports are that he's in a good place mentally and physically."

I am looking forward to seeing how Alvarez looks early in 2012.

More fantasy baseball thoughts after the jump:

Andrew Baggarley from Comcast Sportsnet tweeted this about Giants catcher Buster Posey earlier this afternoon:

Bochy says there may come point when Giants discuss whether its in best interests for Posey to play another pos. but he's their catcher now.

If Posey moves to first base or left field within the next year or so, his value will drop in a big way. He is an excellent hitting catcher, but, as I have stated previously here, he is one to avoid this season due to the questions about his recovery from the ankle and knee injuries. A catcher needs healthy knees and ankles to do his job inning after inning. Keeper league owners beware.

A few days ago, we learned that Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez is on board with the move to third base this season. He was quoted as saying he is ready to play third base "forever". I think he will be better defensively at third base than at shortstop, but am curious if his power returns this season or not. If he loses his shortstop eligibility this season, and the power does not return, his value will take a big hit as a third baseman heading into 2013 drafts.

David O'Brien from the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweeted the following about Braves starter Tim Hudson this afternoon:

Tim Hudson, recovering from back surgery, said there's long way to go but back feels great. Maybe late April, early May return.

I wonder if this opens up a spot for Julio Teheran in the Braves rotation to start the season. I have a feeling we will see Teheran a lot in 2012, as Braves starter Tommy Hanson isn't the most healthy starter around either. Hanson is changing his arm slot in his delivery to reduce the strain on his shoulder. I will be curious to see how this impacts Hanson's performance and strikeout totals this season.

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