Thursday, May 31, 2012

NL King - Upcoming NL Only Prospects

Back in March I did an article on a number of NL prospects who could  
be up in the majors at some point this year. I figured now is a good  
time to see where everyone is at and when we can expect them to the  
show. This list is in alphabetical order.

Nolan Arrenado - Col - 3B
Arenado is in AA and has been productive hitting .303 albeit only has  
3HR's. Remember Arenado is just 21 while I think there is a very good  
chance we see Arenado in Colorado this year my guess it would be end  
of July - early August.

Trevor Bauer - Arz - SP
Bauer is projected to be a future ace and many scouts felt he was  
ready for the major on opening day. He just got promoted to AAA  
recently and his MLB clock is ticking and quite frankly I expect Bauer  
to be with the D-Backs by mid June. Bauer has been dominant in the  
minors with a 1.60 ERA in 8 starts with 71K's in 56IP.

Brett Jackson - Chc - OF
The opportunity is there for Jackson but I don't think Theo & the boys  
will rush Jackson. While Jackson has a nice line of 4HR, 13RBI, 25R,  
7SB BUT he is only hitting .228 in AAA & has a ton of strikeouts  
(58K's). You will not see Jackson at Wrigley until his average goes up  
and his K situation gets much better. I would say by late July you  
should see Jackson in Wrigley.

Casey Kelly - SD - SP
Battling a cranky elbow and not pitching right now. Best case scenario  
I would think would be September callup.

Starling Marte - Pitt - OF
Marte is only hitting .246 in AAA but has 9 doubles, 4 triples and 2  
HR. He is a power / speed guy and the opportunity is there. If Marte  
over the next month can round out the edges he will be up with the  
Pirates by July 1st.

Wily Peralta - Mil - SP
Brewers are excited about Peralta but off to a slow start this year  
with a 5.36 ERA in AAA. I expect the Brewers to give Peralta a long  
look as a starter at the major league level after the all-star break.

Anthony Rizzo - Chc - 1B
Rizzo after a nightmare summer last year quite frankly is dominating  
AAA. He has to have regained his confidence with his numbers - 14HR,  
39RBI, .344AVG, .413OBP. Does have 46K's in 42 games which has been  
his biggest problem with his game. Word is the Cubs are getting close  
to promoting Rizzo and Soriano has been battling a hurt knee so I can  
see Rizzo up with the Cubs in early June.

Tyler Skaggs - Pitt - SP
Doing well in AA but with Bauer knocking on the door unless there are  
injuries I expect Skaggs to spend most of the season in the minors

Julio Teheran - ATL - SP
Been solid in AAA with a 3.31 ERA but you have to remember even though  
you have heard his name last couple of years Teheran just turned 21 in  
January. I am not sure if 2012 is the year Teheran makes an impact  
with the Braves. If I was a betting man he gets called up to the  
Braves very late summer

Josh Vitters - Chc - 3B
If the Cubs get tired of Ian Stewart I can see the Cubs letting  
Vitters play everyday in August & September. His strikeout rate  
however is a problem
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NL King - C.Lizza

Friday, May 25, 2012

NL King - Slow Starts Hitting Vs Pitching

Let's talk about slow starts to some big players and in  
general, slow starts by your team be it hitting or pitching.  
You much rather have your hitting off to a slow start than your  
pitching. The reason I say that is because it's much easier and  
quicker for one's team to catch up and catch fire in a shorter period  
of time in terms of your hitting. Think about it, an everyday hitter  
plays every day. So players like Ryan Zimmerman, Rickie Weeks or Ike Davis
while have been way under performing they can have a red hot  
week or two and all of sudden their numbers can get back to where they  
should be. Also, they can have a monster game or two and again their  
numbers are back where they should be. Joey Votto was having a solid  
roto year into last weekend but Votto owners like myself said we need  
the power. Well, on Mothers Day Joey Votto had 3 HR's and 6 RBI's and  
then when you looked at his power line it looked pretty good versus  
the day before where it seemed Votto was way under. It can turn around  
quickly with hitting provided you have the horses of course.

In terms of pitching I am not saying if your off to a slow start it's  
hopeless. Far be it. What am I saying is it's going to take more time  
to bring your pitching stats in line. A starting pitcher only starts  
once ever 5 days and most of time doesn't go past 7 innings. A  
reliever might pitch 3 or 4 times a week but again we are probably  
talking about 4 innings a week at most for a reliever. Because of this  
it's going to take a number of good outings of the likes of Lincecum,  
Josh Johnson, Gallardo and Wainwright to get their numbers where one  
would think they would be. Heath Bell it's going to take at least a  
couple of stellar months to get his numbers to be good. So in terms of  
pitching it's going to take longer and your going to have to have a  
lot more patience.

I am going to break down some of the players I mentioned above and  
their ridiculous bad starts.

Ryan Zimmerman - Slow start which happens and then he got hurt. As  
long as his shoulder is okay he will catch fire soon and be the solid  
3B that he is.

Rickie Weeks - Has been in the abyss all season. The key with Weeks is  
staying healthy. As long as he is healthy he will be a strong middle  
infielder. Be patient.

Gaby Sanchez - Has been a steady eddie the last two seasons. He is not  
a star or anything but a player who can help your team win. I expect  
him to be solid. He's in the minors now but keep him stashed in NL Only.

Tim Lincecum - Very odd to see Lincecum be this bad. He has had 8  
starts, one great one, one good one the rest either not so hot or  
awful. As long as he is healthy one would assume he will go on a  
ridiculous streak.

Josh Johnson - Got a win in his last start and pitched well. You have  
to remember going into this season he had not pitched since last May  
so there might be a bit of rust to shake off. Also maybe he totally  
doesn't trust his body yet and when that happens performances suffer  
greatly. I just hope he is truly healthy, if he is he will get going.

Yovani Gallardo - He has got off to a bad start but Gallardo is very  
inconsistent and goes on hot and cold streaks all the time. You have  
to live with that if he is on your team.

Adam Wainwright - Remember he was out all last year with Tommy John.  
Be patient.

Heath Bell - I still believe Bell will find a way to get his act  
together and give his owners a good amount of saves. He is a bulldog.  
The days of killer numbers in ERA, Ratio & K's might be over but don't  
give Heath Bell away in a trade. Also remember he is on year 1 of a 3  
year deal that pays him 9 million a year. The Marlins have to have him  
be their closer

NL King - C.Lizza
Please come and join my twitter army @TheNLKing

Monday, May 14, 2012

NL King - Analyzing the first Six NL Only League Weeks

Listed below in no particular order are some random thoughts on the  
first six weeks of the season for NL Only leagues....

- Cargo might be putting together a magical year. He avoided the slow  
start that has bugged him the last two seasons. Now, he just needs to stay  
healthy, particularly with his wrists.

- I never seen a year when so early in the season we've had so much  
Closer turmoil. I mean, Bell, Marmol, Storen, Street, Wilson and  
Guerra. Due to Bell and Marmol's contracts, I'm sure the Cubs and the  
Marlins are going to try and get them back into that role. Storen  
sounds like he will be back late June - All-Star break. Street sounds  
like a 15 dayto 3 week thing (he always spends time on the DL),  
Wilson is done for the year, and Guerra has already lost his job.

- Jair Jurrjens has a great first half in 2011 and drafted as a    
top starter in the NL this year only to get demoted to the  
minors. Perfect example why it's so hard to have a successful fantasy  

- Freddie Freeman break out time table might be coming a bit earlier  
than people expected.

- Dexter Fowler better get his act together quickly because Tyler  
Colvin has been playing well.

- Another bad week or so and Paul Goldschmidt maybe heading to the  

- Hard to believe the Giants won't give more playing time to Brandon  

- Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum, two top tier starters off to rough  
starts. I believe Lincecum will be fine. With Johnson, always have to  
wonder if that shoulder is okay.

- Dee Gordon has to hit because he does not walk at all!

- Lance Lynn, Bryan LaHair, Kyle Lohse really?

- Looks to me like Starlin Castro and Jay Bruce will have 2012 be their break  
out years...

- Why does any team pitch to Matt Kemp especially when you consider  
the rest of the Dodger lineup?

- Michael Morse is an example of how easy players have setbacks from  

- Bryce Harper looks like he has been playing in the majors for 5  
years. I am talking about "the way" he plays the game.

- David Wright looks like he is back to being a top fantasy player.  
Good to see because he is a great kid.

- Jason Heyward looks like he is going to emerge to the player  
everyone thought he would be two years ago.

- Jose Reyes will be fine, probably trying to live up to the contract.  
Happens all the time.

- Big players off to a terrible start like Rickie Weeks will be fine,  
they just need to stay healthy and they will hit a wicked hot streak.  
Stay patient.

- Ike Davis, I have no clue what is going on but we have to remember he  
did miss almost all of 2011.

- Furcal and Beltran look like the players they were in their prime.

- Johnny Cueto looks like he is emerging into an ace and Strasburg  
looks like someone who did not miss a year due to injury.

- If Tony Campana can get on base enough he will bat at the top of the  
Cubs lineup and be a stolen base weapon

NL King - C.Lizza
Join my twitter army @TheNLKing

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

NL King - It was only April

Please join my twitter army @TheNLKing. 

This article is a reminder that April is just one month  
into the season. A lot of players, especially hitters, are notorious  
slow starters. I have Joey Votto and Rickie Weeks and at the time of  
this writing they have yet to get it going. As long as they stay  
healthy they will. In fact, the only area's I would have for a given  
team at this junction is injury situations (which there have been a  
lot) and certain players starts to the season that you were counting  
on them to be good. For instance, on my team I have Chase  
Headley and Rafael Furcal and I like what I am seeing. I know Votto and  
Weeks will be good but some of these other players that's where I  
really have my eyes on. That's who you should be following closely on  
you teams right now, these kind of players which I call bridge players.

Just to illustrate the point of April numbers, last year Michael  
Morse, for the month of April, had 1HR, 9RBI, 4R, 1 SB and  
a .224 Avg. Of course, his final numbers were 31HR, 95RBI, 73R, 2SB, . 
303 Avg. Carlos Gonzalez the last couple of years has got off to a  
very slow start including his insane 2010 season. Mark Teixiera is  
always a slow starter. Those off you from my generation will  
remember that Don Mattingly during the 80's, where he was arguably  
the best player in baseball, always had a very slow first 2 to 3 weeks.  
Like I said, in my last article you have to be patient.

SF Bullpen - Obviously with Brian Wilson gone for the year unless, the  
Giants pull off a trade which I doubt at this juncture, it's going to  
be either Santiago Casilla or Sergio Romo. Quite honestly, it could be  
one guys role as closer for a while and then it could flip. Also there  
will be situations where they could use Javier Lopez or Clay Hensley  
for a save as well. Both Casilla and Romo have excelled the last couple  
of years in terms of performance setting up for Wilson. Casilla did  
close for the Giants last September when Wilson was shut down and went  
6 for 6 in save situations. Both guys have the stuff to close the  
question is do Casilla & Romo have the mentality to be a closer over  
the course of a season and can the hold up physically as well as both  
have had bouts with injuries. Seems like Casilla will get the 1st  
chance to get the majority of the saves but when it's all said and  
done I think both guys at the end of year could give their owners good  
secondary saves.

NL King - C.Lizza