Last Year’s Records
Texas – 90-72
Oakland – 81-81
Los Angeles – 80-82
Seattle – 61-101
Last Year’s Records
Texas – 90-72
Oakland – 81-81
Los Angeles – 80-82
Seattle – 61-101
Holy crap! I wasn’t expecting any more big moves this offseason. And I definitely wasn’t expecting this. Today the Angels finally figured out who to spend some of their money on, and also managed to unload some of their depth at catcher. The Angels acquired a new center fielder, Vernon Wells, from the Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Mike Napoli, outfielder Juan Rivera, and $5 million in cash.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have added a solid defender and a player coming off of a very good season. Wells hit .273/.331/.515 with 31 home runs and 88 runs batted in last year, but his splits from 2010 are a bit troubling: Continue reading
We have the first major piece to fall into place from free agency this offseason, with the news that catcher Victor Martinez has agreed to a 4 year, $50 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.
It appears, according to MLBTR, that Martinez was offered both a 3 year and 4 year deal by the Red Sox, but for less money than the Tigers offered.
From the Tigers’ Perspective
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, starting with catchers.
My Preseason Rankings
For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.
Team #14: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
General Managers(since 1994)
Bill Bavasi (1994-1999) 387-405
Bill Stoneman (2000-2007) 703-593
Tony Reagins (2008-Current) 197-127
All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.
|Position||Name||Acquired||Years with Org.
||Stats with Organization
|C||Mike Napoli||2000 – 17th Rd||10||454 gm, .257/.352/.495, 84 HR, 225 RBI, 20 SB||Currently with Org.|
|1B||Kendry Morales||Int’l FA – 2005||5||330 gm, .284/.336/.502, 57 HR, 192 RBI||Currently with Org.|
||2002 – 10th Rd||8||454 gm, .295/.3238/.427, 29 HR, 220 RBI, 42 SB||Currently with Org.|
|3B||Alberto Callaspo||Int’l FA – 2001||5+1||1 gm, 1-3||Currently with Org.|
|SS||Erick Aybar||Int’l FA – 2002||8||436 gm, .285/.328/.378, 12 HR, 136 RBI, 41 SB||Currently with Org.|
|LF||Garret Anderson||1990 – 4th Rd||18||3 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Slugger Awards
2013 gm, .296/.327/.469, 272 HR, 1292 RBI, 78 SB
|Left via FA (2009)|
|CF||Jim Edmonds||1988 – 7th Rd||12||1 All Star Appearance, 2 Gold Gloves
709 gm, .290/.359/.498, 121 HR, 408 RBI, 26 SB
|Traded to STL – 3/23/00|
||2003 – 3rd Rd||6||71 gm, .203/.276/.333, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB||Traded to TAM – 9/1/09|
|DH||Troy Glaus||1997 – 1st Rd (3)||7||3 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Sluggers
827 gm, .253/.357/.497, 182 HR, 515 RBI, 49 SB
|Left via FA (2004)|
|SP||Jered Weaver||2005 – 1st Rd (12)||5||1 All-Star Appearance
60-33, 3.64 ERA, 805 2/3 IP, 693 K, 228 BB, 1.223 WHIP
|Currently with Org.|
|SP||Ervin Santana||Int’l FA – 2000||10||1 All Star Appearance
67-52, 4.40 ERA, 975.1 IP, 794 K, 309 BB
|Currently with Org.|
|SP||Joe Saunders||2002 – 1st Rd (12)||8||1 All-Star Appearance
54-32, 4.29 ERA, 692 IP, 392 K, 229 BB, 1.392 WHIP
|Currently with Org.|
|SP||John Lackey||1999 – 2nd Rd||10||1 All Star Appearance
102-71, 3.81 ERA, 1501 IP, 1201 K, 441 BB, 1.306 WHIP
|Left via FA (2009)|
|SP||Sean O’Sullivan||2005 – 3rd Rd||5||5-2, 5.15 ERA, 64 2/3 IP, 35 K, 20 BB, 1.345 WHIP||Traded to KCR – 7/22/10|
|RP||Trevor Bell||2005 – 1st Rd (37)||5||2-3, 7.84 ERA, 39.2 IP, 30 K, 15 BB, 2.143 WHIP||Currently with Org.|
|RP||Scot Shields||1997 – 38th Rd||13||46-44, 3.15 ERA, 682 2/3 IP, 21 SV, 621 K, 266 BB||Currently with Org.|
|RP||Bobby Cassevah||2004 – 34th Rd||6||7 gm, 5.56 ERA, 11.1 IP, 7 K, 4 BB||Currently with Org.|
|RP||Ramon Ortiz||Int’l FA – 1995||9||59-9, 4.60 ERA, 893.2 IP, 590 K, 325 BB||Traded to CIN – 12/14/04|
|RP||Bobby Jenks||2000 – 5th Rd||4||No Major League Appearances with Org.||Selected by CHW – 12/17/04|
|CL||Francisco Rodriguez||Int’l FA – 1998||10||4 All-Star Appearances
23-17, 2.35 ERA, 451 2/3 IP, 587 K, 198 BB, 208 SV
|Left via FA – 2009|
|BN||Casey Kotchman||2001 – 1st Rd (13)||7||351 gm, .274/.337/.426, 31 HR, 165 RBI||Traded to ATL – 7/29/08|
|BN||Bengie Molina||Int’l FA – 1993||11||2 Gold Gloves
716 gm, .273/.309/.397, 65 HR, 362 RBI
|Left via FA – 10/27/05|
|BN||Brandon Wood||2003 – 1st Rd (23)||7||143 gm, .206/.275/.481, 10 HR, 31 RBI||Currently with Org.|
|BN||Alexi Casilla||Int’l FA – 2003||2||No Major League Appearances with Org.||Traded to MIN – 12/9/05|
|BN||David Herndon||2006 – 5th Rd||3||No Major League Appearances with Org.||Rule 5 Draft (2009)|
June Amateur Draft
The Angels appear to have done reasonably well in the draft. They have had quite a few of their first round selections make it to the Majors, and have even had a lot of them see that success with the Angels. Clearly, the best players that they have gotten out of the draft who are still active are Troy Glaus, Jim Edmonds, and Jered Weaver. However, they have also managed to get some late round values in Bobby Cassevah and Scot Shields. Overall, they have done a good job of not squandering their draft picks.
International Free Agency
The Angels have done very well in the international markets, and have signed players from Cuba, Venezuela, and the Domincan Republic among others. They are active down there, but quietly and not too overpowering when it comes to the top names. That said, they have still found a lot of value players there, and some high value players like Francisco Rodriguez and Kendry Morales.
B. The Angels are lacking in some areas of the team like the bullpen and the strength of their bench, but overall the team that would be fielded could do very well in the Majors in my opinion. There aren’t too many players who have turned into Major League regulars who they didn’t have play for the Major League team at some point at least, and I think that’s a credit to their player development department. They have been active in the free agent markets in past seasons, making big splashes with signees like Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero, but they are pieces to help fill in the gaps in their developmental system, which is really well done.
These were my predictions for the All-Star rosters that I posted back on Saturday, representing my final thoughts on who I thought would make the team. Looking at how my predictions went, I am actually reasonably pleased with how they turned out.
AL: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Robinson Cano, Evan Longoria, Derek Jeter, Carl Crawford, Ichiro Suzuki, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Cabrera, Ty Wigginton, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Vernon Wells, Cliff Lee, David Price, Jon Lester, Trevor Cahill, Clay Buchholz, Mariano Rivera, Jose Valverde, Neftali Feliz
NL: Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, Jason Heyward, Ryan Braun, Adrian Gonzalez, Martin Prado, David Wright, Scott Rolen, Jose Reyes, Corey Hart, Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson, Adam Wainwright, Matt Capps, Brandon Phillips
AL Backup Catcher: I chose Mike Napoli as who I thought would be there, not really looking at Victor Martinez since he was injured at the time I made the pick. I’m not sold I agree with John Buck as the replacement for Martinez over Napoli, but it’s not a brutal choice. I think overall Napoli is going to have a better season, but they are pretty similar so far.
AL Backup Infielders: Paul Konerko and Kevin Youkilis are in the final vote, and in their place on the roster are Ian Kinsler (the replacement for Dustin Pedroia) and Alex Rodriguez. Part of the issue I had here was that I was not aware that the teams were required to take a utility player, which is where Wigginton fits on the roster. As a result, I didn’t take a 2B. I also didn’t include Pedroia because of his injury status, but he’s definitely deserving. A-Rod is also having a pretty good year, and I think this was my own personal bias. Knowing that the Yankees’ manager is managing the All-Star team, I probably should have seen that one.
AL Backup Outfielders: I think Choo would have made the team had he not gotten hurt just prior to the announcement, but when I made the selection it wasn’t for sure yet what his status was. Torii Hunter was selected as the only initial Angels’ player, and I think he’s definitely deserving as well. I do have a hard time looking at Jose Bautista on that roster with Alexis Rios who did not make the team, and is hitting better. The fact that the Blue Jays had Vernon Wells as well seems really odd to me. I don’t know how the player vote went (as he may have been a selection that was made by them), but it seems like a bit of an omission. Brett Gardner is having a great year, and he’s probably the player I would have left off in lieu of another infielder had I known I needed one.
AL Pitching Staff
NL Backup Catcher: They selected Brian McCann over Miguel Olivo, and I don’t think that was a bad choice. Olivo is having a very nice offensive season, but McCann is the catcher for an excellent pitching staff on the first place Braves. The Capitol Avenue Club had a great post last week about how many times McCann has been snubbed when he was having amazing offensive seasons, so it is good to see a little bit of balance here.
NL Backup Infielders:
NL Backup Outfielders:
This is where I differed most from the actual team, as I missed 5 of them. 3 of them were the lone representatives for their team, so there’s three matching incorrect pitchers as well.
NL Pitching Staff:
Overall, I got 43 out of 68 correct. It has been a really interesting experiment to see how close I can get to predicting the teams, and next season I think the thing to remember to look at will be who is managing the teams. Had I done that, I probably would have gotten another 3-4 players correct. I think next year’s goal will be to get over 80% of the roster correct, especially now that I know about the utility player rule as well.
In terms of the roster makeup itself, Joey Votto and Kevin Youkilis stand out to me as the players who are the most deserving to be on the team but are not on there as of yet. I will be shocked if Votto doesn’t get onto that roster somehow, and a bit disappointed too.
Happy 4th of July to everyone! With the voting and teams to be announced today, I wanted to update what I thought would happen with the Major League All-Star teams prior to that:
These teams were created with the same rules that the managers in the game are required, that being 34 man rosters with 21 position players and 13 pitchers. Each team must also have a representative. The starters are based on the last voting results that were publicized.
Italicized selections are on the disabled list currently, and have been replaced with another player on the roster.
C – Joe Mauer (MIN)
1B – Justin Morneau (MIN)
2B – Robinson Cano (NYY)
3B – Evan Longoria (TAM)
SS – Derek Jeter (NYY)
OF – Carl Crawford (TAM), Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), Josh Hamilton (TEX)
DH – Vladimir Guerrero (TEX)
C – Mike Napoli (LAA)
1B – Miguel Cabrera (DET), Paul Konerko (CHW), Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
2B – Ty Wigginton (BAL)
3B – Adrian Beltre (BOS)
SS – Elvis Andrus (TEX)
OF – Alexis Rios (CHW), Vernon Wells (TOR), Shin-Soo Choo (CLE), Brett Gardner (NYY)
DH – Jose Guillen (KC)
Starters – Cliff Lee (SEA), David Price (TAM), Jered Weaver (LAA), Jon Lester (BOS), Colby Lewis (TEX), Andy Pettitte (NYY), Shaun Marcum (TOR), Trevor Cahill (OAK), Clay Buchholz (BOS)
Relievers – Mariano Rivera (NYY), Neftali Feliz (TEX), Rafael Soriano (TAM), Jose Valverde (DET), Andrew Bailey (OAK)
C – Yadier Molina (STL)
1B – Albert Pujols (STL)
2B – Chase Utley (PHI)
3B – Placido Polanco (PHI)
SS – Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
OF – Andre Ethier (LAD), Jason Heyward (ATL), Ryan Braun (MIL)
DH – Joey Votto (CIN)
C – Miguel Olivo (COL)
1B – Adrian Gonzalez (SD), Troy Glaus (ATL)
2B – Martin Prado (ATL), Brandon Phillips (CIN)
3B – David Wright (NYM), Scott Rolen (CIN), Ryan Zimmerman (WAS)
SS – Jose Reyes (NYM)
OF – Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Jayson Werth (PHI), Justin Upton (ARI), Corey Hart (MIL), Colby Rasmus (STL), Carlos Gonzalez (COL)
Starters – Roy Oswalt (HOU), Ubaldo Jimenez (COL), Roy Halladay (PHI), Josh Johnson (FLA), Tim Lincecum (SF), Tim Hudson (ATL), Adam Wainwright (STL), Mike Pelfrey (NYM)
Relievers – Luke Gregerson (SD), Heath Bell (SD), Matt Capps (WAS), Billy Wagner (ATL), Carlos Marmol (CHC)
Overall, I am actually a bit surprised just how difficult this process can be. There are a lot of players that are deserving of an All-Star appearance who are going to be crunched because of the requirement to have a representative from every team. If I were to guess, I would be surprised if I got more than 60% right. I will post my review of the All-Star rosters, along with how I did with this final prediction (and the others as well) on Thursday.
I’m starting a new series on my personal fantasy rankings by position for the upcoming season. This series will be primarily posting on weekends, although I will also be posting occasionally during the week on fantasy as well.
The schedule can be found on the fantasy previews page at the top.
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
Without further adieu, my top 15 catchers for fantasy baseball in 2010.
|1. Joe Mauer – MIN|
|Mauer is really the class of his position at this point, as he’s a solid contributor in 4 of the 5 batting categories. Whether or not the power will continue remains to be seen, but it would be consistent with his age progression. He’ll be 27 this coming season, and the Twins have been good about making sure that Mauer gets days off from behind the plate, having him DH as well. At worst, you’re going to get a player that is likely to be a batting champion again next season, who will be hitting 3rd. The scary part of the numbers he posted last year was the fact that he still missed a large portion of a month of time as well. They could conceivably get better.|
|2. Victor Martinez – BOS|
|Also qualifies at 1B|
|It is really going to be interesting to see how Martinez does with a full season playing at Fenway, as he posted a .336/.405/.507 line while with the team. Part of the improvement is probably due to the improved lineup surrounding him, and bodes well for this season also. Martinez also qualifies at 1B, although it seems extremely unlikely you’d use him there in most situations. I think he could potentially see a jump in his power numbers with half his games at Fenway as well.|
|3. Brian McCann – ATL|
|McCann seems to me like he’s a bit underrated. Here’s a player who is going to hit 20 homers, drive in almost 100 runs, and hit for a good average at a position that really doesn’t necessarily have a lot of players who do that. And he’s done it in the past, so he’s got a track record as well. The other thing I usually forget about McCann is that he is only going to be 26 starting this season. So potentially he could see a slight improvement in his numbers. Not that he needs them to stay at this ranking.|
|4. Miguel Montero – ARI|
|Montero was really an epiphany last season, as he was finally able to get regular playing time. Playing in 128 games last year, I can see him posting a similar batting average while improving his home run total and RBI total as well. Another young catcher (26) who should see some growth as he will come into the season as the starter. He’s a player who is likely to fall in most drafts, as Chris Snyder is still in Arizona, and isn’t as sexy of a name as some of the players I’ll rank below him.|
|5. Matt Wieters – BAL|
|One of last year’s favorite sleeper draft picks, many teams were stuck until Wieters’ midseason callup. This time around though, he’ll go into Spring Training as the starter. Wieters probably has more upside than Montero, as he could conceivably hit 20+ homers with a .300 average. The thing that puts Montero ahead of Wieters for me is the fact that you’re most likely going to have to draft Wieters much earlier than Montero. In current average draft position reports, Wieters is going 40 picks before Montero. I’ll wait and get Montero.|
|6. Jorge Posada – NYY|
|Posada missed significant playing time last year, playing in only 111 games. At age 38, he’s not likely to improve too much on that game total this season. That said, I can still see him hitting 20 homers and driving in 80 runs in that vaunted Yankee lineup. Just be ready to have someone else to play for when he needs that time off.|
|7. Geovany Soto – CHC|
|Soto was expected to build on a 23 hr campaign in 2008 last year, and failed miserably. His batting average on balls in play (.251) was partially to explain, as well as the strained oblique injury he suffered mid-season. Look for Soto to bounce back if that injury is completely healed, and approach 20 homers again.|
|8. Kurt Suzuki – OAK|
|Suzuki is another one of those “un-sexy” picks, as his numbers are probably going to be similar to last year. Coming into his age-26 season, the A’s are going to need his production to be similar to 2009, and he shouldn’t disappoint. He’s unlikely to get to 20 homers, or even to repeat the 8 stolen bases he had last year, but at the catcher position he’s not going to kill you in any of the categories, which is pretty good at this point.|
|9. Russell Martin – LAD|
|Martin was a big disappointment to his owners last season, as his power, batting average, and stolen base totals all dropped. While I think that he’s not likely to return to either his 19 hr career high, or his 21 stolen base career high, I do believe he will improve on last season, and return to his career batting average of .276, with double digit power and stolen bases. His run total should improve as well with that increase in batting average.|
|10. Mike Napoli – LAA|
|I liked Napoli a lot last year, and he posted some solid numbers, especially in the home run category. He played 114 games last season, with 84 starts at catcher. He’s likely to post similar numbers providing he gets similar playing time to last season. The concern I have would be that with Hideki Matsui brought in to DH, he seems unlikely to get very much time as the DH. So he’s going to have to beat out Jeff Mathis to get the most playing time. If there were no concerns about playing time, I’d probably have him as high as 5th or 6th.|
|11. Bengie Molina – SFG|
|Molina is another one of those players who’s not really going to kill you at the catcher position. He’s going to provide some good power, and drive in a good amount of runs. If you ever get a stolen base out of him, consider it a small miracle. Of some concern is what the Giants intend to do with prospect Buster Posey, as he is definitely the long-term answer at catcher for the Giants. Something to monitor as you get closer to your draft.|
|12. Ryan Doumit – PIT|
|Doumit was injured for a large portion of the 2009 season, and as a result his numbers for 2009 don’t really reflect what he could do, in my opinion. Doumit is a lot more likely to give you somewhere near a .280 average, with between 15 and 20 homers. My only concern would be how he has recovered from the wrist injury he suffered last season, but the fact that he came back and hit .329 with 2 HR in September puts that to rest for me. He’s definitely got some risk, but there’s good upside here as well.|
|13. A.J. Pierzynski – CHW|
|A.J. is most definitely not a sexy choice here as a catcher. But he’s probably going to give you double-digit homers, a batting average near .280 or better, and probably drive in about 50 runs. Hopefully, if you’re taking A.J., you’re also drafting a high-upside catcher as well. A.J. isn’t going to kill you at the position, but there’s really no upside here above what you would expect from him when you draft him.|
|14. Chris Iannetta – COL|
|Iannetta is one of those players who should be really good for fantasy owners if he can pull it all together on a consistent basis. He has shown good power, and could conceivably hit 20+ in a season, especially in Colorado. He is unlikely to hit much more than about .260 in my opinion, but should have the chance to drive in a fair amount of runs in the Colorado lineup. Of some concern is the fact that Miguel Olivo, fresh off a 23 homer season in Kansas City, was signed to be his backup. Watch Iannetta carefully, as he could potentially lose his starting job at any time during the season.|
|15. Yadier Molina – STL|
|Yadier is one of those players who is definitely better in real-life than in fantasy. Although he doesn’t have the upside of some of the players ahead of him on my rankings, he remains likely to hit for a good average, and provide a little bit of power and a few steals. He’s the type of catcher who is probably best for a lineup with a pair of 40 homer hitters. Someone to look for if you still have no catcher later on, and are just looking for someone who isn’t going to kill any specific category.|
Some prospects and deep-league sleepers to watch for:
Buster Posey (SF) – Posey was slated to be the starting catcher for the Giants until they resigned Bengie Molina. Lately, there have been rumors that Posey will work in the infield during spring training. However, it seems to me that if they are planning on him staying at catcher long-term, he’d be best served going back to AAA until they need him at the Major League level.
Carlos Santana (CLE) – Santana probably needs a full season at AAA, but if he gets the call and sees some consistent playing time, he could conceivably provide double-digit power and a high average even as a rookie. The only player standing in his way once he’s been at AAA is Lou Marson, who is a much better real-life catcher than fantasy player.
Adam Moore (SEA) – Moore is going into Spring Training as the starter for the Mariners. Another player who isn’t likely to provide a lot of fantasy value, Moore’s value really comes in 2-catcher leagues, as at-bats are crucial in those types of leagues.
Kelly Shoppach (TAM) – Shoppach was acquired by the Rays to be their starting catcher, and is only a season removed from a 21 homer, 67 rbi season. Consistent playing time is likely to help him further, but the Rays do still have last year’s starter Dioner Navarro on the roster.