Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Skip Hall - Draft Strategy: Picking up April Performers

There are certain players we know historically do not produce out of the gate, i.e. Mark Teixeira and David Ortiz. How about some fantasy baseball advice to help prepare for that potential early April skid.  Below are some players that you can find late in rounds on draft day that will help your fantasy league stats while you are waiting for your stars to come to life, after they've been sipping pina coladas all winter.
Manny Ramirez: Let’s face it, Manny’s skills are declining, but never underestimate a motivated Manny. Joining the Tampa Bay Rays young squad should invigorate Manny plus playing to get to 3,000 hits. He might be the last Ramirez on the board after Aramis and Alexei.

Manny in April last 3 years:
2010:    7R  2HR  12RBI  0SB  .415BA  1.159OPS
2009:  19R  5HR  15RBI  0SB  .372BA  1.154OPS
2008:  18R  6HR  20RBI  1SB  .343BA  1.011OPS

Kosuke Fukudome: April is the only month where he earns his absurd salary. Maybe he feels like he is still in Japan with the cold weather in Chicago. Who knows, but for some reason Kosuke always performs in April. He will be available at the very end of your draft so he is worth a speculative pick, just do not play him after April.

Fukudome is my Homie last 3 years:
2010:  13R  5HR  16RBI  1SB  .344BA  1.084OPS
2009:  14R  4HR  15RBI  1SB  .338BA  1.053OPS
2008:  22R  1HR  10RBI  3SB  .327BA  .837OPS

Carlos Pena: Pena will never give you the average, but one of the best(and worst) streak players in fantasy. A heavy diet of fastballs from National League pitchers might be the perfect medicine.

Pena in April last 3 years:
2010:  18R  5HR  22RBI  1SB  .247BA  .860OPS
2009:  14R  9HR  24RBI  0SB  .256BA  .968OPS
2008:  22R  6HR  15RBI  0SB  .200BA  .749OPS

Try not to fall into the trap of taking the hottest player in spring training because spring training at bats do not always translate over to regular season at bats. Pitchers are normally working on their pitches which means a lot of fat stuff being left out over the plate. Just ask people that bought the hype on Sean Rodriguez of the Tampa Bay Rays last year.

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