MLB 2011: Five Fantasy Baseball Options That Will Change Your League
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Last season, Stubbs put together one of the quietest 20HR/30SB seasons ever. In 2010, the 20/30 plateau was only reached by two other Major Leaguers: Hanley Ramirez and Alex Rios.
In the second half of last year, Stubbs raised his average 50 points, hit more home runs per at-bat (from one every 27 AB to 20B), and stole bases at a quicker rate (a bag every three games instead of every five). Look for Drew Stubbs’ success of the 2010 second half to carry over into 2011.
Like many pitchers before him, Daniel Hudson witnessed the benefits of moving from the AL to the NL. After being dealt to the Diamondbacks from the White Sox, Hudson immediately turned his season from abysmal to stellar. In three starts with Chicago, Hudson was 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.
Although the strikeout numbers remained consistent, all other numbers drastically changed upon being traded. With Arizona Hudson’s line was 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. Now with a full season pitching in the comfy confines of the NL West, Daniel Hudson will put together a great sophomore campaign.
Dan Haren pulled the opposite of Daniel Hudson, going from the NL to the AL, but with similar results. After arriving in Anaheim, Haren turned into the Dan Haren that we expect to see every April. Although the wins didn’t rack up, the ERA and WHIP numbers returned to expectations of the perennial all-star.
He shaved almost two full runs off of his ERA (4.60 to 2.87) and almost two percentage points off of his WHIP (1.35 to 1.16). Aside from the Rangers, the AL West is no offensive juggernaut. Dan Haren should return to his 2007-2009 form.
After Scherzer started 2010 going 1-4 with a 7.29 ERA, the Detroit Tigers sent him to the minors, where he fixed his mechanical issues and immediately began dominating. Upon his return to the majors, he went 11-7 with a 2.46 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 ratio. Scherzer was dominant last year, and he will be this year as well.
Upton is a total gut call. For several years now analysts have predicted big things out of Upton and every year they have been disappointed. Aside from his speed value, a lock for 40 steals a season, Upton consistently lacks plate vision and power.
This off-season, Upton accepted that his performance had slipped and he decided to make swing adjustments that give him a quicker path to the ball. So far this spring he has looked much better, hitting about 50 points above his usual batting average.
I’m looking to Upton to fill the void left by Carl Crawford and thrive in front of Manny Ramirez, Evan Longoria and Johnny Damon.
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