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Fantasy Clicks: Grandest of Slam Kings

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BY JAY CLEMONS Recent Fantasy Clicks 06-14-10: Jorge Appeases Gods With Double Slam 06-10-10: Charles In Charge ... Of Kansas City 06-07-10: The Ubaldo & Tulo Go-Loco Show 06-03-10: SI's Own Bout Of Mock Madness 06-01-10: A Fish Called Cody Saves Miami 05-28-10: The Ultimate Draft Do-Over 05-26-10: A PPR Quandary For The Masses 05-24-10: Sunny Rays Take Houston By Storm 05-20-10: Let The Mock Madness Begin 05-17-10: For Whom The Kubel Tolls 05-14-10: Less Bang For Your Bucs 05-12-10: The Marshall Plan Hits South Beach 05-10-10: The Mother Of All Perfect Games 05-06-10: Fantasy Love Is Blind Sometimes 05-03-10: Phantastic Fantasy Fun In Philly 04-30-10: Kings Of Command 04-28-10: The Post-Draft Mock Madness Quotient 04-26-10: Here Come The Sun Kings 04-21-10: Fantasy Breakdown Of 2010 NFL Sked 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-16-10: Oh, The Cantu-Man Can 04-14-10: Santonio's Fly-By-Night Move to N.Y. 04-12-10: Something Wild In The D 04-09-10: The Tao Of Jose Reyes 04-07-10: Donovan's D.C. Cab ... To Landover 04-05-10: Welcome To Opening Night Revelations 04-02-10: Nothing Beats A Real Fantasy Draft 03-31-10: One More Mock For The Road 03-26-10: A Fantasy-Fueled NFL Draft Breakdown 03-22-10: Fantasyland Prose & Cons: Mauer Power 03-19-10: The NL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-15-10: The AL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-12-10: Post-free agency adjustments in fantasy 03-10-10: In Case Of Emergency: Twins' Closer 03-08-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part III 03-03-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part II 03-01-10: NFL Combine Revelations 02-26-10: A Fantasy Preview Breakdown 02-24-10: Green Flag Goodness: Hitters 02-17-10: Green Flag Goodness: Pitchers 02-15-10: Red Flag Alerts: Pitchers 1-27-10: Red Flag Alerts: Infielders 1-25-10: Championship Sunday Revelations 1-22-10: Playing A Championship Sunday Hunch 1-20-10: Early Mock Draft Madness 1-18-10: Divisional Playoff Revelations 1-15-10: Divisional Playoff Round Clicks 1-13-10: Back In The Baseball Business 1-11-10: Wild Card Revelations 1-06-10: Fantasy Clicks Year-End Spectacular 1-04-10: Wild Card Round Clicks 12-28-09: Week 16 Revelations/Week 17 Clicks 12-23-09: All You Need To Know For Week 16 12-21-09: Week 15 Revelations 12-18-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 15) 12-16-09: Dontcha Hate When That Happens? 12-13-09: Week 14 Revelations 12-11-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 14) 12-09-09: Fantasy Playoff Rules To Live By 12-07-09: Week 13 Revelations 12-04-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 13) 12-02-09: The Believers Of Calvinism 11-30-09: Week 12 Revelations 11-27-09: Turkey Day Revelations 11-25-09: All Hail The Perfect Showdown 11-23-09: Week 11 Revelations

The Grandest of Slam Kings

Jorge Posada: AP

Being (mildly) hungover, (very) sunburn and (wearily) exhausted isn't a great combination when writing Clicks, and yet, we felt obligated to go the extra mile with Sunday's MLB Revelations, for two reasons: 1) It isn't every day we see a catcher, coming off the disabled list, heroically smack grand slams in consecutive days. 2) Since the Yankees and Astros rarely meet in Interleague play, we may never get another chance to work in George Costanza-inspired references to those Houston bastards or Yankee sonsofbitches:

N.Y. Yankees 9, Houston 5
What I Liked: This is why I admire Hunter Pence. On a day when he accomplishes next-to-nothing at the plate, he steals a base against Yankee pitching ... which actually offers greater value than if he had racked up three hits and one homer. At least for those fantasy owners who crave stolen bases (like me). The same holds true for New York outfielder Brett Gardner: It's not hard to look right through his two hits, one run and one RBI on the day ... and be enraptured by his 22nd steal of the season.

What I Liked, Part II: I could kick myself for playing Robinson Cano draft chicken back in late March, especially ranking him as the No. 5 second baseman for the preseason. As if being a prospective MVP candidate, the current A.L. batting leader and current MLB total bases leader wasn't enough goodness to behold, Cano made a great final push in weekly fantasy leagues -- three runs, one hit and one RBI on Sunday. It goes without saying: It's not too late to move heaven and earth to land him, via trade.

What I Loved: Obviously, we're here to honor Jorge Posada for becoming the first Yankees catcher in 73 years (Bill Dickey in 1937) to launch grand slams in consecutive days. Granted, his blasts came against the Astros' fallible pitching; but fantasy owners should be genuinely excited about Posada's prospects for the next few months. Well, at least most people; it seems I dropped Posada Sunday morning in a highly competitive CBS league for Reds prodigy Yonder Alonso, without benefitting from either of the bases-loaded dingers. (Damn!) But don't cry for me, Argentina ... I dumped Jorge in the starting lineup for Buster Posey weeks ago.

What I Loathed: With all due respect to Pence, Carlos Lee, Michael Bourn, Jeff Keppinger, Roy Oswalt and Matt Lindstrom, the Astros have the worst talent of any major league team. And a quick peek at the club's farm system confirms that help isn't just around the corner. For example, who in the heck are Kevin Cash (two RBIs, one HR) and Cory Sullivan (two hits) ... and why can't Houston replenish the roster with talented players under 30 years old?

What I Loathed: This is why it's never wise to draft Mark Teixeira in Round 1. By the time he gets out of his April-May funk in June, fantasy teams are behind the 8-ball in the standings and not prepared to wait out any more weekly downturns of .200 or lower. Old Tex did score a run on Sunday ... but he's basically been useless at the plate. Ouch!

What Makes Me Say 'Yikes': So, I guess Phil Hughes is the new Chien-Ming Wang, a sturdy, but unremarkable starter elevated to All-Star consideration based on the sick run support he's getting from his Yankee 'mates? On Sunday, Hughes fanned six hitters and allowed five runs in 5.2 innings ... and yet, when it's all said and done, we choose to only remember that Hughes is now 9-1 on the season.

Fantasy 2-Pack: Pitchers

These potentially gold pitchers are scheduled for two starts in Week 11 (June 14-20):
David Price, Rays
Josh Johnson, Marlins
CC Sabathia, Yankees
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
Johan Santana, Mets
Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
Roy Halladay, Phillies
Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays
Jonathan Sanchez, Giants
Huroki Kuroda, Dodgers
C.J. Wilson, Rangers
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
Carl Pavano, Twins
Jon Garland, Angels
Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
Max Scherzer, Tigers
Joe Saunders, Angels
Trevor Cahill, Athletics
Aaron Harang, Reds
Freddy Garcia, White Sox
Randy Wolf, Brewers
Chris Tillman, Orioles
Felipe Paulino, Astros
Brad Lincoln, Pirates
John Lannan, Nationals
Kyle Davies, Royals
Justin Masterson, Indians
Luke French, Mariners
Kenshin Kawakami, Braves
Jeff Suppan, Cardinals
Aaron Cook, Rockies

Dare To Compare

In a nod to the classic Pepsi Challenge of 1980s lore, here's a blind taste test for fantasygoers (based on Accuscore projections): Which of the five high-profile second basemen would you most prefer from this point forward (June 14-Oct. 1)? And can you guess which projections represent that of preseason superstars Chase Utley and Ian Kinsler?

Player A
Projected stats: .313 average, .363 OBP, 60.2 runs, 7.9 HRs, 39.6 RBIS, 1.2 steals
Player B
Projected stats: .270 average, .388 OBP, 71.2 runs, 18.4 HRs, 52.8 RBIS, 10 steals
Player C
Projected stats: .270 average, .375 OBP, 58.4 runs, 1.7 HRs, 30 RBIS, 23.9 steals
Player D
Projected stats: .263 average, .350 OBP, 62.6 runs, 13.2 HRs, 45.4 RBIS, 15.5 steals
Player E
Projected stats: .292 average, .349 OBP, 60.8 runs, 12.5 HRs, 49.4 RBIS, 15.7 stealss

A -- Martin Prado, Braves
B -- Chase Utley, Phillies
C -- Chone Figgins, Mariners
D -- Ian Kinsler, Rangers
E -- Brandon Phillips, Reds

The Road To Wellville

These hitters should fare well against average-to-subpar pitching in Week 11 (June 14-20):
Paul Konerko, White Sox (@ Pittsburgh, @ Washington)
Alex Rios, White Sox
Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
Carlos Quentin, White Sox
Juan Pierre, White Sox
Gordon Beckham, White Sox
Jayson Nix, White Sox
Andruw Jones, White Sox Ian Kinsler, Rangers (@ Florida, @ Houston)
Elvis Andrus, Rangers
Josh Hamilton, Rangers
Michael Young, Rangers
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers
Pedro Borbon, Rangers
David Murphy, Rangers
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees (vs. Philadelphia, vs. N.Y. Mets)
Derek Jeter, Yankees
Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Curtis Granderson, Yankees
Nick Swisher, Yankees
Brett Gardner, Yankees
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (vs. Washington, vs. Arizona -- no Strasburg)
Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
Carlos Guillen, Tigers
Brennan Boesch, Tigers
Austin Jackson, Tigers
Johnny Damon, Tigers
Brandon Inge, Tigers
Alex Avila, Tigers

Trouble Ahead

SI Recommends

On the flip side ... here's a list of hitters who are likely headed for slow starts in Week 11 (June 14-20), due to poor pitching matchups. I'm not saying "Don't start 'em" ... just be wary of these guys, who'll face at least four high-quality hurlers during this period:

Matt Wieters, Orioles (@ San Francisco, @ San Diego)
Nick Markakis, Orioles
Adam Jones, Orioles
Corey Patterson, Orioles
Ty Wigginton, Orioles
Miguel Tejada, Orioles
Luke Scott, Orioles
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners (@ St. Louis, vs. Cincinnati)
Chone Figgins, Mariners
Jose Lopez, Mariners
Franklin Gutierrez, Mariners
Josh Wilson, Mariners
Milton Bradley, Mariners
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (@ San Diego, vs. San Francisco)
Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
Aaron Hill, Blue Jays
Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Fred Lewis, Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
John Buck, Blue Jays
Rajaj Davis, Athletics (@ Cubs, @ St. Louis)
Ryan Sweeney, Athletics
Cliff Pennington, Athletics
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics
Kurt Suzuki, Athletics
Daric Barton, Athletics
Mark Ellis, Athletics

A Race Against Time

I don't have enough time to fully explain the Super Twos rule when it comes to MLB clubs promoting top prospects after Memorial Day ... and how it affects each player's arbitration status down the line. But I can hazard an educated guess on which touted prospects will be the next to earn permanent promotions to the majors (Stephen Strasburg, Michael Stanton, Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, Buster Posey, Chris Tillman, Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward, Neftali Feliz obviously don't apply here):

1. C Carlos Santana, Indians (long term, I'd rather have Santana over Bryce Harper)
2. SP Jake Arrieta, Orioles (Baltimore has five dynamite starters of 24 or younger)
3. 1B Chris Carter, Athletics (yes, Oakland's playing well, but it needs an imposing hitter)
4. 3B Brett Wallace, Blue Jays
5. OF Desmond Jennings, Rays (meet Carl Crawford, circa 2004)
6. OF Michael Saunders, Mariners
7. 1B Yonder Alonso, Reds (his only hurdle from the majors is a big one: Joey Votto)
8. 1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
9. SP Daniel Hudson, White Sox (reminds me a lot of Tampa Bay's Wade Davis)
10. 3B Pedro Alvarez, Pirates (great building block from Pittsburgh's substantial youth movement)
11. OF Michael Taylor, Athletics
12. SP Blake Beavan, Rangers (just a notch below Neftali Feliz or Martin Perez)
13. 3B Mike Moustakas, Royals
14. SP Nick Hagadone, Indians
15. SP Madison Bumgarner, Giants (could be the best No. 5 starter in the National League, if San Fran wanted to roll the dice on this kid)

FYI: Here is's Top 50 prospects special from March. Enjoy!

Total Bases Recall

For the loyal Clicks readers of fantasy football, you've heard me prattle on a thousand times about the importance of Targets -- the number of times a receiver is thrown to -- and how it's a fail-safe method for evaluating receivers. Well, I am equally passionate about Total Bases in fantasy baseball. By my way of thinking, TB is the perfect convergence of coveting power hitters and on-base machines who make a living from doubles. It's also a stellar indicator of future success. Here are the top 30 leaders (with ties) in total bases (through June 13):

1. Robinson Cano, Yankees -- 152
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers -- 150
3. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- 140
4. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays -- 140
5. Justin Morneau, Twins -- 136
6. Evan Longoria, Rays -- 135
7. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers -- 133
8. Adam Dunn, Nationals -- 130
9. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox -- 128
10. Marlon Byrd, Cubs -- 127
11. Michael Young, Rangers -- 127
12. Martin Prado, Braves -- 126
13. Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- 125
14. Alex Rios, White Sox -- 125
15. Scott Rolen, Reds -- 125
16. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox -- 125
17. Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks -- 124
18. Brandon Phillips, Reds -- 124
19. Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays -- 123
20. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- 122
21. Ryan Braun, Brewers -- 122
22. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres -- 121
23. Paul Konerko, White Sox -- 121
24. Derek Jeter, Yankees -- 120
25. Billy Butler, Royals -- 119
26. Matt Kemp, Dodgers -- 119
27. Joey Votto, Reds -- 119
28. David Wright, Mets -- 118
29. Jose Guillen, Royals -- 117
30. Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals -- 117

Another Leap For Fantasy-kind

I don't have all the particulars yet, but Sports Illustrated and will soon release a brand-new, state-of-the-art fantasy football game on Facebook, one that'll rival (and hopefully surpass) the and games. Throw in the early-July release of SI's fantasy football magazine -- the sequel to last year's runaway best-seller -- and we'll have plenty of discussion topics for the sports-radio media caravan after the Fourth of July holiday.

Analyze This

To the delight of many, there is never a slowdown period with trades in the & Friends league. Whether it's BIG ones involving Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, or little ones involving Brandon Wood and Aaron Harang, there's always something going down between the graveyard-shift hours of 2-6 a.m. ... which, in turn, gives us an excuse to let the mathematical geniuses at Accuscore be the knee-jerk judge and jury:

Team A gets ... Rajai Davis, Jake Peavy
Davis (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 14-Oct. 1)
.282 batting average, .334 OBP, 45.7 runs, 2.6 HRs, 29.1 RBIs, 31.8 steals
5.4 wins, 4.92 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 120.1 strikeouts

Team B gets ... Jayson Werth
Werth (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 14-Oct. 1)
.270 batting average, .369 OBP, 60.2 runs, 20 HRs, 62.3 RBIs, 8.8 steals
Verdict: Wow! AccuScore has more faith in Werth's second-half capabilities that I do (hence the trade); but I remain skeptical over Werth's potential for 60 RBIs, a .270 batting average and nine steals. In fact, I'll bet an entire month's salary from writing Fantasy Clicks that he falls short of the 8.8 threshold from this point forward. As for Davis' 31.8 steals, my power-heavy, speed-light club would supremely benefit from that kind of production ... so let's hope the AccuScore eggheads aren't just whistling Dixie here.

Stock Report

Here's an update for the highly volatile & Friends league (15-team, 5x5-roto):
1. The Youkileles (Lonny Krasnow) -- 108.5 points (a juggernaut with no real weakness)
2. The Baltimore Choppas (Jay Clemons) -- 104.5 points (save me, Rajai Davis!)
3. From First To Worst (Jon Machota) -- 102 points (this snake's lying in the weeds)
4. Crotch Bats (Jeff Ritter) -- 98 points (enjoy Trevor Cahill, jerk)
5. Bronx Bulldogs (Charlie Kight) -- 97 points (somebody order a WHIP repairman?)
6. TEAM COCO Crisp (Micah Hart) -- 96.5 points (waited two months for Strasburg payoff)
7. Tulo's Dirtbags (Scott Wraight) -- 92.5 points (trying to unload Chad Qualls)
8. Kershawshank Redemption (D. Lampson) -- 86 points (punting saves = bad fantasy juju)
9. Dominican Lous (Cory McCartney) -- 84 points (best infield in the league -- bar none)
10. Joba Rules (Bobby Kight) -- 79 points (this isn't his year ... sheet happens)
11. Ruxin's Rabbits (Brandon Marcus) -- 75.5 points (spent $40 FAAB on Jose Tabata)
12. Cabrera's Cannibals (David Komer) -- 55 points (proud new owner of Jayson Werth)
13. Milwaukee Schlitz (Jeff Lewis) -- 49.5 points (finally has good starting/relief balance)
14. Albert's On The Big Mac Diet (Andrew Lamb) -- 42 points (dreaming about ND football)
15. Lenny Loves Twizzlers (Drew Packham) -- 30 points (beseiged by injuries all year -- whatcha gonna do?)

Jay Clemons can be found on Twitter, day and night (@SI_JayClemons), accessing your fantasy questions and comments. You can also read his award-winning Revelations every Sunday/Monday during the NFL and MLB seasons.

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