If I was a betting man, (Oh wait I AM a betting man), I would not put any cash down on Morse hitting .300. The power is indeed and I will gladly draft Morse in 7th round, but I will not be banking on that AVG repeat...
I predict Morse, if healthy, will have 30-35 homers, a .300 batting average, close to 100 RBI, 170 hits and 80-85 runs. That line should land him in the top 10 by season’s end and even help the Nationals become competitors in the NL East.
The only possible winner in the Guthrie/Hammels, Lindstrom swap was possibly Matt Lindstrom. I will still be drafting Jim Johnson first, but Lindstrom belongs in at the beginning of the tier of relievers to speculate on...
Lindstrom is no relief ace, and he has an injury history that includes shoulder, back and elbow ailments over the past few years. However, he’s now in a spot where he’ll get holds and could possibly work his way into ninth-inning duties. That’s a far better fate than pitching the sixth or seventh frame in Colorado.
Great reminder here that relievers that do not close out games can have Roto value. Great read here!
With only 30 closers available in a draft able to accumulate Saves at any one time, not all fantasy teams will have the opportunity to get 3 closers in a 12 team league, not alone in a 20 team league. With a limited number of closers available, it is important to find other relievers to help generate stats. I am going to look at 3 of the best non-closers in the game, Koji Uehara, Sergio Romo and Joaquin Benoit.
I am VERY high on Posey expecting him to pick up where he left off, but the writer makes a great case below to target M Montero as an alternative to Posey. Just don't expect too many people to let Montero slide in your drafts...
Then there's Montero, who had a big year for the 2011 Diamondbacks. He set a career high with 140 games, and entering a contract year has every reason to push himself for a repeat. But if we cautiously reduce his 493 AB total to, say, 460, we get something like .277-17-70-59-1. Aside from Posey's potential first base eligibility, it's entirely possible the two players are very similar in value in 2012. Even if Montero brings 75% of Posey's value, isn't that worth taking him 43 picks later?
Some great analysts are at Yahoo, so these are a set of ranks that I pay close attention to.
What They're Saying: CBS Sportsline - #6 Catcher; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com - #7 Catcher & #121 Overall; RotoChamp - #41 Overall; Mock Draft Central - #4 Catcher and #58 Overall Projection: As he gets more experience his BB% is going to continue to go up. Being a catcher his AB's are going to be limited and he doesn't have the luxury of being a DH to rest while keeping his bat in the lineup. That said, he can match the AB productivity of someone like Carlos Santana, but won't get the AB's necessary to keep pace in the counting stats like HR, RBI and R over the course of a full season. .290 AVG, 16 HR, 85 RBI, 70 R, .370 OBP, 2 steals in 500 AB
Cueto: Nonetheless, a new (i.e. strikeout-shy) Cueto is not necessarily a better one for fantasy purposes, so if you find yourself infatuated by his fortuitous 2011 ratios, resist the urge to buy him anywhere near his current going rate -- mid-ninth round! There are a handful of pitchers being drafted long after him who will offer more strikeouts, or a sturdier groundball profile, or both. Peralta: Peralta doesn't come without risk, but he could be a surplus value at a position that's notably thin. Considering many fantasy owners are overreaching for shortstops, Peralta presents a rare opportunity to buy a decent one at below-market cost.
Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui have all been solid performers for years (each was a fantasy star at one point, even if you’ve forgotten because it was a while ago). Do any of the three enough residual skill to be of use in the fantasy game in 2012 as anything other than single league options (NL or AL Only)? That’s what we’re going to investigate.