Posts Tagged ‘1st base’

I’ve never been a big fan of early fantasy drafts and the Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) injury is my biggest reason why. Nelson was the 3rd highest scoring wide receiver in our league behind Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos). As you know Nelson torn the ACL in his right knee. The injury will require surgery and Nelson will miss the entire season. If your draft was before the Packers pre-season game last week Nelson was probably one of the first wide receivers to come off the draft board. Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a hamstring injury, but they’re saying he’ll be ready to go for Week 1, but with this type of injury you never can tell. There are quite a few players you’ll have to check and see where they are with their injury as you go into your draft. Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears) is dealing with a calf injury. Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders also has a hamstring issue as well. Julian Edelman the New England Patriots wide receiver has an ankle injury and hasn’t been practicing. Now all these players are suppose to be ready by Week 1, but when you have a draft too early it’s difficult to follow all the injuries. Luckily all 3 of the leagues that I’m in will be drafting Labor Day weekend; so I’ll have time to see who’s still out injured and if there have been any more players that got injured. If you have a league that has already drafted I’d be interested to know how you like it or why your league decided to draft early.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast I’m sure you’ve heard us mention our two fantasy football leagues. We have a traditional snake style draft in one league and then the other league is an auction league draft. Both leagues are free so we do them for fun and of course for bragging rights on the podcast. Just for fun in the snake league we have to start 2 tight ends a week. Oh; by the way both of our leagues are 20 team leagues. That means that 40 tight ends start every week in our league and of course you should have a back up on your bench to cover Bye week; so there are about 60 tight ends drafted in our snake style league. I did it just for fun one season and so many people complained about it that there was no way I was going to change it. I want the draft to be challenging and this is one of the ways that make it that way. You’ll hear us joke around about this quite a bit on the podcast during the football season and at some point in time during the season someone will go on our league message board and complain about it. Luckily for us teams throw the football a lot more in today’s NFL; so there are tight ends out there to find if you look in the right places. Obviously there’s Rob Gronkowski (Patriots) and Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks) at the top any tight end list, but who’s after those two. There’s been a lot of talk about Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs taking a step up as that next tight end. Don’t forget that no Chiefs wide receiver caught a touchdown pass last season; so maybe Kelce will be the pass catching threat around the end zone. Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers) sometimes gets lost when experts talk about top tight ends, but he’s right there and a good weapon for Cam Newton to use.Chicago Bears tight end  Martellus Bennett caught 90 passes last season, but I’m not sold that he’ll get back to that number this season. It’s when you get down to filling that last tight end spot that you really have to hope you landed a sleeper. Lance Kendricks of the St. Louis Rams won’t catch a lot of passes during the season, but he could be used around the goal line. As a 3rd tight end in our league it’s worth taking a chance on a player who may get 1 catch for 1 yard and 1 touchdown. Will it be Richard Rodgers who gets some extra catches in Green Bay’s offense with Nelson gone? He’ll be worth a late round pick or maybe sooner depending upon how you feel about him. Jacob Tamme signed with the Atlanta Falcons this off season; so he may be the tight end catching the passes. The Baltimore Ravens have Maxx Williams and Crockett Gilmore looking to fill the tight end void created when Owen Daniels sign with the Broncos and Dennis Pitta was placed on the P.U.P. (Physically unable to Perform) List. Both Mr. Fantasy and I thought we had something with Jace Amaro of the New York Jets last season, but that didn’t really come through for us. Will Amaro be a bigger factor in the Jets offense this season? So as you can see we have to do some digging to fill our rosters with tight ends, but to me it makes it more fun to draft. I don’t know maybe it’s just me.

Hanley Ramirez told the Boston media yesterday that he will be the Red Sox everyday 1st baseman starting with the 2016 season. I was a little surprised to hear that it would be Ramirez moving to 1st base. I thought it would be Pablo Sandoval who would make the move across the diamond and take over at 1st. The Red Sox do seem to have quite a few outfielders in their system and next years outfield may have Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo in it. I thought there was a chance that Travis Shaw would be given a look at 1st base with the numbers he put up so far this season. In 29 games Shaw is hitting .315 with 6 home runs, but it’s doesn’t appear right now that he’ll be given a chance at 1st base. There doesn’t seem to be a spot for Allen Craig either. Now Craig has struggled since being acquired by the Red Sox for John Lackey last season. Craig hasn’t appeared in a major league game with the Red Sox since May 9th and at this point I’m don’t even think the Red Sox could get much in return for Craig in a deal. 1st base will actually be the 4th full time position Ramirez has had at the major league level. Ramirez started his career as a shortstop and has played 1077 games there. In 2012 he was moved to 3rd base while playing for the Miami Marlins and has played 99 career games at 3rd. This is his first season in leftfield or any outfield position for that matter. He’s played 92 games in leftfield this season for the Red Sox. Ramirez has had some injury issues throughout his career; so a move to 1st base might help that issue and help keep his bat in the everyday line up. There has been some talk of Ramirez getting some games at 1st base this season;s o keep an eye out for his position switch.

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With the baseball season getting ready to start and everyone setting up their fantasy drafts let’s go through the positions and see who’s the best, the underrated, the player who’ll have a bounce back year and the player to stay away from. Will start with 1st baseman.

The Best; Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks. An injured hand limited Goldschmidt to 109 games last season, but don’t forget that in 2013 he led the NL in home runs with 36 and RBI’s with 125. Look for his numbers to do close to that or better this season. Another fantasy plus for Goldschmidt besides the power numbers is he’ll also steal double digit bases a season as well.

Underrated; Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies. Yes; you can be underrated and win the batting title like Morneau did last season. After concussion issues about 5 seasons ago it looked like Morneau might just be done, but he .319 for the Rockies last season and there’s no reason to think he can’t repeat that average. Fantasy owners would like to get more than 17 home runs out of Morneau, but if it’s later in your draft and you’re looking for a 1st baseman he’s a good pick.

Bounce back; Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins. Mauer had quite a bit of value last season when he could still be used as a catcher, but this season he only qualifies as a 1st baseman. Mauer is a 3 time AL batting champion, but his average fell to .277 without having to catch. While Mauer was never a big home run hitter his total of 4 last season was terrible and he should reach double digits this season. The concerns as always with Mauer is injury, but that was part of the reason he moved to 1st base. Look for Mauer to bounce back in 2015.

Stay away from; Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves. Freeman himself isn’t the problem, but look at the Braves line up and give me one reason you’d pitch to Freeman. Freeman hit .288 with 18 home runs and 78 RBI’s last season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his average stay in that area or be even a little higher, but the Braves are going to struggle to score; so his RBI’s might drop. If your in a league that gives you points for walks Freeman may break the 100 walk total this season; he had 90 last season.

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Vs. Series (1st base)

Posted: March 9, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
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I’d like to take a position by position look at the four teams that share a city during baseball season. That’s New York and Chicago. So we’re going Mets, Yankees, Cubs and White Sox. Now some people are going to ask about Los Angeles and while the Dodgers do play their the Angels actually play there games in Anaheim; so they’re out. Here we go!

The Yankees have Mark Teixeira at 1st base and if I was writing this five or six seasons ago he’d be a slam dunk as the best 1st baseman in New York, but now it’s not that easy. Teixeira signed with the Yankees in 2009 and led the American League (AL) in home runs with 39 and runs batted in (RBI’s) with 122. He also played in 156 games and had a batting average of .292, but it’s been down hill after that. Injuries have hampered Teixeira’s career and his stats have shown that. Last season (2014) he played in 123 games hitting .216 with 22 home runs and 62 RBI’s.  While Teixeira is still a plus defender entering his 13 major league season you have to wonder what he has left and if there’s another injury coming in 2015.

Last season the Mets settled on Lucas Duda as their 1st baseman. Duda’s never been a high average hitter, but playing on a regular basis he was finally able to show his power. Duda put up his 1st career 30 home run season in 2014 hitting 30 home runs on the nose while driving in 92 runs with a .253 batting average. The 30 home runs put him 3rd in the National League (NL) and Duda hit a home run once every 17.1 at bats which is also 3rd in the N.L. Duda may not win a Gold Glove for his defense, but he’s solid. Duda committed 7 errors last season and had a fielding percentage of .994. Duda was also involved in 125 double plays as a 1st baseman last season which was 2nd in Major League Baseball (MLB) for his position.

Teixeira turns 35 in April while Duda is 29 years old. I’m going with Lucas Duda as New York’s 1st baseman.

Anthony Rizzo mans 1st base for the Cubs and has shown his power since being a Cub. Last season Rizzo finished 2nd in the NL in home runs with 32 and the power numbers look to be going up. Rizzo hits a home run every 16.4 at bats which is 2nd best in the NL Rizzo had a .286 batting average in 2014 up from .233 in 2013. Offensively the big negative with Rizzo is the strikeouts; he had 116 last season and averages a strikeout ever 5.3 at bats. Rizzo is a good defender committing just 9 errors last season and leading the NL with 118 assists at 1st base. His fielding percentage was.993 and those 9 errors where 2nd least among NL 1st baseman.

The White Sox signed Jose Abreu last season out of Cuba and he rewarded them with and All-Star selection and also winning Rookie of the Year (ROY) in the AL in 2014. Abreu played in 145 games had a batting average of .317 with 36 home runs and 107 R.B.I.’s. With those numbers Abreu was 3rd in the AL in home runs, 4th in RBI’s and 5th in batting average.Adding 35 doubles and 2 triples to Abreu’s extra base total is 73 which is good for 4th place in the A.L. in combined extra base hits. Abreu did strikeout 131 times last season or 1 strikeout every 4.7 at bats. Abreu turned out to be a solid defender committing just 6 errors with a fielding percentage of .994. Abreu played 109 games at 1st base last season and was used in 35 games as a Designated Hitter (DH) by the White Sox.

Both Chicago 1st baseman had some injury issues last season. The concern is that Rizzo’s back trouble may be something he’ll have to deal with through out his career. While Abreu had some ankle issues and shouldn’t have any lingering trouble with it. Abreu has the advantage of being able to put up numbers as a DH so this makes picking one of these players over the other even tougher. Abreu is 28 while Rizzo turns 26 in August. I’m guessing this is as close to a “Push” as I’ll run into writing this series. As much as I’d like to have seen a little more out of both of these guys right now I’ll take Abreu.

It’s 2nd baseman tomorrow!

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