Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
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.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Indians sign pitcher Scott Downs to minor-league contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:07 pm ET) The Indians announced they signed pitcher Scott Downs to a minor-league contract Saturday.

Downs also received a non-roster invite to MLB camp.


Red Sox, Padres complete Hanigan-for-Middlebrooks trade
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The Red Sox and Padres completed a trade Friday, with catcher Ryan Hanigan heading to Boston in exchange for third baseman Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox announced.

Hanigan, 34, is signed for two more seasons with a team option for 2017. He hit .218/.318/.324 with five home runs and 34 RBI in 225 at-bats in 2014.

Middlebrooks, 26, is eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2015 season. He hit .191/.256/.265 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 215 at-bats in 2014.


Giants get Class A hurlers for Marlins 3B McGehee
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The Giants are trading minor league right-handers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo for Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee.

Both pitched at a Class A level last season and averaged more than a strikeout per inning.


Dodgers dump RHP Brian Wilson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Three days after designating reliever Brian Wilson for assignment, the Dodgers have released him.

Wilson struggled in 2014 after a strong stint upon his arrival with Los Angeles in 2013. He finished the year with a 4.66 ERA and 29 walks in 48 1/3 innings.


Report: LHP Craig Breslow staying with Red Sox
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Left-hander reliever Craig Breslow is set to sign a one-year deal with the Red Sox for $2 million, per WEEI.com.

Breslow pitched for Boston the last two years, but collapsed in 2014 after compiling a 1.81 ERA the previous year. He finished with a 5.93 ERA and 73 hits in 54 1/3 innings.


Giants have acquired McGehee in deal with Marlins
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The Giants and Marlins have agreed to a deal that has sent deposed starting third baseman Casey McGehee to San Francisco, per CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Giants pitchers Matt Duffy and Hunter Strickland are reportedly among the possibilities to be sent to Miami.


Mets P Syndergaard center of Tulowitzki talks with Rockies
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Premier Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is the centerpiece of trade talks involving Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, per CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, who is further reporting that the teams are not close to finalizing a trade.

The pitching-rich Mets are dangling the 22-year-old Syndergaard, who struggled at the Triple-A level in 2014 with a 4.60 ERA and career-worst 1.48 WHIP. Syndergaard has fanned 474 in just 426 2/3 innings.


Bud Black reveals OF configuration for Padres in 2015
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Bud Black sees his revamped Padres outfield consisting of Justin Upton in left, Matt Kemp in right and Wil Myers in center, per The Associated Press.

The very active Padres will have an entirely new outfield in 2015.


Report: Cubs sign veteran C David Ross
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Catcher David Ross has signed a two-year contract with the Cubs for $5 million, sources have told Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal.

Ross, who was rumored to be headed to San Diego, has served as a backup throughout his career. His average has slipped in each of the last four seasons and dropped to .184 in 2014. It was his lowest mark in 10 years.


Padres pick up RHP Northcroft in Upton deal
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The Padres have announced that they have also received right-hander Aaron Northcraft in the deal with the Braves that landed them slugger Justin Upton.

The 24-year-old Northcraft has yet to make his major league debut.


 
 
 
Rankings