Friday, December 31, 2010

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball Outfielders Rankings

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball Outfielders Rankings

1. Carl Crawford
2. Carlos Gonzalez
3. Ryan Braun
4. Matt Holliday
5. Josh Hamilton
6. Matt Kemp
7. Andrew McCutchen
8. Nelson Cruz
9. Shin-Soo Choo
10. Jose Bautista
11. Ichiro Suzuki
12. Alex Rios
13. Andre Ethier
14. Hunter Pence
15. Justin Upton
16. Jayson Werth
17. Jay Bruce
18. Colby Rasmus
19. Jason Heyward
20. Mike Stanton
21. Jacoby Ellsbury
22. Grady Sizemore
23. Carlos Quentin
24. Nick Markakis
25. Corey Hart
26. Chris B. Young
27. Curtis Granderson
28. Adam Jones
29. Vernon Wells
30. Delmon Young
31. Torii Hunter
32. Jason Bay
33. Bobby Abreu
34. Austin Jackson
35. Brett Gardner
36. Juan Pierre
37. Carlos Lee
38. Nick Swisher
39. Travis Snider
40. Drew Stubbs
41. B.J. Upton
42. Shane Victorino
43. Carlos Beltran
44. Magglio Ordonez
45. Denard Span
46. Ben Zobrist
47. Ryan Ludwick
48. Michael Bourn
49. Jason Kubel
50. Jose Tabata

Bursting on the Scene: Newcomers ready to make a splash in your fantasy outfield...
Desmond Jennings - A hot spring could land Jennings a starting gig but I'd expect him to be shipped off to AAA first. I've seen one projection on a site giving this guy 48SB? Let's not get too crazy but yes, the talent and the ability is there. The Rays just signed Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez so this guy almost definitely starts out in the minors. When he does make it to the majors, he'll be an impact player and a fantasy stud for years. If you have room to grab and stash, go for it!
Dominic Brown - This guy is a monster in size (6'5" 200lbs) with the speed to go with it. May start out platooning but I can't see that lasting too long. If you're looking for one guy to invest in for the future, this is the guy!
Matt Joyce - Hit 10HR with 40RBI in 216AB. That's what you call production! Joyce is involved in an OF mix which includes Jennings, Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Ben Zobrist and B.J. Upton, so who knows where he plays. Joyce has solid power that you don't want to keep out of the lineup, is 26 years old, and with a fantastic opportunity to break out. I love Joyce as a last round sleeper to stash and to hit you 20 + HR over 400+ AB.
Lorenzo Cain - Young speedster who can hit for a decent BA to lead off in KC.
Peter Bourjos - Has quiet 20/20 sleeper potential if he gets a full chance to play. He'll strike out more than Drew Stubbs but he can play defense and should start the season in CF for the Angels.
Cameron Maybin - Traded to the Padres and should have a chance to play CF everyday. He won't rack up HR's but could be a nice source of BA, R, and SB's in the spacious Petco Field.
Michael Brantley - Another speedster who will hit at the top of a young Indians lineup. Could be a 30+SB guy with a solid BA. If you miss on Cain, go with Brantley.
Chris Carter (OAK) - This guy is another monster, but without the speed. Carter will be a 40HR guy at some point soon. The problem is, he's not great defensively and the A's also have Daric Barton at 1B already. On a positive, Barton lacks power which is where Carter can take over. On a negative, the A's signed Hideki Matsui to DH. Overall, all these question marks should allow you to draft Carter in the last round or for a buck at the auction. Stash him away and wait until he gets a full-time chance to hit.

Ready to BREAK OUT: Players ready to be considered...... ELITE...
Andrew McCutchen - Last year some of us predicted 15/30 and we came damn close. I expect about the same this year but with a slightly better BA and OBP and a few more HR. If he does that, or hits the 20+/30+ mark, he'll be considered a superstar. He's so close you can taste it!
Jay Bruce - Started off slow but came on in the second half. Right now Bruce is the ultimate hype machine as every magazine, website, analyst, and blogger is calling him their sleeper. Maybe there is something to that. I'll jump on the bandwagon because this guy can hit. He's a strikeout machine like his buddy Drew and needs to learn how to take a walk but with age comes experience and you should expect Bruce to take a huge leap forward in 2011.
Drew Stubbs - Who doesn't love Drew Stubbs? He's a roto god! Went 22HR/30SB in 514AB but it came at the cost of 168K's and a .255BA. Either way, its the HR/SB combo you want. This guy was stealing 2-3 bases in some games, hitting 2 HR a game at times. He's 6'4" 200lbs, he's fast and he can hit. While all those suckers are overdrafting Bruce, you can slide in halfway through the draft and sneak in Stubbs and be totally happy. Just know you'll have to draft some high BA players earlier but don't sleep on Stubbs. My advice.... pass on Bruce early and grab Stubbs at a better value. If he cuts down on the K's, his BA will go up and maybe he goes 30/30.....
Travis Snider - Snider is a special hitter, 22 years old, and the kind of hitter that only comes a long every once in a while. Last year he hit 14HR in 298 AB which means a full season could net you about 30HR! With the lineup he hits in and Jose Bautista behind him, Snider is set up for a monster year. His biggest issue is injuries and its a bit concerning that at age 22, he's been hurt so much already. Either way, he'll come cheap in the draft (after round 16 most likely) or for under $5 in the auction which both will prove to be great values!

BOOM or BUST:  The question marks....
Jose Bautista - 54HR in 2010!  Laughable! Who seen that coming? The Blue Jays did is you read any interviews from some of the players and coaches before the season actually. His power is legit but Cito Gaston definitely had him up there swinging for the fences. I don't think anyone sees 50+ again this year but 30+ shouldn't be a problem. I say BOOM here.
Ben Zobrist - Comes out of nowhere to hit 27HR in 2009 and then follows it up with 10HR in 2010. Zobrist was so hyped up by fantasy bloggers and websites last year it was sickening. There is still no way Zobrist hits towards those 2010 expectations but I do believe he falls somewhere in the middle of 2009 and 2010. Of course, that's what everyone else is currently saying too. I'm leaning more towards 15HR/20+SB/.265BA so I'm not too convinced 2010 was a fluke. You like the speed, the OBP and the position eligibility and that's where the value lies with Zobrist. Don't stretch here and therefore I'm going BUST.
Carlos Lee - This guy is fantasy mind-boggling. He his 24HR/89RBI in 605AB but with a .246BA?? What's even more interesting is that he only had 59 K's. Throw in the fact that he doesn't walk much and had a .291OBP in 2010 and you looking at a crappy season saved by 24 HR. Lee is still only 34, he makes contact but the low BA and OBP is puzzling. On a good note, he played 20 games at 1B last year so he is now 1B/OF eligible. Now with Lance Berkman gone and only Hunter Pence hitting in front of him, I can't see Lee getting back to form so I have to call this one a BUST too. It's hard to call 24HR/89RBI a bust but this guy was a perennial .290/30/100/15 type of hitter.
Nick Markakis - Anyone see the light at the end of this guy's tunnel yet? Every year a break out is predicted and every year his numbers get worse. I don't get this guy. Somebody get this guy some protection! He's 27 this year and has a nice power bat in Mark Reynolds hitting behind him so hopefully that will help boost Markakis' production. He usually stays healthy and durable, can steal 10-15 bases and hit for a .290+BA so I like Markakis to BOOM in 2011!
B.J. Upton - I so badly want to call him the Rickie Weeks of 2010 but I just can't bring myself to do it. If he slips into say the 10th round of a 12 team roto draft, you might get some good value considering he can steal you 40+ bases. Anything else you get is added gravy. I'm going to BOOM B.J. Upton if you can get him for a decent value.
Jason Bay - Talk about a meltdown. The Mets could have paid me all that money and I would have hit better than this guy! You have to expect a BOOM here. He's too good of a player and I'm sure his pride took a hit after last season. I have to assume he's going to play with a little chip on his shoulder this year. The best part is, Bay can be had for a great value in drafts!
Adam Lind - Thank you Adam Lind for single-handedly ruining many fantasy leagues last year. I assume Lind got homer happy as well and I'm not sure that's his game. I have no idea what to expect from this guy in 2011 and unless he's super cheap, I might pass. BUST.

Back from Injury:  Back to form or waste of a pick?...
Grady Sizemore - If he gets back to form, expect .270/20-25HR/85RBI/90R/15-20SB but hope for more
Carlos Beltran - Will probably lose speed but HR should be in the 30+ range in a contract year!
Nate McLouth - Maybe a last round pick if you want to get cute but I don't see him doing much for your fantasy team unless he earns a starting gig.

NL King - Spotlight - Jose Reyes

I am going to do a number of off-season articles on what I deem are key players for the 2011 NL Only fantasy baseball season. First up is Jose Reyes.  Reyes has elite fantasy value when is healthy and everything is going in the right direction. From 2005 through 2008, Reyes was one of the best NL fantasy hitters each year. Check out the stats below:

2005 - 7HR, 58RBI, 99R, 60SB, .273 Avg in 161 games
2006 - 19HR, 81RBI, 122R, 64SB, .300 Avg in 153 games
2007 - 12HR, 57RBI, 119R, 78SB, .280 Avg in 160 games
2008 - 16HR, 68RBI, 113R, 56SB, .297 Avg in 159 games

Reyes was consistent and very durable being an elite player. However, in 2009, Reyes had a leg injury that never healed starting in May of 09 and he only played in 36 games that season. Last year was a bit of an odd year for Reyes as he had some injury issues (missed almost 30 games), at times was ice cold and other times red hot. His final numbers in 2010 were 11HR, 54RBI, 83R, 30SB, .282 Avg in 133 games. Notice the monster drop in speed.

So what can we expect for 2011 for Jose Reyes? Can he regain the form and become an elite player again in 2011? Even though Reyes has eight seasons under his MLB belt, he won't turn 28 until the middle of June, so age wise he should be in the prime of his career. The Mets picked up his option for 2011 and after this season Reyes will be a free agent. With all the crazy big contracts this winter, a huge 2011 season by Reyes could mean a big payday for him next off-season. What that means is most times players in this situation use the off-season before there final year of the contract to get in the best shape of their lives. I am not saying that any funny business goes on although obviously it has in the past with some players but the player realizes a big season could mean so much more money on the table next winter.

All signs seem to point to Reyes having a big season. Keep in mind leg injuries when they happen can be slow healing and very easy to re-injure. Stealing bases puts a lot of wear and tear on the body and wears those parts of the body down. Another thing to consider being here in New York I can tell you the Mets are obviously using the 2011 season as a transition year and trying to shape their team to be a contender for years to come through the farm and acquiring young talent via trades. Right now the Mets are hamstrung with some very big and odious contracts in Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and K-Rod to name a few. Those four players will cost the Mets about $50 million dollars in 2011 but all four are on the last year of their contracts. If Reyes is having a big season come July and if as expected the Mets are no where near contention even for a wild card spot, the Mets will look at trading Reyes come that time for a package of prospects and young players. I am not sure the Mets will be willing to give Reyes a gigantic contract even if he has a big season in 2011. What that means for you NL only owners is if Reyes is traded to the AL sometime in July that could kill you.

End of the day there is a lot of risk associated with Reyes. My rule of thumb is if you are getting a player who has a lot of risk you must get a big discount come draft day. However, because of Reyes potential to be an elite fantasy player, that usually doesn't happen in most drafts. If the discount is there on draft day and you have the flexibility, go for it. I can understand if you want to roll the dice. Otherwise, I personally would look elsewhere.

Happy Holidays and everyone have a great New Year.

NL King - C.Lizza

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. David Wright
3. Evan Longoria
4. Ryan Zimmerman
5. Jose Bautista
6. Kevin Youkilis
7. Aramis Ramirez
8. Pedro Alvarez
9. Adrian Beltre
10. Mark Reynolds
11. Michael Young
12. Pablo Sandoval
13. Casey Mcgehee
14. Chris Johnson
15. Dayan Viciedo
16. Ian Stewart
17. Scott Rolen
18. Chase Headley
19. Danny Valencia
20. Jose Lopez
21. Jhonny Peralta
22. David Freeze
23. Placido Polanco
24. Jorge Cantu
25. Edwin Encarnacion
26. Chipper Jones
27. Kevin Kouzmanoff
28. Brandon Inge
29. Casey Blake
30.. Miguel Tejada
31. Alberto Callaspo
32. Mike Moustakas

Monday, December 20, 2010

NL king - Zack Greinke Traded to the National League

It really must be Christmas for NL Only owners this off-season! First out of nowhere, Cliff Lee comes to the NL, and now Zack Grienke? Grienke who was just unbelieveable in 2009 when he won the Cy Young was slightly disappointing last season. Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals traded Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt to the Milwaukee Brewers for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and some prospects. Greinke, going from a non contender to a team like the Brewers, who now have added Grineke and Shawn Marcum, the Brewers could be viewed as favorities by many in the NL Central. Going to the NL and being on a what looks like a 90 win team, Grienke should have a strong 2011. It will be hard to duplicate 2009 but expect big things from Grienke in 2011 and for the Brew crew. Not to be lost in this is the Brewers also received Yuniesky Betancourt who had a solid 2010 with 16HR & 78RBI. The Brewers did give up Alcides Escobar who has potential to be a solid fantasy player at SS especially if can get those SB's going as well as Lorenzo Cain who also has strong SB potential. In the end, this is a big win in terms of talent for NL Only leagues.

NL King - C.Lizza

NL King - National League Arrivals and Departures

The fantasy baseball off-season has been a blur so far with teams throwing darts all over the place! Finally, the long awaited signing of Cliff Lee took place this week. When the off-season started, who would have guessed that Cliff Lee, now with the Philadelphia Phillies, would have left so much guranteed money on the table? On top of that, who would have guessed that the Phillies would offer $120 million guranteed money to Lee when they already have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels?

As for Lee, next season I am still expecting an Ace. I know the ballpark is small but being on winning team, Lee should get in the high teens in wins, have an ERA sub 3, and a ratio in the low 1's (walked just 18 batters last year). The only thing Lee hasn't dominated in his career are K's but he had a career high 185 last year so maybe he breaks 200 in 2011. Plus, with having the other guys on the staff should take a ton of pressure off Lee and having played a half season in Philly in 2009, he should be quite comfortable there. Top three NL starters are Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright and now Cliff Lee.

Orlando Hudson - Signed a 2 year deal with the Padres to be their everyday 2B. Puts up nice numbers but even in an NL only league should pay only single digits on draft day.

Bill Hall - Signs with Houston to become everyday 2B. Had 18HR & 9SB in 344 AB's in Boston last year. Career .250 hitter but for the right price could be a good source of some cheap pop and speed at a position that is some what thin.

Josh Willingham - Leaves the NL and heads to Oakland. Is a solid power bat and serviceable fantasy player late in drafts.

Xavier Nady - Signs with Arizona to play some 1B & OF. If healthy and if he can get some AB's in that park where the ball flies could be a nice depth player for you in 2011.

Kerry Wood - Signs with the Cubs as a setup man. If he is healthy and if he pitches like he did with the Yankees he could be a real good middle man to help with your K's, ERA & Ratio.

Chin Ming Wang - Former back to back 19 game winner signs a 1 year deal with Nats although hasn't pitched in forever, but he is only 30. Could be a great guy to grab on draft day in your reserves - taxi squad portion of the draft.

NL King - C.Lizza

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball Shortstops Rankings

Follow along with The Fantasy Man's SS Rankings Podcast....

2011 Fantasy Baseball Shortstops SS Rankings:
1. Hanley Ramirez - He's a crap shoot but I believe we haven't seen his best year yet
2. Jose Reyes - Magic 27, contract year, new coach, a year removed from injury, undervalued, I can smell a breakout
3. Jimmy Rollins - Down year last year, contract year, still has the talent/skills, I sense bounce back
4. Troy Tulowitzski - Take out that torrid September and you have 12HR/55RBI in first 5 months of season
5. Derek Jeter - Don't sleep on Jeter, let him slip into rounds 6-8, snatch him up and laugh your way to a 5x5 roto championship... you can thank me later...
6. Stephen Drew - Still waiting for the break out
7. Rafael Furcal - If healthy, can provide .300/15HR/35SB/100R easy....and that's a big IF
8. Elvis Andrus - Doesn't have the power or the consistency to rank above Jeter or a healthy Furcal
9. Starlin Castro - Sky's the limit with this guy, who knows what to expect but the potential is there. Probably light on power but can provide speed, runs, BA at a weak position
10. Alexei Ramirez - During the season it seems like he's mired in a season long slump but at the end of the year, the stats don't seem to bad. He never K's, is durable, and has 20/15 or even 20/20 potential
11. Yuneal Escobar - This guy fell off the page in 2010 but still has a ton of talent and youth on his side
12. Jed Lowrie - Hit .280/9/24 in 171 AB in 2010, will be on everyone's sleeper list so will probably be slightly overvalued on draft day.
13. Reid Brignac - 6'3", 24 years old, .256/8HR/45RBI/3SB in 301AB, so a full season looks like .260/16HR/90RBI/6SB
14. Ian Desmond - Hit .269/10HR/17RBI in 525AB in rookie season, lots of upside here
15. Juan Uribe - If he qualifies, should be a solid contirbutor but probably won't outperform 2010
16. Jason Bartlett - Probably get closer to 2010 than 2009 in 2011, add in the fact that he's now in San Diego and realize maybe I ranked him too high
17. Marco Scutaro - If he starts, hopefully he gets to hit at the top of the order somewhere
18. J.J. Hardy - Traded to Baltimore, hitters park, still oozes potential, we'll see I guess
19. Jhonny Peralta - More of the same, offers some decent power but consistently disappointing
20. Erick Aybar - offers BA and maybe 15-20SB
21. Alcides Escobar - If he puts it together he could be insane, but probably 1-3 years away from a true break out
22. Asdrubal Cabrera - A solid and serviceable player, hits, scores runs, steals a couple of bases
23. Alex Gonzalez - Usually break out for a HR streak or two for a month out of the season
24. Clint Barmes - Maybe Houston will ressurect his career, if so, 20+HR upside but too inconsistent
25. Danny Espinoza - Hit 18HR/29SB at AFA Potomac in 2009 and hit 6HR in 103 AB with Nats in 2010
26. Miguel Tejada - Power is gone but can still get hits, RBI's, and score runs
27. Mike Aviles - A trendy pick but doesn't offer much power/speed although will finally be healthy in 2011
28. Evereth Cabrera - 2010 draft sleeper did very little but has 30+SB speed if he puts it together
29. Cliff Pennington - 6HR/29SB in 508Ab in 2010, quiet sneaky speed for fantasy owners
30. Alexi Casilla - could hit .280 with 20SB if he sticks to a full-time gig with Hardy gone
31. Yuniesky Betancourt - Light hitter, no power
32. Josh Wilson - Light hitter

Friday, December 10, 2010

NL King - Who will be the Carlos Gonzalez of 2011?

Every year we scour the magazines, the websites, the television searching for the best, most undervalued, ready to break out player available in the draft!  You want the next Carlos Gonzalez?  This article is to focus on players who are not currently considered elite fantasy players but after 2011 could be one of the top hitters in the NL. Carlos Gonzalez rise in 2010 to become one of the best fantasy players in all of MLB doesn't happen often. While many people were high on Gonzalez for 2010, keep in mind all Gonzalez really had under his belt in the majors in a positive way was a strong second half in 2009 with the Rockies. Keep in mind Carlos Gonzalez final numbers in 2009 were 13HR, 29RBI, 53R, 16SB and .284 BA before last years monster season. Let's look at the candidates....

The Contenders:
Andrew McCutchen
Opening Day Age - 24
2010 Stats: 16HR, 56RBI, 94R, 33SB, .286 Avg in 570 AB's
McCutchen followed up his rookie season with a strong campaign. In both years McCutchen has been in the big leagues, he has had a .286 Batting Average with a .365 On Base Percentage. Solid numbers for a young player and if the Pirates were any good McCutchen easily would break 100 runs easily. I can see McCutchen this season getting a little better which could mean final numbers of 20HR, 100R, 40SB and a .300 Avg with 70 RBI's. That's elite. Odds to Become Elite Hitter: 2 to 1

Jay BruceOpening Day Age - 24
2010 Stats: 25HR, 70RBI, 80R, 5SB, .281 Avg in 509 AB
Bruce in his 3rd major league season made a lot of improvements last year. His K's per AB's went down (still struck out 136 times), he walked a little bit more and on top of that had his best numbers across the board. Keep in mind when Bruce was a prospect heading into the 08 season he was the #1 prospect in all of MLB. Bruce also plays in a bam box. The time could be right for Bruce to emerge next year as an elite fantasy player however he will only give you a modest amount of steals. Odds to Become Elite Hitter: 3 to 1

Hunter Pence
Opening Day Age - 28
2010 Stats: 25HR, 91RBI, 93R, 18SB, .282 Avg in 614 AB
After Pence's rookie season I think a lot of people thought he would become an elite hitter. Currently Pence is sitting on the next tier and odds are he will stay there. Don't get me wrong, he had strong numbers last year across the board and he has been a very consistent player each year in the majors and also has avoided the injury bug. The main reason I don't think Pence will break through to that elite group is he just isn't disciplined enough at the plate. Having said that a little bit of improvement in plate discipline and technique on stealing bases and Pence could put up elite numbers next year. Pence also is in the prime age for a break out year. Odds to Become Elite Hitter: 7 to 1

Drew Stubbs
Opening Day Age - 26
2010 Stats: 22HR, 77RBI, 91R, 30SB, .255 Avg in 514 AB
For Stubbs, like Pence, it's about plate discipline but much more so. Stubbs struck out 168 times last year which is a ridiculous amount. Stubbs has power & speed and plays in a bam box. Sounds like a winning formula. If Stubbs can make adjustments and be more disciplined at the plate he can become an elite hitter with his tools. That is a big ..... if.  Odds to Become Elite Hitter: 10 to 1
Next In Line:
Buster PoseyOpening Day Age - 24
2010 Stats: 18HR, 67RBI, 58R, 0SB, .305 Avg in 406 AB
The lack of speed and the ballpark Posey plays in probably means he is the 2nd tier of NL hitters for years to come. Still pretty darn good. Odds to Become Elite Hitter: 12 to 1

Colby Rasmus
Opening Day Age - 24
2010 Stats: 23HR, 66RBI, 85R, 12SB, .276 Avg in 464 AB
Strong numbers considering less than 500 AB's but 148 K's in 534 PA is concerning in terms of taking the next big step. Also having a frosty relationship with La Russa can't help. Odds to Become Elite: 15 to 1

Chris YoungOpening Day Age - 27
2010 Stats: 27HR, 91RBI, 94R, 28 SB, .257 Avg in 584 AB
Love his power and speed but he strikes out a ton and he is a lifetime .241 hitter. Young is entering his prime and the ball does fly in Arizona however. Odds to become Elite Hitter: 20 to 1

Long Shots:
Starlin Castro
Opening Day Age - 21
2010 Stats: 3HR, 41RBI, 53R, 10SB's, .300 Avg in 463 AB
Probably won't be in 2011 due to his age but Castro could become as good as Andrew McCutchen is now but at the SS position.

Ian Stewart
Opening Day Age - 26
2010 Stats: 18HR, 61RBI, 54R, 5SB, .256 Avg in 386 AB's, love the power but his K's are through the roof. Also no longer qualifies for 2B.

Cameron Maybin
Opening Day Age
2010 Stats: 8HR, 28RBI, 46R, 9SB, .234 Avg in 291 AB
Has 5 tool ability but once again the K's and now will be playing in Yellow Stone

NL King - C.Lizza

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Check Out

Did you know The Fantasy Man is a die-hard softball playing extraordinaire? That's right! Below is a picture of the 2009 Putnam Valley, NY Softball Fall League Champs! We played this league well into mid november as this picture was taken after Game 3 and the final deciding game of the championship (we also won the 2009 Cortlandt Manor Men's "Upper B" Summer League Championshop). I believe we won the game 21-20. I was the pitcher and we went into the bottom of the 7th with a 21-15 lead. Leave it up to The Fantasy Man to get the first two outs, walk two guys, base hit scored two, two more walks, and then a 275 foot bomb over the centerfield fence. Ten seconds later I got man on first and second, ready to blow the game, full count and I dance a knuckle ball on the outside corner that the hitter tried to pull, bounce a slow roller to me and I throw him out at first...... the Outlaws win the championship!  It was 25 degrees that night five days before Thanksgiving!  What a season!

Standing Left to Right: Big Mike P, Killer Kowal, The Fantasy Man, Rob, Big Al, Pony Boy, J2, Ryan
Kneeling Left to Right: The Glove, Dougie Fresh, Shea Stadium 

That's right, that's J2 from the video.  Anyway, one of the softball bats we used during our winning season was a DeMarini White Steel. This bat is awesome!  I'm a 34"/26oz guy but this was the team bat for a while. The break in period was short and the bat was surprisingly durable, even in the colder weather. offers baseball bats, softball bats, apparel, training aids, etc. The prices are good, the shipping is fast and the customer service is fantastic! I've used in the past and I'd recommend it to anyone who needs baseball and/or softball equipment!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New York Yankees Latest News

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If you would like to include (delete) your media resource for fantasy baseball managers, advertise with our websites, sponsor this page, link exchange, cross-promote, etc., please email The Fantasy Man.

NL King - Carlos Pena Joins your NL Only League

The MLB National League and your NL Only fantasy baseball league got some power back last night as former Tampa Bay Ray Carlos Pena signed a one year $10 million dollar deal with the Chicago Cubs. Pena, coming off a decent power year hit .196, 28HR, 84RBI, 64R & 5SB for the Rays in 2010. The previous two years in 2008 and 2009, Pena hit 30HR+ along with 100RBI+, great power numbers, but Pena followed that up by hitting .227 in 2009 and .247 in 2008. In fact, Pena hasn't had a decent average since his monster year in 2007 where he hit .282 with 46HR and 121RBI.

I would view Pena as a player who replaces Mark Reynolds, a corner infield bat with pop and by going to Wrigley could mean a few more HR's. I think Pena is definitely capable of going 30HR & 100RBI next year but odds are it will be done with a poor batting average. I would think he will do better than the .196 from 2010 but figure a batting average somewhere between .230 - .240.

NL King - C.Lizza

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Winter Meetings Fantasy Baseball Podcast

The Winter Meetings are upon us and The Fantasy Man Show podcast is back with all the potential signings, acquisitions and trades and how it effects your fantasy baseball team! Check out the podcast and please drop in with any feedback you might have. Let me know if the sound quality is better that the Extravaganza. I changed a few things so hopefully it sounds better. Also, I had to switch over to a new server so that might effect how you retrieve The Fantasy Man Show. You can still listen to the podcast on the same podcast blog page at and I am sure the RSS feed is the same. If the podcast doesn't work with the current method you use to retrieve the podcast, please go to the link above and get the RSS feed from there.  Or, listen to the podcast here by clicking the small play button on The Fantasy Man brand badge....

Toronto Blue Jays Latest News

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Boston Red Sox Latest News


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Monday, December 06, 2010

NL King - GM Winter Meetings Fantasy Baseball Update

The MLB General Manager Winter Meeting are underway in Florida this week and their already making a splash that is sure to affect fantasy baseball managers across the globe!  Yesterday, the baseball world got a real big shock as Jason Werth hit the mother load with a seven year deal with the Washington Nationals.  Huge break for NL only leagues as Werth, who is a borderline elite hitter in the NL, stays in the National League. My guess is he will probably bat cleanup and give strong protection to 3B Ryan Zimmerman. Big pickup for the Nats although they lost Adam Dunn to the American League after signing with the Chicago White Sox. The NL loses one of the best and most consistent power bats in the league in Dunn.

Today, a couple of other big headlines as the NL has been weakened by losing both Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox via trade for prospects and Mark Reynolds to the Baltimore Orioles for prospects. Gonzalez has been an elite power bat the last few years playing at Petco Field and Reynolds was one of the best NL hitters in 2009.  In 2010 however, Reynolds had big power numbers but killed NL Only owners with a .198 Batting Average. While his BA was a killer for NL owners this year regardless, his power numbers will be missed.
On the starting pitching front however, NL only leagues got good news today as Shaun Marcum was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in a deal where Milwaukee gave up top 2B prospect Brett Lawrie. Marcum last year while coming off a major injury (did not pitch in 2009) had 13W, 3.64ERA, 1.15 Ratio, 165K's in 195 1/3 IP for Toronto last year. Those are really good numbers and when you think that Marcum will go from the AL East to the NL, one has to think that as long as Marcum stays healthy he can pitch like an elite pitcher in the NL in 2011. This is a big help for NL only leagues as the recent news on Johan Santana is not good as he will be out until at least June due to his off-season shoulder surgery. The Mets are going to be extremely careful so Santana will not be rushed and quite frankly coming off shoulder surgery one would have to think that at best Santana will have a transition year in 2011 where he pitches around 80 to 90 innings.

NL King - C.Lizza

Sunday, December 05, 2010

NL King - Assembling a Pitching Staff for your Fantasy Team

Drafting a winning fantasy baseball team consists of two strategies, one for hitting and one for pitching and while both are equally important, you have to pay attention to both.  So how do we put together a great fantasy pitching staff? My model is five Starting Pitchers, three Strong Middle Relievers & a proven closer (good luck in the NL on that one). Let's not forget we also have in most leagues a five man Taxi / Reserve Squad as well. Let's break it down.

Are you a Pitcher?  Do you love to draft Starting Pitchers? This guy can pitch!
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Starting Pitchers:
Five Starting Pitchers will be our staff and there are two ways we can go about doing this. You can go the route of two dominant starters and three average or what I refer to as a push starter or one dominant starter, two very good starters and two push starters. To explain my definitions, a dominant starter is a proven ace who is not perceived to be an injury risk such as Doc Halladay or Adam Wainwright. A very good starter is a starter such as a Ted Lilly. A push starter is someone who is not going to hurt your ERA & Ratio and will finish in those categories right around your league average. While these pitchers will be a push in these categories they will also help us compile Wins & K's.

Ideally, I prefer to have more depth and go the route of one dominant starter, two very good starters and two push starters. Last year the way my draft went, the value was not there for this format so I went with two dominant starters (Wainwright & Dan Haren) and three push starters (Brett Myers, ChrisYoung and Ross Ohlendorf). Haren needless to say really hurt me. Who knew as Haren has three dominant years in a row and was not considered an injury risk, but that's fantasy baseball sometimes. While Haren hurt me, Myers was a revelation while Chris Young was hurt all year.  Ohendorf was decent with a 4.07 ERA, but his walks went way up and Pittsburgh couldn't win a game for him. Those three push starters cost me a total of $7 on draft day. Push starters we are going to get towards the last third of the draft and ideally we would like to get guys who are pretty good at K's and are on good teams in terms of wins. Again these back end or push starters we are only going to spend a small amount of our draft day budget on. While Ohendorf & C.Young did not work out last year, the analysis was sound. There are no guarantees and at the end of the day a push starter doesn't work out we can replace him via trade or league free agency - waiver wire. Again, I prefer to have to rely less on push starters but you have to see where the value is in your league on draft day.

In a perfect world we would love to have two closers but in an NL only league unless we want to spend a lot of money on two closers.  The only way that can happen is if we somehow luck out getting a cheap closer or a strong middle man at low cost turn into a closer. We want our closer to be reliable in both performance and health. In the NL, that's a short list and will be a different offseason article. Also, we would like to have a closer who is at least solid in K's. Whoever your closer is you should draft that teams backup plan to their closer in case their closer goes down due to injury. So if you Brad Lidge as your closer you must have Ryan Madson. If you have Heath Bell you should have Mike Adams. It's not always easy to identify the backup guy however that's where homework in handy.

The Middle Men:
This is the secret weapon of an NL Only pitching staff. What would you say if I told you can have a dominant starter for $10 - $12? Sounds good huh? Well if you have the right middle relievers you can. Heading into this coming season I have Evan Meek, Luke Gregerson and Jason Motte for a total of $11 draft dollars. Last year this trio had 13W, 8SV's, 2.57 ERA, 0.99 Ratio, 213K's in 210 IP. Those are ace numbers with 8 saves thrown in. In my league these three guys went last year $7 total draft dollars and a reserve - taxi squad spot. I am sure that was the case in most NL only leagues because by the time the middle relievers come up it's the very end of the draft and no one has any money left. Now the rub is that many times a middle reliever will have a great year and the next year is not the same pitcher. That's where your homework comes in. There are a group of middle men who are reliable and dominant and if you can land these guys for a few draft day dollars they can be immense to your pitching staff and your team. This is so important there will be an article focusing on the top middle men who you can count on later on this offseason.

Taxi Squad - Reserves:
Most leagues have a straight draft after the main draft for a 5 man taxi squad also known as the reserves. We are going to use this part of the draft as an insurance policy for our pitching staff. We are going to use one slot on a push starter who lasted to the reserves as well as one middle reliever who lasted as well. This way if one of our push starters or middle relievers struggles or gets injured we could have a backup plan stashed on our reserves. If everyone pitches well then we have depth to make a trade to help our team in another area.

To me putting together a staff is very hard to do but this model and in an NL only league I believe does wonders.

NL King - C.Lizza

Friday, December 03, 2010

Baltimore Orioles Latest News



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Thursday, December 02, 2010

NL King - Analyzing the Percentage Categories

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Fantasy Baseball is a game of strategy. It's been proven year after year that preparation and research is a must to give yourself the best chance to win a championship!  Sometimes we're so wrapped up on finding great advice that we miss out on some important aspects of the game.  Many manager go into a season home runs, speed, wins and K's while we let slip the importance of the percentage categories like Batting Average, ERA and Ratio (WHIP). Why is this?  Quite simply, the percentage categories are not the sexy categories in fantasy baseball but they count the same and are much more difficult to navigate through then the others.

Why are the percentage categories more difficult for a fantasy owner? Well,  for example, if on May 1st your team has 50 Home runs,  the next day your home runs don't slip to 45. With percentage categories like batting average, your team percentages move up or down on a daily basis. Also, especially on the pitching side, a disastrous day or two and your numbers can plummet over that span. Basically, these categories are so volatile, it's tough to project what players to draft so we tend to shy away from spending time on them.

First rule of thumb for the percentage categories is you do not want to fall too far behind in these categories over the first couple of months of the season. Frankly, these categories are too hard to come back from and in most instances when I see a team who by Memorial Day is far behind in these categories, they never recovery. You really need all your players to help in these categories or at least not hurt it. Even a trade can only help so much because you are only talking about a player or two. Remember, it's 14 hitters who help push that average up and it's 9 pitchers who do the same for the ERA & Ratio. Just to illustrate how hard it is to come back from the percentage categories, if in your NL league a .270 batting average gets you in the upper third of the category and you have a .250 batting average at the half way point, for your team to hit that .270 batting average they have to hit .290 as a team in the 2nd half. Do you know how difficult that is?

Second rule of thumb, go back the last 3 years in your league and look at the final standings to see your league averages in Avg, ERA and Ratio. Try to see what it will take to finish in the upper third of these categories for 2011.

Let's break it down further..

Batting Average:
There are a lot of players who can really help you in the hitting categories but produce poor batting averages. Someone like Will Venable, who last year had nice numbers in HR, R, RBI and 29 steals, can still contribute despite hitting .245. You have to pick your spots on players who will have a bad batting average but help you in the other categories.
If the player hits in the .250's that's actually manageable. If the player hits in the .240's I wouldn't want more than 1 or 2 of these hitters on my team and if so they better be making big contributions in the other categories. I personally do not believe in having any hitter who hits below .240. While Mark Reynolds had strong power numbers last year his .198 batting average was a killer, let someone else draft him.  For every bad batting average hitter you have on your squad you should have an exceptional average hitter to offset that player.

One final point on batting average is you have more wiggle room here than ERA or Ratio. In batting average, you have 14 hitters where as in ERA and Ratio you have 9 pitchers, If the hitter is a every day player he can get 4 or 5 AB's every day. Where as a starting pitcher pitches once every 5 days and a reliever at most pitches 4 innings a week. So more movement more often means you can affect that category more quickly.

ERA & Ratio:
We want to make sure we have a solid ERA and Ratio for our team to stay competitive.  How do we do that? My next article will be on putting together a pitching staff which will go into further detail. We do not want any pitcher who is at worst a push ERA and or a push Ratio, unless he is a closer who is going to get us at least 30 saves. In 2008, I had Brian Wilson who had a bad ERA and Ratio but gave me 41 saves. Remember, with a closer we are only talking about 60 to 70 innings, so the effect he had on my team ERA and Ratio was not as severe.

By the way a push ERA or Ratio is one where it doesn't hurt you but doesn't help you. To me 4.20 ERA and 1.36 Ratio are pushes. We really don't want any pitcher with numbers much higher than that. Under no circumstances should you draft a pitcher who is going to give you a era of 4.50 or higher or a ratio of 1.40 or higher. Again forget about the extra couple of wins or strikeouts from a starter who is going to really hurt our ERA and Ratio. It's not worth it. Remember we only have 9 slots for pitchers so we do not want to fill any of those slots with players who are going to really hurt our ERA & Ratio.

Everyone needs to respect these categories because they are very volatile and it's so hard to make up ground when you fall way behind the pack. Like I said my next article "Putting Together a Pitching Staff" will go into more detail for ERA and Ratio as well the other pitching categories.

At the end of the day, our ERA & Ratio will come from our dominant starter(s), very good starters, our closer and our secret weapon .... our great middle relievers. Not to mention, these pitchers will do great in Wins, K's and our reliable closer will come through with saves. Our push starters won't hurt our ERA and Ratio but will help us comply stats in Wins and K's which is very important. This model will enable us to be towards the top of Wins, Saves and K's but also we will have a huge leg up on the competition on ERA and Ratio where we should dominant

NL King - C.Lizza

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tampa Bay Rays Latest News



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