Fantasy Baseball Booms


Fantasy Baseball Booms

I love fantasy baseball. Not only is it competitive, but it also helps keep me on top of things from a handicapping standpoint. This year, I'm in five assorted leagues and looking to maintain a dynamite run that has resulted in nine championships and three seconds in the last dozen leagues in which I've participated.

So, without meaning to sound arrogant, I've got a good idea of what I'm doing. And with that in mind, I've got my positional booms and busts for the upcoming season. On one hand, under the radar guys I expect to exceed expectations. On the other, overrated players that will hurt more than help their fantasy owners this season.

CATCHER: BOOM.5?Josh Willingham. Defensive skills are in question, although Marlins skipper Joe Girardi likes him. But Willingham can hit, which is what counts in fantasy. Plus, he's likely to play some OF, meaning he'll get better than average plate appearances for this position.

BUST.5?Jason Kendall. No power, on a team that doesn't steal much, and Kendall's skill sets are diminishing. Catching 150 games per year is finally taking its toll.

1B: BOOM.5?Ryan Howard. Word's already out on this lefty slugger. He's had a huge spring. I've got him as my #8 rated 1B, which means he's likely worth a fourth round pick in a deep league. Produces even higher if he can hit lefties. Great shot at 40-45 HRs.

BUST.5?Nomar Garciaparra. I'm seeing Nomar going way too high based on his old track record and the fact he's going to have multi-position eligibility. Big deal. Power seems to have vanished and he.5?s a massive injury risk who might not play 120 games.

2B: BOOM.5?Mark Loretta. Absolutely great chance to put up terrific numbers at Fenway. Hitting right ahead of Big Papi and Manny. Suffered through a rough '05 campaign, and is now seriously undervalued at a position where there.5?s not an overload of stars.

BUST.5?Ian Kinsler. The hype machine is in full force on Kinsler as he takes over for Soriano at 2B for the Rangers. I'm not sold. Don.5?t overpay for a guy likely to hit around .260 with okay power. He's my #24 rated 2B, which means he.5?s a late rounder at best.

SS BOOM.5?Julio Lugo. I don't understand how he's lasting as long as he has been on average. The Rays love to run and Lugo looks like a cinch for 35 SB, a good BA and lots of runs scored. In otherwords, he's a top six 2B that you can probably score as late as the sixth round in most leagues. That's a steal.

BUST.5?Johnny Peralta. The flip side of Lugo, Peralta is getting overrated and I'm seeing him going right behind the elite shortstops. I see his '05 numbers as a bit skewed and only rate him as a borderline Top 10 at his position. No speed at a position where it's almost a pre-requisite if the other numbers aren't elite level.

3B BOOM.5?Scott Rolen. This position is loaded with star talent, so finding a sleeper is tough. But Scott Rolen is going much later than he ought to. Risky in that he may not be the hitter he once was, but the upside is pretty substantial if he.5?s all the way back.

BUST.5?Mike Lowell. Reports are that he's got a very slow bat this spring, and there's just been no show of power. So perhaps the 2005 numbers were not an aberration. Boston.5?s pickup of Choi would seem to indicate serious concern (1B starter Youkilis could move to 3B if Lowell struggles). Great glove probably earns him a longer leash, but those predicting a big bounce back now that he's at Fenway could be disappointed. Next week, I'll run through the OF.5?s as well as SP.5?s and RP.5?s.



Keywords: baseball


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