Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Fantasy outlooks: Seattle Mariners

  •  

The Mariners turned back the clock to 1984 in 2010 and tried to win with speed and defense. Well, they got that speed and defense, ranking fourth in the AL in stolen bases and sixth in fielding percentage. Unfortunately, the wins were in short supply.

It got so bad for the Mariners that by mid-July, they had to trade Cliff Lee, their prize acquisition that offseason, to the Rangers for rookie Justin Smoak, signaling a clear shift in focus from today to tomorrow.

Follow us on ...
Get the latest news and analysis from the most informed Fantasy staff in the industry by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
@cbsfantasynews
facebook.com/cbssportsfantasy

Clearly, the Mariners still value defense -- the acquisition of Brendan Ryan to play second base tells you everything you need to know there -- but at least now they don't view themselves as contenders. That resignation should make them an interesting team to watch this summer, when Dustin Ackley, the player drafted after Stephen Strasburg in 2009, makes his much-anticipated debut. Together, he and Smoak should give the Mariners an elite right side of the infield for years to come.

And Ackley isn't the organization's only cause for enthusiasm. Michael Pineda and his high-90s heat should also debut sometime this season, teaming with AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez to give the Mariners a pair of aces and turn a rotation of retreads into a legitimate asset.

Of course, reaching the majors and reaching full potential are two separate accomplishments, as Smoak proved last year. For now, retreads still litter the landscape, making players like Franklin Gutierrez, Jack Cust and Michael Saunders the offense's best hope of improving.

That's not to say the Mariners won't factor in Fantasy. Hernandez is probably the best pitcher other than Roy Halladay, and David Aardsma, like any closer, has value if he can bounce back from hip surgery. Ichiro Suzuki continues to put up elite numbers, and Chone Figgins remains a high-end source of stolen bases, if nothing else.

But right now, this team is in waiting mode, biding its time until the real talent arrives.

Sleeper ... Justin Smoak, 1B

Yeah, it looked bad, but Smoak's rookie season wasn't a total loss. The 24-year-old made measurable progress over the course of the season. It probably didn't stand out because his numbers were so bad already, but in September, after the Mariners called him back up from the minors, he hit .340 with three homers in 50 at-bats, showing the combination of power and patience that made him such an enticing prospect to begin with. Scouts have compared him to Mark Teixeira in the past, and though he'll have a harder time meeting that potential in Seattle than he would have in Texas, talent is talent. Most likely, Smoak is following in the footsteps of Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez and countless others who struggled in their major-league debuts before turning the corner later, only we've already seen signs of him turning the corner. And the best part is you can get him for next to nothing on Draft Day.

Bust ... Ichiro Suzuki, OF

Not much momentum for this pick, really, but you can't deny the lack of regression is starting to feel more than a little unnatural. A 37-year-old in the early rounds? That shouldn't happen. It doesn't happen in the post-PED days, which means Ichiro's run is nearing an end. Better to anticipate the changes before they actually happen, right? Last year, Ichiro's slugging percentage was under .400 for only the second time in his career, both coming in the last three seasons. Couple that with his career-high 86 strikeouts, and you get the impression his impeccably controlled bat is slowing down. So are his legs. He rebounded last year, but he stole just 26 bases in 2009, a development that should continue in his late 30s. Ichiro has a long way to fall and probably won't do it all at once, but as a player who needs to hit .330-.350 to justify his price tag, he's on a slippery slope.

Can't-miss prospect ... Dustin Ackley, 2B

Yeah, the Mariners acquired Brendan Ryan to play second base, but no one really buys that as a long-term solution, right? It's a classic stopgap scenario, which means soon enough, whether in April, May or June, Ackley is taking over. And when he does, Fantasy owners will want him on their rosters. He was the best hitter in a draft class headed by Stephen Strasburg, which should tell you everything you need to know about his upside. Some question his power, especially coming off an uninspiring minor-league debut, but he more or less put an end to those doubts by hitting .424 with four homers and a 1.338 OPS in the Arizona Fall League, setting a record for on-base percentage and capturing MVP honors. This from a middle infielder. Even if Ackley isn't a 20-homer guy right away, his incredible batting eye should help him succeed right away, perhaps making him another Dustin Pedroia. That's talent worth stashing.

Seattle Mariners Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Ichiro Suzuki RF 1 Felix Hernandez RH
2 Chone Figgins 3B 2 Jason Vargas LH
3 Franklin Gutierrez CF 3 Doug Fister RH
4 Jack Cust DH 4 Erik Bedard LH
5 Justin Smoak 1B 5 Luke French LH
6 Michael Saunders LF Alt David Pauley RH
7 Miguel Olivo C
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Jack Wilson SS CL David Aardsma RH
9 Brendan Ryan 2B SU Brandon League RH
Top bench options RP Garrett Olson LH
R Milton Bradley OF RP Shawn Kelley RH
R Matt Tuiasosopo UTL RP Danny Cortes RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2010 high Destination
1 Dustin Ackley 23 2B Triple-A Triple-A
Arizona Fall League MVP a natural hitter with good batting eye. Should arrive in 2011 even if power lags.
2 Michael Pineda 22 SP Triple-A Triple-A
Hard thrower would be projected ace if not for King Felix. Could begin in Triple-A, but debut coming.
3 Nick Franklin 20 SS Double-A Double-A
Smallish SS became legit last year with 20-20 season. A projected starter if he keeps hitting for power.
4 Alex Liddi 22 3B Double-A Triple-A
Remained productive with promotion out of hitter's league. Not a stud, but looks like 3B of the future.
5 Greg Halman 23 OF Majors Triple-A
Serious power thwarted by seriously bad plate discipline. Close, but still working out kinks in minors.
Best of the rest: Danny Cortes, RP; Mauricio Robles, SP; Guillermo Pimentel, OF; Taijuan Walker, SP; Johermyn Chavez, OF; Josh Lueke, RP; Jose Flores, RP; Marcus Littlewood, SS; Kyle Seager, 3B; James Jones, OF; Blake Beavan, SP; Carlos Triunfel, SS; and Gabriel Noriega, SS.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Team outlooks in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Miguel Montero taking seat against Dodgers ace
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:49 pm ET) A matchup against stud left-hander Clayton Kershaw has Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero out of the lineup Wednesday night.

Montero is 6 for 29 in his career against Kershaw and 19 for 91 against lefties this season.


Vic Black undergoes MRI on neck
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:37 pm ET) The Mets are waiting for the diagnosis revealed by an MRI on right-hander Vic Black, who has been dealing with a neck problem. He had claimed it was no more than stiffness, but the MRI was taken to make sure there is no structural damage.

Black, who first felt irritation last week in Oakland, gave up a run for the first time in seven appearances Saturday. He has not pitched since.


Brewers sitting Jean Segura against Padres
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) Brewers shortstop Jean Segura is catching a break Wednesday in San Diego. Elian Herrera is set to man the position in his place.

Segura has broken from a 2-for-26 slide with six hits in his last 13 at-bats.


Jed Lowrie takes batting practice Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:29 pm ET) Athletics infielder Jed Lowrie took batting practice Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Lowrie took two-handed swings in the cages prior to Wednesday's game. His throwing session went well Tuesday, and he seems to be making progress. He's planning to hit again Thursday. Lowrie has been out since August 13 with a finger injury.


Wilin Rosario heading to the disabled list
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:19 pm ET) Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has been placed on the disabled list.

Rosario is dealing with left wrist inflammation, and will need more time to recover. He's hit just .248/.289/.399 over 331 at-bats. Manager Walt Weiss hinted at the move late Tuesday, saying Rosario's wrist wasn't responding to treatment as well as the team had hoped. 


Matt Holliday blasts off in Wednesday defeat
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:17 pm ET) Cardinals veteran outfielder Matt Holliday provided the only offense for his team in a Wednesday loss in Pittsburgh.

Holliday slammed a solo home run in the second inning off Jeff Locke to sweeten his stat line on the season to .263/.364/.412. He has 13 home runs and 68 RBI on the year.


Boone Logan placed on disabled list
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:16 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Boone Logan has been placed on the disabled list Wednesday.

Logan is dealing with elbow inflammation, and will need time to recover. He's posted a 6.84 ERA over 25 innings. 


Xander Bogaerts ready to return Saturday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:14 pm ET) Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts has passed Major League Baseball's concussion protocal, and should be back Saturday, according to the Providence Journal

Bogaerts can return from the 7-day disabled list Saturday, and it's looking like that will happen. He's hitting .223/.293/.333 over 435 at-bats. 


Ike Davis goes (extremely) deep in defeat of Cardinals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:13 pm ET) Pirates first baseman Ike Davis answered the following question Wednesday: What would he do for an encore?

Davis followed his heroics of Tuesday night, when he slammed a pinch-hit, three-run homer, by mashing another Wednesday afternoon to key a victory over St. Louis. The latest blast doinked off a speaker an estimated 447 feel away from home plate. His tater off Adam Wainwright was his 10th of the season.


Mark Melancon shuts down Cardinals for another save
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:06 pm ET) Pirates closer Mark Melancon nailed down his second save in less than 24 hours Wednesday against St. Louis.

Melancon entered with a two-run lead in the ninth and promptly surrendered a single to Jhonny Peralta. But he retired the next three batters in order to secure his 24th save in 28 opportunities.


 
 
 
Rankings