Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Vision: Target & Avoid - NL East Edition

Our good friend Brett Barton (@BrettBarton_FBV) at Fantasy Baseball Vision will help you prep for your upcoming drafts. Last time he gave us the Target & Avoid players from the American League East.  Follow him on twitter so you don't miss the Fix My Team segments and of course position rankings.

Atlanta Braves
Target: Kris Medlen
 
Medlen was drafted by the Braves in 2006 in the 10th round as a Junior College athlete who pitched and played shortstop which shows he is an athlete and not just a pitcher. Once he turned pro he amazed the scouts with his pitching. His first gig was as a closer where he posted a 0.41 ERA with a 36/2 K/BB. His next two stops were just as impressive with a 0.87 ERA 33/3 K/BB then a 1.13 ERA 28/7 K/BB. Since coming to the bigs he has been patient waiting his turn for a spot in the rotation. His pro career looks like this; 120 games with 30 starts, a career 19-8 record with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP…All-Star caliber. What I am trying to say is his minor league and big league numbers are no fluke, he is for real. Currently the 14 SP off the board with an ADP of 78 that I see will rise. If you are like me, I pass on taking a SP in the early rounds (1-5) a Verlander or Kershaw in the first couple of rounds is not going to win your league.  Get your hitters then build your staff after round 5 where Medlen is there as your Ace. A Medlen – Sale or a Medlen – Sabathia staff will match up with any staff that the moron who takes Verlander in the 1st round will run out there.  An added bonus is that Medlen still has RP eligibility, the best dual eligibility pitcher in the draft.

Avoid: Dan Uggla
Sure I love a 2B eligible player with 30 HR power but not with a .230 average. The power does not compensate for the lack of average and speed. As he ages and the Braves get younger Uggla continues to move down in the line-up too. He will occupy the 7th hole all year and maybe even 8th in interleague games.  Currently the 13th 2B off the board with an ADP of 201 which will continue to sink once people start to see his spring training numbers that include 9Ks in 13ABs. At 2B this year you should get a player that will not hurt you in BA, has some pop with 15 HR potential and double digit steals, basically someone who will not drag your stats down but keeps them all steady at worst and above average at best. 2B has really 1 Elite player 4 near great players then 10 players that have 1-2 above average contributing stats. If you need to fill your MI with a 2B look more towards a now healthy Brian Roberts or Chase Utley who are being taken after Uggla and his career 1K per game average.

Miami Marlins
Target: Steve Cishek

Cishek took over the closer’s role over the last few months of 12’ after Bell continued to struggle. My analysis is he did very well collecting 15 Saves and putting up a 2.69 ERA. If you have not seen Cishek pitch he has that unorthodox delivery and has started throwing a changeup which will come in handy to keep lefties off balance.  His career numbers are solid with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Its amazing that the Marlins have only 1 player (Stanton) in the top 200 ADP. Cishek comes in at 202 currently. A good value for 25+ Saves this year and a 9.2 K/9. So you get Saves, great peripherals and solid Ks in a 16th round pick or later since most managers will be overlooking Cishek come draft day.

Avoid: Miami’s Starting Rotation
Miami has one of the weakest current rotations in baseball. Do they have potential? Yes, but not outside Dynasty Leagues. In those leagues I like Eovaldi and Turner as long as they can be kept on your farm team for another year. I see their rotation actually going throughout the season and not having a 10 game winner. Not sure when the last time that happened. Not only are the Wins not going to be there, the Ks will be absent too. As a rotation I have then averaging only 5.9K/9, it doesn’t get any worse than that. Unless you must have a SP to stream for a two start week in weekly line-ups let them rot on the waiver wire. I see their rotation as Nolasco, Alvarez, LeBlanc, Eovaldi, and Turner. Hard knocks for the young pitchers this year.

New York Mets
Target: Matt Harvey
Not sure why people are not on The Harvey train. Looking at both his Minor League and MLB numbers this guy has every indicator of being a top tier SP in the near future. In 10 starts last year he put up 10.6 K/9 and a 2.73 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. His career Minor League numbers are as spectacular. The big young right hander put up a 3.68 ERA coming up through the Mets organization on the fast track. Why the fast track? Because he throws over 95 mph. Now I know the Mets are a bad team and Wins will be hard to come by, but wins are always the most elusive stat in Roto so don’t count on more than 8 this year. What he will do is pad your other 3 counting stats. His ERA and WHIP will be well below league average and his Ks are what you want, so look for over a K an inning pushing you close to 170 range this year. He also gets the Marlins in 3-4 starts this year…bonus! Currently the 53rd SP off the board with an ADP of 213 which has been rising over the last 3 weeks, he should be closer to 40-45 SP with an ADP of 180. Get this guy in the 14-15th rounds if available.

Avoid: Johan Santana
The stock on Santana is dropping as we speak and it already may be clear to steer clear of the former Cy Young Winner. The reason is his old, over used, constantly hurt left arm. Santana may be the last #1 SP off the board and for good reason. He hasn’t put up 30 starts in 4 years and his ERA has ballooned last year to near 5.00 and that is with the No Hitter. Now we hear out of Mets camp that 1st spring start has been pushed back 2 weeks, not a good sign. I expect him to not be ready come opening day and if that happens we will not see him until the weather gets above 65 degrees around May 1st.

Philadelphia Phillies
Target: Domonic Brown
The once highly touted prospect is back on my radar this spring. The Phils signed Delmon Young this winter as a corner outfielder but Young’s micro fracture surgery could take much longer to heal than first reported. Due to this Brown will get a long look in spring training and should be the opening day LF.  Currently Brown is not even in the top 400 being drafted at MDC or the top 90 OF off the board. So why do I like Brown this draft season? He recently hit a monster shot over the batters eye in a game. That shot was close to 435 feet. I know it’s spring training and these stats do not mean much but power is power and power will get you noticed by the man that fills out the line-up card. Once you secure playing time you produce fantasy numbers and that’s what I like. In the minors he has put up 20 HR seasons and 20 SB seasons while hitting  a combined .296 in 535 games. What I am looking for this year is a .275 BA with a 15/15 season to be conservative. That beats out the bottom 15+ OF being drafted so far this year which includes Drew Stubbs, Logan Morrison, Colby Rasmus, Matt Joyce, and Jon Jay. So in Deep Leagues, National only Leagues and all 5 OF Leagues I will hold a roster spot late in the draft for Domonic Brown. Does he remind you of a young Eric Davis too?

Avoid: Ben Revere
I am soooo done with one trick ponies in Fantasy Baseball, especially with one of the deepest OF in recent fantasy drafts. Revere has a current ADP at 180 and may get you 30+ SB but he will not produce any power, drive in any runs, or elevate your batting average. For the picks in the 180s range, give me a player like a Michael Cuddyer with power, Starling Marte as a poor man’s Andrew McCutchen, or a solid Jason Kubel.  If you must take a SB only guy go with Juan Pierre 6 rounds later. I suggest staying away from both because there is always speed availble in the last rounds of drafts and on the FA wire through out the season.

Washington Nationals
Target: Jordan Zimmermann
While managers are looking for opening day starters to fill their Fantasy rosters you should target the Nationals #3 SP. Zimmermann is coming off a dazzling 12’ campaign where he posted a sub 3.00 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP. That makes him one of only ten SPs last year to accomplish that feat. He ended the season with 7 K/9 and 12 Wins. He will benefit even more this year with rock-solid run support.  Currently the 25th SP off the board with a 117 ADP. That is far and away better than every other #3 pitcher on any team.  One of favorite stats on Zimmerman is he throws nearly 70% first pitch strikes. That was second only to Cliff Lee last year. Look for a 16 Win season with an ERA a tick over 3.00 and a WHIP at 1.18. He is a great 9th round pick as your #2 starter. Even a steal in the 8th round.

Avoid: Wilson Ramos
Coming back from ACL surgery last July I do not expect Ramos to get more than 1 Star a week until Mid-May. The Nationals have no reason to hurry him back. The reason for the cautiousness is a more than capable Suzuki to handle one of the best top to bottom staff in the National League. Ramos still needs to lose some more weight and be able to show his agility behind the plate before being labeled completely back.  Even when he returns expect Ramos to hit 8th in a good Nationals line-up; at least until he shows complete effectiveness to hit all types of pitches.  He got the start Tuesday behind the plate and was pulled early and his 1 AB he K’d.
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