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Fantasy Baseball Links 3-27-12

Dee Gordon, Drew Stubbs not as promising in fantasy after a review of their advanced metrics - Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

Great read here about some players to be concerned about. Arencibia for example is a player that I I worry about more them some. The terrible contact rate and high strikeout rare only got worse in the second half of last year. The power if of course very real, but the BA liability could be even worse then you might think..

Arencibia's hot and cold zones; he looks like the kind of hitter that pitchers will surely test with breaking stuff low and outside during his sophomore year. It's for that reason he's a weak No. 1 catcher in any fantasy league, and a shaky No. 2 even in shallow mixed formats.

Stathead Sagas: Good Luck Drafting for Batting Average -

Great article here about the fickleness of batting average. In fact many Tout participants seemed to punt the category all together this year...

High Average, High Certainty Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez BABIP, particularly for hitters, is not all luck, and these four players are the poster children for how hitting the ball hard on a consistent basis produces repeatedly excellent batting averages. These players combine that with good (although not necessarily great) contact rates and excellent power hitting -- the booming home run is the only hit the defense cannot take away.

Bold Prediction: Francisco Liriano is Top 10 Starter | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Liriano momentum continues to build. This is certainly a player along with an Erik Bedard that I would target late. Chances are that someone will gamble before me. A lot of risk. Wouldn't be surprised if we hear about elbow problems a month from now. But again the upside is unquestionable.

His career high in innings is just 191.2, so it might be difficult for him to pitch enough to generate the requisite value to finish in the top 10. That said, if his control has indeed returned and he doesn’t suffer from an inflated BABIP, he will be able to go 7, 8 and 9 innings and the whole inefficient, "tries to strike everyone out" baloney will fade away. I think it is well within reason to believe he can post a low 3.00 ERA, a sub-1.20 WHIP and over 200 strikeouts this year, which would most certainly be good enough to place him among the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball in fantasy value.

Bogfella's Notebook: Bogfella's $1 Pitching Staff -

McGowan's recent foot injury has put opening day in jeopardy, but this is still a nice reserve round pick that could surprise. 15 team league reserve round only pick...

Dustin McGowan (TOR)- This spring has been an extension of his late season in 2011 where he began the long path back from a series of injuries. A few years ago he was one of my top young guns, and with the returning velocity and sharp movement, he may get there again - just not so young anymore. There's a very good chance he opens the season as the Jays' fifth starter, and if his command continues to improve with more work, he could be a solid middle of the fantasy rotation steal. I am inclined to see if that happens with this high reward flier. I just can't erase the memories of his performance before he got hurt. He is perhaps my favorite $1 flier for 2012.

Prospects Who Should Start on Opening Day

Cozart could be a strong Rookie of the year contender at years end. 15/15 is a possibility, but the BA could be average to several ricks below...

Zach Cozart - SS - Cincinnati: News: Cozart is hitting well enough this spring to all but guarantee the starting shortstop position is his. What to Expect: Spring Training stats are often useless and overrated by the masses, but there are times when March stats can have significance. Such is the case with Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds. A popular sleeper pick coming into the season, the shortstop is batting .419/.438/.677 and, even with Dusty Baker calling the shots, has all but cemented his status as opening day starter. He’s shown good pop and some speed in his minor league career and has the potential to put up a 15/15 season as soon as 2012. Currently the 23rd shortstop being taken according to Mock Draft Central, Cozart should start creeping up draft boards and into the mid-teens among shortstops. With a full year of at-bats, his power/speed combination could push him into top-10 territory by years end.

PLAYING TIME: Bard headed back to the pen? |

The reports on Bard are all over the place. Articles have been written about divisions between upper management and coaching staff about what to do with Bard. Jury is still out on where Bard will end up although the pen looks most likely at this point

Daniel Bard (RHP, BOS) has struggled in spring training, with a 7.11 ERA, ten walks, and only six strikeouts in 12.2 IP. Word out of Boston is that the Red Sox may abandon their plan to move Bard to the rotation and return him to the pen. If that happens, it seems likely that Felix Doubront (LHP, BOS) and Alfredo Aceves (RHP, BOS) would claim the final two rotation spots.

Spring Training Summary: March 21: Ichiro Suzuki’s Power Surge, Jon Lester’s Struggles & More | Rotoprofessor

Going to be a fascinating year to see what Ichiro does. I agree with the article below that outlines an uptick in power and decrease is speed. Ichiro in the 3-hole will be fascination to monitor.

Ichiro SuzukiSeattle Mariners – Outfielder – When the news broke that Suzuki would be hitting third in the Mariners lineup the talk was that he may try to hit for more power. So far this spring, he’s showing it off. He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday and is now hitting .400 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 1 SB in 30 AB this spring. Keep in mind, in 128 AB the previous two springs he hit 0 HR. Maybe there is something to the increased power, huh? The SB may decline, but probably not that much (given how weak the lineup is), so he’s looking like a player worth targeting.

So much for those relievers moving into the rotation

Chris Sale is highest on my list for all relievers moving into the rotation. 200K upside here.

Sale posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP last season out of the bullpen with an impressive 10.0 K/9 rate. He looks fairly secure as the White Sox's No. 5 starter when the season opens.