Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Progress: Baseball ’08 – Hot Starts

Who’s Earning their Dough?

As we hit the MLB quarter pole, it’s time to look at the top players at each position so far – but it wouldn’t be a GameDayRitual analysis if we didn’t talk about how much you’re paying for all that talent, too…

1B

First things first. Namely first – base that is. At a position that carries a lot of clout and the price tags to match – a false step here could be your last. So if you dropped a bundle on Ryan Howard (1.4 FP/G, 6.87 FP/$M) or Travis Hafner (1.7 FP/G, 9.29 FP/$M), you might already be planning for 2009.

On the flip side, if you had made a modest investment in the likes of Kevin Youkilis or Conor Jackson for a couple of million bucks, you might already be leading your division. And you of course get full credit if you invested in Berkman, Pujols, or Lee who are earning their paychecks thus far.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

G

Avg

HR

RBI

SB

1

Berkman, L.

1B

HOU

207

5.4

6.81

30.39

38

.393

13

38

6

2

Youkilis, K.

1B

BOS

147

3.9

2.77

52.98

38

.322

8

30

2

3

Pujols, A.

1B

SLN

147

3.8

10.56

13.92

39

.348

7

25

1

4

Lee, D.

1B

CHN

143

3.8

5.59

25.58

38

.323

10

27

3

5

Jackson, C.

1B

ARI

138

3.9

2.09

66.04

35

.325

5

30

3

 

2B

Chase Utley, god love him – the man is the man. We pay him, he produces. Honorable mention to Uggla who seems to find some pop in his bat whenever he is accused of flirting with mediocrity. After Kinsler, though, there is a drop of in production, so don’t trade too much to get, say, the #4 second baseman, no matter how plucky you think he is.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

G

Avg

HR

RBI

SB

1

Utley, C.

2B

PHI

159

4.1

9.49

16.75

39

.327

13

28

3

2

Uggla, D.

2B

FLO

126

3.4

4.18

30.17

37

.290

12

28

1

3

Kinsler, I.

2B

TEX

122

3.3

4.54

26.87

37

.316

3

18

10

4

Pedroia, D.

2B

BOS

109

2.7

2.80

38.97

41

.304

1

20

4

5

Lopez, J.

2B

SEA

107

2.7

1.30

82.31

39

.312

2

19

2

 

3B

Over at the hot corner there were a lot of fashionable choices heading into the 2008 FABs. Chipper Jones was not one of them. If you have him in your league for less than $5M, you’re cooler than the shaggiest kid in the most ironically bad t-shirt. If you went the other way and signed Mr. Handsome, you’re probably doing all-Wright, too.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

G

Avg

HR

RBI

SB

1

Jones, C.

3B

ATL

148

4.2

5.57

26.59

35

.406

10

30

0

2

Wright, D.

3B

NYN

122

3.4

9.45

12.91

36

.272

7

32

5

3

Ramirez, A.

3B

CHN

117

3.3

6.71

17.44

35

.282

6

25

1

4

Atkins, G.

3B

COL

107

2.8

5.72

18.70

38

.333

6

25

0

5

Braun, R.

3B

MIL

106

2.9

7.86

13.48

37

.288

9

27

1

 

SS

I just don’t understand baseball in Florida right now. It seems to defy the laws of physics. Just like Hanley Ramirez. But it looks like he’s got a new deal and here’s there to stay. But for even less money, you could be cashing in on the resurgent Rafael Furcal.

We’ll give a pass to Rollins for now given his health issues and the in ability of his 4-hitter to drive up his run totals. But jeers for bust Alexei Ramirez. He can play badly just about anywhere on the field.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

G

Avg

HR

RBI

SB

1

Ramirez, H.

SS

FLO

149

3.9

9.77

15.25

38

.331

9

22

13

2

Furcal, R.

SS

LAN

142

4.4

3.98

35.71

32

.366

5

16

8

3

Tejada, M.

SS

HOU

132

3.4

4.35

30.35

39

.340

5

29

2

4

Reyes, J.

SS

NYN

109

3.2

9.69

11.24

34

.266

2

13

12

5

Theriot, R.

SS

CHN

106

2.9

2.11

50.14

36

.333

1

10

8

 

C

These guys get stats too? Huh. I suppose you can pat yourself on the back if you signed McCann or Soto. But even as the third best catcher, Joe “No Power” Mauer, might not justify his $6.27M average price tag. For about the same price you could have signed Berkman for twice as many fantasy points. Or for even more money and the same number of home runs, you could have signed Victor Martinez.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

G

Avg

HR

RBI

SB

1

McCann, B.

C

ATL

113

3.2

4.70

24.06

35

.305

7

20

0

2

Soto, G.

C

CHN

103

2.9

2.89

35.66

35

.315

6

26

0

3

Mauer, J.

C

MIN

92

2.8

6.27

14.68

33

.333

0

15

0

4

Martin, R.

C

LAN

90

2.4

5.64

15.95

37

.287

3

14

3

5

Pierzynski, A.

C

CHA

82

2.6

2.15

38.07

31

.303

3

15

0

 

OF

Nate McWho? Okay, I admit I picked this clown up after his hot start myself. Tried to trade him to no avail. No one thought he could keep this up. (Buzzer sound). He has. I still think his production has to drop, but it’s looking more and more that he could really finish the season a 3+ FP/G guy. I’m glad he’s stuck on my squad.

Kudos to everyone who correctly forecasted Hamilton’s ascension. I wasn’t one. I was a doubter. And bonus marks if you signed Quentin as your backup first baseman. No props for Nady though. He’s burned me with his early-season antics before. I would trade him while his stock is high.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

G

Avg

HR

RBI

SB

1

McLouth, N.

OF

PIT

154

4.2

0.91

168.97

37

.307

9

29

3

2

Hamilton, J.

OF

TEX

147

3.8

3.78

38.93

39

.306

8

43

0

3

Holliday, M.

OF

COL

131

3.6

9.19

14.25

36

.315

6

21

6

4

Suzuki, I.

OF

SEA

129

3.2

7.83

16.48

40

.287

2

10

16

5

Burrell, P.

OF

PHI

128

3.4

3.38

37.88

38

.298

9

31

0

6

Quentin, C.

OF

CHA

127

3.5

1.07

118.89

36

.288

9

29

3

7

Crawford, C.

OF

TBA

126

3.3

8.78

14.35

38

.288

3

23

12

8

Ellsbury, J.

OF

BOS

125

3.6

1.69

73.93

35

.268

3

13

14

9

Nady, X.

OF

PIT

118

3.2

0.97

121.37

37

.340

5

34

1

10

Sizemore, G.

OF

CLE

118

3.3

8.84

13.35

36

.273

6

20

7

 

SP

Cliff Lee is obviously the feel-good story here. After a disastrous 2007 that featured a minor league stint, he has evidently “refocused” himself on the game, or “started working both sides of the plate” depending on who you ask. Those sound like pretty chintz explanations to me. Sure the guy has won 18 games in a season before, but cold-hearted me says “sell high”.

Then there is Brandon Webb, who has got to win the award for both “Most Underated Overrated Player” and “Best Kept Secret That Everyone Knows About”. The guy is awesome without actually instilling a sense of awe. But who cares. Fantasy-Me just loves the consistency and quality of the numbers he puts up.

Congrats to Marcum owners (self included), and to those who actually believed any starting pitcher in San Francisco could win anything at all (with that offense) and gambled on Lincecum.

Oh, and we also hope you signed the right Santana.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

W

L

SV

Ho

ERA

1

Lee, C.

SP

CLE

234

33.4

0.70

333.00

6

0

0

0

0.67

2

Webb, B.

SP

ARI

220

27.5

10.80

20.37

8

0

0

0

2.41

3

Santana, E.

SP

LAA

206

25.8

1.62

127.07

6

0

0

0

2.63

4

Zambrano, C.

SP

CHN

196

21.8

7.74

25.31

6

1

0

0

2.03

5

Hudson, T.

SP

ATL

191

21.2

5.60

34.12

6

2

0

0

2.54

6

Marcum, S.

SP

TOR

183

22.9

1.82

100.29

4

2

0

0

2.22

7

Wang, C.

SP

NYA

173

21.6

5.59

30.96

6

1

0

0

3.12

8

Lincecum, T.

SP

SFN

173

21.6

5.65

30.63

5

1

0

0

1.61

9

Peavy, J.

SP

SDN

171

21.4

12.22

14.00

4

2

0

0

2.47

10

Matsuzaka, D.

SP

BOS

168

21.0

6.49

25.89

6

0

0

0

2.45

 

RP

And now I lose some friends: If you actually spent $2.5M on Marmol (and more than half of you did), you’re crazy. Yeah – it’s working out for you sure. But throwing a dart at the Cardinals bullpen could have accomplished the same thing for the league minimum. Middle relief is just so fickle, I think it’s foolish to spend more than $1M on anyone. I would trade Marmol’s salary and go out and sign the MR-flavor-of-the-week for $0.5M. But that’s just me.

Kudos to the star closers earning their pay, though. F-Rod, Papelbon, Nathan, Rivera are all up to snuff. And the final bonus marks of the day awarded to all those who foresaw Lidge’s return to form. He’s always had great stuff – here’s hoping he can keep his head on straight.

#

Player

Pos

Team

FP

FP/G

Avg $

FP/$M

W

L

SV

Ho

ERA

1

Marmol, C.

RP

CHN

202

10.6

2.73

74.01

1

0

2

9

1.13

2

Rodriguez, F.

RP

LAA

177

10.4

6.52

27.13

0

0

15

0

2.93

3

Franklin, R.

RP

SLN

173

8.7

1.70

101.62

1

1

2

12

1.89

4

McClellan, K.

RP

SLN

167

9.8

0.75

222.67

0

1

1

12

2.79

5

Papelbon, J.

RP

BOS

166

9.2

6.07

27.34

2

2

11

0

2.41

6

Sherrill, G.

RP

BAL

165

9.7

1.89

87.24

1

0

13

0

4.41

7

Nathan, J.

RP

MIN

156

11.1

6.13

25.46

0

0

12

0

1.93

8

Lidge, B.

RP

PHI

155

9.1

3.15

49.24

1

0

9

0

0.00

9

Rivera, M.

RP

NYA

151

10.8

4.44

34.03

0

0

10

0

0.00

10

Valverde, J.

RP

HOU

150

7.9

4.51

33.23

4

1

9

0

4.58

Filed by GameDayScott.

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