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Fantasy Baseball Links 3-13-12

Brian Roberts, Mat Gamel good late-round picks in fantasy baseball mixed drafts thanks to their high upside - Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

Some more end game picks in this ESPN article. Gamel is certainly a player that could break out that I will be throwing a few extra bucks at. The job is his to lose.

First base: There are certainly young players here who will -- and should -- be selected in deeper leagues, such as Justin Smoak and Brandon Allen, and I remain intrigued by Jesus Guzman in San Diego. You know who else fits the description here? Aubrey Huff. In 2010, he hit 26 home runs, knocked in 86 runs and hit .290. It was clearly unexpected, since he wasn't drafted in most leagues that season. The same thing could happen this year.

Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez undervalued in fantasy baseball in part because of their age - Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

Ichiro undervalued? While he may not run as much hitting in the 3-hole and getting older, I am looking for a rebound in in the BA department. He could even surprise and crack 10 HR's this year. We have been hearing about his power in Japan and during batting practice for year... The over all skill set is still elite. Even at age 38, I will still be investing.

I have Suzuki slotted at least 20 spots better than current ESPN live draft results. I see him hitting near .300 again, and there aren't many players I consider safer bets to reach at least 35 stolen bases. Hitting third has to help his RBI potential, although I'll still take the under on 75 of them. This is a really interesting situation, by the way; Ichiro has 8,060 career plate appearances, all but 78 of them hitting first. This is really new territory. It's possible the experiment ends by May. It could end tomorrow. Will it work? Certainly Suzuki is no prototypical middle-of-the-order bat. He slugged .335 last year, although those who regularly watch him in batting practice claim he could hit for power if he wanted to. In 2009, Suzuki hit 11 home runs, producing 46 extra-base hits. Who's to say he can't do that again, even at the advanced age of 38?

Is Kyle Seager Fantasy Relevant? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

More of an AL only play here, but Seager will help you with BA a,d could gain multi-position eligibility this year.

If you’re interested at all in Seager, the situation to watch is that the Mariners have one position for two players – Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager. If Saunders lays an egg in Spring, it’s likely that Seager will make the team and play a good deal at third. If Saunders rakes, he’s likely to start the season as the regular center fielder, Figgins becomes the regular third baseman, and Seager might head to Tacoma. Considering how Saunders has fared in the past, I’m betting we’ll see Seager at third, and if they commit to his playing time, he might even be useful to your fantasy team.

Job Battles: Early Frontrunners -

Just bought Mesoraco in the Triple Crown RotoExperts league for 2$. All upside play here. With full time play (which he could earn), this is a Catcher with 20+ pop and a good average... Monitor the time share situation with Hanigan.

Catcher: Highly touted prospect Devin Mesoraco is expected to open the year on the Reds' 25-man roster, but how much playing time he'll see with incumbent Ryan Hanigan still around remains to be seen. Mesoraco will have to prove he can handle a major league staff before manager Dusty Baker turns over regular duties to him. If that happens by the end of spring training, Mesoraco will be worth consideration on draft day in all formats. If not, he might not work his way into regular at-bats until later this year or even next season.

Mound Musings: Ranking the 30 Closers -

TIER 1 1. Rafael Betancourt, COL (K/9: 10.5; BB/9: 1.2) - Total score: 10 2. Jonathan Papelbon, PHI (K/9: 12.2; BB/9: 1.4) - Total score: 10 3. Mariano Rivera, NY-A (K/9: 8.8; BB/9: 1.2) - Total score: 8 4. J.J. Putz, AZ (K/9: 9.5; BB/9: 1.9) - Total score: 8 5. Ryan Madson, CIN (K/9: 9.2; BB/9: 2.4) - Total score: 8 6. Huston Street, SD (K/9: 8.5; BB/9: 1.4) - Total score: 7

3 Guys I Won't Draft in 2012 | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

While there is reason for skepticism for Santana to rebound, he is showing very positive flashed this spring. Innings will be capped, but could be a serviceable pitcher out of the gate. I spend $4 on him in a mixed league auction last night.

Johan Santana, SP NYM – Please tell me this is a product of New York media hype and not some crazy belief that Santana is really going to come back and produce at some high level this year. A 227.90 ADP (19th round) is still too high for a guy who, not only didn’t throw a single pitch in the majors in 2011, but remains an injury risk and has seen a steady decline in his strikeout rate and walk rate during his last three seasons. Not to mention the lost velocity over the last four years. On a human level I think it’s great that he’s getting back on that horse and trying to pitch again, but I’m certainly not entrusting the ratios of my fantasy team with him. Based on his increasing xFIP over the last four years, I’m looking at Steamer’s projections being the most likely. There are plenty of other hurlers that will be available after he’s been taken, so save yourself and enjoy them instead.

Alejandro De Aza worth consideration as leadoff hitter for Chicago White Sox - Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

Unsustainable hit rate last year portends BA regression, but hitting atop the White Sox's lineup, he should be a cheap source for steals on draft day.

Here's when you might wonder, why does any of this matter? Hey, I get it. It's Alejandro De Aza. He's nothing special, right? Well, that could be true, but he looked kind of special while hitting .329 and boasting a .920 OPS over 171 plate appearances, with 12 stolen bases, for the White Sox last season -- basically all in a two-month period -- and he's apparently set as their leadoff hitter. De Aza does have skills; he has hit .300 or better in each of the past three seasons at Triple-A and steals the occasional base, and he gave us a small hint of what he could back in 2007.

FACTS/FLUKES: McCann, Bell, Cahill, Garcia, Goldschmidt |

BaseballHQ's Fact fluke articles are must reads. Heath Bell is one example of a reliever that looks to be in sharp decline. He should be in tier 3 territory...

Bell's Ctl has risen steadily in the past two seasons and is nearing the 4.0 mark. In 2011, his Dom took a significant dive. The result was a Cmd rate under the 3.0 threshold. And, his ground-ball rate, once a strong element in his arsenal, also has eroded some in recent seasons. In 2011, it all added up to an un-closer-like 71 BPV.

PLAYING TIME: Lynn being stretched out as Carpenter backup plan |

While super star prospect Shelby Miller is a LONG shot to replace Carpenter, keep your eyes on him. Lance Lynn is not the answer here... Don't sleep on Roy Oswalt either.

The latest news on Chris Carpenter's (RHP, STL) sore neck is that he's feeling better but he's not yet ready to begin throwing. In the meantime, Lance Lynn (RHP, STL) is being stretched out as a possible rotation replacement in the event that Carpenter is not ready to begin the season. In 2011 Lynn was outstanding in the Cardinals' bullpen, posting a 3.12 ERA, 10.4 Dom, 3.6 Cmd, and 145 BPV in 35 IP.