I wanted to just go with Shootin’ Blanks as the title, but then I figured no one would have any idea what this post was about, so i got hardcore specific past the / mark. No one has ever said that I trust the interwebs to get my awkward Kyle Blanks references.
Every year after your draft or auction is over its good to take a hard look at your team and see what categories your might be truly screwed in. And since I think punting any category is a ridiculous concept thrown around by so called experts, lets take a look at where you can find some helpful 1 or 2 category players with potential to breakout.
Draft Result #1 - So you ended up with some combination of Ichiro Suzuki, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, B.J. Upton, or even David Wright (until he shows me he has power again I see under for 20 Hrs) and well you’ve got SBs locked up, but light tower power isn’t quite what your team is going to be known for. Who do you target to help show the rest of your team how to do the home run trot.
- Kyle Blanks - (OF) see get it, the title still isn’t that funny. But Blanks is the real deal, at only 23 Blanks crushed 10 Hrs in only 148 ABs last year and has hit at every level of minor league play. Combine that with the fact that he was a decently patient hitter throughout his minor league career and his dad’s nickname was Sugar Bear and you’re looking at a potential 30 HR campaign from the youngster, PETCO be dammed.
- Chris Davis - (1B, 3B) the ultimate power tool post hype sleeper, if he’s still available take a shot, unless your league counts strikeouts, then your double effed with his ughh BA and enough whiffs that they should put a windmill in Arlington’s outfield.
- Garrett Jones - (1B, OF) yes he is a bit old to be a rookie, yes he looked like a Quad-A player for most of his career and yes Pittsburgh is already his third team. But a .938 OPS in 300+ ABs is legit, and with a handful of 20+ HR seasons in the minors, the power is real.
Draft Result #2 - So you ended up with Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Lind and a bunch of other basesloths, while power is locked up SBs and maybe even Runs may be a challenge. The good news is that SBs this year are plentiful, especially on the FA wire.
- Cameron Maybin (OF) -If he’s in your FA pool and you need SBs go get Maybin now. While he only had 1 SB last year, Maybin is a 5 tool player with immediate upside in all formats. He should be a lock for 25+ bases this year and while he will have some growing pains hitting in the 2 hole in front of Hanley should help him out immensely.
- Everth Cabrera (SS) - With 25 SBs in only 377 ABs last year we could easily see E-Cab, E-Money, Evercab, stealing upwards of 40 bags this year. He will be locked into the Fathers lineup with A-Gon, Kyle Blanks, and Chase Headley hitting behind him so runs will be aplenty as well. With the abrupt cliff that is SS this season Evercab is going to end up starting on a lot of teams.
- Juan Pierre (OF) - Now that he’s at the Cell, you may see a extreme uptick in Pierre’s HRs, and by that I mean he might eclipse his full season record of 3 (3 really pierre, during the steroid era, you put up a 3 spot). However, he’s good for 30-40 SBs, 300+ BA, and 100+ Runs. And hes probably available in your league.
Draft Result #3 - You ended up with a staff anchored with Chris Carpenter, Scott Baker, John Danks or James Shields and few other light tossers. Your ERA is solid and so is you’re Win potential, but Ks are lacking.
- Jonathan Sánchez (SP) - It seems like a lot of people are predicting, like they did last year, a breakout from Sanchez and while I like his stuff quite a bit his control is atrocious. However, the Ks are legit and will flow like wine. As long as you can take a hit in the Whip department Sanchez is for you.
- Aaron Harang (SP) - While not the pitcher he once was, Harang when healthy is a 200K guy. He could bounce back to help in every other category as well. So while he may look like a raccoon/man hybrid, those Ks will look damn good on your fantasy team.
- Ted Lilly (SP) - Coming off an injury year in 2009 Lilly could be an overall steal if he can get and stay healthy in Mid April as reports seem to be indicating. He’s got 180K stuff and the ability to win 15 games. Seems like another no brainer.