First, apologies to Ray and everyone else who expects more regular posts. I was out of town this week but my traveling is over for the foreseeable future so my postings will become more regular.
Second, to the links.
Over at FanGraphs, Jason Catania finished his ranking of next season's AL outfield keepers, for those of you so unfortunate as to own Ben Revere or Nick Markakis. As a bonus, Jason provides links for his previous tiers of outfielders.
Also from FanGraphs, Mike Podhorzer ranks some more AL SPs. This tier is what he calls, "basically the last couple of guys I would truly be satisfied keeping on my team." You can see Mike's prior rankings of starters in the article as well. His rankings are pretty solid although I think he ranks Max Scherzer a little high and Ricky Romero a little low.
Speaking of rankings, Roto Hardball's Peter Christensen posted his two part fantasy closer rankings Thursday and Friday. I like Christensen's ranking of Papelbon, who I think is normally very underrated and will be great in Philly. I think Sergio Santos is a little low at #9, I would rank him ahead of at least Jordan Walden and Ryan Madson.
In an interesting comparison piece, Roto Hardball's Ben Duronio asks if Madison Bumgarner is the second coming of Clayton Kershaw. I don't know if Bumgarner=Kershaw but I'll say this, if I was looking for one Giants' starter going forward, it would be Bumgarner. He may not have had the best W/L record in 2011 but look at his peripherals. The guy is going to be a monster in 2012. Grab him early in your draft or trade for him now.
Moving to some batters from the senior circuit, Razzball raises the prospect of Dee Gordon being a keeper. Considering that Flash Jr. is basically a poor man's Juan Pierre (as Razzball points out), I have a hard time justifying saving one of your spots for him. Here's Razzball's rationale:
If Gordon’s ground ball rate would’ve qualified last year, he would’ve been up there with Ichiro, Andrus and Maybin (and Casey Kotchman — wow, did he get lucky with balls batted into play). Gordon can hit 30 dribblers a year and get 40 steals. He’s not going to give you any power (not even bulked up Juan Pierre power) or RBIs. He’s only 150 pounds soaking wet. He’s a string bean with legs! The rest of the five categories, he should be fine in — say 85/0/30/.270/55.
This one is a couple days old, but being an Up and In podcast enthusiast, I love the mention given by Rotoprofessor to Jose Altuve.
It’s possible that he develops a little bit more power as he matures and adds strength, but we shouldn’t look for any dramatic development in that regard in 2012. He did show in the lower levels that he could hit for a little pop and does call a hitter’s park home. That is going to help, but he’s not going to produce in the 20+ range. Figure he can hit around 10 HR, but not much more than that.
Rotoprofessor also wrote about what we can expect from the ever inconsistent Adam Lind.
There was nothing unrealistic in his 2009 success. In fact, given the line drive rate his 2011 BABIP was extremely unlucky. You would have to think that he’s a lock to improve on last season’s .251 average at this point. Is he going to reach the .300 range? I wouldn’t bet on that, but expecting at least .270, with the potential for more, is extremely fair.
In other words, things look extremely promising for Lind heading into 2012. At the deepest position in fantasy baseball you shouldn’t need to draft him as a starter (though he would be a good selection for your corner infield spot), meaning he could bring great value on draft day.
Happy reading, more links to come over the weekend.