The World Series kicks-off this evening in Boston. The Red Sox will try to win another World Series in fewer that the 86 years it took them between their previous two while the Rockies look to conclude their second-ever post-.500 season with a championship.
These are worthy goals, but I have something else in mind. I want to know which players will ride a wave of positive publicity and performance from the post-season towards higher draft values next Spring.
I have little doubt that Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia and SP Josh Beckett and Rockies' OF Matt Holliday have already increased their 2008 value through award-laden regular seasons combined with excellent post-season showings. What makes me more interested is who else amongst the less obvious takes a jump in value.
The player that strikes me as most likely to make the leap from fantasy shrugs to fantasy slyness at next year's drafts is Rockies' starting pitcher Jeff Francis. In both his post-season starts, Francis has dominated to the tune of 2-0 over 12.2 IP with just 3 ER and 12 strikeouts. Those efforts coupled with a good 2006 season (17 W, 4.22 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 165 Ks) will get him taken higher than most Colorado Rockies' starting pitchers that preceded him.
While that seems exuberant to those of us who live by the rule of not drafting Rockies' pitchers, it may pail if Francis' success causes some of that exuberance to bleed to other members of the Rockies staff. Who will resist Ubaldo Jimenez and his 11 Ks in 11.1 post-season innings? What if fellow rookie Franklyn Morales throws 97-MPH gas over five shut-out innings?
This could happen, and, if the Rockies win, then I expect it to do so. Who else stands to benefit from a good post-season in next year's fantasy drafts?
Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell at 11AM.
Fantasy Football with AJ Mass at 3PM.
NBA with David Thorpe at noon.
NFL with Craig Mortensen at 11AM.
Football with Mel Kiper at 1PM.
NFL with Gary Horton at 4PM.
MLB with Keith Law at 1PM.
Baseball America's JJ Cooper at 2PM.
Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver at 8PM.