Drafts are over and real baseballs are being hit with real bats and pitched by real pitchers. It’s crazy! After today, all of our respective favorite teams will have taken the field and our beautiful fantasy baseball players will have given us some sort of statistics to cheer or gripe about. In fantasy baseball land, the focus now becomes on making your team better through trades or free agent pickups. Today, let’s focus on who is getting picked up in leagues and whether they are worthwhile investments that you need to jump on board with.
Thumbs Up – Jose Contreras – Here’s the first cheap saves option of 2011 for roto leagues. Brad Lidge “hopes” to be back before the second half which means that Contreras is in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future. He briefly held the job last year when Lidge was out and did fine. There’s no big worries here with him. None of his numbers may be particularly great but he’ll get you saves and that’s a valuable thing.
Thumbs Down – Brandon Belt – Unless you’re in a keeper league, I wouldn’t fret too much about Brandon Belt. He might hit 15 to 20 HR and he’ll actually net you some stolen bases possibly as well. But, he’s a 1B which is the deepest position in baseball and has many more heavy hitters out there. If you completely missed the boat on 1B or CI then nab him but otherwise ignore him in seasonal leagues.
Thumbs Up – Tim Stauffer – I’m down with Stauffer because 1) he pitches in freakin’ PETCO and 2) he’s put up some decent numbers in over 21 starts over the past two years. An ERA up or around 3.75 and a respectable WHIP is in his future. If you got the space for that type of stuff on your roster then get on board with Stauffer.
Thumbs Up – Michael Morse – .. / – …. .. -. -.- / …. . .—-. .-.. .-.. / -… . / –. — — -..
Thumbs Up – Michael Pineda – ZiPS has him projected at 4.12 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and about 7 K/9 and I feel that’s about right. Barry Zito and Gavin Floyd both produced nearly that same stat line last year (Zack Greinke was just about there as well for what it’s worth). Getting a league average SP off the waiver wire is pretty nice. And, he certainly has the ability to outperform that projection based on his minor league K numbers. But, I wouldn’t target him unless you have a deep bench.
Thumbs Up – Mitch Moreland – If you want to know why I like(d) Moreland, check out the full post from February.
Thumbs Down – Mark Trumbo – In AAA last year, he hit .299 with 36 HR, 103 R and 122 RBI. Yessum. Kendrys Morales is still the starter at 1B for the Angels though. So, Trumbo is just babysitting and 1B is deep as I said earlier. You really should have locked up a decent 1B already but I’d take Belt over Trumbo if you didn’t just because he’ll be there all year and contributes in AVG and SB where Trumbo likely will not.