Results tagged ‘ Yoenis Cespedes ’
Every year there seems to be a preseason frontrunner to win the AL Rookie of the Year for , and this year is no exception. A lot of people predicted that the award would go to Jesus Montero, Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes or even Mike Trout. However, there’s someone else that you should be watching closely.
Drew Smyly came out relative obscurity (unless you’re a baseball nerd like myself) to having himself a phenomenal year. I don’t want to over hype anything he’s done so far, but the numbers just don’t lie.
In four starts with the Tigers, Smyly is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA. What’s more impressive, is the fact that two of his starts have come against arguably the best two teams in the American League.
His last start was in Yankee Stadium where he pitched six innings while allowing only two hits and one run en route to earning his first Major League win. In the start before that, he held the Rangers to just one run in six innings, only to get a no decision.
As a Detroit fan, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with what I’ve seen so far, and it’s a shame that he hasn’t gotten the recognition that he deserves. I’m not worried, because if he keeps like pitching like this, he’ll have an excellent chance of winning the AL Rookie of the Year.
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.
For a lot of reasons, 2012 is going to be a very interesting year in Major League Baseball. If you’re looking for stories, or things to look for, there’s no shortage of subjects. Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to most.
Are the Miami Marlins for real? Sure, they got a new stadium, and spent a lot of money to bring in players like Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. They traded for Carlos Zambrano, and even convinced Hanley Ramirez to play third base. Oh, did I forget to mention they had to trade for their head coach, the outspoken Ozzie Guillen. The question is will the Marlins be competing for a playoff spot in 2012, or are the Phillies, Braves and Nationals going to be too much for them to handle.
Is Yoenis Cespedes going to live up to the hype? I doubt any videos posted of Cespedes will create as big of a buzz as his now famous showcase video, but there’s plenty of reason for Oakland fans to be excited about the biggest Cuban import since…well, I’m not sure. There’s a lot of critics who felt that Oakland overpaid for an unproven talent, but time will tell if Billy Beane chose wisely.
Is Yu worth the money? The Texas Rangers spent a ton of money to bring Yu Darvish to Major League Baseball, and has generated a ton of publicity for doing so. Depending who you talk to, they either think Darvish will be another bust from Japan, or he’ll be competing for the AL Cy Young this year. I’m not sold on all the hype, but refuse to hold any concrete judgment until I see him face Major League hitters.
Like father, like son. Detroit fans were absolutely shocked when it was announced that Prince Fielder had agreed to a nine-year deal worth over 200 million dollars. Fielder has big shoes to fill, playing for a city that loved his father dearly when he was a member of the Tigers back during the early to mid 90s. Bringing in Fielder means that Miguel Cabrera will now be playing third base for Detroit, and even though there’s concerns about what the Tigers defense will look like, there’s no doubt that they’ll have one of the best lineups in baseball.
There’s so many other things, like will the Red Sox rebound from a tumultuous 2011? Will Adam Dunn rebound to be the hitter Chicago thought he would be? Will Jamie Moyer pitch until he’s 60? Okay, maybe not so much the last one, but there’s definitely a lot of interesting things happening in Major League Baseball this year. What are you looking forward to most?
My alarm clock is set, I bought a fresh pack of big league chew, and I’m so ready for opening day. No, it’s not exactly fun to get up at 5:30 in the morning on my day off, but I can’t help it, baseball is back!
I’m very excited to see the kind of reception Ichiro Suzuki gets when his name is announced, and it’s always interesting to see the different cultural differences in baseball around the world. Here’s a fun fact for you, players do not spit tobacco or sunflower seeds on a baseball field, as it’s basically considered sacred ground.
I really don’t have too much of a vested interest in the game, although I do hope for a few hits from Ichiro (for both his homecoming, as well as my fantasy team), and I’m also very intrigued to watch Yoenis Cespedes make his Major League debut.
It should be fun, and it’s going to be early, but it’s baseball…so you know I’ll be watching.
So yesterday I had my first fantasy baseball draft of the year. Today, I’m going to break down the rationale behind all my selections, and try to give you a little incite as to what I think you should do if you find yourself doing a fantasy baseball draft without a strategy. The draft was for a 25 man roster, so be warned that this entry will be longer than usual.
For the record, this was for a ten person, rotisserie scoring league.
1st round (5th pick): Jose Bautista- “Joey Bats” has been an absolute monster the last two years, and has proven to not just be a one-season wonder. A nice added value in Bautista is the fact that most leagues have him listed at multiple positions, which makes him a well above average third baseman, and a solid outfielder, too.
2nd round (16th overall): Prince Fielder- Most fantasy experts have Fielder ranked in the top 20, so I thought it was an okay selection with the 16th pick. I do not believe this pick has anywhere near the top value, but there’s no reason to expect that Fielder won’t be a top-five offensive first baseman for the Tigers. A bigger home field should limit his home run numbers a bit, but Comerica is quite forgiving for left-handed power hitters. Look at Fielder to hit doubles in the right-centerfield gap all year long.
3rd round (25th overall): Jered Weaver- With Verlander, Kershaw and Halladay all off the board, I thought it was necessary to get myself an ace for my team before the options got too thin. The Angels should be significantly improved this year, so if Weaver can have an average year for his standards, expect his wins to be up a bit compared to 2011.
4th round (36th overall): Mike Napoli- I admit this was one of the tougher selections I made in the draft, but there’s so few quality offensive catchers, that I felt like it gave me a chance to secure an edge in comparison to other teams from that position. I expect most of Napoli’s number’s to go down a bit, but he should be much more productive at the plate in comparison to the majority of catchers in baseball.
5th round (45th overall): David Price- I’d categorize this as one of the many steals I had in the draft. Price should be dominant once again in Tampa, and to pick him at 45th in the draft is slightly below where he was projected in most leagues to get picked. I wasn’t necessarily looking to add a starting pitcher with this pick, but didn’t know how to pass Price up.
6th round (56th overall): Brandon Phillips- Besides being a twit-a-holic, Phillips has been one of the most consistent second baseman the last few years. Take into consideration that he’s also in a contract year, and expected to sign quite a large deal, I don’t think it’s hard to envision him putting up solid numbers in 2012. It’s hard to not consider him a top five second baseman, so there’s excellent value in him at this point in any draft.
7th round (65th overall): Dee Gordon- I’d imagine that this is a name that not a lot of recreational baseball fans are familiar with, but you might want to capitalize on that. In just 56 games with the Dodgers in 2011, Gordon hit .306 with 24 stolen bases. If you’re in a league that counts stolen bases, Gordon may very well steal more bases than any other shortstop in baseball. Don’t expect him to hit over .300 for the season, but don’t let that be a deterrent.
8th round (76th overall): Carl Crawford- There’s a lot of fair-weather fans that think Crawford is going to be a complete bust again, but I just don’t think I can agree. Sure, Crawford should not be drafted in the top five rounds, but picking him up in the eight round has tremendous value. Due to an injury, Crawford will likely miss the first two weeks of the season, but I think he’s going to prove to baseball that he’s back to his usual self in 2012.
9th round (85th overall): Ichiro Suzuki- 2011 was not a good year for Ichiro, who put up a career low .272 batting average for Seattle. A lot of people in baseball believe that Ichrio’s career is far from over, and his talent level would certainly support that claim. Despite being 37 years old, Ichiro did still manage to steal 40 bases. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t think that Ichiro will get his batting average up to .300 and steal at least 35 bases this year.
10th round (96th overall): Michael Young- If you’re willing to pass up a guy who seems to get 200 hits every year, and is a lifetime .304 hitter in the tenth round, you should really just let your computer autodraft for you.
11th round (105th overall): Jose Valverde- Even as a Tigers fan, I don’t expect Valverde to go 49 for 49 again in save opportunities. With that being said, I do expect him to get plenty of saves for a team that should be able to easily win 90 or more games. I thought this was about the right time to start drafting a few relief pitchers, since they’re aren’t that many true quality relievers. I always prefer to get closers when drafting relief pitchers, and you should, too.
12th round (116th overall): Brennan Boesch- I know there’s going to be a lot of people who think this was an absurd pick in the 12th round, but I respectfully disagree for one main reason. When Boesch comes up to bat this year, take a look at who is on deck, and who is in the hole. No pitcher is going to want to walk Boesch to face Cabrera and Fielder with a runner on base, and I truly think he’ll be able to benefit greatly from it.
13th round (125th overall): Josh Johnson- I definitely gambled a bit on this one, but a healthy Josh Johnson is a dominant pitcher for what should be a very competitive team in Miami. I think the risk vs. reward definitely helps make this pick a pretty easy one.
14th round (136th overall): Doug Fister- “Mister” Fister will likely not be able to duplicate what he did after getting traded to Detroit last year, but odds are he will be a quality number two pitcher for a team that should win 90 games. You can never get enough wins from your starting pitchers in fantasy baseball, so there’s always extra value in drafting starting pitching from teams that are likely going to make it to the playoffs.
15th round (145th overall): Heath Bell- If your fantasy team awarded points to pitchers who can slide, Bell would be a first round pick. With that being said, he’s definitely a top-tier closer, and I was quite shocked that he was still on the board this late in the draft. Again, I like to draft pitchers from winning teams, and from everything I’ve seen and read, Bell seems like an easy guy to cheer for.
16th round (156th overall): Ryan Roberts- Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect from this pick. I liked the fact that he is listed at multiple positions in my league, and he seemed like a cool guy from my brief interactions with him in Arizona. If he can hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases for Arizona this year (which he could very well do), then I got excellent value for a late-round pick.
17th round (165th overall): Kyle Farnsworth- A bit of a wildcard for me, since he seems to always go up and down throughout his career. His raw stuff is amongst the best in baseball, and he should get plenty of save opportunities for Tampa Bay this year.
18th round (176th overall): Yadier Molina- It’s too bad that defensive abilities don’t count in fantasy baseball, since Molina is without a doubt one of the best catchers in Major League Baseball. His offensive numbers aren’t terrible, which makes him a quality backup in most fantasy leagues.
19th round (185th overall): Ryan Raburn- Despite not being an everyday player for the Tigers, Raburn should get enough playing time between second base and the outfield to hit 15 home runs and drive in 60 runs. It’s hard to ask for much more than that from a bench player in any league.
20th round (196th overall): Jesus Montero- No clue how he fell this far in the draft, but I like having a guy on my team who may very well end up winning the Rookie of the Year award in the American League on my team. Getting him in the 20th round is an absolute bargain for a guy who is going to be a quality hitter for many years to come.
21st round (205th overall): Emilio Bonifacio- In 2011, Bonifacio hit .296 and stole 40 bases. I’d imagine that both of those numbers are very likely to go down in 2012, but he definitely gives you great value and depth as a bench player.
22nd round (216th overall): Delmon Young- Delmon does one thing well, and that’s hit. I’m expecting him to get an opportunity to drive in 100 years for Detroit this year, and being a contract year for him, one would think he’s going to do everything he can to showcase himself and prove he’s worth signing to a multi-year contract. I’d imagine you don’t normally see a guy who will drive in 80 or more runs after the 20th round, so take advantage if you can.
23rd round (225th overall): David Robertson- As much as I hate rooting for the Yankees, Robertson proved to be one of the best relievers in 2011. Take into consideration that he would likely be Mariano Rivera’s replacement if he gets injured, and this was an absolute no doubt pick.
24th round (236th overall): Yoenis Cespedes- This was a bit of a shot in the dark for me, but the Athletics seem convinced that he’s going to break camp with the team. If he can come close to any of the hype he built in the offseason, Cespedes will go about 100 picks earlier in 2013, making this a low risk, but great return selection for me.
25th round (245th overall): Chris Perez- For my final selection, I was debating between Bryce Harper and Perez, but ultimately selected Perez since I know he’ll be playing for the Indians the entire season. It’s nice to find a decent closer in the 25th round, but I’m still not sure about how much I like this pick. The nice thing about it is that usually your 25th rounder doesn’t mean a whole lot to your team, so if he starts off slowly this year, I can always drop him and hit the waiver wire.
That’s all for this draft breakdown. Hopefully this will help make your draft-day decisions a little bit easier for you.