Blog Entry

Team By Team Fantasy Analysis: Chi Cubs

Posted on: March 3, 2011 8:34 pm

Wow, the Northsiders are a tough lot to figure out. They have figured out that they missed their opportunity to win a World Series, the only thing they haven't figured out is how to rebuild and instead continue to rent pieces to stay competitive to annoy the National League Central. They lack any elite players, at every position, but they have serviceable pieces at nearly every position.

Projected Line-up:
SS Sterlin Castro - The smart move would be to move speed to the top of the line-up and Castro kind of represents that. He hit .300 last year and had 10 stolen bases. I have him projected between 11-15th for shortstops.
CF Marlon Byrd - For four months, Byrd was on fire, and then August and September slowed him down to .293 to end the season. He's good for double digit homeruns, and he has a good BB/SO ratio, which typically translates into good fantasy production. You'd like him to have more steals. I have Byrd ranked between 30th-40th for outfielders.
3B Aramis Ramirez - A return to form is required for Ramirez to be relevant in the world of fantasy baseball. Last year he still missed 20% of the season due to injury and has a ton of power and good upside. The problem is that with the risk, comes the potential for a lot of lost points, his defense is suspect and his BB/SO ratio has slipped in the last two seasons. I still have him ranked between 16th and 20th for 3rd baseman.
1B Carlos Pena - Emmense power, and moving from a hitters park, to a hitters park with wind at his back. I'm pretty sure that he'll put up some pretty strong power numbers, the problem is that he strikes out so much, and last year's .196 average, which hopefully is the conclusion of his downward trend in average. The Cubs have a ton of power potential, but just like Pena are probably going to come close to leading the league in strikeouts. I have Pena ranked 21st-25th for 1st basemen.
RF Tyler Colvin - Another power guy, and last year he was Pinella's go to pinch hitter. He hit 20 dingers and that has a shot to clear 30 homeruns over a full season. He hit only .254 last season, but moving up in the line-up and in front of Soto and Soriano should improve the pitches he'll see. I have Colvin ranked as a top 50 outfielder.
CA Geovany Soto - Soto returned to form last year, but there are questions about his durability as he only played 66% of the Cubs games last season. He hit .280 with 17 roundtrippers, and could easily clear 20 of them by adding 15 or so games to his season. I have Soto ranked between 6th and 10th for catchers.
LF Alfonso Soriano - It seems like so long ago that Soriano had a 40-40 season, and yet he is just on the north side of his prime. Last year his steals and homeruns per at bats fell for a third consecutive season, while his BB/strikeout ratio remained terrible. I do not have Soriano ranked in the top 75 for outfielders.
2B Blake Dewitt - He's pretty much worthless as a starting 2nd baseman on any fantasy team, but he might be worth being a back-up for 2nd base and/or 3rd base. Otherwise he's junk, he'll hit around .250 with 5 or less homeruns, and 5 or less steals. I have Dewitt ranked between 21st and 25th for 2nd basemen.

Starting Rotation:
#1. Ryan Dempster - As far as #1 pitchers go, he's okay, average at best, I don't like his chances against most #1s in the league, and only slightly against most #2s. I do think Dempster is a serviceable pitcher and have him projected between 400-425 fantasy points.
#2. Matt Garza - Garza was pretty good last year at times, and should be able to put up better numbers in the senior circuit. However, he'll be pitching in a hitters park and he's a fly ball pitcher, despite his nasty sinking fastball. I have him projected between 375-400 fantasy points.
#3. Carlos Zambrano - Zambrano is a wild card, when he's on and in the right mind, he's dangerous, an excellent source for strikeouts and for a solid K/BB ratio/K/IP ratio. He's a power pitcher that is probably the highest risk, but could net the highest return on that risk. I have him projected between 375-400.
#4. Randy Wells - Wells is also a solid source strikeouts, he's got an okay National League ERA and should net a few more wins this season than last year. He also has control issues which is why I have him projected between 300-325 points.
#5. James Russell - Russell is quite an intriguing pitching option for the Cubbies. He has a fantastic K/BB and K/IP ratio, but he gives up a ton of fly balls which at Wrigley turns those fly balls into dingers. I have Russell projected between 200-225 points, but he could clear that easily.

Closer - Carlos Marmol - Dude can throw hard, and he can throw wild, 138 k's in 77 innings pitched, but he also walked 52 batters in those 77 innings. He has the potential to be elite, and although he plays for the Cubs, he'll get plenty of chances. I have him projected to be between 11th and 15th for closers.

The Cubs are hard-up for prospects at this time.

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