After the first month of Baseball, the Fantasy World is upside down. Did you expect anything else?
Here are 10 things to take note of 1 month in...
(all based on CBS H2H scoring)
10) The Yankees were supposed to have the strongest pitching staff in all of Baseball, but they don't even have the 3rd best staff in thier own division. With Wang on the DL, CC pitching SoSo, and Burnett giving up a huge lead to the Red Sox a week ago, who woulda thought the calling up of Phil Hughes this soon would have been needed. Good thing he figured it out, cuz if it were the Phil Hughes of last year they'd really be in trouble. All though it was only 1 start. However the biggest thing his start did for the Yank's was push Joba to perform at a higher level. If these 2 push each other all year to be better each time out, the Yank's could be back on track.
9) BIG PAPI has yet to go YARD and I (being a RED SOX fan) think it's time to panic. It's a good thing I don't run the team though and I'm sure Theo Epstien and Terry Francona will figure something out. With Jason Bay, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia hitting like they are and Mike Lowell coming back from off season hip surgery as smoothly as he has I think they will manage. I think the days of the PAPI walk-offs is over though. MANNY leaving that lineup had more of a negative effect on PAPI's psychy than I think any1 could have imagined.
8) ACES WILD.... Johan Santana and Roy Halladay are the only top tier pitchers that are performing like projected. Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Diasuke Matzusaka, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt have all been major disapointments thus far. Now Lincecum has started to turn it around, and some of these guys are more on here due to injury rather than stinking up the joint, but needless to say most of the owners of these pitchers are regretting selecting them with such high picks. These guys weren't 10th round selections afterall.
7) OF has some...New Kids On The Block....and I'm not talking some early 90's Boy Band. Some of these guys are rookies, some are in thier first few years, and some are just guys who never really got there chance to shine prior to this season whether they were part of a platoon, or stuck in the minors waiting for a callup. Adam Lind, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, Andre Ethier, Denard Span....these 6 players are in the top 30 for OF's, with Jones, Ethier and Lind all in the top 30 of all Batters.
6) 2B has become a position of WHOA. There are 5 2B in the top 30 offensive scorers and none of them are the reigning AL MVP, 2B Dustin Pedroia. At this moment Dustin Pedroia (who was a 2nd round pick in most drafts) is ranked 38th overall for batters and 6th overall for 2B. Ian Kinsler is the top ranked 2B and #2 overall offensively. He is followed by Aaron Hill of the feel good Toronto Blue Jays at 8th overall and Chase Utley at #10. That's 3 2B in the top 10 overall. Then Veteran 2B and new Dodger Orlando "O-Dog" Hudson comes in at 12th overall with Robinson Cano residing at 23rd in the rankings. Like I said, 2B is now a position of WHOA!!!
5) If you were ranked 7th or 10th at your position you would be pretty happy with that. However this is fantasy baseball and when you have the 7th and 10th ranked player at any position you better hope a couple of things came with that guy. 1...You got them around that slot, meaning if it's 2B you took the 7th ranked 2B after 5 or 6 other 2B have been picked, or you took the 7th ranked 2B after say 10-15 2B have been picked. What you don't want is for you to have selected the 7th or 10th ranked player at said position before any1 else has selected a player from that position. You really don't want to have selected them as a first rounder in this case. However that is just what every1 did. Right now Hanley Ramirez who was the overall #1 pick in many leagues is ranked as the #7 SS with Jose Reyes ramked as the 10th overall SS. Both of these players were selected in 100% of leagues 1st rounds and about 95% of the top 5. As of now neither of them are in the top 100 of the overall offensive scoring rankings. That's not good.
4) Some young/new Arms are really looking good. Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley, Josh Johnson, Scott Richmond, "King" Felix Hernandez, Yovanni Gallardo, Zach Duke, and Johnny Cueto are throwing GEMS thus far. Now some of these guys are guys who have had some bad seasons in Greinke and Duke but some of that can be attributed to bad teams around them, bad bull-pens, being young, and in Greinke's case he has a legit social anxiety dissorder. These guys are all coming into thier own and leading thier teams to great starts to the season.
3) 1 of the biggest stories of the year last season was the comeback of Josh Hamilton. His HR display at the ALL STAR GAME in Yankee Stadium during the Home Run Derby was insane. He landed himslef on the DL in the last week so maybe there was something lingering since the start of the season, but the same power is not there right now. He only has 2 HR and 10 RBI. He is just 1 of many that has not lived up to expectations.
2) I just talked about Josh Hamilton not living up to expectations this season. Here are some other guys who were taken (average draft postion) early on, 1st 3 (batters) rounds most of them that totally didn't live up to expectations. Matt Holliday is the 75th ranked OF (157th overall). He was taken in the 1st round in a lot of leagues. He definately never made it past the 2nd round. Prince Fielder ranked as the 15th 1B and Ryan Howard as the 19th. Howard (86th overall) was a top 5 pick in most leagues I saw, never made it out of the 1st round, and Fielder (62nd overall) was a 2nd-3rd round guy. New Yankee 1B Mark Teixeira is off to a slow start, but he is notorius for that. However he was selected in most leagues as a late 1st round/early 2nd round guy. He is ranked however 117th overall. He's not even in the top 100. And I'm not even including Pitchers in these rankings. Earlier I mentioned SS's like Reyes and HAN-RAM but left out the universal 3rd SS of the Fantasy World. Jimmy Rollins who is not a top 5 pick like the other 2 is usually a late 1st/early 2nd round pick. However this year he is hurting your team at the moment way more than he is helping. He is ranked, are you ready for this.....as the 213th overall batter and the 26th SS. These early picks, some who have been fantasy main stays are off to really bad starts. If they don't pick it up soon they may never justify the pick you used on them.
1) On the opposite end of the spectrum, guys taken rounds 3 and beyond are performing out of this world. It's funny too because last season we the players should have taken note of what these guys did to finish the season and selected them a little higher than we did this season. Some of the guys who soared into greatness were selected in thier appropriate spots like Evan Longoria and Ian Kinsler at he end of the 1st/start of the 2nd round, but other guys who are performing like top 10 talent, and who performed like top 10 talent last season still fell to the 3rd/4th/5th and beyond rounds. Take Kevin Youkilis and Carlos Quentin for instance, or Nick Markakis and Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Joey Votto. Youkilis and Quentin should definately go in the 1st/2nd rounds next year, Markakis and GONZO in rounds 2/3 and KEMP and VOTTO rounds 3/4. Then you've got some shockers like a guy I talked about before. Andre Ethier, when Manny got in that lineup, Ethier turned into a monster. I did a draft 1 week ago, and got Ethier in the 12th round. How is that even possable. My OF was full, but I just couldn't pass any longer. Then pitchers like Chad Billingsley, the MARLINS staff and Kyle Lohse are turning out to be GEMS that next year IMO won't be able to be drafted more than 2 of them on the same team.
EXTRA NUGGET.....THE RAYS HAVE SOME REAL POWER....last year it was pitching, but this year, thus far.....LONGORIA is a stud who is leading the Majors in RBI's, PENA is leading the MAJORS in HR's, CARL CRAWFORD is leading the Majors in SB's, thier SS is batting .367 and they have a kid in AAA that when they call up, could be 1 of the top 5 best pitchers in the game, to go along with KAZMIR, GARZA and SHIELDS.
Now I know there was alot more I could have said, different situations I could have ranked 1-10, different stories I could have went with, I could have chosen different players to write about, and I might have left a few out in some peoples opinions, but this is the way I went.
CHECK back soon for my FANTASY FOOTBALL post NFL DRAFT ANALYSIS.