Tag Archives: Derrek Lee

Season Preview: NL East


Onto the National League, starting with the East division. You can also take a look at my previews of the AL East, AL Central and AL West.

Last Year’s Records
Philadelphia – 97-65
Atlanta – 91-71
Florida – 80-82
New York – 79-83
Washington – 69-93

Notable Additions

Atlanta – Dan Uggla

Florida – Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Javier Vazquez, John Buck

New York – Brad Emaus, Ronny Paulino

Philadelphia – Cliff Lee

Washington – Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Tom Gorzelanny

Notable Losses

Atlanta – Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Derrek Lee, Melky Cabrera, Takashi Saito

Florida – Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, Ronny Paulino

New York – John Maine, Hisanori Takahashi, Pedro Feliciano

Philadelphia – Jayson Werth

Washington – Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn

My Thoughts

Atlanta – This is a playoff team from last year that has upgraded itself at 2B (Uggla), and will look for growth from Jason Heyward in his second season. The team will plug in Freddie Freeman to start at 1B, and hope that he can have even a partially similar season to Heyward’s rookie year. The pitching remains solid, behind Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, and Jair Jurrjens. The biggest role that seems to be up in the air coming into Spring Training is the closer, with Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters competing for the job.

Florida – As they prepare to move into their new stadium in 2012, this is a young team who should continue to be exciting for the next few seasons. It appears that 3B Matt Dominguez is likely to be the starter this year, despite not playing a single day in the Majors yet. However, the loss of Dan Uggla‘s bat in their lineup could cause a major hole in terms of power and run production. They’re also hoping that Javier Vazquez will rebound with a return to the NL East, and also provide some more veteran leadership with Josh Johnson in the starting rotation. I’m not sold that they stand a great chance of winning the division, but they could surprise some people in a tough division.

New York – With new GM Sandy Alderson on board, 2011 is going to be a partial rebuilding season. They did not make any substantial changes to their roster, and will look to get bounceback seasons from players like Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes instead. Ace Johan Santana is expected to be out until midseason, and the team is going to be looking for nice performances from Chris Young and Chris Capuano.

Philadelphia – The Phillies went out and made what was probably the biggest surprise move of the offseason, inking Cliff Lee to a 5 year, $120 million contract. With their four aces in the starting rotation, they definitely look like the team to beat in the NL East. However, the injuries are already starting to pile up, as Chase Utley has yet to play in Spring Training, and potential right fielder Domonic Brown will miss 3-6 weeks after having hand surgery. If this team can stay healthy, I don’t think there’s a team in the NL that can compete with them. But that is a gigantic if.

Washington – The Nationals made one of the biggest splashes in the free agent market, and it was completely unexpected. Jayson Werth signed a 7 year contract with the team, and will play right field for the first few years of the contract. The team is still not ready to compete, but they will look for continued growth from Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. Jordan Zimmermann will also look to have an injury free campaign, and while they will miss Stephen Strasburg this season, he should be back in 2012 from his injuries.

Overall Thoughts

The NL East really comes down to the two teams at the top of the pile. The Braves and Phillies really seem like they will be the only teams that are likely to win the division or the Wild Card. The Mets and Nationals just simply aren’t ready, and I don’t believe that the Marlins are ready to compete quite yet either.  Here’s my predicted order of finish:

1. Philadelphia
2. Atlanta
3. Florida
4. Washington
5. New York

Season Preview: AL East


With Spring Training well under way and the first games starting very soon, I figured it was a good time to take a look at my own predictions for the league, and the changes the respective teams have made.

Last Year’s Records
Tampa Bay – 96-66
New York – 95-67
Boston – 89-73
Toronto – 85-77
Baltimore – 66-96

Notable Additions

Baltimore – Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy, Justin Duchscherer

Boston – Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler

New York – Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez

Tampa Bay – Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Felipe Lopez, Sam Fuld, Chris Archer

Toronto – Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Juan Rivera, Scott Podsednik, Brett Lawrie, Rajai Davis

Notable Losses

Baltimore – Kevin Millwood, Julio Lugo, Ty Wigginton, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio

Boston – Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, Bill Hall

New York – Javier Vazquez, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood

Tampa Bay – Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano, Carlos Pena, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit

Toronto – Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum, John Buck, Miguel Olivo, Scott Downs

Continue reading

Fantasy Rankings in Review – First Basemen


Back in February, I took my first shot at attempting to rank players for fantasy purposes. After a full season, I thought it wise to take a look back at how they went, and compare them to how it actually turned out and see if there is anything to be gained from it. Next up is the review of my 1B rankings.

My Preseason Rankings
1. Albert Pujols
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Prince Fielder
4. Mark Teixeira
5. Ryan Howard
6. Joey Votto
7. Mark Reynolds
8. Kevin Youkilis
9. Kendry Morales
10. Adrian Gonzalez
11. Derrek Lee
12. Justin Morneau
13. Adam Dunn
14. Pablo Sandoval
15. Carlos Pena

Yahoo’s Final Rankings (Top 15)
1. Albert Pujols
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Joey Votto
4. Paul Konerko
5. Adrian Gonzalez
6. Mark Teixeira
7. Aubrey Huff
8. Ryan Howard
9. Nick Swisher
10. Adam Dunn
11. David Ortiz
12. Martin Prado
13. Prince Fielder
14. Billy Butler
15. Adam LaRoche

I also mentioned Adam LaRoche, Paul Konerko, Billy Butler, Garrett Jones, Lance Berkman, Chris Davis, Michael Cuddyer, Todd Helton, James Loney, Justin Smoak, and Chris Carter as players potentially having value this year.
From my preseason rankings, Kevin Youkilis (19), Derrek Lee (21), James Loney (24), and Justin Morneau (25) all finished in the top 25. Mark Reynolds, Kendry Morales, Pablo Sandoval, and Carlos Pena did not make the top 25 at the end of the season.
Free Agents: Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn, Troy Glaus, Aubrey Huff, Paul Konerko, Derrek Lee, Lyle Overbay, Carlos Pena
What We Saw

Buster Posey’s season was better than anyone even thought. He finished at #23 in the 1B rankings for Yahoo, which is clearly an elite offensive position. Wow.

I thought Joey Votto would do extremely well this season, but clearly this was above and beyond what I thought either. I think he’s going to start next season as a top 10 player overall.

Talk about a walk year improvement. Paul Konerko went nuts this year, and finished with 39 homers and 112 rbi. He’s a free agent, and while they want him back in Chicago, it remains to be seen where he will end up. But he’s clearly not as done as we all thought he was.

Aubrey Huff is another free agent who should get paid this offseason after an excellent performance in San Francisco. Part of his value was having 7 stolen bases this season, which seems unlikely to continue. I just can’t convince myself that he’s particularly likely to repeat the overall performance in 2011.

Injuries really had an effect on the 1B depth, with Kevin Youkilis, Kendry Morales, Justin Morneau, and Troy Glaus all missed time during the season. It didn’t help that players like Mark Reynolds, Lance Berkman and Carlos Pena all struggled during the season.

Justin Morneau really concerns me for next season, due to the fact that he still has not been able to do any baseball activities since suffering that concussion in Toronto. He could potentially provide a very nice value for fantasy owners next year, but he won’t end up on any of my teams most likely.

Adrian Gonzalez will continue to be the topic of trade rumors throughout the offseason, and I think that if he gets traded to anywhere else practically, he’s going to provide even more offense than he did this season, which seems like it should be impossible.

Overall, some of these rankings were pretty easy (I’m pretty sure it takes no brains to rank Pujols at #1), but some of these players clearly underperformed (Fielder, Reynolds, Pena). I think that Youkilis would have finished above the #8 spot I had believed at the beginning of the season had he not gotten injured. Not a terrible job on these, but definitely some work to be done next season.

Preliminary 2011 Rankings (Very Raw)
1. Albert Pujols
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Joey Votto
4. Adrian Gonzalez
5. Mark Teixeira
6. Ryan Howard
7. Prince Fielder
8. Kevin Youkilis
9. Paul Konerko
10. Adam Dunn

Trade Retrospective – Firesale Edition: Marlins Part 2


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. You can find Part 1 of the series here, and this part covers the trades made through the start of Spring Training (approximately February 1st, 1998)

The Trades

December 15, 1997 – The Marlins acquired 1B Derrek Lee, P Rafael Medina and Steve Hoff from the Padres for SP Kevin Brown.
December 18, 1997 – The Marlins acquired Fletcher Bates and Scott Comer from the Mets for RP Dennis Cook
December 19, 1997 – The Marlins acquired P Eric Ludwick from the Athletics for IF Kurt Abbott

The Moving Pieces

In San Diego, Kevin Brown was slotted into the top of the starting rotation for the Padres.

In New York, Dennis Cook was moved into the back end of the bullpen for the Mets.

In Oakland, Kurt Abbott was slotted into a bench role for the Athletics.

In Florida, 1B Derrek Lee was immediately slotted in as the starting 1B for the Marlins. P Rafael Medina made the starting rotation out of Spring Training as well. Steve Hoff was sent to the Marlins High-A affiliate in Brevard County. OF Fletcher Bates was sent to AA Portland to start there.

What Happened Next

In San Diego, Kevin Brown immediately helped to stabilize the starting rotation of the Padres, and had another great season for the team.

In New York, Dennis Cook went 8-4 with a 2.38 ERA in 73 relief appearances for the Mets in 1998.

In Florida, Rafael Medina struggled in the rotation, going 2-6 in 12 starts with a 6.01 ERA, and split time between AAA and Miami in 1998. Steve Hoff was traded after posting a 5-8 record with High-A Brevard County. Derrek Lee was an average rookie 1B, hitting .233 with 17 homeruns for the Fish in 1998. P Scott Comer was sent to Single-A Kane County to be in their starting rotation. P Eric Ludwick was also slotted into the Major League rotation at the start of the 1998 season.

The Net Moves

San Diego – First Level

  • Kevin Brown helped lead the Padres to their most recent World Series appearance on the strength of an 18-7 campaign with a 2.38 ERA. He finished 3rd in the NL Cy Young award voting, and left via free agency after the 1998 season. The signing netted the Padres two compensation picks, which were used to select Vince Faison and Casey Burns. Neither player made the Majors.

NY Mets – First Level

  • Dennis Cook would spend the next 3 1/2 seasons in New York, posting a 25-13 record out of the bullpen with a 3.86 ERA. On July 27, 2001, he was traded with Turk Wendell to the Phillies in exchange for Bruce Chen and Adam Walker

Oakland – First Level

  • Kurt Abbott played in a whopping 35 games for the Athletics before being traded to the Rockies for a player to be named later. That player ended up being minor leaguer Ara Petrosian.

Florida – First Level

  • Rafael Medina spent 2 seasons in Florida, splitting time between AAA and the Majors. He posted a 3-7 record with a 5.96 ERA over 90 2/3 innings. He was claimed off of waivers by the Braves on December 6, 1999
  • Steve Hoff spent part of the 1998 season with the Marlins’ High-A affiliate, posting a 5-8 record in 15 starts with a 4.11 ERA. He was traded to the Cubs on July 31, 1998 along with Felix Heredia for Justin Speier, Kevin Orie, and Todd Noel.
  • Derrek Lee spent 6 seasons in Florida, posting a .264 batting average with 129 home runs. He was traded on November 25, 2003 to the Cubs for 1B Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini
  • Fletcher Bates never played in the Majors, spending 2 seasons in the Marlins organization (both at AA). His better season was 1998, when he hit .274 with 11 homeruns and 19 stolen bases.
  • Scott Comer never played in the Majors either, spending 3 seasons in the Marlins organization and reaching AA at his highest point. It appears he was out of organized baseball at the age of 23.
  • Eric Ludwick went 1-4 with a 7.44 ERA in 13 appearances for the Fish in 1998, and was drafted by the Tigers in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft on 12/14/98.

NY Mets – Second Level

  • Bruce Chen spent parts of 2 seasons with the Mets, posting a 3-2 record with a 4.62 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). On April 5, 2002, he was traded with Luis Figueroa and Dicky Gonzalez to the Expos for Phil Seibel, Scott Strickland and Matt Watson.
  • Adam Walker never played in the Majors, and was with the Mets organization until his retirement in 2003. He only appeared in 13 games for the Mets’ minor league teams.

Florida – Second Level

  • Hee Seop Choi was widely considered to be a bust, playing in just 95 games for the Marlins before being traded to the Dodgers with Brad Penny and Bill Murphy for Juan Encarnacion, Paul LoDuca, and Guillermo Mota on 7/30/2004.
  • Mike Nannini spent 2004 with the Marlins AAA affiliate, posting a 9-10 record with a 5.29 ERA. He spent the following 4 seasons bouncing around the minors, never pitching in the Major leagues.
  • Justin Speier pitched in 18 forgettable games for the Marlins in the 1998 season, and was traded to the Braves on April 1, 1999 for Matthew Targac.
  • Kevin Orie appeared in 125 games over 2 seasons with the Marlins through 1999, hitting .258 with 12 homers. On November 12, 1999 he was sent to the Dodgers as a part of a conditional deal which appeared to return nothing.
  • Todd Noel went 2-2 with a 5.30 ERA in 1998, and was with the Yankees following the 1998 season. He never appeared in the Majors either.

Florida – Third Level

  • Paul LoDuca appeared in 182 games in parts of 2 seasons in that stint with the Marlins. He his .283 in 1999 with 6 homeruns and 57 runs batted in. On 12/5/2005, he was traded to the Mets for minor leaguers Gaby Hernandez and Dante Brinkley.
  • Guillermo Mota was included in the trade which sent Josh Beckett to the Red Sox.
  • Juan Encarnacion was in Florida through the end of the 2005 season, and hit .287 with 16 homeruns in 2005 for the team. After the season, he left via free agency, and it appears that the Marlins received no compensation.

Overall Reactions

There were some productive players that the team received, and definitely got some solid years out of 1B Derrek Lee, the prize of the trade that moved Kevin Brown. That said, almost without fail, the rest of the players they received were not particularly good for the Marlins. Paul LoDuca and Juan Encarnacion are the only ones who stand out as being remotely useful to the team, and Guillermo Mota‘s best use for the Marlins was including him to acquire Hanley Ramirez for the current team.

To me, the winners out of this group had to be the Padres, simply because Brown was the piece that helped to get them over the top in the National League and win the pennant in 1998. Unfortunately for them, they ran into the buzzsaw that was the 114 win New York Yankees.

The next post in this series will be up next Saturday, and will cover the rest of the trades made prior to the start of the 1998 season.

Week in Review – August 16 to August 22


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (76-48) vs. Texas Rangers (69-54)
Minnesota Twins (71-52) vs. New York Yankees (77-47)

Philadelphia Phillies (70-53) vs. San Diego Padres (74-49)
Cincinnati Reds (72-52) vs. Atlanta Braves (73-51)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) .357
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) 92
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) 38
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) 102
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) 49

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL), C.C. Sabathia (NYY), and Adam Wainwright (STL) 17
Saves – Rafael Soriano (TAM) and Heath Bell (SD) 37
ERA – Adam Wainwright (STL) 2.06
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) 188
WHIP – Adam Wainwright (STL), Cliff Lee (TEX), and Mat Latos (SD) 0.98

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Eric Patterson, Nelson Cruz, Jason Berken, Gabe Kapler, David Purcey, Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Guillen, Brian Bannister, Troy Glaus, Chris Ray, Sean West, Lance Berkman, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Josh Willingham, Tony Gwynn, Matt Lindstrom, Jeff Keppinger, Vicente Padilla, Nick Punto, Kevin Slowey, Maicer Izturis, Alex Rodriguez,

Return from the Disabled List:  Carlos Pena, Joaquin Arias, Martin Prado, Dustin Pedroia, Chase Utley, Juan Gutierrez, Nyjer Morgan, Tommy Manzella, Rod Barajas, John Buck, Andrew Bailey, Jeff Weaver, Ryan Howard, Manny Ramirez

To the Minors: Chris Carter, Jose Morales, Tyler Greene, Brandon Hicks, Greg Dobbs, J. P. Arencibia, Fernando Martinez, Taylor Tankersley, Nick Stavinoha, Everth Cabrera, Jeremy Hellickson,

Called Up: Travis Buck, Rich VandenHurk, Ryota Igarashi, Daniel Nava, Bryan Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Will RhymesAlex Sanabia, Travis Wood, Ryan Webb, Sam Fuld, Andrew Miller, Jeff Larish, Jordan Walden

Other Roster Moves:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • Francisco Rodriguez will miss the rest of the season after injuring his thumb in the incident involving his girlfriend’s father. He had surgery on the thumb earlier in the week, and should be ready for 2011. But it remains to be seen where that could happen, as the Mets placed him on the disqualified list, and will try to avoid paying him the remainder of his salary for this season. There was talk of trying to void his contract for 2011, but that seems pretty unlikely to happen in my opinion.
  • In a rather unusual turn of events, Diamondbacks 1st round draft pick Barret Loux was granted free agency, rather than being placed back into the draft eligible pool for following seasons. This occurred it appears because of the fact that the player was ready to sign, but failed his physical exam. Throw in that he would no longer be eligible to play in college because of his contact with an agent for these proceedings, and it actually looks like MLB made a very good decision here. The kid probably won’t get the same kind of money he would have had he passed his physical, but he should still get a chance to start his career in short order.
  • White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen had a bit of a meltdown on Wednesday in front of the media. You can google it to find the video, but it was pretty much standard fare coming from Ozzie. Always a good show with Ozzie.
  • Ronny Paulino was suspended on Friday for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance. According to him, the substance in question was a diet pill he had taken during the offseason. Tough break for him, as he’s probably cost himself money on next year’s salary as well as the money for this year.
  • Derrek Lee was finally traded on Thursday, going to the Braves in exchange for 3 prospects. Clearly, going to Atlanta has a much higher potential to be in the playoffs than the Angels did, and I was actually surprised that the Cubs got back 3 players in return for him.
  • The amateur signing deadline came and went, and nearly all of the top picks ended up signed. You can read my thoughts on ways to fix the draft here.
  • The biggest story of the week has to be the indictment of Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress when he testified before them back in 2008. Not sure where I stand on this one yet, but it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.
  • It was known that this would be Lou Piniella’s last season as a manager, but we found out on Sunday that the game against the Braves would be his last, as he has a situation involving his mother’s care which requires his attention more than managing does. I think that this might have gone a little differently had the Cubs been in the race, but this is clearly the right move for Piniella personally. Kudos to him for a great managerial career, and hopefully the Cubs will bring him back before the end of the season to have a planned out going away/retirement day for him at Wrigley Field.
  • Vin Scully announced that he had signed a contract for the 2011 season, and will broadcast for the Dodgers again. To me, there’s no one better to listen to that Scully, and next season will be his 62nd behind the mike for the Dodgers. Just one of the greats of all time.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday and Wednesday: I’ll be continuing on with the Original Draft Series, posting teams #9 and 8.

Friday:  Trade Retrospective of Josh Beckett to the Red Sox. This one really interests me because the players involved had such an impact on both their team’s futures.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ’Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

Original Draft Series #24 – San Diego Padres


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #24: San Diego Padres

General Managers(since 1994)

Randy Smith (1994-1995): 117-144
Kevin Towers (1996-2009): 1108-1161
Jed Hoyer (Current)

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 1 5 3 1 3 5 4

The Padres have had some success, including winning the 1998 National League pennant. 5 playoff appearances in 16 seasons isn’t terrible, but there have been some poor seasons as well. Despite 13 seasons with the team, this ended up costing general manager Kevin Towers his job after the 2009 season. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Nick Hundley 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 181 gm, .250/.314/.405, 18 HR, 78 RBI, 5 SB, 66 R Currently with Org.
1B Derrek Lee 1993 – 1st Rd (14) 4 22 gm, .2569/.365/.370, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R Traded to FLA – 12/15/97
2B Matt Antonelli 2006 – 1st Rd (17) 4 21 gm, .193/.292/.281, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R Currently with Org.
3B David Freese 2006 – 9th Rd 4 81 gm, .308/.368/.432, 5 HR, 40 RBI, SB, 30 R Traded to STL – 12/14/07
SS Jason Bartlett 2001 – 13th Rd 1 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MIN – 7/12/02
LF Gary Matthews Jr. 1993 – 13th Rd 7 23 gm, .222/.378/.222, 7 RBI, 2 SB, 4 R Traded to CHC – 3/23/00
CF Will Venable 2005 – 7th Rd 5 184 gm, .250/.321/.415, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 20 SB, 85 R Currently with Org.
RF Xavier Nady 2000 – 2nd Rd 5 269 gm, .263/.320/.414, 25 HR, 91 RBI, 8 SB, 98 R Traded to NYM – 12/18/05
SP Jake Peavy 1999 – 15th Rd 10 2 All-Star Appearances, 2007 NL Cy Young Award Winner
92-68, 3.29 ERA, 1348 K, 435 BB, 1342.2 IP, 1.186 WHIP
Traded to CHW – 7/31/09
SP Oliver Perez Int’l FA – 1999 4 8-12, 4.51 ERA, 211 K, 113 BB, 193.2 IP, 1.482 WHIP Traded to PIT – 8/26/03
SP Rodrigo Lopez Purchased from Mexican League – 1995 6 0-3, 8.76 ERA, 17 K, 13 BB, 24.2 IP, 2.149 WHIP Free Agency – 10/15/01
SP Mat Latos 2006 – 11th Rd 4 11-9, 3.75 ERA, 110 K, 44 BB, 129.2 IP, 1.111 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Wade LeBlanc 2006 – 2nd Rd 4 8-8, 3.96 ERA, 88 K, 60 BB, 136.1 IP, 1.445 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Eddie Bonine 2003 – 23rd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Selected by DET – 12/8/05
RP Shaun Camp 1997 – 16th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to PIT – 7/10/01
RP Leo Rosales 2003 – 20th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to ARI – 7/27/07
RP Tim Stauffer 2003 – 1st Rd (4) 7 10-15, 4.57 ERA, 129 K, 74 BB, 191 IP, 1.429 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Cesar Ramos 2005 – 1st Rd (35) 5 0-2, 7.45 ERA, 14 K, 6 BB, 19.1 IP, 1.966 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Ernesto Frieri Int’l FA – 2003 6 2 gm, 2 K, 1 BB, 2 IP, 0.500 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Chase Headley (3B) 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 323 gm, .262/.332/.388, 25 HR, 124 RBI, 23 SB, 135 R Currently with Org.
BN Kyle Blanks (OF) 2004 – 42nd Rd 6 87 gm, .212/.325/.436, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 2 SB, 38 R Currently with Org.
BN Luis Durango (OF) Int’l FA – 2003 7 15 gm, .458/.519/.458, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 6 R Currently with Org.
BN George Kottaras (C) 2002 – 20th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to BOS – 9/5/06
BN Lance Zawadzki (3B) 2007 – 4th Rd 3 20 gm, .200/.300/.257, 1 RBI, 1SB, 4 R Currently with Org.

June Amateur Draft

The Padres have had 29 picks in the first round in the last 15 drafts (not including the 2010 draft), including an eye popping 6 in the 2007 draft. They have gotten some solid players out of the first round, with Derrek Lee being probably the best overall player from that round. Unfortunately, a lot of the players in the first round have been misses, with the most glaring being overall #1 pick in 2004, Matt Bush. Bush was drafted as a signability pick, and among the players that the Padres passed on to draft Bush included Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver. They have gotten some solid values out of later rounds of the draft, including Jake Peavy (15th), Mat Latos (11th), and Kyle Blanks (42nd). Overall, I think that they’ve done reasonably well in the draft, but there are still a lot of players here who are essentially sporting an incomplete for the Padres (Antonelli, Ramos, Frieri, Durango).

International Free Agency

I found essentially 4 international free agents for the team, of which only Oliver Perez really made a particular contribution to the Padres as a whole. While Perez didn’t pitch particularly amazing while he was in San Diego, he was traded by the Padres to the Pirates for OF Brian Giles, a stalwart in the outfield for the Padres for a few seasons. Durango to me seems like he has potential, but unless he can find a way to break into the lineup over the current group of outfielders, I don’t think we’ll see it anytime soon. I am looking forward to seeing what the new general manager

Overall Grade

C-. The Padres have developed a fair amount of pitching, with Jake Peavy clearly leading the way. They have some players who have become regulars for the Padres, with Chase Headley and Kyle Blanks both looking like they could be very solid players.  Overall though, I am not particularly impressed with the performance of this group of players to this point, but I think that there’s a lot more upside than there has been with some of the previous teams.

Team Preview – Chicago Cubs


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Geovany Soto SP 1 Carlos Zambrano
1B Derrek Lee SP 2 Ryan Dempster
2B Mike Fontenot SP 3 Ted Lilly
3B Aramis Ramirez SP 4 Randy Wells
SS Ryan Theriot SP 5 Tom Gorzelanny
LF Alfonso Soriano Bullpen
CF Marlon Byrd CL Carlos Marmol
RF Kosuke Fukudome RP John Grabow
Bench RP Jeff Samardzija
IF Jeff Baker RP Sean Marshall
OF Xavier Nady RP Carlos Silva

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
CF Marlon Byrd Free Agency RF Milton Bradley Trade (SEA)
SP Carlos Silva Trade (SEA) IF Jake Fox Trade (OAK)
RP Kevin Gregg Free Agency

Top Prospects: Starlin Castro (SS), Josh Vitters (3B), Esmailin Caridad (P), Brett Jackson (OF)

2009 Review

The Cubs came into 2009 expecting to be the class of the NL Central. Injuries to key players (Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez), and poor production by others (Geovany Soto, Milton Bradley) led the team to an 83-78 record, finishing 7.5 games behind the rival Cardinals. The season really was a bit of a mess, as drama surrounding Milton Bradley hung over the team for a majority of the season, leading to his suspension in September, and eventual trade in the offseason.

The Cubs did have a few bright spots though. On offense, 1B Derrek Lee (.306, 35 HR, 111 RBI) led the way, and SS Ryan Theriot performed well also (.284, 21 SB, 7 HR). In the rotation, Ted Lilly (12-9, 3.10), and Ryan Dempster (11-9, 3.64) both pitched very well. The surprise of the season was probably rookie pitcher Randy Wells, who posted a 12-10 record with a 3.05 ERA in 27 starts.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Cubs spent most of their offseason trying to rebuild their clubhouse culture. They were able to rid themselves of RF Milton Bradley, but were forced to take back the equally bad contract of SP Carlos Silva. They signed good-clubhouse guy Kevin Millar to a minor league deal, and could have him on the team as a backup for a few positions. Overall, this team is expected to perform this season. Their pitching, led by Carlos Zambrano, will be solid once Ted Lilly returns from his injury (mid-April is the current ETA). They will be looking for bounceback seasons from both C Geovany Soto and LF Alfonso Soriano, as well as a full season of performance from 3B Aramis Ramirez. The NL Central is not a particularly tough division this season, as neither the Astros or Pirates are expected to be particularly competitive. But the Cubs are getting older, as 6 of their everyday players will be over 30 during this season. They could be looking at a rebuilding effort in the coming seasons if they are not performing to expectations.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

The best of this group is probably SP’s Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells, and 1B Derrek Lee. 3B Aramis Ramirez should be fine now that he returned from his injury, and should also be a top-10 3B. OF Marlon Byrd had a great season last year, although I’m not 100% sold he can repeat that again. In deeper leagues, I would look at both SS Ryan Theriot, who will provide some runs and steals, and 2B Mike Fontenot. If Fontenot can successfully hold onto the job, he should provide some solid stats for deep leagues.

Prediction for 2010

The Cubs are hoping that this is the season they are finally able to win a World Series, and I think that the team they have built can at least compete for that. They may need a little luck, as the top of the division is kind of bunched together, but I think that they have the pitching to sustain.

87-75, 1st in the NL Central

Fantasy Preview – First Basemen


A note about my rankings: I am assuming a standard scoring league (5×5) with the following categories:

R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, ERA, K, WHIP

Also, I have done a lot of statistical analysis in the past, but I’m not ready to start calculating my own projections statistically. So for me, a lot of this is based entirely on gut feel (which of these 2 players would I want), and looking at previous performance. All statistics are from the 2009 season.

My top 15 First Basemen for 2010

1. Albert Pujols – STL
R HR RBI SB AVG
124 47 135 16 .327
If someone wants to try to argue that Pujols shouldn’t be the #1 overall player in fantasy baseball coming into the season, they’re free to do so. However, I’m not going to try that. He provides an excellent batting average, excellent power and runs batted in, scores a ton of runs, and even managed to steal 16 bases last season. Even if he cuts the steals down, he’s far and away the top player in fantasy starting this season.


2. Miguel Cabrera – DET
R HR RBI SB AVG
96 34 103 6 .324
It’s hard to remember sometimes that Cabrera will only be turning 27 years old this season. He is about as consistent as they come for a .320+ batting average, 30+ homers, and 100+ rbi. He had a bit of a tumultuous off-season, but look for his focus to be good as always when he hits the field again.


3. Prince Fielder – MIL
R HR RBI SB AVG
103 46 141 2 .299
Prince has really vaulted himself into another category of first basemen here, as the power and rbi totals were both at the top of the leaderboards for last season. The high average was a bit of a jump from his previous best, and although he may have a slight regression, I can’t imagine it’s going to be any more than 10 points. The only reason I don’t have Fielder ahead of Cabrera is that you could end up with the Fielder who gave you 34 homers and 86 rbi in 2008 as opposed to the monster from 2009. Another consistent season along those lines would be enough to move him ahead in my books.


4. Mark Teixeira – NYY
R HR RBI SB AVG
103 39 122 2 .292
With Big Tex, you draft him and remind yourself that he’s going to produce amazingly for 5 months. It’s that first month that you have to suck up and deal with to get it though. Last April was not so great for Tex again (.200, 3 HR, 10 RBI), but still didn’t really affect his season totals. Teixeira is another player who is pretty much a lock for 30 HR/100 RBI every season, and in the Yankees lineup will provide high amounts of runs as well. A great, solid fantasy first baseman.


5. Ryan Howard – PHI
R HR RBI SB AVG
105 45 141 8 .277
The only real “flaws” in his game as a fantasy player are a slight lack of speed (8 stolen bases last year was the first time over 1 in a season), and that he’s not a .300 hitter. But do you really need him to be with the rest of those numbers? He’s going to score a lot of runs in the high-powered Phillies lineup, and he’s the biggest masher they have. He’s a very good bet for 40 HR/120 RBI, which there’s not that many players that are going to give you that. And the average is definitely good considering all that, right?


6. Joey Votto – CIN
R HR RBI SB AVG
82 25 84 4 .322
This is where you tell me my wheels have come off, right? I can’t possibly have put Joey Votto above such luminaries as Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez, and Lance Berkman, right? Well, I have, and here’s why. Votto missed about 25 games last season due to off-days and the death of his father. When he was playing, he admitted himself that he was not himself, and was out of it while dealing with this and the social anxiety that came with it. And in spite of all these things, he still posted an excellent season. Which leads me to believe that he’s going to be even better this year. In spite of a high batting average on balls in play (.373), I think the power is legitimate. So I could see a 30 HR, .295 hitter instead of a 25 HR, .322 hitter. Still very good.


7. Mark Reynolds – ARI
Also qualifies at 3B
R HR RBI SB AVG
98 44 102 24 .260
I don’t think he’s the 40 homer run hitter necessarily, and I don’t think he’s going to turn into a pumpkin either. I can see a 30 homer, 20 steal season with a .250 average. The fact that he’s eligible at 3B also makes him a very nice option to have on your roster. He’s a nice upside play though, as he could potentially repeat the 40 homers as well.


8. Kevin Youkilis – BOS
Also qualifies at 3B
R HR RBI SB AVG
99 27 94 7 .305
Another personal favorite, Youkilis not only qualifies at two positions, but provides value in all 5 categories. Obviously, 7 steals isn’t a lot of value necessarily, but since you’re likely to get between 25-30 homers and almost 100 runs score with it, he’s a win-win. The numbers are all similar to his previous season’s numbers, so I’m fairly confident he can repeat them again. Especially with a Red Sox lineup that may actually have improved from last year’s version.


9. Kendry Morales – LAA
R HR RBI SB AVG
86 34 108 3 .306
Morales came into the league last season, and probably won quite a few leagues for his owners. Finally given regular playing time, Morales didn’t disappoint. I would normally be a bit concerned about a sophomore slump here, but I think that if he’s able to stay on the field all season like he did in 2009, he should have no problem producing similar numbers. Of some concern is the fact that the Angels lost leadoff man Chone Figgins via free agency, but I don’t believe that his RBI total will drop drastically as a result.


10. Adrian Gonzalez – SD
R HR RBI SB AVG
90 40 99 1 .277
It’s amazing how deep 1B is, with a 40 homerun hitter falling all the way to 10th on my rankings. Gonzalez provides no speed, and is unlikely to produce a higher batting average than he did last season. But the power is real, and could be epic if he gets traded midseason to anywhere that plays better than Petco Park. Something to track as the season progresses, as he hit 28 of his 40 homers away from Petco last season, along with a .306 average. If he does get traded, he could potentially vault into the top 5 of first basemen, or even higher.


11. Derrek Lee – CHC
R HR RBI SB AVG
91 35 111 1 .306
On a team that really didn’t do very well, Lee quietly had a very good season last year. Continuing this in 2010 would not really be that much of a stretch. The lineup for the Cubs is at least as good as it was last season, so RBI and R opportunities will probably remain similar. The home run total is not really out of range either, as he’s hit 30+ homers 4 times. Obviously, I’d love to see him start stealing bases like he has in the past, posting double-digit steal seasons 4 times as well. However, that ship may have sailed, and my lack of confidence in that to change leaves him here at 11.


12. Justin Morneau – MIN
R HR RBI SB AVG
85 30 100 0 .274
Kind of scary that my 12th best first baseman still had a bit of a down season, only hitting .274 and scoring 85 runs. The run total should improve with J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson added to the lineup. His batting average should improve some as well, but I’m not sold it will get all the way back to .300. But a 30 hr/100 rbi season should be expected out of him, and combined with all that, he could potentially have some upside here.


13. Adam Dunn – WAS
R HR RBI SB AVG
81 38 105 0 .267
Dunn is about as consistent as it gets also, with last year’s home run total (38) only being 2 less than he had hit in each of the previous 4 seasons. He’s going to give you nearly 40 homers, and 100 rbis every season. His run total should improve slightly due to the lineup for the Nationals improving with the addition of Pudge Rodriguez, although his batting average could see a drop back to the .250 range.


14. Pablo Sandoval – SF
Also qualifies at 3B
R HR RBI SB AVG
79 25 90 5 .330
Kung-Fu Panda had a breakout season last year, posting great value in 3 categories and solid value in the other 2. I think that with the improvements made to the Giants’ lineup this offseason, he could potentially reach both 100 runs scored and 100 rbi. I think his average may fall back to earth slightly, but will probably still be above .300. Odds are that you’ll end up using him at 3B for any fantasy team you own him on, but the additional flexibility is nice as well.


15. Carlos Pena – TAM
R HR RBI SB AVG
91 39 100 3 .227
Man, that batting average sure is ugly. But underneath it is a batting average on balls in play that was well below his career BABIP. So there should be a little improvement on that front. My only concern for the 2010 season is how he has recovered from the broken wrist that ended his season in 2009. If he’s 100% healthy, I can see him very easily returning to 40+ homers and driving in 120 this coming season. But the risk is what drops him down this far on my rankings.



Here’s the odd thing about the first base position. Even after the top 15, there are still definitely useful players if you don’t end up getting a top-tier guy early. You’ve got 20 home run hitters in Adam LaRoche (25), Paul Konerko (28), Billy Butler (21), Garrett Jones (21), Lance Berkman (25) Chris Davis (21), and Michael Cuddyer (32). You’ve got guys who drove in 80+ runs in Berkman (80), Todd Helton (86), Butler (93), Konerko (88), LaRoche (83), James Loney (90), and Cuddyer again (94). You’ve got .300 hitters in Helton (.325), Butler (.301), and Victor Martinez (.303). You even have a 10 steal guy in Garrett Jones. And that’s without even mentioning top-flight prospects like Justin Smoak (TEX) and Chris Carter (OAK).

My advice for this position is simple: Unless you’re getting one of the elite players (top 6 or so), you can probably wait, and see what your needs are as you progress through the draft. If you’re lacking power, it’s going to be there. If you’re looking for average, it’s going to be there too.

Sunday’s position for review: 2B

NL MVP in Review


Without much surprise, Albert Pujols was announced as a repeat winner of the NL MVP award. Unanimous this time, Pujols led the National League in homeruns (47), runs (124), OBP (.443), slugging (.658), total bases (374), and intentional walks (44). This while also hitting .327, with 135 rbis, 45 doubles, and almost twice as many walks as strikeouts (115 to 64).

Voting (First)

Pujols – 448 (32)
Hanley Ramirez – 233
Ryan Howard – 217
Prince Fielder – 203
Troy Tulowitzki – 172
Andre Ethier – 113
Pablo Sandoval – 89
Chase Utley – 84
Derrek Lee – 66
Matt Kemp – 49
Ryan Braun – 43

No real issue with the voting, as a lot of top players for this season ended up at the top of the voting. Further down the voting, I always wonder when I see things like this:

Jeremy Affeldt – 1

Now, Affeldt had a very good year. And he was definitely of some good value to his team. But the 10th most valuable player in the National League? That seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Later today, I should have an article up about Pujols in the context of history.