Key Stats: For seven straight years Nick Swisher has hit more than 20 home runs. Since he became a Yankee in 2009, he has finished with 82 to 89 RBI per season. And finally he's had 81 to 91 runs scored over the past five seasons. It is a very boring pick, but there's a reason that every other commercial we see on Sunday's during the priciest spots for commercials during NFL Games are about insurance. People like security and Nick Swisher's numbers are essentially guaranteed to be there.no comments
As Will Smith's character in The Pursuit of Happyness said when asked what he would do if a man with no shirt was hired, "He must have had on some really nice pants." Smith's character Christopher Gardner ultimately got hired and became a millionaire. Before you hammer me and claim that I didn't watch baseball in 2011 if Liriano is ranked this high, hear me out.
There was a lot of bad that came to Liriano in 2011, but he did have the lowest line drive rate of his career by almost 3%. He also is going to be only 28 this year which essentially means he should be in the prime of his career. And finally, as Terrell Owen's publicist once said, Francisco has 25 million reasons (or more) why he should be alive. His contract is up after this year, and as Jonathan Papelbon proved this season and this offseason, that can serve as added motivation. no comments
Key Stats: The 21 home runs and 17 steals from Danny Espinosa made him a mixed league play in 2011. The area to key in on though as to whether he'll make the jump to a stud in fantasy baseball is batting average where Espinosa hurt teams more than he helped. He is only going to be 25 years old next year, so there is time for him to make adjustments. In the minors his average did not creep any lower than the .250s which is a good sign, but he also didn't face the pitching he faced last season in the minors.no comments
Key Stats: Up until last season, Joakim Soria was ranked in the top 110 by Yahoo for four consecutive seasons. He blew a career high seven saves last year which contributed to him being ranked significantly lower last year. There's no reason to panic though. Soria had a much lower xFIP than his ERA and also got bit by a few more home runs than he should have (his HR:FB% was a career worst last year). Soria had a terrific September and remains a relatively safe bet at the riskiest position in the game. no comments
Key Stats: With the exception of the 2009 season, Jason Motte has been a good pitcher since 2007 when he was in Double-A. He has had more than 8 K/9 every season and if we don't include that 2009 season, he has also had a FIP under 3.30 every year. The problem has always been that the numbers don't end up counting for anything in fantasy because he has been a middle reliever. That finally changed last year when Motte started closing games for the Cards. Although he had a rocky outing against the Rangers in the World Series, in the time that Motte was formally the closer for the Cardinals he converted 14 out of 15 saves - and under significant pressure in just about all of those games. That should be enough to justify keeping him in that role next season regardless of who's decision it is to name a closer. no comments
Key Stats: Johan Santana was the best pitcher in fantasy baseball from 2004 through 2010. Last year was the first time he was not ranked in Yahoo's top 100 rankings in a long time. Even in 2010 when his season was shut down a month before the rest of his teammates could pack up, Santana still put together a season that made him the 90th player on Yahoo's player rater. The obvious concern with Santana is if he will ever be the same pitcher again and if he will ever be healthy again. The answer to the first question does not matter at this point (number 148) in a mixed-league draft. He won't ever be the same pitcher again, but so what? If he is healthy enough to pitch, you wouldn't take him at this point in the draft? I would take a fraction of the pitcher he was in 2010 at this point in the draft, and that's what most people expect him to be. no comments