November 2008

Unreads + Mayo AFL Article

12 team 5×5 mixed keeper entering 3rd year. Need to keep 5, no values attached. Without trading up, who’s your top 5. If you could rank all 10 players that would be great then I can start upgrading my keepers.

C     Soto
2B   Pedroia
SS   J. Reyes
3B   A. Ramirez
OF  Sizemore, Soriano, Quentin, Ordonez
P    Webb, Peavy

Danielle from NJ

Hey Danielle,

You’ve got a ton of great keeper options here.  Reyes, Sizemore, and Soriano, in that order, are definites.  While Soriano’s injury risk status and declining stolen base totals are a concern, he’s undoubtedly a top five round player.  I actually see Alfonso dropping quite a bit in ’09 drafts, making him a nice value pick, but under no circumstances will he last into the sixth round.                                       

After this trio, the decision gets tougher.  As much as I appreciate A-Ram’s consistency, there’s a lot of depth at third base this year, so I’ll pass.  Quentin will be overvalued heading into ’09, and I need to see more before placing him in the elite class of outfielders.  Magglio’s still an appealing fantasy player, but his stats saw a significant hit across the board in ’08.  Ordonez turns 35 in January.  I’d stay away!  It’s probably a good idea to take one of Webb/Peavy.  This call is a real toss up but I’m giving the nod to Webb (good team and no uncertainty as to where he’ll pitch).  If you can, try packaging the other pitcher with, for example, A-Ram to get an A-Rod or a Wright.  Losing either Peavy or Webb for nothing would be a real waste!  If you can’t pull off a deal, take Pedroia as the fifth keeper.  His dominance in average and runs narrowly beats out Soto’s value at the thin catcher position. 

All in all, my ranking is Reyes, Sizemore, Soriano, Webb, Peavy, Pedroia, Soto, Quentin, Aramis, Magglio.  Hope this helps.

Hi guys,
Should I be looking to trade Utley for Kinsler or J-Ro, or stay put and hope that he comes back refreshed and better than ever.

Hey Kevin,

There’s little doubt in my mind that Utley will come back strong from his injury.  Despite the possibility he misses the season’s first couple of weeks, I see a ton of upside if you can snatch him up at some point in the second round.  Adding Kinsler or Rollins is tempting, but it’s not like these guys come risk-free.  Kinsler’s missed significant portions of the past two years due to injury while Rollins’ drastic loss of power is alarming.  For now, I’d sit tight with Utley.

Zach Steinhorn

***See post below for more info on Utley

And here’s Jonathan Mayo’s AFL prospects article

And finally, Mayo’s thoughts on three other players the guys didn’t get to on today’s show:

Eric Young Jr. – Opened a lot
of eyes in the AFL. If he can stick in the OF – and it looks like he’ll be ok
there – he’s got a chance to be a real good leadoff type. Speed off the charts,
knows how to steal bases and a little better hitter than some may have

Chris Nelson – A bit of
a late bloomer (2004 draftee), looks like he’s figuring some things out. Did
well with switch over to 2B, which will help him get to bigs (flexibility always
good). Runs pretty well, some extra-base pop.

Josh Donaldson – Will
be more valuable if he can stick behind the plate. Legit power from right side.
Hit a moon shot in the AFL championship game. Pretty athletic, handled 1B OK
when I saw him. Really has impressed since going to Oakland in the Harden

Happy Thanksgiving!

Utley and Feliz Injury Updates

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley had surgery on his
right hip yesterday.  The surgery was performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the
Hospital for Special Surgery in New
York.  Utley had an arthroscopic debridement of his
labrum and a bony lesion that was present.   Dr. Kelly reported the surgery went
well and the findings yesterday were consistent with the diagnostic studies
performed prior to surgery.  It is anticipated that he will have a four to six
month recovery period as previously described.

Third baseman Pedro Feliz had a lumbar discectomy
performed on November 20 by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles and the
procedure went well.  The discectomy was performed on the L4-5 disc and Feliz
will return home to complete his rehabilitation program, which is expected to
require eight to 12 weeks.

Updated ’09 Mock Draft (through Round 4)

R1 P1     Rhett Oldham         Ramirez, Hanley     
R1 P2     Yogi FBM24             Rodriguez, Alex     
R1 P3     Schwartzstops       Reyes, Jose     
R1 P4     Paul Greco             Wright, David     
R1 P5     Adam Ronis            Pujols, Albert     
R1 P6     Lenny Melnick        Rollins, Jimmy     
R1 P7     Jeff Erickson          Utley, Chase
R1 P8     Tony Cincotta        Cabrera, Miguel
R1 P9     Eric Stashin           Howard, Ryan
R1 P10   Mike Siano            Kinsler, Ian
R1 P11   Jason Collette       Sizemore, Grady     
R1 P12   Sean in DC            Braun, Ryan     
R2 P1     Sean in DC           Teixeira, Mark
R2 P2     Jason Collette      Pedroia, Dustin
R2 P3     Mike Siano           Beltran, Carlos     
R2 P4     Eric Stashin          Hamilton, Josh
R2 P5     Tony Cincotta       Suzuki, Ichiro
R2 P6     Jeff Erickson         Upton, B.J.
R2 P7     Lenny Melnick       Fielder, Prince
R2 P8     Adam Ronis          Crawford, Carl
R2 P9     Paul Greco            Holliday, Matt
R2 P10   Schwartzstops     Soriano, Alfonso
R2 P11   Yogi FBM24           Berkman, Lance
R2 P12   Rhett Oldham       Phillips, Brandon

R3 P1     Rhett Oldham       Santana, Johan
R3 P2     Yogi FBM24           Lee, Carlos
R3 P3     Schwartzstops     Roberts, Brian
R3 P4     Paul Greco           Morneau, Justin
R3 P5     Adam Ronis          Longoria, Evan
R3 P6     Lenny Melnick      Guerrero, Vladimir     
R3 P7     Jeff Erickson        Quentin, Carlos
R3 P8     Tony Cincotta      Ramirez, Manny
R3 P9     Eric Stashin         Sabathia, C.C.
R3 P10   Mike Siano          Martin, Russell
R3 P11   Jason Collette     Rios, Alex
R3 P12   Sean in DC          Lincecum, Tim
R4 P1     Sean in DC          Bay, Jason
R4 P2     Jason Collette     Hamels, Cole
R4 P3     Mike Siano          Dunn, Adam
R4 P4     Eric Stashin        Gonzalez, Adrian
R4 P5     Tony Cincotta     McCann, Brian     
R4 P6     Jeff Erickson       Mauer, Joe     
R4 P7     Lenny Melnick    Ramirez, Aramis
R4 P8     Adam Ronis        Kemp, Matt     
R4 P9     Paul Greco         Hart, Corey     
R4 P10   Schwartzstops  Markakis, Nick
R4 P11   Yogi FBM24       Granderson, Curtis     
R4 P12   Rhett Oldham   Peavy, Jake

The curse of the K?????

Burnett is big news here on the east coast not only because the Yankees will be players but because the Red Sox seem interested in making it a bidding war. click here for story


It got me thinking since I personally wouldn’t want a guy on my team who has been on the DL 9 times since 2000 what is the big deal about Burnett? Is it the electric stuff? Ok I can see that, is it the fact he owned the Sox and Yanks last year? I say so what. Or is it the K? Then I realized I can’t do anything about it so why not just talk fantasy value for Burnett since I can surely make sure I don’t have him on my team regardless of what uniform he wears.


aj.jpgSince Burnett led the league in K’s this year he is obviously on the fantasy radar. I then asked myself who has led their respective leagues in K’s the past five years and what did they do the year after that?

This info below is all predicated on agreeing that it takes more effort to strike a guy out then to pitch to contact. It may not help your ERA (just ask Carlos Silva) but it may help your longevity (just ask Tom Glavine).


Thanks to Zach I am able to show you the league leader in K’s from the past five years and what they did the following year with some comments.



NL:  Johnson  290

In 2005 the Unit heads to the Bronx pushes a cameraman on day one and finishes up with a decent record of 17-8 with a 3.79 ERA and 211 K’s in 225.2 IP. Good year but definitely not the previous season numbers. “Pressure” of NY? AL Lineups?

AL:  Santana  265

Johan is insane and the one person who made this study less fun. He went 16-7 with a 2.87 ERA and 238 in 231.2.



NL:  Peavy  216

Peavy had a terrible year after leading league in K’s in 05′ He went 11-14 with a disgusting 4.09 for an NL pitcher in Petco but did have 215 K’s in 202.1 IP. We will see this with Peavy again shortly.

AL:  Santana  238

See above. Gotta love it.




NL:  Harang  216

Harangatang did well in 07′ by going 16-6 and striking out 218 in 231.2. However we all know what happened this year when he stunk up the joint in a bad bad way. 6 wins and a 4.78 ERA. Did Harang buck the tend well yeah but has it “caught up” to him? We’ll find out in 09′. I sure hope not. 

AL:  Santana  245

Moving along.




NL:  Peavy  240

Peavy regains form in 2007 and then goes 10-11 on granted a bad Padres team and has a very solid 2.85 ERA with 166 K’s in 173.2 IP. This is more about the IP then anything else. They were down due to time spent on the DL with elbow problems so again was all the effort needed to rack up those K’s? click here for story

AL:  Kazmir  239

Kaz is very interesting to this whole posting. We always knew about his strikeout potential and it arrived statistically but I think most people wondered what would happen next. What did happen next was Kaz started 08′ on the DL and then came back to have a dominant May as he went 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA and with 38 K’s in 37 IP. Still I felt he could not keep it up, I sold high and ended up being right as he only had seven more wins total after May and months where his ERA was over four and a September ERA over five. He continued to deliver on the K’s but it was like he was a one category guy.




NL:  Lincecum  265

Everyone may be right this guy may just be a freak and this is the beginning of something very special. The Giants are obviously taking it seriously I mean they just gave Affleldt eight million. Looking forward to late night games when Lincecum is on the bump.

AL:  Burnett  231 

Buyer beware that’s all I’m saying.




Crisp to Royals

This helps both Ellsbury and Coco’s fantasy value.  Could also mean DeJesus is on his way out…


***ALSO NOTE: Jeff Erickson of will be phoning in on tomorrow’s show (Thursday)

KANSAS CITY, MO (November 19, 2008) – The Kansas City Royals today announced that the team has acquired center fielder Coco Crisp from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ramon Ramirez.

“We’re delighted to have Coco join the Royals organization,” Royals Senior Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager Dayton Moore said.  “He is a championship-caliber player who will help this team in a number of ways as we move forward.  We’d like to wish Ramon Ramirez nothing but the best.  He performed extremely well for us last year as a key component of our bullpen and he will be missed.”

Crisp, 29, has spent the past three seasons with Boston, helping the Red Sox to the 2007 World Series title and the 2008 American League Championship Series.  The switch-hitter batted .283 (102-for-361) with 18 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 41 RBI and 55 runs scored in 118 games for Boston last year.  He stole 20 bases in 27 attempts, marking the fourth time in his career and the third season in a row he’s reached the 20-steal mark.  Crisp hit well down the stretch as the Red Sox fought off several teams for the A.L. Wild Card, as he compiled a .341 average in the season’s final two months.  He continued that success into the postseason, hitting .417 (10-for-24) while appearing in seven Red Sox playoff games. His game-tying two-out single in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the ALCS completed a historic seven-run comeback for the Sox.

The 6-foot, 180-pounder is a career .280 hitter in seven seasons with the Indians (2002-05) and Red Sox (2006-08).  The speedster has been successful in 124 of 170 stolen base attempts (73%) in his career.  Crisp posted back-to-back sensational seasons for the Indians in 2004 and 2005, hitting .297 and .300, respectively, and combining for 66 doubles, 31 home runs and 35 stolen bases. 

The Red Sox acquired Crisp along with David Riske and Josh Bard in exchange for Guillermo Mota, Andy Marte, Kelly Shoppach, cash considerations and a player to be named on Jan. 27, 2006.  Had a standout defensive season in center for the Sox in 2007, committing just one error in 416 total chances, a .998 fielding percentage.  In the process, he established a Boston club record for most consecutive errorless chances as an outfielder with 429. 

Born in Los Angeles, Coco’s full name is Covelli Loyce Crisp.  He now resides in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.  Crisp, a graduate of Inglewood (Calif.) High, was one of eight alumni from the RBI program to play in the Majors at the start of the 2008 season.  He was originally a seventh-round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999 before being acquired by the Indians in 2002 for left-handed pitcher Chuck Finley.

The 27-year old Ramirez went 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 71 relief appearances for the Royals in 2008, his first season in Kansas City.

Latest Roundtable

Our experts discuss which players benefit most fantasy-wise from the recent trades around the league in the Fantasy Roundtable.  And no, I wasn’t aware that my pick was going to be the same as both Mike’s and Cory’s!

And here’s an article published in SportsBusiness Journal that discusses the impact of fantasy sports players on consumption.

Mock Draft for ’09

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, Mike, Cory, and several other members of the fantasy expert community will be participating in an early mock draft for 2009.  Here are the first two rounds.  More to come as the draft progresses…


R1 P1     Rhett Oldham      Ramirez, Hanley     
R1 P2     Yogi FBM24         Rodriguez, Alex     
R1 P3     Schwartzstops    Reyes, Jose     
R1 P4     Paul Greco          Wright, David     
R1 P5     Adam Ronis         Pujols, Albert     
R1 P6     Lenny Melnick     Rollins, Jimmy     
R1 P7     Jeff Erickson       Utley, Chase
R1 P8     Tony Cincotta     Cabrera, Miguel
R1 P9     Eric Stashin        Howard, Ryan
R1 P10     Mike Siano        Kinsler, Ian
R1 P11     Jason Collette  Sizemore, Grady     
R1 P12     Sean in DC       Braun, Ryan     
R2 P1     Sean in DC         Teixeira, Mark
R2 P2     Jason Collette    Pedroia, Dustin
R2 P3     Mike Siano         Beltran, Carlos     
R2 P4     Eric Stashin        Hamilton, Josh
R2 P5     Tony Cincotta     Suzuki, Ichiro
R2 P6     Jeff Erickson       Upton, B.J.
R2 P7     Lenny Melnick     Fielder, Prince
R2 P8     Adam Ronis        Crawford, Carl
R2 P9     Paul Greco          Holliday, Matt
R2 P10     Schwartzstops  Soriano, Alfonso
R2 P11     Yogi FBM24       Berkman, Lance
R2 P12     Rhett Oldham   Phillips, Brandon

It’s Official: Holliday to A’s

As discussed on yesterday’s show, a bad lineup and a bigger ballpark = significant loss in fantasy value for Holliday.  Street’s now a mid-tier closer with some risk (injury prone and the Coors factor) while Gonzalez is an intriguing late round flier.


OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s acquired outfielder Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitchers Greg Smith and Huston Street and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in a trade announced today.

Holliday, the National League MVP runner-up and leading Major League All-Star vote-getter (player vote) in 2007, finished third in the National League with a .321 batting average last year.  A .319 career hitter in five seasons with the Rockies, he has the fifth best average in the majors over the last five years and has hit .300 or better in each of the last four seasons.  The 28-year old outfielder added 25 home runs and 88 RBI in 139 games in 2008 and also stole 28 bases, which ranked ninth in the NL.

“Improving the offense was clearly our stated priority this offseason,” said Billy Beane, the A’s vice president and general manager.  “Trading for a player of Matt’s caliber begins the process of creating an environment in which our young hitters can continue to improve and our young pitchers can continue to develop into one of the best staffs in the league.”

Holliday enjoyed his best season in 2007 when he led the NL in batting (.340), hits (216), RBI (137), extra-base hits (92) and doubles (50) while finishing third in runs (120) and fourth in home runs (36).  Propelling the Rockies to their first-ever World Series appearance, he hit five home runs in the 2007 postseason, the most of any player during those playoffs.  The 6-4, 235-pound slugger batted .333 (5-for-15) with two homers and four RBI against Arizona in the National League Championship Series to earn NLCS Most Valuable Player honors. 

A native of Stillwater, Okla., Holliday received 336 votes in the 2007 MVP balloting, only 17 votes shy of the winning candidate, Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins.  The right-handed hitter is a three-time National League All-Star (2006-08) and has a two-year contract through the 2009 season.  He will be eligible for free agency following next season.

Gonzalez made his major league debut with Oakland last year and hit .242 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 85 games over two stints with the A’s.  He was one of six players acquired from Arizona in the Dan Haren trade on December 14, 2007, and began the season at Triple-A Sacramento before making his debut with Oakland on May 30.  The 23-year old outfielder was named the A’s number one prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2008 season

Smith was also acquired in the Haren trade and also made his big league debut with Oakland last year.  He posted a 7-16 record and a 4.16 ERA in a team leading 32 starts and led the majors with 16 pickoffs.  The 24-year old left-hander also topped the A’s in innings (190.1), walks (87), home runs (21) and runs (92).  His losses tied for seventh most in Oakland history.

Street began the 2008 season as the A’s closer and converted 18 of 25 (72.0%) save opportunities, which was the second lowest percentage among American League relievers.  He was replaced by Brad Ziegler as closer on August 8 and compiled a 7-5 record and a 3.73 ERA in 63 appearances.  The 25-year old right-hander saved 94 games in his four seasons with Oakland, which ranks fourth in A’s history.



411 Returns Tuesday!!!

Brad Lidge’s value is at an all-time high after capping off a perfect season with a World Series title.

Who’s improved their fantasy stock due to impressive postseason showings?  The guys will discuss this among other topics during the first offseason edition of the Fantasy 411 Tuesday at 2 pm ET.  The 411 will run throughout the winter on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-2:30, so start posting all your questions and we’ll answer them either on the blog or on the show.  It’s never too early to talk keepers and ’09 draft!


Latest Roundtable


Our experts discuss which young players have improved their fantasy stock with strong postseason performances.

***The 411 will be returning on Tuesday, November 11th and will air each Tuesday and Thursday from 2-2:30 pm ET.