March 1, 2010

WFS- NL West

This is the first edition of a new series of articles I will writing, where I will pick out three players in each division of the majors and tell you whether I think they will be a Win, Fail or Sleeper in the 2010 campaign. The Win player will be a high pick (1st 5-6 rounds) that I think will reward you with quality, if not excellent production. The Fail player will be one who, you guessed it will fail to meet expectations, and the sleeper is self-explanatory.

Win- Manny Ramirez OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP: 66.27)-

Let's take a little flashback to the last time that Manny was playing for a contract. Oh what a beautiful time that was. After a pretty abysmal start in Beantown, Manny came to LA and the rest was history, bashing home runs left and right and making dreadlocks cool again. Last year came with a tremendous amount of pressure, while he tried to show that he could do the late season heroic the entire time. Of course, last season wasn't exactly remarkable as his campaign was stained with the prescription drug scandal and wrist injury. What makes me believe in him, though is that Manny is a pure showman and he wants the big bucks to show for it. This year, he will make a cool $20 million, and I'm sure he would love to get that sort of deal next year. Now, most people would say that there is nobody who will pay him since he is 37, off the "performance enhancers" and a complete defensive liability, but Manny will do everything in his power to change GMs minds with his bat. The great thing about fantasy, unless you play by different rules, is that we only care about the bat, and Manny swings a mean one. Despite missing over a third of last season, Manny finished with respectable numbers at the plate, and it has been well documented that he had a drop-off following the beaning he got on his wrist that he tried to play through. The wrist will not be a problem this year, and Manny will earn those precious dollars, because as everyone says, " that's just Manny being Manny".

Fail- Jorge de la Rosa SP, Colorado Rockies (ADP 195.16)-

Alright, so Jorge might not be at the top of anyones draft lists, but he is still being picked among the likes of young studs David Price and Clay Buchholz. He won 16 games last year, which was impressive, but even if the Rockies have another playoff worthy season, I don't see that repeating. Jorge's strikeout number was impressive, but the number that stands out to me was his pedestrian GB/FB rate. When about half of your starts come in a park like Coors, you can't afford to be putting the ball in the air. De la Rosa might give you a healthy strikeout total from a late pick, which would seem like a great quality of a late pick, but picking him could really wreck your ERA and WHIP if the ball starts falling in those giant gaps, or even worse, going out of the park altogether.

Sleeper- Chase Headley 3B, San Diego Padres (246.55)-

It might be my Padres homerism catching up with me, but this slot came down to Kyle Blanks and Headley. I do think Blanks will put up good numbers, but you can find an article on him just about anywhere, so I decided to go with the new 3B at Petco. With the departure of Kevin Kouzmanoff to Oakland, Chase takes over at the hot corner, which really helps his value. With how shallow the 3B position is in fantasy, finding someone to take a flier on can really pay dividends. Chase was a pure masher in the minors, and all signs pointed to him being a breakout in the majors. The last two seasons were somewhat dissapointing, but this season he should see some quality pitches, being surrounded by Gonzalez and Blanks in the lineup. Petco Park definitely hurts his value, but after posting a .305 average on the road, Headley showed what he can do with the bat, once he figures out his home field. What would make me think that he could turn it around at home? Well he hit more than half of his homers there, and it is hard to do worse than .208 in a place where you spend 81 games a year. Chase has a little bit of speed, which adds to his value, since SBs are hard to come buy at third, but I really expect a big jump in his batting production since he has the tools, and is only 26. So, whether he turns into a quality starter in the late rounds, or just trade bait to someone whose corner infielder goes down, a guy like Headley could really help.