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
2015 Draft Prep Guide
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
 
 
 

2012 Draft Prep: The winds of change

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
  •  

Aramis Ramirez is destined to be a National League Central lifer.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Baseball.

Ramirez, who began his career in 1998 with the Pirates and spent the last 8 1/2 seasons with the Cubs, continued his tour around the NL Central by signing with the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason. He has become the poster child for the NL Central.

The 33-year-old veteran is one of many recognizable faces in new places this season. The offseason frenzy once again changed the baseball landscape. While Ramirez chose to stay in familiar territory, players like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder left the Senior Circuit to join the American League.

Now, regardless of where Pujols and Fielder signed their Fantasy Baseball status was hardly going to shift. But for a player like Ramirez, his landing spot definitely could have made an impact -- either positive or negative.

It's worth pointing out that Ramirez is going from one favorable home run park in Wrigley Field to another in Miller Park. You will be happy to know that Ramirez has a career .270 average, .503 slugging percentage and .829 OPS in 78 career games at his new home stadium. However, those numbers are inflated from early in Ramirez's career. He has struggled the last three seasons at Miller Park, hitting a combined .214 (15 for 70) in his last 19 games.

We are still confident in Ramirez's abilities and his move to Milwaukee appears to be a lateral one. Therefore, Ramirez passes as a low-end Fantasy starter, worth targeting in the middle rounds of mixed leagues.

While Ramirez's splits might not have a profound impact on his Fantasy value, that doesn't apply to all offseason acquisitions.

Andrew Bailey, RP, Red Sox
Transaction: Traded from Oakland to Boston
Noteworthy stats: Has 7.20 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in four outings (five innings) at Fenway Park
Analysis: Bailey's high ERA and WHIP at his new home ballpark really stand out. But in his case it might not so much be the park as the opposition he was facing. Bailey had to contend with a vaunted Red Sox lineup from 2009-11. He does have fly-ball tendencies (career 45 percent fly-ball rate) but it's not like Fenway is a bandbox. The park does favor left-handed fly-ball hitters but Fenway is a below-average park for homers. Fenway is really a doubles park and Bailey has surrendered just 23 doubles in 157 career outings. Bailey could easily surpass his value as a mid-round pick -- if he can remain healthy.

Carlos Quentin, OF, Padres
Transaction: Traded from Chicago White Sox to San Diego
Noteworthy stats: Has .267 average and 11 home runs in 116 games in current NL West parks
Analysis: Quentin returns to the NL West after spending the last four seasons in the AL Central. Quentin couldn't hit at PETCO Park in his first stint in the Senior Circuit (1 for 19) and we aren't expecting an offensive explosion during his second tour. While his power swing worked well at U.S. Cellular Field, PETCO is a pitcher's park and below-average home run park for right-handed hitters. It's also one of the worst parks in the NL for doubles hitters, which won't bode well for Quentin. Don't forget: San Diego will have a far-less-stacked lineup than the White Sox, so don't be shocked if Quentin's numbers at the end of the season don't jump off the page.

Huston Street, RP, Padres
Transaction: Traded from Colorado to San Diego
Noteworthy stats: Has 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, eight saves and 13.5 K/9 rate in 11 outings (11 1/3 innings) at PETCO Park
Analysis: Street is likely over the moon he is leaving a hitter's park for a pitcher's park, especially given his outstanding history at PETCO. We have seen what fellow closers Trevor Hoffman and Heath Bell were able to accomplish with the Padres, so Street might be the next great closer in San Diego. A big reason why Street has success at PETCO is that his line-drive rate sometimes gets away from him, but PETCO is forgiving as a below-average line-drive park. If Street can avoid injury he should get ample save opportunities and could end up as a late-round steal for Fantasy owners.

Mat Latos, SP, Reds
Transaction: Traded from San Diego to Cincinnati
Noteworthy stats: Has 1-0 record, 1.93 ERA, 0.50 WHIP and nine strikeouts in two starts (14 innings) at Great American Ballpark
Analysis: Concern immediately crept into the minds of Fantasy owners the day Latos was traded to Cincinnati. He was leaving one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks for one of the more hitter-friendly. While Latos has a slightly higher-than-average fly-ball rate it hasn't been an issue in the few times he's pitched in homer-friendly Great American Ballpark. His numbers are surprisingly impressive, which is probably why the Reds didn't hesitate pulling the trigger on acquiring him. Latos got off to a sluggish start last season due to a shoulder injury but he was outstanding in the second half. Latos posted a 2.87 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and struck out 8.8 batters per nine innings in 14 starts after the All-Star break. Though the sample size for Latos at his new home park is small, you could consider it a steal if he slips past the early rounds on Draft Day.

Angel Pagan, OF, Giants
Transaction: Traded from N.Y. Mets to San Francisco
Noteworthy stats: Has .069 average, .336 OPS and five strikeouts in nine games (29 at-bats) at AT&T Park
Analysis: Don't get caught up in Pagan's numbers at his new home ballpark. Many hitters don't have impressive numbers squaring off against the likes of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. Now that he won't have to face them Pagan could make AT&T Park his new personal playground. Pagan is a line-drive hitter who should find the spacious gaps at his new home ballpark very favorable. AT&T Park is a well-above-average triples park for both right- and left-handed hitters. It's also an above-average park for left-handed doubles hitters. It's also worth noting that Pagan -- a switch-hitter -- has a good history in most NL West parks, sporting a .290 average at Coors Field, .306 at Dodger Stadium and .361 at Chase Field. Pagan, who should hit leadoff for San Francisco, has a career .301 average and .809 OPS out of the top spot in the lineup. Pagan could end up as a bargain pick in the mid-to-late rounds on Draft Day.

Travis Wood, SP, Cubs
Transaction: Traded from Cincinnati to Chicago Cubs
Noteworthy stats: Has 5.30 ERA in home starts and 3.58 ERA in away starts
Analysis: Wood is an intriguing Fantasy option because he came into last year with so much promise following a stellar debut in 2010 but he wasn't nearly as effective last season and is already on to his second major league club. Luckily, a change of scenery might be exactly what he needs. Wood is a fly-ball pitcher and that's not good in a homer-friendly park like Great American Ballpark. Wood also was unlucky in Cincinnati, posting a .347 BABIP, which is well above the norm. Wrigley Field isn't favorable for fly-ball pitchers either but Wood has had better luck there. He is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and .135 BABIP in two career starts at Wrigley. It's also worth pointing out that Wood has done well in other NL Central parks. He has a 2.89 ERA at Houston, 3.60 ERA at Milwaukee, 3.48 ERA at Pittsburgh and 2.03 ERA at St. Louis. If Wood locks down a spot in the Cubs' rotation you might consider him a late-round Fantasy sleeper in deep formats.

Joe Nathan, RP, Rangers
Transaction: Left Minnesota to sign free-agent deal with Texas
Noteworthy stats: Has 6-1 record, 1.08 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 in career (83 innings) against Angels, A's and Mariners
Analysis: Nathan posted an ERA above 4.00 in 2011 for the first time since 2000. However, his ERA was inflated as he struggled early coming off Tommy John surgery. Once he returned from a disabled-list stint in late June, Nathan looked more like his former dominant self. He went 11 for 12 in save chances in his final 31 outings, posting a 3.38 ERA, .193 opponents' batting average and .218 BABIP during that span. He now joins a top contender, so the save chances should be plentiful. A major concern is how Nathan, a fly-ball pitcher, will hold up at homer-friendly Ballpark in Arlington. However, Nathan has allowed just one homer in 13 career outings (13 2/3 innings) at the Rangers home ballpark, while posting a 1.98 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Nathan seems at home in the AL West and could get back to being an elite Fantasy relief pitcher in 2012.

Jason Kubel, OF, Diamondbacks
Transaction: Left Minnesota to sign free-agent deal with Arizona
Noteworthy stats: Has .328 average, .383 on-base percentage, .589 slugging percentage, .972 OPS, 14 home runs, 15 doubles and 44 RBI in 71 interleague games
Analysis: Kubel is becoming a full-time NL player for the first time in his career but if his track record is any indication, he shouldn't have a problem handling Senior Circuit hurlers. Kubel has hit .300 or better in interleague play in all but one of his six MLB seasons. Even in just three interleague games last season, Kubel hit .286 with a 1.000 OPS -- and those three games were at his new home ballpark. Kubel's power swing should suit him nicely at Chase Field since it is a very favorable park for left-handed home run and doubles hitters. Kubel could end up as a great mid-round value pick.

Trevor Cahill, SP, Diamondbacks
Transaction: Traded from Oakland to Arizona
Noteworthy stats: Has 7-3 record, 2.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and .240 BABIP in 12 interleague starts
Analysis: Cahill is another former AL player who has done well in interleague play. He also is 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in two starts in NL West parks, while compiling a 4-2 record, 2.66 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in seven starts against the NL West. Cahill's ground-ball tendencies should also suit him well at Chase Field since he mostly gives up singles and limits his extra-base hits. Chase Field is slightly below average for singles, while above average for doubles, triples and homers. Cahill is another player who could exceed expectations as a mid-round Fantasy draft pick.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Hiroki Kuroda, SP, Yankees
Transaction: Left L.A. Dodgers to sign free-agent deal with N.Y. Yankees
Noteworthy stats: Has 3-8 record, 4.33 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and .282 BABIP in 11 interleague starts
Analysis: Kuroda immediately became a pitcher worth targeting in all Fantasy formats the moment the news broke that he was going to join the Yankees rotation. He had just one winning season in four years with the Dodgers but Los Angeles could never give him the ample run support the Yankees stacked lineup will provide. While Kuroda sports a career 3.45 ERA, it's nearly a point higher in interleague play and it wouldn't be surprising if he posts an ERA above 4.00 in 2012. It's also alarming that Kuroda gave up a career-high 24 homers last season. He now heads to one of the more homer-friendly parks in the majors, especially for left-handed hitters. Kuroda is obviously worth drafting as a mid-rotation Fantasy arm because of his wins potential but don't be shocked if some of his numbers start to rise now that he is in the AL.

Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees
Transaction: Left Philadelphia to sign free-agent deal with N.Y. Yankees
Noteworthy stats: Has .304 average, .407 on-base percentage, .652 slugging percentage, 1.060 OPS, two homers and five RBI in six games at Yankee Stadium
Analysis: You probably were wondering out of all the available options at the Yankees' disposal, why did they choose to sign a soon-to-be-40-year-old veteran to take over the designated hitter duties for the traded Jesus Montero? That's easy. Ibanez is a left-handed power bat and as we highlighted with Kuroda, those types of hitters thrive at Yankee Stadium. Don't get overly concerned about Ibanez adjusting to a DH role. Remember, he used to play in the AL and has DH experience. He has a .272 average, 22 homers, 42 doubles and 112 RBI in 217 games as a DH. Don't reach for Ibanez on Draft Day but he could end up as a nice value pick in the late rounds.

Michael Cuddyer, 1B/OF, Rockies
Transaction: Left Minnesota to sign free-agent deal with Colorado
Noteworthy stats: Has .273 average, .370 on-base percentage, .461 slugging percentage, .831 OPS, 11 homers, 33 doubles and 66 RBI in 127 interleague games
Analysis: Like Kuroda and Ibanez moving to the Yankees, any time a hitter joins the Rockies Fantasy owners get overly excited for his outlook since Coors Field is one of the top hitter's park in the majors. However, Coors Field really favors the line-drive hitters and Cuddyer hasn't been a good one the last few years. His line-drive rate has been under 19 percent four of the last five seasons. It's also worth noting that Cuddyer hasn't fared well against NL West teams. He has hit .241 or worse against the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Padres. He's going to get a steady dose of Tim Linceum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy. Don't draft Cuddyer before the middle rounds on Draft Day.

David DeJesus, OF, Cubs
Transaction: Left Oakland to sign free-agent deal with Chicago Cubs
Noteworthy stats: Has .325 average, .402 on-base percentage, .475 slugging percentage, .877 OPS, nine homers, 30 doubles and 66 RBI in 123 interleague games
Analysis: DeJesus signing a two-year deal with the Cubs this offseason garnered little fanfare but if he hits like he has against NL pitching in the past, then DeJesus could end up as one of the top free-agent steals of the offseason. Not only has DeJesus hit NL pitching he has thrived against the NL Central. He has hit .364 against the Reds, .395 against the Astros, .423 against the Brewers and .336 against the Cardinals. He should have made the move to the NL Central years ago. Chicago is also going to give him the chance to bat leadoff and that makes sense. DeJesus has a .292 average, .365 OBP and .801 OPS as a leadoff hitter. You just might want to put DeJesus on your radar as a late-round Fantasy flier.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Michael Hurcomb at @CBSHurc . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara not utilizing fastball this season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has been throwing an unusual amount of offspeed pitches to start the season. Uehara has thrown fastballs on just 15 percent of his pitches this season, compared to 50 percent over the last three years, according to the Boston Herald.

Manager John Farrell isn't reading too much into it.

"He's going to go with what he feels," Farrell said. "Every 3 mph is about a foot distance in traveling to home plate. So there's a little bit different reaction time. But regardless of velocity there still needs to be the use of (the fastball) just to create separation between his fastball and his split."

Uehara is 1-1 so far this season with a 4.15 ERA and three saves in 4 1/3 innings.


White Sox send reliever Daniel Webb back to Triple-A
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) White Sox reliever Daniel Webb , who was called up Sunday as the 26th man for the team's doubleheader against the Royals, was sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte after the game. 

Webb pitched in 57 games last season for the White Sox but was one of the team's final cuts in spring training. 


Diamondbacks struggling to fill in void at third base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale knew his team wasn't going to go the entire season without an injury. But the skipper was hoping to avoid the issue he currently has at third base, according to AZCentral.com.

With Jake Lamb on the disabled list with a foot injury, Aaron Hill and Yasmany Tomas have struggled to put it together, combining for a .559 OPS in the last five games.

"Yeah, that's huge," Hale said. "You're going to have injuries all year. There's going to be a multitude of them for every team. If you can't make the adjustment — if guys can't come in and fill the void — then you're going to be in trouble as a club."

Tomas is hitting .286 in 14 at-bats this season while Hill is scuffling along at .156 in 45 at-bats.


Phillies pitcher Chad Billingsley allows seven runs in rehab start
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Phillies pitcher Chad Billingsley allowed seven runs in five innings of work in his third rehab start in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to Philly.com.

Billingsley, who is currently on the 15-day DL with an elbow injury, added three strikeouts and two walks in the appearance. He has yet to appear in a major league game since 2013 while dealing with multiple elbow injuries.


Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez still working out of funk
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has yet to put things together at the plate so far this season. Gonzalez is hitting just .197 with two home runs in 66 at-bats and it's wearing on him a bit, according to the Denver Post.

"I'm not in a good place. I'm still hitting (.197)," he said. "But I'm happy that I'm healthy, and that I'm playing, and that we are winning. I think we are having a good month so far as a team."

Manager Walt Weiss thinks he's really close to seeing Gonzalez get all the pieces together and go on a run.

"I saw real good signs from CarGo, hitting the ball hard the opposite way," Weiss said. "It wasn't just the couple of hits he got. It was the way he got them. Those are things that he had been working on. Then, to get results like that, is always encouraging."

Report: Josh Hamilton trade expected to be completed Monday
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) The trade of outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Angels to the Rangers is expected to be completed Monday, with Hamilton then reporting to Texas' spring training site in Arizona to continue his rehab from offseason surgery, per MLB.com. 

The trade was rumored to have been completed Sunday, but complications arose in finalizing the deal. The Rangers are expected to hold a press conference announcing the trade on Monday. Hamilton is expected to play several games in Triple-A before being called up to the Rangers. 


Dodgers' Jimmy Rollins not concerned with early slump at the plate
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins isn't worrying just yet about his struggles at the plate, according to the Orange County Register.

"Well, some people like to panic. That has never been my MO," he said. "I have, what, 50, 60 at-bats, I'm not sure. So if these are my worst 50 at-bats this year – I'm glad they're happening now. (If they are his worst at-bats) it’s going to be a very good year."

Rollins is hitting just .186 in 70 at-bats so far this season. He believes he's still been taking good swings at the plate, just not finding the gaps in the defense.

"It's hard to compute if you just look at numbers," he said. "I'm getting myself in good counts, just not finishing it off. I know it's coming. I'm hitting some off the end, some are getting in just a little bit. But the swing path is right. It's just a click here, a click there.

"The process is good. You have to continue to trust in the process and believe in the process. You get oriented in just results – especially at times like this – then you're trying to make all these technical changes and that's when you go from one to two to 100. So the process is right. Executing it is about fine-tuning."


Angels OF Matt Joyce hopes hit signals end of slump
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) Angels outfielder Matt Joyce saw his eight-game hitless streak come to an end Sunday with an eighth-inning single that ended an 0-for-26 skid. The right fielder, who figures to be a fixture in Los Angeles' lineup with the expected departure of Josh Hamilton, said he hopes the small start will lead to bigger things, according to the Los Angeles Times

"Sometimes it's a tough game," Joyce said. "It seems like you try everything, and you put in so much time and effort and work, it gets to be frustrating. It gets to be hard to swallow and accept it, and hard to keep showing up and grinding it out."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he will continue to stick with Joyce, who is hitting just .140 on the season. 


Mets starter Jonathon Niese struggles vs. Yankees
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) Mets starter Jonathon Niese was not sharp Sunday in the finale of the Subway Series against the Yankees, lasting just five innings while allowing six runs and eight hits. Niese was betrayed somewhat by his defense, which committed four errors behind him, leading to two unearned runs. 

Niese was spotted a 2-0 first-inning lead, but he quickly gave it back, allowing a first-inning homer to Alex Rodriguez and then giving up four second-inning runs as the Yankees broke the game open. 

"You can't look into it too deeply," Niese said to MLB.com. "It's a loss. It's a tough loss. Obviously we want to win, but we've just got to get through it, learn from it, move on and play better."

Niese, who threw 86 pitches, saw his ERA rise to 2.74 in absorbing his first loss of the season. 

"I just wish I could have a couple pitches back," Niese said. "But I threw them. The results were what they were. I've just got to move on."

Niese will look to get back on track Saturday against the Nationals.


Nationals considering keeping Yunel Escobar at third base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Nationals manager Matt Williams will have a decision to make when his regular third baseman Anthony Rendon comes back from injury. With Rendon on the shelf, Yunel Escobar has shifted to third and Williams is considering leaving him there even after Rendon returns, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The team is unsure yet what will happen when Rendon returns, but one theory has Escobar staying at third and Rendon shifting to second base, according to Heyman.

Escobar is hitting .292 with five RBI in 65 at-bats while slotted at third base.


 
 
 
Rankings