Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who to Target & Downgrade?

Everyone knows that Alex Rodriguez is a great pick in any fantasy baseball draft format. But figuring out who the next breakout player will be is a more difficult challenge. In this entry, I profile players who should provide good value in 2008.

Good Value Players
1. Nick Markakis - Only 24 & still improving. Solid five category player.
2. Chad Billingsley - Full year in the rotation should lead to mega K's, good wins.
3. Brett Myers - Back in the rotation on a winning team. 16 wins + with K's is realistic.
4. Adrian Beltre - Three year trend looks good, still only 28 and entering his prime.
5. Carlos Gomez - Starting for the Twins. Cheap source of speed in AL only leagues.
6. Derek Lee - Two years removed from broken wrist could lead to return to 30+ homers.
7. Jermaine Dye - Second half shows power is still there. Expect ~31 homers, .275 BA.
8. Corey Patterson - Starting for the Reds. Bandbox of a park, could lead to 20-30 season.
9. Ian Kinsler - 20-20 last year and at age 25, only going to get better.
10. Jeremy Hermida - Terrific second half, could finally reach potential scouts drooled over.
11. Ty Wigginton - Journeyman is undervalued and should provide 25 homers at 2B or 3B.
12. Mike Mussina - Terrible '08, but 1 yr ago had 15 W, 3.51 ERA season. May be worth the risk.
13. Jason Bay - Only 29, top contender for comeback player of the year.
14. Richie Weeks - 9 homers, 10 steals in 98 September at-bats. Could have break-out season.
15. Alex Gordon - Solid second-half overcome atrocious start. Will breakout, question is when.
16. Rafael Furcal - Played injured through first half of '07. Stats from '06 more likely for '08.
17. Troy Tulowitski - No trouble adjusting to the majors. 23 years old, will continue to develop.
18. Delmon Young - Solid '07, should lead to further power development in '08.
19. Austin Kearns - Moving to a new ballpark will help. If stays healthy, ready for breakout year
20. Felix Hernandez - Only 21, ready to become a star. Good source of K's and wins.
21. Yovani Gollardo - Injured now, but this kid is for real. Mega source of K's.
22. Randy Johnson - Don't forget about this strikeout king. Out til mid-April, but late pick
23. Travis Hafner - Not nearly as bad as '07, not as good as '06. Expect '05 stats - 305-33-108
24. Alex Rios - Improved in each of the past three years, entering prime at age 27.
25. Vernon Wells - Much better than '07, but don't count on SB. At age 29, expect .275-27-97

Players on the Decline
1. Dontrelle Willis - Atrocious spring, atrocious '07 and now has to face DH. Yikes.
2. Manny Ramirez - Decline in '07 was no fluke. Still good, but at 35 best days are behind him.
3. Barry Zito - Bad spring, and declining 3 year trend. Terrible team, no opportunity for wins.
4. Magglio Ordonez - Great player, but not as good as '07 performance. Likely to be overvalued.
5. Hanley Ramirez - Great player but won't put up '07 numbers. FL wants him to steal less in 08
6. Carlos Zambrano - Look at his three year trend. 'Nuff said.
7. Aaron Rowand - Leaving good hitters park, always an injury risk. Expect a decline.
8. Ted Lilly - Good pitcher, also not as good as '07. Expect wins to stay same, but ERA to go up.
9. Brian Bannister - Stats are better than his talent level. Expect higher ERA in '08.
10. Carlos Pena - Overvalued. 30 homers - yes. 46 - no.
11. Mike Lowell - Fenway is good fit for him, but decline expected at age 34.
12. Jay Bruce & Homer Bailey - Dusty Baker is anti-rookie. Both were sent down to minors.
13. Dave Roberts - Good source of SB, but injury risk and R. Davis, F. Lewis, & E. Velez on deck
14. Joba Chamberlain - Boatloads of talent, but not as good as '07. Starting in the 'pen.
15. Eric Gagne - Major Injury risk, got shelled in Boston last year. Time as elite closer is over.
16. Jose Valverde - Great in '07, but look at '06 stats. Cannot be trusted, so overvalued.
17. Chad Cordero - Solid pick, but contract year. If (when) Nats fall out of race, he's trade bait.

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