As Brewers fans slowly thaw this spring from a cold and unforgiving winter, they will be pleasantly surprised to see a Milwaukee team that addressed a much needed weak spot this offseason: Starting pitching.
With the additions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to a rotation already consisting Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf, the Brewers may now have enough pitching to compete with division rivals St. Louis and Cincinnati.
The question facing the Brewers is can the revamped starting rotation help the team win the division in 2011, possibly the final season with soon to be free agent Prince Fielder.
In addition, will Zack Greinke prosper in his first season with the team and his first season in the National League?
SP Zack Greinke (Trade w/ Royals)
SP Shaun Marcum (Trade w/ Blue Jays)
RP Takashi Saito
How Many Home Runs Will Prince Fielder Hit In 2011?
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
RP Trevor Hoffman (Retirement)
SP Chris Capuano (Free Agent)
Who to Target
Not surprisingly, the Brewers’ top two offensive weapons are also the top two fantasy options for the team.
Ryan Braun is a top five outfielder that is a triple threat for fantasy owners, as he is a powerful hitter with a hard to find combination of speed and high average. Braun will most likely be drafted in the first two rounds of a 12 team snake draft and will be a nice bookend outfielder and solid foundation for any fantasy team.
The second blue chip fantasy player for the Brewers is Prince Fielder, the team’s imposing first baseman. Although Fielder is coming off a down year, in which he had career lows both slugging percentage (.471) and batting average (.261), he is in a contract year and will likely put up monster numbers as he auditions for potential suitors.
Yovani Gallardo and newly acquired Zack Greinke are the top pitchers to target, with Gallardo being the safer of the two options.
Greinke is a talented pitcher with filthy pitches; however, he struggled in his last season with Kansas City and it is unclear how well he will respond to the move to the senior circuit.
It was difficult to pick a sleeper for the Brewers, as the team does not have one player that sticks out above the rest as a potential break-out candidate for 2011.
By default, I chose Carlos Gomez, the once highly touted center fielder who has stellar speed and can flash the glove, but lacks discipline and production at the plate.
As a career .246 hitter, Gomez has been a disappointment for those who thought he would mature into a possible 20/20 threat.
It appears he is going to be given one last chance this season as the team’s center fielder and may finally become fantasy worthy in 2011.
This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com, the home of free fantasy news, rankings and advice.