By now, you’ve already drafted your fantasy team(s) and have set your lineup(s) for Opening Day. (Happy Opening Day, by the way!)
While some sites make lazy claims by promoting top 100 players as breakout candidates, I choose to dig much deeper. Heck, I’ve seen Drew Stubbs flagged as a 2011 breakout performer on several occasions.
How can a guy who hit 22 HRs and stole 30 bags last year be dubbed a future fantasy star? He’s already a top-50 player in my mind. He’s already risen from the depths of the waiver wire, just as I had predicted he would at this time last year...
This year, there are four catchers widely accepted as top-50 players: Joe Mauer (ADP 20.59), Brian McCann (29.93), Victor Martinez (29.95) and Buster Posey (45.46). Yet despite this general belief, it’s highly unlikely that any catcher will finish the season as a top-50 player.
Andy Behrens recently dug up some mind-boggling numbers that explain this theory. To paraphrase, only two catchers in the past decade (Javy Lopez in 2003, Joe Mauer in 2009) have finished inside the top-50 overall according to Baseball Monster rankings. In five seasons since 2001, one or zero backstops have finished in the top-100 overall.
So why do we continue to draft catchers so high?
The Baltimore Orioles had a busy offseason acquiring the likes of Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, among others.
The key to the Orioles lineup in 2011, however, will be the return of Brian Roberts, who missed 103 games last year with back and neck injuries. The team received a scare with news that Roberts was taken in for an MRI on his neck in the opening days of spring training, but nothing came of it. Roberts made his spring debut on Tuesday, and is expected to be in the lineup Opening Day.
Just two years removed from a ridiculous 110/16/79/30/.283 season, Roberts remains capable of 10-plus HRs, 25-plus steals and a .280 batting average...
Another day, another full slate of baseball. Game five of 162 in Fantasy Baseball Insiders' summer-long journey featured the Dodgers and Pirates.
Game No. 5 – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp had two hits and two runs on Thursday against the Pirates. Kemp also added two RBI.
We’re just three days removed from Opening Day, yet Fantasy Baseball Insiders has already scored four games as part of our journey to watch 162. Wednesday featured the Giants/Astros matchup in Houston…
Game No. 4 – San Francisco Giants vs. Houston Astros
Edgar Renteria was the story of this game, going 5-for-5 with a walk, one run and two RBI. San Francisco’s shortstop is now 8-for-11 on the season. The 34-year-old hasn’t been fantasy-relevant since 2008 when he hit 12 HRs and stole 11 bases while batting .332 in 494 at-bats...