Is there a better time of the year than right now? Fantasy basketball has entered the playoffs, March Madness pushes forward in April, NASCAR and golf are in full swing (pun intended), and your fantasy baseball draft is just around the corner. While you've been spending your time wondering how you so royally screwed up your Midwest Region bracket, I've scrounged up some T.I.P.S. that can help you this upcoming baseball season.
The column is broken down into four parts, with the first being Trends. This is a look at some recent developments that are worth monitoring in the upcoming weeks. The next section will be Injuries, and will discuss the ramifications of any damaged goods that may be on your roster. The third part will analyze some Platoon situations, and try to identify who is the more valuable player. Finally, I'll throw some Suggestions out there. I won't go all
Much has been made of Howard's .168 average last April. It led to a .234 pre-All Star break average and speculation that pitchers had "figured him out". He responded with a .276 average after the break, and has carried that form into the spring. He's hitting .298 in 47 at-bats, with six long balls and 16 RBIs. Rumor has it Howard lost 20 pounds in the off-season while dedicating himself to becoming a better defensive player. That won't help your fantasy team, but the fact that he didn't lay low after receiving a fat contract bodes well for his future. I've seen him go in the second round of some drafts, and that is simply far too late. The power numbers he supplies are elite and worthy of first-round status, especially if his average stays in the .270 range.
Jones only has 38 at-bats so far, but he's gotten on base 16 times and tallied seven stolen bases in the process. Those seven are more than half of what he stole in 477 at-bats last season. He's been touted as a five-tool prospect, and stealing bases is more of an art than just pure speed. Has someone lit the proverbial fire under Jones' rear?
Verlander pitched 201.7 innings in 2007, followed by 201.0 last year. One reason for his struggles in 2008 was an increase from 63 walks in '07 to 83 in '08. With an offseason to work on his command, Verlander must have spent that time playing
I've had a hard time warming up to the 26-year old Marlin, but this may the year that I make sure he finds his way to my roster.
A lot has been predicted about the Braves rotation this spring. They have a solid mix of veterans and rookies to choose from, and all are talented. Kawakami comes from Japan where he posted a 2.30 ERA for the Chunichi Dragons in 16 starts. He's 32 years old and sat out the end of last season with back discomfort. I'm not suggesting the sore shoulder is serious, because it doesn't seem like it is, but will Kawakami's nagging injuries let us see
Hoffman strained his right oblique on March 13 and has yet to take the mound since. Considering he will need a few bullpen sessions before pitching, Hoffman will not be ready by Opening Day. A 41-year old who is already injured? I'm not going to draft him. But if you do, make sure you manage the risk by hand-cuffing him with
Posada recently caught back-to-back games and is hitting .357 in 28 at-bats this spring. I get the vibe drafters are weary of his balky shoulder, but isn't he better than his ADP indicates (208.94, 11th catcher being taken)? He hits in the middle of the order for a talented offense. Put it this way, I'd take him over
RotoExperts.com was one of the first to embrace
Owings and perennial disappointment
Spilborghs is a favorite at RotoExperts, and his spring training should show you why. He's hitting .371 with two homers, 10 RBIs, six walks (only four Ks) and four stolen bases. Spilborghs was the likely candidate to start in center, but a poor spring could have made rookie
I've only recently really gotten into dynasty leagues when it comes to fantasy sports. Let me tell you, I didn't know what I was missing. The rules are loose, and you can cater them to your personal preferences, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. I'm the guy who picks up