Drabek is still an AL only play by far, but I will at least be adding Drabek to my scout team.
The twenty-four year-old Drabek did not look ready for the majors in 2011 with a 6.06 ERA in 79 IP. His biggest problems were poor Ctl (5.3l) in addition to a 13% hr/f rate and 67% strand rate. On the positive side, he keeps the ball on the ground, and he showed good command in the minors. This spring he has fanned 12 in 14.1 IP, but the downside has been six walks.
The never sexy David Murphy could be a valuable 5th outfielder in 15 team leagues. If Fact BaseballHQ has him currently penciled in as a $16 player going 13HR, 12SB, .280 AVG. You could do worse with your last OF.
The assumption that either Craig Gentry (OF, TEX) or Julio Borbon (OF, TEX) would win the Rangers' CF job could turn out to be faulty. Reports claim that given each player's springtime malaise (Gentry: 3-for-25, nagging injuries; Borbon: 10-for-42; a famous missed bunt), the Rangers are prepared to move Josh Hamilton (OF, TEX) back to CF and start David Murphy (OF, TEX) in left. While both Gentry and Borbon have big SB upside, they may end up being reserve-level picks rather than late-round active flyers
Drafts are over but never too late to target a player in a trade. Lorenzo Cain has yet to develop much buzz, but I have him ranked higher then Melky Cabrera for example. Great target as a 4th and 5th OF in a 15 team league.
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals (up 35.3 spots): Cain is having a terrific spring -- entering Wednesday, he was hitting .431 with four home runs, two stolen bases and 14 runs scored -- and the somewhat surprising demotion of young second baseman Johnny Giavotella has nearly secured the No. 2 lineup spot for the righty-hitting Cain. Acquired in the Zack Greinke trade, Cain spent last season at Triple-A Omaha, even though it appeared he was big league-ready. Cain hit 16 home runs, stole 16 bases and batted .312 there. Knowing that Cain likely will hit right in front of the great Eric Hosmer, and not really the fact that he's raking this spring, has led me to place Cain among my top 50 outfielders, and take him in the top 18 or so rounds of my mixed drafts.
Last chance to grab Juan Nicasio before it's too late. Huge upside. Get him before he pitches this week.
Johan Santana: March 30 update: Santana has stayed true to his word of taking it one game at a time this spring. Each outing he has built upon the previous one in terms of workload, and so far, he has had no negative repercussions with regard to his shoulder. His velocity has been up and down, and his command has been inconsistent, but the fact that his shoulder has continued to feel good the day after pitching is perhaps the most important element. Whether that remains the case for a whole season is the big unknown. As Santana told ESPNNewYork.com: "It is fine. But again, to do it in the course of the season -- for 30 starts, or whatever it is -- that's something we have to see."
Even in 10 team leagues, Bedard makes for a valuable 2-start pitcher this week. Of course he will get injured, but while he is healthy grab him. Who knows it may even be his lucky year!
Maximizing pitchers that make 2 starts in a week is a strategy used by some fantasy owners, especially in H2H leagues. The owners cycle through less desirable starters each week and get a new set the next week in order to win the counting stats. The first week of the season offers a unique situation because most of the 2-start pitchers are #1 and #2 starters for a team. Most of these pitchers are already owned. Today I am going to look at some of the few 2-start “aces” that may be available in a league
In holds leagues, Mike Adams is the creme of the crop and doesn't get the credit he deserves. An elite arm here. Trade for him...
Tier One: Jonny Venters David Robertson Mike Adams Tyler Clippard Sergio Romo Vinnie Pestano
Great read here about speculating on saves. Keep your eyes on Rex Brothers. He should be owned in all 15 team leagues.
Rex Brothers, Rockies - Yes, Brothers is left-handed and we don't see too many left-handed closers. No southpaw is a lock to close in 2012, with Sean Marshall and Matt Thornton being mere (strong) possibilities. Brothers, meanwhile, sits in the mid-to-upper 90s with his fastball and is coming off a season in which he posted ridiculous K/9IP rates - 14.5 in Triple-A and 13.1 in the big leagues. Those type of strikeout rates make him worth owning in deep leagues NOW, and considering Rafael Betancourt is 37, the idea that Brothers racks up a few saves (or more) this year isn't out of the question.
If Heisey can find 400 at bats, we could be looking at a 20 HR, 10SB with .280AVG player. After a terrible spring the price is next to nothing. Monitor this situation.
Cincinnati Reds: Left Field: It looks like Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey will open the year in a platoon in left field. Heisey, who has a career .548 OPS against southpaws, will earn the majority of the at-bats as he is on the strong side of the platoon. Ludwick should also earn some extra starts in left field against right-handers when Heisey slides over to replace Drew Stubbs in center field.
Aviles could have similar numbers to Alexei Ramirez by years end. The price is still very cheap. If you are in need of MI, this is a player I am targeting via trade...
Aviles Wins BoSox Shortstop Job We heard some rumblings over the weekend that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was lobbying for Jose Iglesias to win the starting shortstop job, but the slick fielding youngster was sent to the minors yesterday, which effectively anointed Mike Aviles as the starter. I'm not sure why it was ever really a debate. Iglesias batted just .235/.285/.269 with a .554 OPS last season with Triple-A Pawtucket, so he likely would have been the weakest hitting regular in the majors. Bobby V has a history with all-glove, no-hit shortstops, but it's best for all involved that he gets more seasoning in the minors. Aviles is a .288 career hitter and has a little bit of speed and pop so he's worth a flier in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues in this lineup. Valentine has discussed the possibility of using him out of the leadoff spot, but that would probably be a mistake, at least against right-handers. The 31-year-old owns a lousy .318 on-base percentage in the big leagues.