Results tagged ‘ Julie Alexandria ’

Fantasy Panic, Struggling Stars: Hosmer, Gordon, and Goldschmidt, and Davis

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria break down four players who have struggled mightily over the first quarter of the season:

 

Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals

Last year a 1-4 performance was ho-hum for Royal phenom Eric Hosmer.  These days it’s cause for celebration as it lifts his batting average further above the Mendoza line.  The 6 home runs and 25 RBI aren’t all that bad for Hosmer, but with an average of .204, the former top three pick has been a major bust.  Also, his power and patience have declined this month, as he boasts just one home run and six walks in May.  I still do not suggest dropping Hosmer, because his struggles are not isolated.  The entire Royals roster has pretty much struggled, and once guys like Alex Gordon, Jeff Francouer, and other start hitting, there will be more runners on base and more fastballs in the middle of the plate.  I am buying low on Hosmer, and have confidence that he will turn this season around.

Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers

Similar to former Rangers prospect Julio Borbon a few years ago, Dee Gordon gained some fantasy interest with a strong finish to the season, most notably 24 steals in 56 games.  However the scouting report is now out on Gordon and you can’t steal bases if you can’t reach base.  With a .225 average and .269 on base percentage, Gordon is not getting on base nearly enough.  As a result, he is not scoring runs and not getting enough steals to warrant fantasy value.  I’m not buying on Gordon in fear that he is a bit more one dimensional than people thought.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks

Billed as the next prolific power hitter to thrive in the desert, Paul Goldschmidt was predicted to blast as many as 30 home runs this season Instead, he has just three round-trippers a quarter of the way through the season.  The lack of homers as well as the 19 RBI will be enough for some fantasy managers to drop the bopper.  Instead, they should focus on the 12 doubles, which projects to more than 40.  Again, you can’t blame Goldschmidt for the fact that his teammates are struggling to reach base.  Once those doubles turn to home runs, all will be forgiven.

Ike Davis, 1B, Mets

Finally, Ike Davis makes the list for all the wrong reasons.  To his credit, Davis has driven in six RBI over the last six games, but his average is well below the Mendoza line and it will take a heck of a hot streak to return to respectability.  The problem for Davis is that he is returning from nearly a full year off from baseball and his timing isn’t where it should be.  Furthermore, the opposition is exploiting Davis with junk, throwing him more off-speed itches than anyone else in baseball.  The Mets have decided to keep Davis at the Big League level, and this is largely because he remains a better threat than anyone else that they can put in the lineup.  I don’t know when, but I do think that Davis will eventually bounce back and end up with a batting average closer to .240 by season’s end.

Showing Their Age: Moyer, Helton, and Damon

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Showing Their Age:

 

Jamie Moyer, SP, Rockies

The spring training feel good story is not feeling very good right now for the Rockies.  Jamie Moyer is struggling at many things right now, as he has surrendered five or more runs in four of his last five starts.  The problems center on the fact that Moyer is simply too hittable, as the opposition is hitting .328 against him, the worst mark for any starter in the National League.  He is also walking batters twice as often as his 2010 season.  Furthermore, the fact that he has only pitched seven innings once in nine starts this season puts a toll on the Rockies bullpen.  With the team expected to compete this season, I have a hard time believing that there’s much patience in the front office.

 

Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies

A recent three-game hit streak lifted Todd Helton’s average to .231, but it’s still not enough to warrant an everyday gig for the Rockies legend.  Amongst the RBI leaders early in the season, Helton had a dry spell before bouncing back against the Reds this past weekend.  The plate discipline remains, but he clogs the bases without speed, and doesn’t have much power either.  Helton’s career performance may one day lead to his induction in the Hall of Fame, but for now, it’s retirement has to be creeping on his mind.

 

Johnny Damon, OF, Indians

The good news was that Johnny Damon finally went yard with his first home run of the season for the Indians.  The bad news is that he cannot escape reality and his batting average remains way too low at .158.  That’s now 76 at bats and Damon has just three extra base hits.  The 38-year-old has also shown some decent plate discipline, but he has yet to steal a base this season.  Truth is that the Indians can contend without Damon on the roster.  His leash is getting shorter by the day as he finds himself on the wrong side of the Mendoza line.

 

 

Aging Gracefully: Jeter, Big Pappi, Chipper, Ibanez, and Lowe

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

 

Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria discuss five veterans aging gracefully:

 

Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees

With a .342 average and five home runs, Derek Jeter has far exceeded expectations this season, as he is now surpassed 3,150 hits for his career.  Now it may be time to sell high on the Yankees legend.  Despite the early power showing, Jeter has just one extra base hit since May 6.  He is starting to look like the singles machine that boasted just a .370 slugging percentage in 2010.  Furthermore, the stolen bases are way down with just three swipes this season.  Jeter has been great so far, but there are some serious questions about the sustainability of this hot start from the 37-year-old shortstop.

 

David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox

Though he seems to be getting bitter with age, claiming he doesn’t get respect in Boston, David Ortiz is as dangerous as ever with the stick in his hand.  Ortiz is on pace for 40 home runs and 120 RBI while batting .305.  Ever since everyone predicted his decline in 2009, Ortiz has bounced back and is once again one of the best designated hitters in baseball.

 

Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves

Sadly this is the swan song for Chipper Jones, who will one day find himself inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  A bruised left calf had forced Jones out of the lineup for the time being, but when he is healthy this season, he has blasted five home runs with 24 RBI and a .307 average.  Jones is unlikely to have much more than 400 at bats this season, but if you are willing to change your roster on a daily basis, you can end up with an oldie, but goodie.

 

Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees

The Phillies thought Raul Ibanez was done after a less than stellar 2011 season.  The Yankees took an inexpensive gamble on the New York City native and so far the 39-year-old designated hitter has blasted nine home runs with 27 RBI.  Yankees Stadium seems perfect for the left-hander, as he already has seven home runs at home.  Additionally, the solid Yankees lineup has led to many run-producing opportunities and so far Ibanez has capitalized.

 

Derek Lowe, SP, Indians

It’s very rare for a pitcher to have success with more walks than strikeouts, but lo and behold, Derek Lowe is having a bounce back season with the Indians.  Lowe had allowed just seven runs over his last six starts before getting pummeled this weekend.  Even still, the ERA is a solid 3.25.  Again, the strikeouts are a concern, and it makes you wonder how long this could last.

 

Meet the New York Mets Young Stars On the Rise: Murphy, Davis, and Duda

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Host Julie Alexandria and Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw discuss the 2012 New York Mets, specifically the young players on the rise.

One player for fantasy managers to acquaint themselves with is Daniel Murphy.  The second baseman can help a fantasy team in many ways, specifically with depth due to his position eligibility.  In fact, Murphy played some first, second, and third base last season after struggling in the outfield in past seasons.

A top-10 hitter last season with a .320 average, Murphy has been working on driving the ball with a little more power this season.  Considering his maturation and natural growth, fantasy managers should look at Murphy as someone who can contribute a .290 average with 15 home runs and 5+ stolen bases.  There’s a good chance Murphy can end up playing better than Mets rival Chase Utley this season.

Next, there should be some fantasy excitement for the return of Ike Davis to first base for the Mets.  Davis looked like a legitimate slugger last season before enduring a season-ending ankle injury.  At 6’4 and a large frame, Davis already has great power, with 26 home runs through his first 652 at bats, but now with the fences drawn in there is even more reason to raise expectations this season.  In fact, Davis as a left-handed hitter, will be impacted the most by the fences being drawn in right-field this season.  Expect Davis to prove to be a better pickup than Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez.

Finally, a major sleeper this season, Lucas Duda could end up being the best homegrown slugger since Darryl Strawberry was wearing number 18 on a Mets jersey.  Duda has raised eyebrows in batting practice with his moon-shots.  After pulling or driving to center field all 10 home runs last season, Duda has already belted two home runs the opposite way this spring.

He’s a player that can belt 25-30 home runs with a respectable average.  What’s most impressive so far has been his plate discipline, which is giving hope to Mets fans that he can be the next big star in Flushing.

For more baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.

Miami Marlins 2012 Preview with Reyes and Ramirez

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Host Julie Alexandria and Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw visited Jupiter, Florida to preview the Miami Marlins 2012 season.

 

This is very much the start of a new era for the Marlins, as the team moves into a new state-of-the-art ballpark, changes it’s jerseys, as well as it logos and colors.  However, the greatest difference that will be felt on the field is the addition of Mets legend Jose Reyes to the top of the Marlins lineup.

 

The leadoff hitter plays a very important role in baseball as the table setter for a lineup.  Reyes is coming off a season in which he led the National League with a .337 average, while reaching base at a .384 OBP.  Despite missing 36 games (more than 20% of the season), he still racked up 101 runs.  That number should go even higher now that he joins a lineup batting in front of perennial MVP candidate Hanley Ramirez and several other rising sluggers.

 

There has been much controversy made in the media concerning the addition of Reyes to the Marlins and what this would mean for Ramirez.  However, the star shortstop transitioning to third had no such qualms when we asked him about the addition of Reyes: “It’s good, he brings a lot of energy to this team and every morning he is always smiling and that’s good.”  Ramirez then added, “I think we need that and obviously he’s a pretty good ballplayer and a pretty good person.”

 

In truth, the Reyes impact is felt more than just at shortstop.  By moving Ramirez to third base, he fills a void at a position that did not get much production last season.  Suddenly, the fish have one of the best left-infields in baseball while also enjoying a top leadoff hitter in the lineup.

 

Despite some frustration that the Mets did not make him an offer, Reyes is excited about his new team.  “It’s been unbelievable so far, everybody has welcomed me like I’m home here, and that’s made me feel very comfortable,” said the star shortstop.

 

With Reyes getting on base before Ramirez and slugger Mike Stanton, the Marlins should have one of the elite offenses in the Big Leagues, while the defense also gets an edge.  Now if Josh Johnson can stay healthy they will have a shot at surpassing the Phillies.  However, that is a big “if,” as Johnson has only once made 30 starts in a season.

 

For more Major League Baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.

2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Breakdown, Rounds 19-28

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Host Julie Alexandria is joined by Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw to break down an expert’s fantasy baseball draft. The draft, which included fantasy experts from CBS, Yahoo!, and ESPN was a 28-round draft that consisted of additional positions such as Middle Infielder, Corner Infielder, and five outfielder positions.  Additionally, the league includes more advanced statistics such as OBP and slugging rather than the typical batting average.

 

Here’s a look at the first 18 picks by Shaw:

1) Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

2) Roy Halladay, Phillies

3) Cliff Lee, Phillies

4) Eric Hosmer, Royals

5) Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

6) Adam Jones, Orioles

7) Howie Kendrick, Angels

8) Drew Stubbs, Reds

9) Derek Jeter, Yankees

10) Josh Johnson, Marlins

11) Adam Dunn, White Sox

12) Danny Espinosa, Nationals

13) Nick Markakis, Orioles

14) Salvador Perez, Royals

15) Sergio Santos, Blue Jays

16) Joe Nathan, Rangers

17) Chris Iannetta, Angels

18) Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

 

Let’s pick up in the 19th round, already with Sergio Santos and Joe Nathan taken within the past four rounds, I added yet another closer in new Mets hurler Frank Francisco.  It’s not that I see Francisco having much upside, but again the idea here is to merely win the saves category.  With three closers I am now in a decent position to do so since I am usually quick acting off the waiver wire in the regular season.

 

Next, in the 20th round, I drafted Bryce Harper.  Even though Harper will open the season in the minor Leagues, he is the exact type of high potential player to target in the later rounds of a fantasy baseball draft.

 

Additionally, in the late rounds you should target players with multiple position eligibility.  Again, the point of late round picks is that they are backups for your fantasy team.  A player like Ryan Raburn is an insurance policy at several positions.  Furthermore, he also has some real potential and if he can finally get off to a hot start, he can put together a great season with 25 home runs and a .280 average.

 

In the next round, I drafted Braves southpaw bullpen ace Jonny Venters.  Though he may not get many saves with Craig Kimbrel locked in at closer, Venters can certainly contribute in all other categories while picking up vulture wins.

 

In the 23rd round I added Andres Torres, who now plays with the Mets.  I was looking to simply add a versatile outfielder who can offer some steals, but the problem here is that Torres has not been healthy and his production has taken a major dive, particularly against southpaws.  He might end up getting dropped before the season even opens.

 

In round 24, I again made an investment in upside by drafting Mike Trout.  The Angels phenom was not ready for the Big Leagues last season, but 2012 may be the year his career takes off.  With Albert Pujols in the lineup there is a great opportunity for some serious run production.

 

Next, I brought in an extra arm for my starting rotation.  Edwin Jackson is durable and is a cinch for 10 wins every season.  I’m thinking that he may do a lot better than that this season.  Now a full-time National Leaguer in a pitcher-friendly stadium, Jackson has the ability to approach 200 strikeouts with respectable all-around numbers.

 

In the 26th round, I was pleased to see Gordon Beckham still available.  People have forgotten about his upside, but Beckham is a former top prospect with some power and speed who calls home to the middle infield in a hitter’s park.

 

Next, I picked up Blue Jays prospect Travis Snider.  The power is real, but the consistency is lacking, which explains why he will open the season in the Minor Leagues.  I’ll likely keep him stashed on my bench considering his upside.

 

Finally, in the last round of my fantasy draft I picked up A’s shortstop Cliff Pennington.  Even in the last round of the draft, this was not a wasted pick.  In fact, Pennington is one of the top shortstops in baseball when he escapes the Oakland Coliseum.  He is a player to consider platooning for his road games.

 

Here’s a look at my 2012 Experts League Fantasy Squad broken down by position:

 

C: Josh Thole, Mets

C: Chris Iannetta, Angels

1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals

2B: Howie Kendrick, Angels

SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees

3B: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

MI: Danny Espinosa, Nationals

CI: Adam Dunn, White Sox

OF: Adam Jones, Orioles

OF: Nick Markakis, Orioles

OF: Drew Stubbs, Reds

OF: Ryan Raburn, Tigers

OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

UT: Gordon Beckham, White Sox

Bench: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Cliff Pennington, Travis Snider, Andres Torres

DL: Salvador Perez, Royals

P: Roy Halladay, Phillies

P: Cliff Lee, Phillies

P: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

P: Josh Johnson, Marlins

P: Edwin Jackson, Nationals

P: Jonny Venters, Braves

P: Joe Nathan, Rangers

P: Sergio Santos, Blue Jays

P: Frank Francisco, Mets

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com

 

2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Breakdown, Rounds 10-18

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Host Julie Alexandria is joined by Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw to break down an expert’s fantasy baseball draft. The draft, which included fantasy experts from CBS, Yahoo!, and ESPN was a 28-round draft that consisted of additional positions such as Middle Infielder, Corner Infielder, and five outfielder positions.  Additionally, the league includes more advanced statistics such as OBP and slugging rather than the typical batting average.

 

Here’s a look at the first nine picks by Shaw:

1) Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

2) Roy Halladay, Phillies

3) Cliff Lee, Phillies

4) Eric Hosmer, Royals

5) Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

6) Adam Jones, Orioles

7) Howie Kendrick, Angels

8) Drew Stubbs, Reds

9) Derek Jeter, Yankees

 

Picking up with the 10th round pick, I drafted Josh Johnson, who similar to Stephen Strasburg has the ability to dominate on the hill, while also carrying serious health concerns.  Again, having both Halladay and Lee as durable aces on his staff allows for these high upside gambles.  The best case scenario would be incredible with Halladay, Lee, Strasburg, and Johnson all on the team. 

 

Speaking of gambles, in the 11th round I took a chance that Adam Dunn will bounce back from one of the worst all-time seasons in fantasy baseball.  Dunn has extra upside in this league as he is known for his high on base percentage as well as his slugging.  Immediately after the draft I even received two offers for Dunn.

 

In the 12th round I drafted Danny Espinosa.  There are concerns that he’s a free swinger who lacks consistency and will hit for a low average.  On the other hand, he has a great combination of power and speed for a middle infielder.  Plus, as a sophomore, it is rational to expect significant improvement this season. 

 

I opted for a steady option in the 13th round drafting Nick Markakis.  It is clear that his power will never materialize into 30-plus home runs, but he does reach base consistently and has some speed and pop too.  Considering all the risks I’ve taken, this is a pick I had

 

The 14th round was a disaster for me.  This league requires that we start two catchers and I thought Salvador Perez was a fine hitter with decent run production.  Alas, he is injured and is expected to miss the first few months of the season.  I will have to find an option off the waiver wire.  Josh Thole, though limited in power, may be the safe bet since he will start and does have a respectable OBP. 

 

I finally deployed by strategy to pick up closers in the later rounds with the selection of Sergio Santos.  The hard-thrower gets a ton of strikeouts and should pick up 30-plus saves in Toronto.  I followed with Joe Nathan in the following round.  He dominated late last season and should have plenty of save opportunities with the Rangers.

 

I picked up my second catcher in the following round with Chris Iannetta.  I see him as a potential Mike Napoli-type slugger who at best can slam 20 bombs with a .250 average.  He does offer a nice OBP, which is rare for a catcher.  Maybe he’ll even surprise me the way Napoli did last season on my fantasy team. 

 

I grabbed another power bat in the 18th round with Edwin Encarnacion.  He was tremendous in the second half of last season, seemingly changing his approach at the plate to become more of a patient hitter.  The Blue Jays likely won’t tolerate another one of his trademark slow starts, so hopefully, this is the year that he puts it all together. 

 

For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.

 

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