Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cabrera ’

Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Baseball 2012 Recap: First Basemen

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw and Analyst Alex Burwasser recap the top five first basemen this fantasy season as well as the top three busts.

TOP FIVE PERFORMERS

5. Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels

In an offseason move that shocked many, Albert Pujols decided to leave St. Louis, his home for a decade where he won two championships, for the bright lights of Los Angeles in Anaheim. To the delight of jilted Cardinals fans, Pujols got off to a rough start for the Angels, even hearing some cat calls in his home park, but he more than made up for it over his final 105 games where he hit .319 with 26 home runs and 86 RBI. You can make a case that he may not be as dominant a hitter as he once was but he still put up his typical 30-HR, 100-RBI season, which always has fantasy value.

4. Billy Butler, 1B, Royals

Billy Butler has always been a very productive hitter throughout his career for the Royals but has consistently flown under the radar because he plays in relative obscurity in Kansas City. However, this year he was the subject of a national controversy when Robinson Cano decided not to pick him for the Home Run Derby in front of his home fans at Kauffman Stadium. Butler took the high road and did the talking with his bat the rest of the year when he finished with 29 home runs and 106 RBI, both career highs, all while hitting above .300 at .313.

3. Prince Fielder, 1B, Tigers

Much like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder moved from the top of the NL Central to the opposite league in the offseason. Fielder signed a massive nine-year contract which left many worrying about the long-term injury risk of signing a man of his size, but his performance in the first year of that deal quieted all the critics when he blasted 30 home runs and knocked in 108 RBI leading the Tigers to their second consecutive AL Central crown. Though Prince has had more powerful years, he hit over .300 for the first time in his career, checking in at a very impressive .313 on the season.

2. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B, Jays

Encarnacion had been a solid player for Toronto since acquiring him from the Reds in 2009, putting up seasons of 20 home runs and a little more than 50 RBI on average in 2010 and 2011. This season, however, he completely obliterated those numbers with 42 home runs and 110 RBI, more in each category than the previous two years combined. In addition, Encarnacion also improved in other categories, setting career highs in stolen bases (13) and walks (84). What makes this rapid improvement all the more impressive is that he did it without Jose Bautista in the lineup who missed about half the year injured. Next year could be very intriguing for the Jays with those two bats healthy and producing in the middle of that lineup.

1. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, Tigers

There really is not much else you can say about the year Miguel Cabrera had for the American League champion Tigers. He was the first Triple Crown winner since 1967 (led the AL in batting average, home runs and RBI) and he did it before the age of 30! In fact, Miguel Cabrera leads all active major leaguers under the age of 30 in hits (1802), home runs (321), and RBI (1123). We are not sure Cabrera is on his way to his second championship ring this year, but it sure looks like he will be on his way to Cooperstown one day.

TOP THREE BUSTS

3. Mark Teixiera, 1B, Yankees

Every year in his career besides his rookie campaign in 2003, Mark Teixiera has had at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI, but not in 2012 when he hit only 24 home runs and knocked in only 84 RBI. Even more alarming for Teixiera is that he has seen his normally stellar batting average drop season after season. A perennial .280, and some years .300, hitter has not reached those numbers since 2009 when he hit .292. The last three seasons he has not hit above .256 including this year when he hit .251 and had a dreadful on-base percentage of .332. For the Yankees, he provides a lot of value with his defense at first base, but for fantasy owners, his value seems to be slipping fast.

2. Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Pirates

At the beginning of the year, many picked the Marlins and their revamped team with the acquisitions of Jose Reyes and Heath Bell among others to possibly win the NL East. Gaby Sanchez was one of the players set to contribute in the middle of that lineup, but much like the entire team, he was a gigantic disappointment. After the first 55 games of the season while hitting just above the Mendoza line at .202, Sanchez was sent down to the minors and subsequently traded to Pittsburgh. Though he fared better for the Pirates than for the Marlins, he still finished the year with a .217 average and only seven home runs, a huge dropoff from back-to-back 19 home run seasons in 2010 and 2011.

1. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals

During Spring Training, there was a lot of buzz around the Royals that they may be the team on the rise given their farm system and dearth of young talent. One of the centerpieces of this renewed hope was Eric Hosmer, and after his rookie campaign in 2011, it was easy to believe given that he hit .293 with 19 HR and 78 RBI in only 128 games. Much like his team, Hosmer severely underperformed his expectations this year hitting .232 in his first full season in the majors with less home runs (14) and less RBI (60). You would hope that this is just your classic sophomore slump for the third overall pick in the 2008 draft and 2013 is a year he can replicate or even outperform his 2011 numbers.

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Bloomberg Sports Ballpark Figures: World Series Preview

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria preview this year’s edition of the Fall Classic between the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants.

 

TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

 

Buster Posey, C, Giants

The clear frontrunner for the NL MVP this season has gotten off to a slow start in the playoffs hitting only .178 so far in 12 games. That being said, Posey did have perhaps the biggest hit of the year for the Giants when he took Mat Latos deep for a Grand Slam in the winner-take-all Game 5 in Cincinnati. San Francisco will be looking for more of that clutch hitting against Detroit in this series.

 

Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Tigers

For Miguel Cabrera, earning the first Triple Crown since 1967, and most likely an AL MVP award, was just not enough. He has now led his team to the Fall Classic as well. After hitting 44 home runs in the regular season, he has only hit one in nine games so far in the postseason, but that could change rather quickly given his prodigious power. Cabrera is back in the World Series for the first time since his rookie season in 2003 with the Marlins, and he is trying to add to his tremendous individual year with the highest team honor, a World Series ring.

 

OFFENSIVE SLEEPERS

 

Marco Scutaro, 2B, Giants

Scutaro has to be at the top of the list of best midseason acquisitions this year when he came from Colorado to San Francisco in late July. He was hitting .272 while he was with the Rockies, but he started out hot with the Giants and never cooled down, hitting .362 over the final 61 games of the season. It seems he is even hotter now heading into the World Series after a NLCS that saw him hit .500 (14 for 28) over the seven-game series against St. Louis, earning him MVP honors.

 

Delmon Young, DH, Tigers

It sure seems like Delmon Young enjoys playing in October. In the last two postseasons for Detroit, a total of 18 games, Young has seven home runs, which is a franchise record. Coming up as a prospect in the Tampa Bay system, Young was considered a five-tool player, but that notion is long gone since he has been the Tigers DH all season. However, it does appear that Young will need to channel his minor league days when he plays left field for the Tigers when they are in an NL ballpark in at least Games 1 and 2.

 

PITCHING STAFFS

 

Detroit

By only allowing two runs in their four starts, the only adjective that you could use to describe the starting pitchers for the Tigers against the Yankees in the ALCS was dominant. It will obviously be tough to keep that up against a hot hitting team in the Giants, but you would not put it past the rotation of Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, who all had great numbers all season. The Giants will most likely try to get to the Tigers bullpen where they have struggled, most notably their closer Jose Valverde, who was replaced by Phil Coke after a blown save in Game 1 of the ALCS.

 

San Francisco

The starting pitching for the Giants was supposed to be their strength heading into the postseason, but it has been the offense and bullpen that has carried them through to this point. Madison Bumgarner, a 16-game winner this year, really struggled in his two postseason starts and has since been sent to the bullpen. On the other side of the coin, Barry Zito, has been a pleasant surprise for the Giants, last seen pitching 7 2/3 shutout innings with Giants facing elimination in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. That being said, the goal for the Giants is clear. They want to get the game to their dominant bullpen for a chance to lock down four more wins.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com

Ballpark Figures All-Star Interviews: Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the best teams in baseball right now and checks in with some of their top players at the All-Star Game.

Coming into the season it seemed like everyone was high on the Angels and Tigers, two of the more active teams in the off-season.  It turns out that the Yankees are the best in baseball and the Nationals are not far behind.

The All-Star break provided a chance to check in with some of the top players from contending teams, and one player we got to chat with was Ian Kinsler, the 42nd-best fantasy player accoring to Bloomberg Sports with 65 runs, 10 home runs and 15 steals. He was one of eight All-Stars from the Rangers, a franchise that has made it to back-to-back World Series.

“It was a good first half,” Kinsler said. “I think as a team we played well. We went through a lot more ups and downs than we wanted to but we played well and we’re in first place right now. And we have eight guys here at the All-Star Game, so we’re happy.”

Another team expected to contend for the title is the Detroit Tigers. Prince Fielder was the major off-season acquisition, but this is Miguel Cabrera’s team. Cabrera is enjoying an MVP-caliber season and right now ranks as the seventh-best fantasy player. He made it clear that the start to the second half will be big.

“We feel okay, you know. We want to feel more comfortable at the end of the season, like win the division, get into first place,” Cabrera said. “I think we’re in good position. I think we’re feeling good right now. We want to start good in the second half, start to be more aggressive and win more games.”

Finally, the Angels are putting some heat on the Tigers. Jered Weaver has pitched like an ace and Albert Pujols has turned things around. While everyone is talking about the superstar rookie Mike Trout, it’s the second-year star Mark Trumbo who ranks as the top surprise. He’s batting .305 with 26 home runs and 65 RBI.

“It’s been really special,” Trumbo said. “The first month of the season is probably forgettable. We were out there competing, just the results weren’t coming in. Sometimes that happens. But since then we’ve been rolling pretty well. People are playing to their capabilities and we’ve had a lot more wins to show for it.”

The Tigers, Angels and Rangers were supposed to be the teams competing for an AL pennant this season and so far they have. If the season ended today, all three would advance to the postseason thanks to the multiple Wild Card spots.  However, there is still a lot of baseball to play and several surprise teams are still out there, including the A’s, White Sox and Indians.  A big move at the trade deadline or even a key promotion could make the difference.

For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com. 

Bloomberg Sports American League Fantasy All-Star Team

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss whether or not the fans’ selections for the American League All-Star team were right and who should be starting the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10.

 

Catcher

Mike Napoli of the Rangers was the fan choice, but White Sox backstop A.J. Pierzynski should be starting in the All-Star Game. Pierzynski is not one of the more popular players in baseball and was actually expected to lose his job coming into this season. However, he is hitting .285 this year with 14 home runs and 45 RBI.

 

First Base

Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays should be starting instead of Prince Fielder. Encarnacion has always had great potential but has been inconsistent in the past. This season, however, he is deserving of a starting spot in Kansas City with a .291 average, 22 home runs, 55 RBI and eight stolen bases.

 

Second Base

The fans got this one right, voting in Robinson Cano of the Yankees. He’s batting .310 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI. Not only is he an All-Star but he is clearly the Yankees’ MVP.

 

Third Base

The fans chose Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, which is a good pick because he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Miguel Cabrera, however, is the best third baseman in the American League with a .314 average, 16 home runs and 62 RBI.

 

Shortstop

Derek Jeter is having a good season, but Elvis Andrus of the Rangers is the best shortstop in the American League right now. He is not a power hitter with just one home run but he’s batting .307 with 32 RBI and 16 stolen bases. The fans should have voted in Andrus instead of Jeter.

 

Outfield

Of the three outfielders voted in, only one was the right pick by the fans. It wasn’t a surprise that Josh Hamilton was selected, and he is the right choice. He’s on pace for more than 50 home runs and 140 RBI this season.

Angels rookie Mike Trout should be starting in place of Curtis Granderson. Trout is batting .339 with nine home runs, 33 RBI and 22 stolen bases, and keep in mind that he started this season in the minor leagues.

Adam Jones of the Orioles should have been selected in place of Jose Bautista. Jones has a .302 average, 19 home runs, 42 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He has a bright future and is likely one of the next big stars in baseball.

 

Designated Hitter

David Ortiz was the right pick by the fans. He continues to put up big numbers with a .302 average, 21 home runs and 54 RBI this season. This is Ortiz’s eighth All-Star selection.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Ballpark Figures: Hall of Fame Predictions Part Two

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss players who may be on the road to the Hall of Fame.

 

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre may be a surprise on this list for some people, but the longeivty of his career could land him in the Hall of Fame. The 33-year-old currently has 2,113 hits and 322 home runs. In order to get to 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, he would need to average 127 hits and 25 home runs per season until the age of 40. Beltre has a good chance to reach those benchmarks, as he plays in one of the most homer-friendly stadiums in baseball and could benefit from the designated hitter position in the American League down the road.

 

Paul Konerko is certainly a surprise when it comes to potential Hall of Fame candidacy. The White Sox first baseman, who is 36 years old, has 409 career home runs, and 500 homers is definitely in reach. He would need to average 22 home runs per year until he is 40 to get to 500. That would put him in a good position to get into the Hall of Fame, as he also won a World Series in 2005.

 

Andy Pettitte has 243 wins and 2,297 strikeouts in his career. He has the most postseason wins in history with 19, including four World Series wins. If he can get another seven wins and 203 K’s in the next two seasons, he would have 250 wins and 2,500 K’s, good for 47th and 31st all-time. That should give him a good shot at the Hall of Fame.

 

Roy Halladay has 192 career wins and 1,990 strikeouts. The 35-year-old would need 21 wins per season until he is 40 to reach 300 wins. Though he has dominated during certain parts of his career, he doesn’t have the longevity to get the numbers he needs to make it into the Hall of Fame, especially as he is battling a shoulder injury this season that should keep him out for six to eight weeks.

 

The odds are against Johan Santana making it into the Hall of Fame, as he is 33 years old and only has 137 wins and 1,956 strikeouts. He would need another five standout years to rack up the numbers to earn a spot in Cooperstown. He has had major surgery and it is uncertain how many more dominant years he has left in the tank.  

 

C.C. Sabathia is as durable as they come and he should definitely make the Hall of Fame. He has 185 wins and is already 58th all-time in strikeouts with 2,119. If he finishes this season with another 90 strikeouts and averages 170 K’s for the next four years, he will have 2,889 K’s by the age of 36, good for 17th all-time. He would be well on his way to 3,000 K’s, a feat which only 16 pitchers have accomplished, all of them in the Hall of Fame aside from ineligible players.

 

Adam Dunn is 32 years old and has 388 career home runs. He should get into the Hall of Fame if he can reach 500 homers, which is certainly in striking distance. He has 23 home runs in 289 plate appearances this season. If he can hit another 17 home runs this year and enter the 2013 season with 405 in his career, he would need to average just 19 home runs for the next five seasons to reach 500.

 

Miguel Cabrera‘s home-run total of 277 through age 28 was the 13th-highest of any player at that age. If he hits 19 more home runs this season, he will enter his age-30 season with 310 career homers. From there, it would take him less than six seasons to get to 500 at his career rate of 33 home runs per 162 games. If he keeps playing the way he is now, he’s a certain Hall of Famer.

 

Ryan Braun joins Willie Mays and Darryl Strawberry as the only players to hit at least 180 home runs and steal at least 100 bases in their first six seasons. If Braun can hit 20 more homers this season, he will be one of two players to hit at least 200 home runs and bat at least .310 in his first six seasons, joining Albert Pujols. Braun is definitely on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer but he may need to prove himself more than others after testing positive for PEDs, even though his suspension was overturned.

 

Matt Holliday‘s Hall of Fame candidacy is iffy right now. If the 32-year-old can keep his average above .300 and record 1,032 more hits and 136 more home runs, he will be one of only 12 players with a .300 average, at least 350 homers and at least 2,500 hits, joining eight Hall of Famers as well as Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. He is a very solid player, but not necessarily a player worthy of the Hall of Fame.

 

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Were they April Fools, Or Legitimate Stars?

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Here’s a look at the best fantasy players of April and whether they are sustaining their production or regressing to a less impressive level of play. 

 

Best April Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals

April Stats: 14 runs, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 2 SB, .316 AVG

Update: Since the change of month, Yadier Molina has only one RBI.  Molina hurt his left hand in a game on May 8 and hopes to return to the diamond.

Conclusion: One of the most well-rounded catchers in baseball, Molina will remain one of the game’s best at his position, though Orioles masked marvel Matt Wieters may overtake him.

 

Best April First Baseman: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

April Stats: 15 runs, 7 HR, 20 RBI, .298 AVG

Update: Four hits and 3 RBI against the A’s on Thursday got Cabrera back in rhythm.  His statistics have gone down a bit, but he remains amongst the best in baseball.

Conclusion: Cabrera is 100% legitimate and the best corner infielder in baseball right now. 

 

Best April Second Baseman: Ian Kinsler, Rangers

April Stats: 24 runs, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, .298 AVG

Update: Though riding a six-game hit streak, Kinsler’s batting average has declined and he does not have an extra base hit during that stretch. 

Conclusion: What makes Kinsler so valuable is the combination of power and speed.  If he can keep the batting average closer to .300, he’ll be in the MVP conversation. 

 

Best April 3rd Baseman: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

April Stats: 15 runs, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 4 SB, .322 AVG

Update: One of the biggest surprises in April, Encarnacion remains a valuable power bat in May, though the batting average has returned to normalcy. 

Conclusion: Encarnacion should finally swat 30-home runs, but it may come with a disappointing average. 

 

Best April Shortstop: Mike Aviles, Red Sox- 18 Runs, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB, .291 AVG

April Stats: 18 Runs, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB, .291 AVG

Update: Aviles has not been immune to the Red Sox struggles.  His power numbers have come back to earth and his average has been in free fall this May.

Conclusion: Aviles is a fine middle infielder, but he is not the best.  He over-performed in April. 

 

Best April Outfielder: Matt Kemp, Dodgers

April Stats: 24 runs, 12 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB, .417 AVG

Update: Kemp has slowed down a bit and has yet to go deep this month.  He remains one of the best hitters in baseball and likely MVP contender, but he is no longer running away with the honor.

Conclusion: He was bound to slow down as pitchers were bound to adapt.  Josh Hamilton is now challenging him for supremacy in the Big Leagues. 

 

Best April Starting pitcher: Jake Peavy, White Sox

April Stats: 3 Wins, 33 K, 1.67 ERA, 0.69 WHIP

Update: With two quality starts already this month, Peavy continues to dominate the fantasy scene.  He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last five starts and has only quality starts this season.  He is 1-0 in May so far. 

Conclusion: It’s been several years since we’ve seen this type of dominance from Peavy.  Let’s hope he can avoid the injury-bug for the first time since he’s left San Diego. 

 

Best April Reliever: Fernando Rodney, Rays

April Stats: 1 Win, 7 SV, 9 K, 0.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP

Update: Rodney has added a win and two saves to his record this month without surrendering a single run. 

Conclusion: This is looking pretty real and it all has to do with control.  Rodney boasts a 14:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  He’s the latest reliever to enjoy a renaissance after joining the Rays bullpen.

 

 

Fantasy Baseball Strategy 2012 Edition

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Every season a different strategy has to be utilized in fantasy baseball drafts in order to appropriately take into account positional depth and player rankings.  In general, a unique strategy can be utilized on a round-by-round basis.  Here’s a breakdown of Bloomberg Sports recommended Fantasy Baseball Strategy 2012 Edition:

 

In the early rounds, the focus is finding the best available player while also taking into account the disparity between the best player and the next best option at each position.  For example, there is a plateau in excellence for starting pitchers as Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw can all be claimed as the best of the bunch.  On the other hand, Troy Tulowitzki stands alone amongst fellow shortstops. 

 

If your fantasy league includes slugging percentage and on base percentage as statistical categories, there is no competition for Jose Bautista in the outfield while there are several stars at first base including Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Joey Votto.  The best strategy is to pick up the best talent at a position where there is a large enough disparity that when the next player is drafted from that position there is a decisive advantage in your favor. 

 

In the early middle rounds, it’s not a bad idea to scoop up a fine hurler who has the potential to rank amongst the best.  Players such as Jered Weaver, CC Sabathia, and Danny Haren as well as Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg make sense in these rounds.  These hurlers have the ability to dominate and enjoy a Cy Young caliber season thanks to their enormous upside. 

 

Having two high potential and consistent hurlers is more valuable than having just one dominant ace.  Therefore, by drafting where there is greater disparity in the early rounds with a focus on position players, then nabbing a couple of pitchers with sky high potential fantasy managers can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

 

In the later middle rounds you can draft a closer and many of them.  Closers are often overrated in fantasy leagues since they only contribute 70 innings, which means saves are all that matters.  Second-tier closers still get the job done and players such as Joe Nathan could end up as bargains.  In fact, rather than selecting a Jonathan Papelbon in the sixth or seventh round, you can grab a Gio Gonzalez or a Drew Stubbs, someone who will have a much greater impact on your fantasy team. 

 

Then five rounds later go ahead and draft three closers in a row: Sergio Santos, Jason Motte, and Frank Francisco.  Plus, usually about 10 closers become available on the waiver wire each season.  In fact, all three of the pitchers just mentioned did not start the season as closers for their respective teams last season. 

 

Finally, in the later rounds, it’s not a bad idea to focus on young talents with great potential as well as players with multiple position eligibility.  This allows you to pick up some big time prospects while also enjoying depth.  Consider top prospects such as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.  There is no telling if the precocious sluggers will develop into stars as soon as this season. 

 

On the other hand, drafting veteran players such as Ryan Raburn and Daniel Murphy is also a key strategy in the later rounds since they cover multiple positions, providing depth to your fantasy teams.  This way if a player on your team gets injured, a single bench player can fill multiple holes. 

 

For more fantasy insight turn to BloombergSports.com.

Bloomberg Sports Top-Five 2012 MLB Home Run Projections

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the top five players that Bloomberg Sports projects to lead the Majors in home runs this season.

On that short list includes recent Tigers acquisition Price Fielder, who will still have plenty of support in his lineup, this time with perennial MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera providing the big bat.  BloombergSports.com projects 35 home runs and 111 RBI from the newly acquired slugger. 

Next, we see young slugger Mike Stanton approaching the 40-home run club with the Miami Marlins. He will also have the benefit of Jose Reyes leading off. In total, expect 39 round-trippers and 112 RBI from the 22-year-old slugger. 

Bloomberg Sports projects a bounce back from Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds. The free-swinging Orioles third baseman is projected to offer a low average but plenty of power.  The only threat to his output is the possibility of spending time on the pine if his batting average creeps below the Mendoza line. 

Second on the list is Blue Jays star right-fielder Jose Bautista. One of the elite hitters over the last two seasons, Bautista should regress in batting average, but the power is real and 41 home runs and 115 RBI is a realistic total in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. 

Finally, even with a move to Anaheim, Albert Pujols should be just fine as we project him to lead the Majors in home runs. In fact, Pujols is expected to improve on last year’s average and 41 home runs and 124 RBI explain why he’s usually considered the best player in baseball. 

For more fantasy insight visit BloombergSports.com.

Are They Hall of Famers? Part 2: Helton, Damon, Ortiz, Reyes, Crawford, Cabrera, Verlander, and Sabathia

Are They Hall of Famers?

Part 2

Johnny Damon- Labeled clutch, a winner, and one of the top leadoff hitters of his generation, it is surprising to learn that Johnny Damon has only made two All-Star appearances over his 17-year career.  That tells us that Damon was never the dominant left-fielder of his generation, and will likely put an end to his bid for a spot in the Hall of Fame.  However, the door is not closed yet.

 

Damon is just 357 hits shy of 3,000 for his career and he does not appear to be slowing down that much either.  Other personal milestones that will shortly be reached are 1600 hits and 400 steals.  If Damon can hand around for another three seasons, his longevity as well as his World Series heroics may result in a Hall of Fame plaque.

 

Todd Helton- A .324 career average screams Hall of Fame worthy.  However, for the first time Hall of Fame voters will have to take into account the Coors Field impact.  Helton is a .355 career hitter at home compared to just .292 on the road.  Also, when it comes to power 209 home runs were swatted at home, compared to 133 on the road.

 

So Helton is a dominant first baseman when playing at home, but more of a Mark Grace type hitter when on the road.  Considering he failed to reach any of the common Hall of Fame milestones such as 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, I do not see Helton as a Hall of Famer.

 

David Ortiz- As a long-time designated hitter, David Ortiz would need at least 500 home runs in order to gain admission to the Hall of Fame.  Considering he is currently 134 home runs shy of that total and has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, Ortiz will likely have to settle as a Red Sox legend, but not a Hall of Famer.

 

On the Path:

 

Roy Halladay- The dominant pitcher of his era, Halladay has won two Cy Young awards and won 20 or more games on three occasions.  With 178 wins compared to just 89 losses, Halladay will probably need just another season or two of dominance to win over the Hall of Fame voters.

 

CC Sabathia- A very durable ace for the Yankees, Sabathia has the best chance of 300 wins with 165 already under his belt.  He will need another four or five 15-18 win seasons to guarantee a spot in the Hall of Fame.

 

Justin Verlander- So far so good for this young hurler.  Verlander has been durable and dominant.  He has put together a couple of no-hitters, won an AL Rookie of the Year, and made three All-Star teams.  The problem with Verlander is that he is so young, so he’ll need to stay healthy and effective for another 6-8 years.

 

Carl Crawford- A move to Boston should only help his chances.  Crawford has a Gold Glove, four All-Star appearances, more than 1500 hits and 400 steals, which is incredible for someone just 29 years old.  As long as he stays healthy, Crawford has every chance of making the Hall of Fame as one of the most consistent hitters of his generation.

 

Jose Reyes- Despite all of the injuries zapping Jose Reyes over the years, the 28-year old shortstop compares well to Carl Crawford.  He has made three All-Star games and will have every chance of making many more.

 

If he can hit around .300 for a good five to six years while hitting at the top of the lineup with 100-plus runs and 40-plus steals, Reyes will boast some very impressive numbers by the time he reaches his mid-30s.  It’s a gamble on his durability, but I see Reyes making the Hall of Fame.

 

Miguel Cabrera- Though he has yet to win an MVP, Miguel Cabrera has been a dominant player through his first eight seasons.  He will need at least four or five more in order to be considered for the Hall of Fame, but the good news is that at just 28-years old, Cabrera could end up playing another ten seasons assuming he stays healthy.

 

 

Miguel Cabrera Isn’t A Safe Fantasy Pick

By Eriq Gardner //
Miguel Cabrera is, without a doubt, one of the biggest talents in the game today. Among the players throughout baseball history listed by Baseball Reference as being similar through the age of 27 is Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, and Albert Pujols. But this could be the year to pass on putting Cabrera on a fantasy roster.
It’s not only the fact that Cabrera was arrested for DUI the other night, which is certainly concerning in and of itself, and holds legal ramifications that could interfere with both his schedule and focus for the upcoming season. Cabrera held significant risk even before this tragic week.
So far in most drafts, Cabrera is being taken with the third overall pick, which represents the highest that Cabrera has ever been taken in fantasy drafts throughout his career. Cabrera has done great things in his eight seasons in the major leagues, but plays first-base — always a deep position where more is expected.
Thanks to his finest season yet in 2010, where he hit 38 HRs, drove in 126 runs, and hit .328, Cabrera made that jump in the eyes of the draft community. But to justify being taken with the third overall pick, a first baseman like Cabrera will need to repeat such specialness from a season ago.
Here’s why it might not be in the cards. First, let’s put aside his legal troubles for a moment.
Consider his power. Cabrera’s typical season is 33 or 34 HRs, and while he’s still young enough that 38 HRs comes as no surprise, it’s a better bet that he’ll regress slightly. His HR/FB% last year was 19.8%, above his career mark at 18.3%, and while he did more by hitting the ball in the air in higher frequency rather than on the ground, normal regression to career achievements would seem to yield a HR total closer to 33 than 40.
Consider his average. His .328 average represented the second best mark of his career — his best since 2006 — and while he has a long track record of overachieving the standard “Batting Average on Balls in Play” (BABIP) of about .300, is it realistic to expect another .336 BABIP like the one he posted last year from a man whose weight tends to be on the slightly high side and isn’t really that fast? 
His xBABIP, a measure of what his expected BABIP should have been in 2010 based on other statistics like home runs, strikeouts, line drive percentage, points to .312, meaning we should expect to see some regression there too.
A few fewer home runs, a slightly lower batting average, and probably less RBIs and runs too…which starts to raise the question of whether Miguel Cabrera is really going to be much better than the other elite 1B this season including Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. Based on the projections we’ve seen, the difference between Cabrera, Votto, and Gonzalez has always been a tad overstated — even before this week’s bad news. See my piece on Adrian Gonzalez in December as an example.
Now let’s factor in the DUI arrest. 
Regardless of the projections, the case for taking Cabrera first among the group could easily have been made on the assumption that he was the safest of the group. Votto has only one full elite season on his belt; Gonzalez is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. 
But now? Cabrera could miss some time to put his legal troubles to bed. He could lose focus. He could be battling alcohol again, which has reportedly caused him problems in the past. Doesn’t mean any of these things will necessarily come to pass, but suddenly Votto’s lack of track record and Gonzalez’ minor injury concern don’t jump out as being any more risky at the moment. And based on news yet to come, it’s quite possible that Cabrera represents the biggest risk of the bunch.
For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.