Fantasy Grades

We’re only a month into the season but it seems like a natural time to revisit some of my fantasy picks from earlier on. I’ll give you the player I liked before the season, the one month grade, and a suggested alternative.

Early Rounds:

Here’s the link to the original post.

  1. Troy Tulowitski: hard to argue with this pick. Tulo’s been a stud and will continue to be so as long as he’s healthy. A with no reservations (only regret here is I didn’t get him on any teams).
  2. Ryan Zimmerman: Zim was doing alright (little power) then pulled an abdominal muscle. This is annoying now and could get ugly if it takes a long time to come back. C (if I could do it over: Jose Bautista…just keeps mashing!).
  3. Dustin Pedroia: Dustin has been solid so far. .282/2 HR/11 R/2 SB…not great, but he’s shown that the “laser show” is still real. I have no doubt he’ll be a top 3 2B and completely justify being a round 3 pick. B
  4. Jon Lester: Lester has been a little screwed by the Sox early lack of scoring. However, if there’s been one knock against Jon in his career it’s been slow starts. So to see a strikeout per inning, 2 wins, a 2.59 era, and a 1.18 WHIP at the end of April is a great sign. He’ll be one of the top 10 if not top 5 fantasy pitchers by years end. B+ (do over pick: Jered Weaver…I’m not a big fan of the Weaver’s, at all, but hard to argue with his performance this year, plus you could have picked him up a few rounds after Lester).
  5. Buster Posey: Posey’s season has been interesting. He’s ranked 62 overall in the Yahoo! game right now (right in line with his draft position). When you look at his overall line (.280/9 runs/4 HR/ 16 RBI/3 SB) it looks great, especially the RBI and SB. However, you get the feeling that he should be better. Are expectations too high? Maybe. I’ll give him a B+ even though he is the number 2 catcher in fantasy right now.
Middle Rounds:
again the link to the original article.
  1. Pablo Sandoval: Nothing but good things here. Especially the 5 home runs. It’s still early, and many are quick to point out that the Panda had a good April last year and then tanked, so there are some questions about how we will hold up over the summer. That said, this pick has turned out extremely well so far. A
  2. Drew Stubbs: I got Pablo but did not get Stubbs. This pains me a bit as Drew is currently ranked 11th overall in Yahoo!  4 HR, 8 steals, 17 runs scored. Everything as advertised! A (do over: this is not so much a do over as a poor man’s option…Sam Fuld is probably long gone in any league at this point, but he’s come out of nowhere to provide Stubbs like production on the cheap…picked him up in both leagues and enjoying the fruits).
  3. David Ortiz: Papi hasn’t done much, but then he never does much in April. So, like Lester, for him to have 2 HR, 12 runs, and be hitting over the Mendoza line is a good sign. As the weather heats up so does Papi. Jury is still out but for now C. (do over pick: Travis Hafner…again not a guy anyone would have drafted, at least not in the middle rounds, but he’s putting up Papi numbers for cheap. I love Hafner and used him a lot in the 2005-2008 run of greatness so it warms my heart to see him having a comeback).
  4. Yovani Gallardo: Gallardo has thrown a complete game, 2 hit shutout, otherwise he’s been massively disappointing. I still have hope that he turns it around (I also have a lot riding on him as he is essentially my ace on both teams), but he’s been a bummer thus far. D (do over: Shawn Marcum has been the Brewer Big Three member who has pitched most like an Ace this season. Another guy who went around this position in the draft was Brett Anderson and he’s been nasty).
  5. Daniel Hudson: Another colossal fail, but not quite as bad because he wasn’t drafted to be an ace. He’s my fourth starter on the team I own him on. And, actually, if you take away his last start he’s been good (all quality starts up to that point). However, he’s had bad run support, and I wonder, as a young pitcher, if he isn’t pressing and trying to be perfect as a result. Whatever’s going on, the strikeouts are still there, but not much else. Another D (do over pick: Can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I really wish I had taken a risk and picked Josh Beckett. He’s been unbelievable, even against the Yankees. I’m still not fully convinced…he’ll probably get hurt at some point, but so far, wow!)
  6. Joel Hanrahan: Finally, a middle round guy I got right! Hanrahan has been outstanding (6 for 6 in save opps, and a strikeout an inning), but his opportunities have been limited. Still, that projects out to about 35 saves, which is what you hope for in a closer taken in the late middle rounds on a crappy team. B+ with no do overs.
Late Rounds
  1. John Buck/J.P. Arencibia/John Jaso: So far only J.P. has provided any real value, and I’m guessing the other two guys are floating around your league’s waiver wire. Luckily I was able to grab J.P. and I haven’t had to play him much (my number ones are McCann and Posey, who have both been good and playing a lot). The couple of games I’ve had to use J.P. he’s been great, hitting 3 home runs. Buck might not be of much value playing in Florida this year, but I have to believe that Jaso will get it going at some point. B- (do over: I’m guessing Alex Avila wasn’t drafted in many leagues but he’s been awesome for the Tigers and will get a lot of playing time if he can keep it up).
  2. Jed Lowrie: Time for me to brag it up a little. I was absolutely convinced Jed would break out this year (although he did it sooner than I thought), and I have been right and then some. There’s always the looming danger of injury and Francona can be somewhat wishy-washy with young guys, but I think Jed will get 450 ABs minimum this year and is too versatile and awesome not to be on your squad. A
  3. Brandon League: Leauge has been good, not great, and definitely not good enough to ward off losing his closing job to David Aardsma who is set come back soon. Also, Seattle is terrible so there hasn’t been much opportunity to shine. I’m still holding out hope that Aardsma fails or gets hurt again (that sounds terrible I know), but it looks like this will just be a way to steal some early season saves. C+ (do over: two guys who weren’t in the picture during drafts but should be universally owned now: Sergio Santos who looks to be cleaning up the White Sox bullpen mess and Jordan Walden from Anaheim).
  4. James Shields: Again, let me gloat a little here. I got James on both teams in the very final rounds and he’s been outstanding. Everything pointed to him making a big rebound this year, and he is off to a great start: missing bats, getting ground balls, lots of innings, and beautiful ratios. What’s not to love: 38.1 IP/2 W/ 27 K/2.35 ERA/0.97 WHIP. A
  5. Magglio Ordonez: Now for some humble pie. I luckily didn’t get Magglio on any of my teams and he’s been terrible: 0 HR/1 RBI/.196 AVG. awful. F (do over: look no further than outfield mate Brennan Boesch who has been putting up Mags-like numbers 1 HR/12 RBI/.358 AVG with 2 steals to boot).
There you have it…some hits and misses for sure. Good luck fantasy players.
(-SB)
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