Every Thursday from now until September, you can come here to find an in-depth look at fantasy baseball's sell-high and buy-low candidates. But, as anyone tracking the Mayan calendar can see, it's still early March. Since most auctions and drafts haven't taken place just yet, we'll spend the next few weeks taking a closer look at the boom and bust picks at each position. This week, catchers and relievers ...
Indeed, many a fantasy owner was scorned by Doumit last year. Coming off a .318-71-15-69 year in 2008, he turned in a .250-31-10-38 line in an injury-riddled '09. There are obvious concerns with Doumit, ranging from his surgically repaired wrist to his lack of a supporting cast (good luck driving in
His lack of power can probably be attributed to the wrist problems, but Doumit was still on pace for a 15-homer season if he had stayed in the lineup. He also had a lot of bad luck, with his batting average on balls in play dropping to .268 from .333 in '08 and .324 in '07. So realistically, a healthy Doumit is likely to hit somewhere in the .280s. And while the Pirates lineup is weak, he is one of the few catchers who hits in the middle of the order. Doumit should be coming off the board somewhere around pick 130 in mixed leagues.
I hesitate to pump up Montero, because I think he's already being overhyped this spring. But the ADP numbers tell a different story. Montero should be the fourth or fifth catcher off the board in mixed leagues (depending on how you feel about
Taking a player's big second half and trying to project it over a full season is a dangerous strategy. Montero's .316-39-11-40 post-All-Star break line doesn't project to a .316-78-22-80 season any more than
Right now, he's only a little low in Sportsline (130th, 5th among catchers) and ESPN drafts (140th, 5th). But in Yahoo! drafts, he's going 174th and 11th. I'm not sure if that's because of a low projection from the Yahoo staff, but there's no way Montero should be on the board that late.
He's just such a nice guy. Maybe that's why fantasy owners are finding it so difficult to let the Russell Martin 20-20 dream die. But it's not going to happen. Even if you don't factor in the groin injury, which will likely cost him the first week or two of the regular season (and which hasn't had time to dramatically affect his average draft position), Martin is being wildly overrated.
First the good news: Martin has reportedly packed on 25 pounds of bulk (well, maybe 22 pounds, and three pounds of fro). That should go a long way toward helping his positively
Considering he's likely to hit seventh most nights, a .280-55-15-55 line with 10 steals seems to be an absolute best-case scenario for Martin. Right now (and before the injury news has had a chance to drag down his ADP), he's going way too high in Sportsline (117th overall, fifth among catchers) and Yahoo! (130th, 5th) leagues, and even a bit high in ESPN drafts (200th, 10th). He's been coming off the board in front of guys like
So according to Yahoo!, Varitek is being taken in only three percent of drafts but is coming off the board an average of 182nd in those drafts.
So what does that tell us? Apparently, Varitek and his immediate family participate in quite a few Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. It's been three years since Varitek was worth of an MLB roster spot, so he's certainly not worthy of a fantasy roster spot. He'll back up
I touched on Dotel recently, so I won't go too in depth here. But these are the components you want in an ideal fantasy closer: (1) high strikeout rate, (2) no recent health problems, (3) no major control issues, (4) team with great starting staff but offense that doesn't overwhelm, (5) no competition for save opps.
Dotel hits three of those four conditions, and No. 4 isn't necessarily a killer.
He posted the fourth-best strikeout rate in baseball over the past two seasons (167 in 129.1 innings), avoided the DL the past two seasons (don't worry about a minor "side" injury this spring) and the only serious challenger for save opps in Pittsburgh is
The biggest danger with Dotel is that he'll be traded at the deadline and become a set-up man. But considering he's falling well out of the top 200 in just about every draft right now, he's a steal even if he loses his job in August.
I've heard all the lip service being paid to Fuentes.
I believe that Fuentes will open the year as the closer, but I don't think he'll keep it without a near-perfect performance. Why? Two numbers: 55, and 9 million. As is, if Fuentes finishes 55 games this year, his 2011 option kicks in for $9 million. (To give you an idea, 11 closers finished 55 games last year). Considering Fuentes' performance in 2009 (yes, 48 saves, but seven blown saves, a pedestrian 46-to-24 K-to-BB ratio in 55 innings and 1.40 WHIP), he's not worth half that at age 35. They're already paying Rodney $11 million through 2011, and 25-year-old fireballer
While I don't think