Results tagged ‘ David Freese ’
After watching 29 Major League Baseball games so far this year, I wanted to sit back and reflect on what I’ve learned. Here are a few of my many observations from the first week of the season.
David Freese isn’t good, he’s really good. As a guy who watches mostly American League baseball, I’ll be the first to tell you that I didn’t realize just how good David Freese was. Yes, I picked him up on a few of my fantasy baseball teams, but I wasn’t expecting to see him starting off the season as well as he has. Freese is on pace to hit 81 home runs this year, and while there’s no chance that will happen, I do think he has a legitimate chance of hitting 30 this year.
Yoenis Cespedes can hit a baseball very far. Admittedly, I was a skeptic about Cespedes coming into the year. It’s not that I don’t think the guy is a talented athlete, but I was curious as to exactly how well his experience in Cuba would prepare him for the Oakland Athletics. Cespedes has started off the year quite nicely, hitting three home runs while posting a .364 on base percentage. It seems like every at bat Cespedes is either hitting a 400-foot shot or getting walked. You can definitely consider me a believer.
Justin Verlander hasn’t forgot how to pitch. I know a lot of people are going to say that this isn’t a surprise, but I think to a small extent, it still is. A lot of people may or may not know this, but Verlander has regularly struggled in April throughout his career. Coming off what will very likely be a career year for him, I wasn’t sure what kind of performance we’d see out of him in his debut. All he did was hold the Red Sox to two hits and a walk in eight innings. Yeah, I’d say it’s fair to say he picked up right where he left off.
Ozzie Guillen doesn’t make it a week without getting in trouble. Five games into the season, the Marlins have announced a five-game suspension for their manager, in regards to some very questionable comments he recently made about Fidel Castro. While part of me does feel a bit bad for Guillen and the Marlins, I can’t help but wonder about the sincerity of his apology. Was this a misunderstanding? It’s definitely possible, but also keep in mind that Guillen defended Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez back in 2005. I know Guillen is very outspoken on a lot of things, and if this happens to be some giant misunderstanding, I do feel sorry for him. I just don’t know if this is just a case of him being sorry because he got in trouble, or sorry because he said something he shouldn’t have. Stick with talking about baseball and winning games, and the people in Miami will start loving you once again.
Tonight marked the opening of Marlins Park, the new home for the Miami Marlins. I’m sure their fans were hoping to open it with a win, but it just wasn’t in the cards, as they lost by a final score of 4-1.
The Cardinals looked dominant in almost all aspects of the game. From Kyle Lohse being perfect through six innings (to all St. Louis fans, I’ll be happy to give you the name and address of the fan who jinxed it for you), to David Freese picking up where he left in October. There’s a reason why the Cardinals won the World Series last year, and you shouldn’t sleep on them to be serious contenders in 2012.
All hope is certainly not lost for the Marlins, as they still have plenty to be excited about. Josh Johnson struggled in the first inning, but settled down in the next few innings. Johnson is definitely a huge catalyst for Miami’s rotation, as he could single handedly make them be contenders. When he’s healthy, he’s that good.
It’s an exciting year for both teams. The Cardinals find themselves ready to show they can still compete despite losing Albert Pujols, whereas the Marlins want to prove that they’re good enough now to compete with the elite teams in baseball.
Plenty of baseball left, so we’ll see what happens next. Until then, three games down, 497 to go.
I always try to treat my fantasy baseball teams similarly to how I would if I was a general manager for a baseball team. Of course, that doesn’t include payroll, staffing, corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, promotions…well, you get the idea.
What I can do however, is find ways to improve my team. So when I lost one of my two closers for the year (Ryan Madson), I immediately tried to find a replacement. Unfortunately, free agency left me only with Jonathon Broxton as a somewhat viable option. My next idea was to find a trade to bolster my roster.
When I looked at my team, I noticed that I have a very dominant pitching core. My biggest weakness is going to be home runs, and slugging percentage, and I’m okay with that. When playing a head to head league, I always suggest trying to build your team to be dominant in at least half the categories, while giving yourself a chance to win a few of the others.
Ultimately, I was offered a trade of David Price and Billy Butler for Joey Votto. After a bit of deliberation, I decided it was definitely going to make my team better in the long run. There’s no doubt that I’m losing a bit of value at first base, but a lot of people aren’t aware of how good Billy Butler is, and will be for quite a while. Throw in the fact I got a dominant starting pitcher in Price, I felt like there was no way I could turn this offer down.
Sure, Butler probably won’t hit as many home runs, or have as many RBIs as Votto, but the falloff isn’t that significant. I was already convinced my roster wasn’t going to be dominant in those categories, which I still will be competitive in, especially since no player on my team hit less than 10 home runs (David Freese in 333 at bats) last year.
I even did some number crunching, and if swap Votto’s offensive numbers with that of Billy Butler (and using all the 2011 statistics of all 14 of my position players), it comes out to: .282 batting average, 72 runs, 19 home runs, and 71 RBIs. If I can get a similar offensive production from all the players in 2012, I’ll consider myself to be in fine shape. Not to mention the fact having pitchers that include: Roy Halladay, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, David Price, Max Scherzer, Tim Hudson and Jose Valverde certainly won’t hurt much, either.
Sorry Votto, but you got to go.
Earlier today, I completed my first ever fantasy baseball auction draft for a 12 team head to head league. I heavily suggest you and your friends giving it a try sometime, as it adds a fun and competitive dynamic not found in a traditional draft. The concept is quite simple, even for first time participants. You start out with a certain amount of “dollars” to spend on your team (for us, it was 260 dollars). Instead of going in order to draft players, you rotate nominating players, in which all teams have the option of bidding on said player. The catch is you must be able to bid at least one dollar on every single player, and you cannot spend over your bankroll on your entire draft. This creates a challenge when you big top dollar on players early in the draft, but find yourself too low on funds to bid on players in the later rounds.
Here’s my team, and how much I bid on each player.
Catcher: Alex Avila-$13
First baseman: Joey Votto-$47
Second baseman: Ryan Raburn-$1
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy-$6
Third baseman: Placido Polanco-$5
Outfield: Curtis Granderson-$32
Outfield: Brennan Boesch-$7
Outfield: Drew Stubbs-$7
Utility: Corey Hart-$7
Utility: Carlos Beltran-$5
Bench: Jhonny Peralta-$1
Bench: Yadier Molina-$3
Bench: David Freese-$4
Bench: Neil Walker-$3
Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay-$42
Starting pitcher: Doug Fister-$15
Relief pitcher: Jose Valverde-$14
Relief pitcher: Phil Coke-$3
Pitcher: Rick Porcello-$6
Pitcher: Mat Latos-$12
Pitcher: Ryan Madson-$6
Bench: Max Scherzer-$4
Bench: Tim Hudson-$2
Overall, I really feel like my team is very solid all around, with enough star players to make a difference. My strategy going into the draft was to not spend more than 20 percent of my budget on any one player, and to not have more than three people combine to cost more than 60 percent of salary cap. I was able to get my three most expensive players for 46.5% of my budget. By doing this, I had plenty of money available in the later parts of the auction to outbid people who spent foolishly early on. If you do find yourself in an auction draft, I suggest using a similar strategy, as I thought it worked quite well.