It's Never Too Early For Fantasy Baseball Talk, Nerds: Guide to 2010

Chris Murphy@@SeeMurphsTweetsAnalyst IJanuary 28, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 16: Pitcher Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies and senior vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. pose for a photograph on December 16, 2009 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

I truly hate the fact that no matter what the situation in baseball news, I associate everything with fantasy baseball. Most of the time, I want to shove myself into a locker and steal my own lunch money after thinking these thoughts.

If it isn't thinking of awful team names involving fecal matter, the human anatomy and/or some STD, it is which players will fall in the late rounds to be a part of team Pepperoni Nipples or whatever my team will be called.

As baseball news continues to spew out the mouths of anchors, I wonder how that will affect teams Pubic Relations, Reese's Feces, or Butt Hash.

This is how I think and, unfortunately, this is the man I am.

I'd like to state for the record, these team names have actually been used by me. In the thought process of making a fantasy team name I always wonder, "What is a name you literally can't say out loud without laughing and/or would hate to lose to?"

Imagine losing to a team named Reese's Feces. That'll leave a bad taste in your more ways than one.

So far this season there have been many moves in the baseball world, so let's look at them in our fantasy goggles.

Fantasy goggles are the nerdy version of beer goggles, but they don't make you hate yourself quite as much.


Matt Holliday Staying With the Cardinals

Yes, Holliday hit .353 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI in 63 games in the National League as opposed to .286 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI in 93 games in the American League.

His talent in the MLB's minor league is not in question. The questions fantasy-wise revolve around the fact he got paaaaaid.

The greatest fantasy team I ever assembled was made up conveniently of mostly players in their contract year. One can never tell or trust how a player will react to getting the big bucks.

However, I'm not sure it is physically possible to having a down year batting behind Albert Pujols.

Don't say I didn't warn you though.

Team Ass Floss would not draft Holliday in the first round.


Carlos Beltran Has Surgery

Beltran had surgery on Jan. 13. The doctors said he would be unable to partake in baseball activities for at least 12 weeks.

So let's say worst-case scenario, Beltran misses the first month of the season. Draft him late and park him on the DL.

Yes, it seems as though Beltran's knee issue is a bigger deal than expected last season, but what better value are you going to get in the late rounds. Instead of drafting the guy for love purposes, but you know in your heart is worthless (Ken Griffey Jr.), draft Beltran.

Another player who could benefit from the injury to Beltran is Angel Pagan or Gary Matthew Jr., however, I'm not sure I would trust either on team Lesbian Seagulls.

Ted Lilly is another guy you can draft late and stick on the DL due to him most likely missing the first month of the season as well.

Either way, check the waiver wire when Lilly and Beltran are set to come back.


Jason Bay Meets the Mets

Stay far, far away.

Bay's best fantasy asset is his power and we all saw what Citi Field did to the power numbers of David Wright and Beltran. The difference with those two, however, are they can help you in all other fantasy categories.

Bay cannot.

Team No Ifs, Ands, or (_)_)s will not be touching him.


Jake Peavy Wearing New Sox

Peavy showed a lot of promise in his three games of the season with the White Sox going 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA striking out 18 while walking just six.

Surprisingly his worst game was against the Kansas City Royals where he gave up three earned runs in five innings. After that, however, he gave up zero runs in 15 innings in two games against the Detroit Tigers.

Peavy is a bit tricky.

I would draft Peavy, but with intentions to trade him at the top of his stock.

Logically one would think he will baffle American League hitters for the first half of the season. At some point, however, the AL hitters will hit him and the short porches of U.S. Cellular Field will not help either.

I can't think of any more of my ridiculously immature former fantasy names, so just remember to have Peavy on a short leash.

While we are talking about the White Sox, we might as well mention Juan Pierre. Pierre was a great pickup for fantasy teams last season while that one guy everyone in LA gave standing ovations to was working off his steroid punishment.

When thinking about guys like Pierre and the idea of stealing 30-40 bases, the common fantasy player must act as though he's hitting 30-40 home runs because, in fantasy, stolen bases are just as big as home runs.

The idea of getting to play everyday is good for Pierre's fantasy worth, however, his age and playing in the American League for the first time ever is not.

Personally, I'd rather have a Michael Bourn, but if he goes early, why not grab Pierre for steals.


Speaking of Javys

Javy Vazquez is now on the New York Yankees.

Do not draft him based on his numbers with the Atlanta Braves. Expect an ERA in the fours with a higher WHIP, however, also factor in more wins and 200 strikeouts.

Vazquez tends to go late in drafts every year, but if people are picking him as their second pitcher, let them.

He will be frustrating in the American League.


Curtis Granderson Goes to New York (sounds like a Disney movie)

Granderson could be a nice player to fall in your lap. He is part of a high-powered offense in a home run ballpark. 

I can't really see anything negative about his move to the Bronx except for the fact there is no telling how Granderson will react to the obnoxiously judgmental Yankee faithful.

They will boo you even if you are the best player in baseball, but if you take steroids, admit it, and hit in the playoffs, they'll love you. They also tend to draft Yankees way too early in public fantasy leagues.

You can recognize a Yankee fan in a fantasy draft from a mile away due to their team name of "Go Yanks" or "Red Sox Suck" instead of something to do with poo and/or STDs and they draft C.C. Sabathia in the first round.  

Granderson has some work to do.


Cliff Lee in Seattle and Roy Halladay in Philly

As is the case with most pitchers switching leagues, do not expect Lee to have the dominance over the American League as he did over the National League.

Lee, however, did post a 3.14 ERA in 152 innings in the American League with 107 strikeouts last season.

Halladay easily has the chance to win 20 games not only based on being with a team like the Phillies, but also because he will completely dominate the National League.

In the last three seasons versus the National League, Halladay has given up 14 runs in 55-and-one-third innings giving him a 2.27 ERA to go along with 39 strikeouts and 13 walks.

I think the only pitcher I would take over Halladay is Tim Lincecum, however, if Halladay is going ridiculously early, there is no harm in taking Lee due to the fact his numbers were by no means bad in the American League. 


Your "Sleepers" from Last Season that Woke Up Other Owners

Nothing is more annoying in fantasy baseball than drafting "your guy" for a couple years (even the year he was a little off), getting to see him break out one season and then seeing him drafted by someone else the very next season.

It's like when you start dating a girl when she has potential and then she becomes hot and after awhile, realizes she's dating you when she'd rather be a huge slut....


That never happens to anyone?

Let's move on. 

Like that ex-girlfriend, however, we must learn to let "our guys" go and please the rest of the fantasy world.

These are the guys you better say your goodbyes to because there is no way you are drafting them unless you do too early due to your feelings for them.

Remember: There are no feelings in fantasy sports. You pick players from teams you hate, you play your players against pitchers on your favorite team that you know are awful and more importantly, you do not draft based on feelings. 

You must always be ready to have different "sleepers" every season. Do not think to yourself, "Maybe he will fall to me for the third season in a row."

No, that will never happen.

Everyone knows about these guys now. Let it go.

Matt Kemp
Troy Tulowitzki
Justin Upton
Zack Greinke
Robinson Cano
Joey Votto
Jayson Werth
Ryan Zimmerman
Pablo Sandoval
Jon Lester
Nick Markakis
Kendry Morales
Adam Wainwright
Adam Jones
Andre Ethier
Yovani Gallardo
Matt Cain
Jair Jurrijens
Nelson Cruz
Jacoby Ellsbury


Guys That May Be Worth the Risk After Injuries or Tough Seasons

These are the guys you, being the caring soul, are willing to give another chance based on their track records, especially if they are around late.

There is no reason to think this list of players will not improve upon last year's numbers and perhaps you may even find a gem with a chip on his shoulder.

However, do not think twice about kicking them off your team.

No one is that caring.

Alfonso Soriano
Aramis Ramirez
Josh Hamilton
Alex Rios
Carlos Quentin
Lance Berkman
Josh Beckett
Dan Uggla
James Shields
Roy Oswalt
Brandon Webb
Scott Kazmir
Jeremy Guthrie
David Ortiz
Geovany Soto
Cole Hamels
Vladmir Guerrero (the move to Texas could help immensely)
Rickie Weeks
Carlos Zambrano
Milton Bradley
Russell Martin
Ben Sheets
Grady Sizemore


Guys I Do Not Trust for Some Reason, but Could Prove Me Wrong

These are the guys I do not trust for some reason...,but could prove me wrong.

Okay, I guess the title was pretty self-explanatory, but more importantly these were the surprise players from last season, so it's hard to tell how they will perform or if they are worth a high draft pick. 

Aaron Hill
Adam Lind
Jason Bartlett
Justin Verlander
Ben Zobrist
Mark Reynolds


Guys I Do Not Trust That Will Prove Me Right

These are the guys that could kill your draft. Either they are a complete waste or will be drafted way too high based on last year's numbers. 

By all logic you should stay away from these guys entirely or from the pressure to draft them early.

Jay Bruce
Chris Davis
Ian Stewart
Vernon Wells
Ryan Dempster
Raul Ibanez
Jose Lopez
Carlos Pena
Miguel Tejada
Kevin Millwood
Brandon Inge
Scott Baker
Francisco Liriano
Kevin Slowey (be aware that the Minnesota Twins are no longer playing on a trampoline. beware the ides of grass.)


Guys You and I Both Hope People Forgot or Keep on Forgetting To Draft

These are the guys you pray people have simply forgotten and you cringe upon seeing them fall in a draft. These are the guys who are not listed on the "Sleepers the world now knows about list" yet.

Hopefully no one reads this article or at least this far into it.

Gordon Beckham
Dan Haren
Derrek Lee
David Aardsma
Huston Street
Jered Weaver
Howie Kendrick
Erick Aybar
Juan Rivera
Jonathon Broxton
Bobby Abreu
Josh Johnson
Tommy Hanson
Shin-Soo Choo
Hunter Pence
Michael Bourn
Ubaldo Jimenez
Wandy Rodriguez
Andrew McCutchen
Andrew Bailey
Matt Wieters
Jason Kubel
Denard Span
Asdrubal Cabrera
James Loney
Franklin Gutierrez
Dexter Fowler
Chris Coghlan
Miguel Montero
J.A. Happ
Edwin Jackson
John Danks
Gavin Floyd
Rick Porcello
Jeff Niemann
Mark Buehrle


Good luck, fantasy owners.

And always remember: Never cheer for your fantasy team over your real public.



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