06 March 2011

2011 Fantasy Baseball

I'm a huge glutton for punishment.... Last week I signed up to play fantasy baseball again through Yahoo with a group of Arizona sportswriters and fans from The Poor Sports, an Arizona sports blog/website covering the Suns, Coyotes, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and college teams. I was invited to check it out by the site's developers through Facebook, where I assume they saw all my DBacks posts and knew I was a fan. Cool site. I'm looking forward to seeing where they go with it; check it out if you get some free time.

Anyway, we did our draft this morning, and my team looks like this (we have four infield spots, three outfield spots, two utility spots, two starting pitchers, two relievers, two non-preferential pitching spots, and three bench players):
IF: David Wright
IF: Buster Posey
IF: Rafael Furcal
IF: Gordon Beckham
OF: Hunter Pence
OF: Jay Bruce
OF Chris Young (Arizona)
UTIL: Joe Mauer
UTIL: Carlos Quentin
SP: Roy Halladay
SP: Matt Cain
RP: Chris Perez
RP: Ryan Franklin
P: Shaun Marcum
P: Jaime Garcia
B: Angel Pagan
B: Coco Crisp
B: CJ Wilson

From this list, I can see I have a pretty deep hitting staff. Wright, Posey, Mauer, and Young should all be good for double-digit home run seasons, lots of RBIs, and a few stolen bases. They typically hit for average, and don't strike out a ton. Both Quentin and Pence are good for about 25 home runs a season, and both hit in the hgh .280-ish average range. A weak spot is Furcal, who is among the elite shortstops, but has had a hard time staying healthy and getting more than 500 plate appearances the last two years. He's a bit of a risk, but if he can stay strong, he'll help my team.

Of the pitchers, you really can't go wrong with a 1-2 punch of Cy Young winner Roy Halladay (and perpetual 20+ game winner) and the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants' Matt Cain. Shaun Marcum has a 3.85 career ERA and a wimming record, and Jaime Garcia had a stellar year in 2010 with the Cardinals, winning 13 games with a sub-3.00 ERA. If he can do that again in 2011.... yeah! Rounding it out, CJ Wilson won 15 games for Texas last year, Chris Perez pitched 63 innings as a reliever last year and maintained a 1.71 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP (very good numbers) for the Indians, and Ryan Franklin of St. Louis has racked up 65 saves in two years and had a 1.03 WHIP in 65 innings in 2010.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the lineup I've got. There's enough in there that I can make a decent trade if I need to for another solid outfielder in the first third of the season and still maintain depth and lots of talent. Considering I've been in last place, second to last place, and 6th of 12 the past three seasons in fantasy play, I'm hoping this time I can improve and be top 4 of 14 this year! Only time will tell, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.


  1. Hey you kind of remind me of George Will, because you like politics and George Will likes politics, and you like baseball and George Will likes baseball. Personally, I think watching baseball is about as exciting as watching grass die, but maybe I just don't get it, you know?

  2. Well, I typically feel the same about basketball, golf, soccer, or hockey, but I still watch those sports from time to time and I understand why certain people are die-hard fans of them as well. Or worse yet: financial 24-hour news channels! I know a couple guys who always have their TVs tuned to those CNBC financial stock market-y things, and they hang on the commentators' every words. I don't get it, my eyes become all glassy when I watch it, and I fall asleep very quickly as a result. But they understand how a 1/10 point uptick in corn futures can catastrophically deteriorate African import/export whatevers in the third quarter.... Or something like that. It all has to do with what you like.

    I like baseball because it's easy to understand the basics, but takes a lifetime to master the nuances. I'm hoping I'll be one of those masters someday.