<![CDATA[Mr. Fantasy Freak Your Home For Fantasy Sports News And Updates - 2015 Fantasy Baseball]]>Sun, 17 Dec 2017 03:57:05 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[2015 NBA Cheerleaders from examiner.com]]>Sat, 18 Apr 2015 06:35:59 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/2015-nba-cheerleaders-from-examinercomBasketball Cheerleaders
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<![CDATA[2015 NHL Ice Girls from examiner.com]]>Fri, 17 Apr 2015 07:01:56 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/2015-nhl-ice-girls-from-examinercomHockey Ice Girls
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<![CDATA[March 22nd, 2015 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings]]>Sun, 22 Mar 2015 07:44:47 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/march-22nd-2015-fantasy-baseball-player-rankingsFantasy Baseball Player Rankings
March 22nd, 2015


Alex Wiesner
March 22nd, 2015
Archives
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<![CDATA[March 22nd, 2015 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings]]>Sun, 22 Mar 2015 05:14:31 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/march-22nd-2015-fantasy-baseball-starting-pitcher-rankingsFantasy Baseball Starter Rankings
KKKKKKKKKKKKKKershaw

I made some settle changes in the first edition of my 2015 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings compared to my Preseason Projections due to injury concerns, Spring Training performances and potential playing time issues.

We've already lost Yu Darvish, Zack Wheeler and Marcus Stroman for the entire 2015 season. We know Cliff Lee will miss several months, if not more. 

These injuries can befall anyone at any time so I always stay away from taking elite Pitchers early in my drafts. It's all about risk when it comes to taking Starting Pitchers. If you look back at my Draft Guide you'll understand why I want everyone to wait on Pitching, again, this year. Trust me, it's worth your time.

Picture
nypost.com
You should be able to draft guys like Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Andrew Cashner and Lance Lynn in the later rounds as opposed to taking elite Pitchers early on. Wood, Latos, Cashner and Lynn are four Pitchers I'll be targeting in my drafts this year.

My rankings are based on how I perceive each players current and future value for this season alone. I did a little more research and updated my projections as well.

Top 50 Starters as of 3/22/2015
1. Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
2. Felix Hernandez Mariners
3. Chris Sale White Sox
4. Max Scherzer Nationals
5. Madison Bumgarner Giants
6. David Price Tigers
7. Corey Kluber Indians
8. Zack Greinke Dodgers
9. Jhonny Cueto Reds
10. Stephen Strasburg Nationals
11. Matt Harvey Mets
12. Jordan Zimmermann Nationals
13. Jon Lester Cubs
14. Cole Hamels Phillies
15. Jose Fernandez Marlins
16. Adam Wainwright Cardinals
17. Masahiro Tanaka Yankees
18. Sonny Gray Athletics
19. Julio Teheran Braves
20. Jeff Samardzija White Sox
21. Alex Cobb Rays
22. Tyson Ross Padres
23. Garrett Richards Angels
24. Gio Gonzalez Nationals
25. James Shields Padres
26. Mat Latos Marlins
27. Gerrit Cole Pirates
28. Lance Lynn Cardinals
29. Doug Fister Nationals
30. Drew Smyly Rays
31. Hisashi Iwakuma Mariners
32. Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers
33. Andrew Cashner Padres
34. Jacob deGrom Mets
35. Alex Wood Braves
36. Yordano Ventura Royals
37. Phil Hughes Twins
38. Chris Archer Rays
39. Michael Wacha Cardinals
40. Rick Porcello Red Sox
41. Matt Shoemaker Angels
42. Taijuan Walker Mariners
43. Henderson Alvarez Marlins
44. Jake Peavy Giants
45. James Paxton Mariners
46. Collin McHugh Astros
47. Anibal Sanchez Tigers
48. Homer Bailey Reds
49. Carlos Carrasco Indians
50. Jake Arrieta Cubs

Record
22-5
16-5
16-6
18-10
17-8
16-9
17-10
17-8
17-8
17-9
14-6
17-7
15-9
12-9
13-5
15-9
15-5
16-8
15-10
14-8
15-8
14-9
16-8
13-9
14-10
15-7
16-8
16-9
15-8
13-7
14-8
15-7
13-9
13-6
13-10
15-8
15-8
13-10
11-9
15-9
14-10
10-6
13-8
10-10
12-7
12-9
14-8
14-9
12-10
12-8

ERA
1.92
2.23
2.26
3.29
3.07
3.19
2.63
2.79
2.39
3.03
2.49
2.62
2.59
2.59
2.36
2.68
2.89
3.12
3.09
3.29
3.02
3.05
3.00
3.34
3.31
3.25
3.27
3.22
3.50
3.00
3.22
3.20
3.08
3.17
3.25
3.41
3.67
3.29
3.10
3.62
3.56
3.31
2.90
3.87
3.27
3.22
3.44
3.76
3.81
3.38

WHIP
0.95
1.04
1.06
1.13
1.07
1.12
1.13
1.12
1.05
1.09
1.04
1.05
1.13
1.16
1.00
1.09
1.04
1.12
1.12
1.09
1.10
1.13
1.10
1.18
1.19
1.15
1.14
1.24
1.14
1.07
1.04
1.18
1.15
1.22
1.20
1.25
1.13
1.22
1.18
1.25
1.14
1.17
1.18
1.16
1.18
1.14
1.16
1.20
1.16
1.15

K's
267
247
219
262
211
260
246
206
231
261
179
188
201
208
172
189
186
192
200
208
189
201
190
190
203
187
192
188
144
177
176
161
165
173
191
183
180
177
169
136
162
169
116
153
150
178
183
162
202
179

Saves
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

One To Watch

Kevin Gausman BAL
The young right hander is a favorite of mine entering drafts this year. He posted a 6.99 K/9 rate last season and averaged 94.8 mph on his fastball. Gausman relies on a splitter, which he throws 11.7 mph slower than his heater, to get out of tough jams. I'm all in on Gausman this season.

I'm also keeping an eye on Daniel Norris in Toronto. If he can win a job in the Blue Jays' rotation out of Spring Training he'll be worth a late round pick in drafts or, if you've already had your draft, a waiver claim.

Alex Wiesner
March 22nd, 2015
Archives
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<![CDATA[March 22nd, 2015 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings]]>Sun, 22 Mar 2015 03:53:38 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/march-22nd-2015fantasy-baseball-closer-rankingsFantasy Baseball Closer Rankings
Full of Sleepers?

I made some settle changes in the first edition of my 2015 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings compared to my Preseason Projections due to injury concerns, Spring Training performances and potential playing time issues.

Like last year, playing time will play a huge role in the value of Closers in 2015. I always try to calculate job security in my Closer Rankings as it's one of the most important factors in each Pitcher's value in drafts and throughout the season. 

Also like last season, Craig Kimbrel opens the year as my top Closer. If you want more information on Closers, or any other position, you can take a look at my preseason writings.
Picture
yahoo.com
My rankings are based on how I perceive each players current and future value for this season alone. I did a little more research and updated my projections as well.

Top 30 Closers as of 3/22/2015
1. Craig Kimbrel Braves
2. Greg Holland Royals
3. Aroldis Chapman Reds
4. David Robertson White Sox
5. Cody Allen Indians
6. Mark Melancon Pirates
7. Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals
8. Kenley Jansen Dodgers
9. Dellin Betances Yankees
10. Steve Cishek Marlins
11. Huston Street Angels
12. Zach Britton Orioles
13. Jonathan Papelbon Phillies
14. Fernando Rodney Mariners
15. Drew Storen Nationals
16. Koji Uehara Red Sox
17. Glen Perkins Twins
18. Francisco Rodriguez Brewers
19. Joaquin Benoit Padres
20. Sean Doolittle Athletics
21. Joe Nathan Tigers
22. Hector Rondon Cubs
23. Andrew Miller Yankees
24. Jake McGee Rays
25. Neftali Feliz Rangers
26. Wade Davis Royals
27. Luke Gregerson Astros
28. Jenrry Mejia Mets
29. Brett Cecil Blue Jays
30. Addison Reed Diamondbacks

Record
2-3
2-2
2-4
3-3
2-4
3-2
3-3
3-3
4-3
4-3
3-2
2-2
3-3
2-4
3-1
2-4
3-2
4-4
3-1
2-2
3-5
3-4
6-4
3-1
1-4
6-2
2-3
3-5
2-4
2-6

ERA
1.39
1.57
1.83
2.37
2.26
1.87
2.70
2.39
1.93
2.62
1.94
2.19
2.53
3.18
1.94
2.56
2.67
2.98
2.41
2.78
3.62
2.84
1.90
2.77
3.44
1.52
2.88
3.33
3.02
3.92

WHIP
0.90
0.92
0.89
1.01
1.06
0.95
1.12
1.01
0.97
1.15
1.04
1.02
1.08
1.29
1.04
1.02
1.10
1.12
1.01
1.01
1.22
1.14
0.99
1.11
1.09
0.98
1.20
1.34
1.26
1.18

K's
102
100
111
93
94
77
86
83
114
80
58
57
67
78
69
79
73
76
71
78
63
67
100
83
59
90
60
92
77
74

Saves
42
45
41
40
40
38
38
37
37
40
40
41
35
41
39
34
37
35
36
32
37
34
4
31
30
5
25
30
28
28

One To Watch

Bobby Parnell NYM
It's a waiting game for Parnell and the Mets as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Upon his return I don't think the Mets will just give him the Closing job back - I think he'll have to earn it. Parnell will be a valuable pickup off the waiver wire if he can overtake Jenrry Mejia as New York's Closer by the All Star break.

Alex Wiesner
March 22nd, 2015
Archives
]]>
<![CDATA[March 22nd, 2015 Fantasy Baseball Holds Rankings]]>Sun, 22 Mar 2015 01:23:50 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/march-22nd-2015-fantasy-baseball-holds-rankingsFantasy Baseball Holds Rankings
Davis on Top

I made some settle changes in the first edition of my 2015 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings compared to my Preseason Projections due to injury concerns, Spring Training performances and potential playing time issues.

As you look through my Holds Rankings you'll notice a lot of names and for good reason as many of them have a chance to make noise in the Fantasy world this year. Names like Wade Davis, Tyler Clippard and Tony Watson are well-known in the Fantasy world for their past dominance in leagues that include Holds or Holds+Saves categories.

If you don't play in Fantasy leagues that include the Holds category you can still use these Rankings to your advantage if you trust my projections. 

Picture
battingleadoff.com
My rankings are based on how I perceive each players current and future value for this season alone. I did a little more research and updated my projections as well.

Top 30 "Holds Guys"
1. Wade Davis Royals
2. Tyler Clippard Athletics
3. Tony Watson Pirates
4. Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks
5. Will Smith Brewers
6. J.P. Howell Dodgers
7. Joba Chamberlain Tigers
8. Andrew Miller Yankees
9. Darren O'Day Orioles
10. Casey Fien Twins
11. Joel Peralta Dodgers
12. Pat Neshek Astros
13. Jeurys Familia Mets
14. Zach Duke White Sox
15. Danny Farquhar Mariners
16. Ken Giles Phillies
17. Brad Boxberger Rays
18. Bryan Shaw Indians
19. Adam Ottavino Rockies
20. Kevin Quackenbush Padres
21. Jordan Walden Cardinals
22. Edward Mujica Red Sox
23. Mike Dunn Marlins
24. Joe Smith Angels
25. Pedro Strop Cubs
26. Casey Janssen Nationals
27. Sergio Romo Giants
28. A.J. Ramos Marlins
29. David Carpenter Yankees
30. Jonathan Broxton Brewers

Record
6-2
6-3
5-2
3-3
4-2
4-2
3-2
6-4
3-1
3-4
4-2
4-4
2-7
4-2
3-2
3-3
3-2
4-2
4-2
2-3
2-2
3-4
3-3
3-2
3-4
6-2
3-4
4-4
3-5
3-3

ERA
1.52
2.07
2.16
2.76
3.56
2.55
3.24
1.90
2.40
3.51
3.65
2.97
3.18
3.35
2.82
2.34
3.03
3.05
2.84
2.61
3.23
3.38
3.70
2.98
3.36
3.16
3.01
3.11
3.39
2.98

WHIP
0.98
0.96
1.01
1.16
1.33
1.13
1.21
0.99
1.01
1.14
1.16
1.03
1.26
1.25
1.14
1.01
1.06
1.16
1.26
1.14
1.20
1.28
1.25
1.04
1.18
1.12
1.08
1.27
1.29
1.19

K's
90
85
78
61
76
57
61
100
72
68
70
67
76
69
83
95
94
69
74
65
60
57
78
65
72
59
63
81
66
46

Holds
37
36
36
35
33
32
32
33
32
32
29
27
28
28
26
23
22
24
23
22
25
20
22
22
21
20
18
19
18
18

One To Watch

Jake Diekman PHI
Assuming the Phillies trade Jonathan Papelbon and name Ken Giles their Closer; Diekman should quietly take over the setup role in Philly. He recorded 100 strikeouts in 2014.

Alex Wiesner
March 22nd, 2015
Archives
]]>
<![CDATA[March 22nd, 2015 Fantasy Baseball Hitter Rankings]]>Sat, 21 Mar 2015 07:17:47 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/march-22nd-2015-fantasy-baseball-hitter-rankingsFantasy Baseball Hitter Rankings
Speed vs. Power

I made some settle changes in the first edition of my 2015 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings compared to my Preseason Projections due to injury concerns, Spring Training performances and potential playing time issues.

From 1998 to 2006 Major League Baseball had over 5,000 home runs hit every season. From 2007 to 2013 Major League Baseball saw 5,000+ home runs in a season just once (2009). In 2014 we saw 4,186 total homers hit, the lowest since 1995 when there was just 4,081 long balls. I could continue to bore you by recapping the main points of my Draft Guide or I could just tell you to take power over speed every chance you get early on. You can always pickup base stealers later on in your drafts. It's easier to do that than to find a 40-homer guy after round 10.

Picture
insidesocal.com
My rankings are based on how I perceive each players current and future value for this season alone. I did a little more research and updated my projections as well.

Top 125 Hitters as of 3/22/2015
1. Mike Trout Angels
2. Andrew McCutchen Pirates
3. Giancarlo Stanton Marlins
4. Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
5. Carlos Gomez Brewers
6. Miguel Cabrera Tigers
7. Troy Tulowitzki Rockies
8. Ian Desmond Nationals
9. Jose Abreu White Sox
10. Yasiel Puig Dodgers
11. Adam Jones Orioles
12. Anthony Rizzo Cubs
13. Freddie Freeman Braves
14. Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays
15. Robinson Cano Mariners
16. Anthony Rendon Nationals
17. Jose Bautista Blue Jays
18. Michael Brantley Indians
19. Hanley Ramirez Red Sox
20. Evan Longoria Rays
21. Adrian Beltre Rangers
22. Todd Frazier Reds
23. Justin Upton Padres
24. Victor Martinez Tigers
25. Josh Donaldson Blue Jays
26. Yoenis Cespedes Tigers
27. Buster Posey Giants
28. Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees
29. George Springer Astros
30. Nelson Cruz Mariners
31. Corey Dickerson Rockies
32. Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers
33. Starlin Castro Cubs
34. Jose Reyes Blue Jays
35. Jason Kipnis Indians
36. Jose Altuve Astros
37. Ryan Braun Brewers
38. Billy Hamilton Reds
39. Albert Pujols Angels
40. Kyle Seager Mariners
41. Brian Dozier Twins
42. Carlos Gonzalez Rockies
43. Carlos Santana Indians
44. Bryce Harper Nationals
45. David Ortiz Red Sox
46. Jonathan Lucroy Brewers
47. Matt Kemp Padres
48. David Wright Mets
49. Dee Gordon Marlins
50. Joey Votto Reds
51. Hunter Pence Giants
52. Kris Bryant Cubs
53. Lucas Duda Mets
54. Starling Marte Pirates
55. Christian Yelich Marlins
56. Ian Kinsler Tigers
57. Kole Calhoun Angels
58. Nolan Arenado Rockies
59. J.D. Martinez Tigers
60. Chris Carter Astros
61. Brett Gardner Yankees
62. Jason Heyward Cardinals
63. Matt Adams Cardinals
64. Jay Bruce Reds
65. Chris Davis Orioles
66. Evan Gattis Braves
67. Alex Gordon Royals
68. Alexei Ramirez White Sox
69. Jhonny Peralta Cardinals
70. Matt Holliday Cardinals
71. Kolten Wong Cardinals
72. Mookie Betts Red Sox
73. Marcell Ozuna Marlins
74. Salvador Perez Royals
75. Yan Gomes Indians
76. Prince Fielder Rangers
77. Daniel Murphy Mets
78. Pablo Sandoval Red Sox
79. Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
80. Aramis Ramirez Brewers
81. Manny Machado Orioles
82. Dustin Pedroia Red Sox
83. Elvis Andrus Rangers
84. Alcides Escobar Royals
85. Josh Harrison Pirates
86. Charlie Blackmon Rockies
87. Melky Cabrera White Sox
88. Yasmany Tomas Diamondbacks
89. Jorge Soler Cubs
90. Brandon Moss Indians
91. Jayson Werth Nationals
92. Neil Walker Pirates
93. Martin Prado Marlins
94. Matt Carpenter Cardinals
95. Brian McCann Yankees
96. Javier Baez Cubs
97. Gregory Polanco Pirates
98. Leonys Martin  Rangers
99. Dayan Viciedo Blue Jays
100. Rusney Castillo Red Sox
101. Danny Santana Twins
102. Wil Myers Padres
103. Asdrubal Cabrera Rays
104. Yadier Molina Cardinals
105. Ben Revere Phillies
106. Mark Trumbo Diamondbacks
107. Devin Mesoraco Reds
108. Oswaldo Arcia Twins
109. Avisail Garcia White Sox
110. Khris Davis Brewers
111. Adam LaRoche White Sox
112. Eric Hosmer Royals
113. Lorenzo Cain Royals
114. Nick Markakis Braves
115. Russell Martin Blue Jays
116. Wilson Ramos Nationals
117. Joc Pederson Dodgers
118. Jimmy Rollins Dodgers
119. Kennys Vargas Twins
120. Brandon Belt Giants
121. Ben Zobrist Athletics
122. Michael Morse Marlins
123. Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
124. Howard Kendrick Dodgers
125. Brett Lawrie Athletics

BA
.301
.320
.281
.307
.282
.326
.311
.283
.292
.301
.284
.275
.278
.267
.317
.281
.271
.305
.280
.271
.294
.269
.274
.311
.274
.266
.302
.281
.253
.265
.291
.299
.299
.297
.267
.317
.292
.254
.283
.273
.249
.298
.247
.284
.284
.294
.286
.289
.273
.298
.275
.283
.255
.287
.298
.271
.287
.292
.274
.237
.270
.274
.293
.242
.259
.260
.271
.270
.268
.293
.263
.280
.275
.283
.272
.266
.294
.287
.259
.286
.280
.291
.278
.299
.302
.280
.292
.274
.279
.259
.281
.275
.302
.291
.259
.220
.264
.281
.256
.268
.273
.271
.270
.292
.299
.240
.255
.246
.264
.270
.261
.289
.284
.292
.275
.270
.272
.257
.262
.283
.267
.283
.286
.297
.268

HR
35
29
43
33
21
32
31
20
30
25
30
36
27
37
20
24
32
20
20
25
20
32
21
21
28
28
22
15
28
29
27
24
16
9
13
5
21
4
30
27
21
25
29
25
32
16
25
17
3
22
21
26
32
19
14
15
20
23
26
38
16
16
24
31
32
23
20
13
19
22
14
14
25
18
21
27
10
15
16
23
16
10
3
7
17
16
14
17
20
27
18
16
13
9
22
24
16
14
29
14
12
17
16
12
1
29
18
25
17
23
23
20
12
15
15
17
16
16
24
26
11
19
18
10
15

RBI
105
96
112
121
71
114
92
89
104
75
94
100
87
106
94
86
100
87
79
90
87
82
87
85
95
94
94
85
87
87
81
105
74
54
71
56
87
45
102
100
70
80
87
63
96
76
88
75
35
79
73
79
91
65
57
79
64
75
85
91
53
61
76
92
84
66
73
70
70
94
56
51
86
76
74
71
64
70
57
71
72
70
44
56
57
68
73
60
82
81
74
73
68
63
75
63
69
48
77
54
65
61
62
75
25
85
79
69
81
76
80
81
74
61
65
62
56
59
83
73
65
69
67
73
53

Runs
111
98
91
105
93
103
93
75
77
99
89
90
93
90
82
115
94
85
71
83
82
87
73
76
90
78
74
71
74
81
77
80
66
94
83
86
75
79
86
75
103
73
77
102
67
72
72
64
90
97
100
68
73
82
92
92
102
73
70
72
86
84
63
83
76
53
88
80
59
87
74
98
76
58
64
76
86
65
64
59
81
87
83
79
84
75
83
63
70
68
79
62
86
110
57
77
83
74
69
68
83
74
73
62
74
72
57
54
63
74
70
85
83
85
52
47
66
81
72
74
80
57
80
81
73

SB
20
20
8
10
35
1
3
20
2
14
10
6
5
4
10
20
5
26
15
6
1
18
12
2
7
4
2
32
16
5
11
1
14
36
27
50
12
62
4
10
23
8
4
7
1
7
10
10
70
4
15
7
2
31
38
15
8
3
9
4
28
22
2
10
3
0
12
21
2
3
29
32
5
2
1
1
14
1
4
4
8
18
36
33
25
16
7
2
4
1
8
2
7
7
0
14
28
33
0
20
29
16
11
1
43
4
2
3
9
6
3
10
34
10
8
0
14
28
1
7
10
0
3
14
5

One To Watch

Adam Eaton CHW
If you wait on speedsters, like I want you to, then Eaton could be another late-round pickup worth stashing on your bench to start the season. Eaton could swipe 40+ bases this year if he plays a full season. If you miss out on Eaton you can go after guys like Ben Revere, Denard Span, Rajai Davis, Jon Jay and Alejandro De Aza as they can provide you with a good amount of speed, at a cheap price, in roto leagues.

In deeper leagues or keeper/dynasty leagues I want you to keep an eye on Miguel Sano as well. Sano hit two home runs this Spring in just six games. He hit 35 homers combined in Single A and Double A back in 2013. He'll open the season in Double A after missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery; however, many baseball experts, including myself, believe he'll make his Major League debut this season.

Alex Wiesner
March 22nd, 2015
Archives
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<![CDATA[2015 MLB Spring Position Battles - page 2]]>Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:43:00 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/2015-mlb-spring-position-battles-page-2MLB Position Battles
Part 2

As the 2015 MLB season approaches I wanted to give you all a look at a few interesting position battles I have my eye on. Not all of these battles will have a major impact in the Fantasy Baseball world; however, every potential outcome should be taken into consideration during your drafts and in making any trades.

Shortstop  - San Diego Padres
The new-look Padres have a few players worthy of playing Shortstop for them this year. That list includes Alexi Amarista, Clint Barmes, prospect Trea Turner and possibly utility Infielder Yangervis Solarte. Turner isn't ready for the Majors which is too bad because his speed is exactly what this Padres team needs. Solarte will probably be in competition for the Third Base job with Will Middlebrooks instead of fighting for the starting Shortstop job this spring. That leaves us with Amarista and Barmes being the two main players for the Shortstop position. 

Barmes will be 36 years old when the season starts and is, probably, the veteran backup most teams look for when attempting to make a deep postseason run. I really like Amarista despite his inability to post a high batting average or an on base percentage over .300 at any point during his four year career. Amarista is a versatile player having played over 20 games at Third Base, Second Base, Shortstop and Center Field last year. If the Padres give him the nod at Shortstop this year I think he can forget playing multiple positions which, ideally, should help him focus at the dish.

Prediction: Due to his speed, I think Alexi Amarista wins the Shortstop job out of Spring Training this year.

Shortstop - Pittsburgh Pirates
Newly acquired Jung Ho Kang is the first position player to jump from the Korean Baseball League to the Majors but I'm not sold on him being ready for opening day in Pittsburgh. I still think Jordy Mercer is the best Shortstop in the Pirates' organization right now. That being said, the future (2017 and beyond) of the position is probably between Kang and prospect Alen Hanson. 

Prediction: Mercer will win the job out of Spring Training but Kang will see time (125-150 at bats) in the Majors this season, possibly at Second Base.

Outfield - Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Bautista is a lock for the Right Field job in Toronto but the Center Field and Left Field positions are still up for grabs. The early front runner for Center is Dalton Pompey but with the recent injury to Michael Saunders, Left Field is up for grabs.

Pompey is by far the most intriguing player in the Blue Jays' farm system. He's another young kid with great speed that could help turn the Blue Jays' lineup over this year batting 9th. He has little power but does show promise as a high average hitter posting a combined .318 average between three levels of the minors last season before his September call-up. Chris Dickerson, Kevin Pillar and Andy Dirks should all be in the running for the Left Field spot this spring unless the team brings in a free agent or attempts to trade for someone. 

Prediction: Dalton Pompey will win the Center Field job out of Spring Training. Left Field will be a platoon split between Kevin Pillar (against LHP) and Andy Dirks (against RHP).

Outfield - Boston Red Sox
Assuming Hanley Ramirez sticks in Left Field the Red Sox will have a difficult decision to make in Center and Right Field over the next few months. The team has several options to choose from including Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava. That's a lot of names - don't forget they also traded Yoenis Cespedes away in December.

Allen Craig was terrible with the Red Sox last year and is looking more like an emergency Outfielder and backup First Baseman. Jackie Bradley Jr., once a highly touted prospect due to his great reads and defensive prowess, struggled offensively over the past two years (164 games) hitting .196 with just four home runs in 479 at bats. 

Nava, the man who hit a grand slam on the very first pitch he faced as a pro back on June 12th, 2010, is a fourth Outfielder on most Major League clubs but in Boston he settles in as their fifth or sixth option. Nava became the second player in the history of baseball to hit a grand slam on the first pitch faced - the other being Kevin Kouzmanoff back in 2006. Victorino may have a chance to play some this season but I can't see him taking playing time away from two rising stars in Castillo and Betts.

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Mookie Betts looks like a future star and potentially great leadoff hitter for the Red Sox for years to come. Castillo is still somewhat of an unknown coming from Cuba and only seeing a few games in Beantown late last year. I think both players will have great seasons in a powerful Boston lineup.

Prediction: I have Betts and Castillo winning the other two Outfield spots alongside Hanley Ramirez this spring.

Outfield - Texas Rangers
I have to believe Leonys Martin and Shin-Soo Choo have Center Field and Right Field respectively locked down entering the 2015 season; leaving only Left Field open for a handful of players to take. Among those vying for the job are veteran players Nate Schierholtz and Kyle Blanks as well as Jake Smolinksi, Delino DeShields Jr. and Michael Choice. Smolinski appears to be the early favorite after the way he played last season. In 24 games Jake hit .349 with three bombs, but a 24:3 K:BB ratio won't help his case. Another option I really like is Michael Choice. Choice was a favorite of mine back when he was a prospect in the Oakland Athletics' organization. 

Prediction: I think Smolinski and Choice will start the season in a platoon system for the Rangers.

Outfield - Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Gomez (Center Field) and Ryan Braun (Right Field) aren't moving anytime soon so the only open spot in the Brewers' lineup entering 2015 is Left Field. The two main candidates for the job are Khris Davis and Gerardo Parra.

This decision is pretty easy considering it comes down to power versus defense. Parra needed 601 at bats last year to reach the 10 home run and 10 steal plateaus. Gerardo was also caught stealing 10 times in 2014. 

Parra probably won't come close to the 600 at bat mark he needed last year to become that 10HR/10SB guy. I'm predicting him to end the season around half of that number this year so the counting numbers won't be worth much in the Fantasy world. 

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Davis on the other hand has managed to hit 33 home runs in 200 games over the past two seasons, including 22 bombs in 144 games in 2014. I think Davis could hit 25 homers and 40 doubles this year.

Prediction: Davis will start the season in Left Field for the Brewers. Parra will often come in as a defensive replacement and will not play a lot against lefties (.206 average against LHP in 2014, .198 average against LHP in 2013) this season.

Outfield - Detroit Tigers
Center Field in Detroit should be a two man competition this year between Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis. Gose, a 24 year old former Blue Jays' prospect, played 202 games in Toronto from 2012-2014 hitting .234 and tallying 34 steals (45 attempts). Davis, ten years older than Gose, managed to steal 127 bases in that same time frame. Rajai played for the Tigers last season after three years in Toronto. The veteran speedster hit .267 over the past three years combined - 33 points higher than Gose.

Prediction: Rajai Davis wins the Center Field job in Detroit and steals over 40 bases for the Tigers this year.

Designated Hitter - New York Yankees
Assuming Carlos Beltran can stay upright in Right Field and Chase Headley can manage Third Base duties in the Bronx, the DH spot in the lineup will likely be given to Alex Rodriguez. His main competition will be Chris Young; unless Beltran can't play the field then Young will move to Right Field and Beltran will likely supplant A-Rod as the club's Designated Hitter.

Prediction: Alex Rodriguez opens the season as the Yankee's Designated Hitter.

Closer - Oakland Athletics
Sean Doolittle will likely miss the first few weeks of the 2015 season giving way to an open competition for the A's Closer job in Spring Training. Potential Closer candidates include Tyler Clippard, Ryan Cook, Dan Otero and Eric O'Flaherty. 

Otero averaged 90.2 mph on his fastball last season and really started using his changeup more often. Otero threw his changeup a career high 13.8% of the time last season. He also features a slider that is good but not great. Cook saved 14 games for the A's in 2012 but has been used primarily as a setup man over the past few years posting 51 holds over the past three years in Oakland. O'Flaherty is a two-pitch Pitcher who used his slider 25.5% of the time last season. O'Flaherty is a lefty specialist who tends to give up homers to righties all-to-often (eight homers to righties over the past three years, none to lefties).

The easy choice here should be Tyler Clippard. Aside from his 2012 season when he saved 32 games for the Nationals, Clippard has been one of the best 8th inning options in all of baseball. Clippard has a career 1.08 WHIP and 2.88 ERA to go along with 548 strikeouts in just 491 innings. Clippard has made at least 72 appearances in each of the last five seasons.

Prediction: Tyler Clippard starts the season as the A's Closer but will give way to Sean Doolittle later in the season when he returns to full health.

Closer - New York Yankees
Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller.

Prediction: Dellin Betances.

Closer - New York Mets
The Mets actually have a few pretty good options at the back-end of their bullpen this year. Once Bobby Parnell returns he'll join Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Jenrry Mejia and Carlos Torres as potential Closers for the new and improved (we'll see) Mets. 

Vic Black had closing experience in the minors but asking him to take over 9th inning duties may be too much at this point of his career. Familia, although electric off the mound, was helped by a .264 BABIP last season. Mejia has a few more pitches in his arsenal and has a slightly longer track record than both Familia and Black. Torres is a terrific 7th inning guy so I doubt his role changes leaving only Bobby Parnell as Mejia's main competition. Parnell is the safest Closer on the Mets' roster if he's healthy and ready to go when the season starts. This is a true competition entering Spring Training. We'll see how things play out and how the health of Parnell plays a role in things.

Prediction: Jenrry Mejia wins the Closer's job out of Spring Training but there will be more than a few changes throughout the season.

#5 Starting Pitcher - St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals already have four quality Starters in their rotation with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Michael Wacha. The fifth spot in the rotation should be between Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzalez. I'm a huge fan of both kids; I'd like to see them both in the rotation this year but the only way that will happen is if injuries take their toll or if the team moves John Lackey.

Carlos Martinez is a fireballer that could develop into a 200-strikeout guy as early as 2016. He's slender on the mound, similar to Pedro Martinez, but he's definitely worth stashing in keeper leagues.

Marco Gonzalez is a refined South Paw that is years ahead of his age. Marco could make double digit starts this year in St. Louis if a rotation spot opens up. Gonzalez will join the list of great young arms the Cards seem to produce every season.

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Prediction: Carlos Martinez wins the fifth spot in the rotation this spring but Marco Gonzalez makes 12 starts for the Cardinals throughout the year.

#5 Starting Pitcher - Los Angeles Angels
The defending American League West champions have a few areas of concern this spring but the fifth spot in the rotation shouldn't be an issue for long. The team has Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Matt Shoemaker, an injured Garrett Richards and prospect Andrew Heaney as their ideal five-man rotation. If Heaney and/or Richards isn't ready for opening day the team may look to two of the following Pitchers as replacement options: Tyler Skaggs, Nick Tropeano and Hector Santiago.

Prediction: I'd like to see Richards and Heaney start the season in Anaheim but if injuries hold Richards back or if Heaney isn't given the nod, I think Tyler Skaggs will be next in line to see time in the rotation. Either way I think Skaggs makes 5-7 starts for the Halos this year.

#5 Starting Pitcher - Boston Red Sox
After Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly the Red Sox will have to decide between Justin Masterson, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Robbie Ross or Henry Owens for the fifth spot in their rotation. 

I'm a fan of the potential Barnes and Owens showed in the minors but I don't see them as anything higher than a #4 or #5 Starter at the big league level. Masterson is the most experienced of the group and will use that to his advantage over the next few months as he fights for the final rotation spot in Boston.

Prediction: Justin Masterson will win the fifth spot out of Spring Training but Matt Barnes and Henry Owens will make 7-10 starts each this year for the Red Sox.

Here's a list of some other Fantasy Baseball articles I've posted over the past few months that should help you in your preparation for the 2015 season.

If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comment section below.
Click on the arrow (right) to go back to Part 1.

Alex Wiesner
February 27th, 2015
Archives
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Part 1
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<![CDATA[2015 MLB Spring Position Battles - page 1]]>Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:26:49 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/2015-fantasy-baseball/2015-mlb-spring-position-battles-page-1MLB Position Battles
Part 1

As the 2015 MLB season approaches I wanted to give you all a look at a few interesting position battles I have my eye on. Not all of these battles will have a major impact in the Fantasy Baseball world; however, every potential outcome should be taken into consideration during your drafts and in making any trades.

Catcher - Colorado Rockies
In Colorado, the Catcher position is expected to be between Wilin Rosario and newly acquired Nick Hundley. Rosario is a much better hitting Catcher than Hundley but the Rockies have plenty of offense in the field (Dickerson, Blackmon, Tulowitzki, C. Gonzalez, Arenado and Morneau) and have made it a point to get better defensively this winter. With a young pitching staff it's always better to have a veteran backstop so the signing of Hundley came as no surprise. Rosario has a .274 career batting average (compared to Hundley's .238 career mark) and has hit 62 home runs over the past three years in just 344 games. The main knock on Rosario's offense is his inability to get on base at a high rate. Last year Wilin posted a .305 OBP which ranked 20th among Catchers with at least 300 plate appearances. Although that was still higher than Hundley's it should be considered below average among "good hitting" Catchers.

Prediction: The team trades Justin Morneau before the deadline, moves Rosario to First Base and keeps Hundley as their primary Catcher. Rosario will make $2.8 million this year and will then enter his arbitration years (2016-2017) while Morneau has a $9 million mutual option for 2016 with a $750,000 buyout clause if the club decides to decline.

First Base - Boston Red Sox
Entering last year Mike Napoli hit 20 or more home runs in six straight seasons. He fell three bombs shy of the 20-mark in 2014 but still managed to post a .370 OBP - 7th highest among First Basemen with at least 300 plate appearances. He should be the no-brainer choice to play First Base in Boston. Allen Craig was acquired via trade last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. Since being acquired Craig hit .128 (12 for 94) with a .234 OBP. Craig is a versatile backup Infielder and Outfielder but with the depth currently on Boston's roster I think Craig, and the Red Sox, would be better suited going their separate ways.

Prediction: Mike Napoli, if he stays healthy, will earn 450 at bats as the Red Sox First Baseman this year. Allen Craig will be traded in June.

Second Base - Chicago White Sox
Emilio Bonifacio, Leury Garcia, Carlos Sanchez and Gordon Beckham are all potential suitors for the Second Base job in Chicago this year; however, the future belongs to Micah Johnson.

The White Sox signed Emilio Bonifacio this winter during their spending spree in an effort to bolster their speed and defense up the middle. Emilio, a career journeyman, is now with his eighth team and is entering his ninth season as a pro. Last year he hit .259 between the Cubs and Braves playing every position in the field except First Base and Catcher. He's a career .262 hitter with 164 career stolen bases in 208 attempts (79% success rate).

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Chicago already has Shortstop and First Base locked down with Alexei Ramirez and Jose Abreu/Adam LaRoche respectively leaving only Second and Third Base up for grabs. The team brought back Gordon Beckham this winter due to his versatility but I don't think they're ready to just give him his old Second Base job back. I have Conor Gillaspie holding down the hot corner until the team calls up power hitting prospect Matt Davidson this summer leaving Second Base the only open spot up for grabs this Spring. 

I don't think Leury Garcia or Carlos Sanchez are ready for a full time job in the Majors so I'm just about certain they're out of the running.

The Second Base job should come down to either Beckham or Bonifacio.

Prediction: Emilio Bonifacio wins the Second Base job out of Spring Training. Micah Johnson gets called up when rosters expand and finishes the season playing 20-25 games at the Keystone position. Micah Johnson is, in my mind, a more refined Dee Gordon. Johnson's speed is matched only by a few Major Leaguers so his value will be high for years to come if he can prove he can hit for a fair batting average - something I think he'll have no issue doing.

Second Base - Los Angeles Angels
Josh Rutledge seems to be the front runner for the Second Base job in Anaheim this Spring but Grant Green and Alex Yarbrough are two players worth keeping an eye on. Rutledge played the last three seasons in Colorado hitting .259 with 19 homers in 266 games. He hit .287 at home but just .230 on the road leaving many to wonder just how good he'll be outside of Colorado. Josh will likely hit at the bottom of the Angels' lineup so his Fantasy value will be little-to-none unless he can prove his doubters wrong and put up good numbers.

Prediction: Josh Rutledge wins the job out of Spring Training. A sleeper to remember is Roberto Baldoquin.

Second Base - Toronto Blue Jays
Steve Tolleson played 55 of his 109 games last year at Second Base for the Blue Jays hitting .253 with three homers and three steals. Tolleson, a 31 year old utility player, is in competition with Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Munenori Kawasaki and prospect Devon Travis for the Second Base job this spring. Goins hit .188 in 67 games last year. Izturis missed all but 11 games in 2014 with a torn lateral collateral ligament in his left knee requiring surgery. Kawasaki, a fan favorite, is best suited for the minors but could see time at Second Base again this season depending how things play out in Spring Training. Travis is the most interesting of the five names seeing how he could blossom into a good (maybe great) player at the Major League level soon. Travis was brought to Toronto from Detroit in exchange for Anthony Gose in November 2014.

The Blue Jays haven't made the playoffs since 1993 (the longest current drought in the Majors) but I doubt the winner of the Second Base job will play a huge role in whether or not that changes this year - I'd leave that to the pitching staff and health of Jose Reyes.

Prediction: I have Steve Tolleson winning the job out of Spring Training but I think Devon Travis will end the year as the Blue Jays starting Second Baseman. If Travis struggles in the minors I wouldn't be shocked if Toronto trades for Chase Utley or Neil Walker.

Third Base - Chicago Cubs
With Luis Valbuena out of the picture (sent to Houston along with Dan Straily for Dexter Fowler this winter; more on that in a bit) the Cubs have a clear path for future star Kris Bryant to play in Chicago this season.

Widely regarded as the best hitting prospect in baseball, Bryant is projected to be a 30-homer guy as soon as this season - high praise for an unproven 23 year old kid. Kris has a large frame standing six-foot-five-inches tall who weighs in at 215 pounds; two key factors as he develops his power tool. He does have a solid track record of hitting for power in the minors cranking 43 homers between Double A and Triple A last year. In 2013 he hit 15 home runs in 56 games between four of the lower levels of the Cubs' system. He's one of the most refined prospects we've seen in a few years so he shouldn't have too many issues transitioning to Chicago this year.

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His main competition will be with Mike Olt and Tommy La Stella. Olt was once considered a power hitting prospect but he's failed to hit for a decent average (career .159 batting average) and looks more and more like a career minor leaguer. La Stella, formerly of Braves' fame, could be a placeholder for Bryant if he doesn't start the season in Chicago. Tommy won't hit for power, has no speed and hasn't shown any flashes of brilliance with his bat - he should be the 25th man on a 25-man roster.

Prediction: Against my better judgment I think the Cubs WILL and SHOULD have Bryant start the season with the big league club.

Third Base - Atlanta Braves
Chris Johnson would be the easy choice here if it wasn't for Tyler Pastornicky, Phil Gosselin and top prospect, and one of my favorite young players, Rio Ruiz. Johnson hit .321 in 2013 but saw his average drop to .263 last season due to a higher strikeout rate (43 more strikeouts in 2014 compared to 2013) and lower BABIP rate (49 points lower in 2014 compared to 2013). Chris has the ability to hit for power as well but no job is safe in Atlanta this year as the club rebuilds. 

This year's Braves' lineup should include Nick Markakis, Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman, Jonny Gomes, Chris Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, A.J. Pierzynski (who should split time behind the plate with Christian Bethancourt) and B.J. Upton. Of those nine, I think Simmons, Freeman, Markakis and Bethancourt are the only four that will be with the organization in 2017. By that time I'd expect Braves' management to call up prospects Jose Peraza, Rio Ruiz and Todd Cunningham for full-time duty.

Prediction: Even though it's obvious Rio Ruiz is the future, I don't think he's ready for the big time just yet. I have Chris Johnson winning the Third Base job this year in Atlanta.

Third Base - Houston Astros
The upstart Astros have a major decision to make this spring as they try to pick either Luis Valbuena, Matt Dominguez, Ronald Torreyes or Colin Moran to start at the hot corner. The sixth overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Colin Moran is a future Major League Third Baseman but his impact on the game will be determined by how much power he hits for. At this point in his career he's a very raw player still learning how to improve his power stroke so I'm ruling him out for now. Moran was acquired in the Jarred Cosart trade last season with the Miami Marlins. Torreyes is an unproven 22 year old who's very undersized - I think he's best suited for Triple A (where he hit .298 with two homers and 12 steals in 126 games last year).

I think the real battle comes down to Matt Dominguez and Luis Valbuena. Luis had a career year with the Chicago Cubs last season playing in 149 games, hitting 16 long balls, driving in 51 runs, scoring 68 himself, hitting 33 doubles and posting a .341 OBP and .435 slugging percentage - all career highs. Dominguez, a former elite prospect, had a down year in 2014 hitting .215 with 16 homers. In 2013 he hit .241 with 21 home runs. His career .275 OBP should be a major red flag which could lead to his possible downfall this year.

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Prediction: I think Luis Valbuena wins the starting Third Base job out of Spring Training but I do think Dominguez will see some time as the team's Designated Hitter or possibly their First Baseman if Jon Singleton struggles. Both Dominguez and Valbuena could be traded at some point this year as well considering the aforementioned Colin Moran is probably the future Third Baseman in Houston.

Third Base - Philadelphia Phillies
This one should be easy but we've seen the Phillies screw things up before. I don't see how the Phillies could start the season with anyone but Maikel Franco at Third this year. Cody Asche should be Franco's main competitor for the Third Base job this spring. I think this battle comes down to neither Asche or Franco, but rather Ryan Howard. I think Franco could take over the First Base job right now but the team would probably be better off moving Asche to First considering he struggled a bit defensively at Third last season (.943 fielding percentage last year). It's unlikely that the team will be able to move Howard and his monster contract for anything of value so I'd expect him to hang around for a while unless another team gets desperate and trades for him.

Prediction: I think, and hope, Franco starts at Third Base this year in Philadelphia.

Here's a list of some other Fantasy Baseball articles I've posted over the past few months that should help you in your preparation for the 2015 season.

If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comment section below.
Click on the arrow (right) to go to Part 2.

Alex Wiesner
February 27th, 2015
Archives
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Part 2
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