Today was a bitter sweet one for me. I have been a Jets fan all my life and I never want to see them lose. However, the fact that they got as far as they did was more than enough to keep me satisfied this season. As an homage to Rex Ryan and his band of smack talking hooligans (who play some seriously awesome defense, well, not today), tonight's post will draw inspiration from some key Jets players and their fantasy baseball counterparts.
Mark Sanchez = Matt Wieters
Sanchez may have been the big hype first round draft pick out of USC, but his role in 2009 was more control than lead. With a great defense and running game on offense, Sanchez didn't need to be the star yet.
In the summer it was Matt Wieters who was filling that role for the Orioles. Wieters was perhaps the most hyped prospect since Ken Griffey Jr., but his production as a big leaguer looked more like league average than superstar. In the span of a couple of years we, the fantasy baseball community, have seen the likes of Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria shine in their rookie seasons. Those two are the exception, not the norm.
As a catcher, Wieters has responsibility that goes beyond knocking the cover off the ball. He must learn and work with a young, talented pitching staff. That responsibility takes some focus off of offense, but make no mistake about it, Matt Wieters will be an elite hitting catcher as soon as 2010.
Darrelle Revis = Matt Kemp
When Darrelle Revis was drafted 14th overall by the Jets in 2007 big things were expected. Year after year, Revis has improved his game and is now considered one if the premiere defenders in the game.
Matt Kemp wasn't a first round pick, but he was a highly regarded prospect even as an 18-year-old coming straight out of high school. Like Revis, Kemp has done nothing but improve through his career. What's scary is that Kemp will still only be 25-years-old in 2010. His 30/30 potential is real. Grady Sizemore wishes he had Kemp's upside.
Nick Mangold = Brad Hawpe
Nick Mangold is a solid, yet unspectacular center for the Jets. No matter what he does as a professional, he may never get the main stream credit that he truly deserves because of his position.
Brad Hawpe is in the same boat (kind of). Outfield is consistently deeper than any other fantasy position and Hawpe's consistent production has made him a good, not great, fantasy option. 2010 may bring more of the same, but that's fine, because every team needs a player like Hawpe (like Mangold) who can be counted on, even if the production is less that spectacular.
I can't wait for the superbowl, because that means the football season is almost over and baseball is on it's way.