Key Stats: Giancarlo Stanton smacked 34 home runs as a 21-year-old last year. I’d say he’s earned the chance to go for a new name. The numbers that he had last season at the age that he had it is worth comparing (see the peer comparison), but ignore the age. Stanton was 9th in home runs last year, but trailed only Curtis Granderson and Jose Bautista in isolated power (both of those guys led baseball). The average distance of a ball off his bat went 322 feet – best in all of baseball. Stanton could lead all of baseball in home runs this season at age 22.
Skeptics Say: There’s still a lot that remains to be seen. Stanton struck out 27.6% of the time last year. That was second worst among qualifying outfielders. Obviously that impacts batting average where Stanton was a liability last season. And while I respect Jack McKeon’s baseball acumen, Stanton stealing 30 bases is out of the question. no comments
Skeptics Say: We've seen pitchers with phenomenal talent before who just couldn't stay on the mound every fifth day. Strasburg has more hype and talent than even Mark Prior did coming out of USC, but that doesn't mean that his career is going to take a different path than Prior. Hopefully for baseball and fantasy sake, this guy can stay healthy because from what we've seen so far he can be the most exciting player in baseball. There's nothing to question when he is on the mound, but getting there is the issue that will force people to think twice before selecting him this season.
Key Stats: Tim Linecum did not finish with a winning record last year despite having an ERA under 3.00. It’s unusual, but far from unprecedented. Since 2000, there have been 92 pitchers that have had an ERA under 3.00 and qualified for the ERA title. Six of them (including Lincecum last season) have had a losing record. The others were Doug Fister (2011), Jake Peavy (2008), Kevin Millwood (2005), Ben Sheets (2004), and Curt Schilling (2003).
Lincecum had 7 quality starts result in losses and also had three no decisions that he gave up 1 or fewer runs.
Skeptics Say: For the third straight season the cumulative strikeout total dropped for The Freak. He still has a strong strikeout rate, but that has also dropped four straight years. His average fastball actually was 1 MPH quicker last year and his average change up did not change. It would appear he had the stuff to get more strikeouts, but the numbers didn’t work that way. Hitter adjustments and pitch movement are likely reasons, but in any case Lincecum doesn’t possess first round stuff anymore with his K rate where it is. no comments
Josh Hamilton, Alex Rios, David Ortiz, Joe Mauer, Adam Wainwright, CC Sabathia, Jon Lester, Carlos Marmol, Yovanni Gallardo, Mariano Rivera.