Tag Archives: Gordon Beckham

Fantasy Rankings in Review: Third 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 3B rankings.

My Preseason Rankings

1.     Alex Rodriguez
2.     David Wright
3.     Evan Longoria
4.     Mark Reynolds
5.     Ryan Zimmerman
6.     Kevin Youkilis
7.     Aramis Ramirez
8.     Chone Figgins
9.     Pablo Sandoval
10.  Michael Young
11.  Gordon Beckham
12.  Ian Stewart
13.  Jorge Cantu
14.  Casey Blake
15.  Chipper Jones

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Season Previews in Review: American League Central


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I reviewed the AL East previously, and now it’s on to the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

Predicted Record: 84-78            Actual Record: 88-74

This team’s record ended up slightly better than I thought it would, but actually finished in the same spot in the standings I believed that they would. They got solid pitching as usual, but not as much from Jake Peavy once he suffered a season ending injury. The move to second base for Gordon Beckham seemed to cause him some serious struggles throughout most of the season, and he didn’t seem to get his bat back until after the All-Star break.

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Original Draft Series: Team #29 – Chicago White Sox


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

Team #29: Chicago White Sox

General Managers(since 1994)

Ron Schueler (1994-2000): 550-515
Ken Williams (2001-current): 762-697

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1 1 4 4 7 4 1 0

The performance over the past 15+ seasons points to two things: The AL Central has been a fairly weak division overall, as the White Sox ended up with 2nd place finishes 3 years in a row with sub-.500 records. Also, that while the organization has not always been excellent at developing their own Major Leaguers, they have done well to acquire players via free agency and trades.  All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Humberto Quintero Int’l FA – 1997 5 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to SD – 7/12/02
1B Dayan Viciedo Int’l FA – 2008 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Currently with Org.
2B Gordon Beckham 2008 – 1st Rd (8) 2 159 gm, .247/.326/.389, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 11 SB, 81 R Currently with Org.
3B Josh Fields 2004 – 1st Rd (18) 5 204 gm, .229/.302/.416, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 3 SB, 90 R Traded to KC – 11/6/09
SS Alexei Ramirez Int’l FA – 2008 2 344 gm, .278/.320/.423, 42 HR, 169 RBI, 29 SB, 160 R Currently with Org.
LF Carlos Lee Int’l FA – 1994 10 880 gm, .288/.340/.488, 152 HR, 552 RBI, 64 SB, 533 R Traded to MIL – 12/13/04
CF Aaron Rowand 1998 – 1st Rd (35) 7 579 gm, .283/.337/.451, 54 HR, 211 RBI, 38 SB, 255 R Traded to PHI – 11/25/05
RF Mike Cameron 1991 – 18th Rd 7 296 gm, .229/.315/.376, 23 HR, 100 RBI, 50 SB, 121 R Traded to CIN – 11/11/98
DH Magglio Ordonez Int’l FA – 1991 13 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Slugger,
1001 gm, .307/.364/.525, 187 HR, 703 RBI, 82 SB, 624 R
Free Agency – 10/28/04
SP Mark Buehrle 1998 – 38th Rd 12 4 All Star Appearances, 1 Gold Glove
139-103, 3.84 ERA, 1225 K, 489 BB, 2137.2 IP, 1.275 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Gio Gonzalez 2004 – 1st Rd (38) 1 + 1 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to OAK – 1/3/08
SP John Ely 2007 – 3rd Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to LAD – 12/18/09
SP Clayton Richard 2005 – 8th Rd 4 6-8, 5.14 ERA, 95 K, 50 BB, 136.2 IP, 1.500 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09
SP Charlie Haeger 2001 – 25th Rd 7 1-2, 4.85 ERA, 20 K, 21 BB, 29.2 IP, 1.685 WHIP Selected by SD – 9/10/08
RP Kanekoa Texeira 2006 – 22nd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to NYY – 11/13/08
RP Dan Hudson 2008 – 5th Rd 2 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 14 K, 9 BB, 18.2 IP, 1.339 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Matt Guerrier 1999 – 10th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to PIT – 3/27/02
RP Boone Logan 2002 – 20th Rd 6 4-4, 5.87 ERA, 92 K, 49 BB, 110.1 IP, 1.686 WHIP Traded to ATL – 12/4/08
RP Carlos Torres 2004 – 15th Rd 6 1-2 6.04 ERA, 22 K, 17 BB, 28.1 IP, 1.659 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Jon Rauch 1999 – 3rd Rd 5 3-2, 6.51 ERA, 23 K, 18 BB, 37.1 IP, 1.661 WHIP Traded to MON – 7/18/04
BN Ryan Sweeney (OF) 2003 – 2nd Rd 4 33 gm, .213/.250/.288, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R Traded to OAK – 1/3/08
BN Chris B. Young (OF) 2001 – 16th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances for Organization Traded to CHW – 12/20/05
BN Chris Getz (IF) 2005 – 4th Rd 5 117 gm, .262/.323/.346, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 26 SB, 51 R Traded to KC – 11/6/09
BN Aaron Poreda (P) 2007 – 1st Rd (25) 2 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 12 K, 8 BB, 11 IP, 1.545 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09
BN Adam Russell (P) 2004 – 6th Rd 5 4-0, 5.19 ERA, 22 K, 10 BB, 26 IP, 1.538 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09

The White Sox have done a reasonably good job of drafting players over the past 15 years, and I think at least a part of that is a result of the stability at the top of the organization, specifically only having 2 general managers over that time period. The White Sox have done a very good job of acquiring top flight players via trade for some of the players listed above, including Jake Peavy, Juan Pierre, and even Paul Konerko. I think that this, coupled with some solid free agent signings, have helped to keep the Sox competitive.

June Amateur Draft

Looking at their drafting results, they have had 30 first round picks in the last 15 drafts (not including 2010). Ignoring the 2009 draftees, they have had 19 of these picks play at least a single game in the Major Leagues. 3 players who were first round picks have not made it to the Majors yet but are still with the organization, including both 2009 top picks Jared Mitchell and Josh Phegley. They have gotten quite a bit of solid players out of the first round, but the best performance out of any of them for the White Sox was from CF Aaron Rowand. There are still quite a few players who were drafted in the first round who could potentially be solid Major Leaguers, but are still too raw or young. They have also received some late round values, especially 38th round pick Mark Buehrle.

International Free Agency

The White Sox don’t appear to have had a lot of luck in finding or developing many international free agents, with Alexei Ramirez being the most recent to make it to the Majors, and only Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez the others who are still active. Over time, I imagine that this is going to improve, as they have shown a willingness to spend on players (Ramirez and 1B Dayan Viciedo being prime examples) from Cuba and other Latin American nations.

Overall Grade

I think I have to give them a D. The goal of this project was to see what players were available based on who they originally signed with, and to me there’s still a lot to be desired out of the players listed above. The pitching staff has potential, but is still extremely raw. There’s a lot of excellent outfielders, but all of the infield positions are manned by either barely established players, or in the case of Viciedo, one who hasn’t yet played in the Majors. Overall, you have a group of players that still have a lot of potential to be good, but as of right now, have not had a lot of success and overall I think would have a hard time competing in the Majors.

Team Preview – Chicago White Sox


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C A.J. Pierzynski SP 1 Mark Buehrle
1B Paul Konerko SP 2 Jake Peavy
2B Gordon Beckham SP 3 Gavin Floyd
3B Mark Teahen SP 4 John Danks
SS Alexei Ramirez SP 5 Freddy Garcia
LF Carlos Quentin Bullpen
CF Juan Pierre CL Bobby Jenks
RF Alex Rios RP J.J. Putz
DH Andruw Jones RP Scott Linebrink
Bench RP Matt Thornton
IF Omar Vizquel RP Tony Pena
OF Mark Kotsay RP Dan Hudson

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
3B Mark Teahen Trade (KC) IF Josh Fields Trade (KC)
CF Juan Pierre Trade (LAD) IF Chris Getz Trade (KC)
RP J.J Putz Free Agency RF Jermaine Dye Free Agency

Top Prospects: Tyler Flowers (C), Dan Hudson (P), Dayan Viciedo (IF)

2009 Review

The White Sox seemed prime to repeat as division champs after their victory in 2008. However, they saw a regression in some key players, most notably RF Jermaine Dye and LF Carlos Quentin. The offense was led by 1B Paul Konerko (.277, 28 HR), OF Scott Podsednik (.304, 30 SB), and rookie 3B Gordon Beckham (.270, 14 HR). Beckham, fresh out of the 2008 draft class, skyrocketed through the White Sox system in less than a full year, and was considered to be a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year as well. The pitching staff was anchored as usual by SP Mark Buehrle (13-10, 3.84), SP John Danks (13-11, 3.77) and SP Gavin Floyd (11-11, 4.06).

Perhaps the most notable events of the White Sox season involved transactions made by the front office. The Sox thought that they had acquired SP Jake Peavy in May for a package of prospects led by P Aaron Poreda, but Peavy invoked his no-trade clause, and remained in San Diego for the time being. Strangely, it was announced on July 31st that the White Sox had acquired Peavy, again for a package of prospects led by Poreda. The part that made this really strange was the fact that Peavy was still on the disabled list recovering from an ankle injury at the time. Peavy’s acquisition kept the White Sox hopeful that if they were close, they could make a late season run at the division crown. This was furthered by the White Sox making a claim on Blue Jays’ outfielder Alex Rios. The Sox knew that they could potentially be on the hook for the entirety of Rios’ contract (some 6 seasons and over $60 M), but felt that the risk for a player of Rios’ quality was worth it.

By the end of August, the White Sox had fallen to 4 games under .500, and 6 games back in the division. At this point, they moved DH Jim Thome in an effort to allow him a chance at a championship run. They failed in their efforts to move RF Jermaine Dye however, mostly due to his struggles at the plate (.189, 2 HR in August). The White Sox finished the season with a 79-83 record, and 7.5 games out of first place.

Team Outlook for 2010

The White Sox went out and made some roster moves that have the potential to improve the team quite a bit from last year. They will look to get full, healthy seasons out of LF Carlos Quentin and SP Jake Peavy. They are hoping for improvements at 2B and CF with Gordon Beckham and Juan Pierre now manning those positions full time. And they are hopeful that the bullpen will be even more improved with the addition of J.J. Putz.

I am not sold that the 2010 version of the White Sox is drastically improved over the 2009 version. Having Peavy for a full season will definitely be an improvement, but I’m not sold that the additions of Mark Teahen, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones are substantial improvements over Chris Getz, Scott Podsednik, or Jim Thome. I think that in comparison to the other contenders in their division (Detroit, Minnesota), they simply haven’t improved enough to make a great run for the postseason. I think they’ll do better than the Tigers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it ended in the opposite order. And it would take quite a bit of luck for them to catch Minnesota.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

3B/2B Gordon Beckham, SS Alexei Ramirez, and 1B Paul Konerko are probably the best players on offense for the White Sox in terms of fantasy production. RP Bobby Jenks is always going to have value as long as he holds the closer’s role, but watch for either J.J. Putz or Matt Thornton to get a shot if Jenks struggles early on. Jake Peavy is the class of the starting rotation, but he comes with that wonderful risk of injury as well. Buehrle, Floyd, and Danks all can be useful starting pitchers, but I wouldn’t want to have to rely too heavily on them to be near the top of your fantasy rotation.

Prediction for 2010

The White Sox appear to be trying to make another run this season, before some of their better players (Konerko, Pierzynski, Buehrle) get too old to be useful. However, I don’t believe that the moves that they have made will put them over the top in the AL Central.

84-78, 2nd in the AL Central

Fantasy Preview – Third 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 Third Basemen for 2010

1. Alex Rodriguez – NYY
R HR RBI SB AVG
78 30 100 14 .286
Rodriguez missed almost 40 games last season, and still put up amazing numbers during that time. I can pretty easily see a return to 100 runs, 20 steals, and even possibly 40 homers for A-Rod. Throw in that there shouldn’t be quite as much pressure on him now that he’s won a championship for the Yankees, and he’s a definite first rounder and probably going to end up as a top-5 player for me.


2. David Wright – NYM
R HR RBI SB AVG
88 10 72 27 .307
Wright was a huge disappointment for his owners last season, as they drafted him expecting something similar to a 30-30 season. Wright saw a huge spike in his strikeout rate last season, but still posted a similar walk rate. I’m inclined to believe that he’s due to rebound this season, and while his power may not necessarily get back to the 30 HR range necessarily, I can see a 25-25 guy in Wright with a great average.


3. Evan Longoria – 3B
R HR RBI SB AVG
100 33 113 9 .281
Longoria posted another excellent season, building on an excellent rookie campaign in 2008. Longoria is still maturing, but in the Rays lineup he’s a pretty good lock to provide around 100 runs, 100 rbis, and 30 homers. Throw in the handful of steals, and he’s one of the few 3B who will provide value in all 5 categories.


4. Mark Reynolds
R HR RBI SB AVG
98 44 102 24 .260
I talked about Reynolds in the 1B preview as well. At 3B, the power and speed combination more than makes up for the drag he is going to be on your batting average. I still don’t think he’s likely to give you 40 HR again, but 30 HR and 20 stolen bases are definitely possible.


5. Ryan Zimmerman – WAS
R HR RBI SB AVG
110 33 106 2 .292
Zimmerman, very quietly, has developed into an excellent fantasy 3B. Realistically, he’s one of only 2 fantasy useful players on the Nats, so he tends to be forgotten. However, don’t sleep on him, as he’s very likely to provide similar production to his 2009 season.


6. Kevin Youkilis – BOS
Also qualifies at 1B
R HR RBI SB AVG
99 27 94 7 .305
You can see my thoughts about Youkilis in my 1B rankings. He’s another player who will provide stats in all categories, and in my opinion is much more valuable if you draft him to play 3B than if you draft him to play 1B.


7. Aramis Ramirez – CHC
R HR RBI SB AVG
46 15 65 2 .317
Ramirez spent a major portion of last season on the disabled list, missing nearly 2 months with a separated shoulder. As a result, he may be dropping in people’s rankings when looking solely at his season numbers. Looking at his season splits, Ramirez appears to be fully recovered from the injury (11 HR, .304 from July onward). As a result, I can see him returning to his 30 HR form, and driving in 100 again.


8. Chone Figgins – SEA
R HR RBI SB AVG
114 5 54 42 .298
Figgins goes from a lineup with the Angels that really was run heavy, to a Mariners lineup that is probably similar in makeup. The biggest difference for Figgins himself is that he’s likely going to be hitting #2 in the order as opposed to leading off, due to the presence of Ichiro. He’s still a threat to steal 40 bags, and should still score quite a bit of runs. My only concern with drafting Figgins is that you’ve plugged a speed guy into a position where there are a majority of power hitters. You’ll want to make sure you get your power in some other positions, potentially 2B, SS or C.


9. Pablo Sandoval – SF
Also qualifies at 1B
R HR RBI SB AVG
79 25 90 5 .330
I wrote about the Kung Fu Panda in my 1B rankings. Obviously, he provides more value at 3B than 1B, but he’s going to give you good production regardless of where you play him in your fantasy lineup.


10. Michael Young – TEX
R HR RBI SB AVG
76 22 68 8 .322
While Young no longer brings the added value of qualifying at SS, he’s still a solid value pick at 3B. His run total seems a bit low to me, but that is mostly due to his missing a couple weeks of time in September. I think he approaches 100 runs again this season, while posting similar numbers in the rest of the categories. A good solid player who unfortunately probably doesn’t have a lot of upside, but you still need players that provide as expected.


11. Gordon Beckham
Will qualify at 2B after 5 starts
R HR RBI SB AVG
58 14 63 7 .270
I wrote about Beckham in my 2B rankings since he’s the presumptive starter for the White Sox there. He’s a definite upside pick, as you’re hoping for potentially a 20-20 player. I think he can do that, and the positional flexibility will be nice as well.


12. Ian Stewart – COL
Also qualifies at 2B
R HR RBI SB AVG
74 25 70 7 .228
I also wrote about Stewart in my 2B rankings. The warning remains the same – watch to see that he does in fact win one of the starting jobs. I would be shocked if he didn’t, but there’s always a chance I suppose.


13. Jorge Cantu – FLA
Also qualifies at 1B
R HR RBI SB AVG
67 16 100 3 .289
Cantu is another under-the-radar type of player, as I really wasn’t aware he had driven in 100 last season or that he had posted useful numbers in the rest of the categories either. I am not sure he’ll post another 100 RBI this season, but he’ll probably be close to that number. His run total seems like it was a bit low as well, and could see that improving into the 75-80 range on the Marlins.


14. Casey Blake – LAD
R HR RBI SB AVG
84 18 79 3 .280
Blake quietly had another solid year in Los Angeles last season. He’s not going to provide you with elite production in any category, but he will provide at least some reasonable value to you in 4 of the categories. Another player who’s a better real-life player than a fantasy one. But still useful to be sure.


15. Chipper Jones – ATL
R HR RBI SB AVG
80 18 71 4 .264
If you’re looking for the Chipper Jones of the early 2000s, you’ve come to the wrong place. At this point, he’s going to give you some power, and will provide some runs and rbi. I’m not sure that the batting average is going to rebound back to the .364 he hit in 2008, or even the .300 range in general. No upside here really, but another useful player. Just hope you don’t need him to provide great production, because that’s pretty unlikely at this point.



After my top 15, there’s a lot of players with minor flaws. You have players like Scott Rolen and Adrian Beltre, who haven’t really been healthy. You’ve got younger players like Alex Gordon and Edwin Encarnacion, who have not proven that they can play well for multiple seasons. You’ve got Chase Headley and Martin Prado, who have some upside, but only as late round picks. There’s definitely some high-risk, high-reward types out there. But I know I’d prefer to not have to take too many of those types of players on my team.

Tomorrow will be another fantasy preview, this time for SS.

Fantasy Preview – Second 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 Second Basemen for 2010

1. Chase Utley – PHI
R HR RBI SB AVG
112 31 93 23 .282
Utley is coming off another excellent season, contributing in all 5 categories. I can see his batting average improving slightly this season, probably to the .290 range he has been near for his career. In addition, he will most likely approach 100 RBI again. The stolen base total was a career high last year, so I could see some slight regression there, but you’re still looking at a hitter who is going to provide 30 homers, 100 rbi, 100 runs scored, 15-20 stolen bases, and a batting average approaching .300. All at a position that doesn’t have very many players who contribute in all those categories.

2. Ian Kinsler – TEX
R HR RBI SB AVG
101 31 86 31 .253
Kinsler is actually not very far behind Utley in my book. A 30-30 season last year, he set career highs in both categories. His batting average was unusually low, dragged down in part due to a low batting average on balls in play (.245). He should see some improvement to that number, as he regresses back toward the mean. Look for Kinsler to hit 25-30 HR, drive in 90+ runs, and steal 25+ bases again. The potential for Utley lite.

3. Ben Zobrist – TAM
Also qualifies at SS and OF
R HR RBI SB AVG
91 27 91 17 .297
Zobrist was a player last year who won a lot of leagues for his owners. He was a huge surprise, posting career highs in nearly every category, all while splitting time between 2B, SS, and RF. I have to imagine that he’s going to see at least some regression, simply due to the league adjusting to him slightly. However, his BABIP last season (.330) is not out of the range of repeatable, and the fact that he remains eligible at all 3 positions make him a huge asset to any team. I wouldn’t draft him earlier than Utley or Kinsler, but that flexibility really moves him in front of other 2B in my opinion.

4. Brandon Phillips – CIN
R HR RBI SB AVG
78 20 98 25 .276
Phillips is another player who, year in and year out, performs well. While he seems less and less likely to post another 30-30 season, he has gone 20-20 in each of the last two seasons. Having Orlando Cabrera to potentially hit in front of him in the lineup should also help some of his other totals, specifically RBI. Very quietly, I think he’ll post another 20-20 season, and potentially break through with 100+ RBI as well. He doesn’t have the name recognition of Utley or Kinsler, but he’s still a very good 2B, especially for fantasy purposes.

5. Brian Roberts – BAL
R HR RBI SB AVG
110 16 79 30 .283
Roberts has always been known for providing stolen bases and runs to fantasy owners, along with a few homeruns and some rbi. Interestingly, Roberts posted his 3rd season with 50+ doubles last year. I think that this could potentially help his homerun total as well, but he’s probably not going to get to 20 or more in a season. But a 15 homer, 30 stolen base, 100+ run hitter who will probably drive in at least 55-60 runs and post a .280 batting average? That’s definitely in the realm of possibility again for Roberts. And at 2B, you’re not likely to find a whole lot of players that will do that either.

6. Dan Uggla – FLA
R HR RBI SB AVG
84 31 90 2 .243
Uggla is an excellent power hitter. He’s going to drive in a lot of runs as a result of this. However, he doesn’t provide any value in terms of speed, and is almost always going to be a drag on your batting average. If you can get him paired with a high-speed, high-average type player at a different position, you’ll end up with some excellent value. It seems to me like you’re going to have to draft him sooner than his actual value would be. But if you need power, he’s your guy. Watch, as there remains a possibility that he gets traded still this season.

7. Aaron Hill – TOR
R HR RBI SB AVG
103 36 108 6 .286
I’m not really sure what to make of Aaron Hill. 36 homeruns is nothing to ignore, but I am not sure he is able to repeat that. Of his 36 homers last season, he pulled 31 to left field, and 4 to center. He’s a dead-pull hitter at this point, and I’m not sure that the league doesn’t catch up and adjust how they pitch him as a result. I ranked him here because I think he’s going to be closer to 20 homers than 30 this upcoming season. He’s still likely to provide a .280 batting average, score near 100 runs and drive in near 100 as well, which still makes him a valueable 2B. I just wouldn’t draft him expecting him to provide 35+ again.

8. Dustin Pedroia – BOS
R HR RBI SB AVG
115 15 72 20 .296
Pedroia is another second baseman who’s going to provide you with excellent numbers in a couple of categories (runs, stolen bases), and passable numbers in the rest. He seems likely to have another season with around 15 homers and 15-20 stolen bases, with a huge amount of runs scored, and a solid batting average as well. He’s another player who I think could be drafted higher than his value predicates, partially because of the fact that he is on the Red Sox. That said, he’s a solid fantasy second baseman, and won’t really kill you in any of the 5 categories.

9. Gordon Beckham – CHW
Also qualifies at 3B, Will qualify at 2B after 5 starts
R HR RBI SB AVG
58 14 63 7 .270
Beckham won’t qualify at 2B to start the season, but the White Sox have made it clear that they want him to be their 2B going forward. As a result, I ranked him here, as he will definitely provide more value as a 2B once he does qualify. Beckham only played in 103 games last season, not being called up until June. In a full season, I can see him posting a 20 homer season with double digit stolen bases as well. If you can find someone to play there for that first week of the season, you should be pretty happy with the production Beckham will give you the rest of the time.

10. Robinson Cano – NYY
R HR RBI SB AVG
103 25 85 5 .320
Cano posted career highs in homers and runs last season, and I think that was due in part to the new Yankee stadium. I think Cano can probably repeat the run total, but will probably drop back to around 20 homers. He has provided a great batting average in most seasons, and is probably a reasonable expectation to hit around .300 again this season. A good solid value 2B.

11. Jose Lopez – SEA
R HR RBI SB AVG
69 25 96 3 .272
The first thing that came to my mind when I looked at Jose Lopez was that I generally am not a fan of him as a fantasy player. And after looking back on the stats, I’m not entirely sure why that is. He posted a career high in homers last season (25), partially due to an increase in his fly-ball % (44% vs. career avg of 37%). However, he drives in a lot of runs, scores a solid amount of runs, and will usually hit for a decent average. There’s not a lot of upside to be had with Lopez, but he’s still a viable 2B option in nearly all leagues.

12. Asdrubal Cabrera – CLE
Also qualifies at SS
R HR RBI SB AVG
81 6 68 17 .308
Cabrera seems primed to improve on last season, and looks like a really good sleeper. He’s not likely to hit more than about 7 or 8 homeruns in a season, but he’s likely to give an excellent batting average and approach 20 stolen bases also. Throw in the additional positional eligibility, and it moves him just slightly ahead of the next player on the list.

13. Ian Stewart – COL
Also qualifies at 3B
R HR RBI SB AVG
74 25 70 7 .228
Stewart is the beneficiary of the non-tendering of Garrett Atkins, as he should come into camp as the everyday 3B. However, the Rockies appear to have hedged their bet a little, bringing Melvin Mora in on a 1-year contract as well. Stewart is a good source of power, and his batting average should improve back towards the .260-.270 range. He’s not likely to provide more than the 7 steals he did last season, but any are a bonus really. Watch during spring training to see how his role plays out, as he may end up playing 2B instead, or even potentially on the bench at times as well.

14. Howie Kendrick – LAA
R HR RBI SB AVG
61 10 61 11 .291
Kendrick was sent down for part of the 2009 season, and came back and performed much better. With a full season of playing time, he could conceivably go for 15 homers and 15 stolen bases, while posting a high batting average as well. I ranked him this low due to the fact that I still have some concern about the fact that he needed time down in the minors to correct errors in his swing last year, and that it could conceivably happen again. He’s a definite upside pick though, as he could end up in the top 10 at 2B if he performs well.

15. Mark Ellis – OAK
R HR RBI SB AVG
52 10 61 10 .263
Ellis is another solid 2B that isn’t going to hurt you too much in any of the 5 categories. He’ll provide you with double-digit homers, steals, and usually between 50-60 runs and rbi along with a .260 average. Nothing particularly special, but nothing that’s going to kill you at the position either. Unfortunately, his lineup is not known for being particularly good at scoring runs, so those numbers are unlikely to improve as a result of that.


After my top 15, there’s not a whole lot out there. Probably the most interesting players left are Casey McGehee (MIL) and Rickie Weeks (MIL). However, McGehee is no lock for playing time at either 2B or 3B, and Weeks I simply do not trust to stay healthy. While some of the injuries have been very unusual, they seem to occur with unusual regularity to him.

Tomorrow I will be starting my series of team previews, with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. The next fantasy preview will be on Saturday with my preview of the 3B position.

AL Rookie of the Year Review


Andrew Bailey was announced as the winner of the American League Rookie of the Year for 2009 yesterday.

In my predictions, I thought Bailey would win the award, but it was a lot closer than I thought it would be. The voting (first place in parentheses):

Bailey – 88 votes (13)
Elvis Andrus – 65 (8)
Rick Porcello – 64 (7)
Jeff Niemann – 21
Gordon Beckham – 10
Brett Anderson – 4

Andrew Bailey
Andrew spent the majority of the 2009 season as the closer for the A’s, and was 26-for-30 in save opportunities this year. But his dominance is better illustrated in his other stats: 1.84 ERA, 91 strikeouts, a .167 opponents batting average, and a 0.88 WHIP.  His numbers were extremely comparable to the elite players at his position:

Bailey: 1.84 ERA, 91 K, .167 Opp BA, 0.88 WHIP, 26 saves
Mariano Rivera: 1.76 ERA, 72 K, .197 Opp BA, 0.91 WHIP, 44 saves
Joe Nathan: 2.10 ERA, 89 K, .171 Opp BA, 0.93 WHIP, 47 saves

Bear in mind, that Bailey did not take over the closer role until early May, and could potentially have had a lot more saves on a more competitive team. Digging in a little deeper, there are a couple of concerns I have for the next season.

Bailey’s Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) was a very low .234. Those same comps had .252 (Nathan), and .263 (Rivera), so I would be inclined to believe that some form of correction to the mean may occur next season. His Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) number was 2.56, almost a full run higher than his actual era. Again, not a huge problem necessarily for a reliever, but something to keep an eye on.

So, how did his competitors fare last season?

Elvis Andrus

Andrus was named the starting shortstop for the Rangers prior to the season. The Rangers thought so highly of him that they asked All-Star SS Michael Young to switch to 3B. Andrus definitely did not disappoint. He hit to the tune of .267/.329/.373 with 72 runs, 6 hr, and 33 sb. Andrus was also no slouch with the glove, as he compiled a 10.7 UZR rating at SS. A very good rookie season.

Rick Porcello
Porcello joined the Tigers out of spring training, and made the rotation. This was a huge surprise, considering that he had only pitched one year in the minors, and it was in A-ball at that. However, he made a very strong impact, compiling a 14-9 record with a 3.96 era, 89 strikeouts, and a 1.34 whip. They believed in him so heavily, in fact, that he was the choice to start the play-in game against the Twins on 10/6. Porcello should be a very good major league pitcher for years to come.

Jeff Niemann
Niemann made the Rays rotation out of spring training, after having a couple of starts in 2008. With a 13-6 record, Niemann was one of the few pitchers that the Rays could rely on throughout the season. He gave the Rays 180 innings, while compiling a 3.94 era, 1.35 whip, and 125 strikeouts. I frankly thought that Niemann would finish ahead of Porcello, but that could be partially due to Porcello pitching meaningful games in October. Niemann will be a solid #2-3 anchor for the Rays rotation in a system that is full of top-level pitching.

Gordon Beckham
Beckham was called up in May, and was the first player from the 2008 draft to have a meaningful impact in the Majors. He posted a very solid .270/.360/.477 line, with 14 homers, 58 rbi, and 7 steals. All while learning a new position in the major leagues. While he had some of the better stats of the season, I felt that he should be discounted slightly due to not being up for the whole season. Not really his fault, but that’s how it goes. Beckham will have another transition to make next season, as the White Sox announced that he would be moving to 2B to accommodate newly acquired Mark Teahen.

Brett Anderson
Anderson spent the whole season in the A’s rotation, and posted a respectable 11-10 record on a bad team. He really came on in the second half, going 6-4 with a 3.48 era, 86 strikeouts, and a 1.19 whip. If he puts together a full season like his second half, he’s going to be a very, very good pitcher for a long time.

Overall, this year’s AL rookie class was one of the strongest. Especially when you consider that the two top rookies in the AL at the beginning of the season aren’t here either. (Matt Wieters, David Price). This whole group should be interesting to watch for years to come.

Trade Review – CHW/KCR


Chicago White Sox trade 2B Chris Getz and 3B Josh Fields to the Kansas City Royals for 3B/OF Mark Teahen.
Source: ESPN.com

To be honest, I hadn’t really followed what Mark Teahen has been doing in Kansas City. My most common recollection of him is the fact that he was a part of the Carlos Beltran trade a few years ago, and that the Royals kept moving him all over the field, playing 2B, 3B, 1B, and OF during his time there. That said, he appears to have at least been a serviceable player at many of those positions, with a fair bat. For the White Sox, he’s going to be playing 3B, and shifting Gordon Beckham from 3B to 2B. When I first heard this trade, I assumed (wrongly it turns out) that Teahen would be playing right field, replacing the newly free-agent Jermaine Dye.

The Royals get two very serviceable players in Getz and Fields. Getz stole 25 bases last year in 107 games, and playing a solid 2B. Fields, who seemed to be in the doghouse constantly for the White Sox, hit 23 homers as a rookie in 2006, and hasn’t really seen consistent playing time since.

I really think that the Royals did well on this trade, as they sent a player who is one year from free agency, and in return got 2 young players that are under team control for much longer than that.

Some other analysis about this trade:


MLBTradeRumors’ coverage
ESPNChicago’s Jon Greenberg thinks the White Sox are just shuffling the deck.