Thursday, April 10, 2008

How's Your Fantasy Team Looking?

I've played several different types of fantasy baseball in the past, but this year is the first year that I've played in a regular 5x5 rotisserie league. I must admit up front that my team is in last place, but I think I'm set to make some waves as the season progresses. I stacked my team with starting pitching and plenty of young prospects (of course), and I've kept a very close eye on other young players I may want to claim in the near future.

Unfortunately, about halfway through my league's draft, my dog Biscuit escaped from the backyard and was hit by a car, breaking both back legs. You can see in the x-rays where both femurs were broken just above the knee, and the left hip was dislocated as well.
I took him to the vet, who did an excellent job placing pins in Biscuit's broken femurs, and Biscuit is well on his way to a full recovery.
Much like Biscuit, my fantasy team needed some emergency attention over the first week of the season, but I think I've been able to make some nice moves to clean things up.

So far, here's what players from my team are doing:

  • Lastings Milledge -- I picked up Milledge simply because I felt he could hit for a decent average, pick up 20 home runs, and maybe swipe a few bags. I also thought he would have absolutely no competition to worry about and would be playing with a chip on his shoulder after leaving the Mets on such bad terms. Milledge has not disappointed and is currently hitting .316, with 1 home run, 5 RBI, and 6 runs scored. He hasn't stolen any bases yet, but I think he'll pick up about 15 this year.
  • Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera -- I really thought these 2 guys would come out blasting in Detroit, but the whole Tigers team has been a black hole of disappointment. Cabrera and Rodriguez are hitting a combined .145, with 1 home run, 3 RBI, and 6 runs scored. I expect a big turn-around soon, but they're both really dragging my team down right now.
  • Billy Butler -- I was hoping for a dinger or 2 from Butler by now, but with an average of .406 I really can't complain much. My biggest concern is that the Royals will fizzle out in the next month and Butler's RBI and run totals will evaporate into the thin Kansas air.
  • Daric Barton -- Barton looked really good this spring, but he's faced some really tough pitching so far this year, and his average and power numbers have taken a beating. He still has an 8/10 BB/SO ratio, which is incredible for a hitter his age, but his fantasy production has been limited to 7 runs scored and 1 RBI. I expect his power and average to pick up and the season progresses.
  • Carlos Gomez, Jeff Keppinger, and Johnny Cueto -- I claimed all 3 of these guys after about a week and so far they've done well for me. I think Gomez could top 50 stolen bases this year and hit about .280, while Keppinger is hitting .382, with 7 runs, 2 home runs, and 7 RBI. I had Cueto on my radar, but didn't expect him to be so effective so soon. There's no way he'll reproduce his 10 K, 1 hit debut performance on a frequent basis, but I think he'll be good for 5 to 7 K's a start, and could win 12 or 13 games. He also hasn't walked anyone in 18 innings, so I think he's found a nice groove and should be a solid starter for the next few months.
One big complaint I have with rotisserie league fantasy baseball is that it is so antiquated. Instead of measuring on-base percentage and slugging, I'm stuck with average (which doesn't take into account Miguel Cabrera's .300 on-base percentage, or Daric Barton's .366 on-base percentage). Rotisserie also gives equal weight to steals and home runs, which doesn't really make much sense. Actually, in my league stolen bases have more weight than home runs, because the team with the most stolen bases has 15, while the team with the most home runs has 22. I'm also disappointed that a pitcher's ground ball percentage gets no love.

Anyways, that's my fantasy team highlights and lowlights. Hopefully some of my key guys like Cabrera will pick it up soon, and then maybe I can scratch and claw my way back into contention. How's your team looking?

-Adam G.

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