Archive for March, 2012

Here they are everyone the 3B rankings, from the H2H Amigo!

1. Jose Bautista (Tor-3B, OF) I was hesitant to draft Bautista in the 3rd round last year, and quick to trade him early in the season.  The mistakes we make… This year I expect some regression for Bautista, especially average-wise.  Bautista is a career .254 hitter, and I find it hard that he’ll be able to put together back-to-back .300 seasons.  Otherwise, Bautista is a pretty safe bet for some monster numbers from the hot corner.  And get him now… he probably won’t be 3rd base eligible next year.

2012 projection: .281 avg – 99 runs, 41 HR, 108 rbi, 8 sb

2. Evan Longoria (TB-3B) My instinct with Longoria was that “Man, he had a terrible year last year.”  His line for 2011 looked like this:  .244 avg – 78 runs, 31 HR, 99 RBI and 3 SB in 133 games.  Not great. But certainly not terrible.  If his .244 average was removed from his career numbers (this will only be his 5th year in the League) he is a career .282 hitter.  If he can hit his average, he’s got a chance to be the number one fantasy 3b this year.

2012 projection: .285 avg – 91 runs, 38 HR, 103 rbi, 10 sb

3. Adrian Beltre (Tex-3B) When you look at last year’s numbers for Beltre, two things stick out:  1)  He only played 124 games.  2)  His numbers at 124 games (approximately 75% of 162) were still 100% draftable.  If anyone had told you last year that your 3b was going to hit .296 with 82 runs, 32 HR and 105 RBI, I don’t think you would have complained.  It’s a risky pick, but one that could pay dividends.

2012 projection: .288 avg – 88 runs, 35 HR, 110 rbi, 1 sb

4. Ryan Zimmerman (Was-3B) Zimmerman, who played only 101 games last year, presents another higher risk/higher reward opportunity.  Despite struggling through an injury plagued 2011, I think Zimmerman will post extremely solid numbers this season.

2012 projection: .294 avg – 87 runs, 30 HR, 102 rbi, 5 sb

5. Pablo Sandoval (SF-1B, 3B) I have a great idea!  Instead of having an All-Star game to determine home field advantage in the World Series, Sandoval and Prince Fielder will Sumo wrestle…  At least it would get some decent TV ratings.

2012 projection: .317 avg – 76 runs, 25 HR, 84 rbi, 3 sb

6. Brett Lawrie (Tor-3B) An unknown quantity, Lawrie saw only 150 Major League AB’s last year.  He’s got some pop in the bat, and was very successful in the Minor’s.  Now let’s see if it can translate to a full Major Leagues season.  I’m predicting a roller coaster ride that results in some serviceable numbers:

2012 projection: .271 avg – 79 runs, 19 HR, 84 rbi, 21 sb

7. Michael Young (Tex-1B, 2B, 3B) Since 2002, Young has played less than 155 games only one time!  The best way to put numbers on the board in fantasy is to have players that are actually on the field.  His multi-position eligibility also gives him some extra value.  He’s getting older, but I would love to have Young as my starting 3b this year.  Or 2b.  Maybe 1b.

2012 projection: .303 avg – 76 runs, 20 HR, 81 rbi, 5 sb

8. Aramis Ramirez (Mil-3B) He’ll probably replace Fielder in the lineup for the Brewer’s, so I guess the Brew-crew is worse this year.  Regardless, Ramiriez has been a pillar of consistency in the fantasy 3b world.  I think he’s a bit under-valued and wouldn’t hesitate to grab him in the early-mid rounds.

2012 projection: .270 avg – 80 runs, 25 HR, 84 rbi, 5 sb

9. Alex Rodriguez (NYY-3B) He’s getting old, folks.  At the ripe age of 36 (he’s no Jamie Moyer) A-Rod is halfway down the sled-hill called “retirement”.  Now, his projected line below won’t reflect it, but I have a slight inkling that  A-Rod might be one of those “steal-of-the-draft” if he comes even close to returning to form.   Again, that inkling is slight

2012 projection: .290 avg – 75 runs, 15 HR, 66 rbi, 15 sb

10. David Wright (NYM-3B) Listen, I’m rooting for David Wright.  I’ve always loved his well-rounded game.  But when I hear “back injury” I hear “STAY AWAY FROM ME IN FANTASY DRAFTS!”  If Wright stays healthy this year, he could be deserving of his high rankings on other popular fantasy sites.  Unfortunately, I am thinking that Wright owner’s will be lucky to get 120 games out of him.   I guess if he was Adrian Beltre, that might  be alright.

2012 projection: .295 – 47 runs, 11 HR, 55 rbi, 2 sb

Sleeper: Ian Stewart (CHC-3B) Ian Stewart, who has as much potential as his bat does before it swings and misses, has a new shot at life this year.  Stewart had a MISERABLE season for the Rockies last year, and consequently was shown the door.  That said, he is the undisputed starting 3b for a team that will need middle of the lineup hitters.  Even if you don’t draft him, keep an eye on him and be ready to scoop him up.

2012 projection: .249 avg – 79 runs, 28 HR,81 rbi, 8 sb

Bust: David Wright (NYM-3B) see line above

2012 projection: see line above

My Rankings ESPN Yahoo! CBS
Jose Bautista 1 1 1
Evan Longoria 2 2 2
Adrian Beltre 3 3 4
Ryan Zimmerman 6 5 5
Pablo Sandoval 5 6 8
Brett Lawrie 7 7 7
Michael Young 8 11 12
Aramis Ramirez 9 8 10
Alex Rodriguez 10 10 9
David Wright 4 4 3
Sleeper: Ian Stewart 31 26 24
Bust: David Wright 4 4 3

People that play fantasy baseball with me probably know my stance on RP. For those of you who don’t let me tell you what my view is on them. “I think they are a complete crapshoot, and I really don’t like having to draft them.” I’m doing this ranking post more out of obligation that standard leagues record saves, than I truly enjoy trying to predict which closer is going to do what. Because closers are like the weather in the plains region of the US, one day it is sunny and beautiful, the next it is cold and winds blowing from the north at 50 mph, the next it is 105 degrees with a hot dry wind, then the next day there is a chance of snow (I’m sure those reading that are from the plains are nodding fervently at this). So as you can see I don’t like closers because the position seems to be so random, one season a guy can’t be hit and has like 45 saves, and the next season everything he throws gets crushed and he can’t seem to throw strikes. Closers are the one thing that change the most in fantasy baseball. I bet if you looked at a list of the top 10 1B from 5 years ago. You would see some similar names on the list, or top 10 3B, but you look at the top 10 closers and there are at least 4 names different every year. With all that said RP can be very beneficial to your fantasy team. They can do more than just save games, so look for the guys who have good k/9 and k/bb rates, they will be the guys who will help turn the tide in K’s and Whip throughout the season. Now here are my top 20 RP for the season.

1. Craig Kimbrel (Atl-RP) Dude can flat out pitch struck out 127 batters in just 77 innings. That alone is worth drafting.

2012 projection: 5 W, 48 sv, 115 K, 1.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

2. Jonathan Papelbon (Phi-RP) Pap seemed to be losing some of his mojo in the Boston area, but still has elite stuff…I feel like that happened with another closer and it seemed to work out pretty good for the Phillies (here’s looking at you Brad Lidge!)

2012 projection: 4 W, 43 sv, 88 K, 2.24 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

3. Drew Storen (Was-RP) Another young hurler who could potentially be atop of the list for a couple of years! Can walk hitters at times, but posts a decent K rate (8.84 per 9) to make up for it.

2012 projection: 5 W, 44 sv, 82 K, 2.86 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

4. Mariano Rivera (NYY-RP) He is getting old (that is the understatement of the year) but he still gets people out with his cutter. He won’t get as many opportunities because the Yanks will want a strong Mo for a postseason run, but he still puts up great numbers in a “smaller” role.

2012 projection: 2 W, 39 sv, 62 K, 1.99 ERA, 1.01 WHIP

5. Ryan Madson (Cin-RP) Madson’s only problem is that he can give up some hits from time to time, but with a strong lineup and a great strikeout rate (9.2 per 9) he should produce a great season.

2012 projection: 5 W, 40 sv, 69 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

6. John Axford (Mil-RP) Axford has been great for the Brewers since taking over full time as their closer. He is a high strikeout guy, but also can give too many free passes. Still a top flight closer in the league.

2012 projection: 4 W, 41 sv, 78 K, 2.27 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

7. Rafael Betancourt (Col-RP) Betancourt has top 10 stuff for sure, and he finished the season strong last year at the closer spot. If he can continue what he started last Aug (sub .3 WHIP) then he will easily be a top 3 RP at season’s end.

2012 projection: 3 W, 37 sv, 79 K, 2.67 ERA, 0.97 WHIP

8. Joel Hanrahan (Pit-RP) Hanrahan was a solid closer last season for the Pirates, and I don’t see that changing that much. He will put up decent K numbers, but probably won’t dominate like some of the other guy’s on this list.

2012 projection: 2 W, 41 sv, 83 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

9. Brian Wilson (SF-RP) Wilson has been a top flight closer for his short career, until last year when he had some elbow issues. Even though there was no ligament tears, that doesn’t mean that the elbow won’t give him problems this year. A pitcher is only as good as his shoulder and elbow. So I would say tread lightly when getting Wilson.

2012 projection: 4 W, 36 sv, 63 K, 3.11 ERA, 1.27 WHIP 

10. Jason Motte (StL-RP) Motte will be in his first full season as “the guy” in St. Louis. He was nearly perfect from September through October only blowing 1 save. He has a dynamic fastball, and has started to harness a secondary pitch. Expect a fairly up and down season from Motte since he is still learning how to be a pitcher.

2012 projection: 3 W, 38 SV, 65 K, 2.46 ERA, 1.03 WHIP

11. Joakim Soria (KC-RP) Soria used to be the guy who was always a top 5 closer, but then his numbers were a little low last year and he seems to be forgotten. He is still young (age 27), has great control (17 bb in 60 innings, and still can strike people out. He is the guy who you could get cheap that might easily be a top 5 at season’s end.

2012 projection: 3 W, 39 SV, 67 K, 2.44 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

12. JJ Putz (Ari-RP) Putz had a great season as the full time closer for the D-backs. He has always posted good K numbers. If he stays healthy and doesn’t have to long of a rough patch during the season. He should have another solid season.

2012 projection: 2 W, 44 sv, 61 K, 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

13. Heath Bell (Mia-RP) Bell has had 4 straight 40 save seasons, and is expected to be the 9th inning guy for the Marlins. I have a good feeling about the Marlins this year, so I expect Bell to have another really good season.

2012 projection: 3 W, 41 sv, 67 K, 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

14 Jose Valverde (Det-RP) Valverde is one of those guys you hate a little bit if you are facing him, but if you aren’t you love his energy. I think he can be a little out of control at times, and that can be dangerous for closers. I expect a slight down year from Valverde this year.

2012 projection: 3 W, 35 sv, 64 K, 3.03 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

15. Jordan Walden (LAA-RP) Walden performed great in his first full season. Has a tendancy to walk to many hitters, so if he can get that under control he will finish much higher than 15 at the end of the season.

2012 projection: 4 W, 38 sv, 71 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

16. Carlos Marmol (ChC-RP) Marmol hasn’t quite been what every one hoped him to be. He still has amazing stuff, but he hasn’t always been able to harness all of that potential. If he can finally put it together in the 9th he is a great guy to grab. Oh yea he also borders around 100 k’s a season.

2012 projection: 3 W, 36 sv, 104 K, 3.37 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

17. Andrew Bailey (Bos-RP) Bailey is only 28 so the last two seasons of injuries will hopefully be behind him. If he can be the guy he was in 2009. He will put up great numbers, but for some reason I think he might struggle with all the pressure that comes from a big market.

2012 projection: 3 W, 30 sv, 67 K, 2.88 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

18. Joe Nathan (Tex-RP) I’ve always like Nathan, and he is just a few years removed from being a top 5 closer. I think he will do well in Tex, but he is still a closer, so who really knows!

2012 projection: 3 W, 35 sv, 61 K, 2.85 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

19. Huston Street (SD-RP) Last year I made a bold prediction that Street would have a huge season and needless to say he let me down. I guess I can only blame myself for trying to predict closers 😉

2012 projection: 3 W, 33 sv, 59 K, 2.95 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

20. Kyle Fransworth (TB-RP) Fransworth is that sneaky closer who isn’t sexy, or new, but he did a great job closing out games for the Rays. I don’t expect greatness from him, but probably exactly what he did last year.

2012 projection: 4 W, 31 sv, 62 K, 2.25 ERA,  1.09 WHIP

Sleeper: Sergio Santos (Tor-RP) Santos will finally get the shot to be the full time guy, and since he has great stuff and a good strikeout rate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish in the top 15 by the end of the year.

2012 projection: 5 W, 33 sv, 81 K, 3.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

Bust: ALL Closers! No not really some will do well, but I think Jose Valverde could tank this year. The guy just tends to walk to many batters and puts himself in a lot of bad situations, and having Miggy at 3B in close games isn’t going to help the defense…just saying.

2012 projection: See above line

My Rankings ESPN Yahoo! CBS
Craig Kimbrel 1 1 1
Jonathan Paperlbon 3 3 2
Drew Storen 4 5 6
Mariano Rivera 2 2 4
Ryan Madson 6 12 15
John Axford 5 4 3
Rafael Betancourt 8 20 30
Joel Hanrahan 9 10 11
Brian Wilson 7 11 7
Jason Motte 12 21 19
Joakim Soria 16 16 9
JJ Putz 14 8 5
Heath Bell 15 7 8
Jose Valverde 10 13 13
Jordan Walden 18 14 18
Carlos Marmol 22 17 20
Andrew Bailey 17 9 14
Joe Nathan 24 23 22
Huston Street 20 19 23
Kyle Fransworth 19 23 27
Sleeper: Sergio Santos 28 18 17
Bust:Jose Valverde 10 13 13

If you have any opinions on which RP will be a stud or a bust this year, let me know in the comments. Sorry for the delay on the position rankings some miscommunication and a busy schedule from my new author has delayed the 3B and OF ranks. If you liked what you saw, follow the blog, or “like” H2H Hombre on facebook. The more views I get the better chance I have at making money for writing about sports, and I think we can all agree that that would be pretty awesome. Have a wonderful day everyone and good luck to you fantasy drafters!

SS one of my favorite positions, but one of the worst positions in fantasy baseball. Apparently according to a lot of prospects list, there are a lot of SS that will soon be up that will take the league by storm. But that will be in the near to distant future. This year we have a couple of studs, a couple of has beens, and then some other guys. Not the sexiest position in terms of offense, but hey, they are still one of my favorite positions!

1. Troy Tulowitzki (Col-SS)– Tulo has had three straight awesome years from the SS position, and that was all before the age of 27. He is still young and in his prime, so is he absolutely worth a top 5 pick, and if you take him at three I wouldn’t flinch for a second. The only thing against Tulo is his inability to play a full season (only played more than 150 games once, 2009). If he reaches that 150 game mark he will rake!

2012 projection: .308 avg, 98 r, 32 hr, 103 rbi, 14 sb

2. Hanley Ramirez (Mia-SS)-Han Ram was derailed by injuries and mental issues last year. Before last year he was in the conversation as the #1 overall pick. After a down year, and a move to 3B he could be in for a huge bounce back year. From some of the projections I’ve seen for his season I would say most are being a little safe with what to expect. Well I expect the Hanley Ramirez that crushes the ball and gets on base a lot. As a result he will be right on the heels of Tulo by season’s end.

2012 projection: .311 avg, 101 r, 23 hr, 94 rbi, 34 sb

3. Jose Reyes (Mia-SS)-Reyes finally returned to his old self after two injury shortened seasons. He had a career high in BA last year. However I don’t think the BA will be that high again this year. He is making a transition to a new team, which is going to be much more potent than his former, but they will also have a lot of guys who will be streaky. Expect a high avg, r, sb.

2012 projection: .297 avg, 112 r, 8 hr, 56 rbi, 43 sb

4. Elvis Andrus (Tex SS)-Elvis is only 23 years old, has already had 3 seasons of 30+ sb, he has improved his runs every season, and his doubles hit. The guy is continuing to get better at the plate and in his 4th season I’m saying he is going to be a little more consistent at the plate this year. Expect the continuing trend of improvement from the young Elvis!

2012 projection: .288 avg, 106 r, 5 hr, 66 rbi, 44 sb

5. Starlin Castro (ChC SS)-Starlin proved a lot of doubters wrong last year with a great sophomore season (including myself). He improved in all 5 categories last season. So I think we can expect another improvement in all of the categories this season too.

2012 projection: .308 avg, 96 r, 13 hr, 68 rbi, 28 sb

6. Alexei Ramirez (ChW SS)-Alexei was once a budding star that had a chance at a 30 hr, 20 sb season, but that seems ages ago (ok so it was probably only 2010 when we thought it could happen). Alexei has his worst season statistically last season, but when you take a closer look he may have been fairly unlucky (288 BABIP). He had a career high in doubles (which means he was hitting the ball hard, just not hard enough to make HRs last year) and tied a career high in OBP. So if he just improves slightly from a year ago in his k% and gets a little more luck from the ball. He should put up a great year. “Why can’t I quit you Alexei Ramirez!?!?”

2012 projection: .279 avg, 84 r, 22 hr, 76 rbi, 10 sb

7. Jimmy Rollins (Phi SS)-Jimmy Rollins had a good season at the age of 32, I don’t think he can improve again though. I see a line more like the one he produced in 2010 then the one he gave in 2011. I say draft at your own risk.

2012 projection: .258 avg, 78 r, 15 hr, 61 rbi, 24 sb

8. Asdrubal Cabrera (Cle SS)– Asdrubal is only 27 so last year may become the norm rather than the anomaly. I think he will come back down to earth a little, but also wouldn’t be surprised if he blows my expectations through the roof. I look at him with caution where others probably see a 27 year old off of a career year and drool.

2012 projection: .278 avg, 74 r, 15 hr, 72 rbi, 11 sb

9. JJ Hardy (Bal SS)– Hardy has the potential to be a 35+ HR guy from a position that doesn’t typically hit HR. However the only way he manages that is by staying in the lineup consistently, for example this is the games played each seson for his career (124, 35, 151, 146, 115, 101, 129). He needs to get back to the 145-150 mark to be real steal in the draft, but he won’t contribute anything in the speed category. So if that is a category you are looking to lose, than Hardy is your man.

2012 projection: .272 avg, 78 r, 31 hr, 82 rbi, 1 sb

10. Dee Gordon (LAD SS)- Gordon is only 23 (will be 24 after the first month of the season) and had 24 sb in just 56 games last season. If you extrapolate those numbers for the full season he would have somewhere around 61 sb. That is AWESOME. Oh did I mention he hit over .300 in those 56 games. He will be a staple atop the Dodgers lineup for a long time if he continues to do that. Think of Castro last year with more speed but less pop.

2012 projection: .300 avg, 84 r, 2 hr, 41 rbi, 63 sb

Sleeper: Alcides Escobar (KC-SS)– Once upon a time Escobar was a top 20 prospect two years in a row, then he played two and half years in the pros and has been nothing but underwhelming. He will only be 25, will play in a pretty good KC lineup. If he can somehow get back to getting on base (around .345 obp is all he needs to do) he will probably be a top of the lineup, which will mean lots of runs. He is still a great SB guy.

2012 projection: .278 avg, 78 r, 3 hr, 49 rbi, 35 sb

Bust: Jimmy Rollins (Phi-SS)- I know, I know, I have him ranked 6 overall but have him as a bust, and that is because Philly’s offense isn’t what it used to be, Rollins legs aren’t what they used to be, and I just get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach when it comes to what his season will look like this year. I will be staying away from him at pretty much all costs.

2012 projection: see line above.

My Rankings ESPN Yahoo! CBS
Troy Tulowitzki 1 1 1
Hanley Ramirez 2 2 2
Jose Reyes 3 3 3
Elvis Andrus 6 4 7
Starlin Castro 5 5 4
Alexei Ramirez 8 11 11
Jimmy Rollins 4 7 6
Asdrubal Cabrera 7 6 5
JJ Hardy 9 10 13
Dee Gordon 13 8 12
Sleeper: Alcides Escobar 21 19 16
Bust: Jimmy Rollins 4 7 6

Have any projections for SS this season? Don’t be afraid to post them in the comment section. As always don’t forget to follow the blog or “like” us on Facebook. Hope you enjoyed the rankings, and long live the SS! 3B will be up and running tomorrow, see you then.