Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Yu Darvish Shines, Corey Hart Injury Update and More

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 07: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the San Diego Padres during the spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 7, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Yesterday, Baseball Nation's Marc Normandin wrote this piece about how the Miami Marlins new ballpark will affect their offense this season. In the article, Marc compares the dimensions of the new ball park vs the old Sun Life stadium:

The most obvious changes merit first mention. Home plate might be in Miami-Dade county, but the "Bermuda Triangle" in left center is so far out it's nearly in the actual Bermuda Triangle -- that geographically-themed region is 420 feet from home plate. That isn't the only area that's seen a boost in distance:


Sun Life Stadium Marlins Park
Left 330 ft. 340 ft.
Left-Center 361 ft. 384 ft.
Center 404 ft. 416 ft.
Right-Center 361 ft. 392 ft.
Right 345 ft. 335 ft.
Backstop 58 ft. 47 ft.

Those are some huge changes in left-center field and right-center field. You have to think that the change in dimensions will increase the value of the Marlins starters on draft day, and depress home runs and runs scored. You might want to drop Hanley Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison a few spots, but I don't think there are any stadiums that can hold a Giancarlo Stanton bomb, so his value should remain static.

To counter Marc's article, I was listening to the MLB channel on Wednesday morning, and Todd Hollandsworth was talking about how the balls were flying out of the new Marlins ballpark on Tuesday afternoon during batting practice. They closed the roof for the night game and there was only one HR hit, by Hanley Ramirez. Over the weekend, a high school baseball game was held at the Marlins park and a 15 year old went yard. It may have been wind-aided, but still. A 15 year old went yard there.

More fantasy baseball thoughts after the jump:

Baseball Nation's and Lookout Landing's Jeff Sullivan wrote an article discussing Yu Darvish's first spring training start yesterday, and concludes that Darvish is going to be pretty good. He included some video of Darvish striking out a few Padres. He has a heck of a breaking ball, and PitchFX had his fastball topping out at 94-95. One outing does not make him an ace, but ESPN's Keith Law had this to say about him after scouting his start yesterday:

Seven pitches is a lot for a starter in MLB -- I understand it's more common in Japan -- but with the fastball, slider, cutter and splitter, he'd have one of the 10 best arsenals in the league, and should have the control and aggressiveness to get the most out of it.

Robert ranked him as his 25th ranked starter for 2012 in his recent updated rankings. That might prove to be conservative, and I don't think Robert would mind, being that he is a Rangers fan.

On the other side of the ledger, Giants starter Tim Lincecum had a rough outing yesterday, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits and a walk in 2 innings of work in his first spring start. Not to worry. We don't put much credence into spring training stats, but I am not high on Lincecum this season. I even traded a $29 Lincecum this offseason in the UBA NL-only keeper league.

If your league has a tallest pitcher category, here is your first round pick.

Fantasy owners are well aware that Chase Utley is a very good hitter. He plays second base and hits for power, solid BA and can steal some bases. But, then there's that chronic knee injury that is keeping him out of spring training games thus far. Actually, Baseball Nation's Wendy Thurm says he isn't doing much at all, and she includes the medical opinion of ESPN's Stephania Bell.

Corey Hart revealed yesterday that his surgery went well, but the docs found a few other issues with his knee. Here are Hart's quotes, via Tom Haudricourt from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Hart said the surgery was a little more involved than originally thought, with three "big" cartilage tears to shave down and two pieces already broken off. Still, it proved to be the minor surgery and not the major surgery that he feared might be needed. Thus, he still hopes to return in 3-4 weeks.

"It was torn almost all the way," he said. "But they could deal with it.

"I had three pretty big tears. Then, I had two pieces that were almost two centimeters that were broke off. (Dr. William Raasch) said if I would have kept playing, I would have blown out within a month and I'd have had to have the big (surgery). That would have been three or four months (out of action).

Hart thinks he will be back within 3-4 weeks, but manager Ron Roenicke said he was going to take it slow with Hart, and not rush him. I won't be surprised if we still don't see him back by the end of April. How do you go from a 30 minute surgery to surgery that lasted over an hour, with more serious knee issues, and still return within the same timeframe of 3-4 weeks? You don't. Draft accordingly.

For those of you in dynasty or keeper leagues, take note. Here is ESPN's Keith Law on Rangers third base prospect Mike Olt:

Texas played third base prospect Mike Olt (No. 75 on my top 100 prospect ranking) at first base, as third base seems to be occupied for the foreseeable future in Arlington. While Olt's bat is going to be ready before Adrian Beltre's contract runs out, his glove is wasted at first and I don't think his bat profiles as elite over there (while it might have at third). That said, the Rangers don't have a high-end first base prospect and I could see Olt being a better option there than Mitch Morelandas soon as the end of this year.

I am glad I read this, as I own 5 of the first 11 picks in my AL-only minor league draft on April 7th, and Olt just moved up my board.

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