Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
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: Oakland Athletics

  •  

Listen to our latest Fantasy Baseball Podcast!

The Athletics have gone an eternity without making the playoffs, at least by Billy Beane standards. The groundbreaking general manager, who never uses his lack of resources as an excuse to concede anything, begrudgingly began a rebuilding project in 2008 that has kept the Athletics out of the national spotlight for the last three years.

But they got back to .500 last year and, in what would be a remarkably quick turnaround by baseball standards, appear poised to compete again in 2011.

Not surprisingly, their strength now is the same as it was during the beginning of Beane's tenure. With emerging aces Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez and the ultra-efficient Dallas Braden of perfect game fame occupying the first four spots, their starting rotation is comparable to the one led by Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder a decade ago. Even the fifth spot, which is up for grabs between former elite prospects Rich Harden and Brandon McCarthy and Tommy John survivor Josh Outman, should give the Athletics a chance to win every time through the order.

Recognizing he has a championship-caliber rotation now, Beane stepped up his pursuit of a proper supporting cast this offseason, acquiring Josh Willingham and David DeJesus in separate trades with the Nationals and Royals and signing Hideki Matsui to a one-year deal. None of the three figures to make a huge impact in Fantasy, but for a team that had Kurt Suzuki and Kevin Kouzmanoff batting cleanup much of last season, all three represent significant upgrades. And even if they fall short of expectations, super slugger Chris Carter is still waiting in the wings, with Michael Taylor not too far behind him.

And it's not like the Athletics needed to completely overhaul the offense to win games. Whatever innings their shutdown rotation can't provide will go to an already strong bullpen that should only improve with Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Joey Devine in the mix.

Breakout ... Brett Anderson, SP

This should have happened last year. Anderson was a favorite of Fantasy prognosticators everywhere after posting a 2.96 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings over his final 17 starts as a rookie. But injury after injury doomed him at the start of 2010, limiting him to one start in May (strained forearm) and one start in June (sore elbow). An increase in innings from 105 in 2008 to 175 1/3 in 2009 no doubt contributed to his problems. Once his arm calmed down and he returned to the rotation for good, he pitched exactly as everyone expected, posting a 2.59 ERA over his final 12 starts. Now that he's refreshed and more accustomed to the rigors of a big-league season, he should be able to live up to his elite potential and become a legitimate ace. Chances are you'll be able to draft him as your third pitcher, perhaps waiting until the middle rounds to do so.

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

Bust ... David DeJesus, OF

DeJesus may not seem like bust material since Fantasy owners already view him as a late-round pick, but by drafting him at all, they're putting too much stock in his 2010 performance. Yes, he hit a career-high .318 last year, but much of that came from a ridiculously hot June when he hit .410. He was on the DL three weeks later, out for the year with a thumb injury, so he never got a chance to regress to the mean. He's no stranger to hot streaks; the regression was coming. Given his track record and the fact he's already 31 years old, DeJesus' 2010 was more of a statistical anomaly than a legitimate step forward, and now he's going to a park where he's hit .250 with a .689 OPS for his career. Yuck. DeJesus isn't useless in Fantasy, but if you draft him thinking he'll help you make up ground in batting average, you'll likely be disappointed.

Sleeper ... Coco Crisp, OF

Granted, most people think of Crisp's 2010 season as a disappointment because he missed so much time due to injury. But in between the strained pectoral and the two broken pinkies, he showed something he hasn't shown since he was first making a name for himself with the Indians. He was an all-around threat, taking advantage of his freedom on the base paths after getting held back in Boston and regaining the power he lost as a part-time player. The result was eight homers and 32 steals in 290 at-bats, which translates to something like 15 homers and 60 steals over a full season. You don't think that's a big deal in Fantasy? Well, only four outfielders averaged more than Crisp's 3.8 Fantasy points per game in standard Head-to-Head leagues last year. Can he maintain that pace over a full season? Assuredly not, but even if he performs at a fraction of that level, he'll be one of the biggest bargains on Draft Day.

Oakland Athletics Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Coco Crisp CF 1 Dallas Braden LH
2 Daric Barton 1B 2 Trevor Cahill RH
3 David DeJesus RF 3 Brett Anderson LH
4 Josh Willingham LF 4 Gio Gonzalez LH
5 Hideki Matsui DH 5 Brandon McCarthy RH
6 Kurt Suzuki C Alt Josh Outman LH
7 Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Mark Ellis 2B CL Andrew Bailey RH
9 Cliff Pennington SS SU Brian Fuentes LH
Top bench options RP Grant Balfour RH
R Ryan Sweeney OF RP Michael Wuertz RH
R Conor Jackson OF RP Rich Harden RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2010 high Destination
1 Chris Carter 24 OF Majors Triple-A
Slugger began career 0 for 33 before blowing up in final week. Offseason additions likely force him to minors.
2 Grant Green 23 SS Class A Double-A
First-rounder in '09 a potential middle-of-the-order guy. Has plate discipline issues but could start by 2012.
3 Michael Taylor 25 OF Triple-A Triple-A
Former Phillies prospect flopped in first year with A's. Deserves a longer leash based on his past numbers.
4 Michael Choice 21 OF Class A Class A
First-rounder in 2010 already turning heads in minors. Whiffs too much but should hit for average and power.
5 Tyson Ross 23 SP Majors Triple-A
Got early look in the bullpen last year but future is in rotation. A's deep staff gives him more time to learn.
Best of the rest: Eric Sogard, 2B; Jemile Weeks, 2B; Max Stassi, C; Bobby Cramer, SP; Adrian Cardenas, SS; Aaron Shipman, OF; Yordy Cabrera, SS; Ian Krol, SP; Fautino De Los Santos, RP; Josh Donaldson, C; Pedro Figueroa, SP; and Michael Ynoa, SP.

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.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Locked-in slider helping Joe Nathan lock in
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) In the wake of a trade for possible replacement Joakim Soria, Tigers closer Joe Nathan managed his most impressive performance of the season Thursday night. He fanned the side against the host Angels to collect his 21st save. And he had a rediscovered slider to thank for it.

Nathan has been working on that pitch recently. That work certainly paid off in that appearance.

"That was as long as I've seen his slider, I think all year possibly," Brad Ausmus told mlbblogs.com. "It was clear that the hitters weren't picking up the rotation on his slider. It looked like a fastball to them and they swung right over the top. That's the slider I remember facing. ... You start your swing and it just drops out of the strike zone. It almost has a split-finger action to it."

Nathan has been coming around after his latest slump. He has pitched scoreless ball in his last three outings with five strikeouts and just one hit allowed in three innings. He has picked up two saves in the process.


Jerome Williams set to get start Friday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:43 am ET) The Rangers have tabbed pitcher Jerome Williams to start Friday against the Athletics, after Nick Tepesch had to be scratched from his scheduled start.

The Rangers will purchase Williams' contract from Triple-A Round Rock prior to the start, though it is not yet clear what the corresponding roster move will be. Williams has not started in the majors since 2012, and has a 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings at Round Rock this season. 


Blake Beavan back in action - for not for Mariners
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:29 am ET) The Mariners have activated right-hander Blake Beavan from the 60-day disabled list and dispatched him to Triple-A Tacoma. He has recovered from a shoulder injury that has limited him to one start this season for Seattle. But there is no place for him in its rotation.

David Ortiz set to get back checked Friday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:24 am ET) Red Sox prolific designated hitter David Ortiz will have his ailing back evaluated Friday before a determination is made about possible missed time, per the Boston Herald.

Ortiz was removed in the ninth inning of the Thursday loss to Toronto after experiencing spasms in the middle of his back on a check swing. He received treatment after the game.

"We haven't talked about (missing time)," Ortiz said. "... Hopefully it's nothing serious." Ortiz added that he felt a "little pop or something" in his back Wednesday, but the discomfort disappeared, allowing him to play Thursday.


No timetable set for return of Michael Bourn
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) Terry Francona has provided no timetable for the return of Indians center fielder Michael Bourn, who has been out nearly three weeks with a strained left hamstring.

"When he's ready to play, he's ready to play," Francona told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Bourn has proven disappointing again after signing a free agent contract in 2013. Extensive hamstring problems have played a role in him being limited to seven stolen bases. His .267/.316/.379 stat line is nearly identical to the one he compiled a year ago.


Danny Santana hits rare homer in loss
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:06 am ET) Twins outfielder Danny Santana provided the lone offensive contribution in the team's 5-2 loss to the White Sox Thursday.

Santana had just one hit in the game, but he made it count, clubbing a two-run home run in the eighth inning in a failed effort to spark a rally. He went 1 for 3 overall with one strikeout in addition to his two RBI.

Santana hasn't provided much power this season, as he is hitting .325/.361/.465 with three home runs in 157 at-bats.


Slumping Eugenio Suarez scores twice in win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:01 am ET) The Tigers got a solid contribution from infielder Eugenio Suarez Thursday, in a 6-4 win over the Angels.

Suarez reached base three times in the win, and made the most of his time on. He scored two runs and stole one base while going 2 for 3 with a walk.

Suarez has struggled in the month of July, hitting just .240 with seven runs scored in 15 games. He is still hitting .263/.351/.407 through the first 38 games of his career. 


Delmon Young's homer leads Orioles to win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9:49 am ET) Orioles outfielder Delmon Young showed some rare power Thursday, as he carried the team to a 4-0 win over the Mariners.  

Young started his first game in more than two weeks, and made it count. He went 2 for 4 with a home run, and drove in three runs with a third-inning home run, his fourth of the season.

The Home run was Young's first since June 16. He is hitting .317/.344/.455 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 123 at-bats.


Chris Carter's solo homer all Astros can muster
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9:44 am ET) Astros designated hitter Chris Carter provided the team's lone offensive contribution Thursday, in a 13-1 loss to the Athletics.

Carter went 1 for 4 in the loss, clubbing a solo home run to account for the Astros' only run. He moved into ninth place in the American League with his 20th home run, and is now hitting .213/.288/.480 in 296 at-bats.  


Rene Rivera homers in blowout win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9:41 am ET) Padres catcher Rene Rivera put together a strong performance Thursday, in a 13-3 win over the Cubs.

Rivera went 3 for 5 in the blowout win, and played a big role with his bat. Rivera went 3 for 5 with three RBI, including one with his fifth inning home run and then two more with a single in the sixth. He also came around to score twice in the win.

Rivera has been a solid option for the Padres behind the plate this season, hitting .228/.286/.436 with seven home runs in 149 at-bats. 


 
 
 
Rankings