Posted on: February 17, 2011 4:52 pm
Like the Atlanta Braves, the Sox are loaded from top to bottom with fantasy players and every skill position should be drafted throughout the draft. The biggest difference is that the Sox will probably have every position, except their 5th starter drafted in the first 5-6 rounds of any draft. Potential Line-up:
CF - Jacoby Ellsbury - This speedy outfielder only played 18 games last season due to a rib injury that plagued him for nearly the entire season. If you look at Ellsbury track record though, he has the potential to steal 50+ bases and score well over 100 runs with this line-up. He is an injury risk, but I have Ellsbury projected to be in the top 30 for outfielders.
2B - Dustin Pedroia - In keeping with the theme from last year, DP was out of commission for half of the season. He did pace for 20+ dingers and 20 stolen bases. He's already one of the top players in the game, but the injury risk as to be a bit of a concern. I have him as one of the top 5 2nd basemen in baseball.
LF - Carl Crawford - I'm not sure when this happened, but Crawford went from having the potential label slapped on him, to being considered a stud without changing his statistics. His numbers are pretty fantastic as they are, but in a line-up with the protection he's going to have should boost this 29 year old to new all-time highs. I have him ranked as a top 10 outfielder.
1B - Adrian Gonzalez - A-Gon as he's called could have the type of season that only Albert Pujols owners could dream of. The change from PetCo to Fenway should benefit Gonzalez greatly (i wanted to make some kind of Whiffle ball reference, but nothing came to mind) and he should post career numbers. I have him ranked as a top 5 1st baseman and top 5 overall.
3B - Kevin Youkilis - He only played 2/3rds of a season and was pacing for his first 30+ dinger season. Here's what you can expect from Youk; .305+ average, .390 OBP, .500 SLG, 100 RBIs, at 3rd base he's got to be one of the best. I have him ranked between 6th and 10th.
DH - David Ortiz - Big Papi will be terrible for the month of April, the last two April's have been horrible for him. If he can have a decent April, then he could reach 40 dingers again. Otherwise, he's going to struggle out of the gates, everyone is going to talk about it, and Tito isn't going to bench him and he's going to pull out of it, to slug 25-30 dingers and get near 100 RBI's and clear 140 K's. I do have him as a top 5 DH, but ranked between 16th and 20th for 1st basemen (if he gets qualified this year).
RF - JD Drew - The words you hate most to here is that an aging veteran might working through a nagging injury to start the season, only because you know they will never be fully healthy throughout the season. The days of Drew being considered a top outfielder are long gone, and you can expect that even healthy, he would only play 4 or 5 games a week, resulting in 130-140 games, still I do have him ranked in the top 75 for outfielders, because of his power, and his consistency when he is in.
C - Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Quick trivia question, which player has the most letters in their last name? If you answered this guy, then you are the winner. It's hard to believe that "Salty" is only 25 years old. In the Minors he's shown a ton of potential and even at the major league level, he's shown flashes of offensive prowess. Defensively, he's terrible, he averages an error every 6 games over his big league career, that's really bad. Still the catcher position is really thin, and having the Red Sox catcher should be seen as a positive addition. I have him ranked between 15th and 20th.
SS - Marco Scutaro - For one more year, Scutaro will be the anchor as in last guy on the tug-a-war rope, at the shortstop position. I will say this, if the Sox had a most valuable offensive player, it would have to be Scutaro. He's the only one that played in 90% of the team's games. The sad thing is that he'd be a front of the line-up player anywhere else and was for the Blue Jays. With shortstop being such a thin position, you still have to understand that Scutaro has a lot of value. I have him ranked in the top 10 for shortstops.
1. Jon Lester - 19-9, 225 k's in 208 IP, 3.25 ERA, no reason to think he can't duplicate those numbers, especially since he's 27 years old and has had stellar numbers for the last three years including a 50-23 record. The only problem is that he gets off to such a slow start (4.64 ERA in April). I think that Lester could contend for 500+ points.
2. Clay Buchholz - It's hard to believe that Buchholz is only 6 months younger than Lester. Until last year, it was all about potential with this guy and then last year happened. 17-7, 2.33 ERA, all fantastic numbers. There are reasons for concern though, he's not durable, and he walks more than his fair share of batters in comparison to his IPs. So there is a bit of a risk with him, but when he's on, he's on. I have him projected at 400-425 points.
3. John Lackey - If his last three starts of last year are any indication of what could be in 2011, then it's going to be a good year. 2-0, 3 QS, 20.7 IP, 2.17 ERA and 19 K's - 4 Walks. If he can pull off numbers like that over the course of a full season, rather than the 4 before it (0-4, 24.7 IP, 5.47 ERA and 23 K's - 7 walks.) I do think that Lackey bounces back from a pretty dismal year to post 15-17 wins and an ERA just south of 4.00, which should net him between 400-425 points.
4. Josh Beckett - When you look at Beckett you have to know that he's got some major talent wrapped up in that big ole' frame of his. He posted some terrible numbers, especially down the stretch. He was 3-3 (7 starts) 45.3 IPs which produced a 1.53 WHIP, most alarming was his 17 walks in only 45 IPs, carry that over the course of the season and it's close to 90.and that's high even by Beckett's standards. He definitely suffered from Papelbonism, where his fastball and breaking pitches all flattened out and when that happens, you give up 20 HRs in a season where you only threw 127 innings. I have Beckett projected between 325-350.
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka - Injuries have shortened the last two seasons. He has a lifetime 46-27 record and is only 30 years old. There is still some promise. The problem is that Dice-K walks too many hitters, he's too nibbly around the plate and should just let the big leaguers hit his pitches. Afterall, they don't often fall for hits (137 hits in 153.7 IPs last season). He's so worried about the strikeout that he often throws himself out of an at bat. One MLB.com write said that if you didn't swing at any of his pitches you would probably walk more than you struckout. I have him projected at just over 300 points.
Closer: Jonathan Papelbon - For all the talk about how terrible Papelbon is because he blew 8 saves, his statistical line wasn't that terrible. 3.90 ERA, 76 k's in 67 IPs, 57 hits, etc. The problem for the Red Sox is that they now have three closers. Bard, Jenks, and Paps. Any other manager would have hook'd the Papelness by now in favor of Bard and his hard throwing, hard biting pitches. Because he's on the Red Sox, I have him ranked between 11th and 15th.
Prospects: Jose Iglesias' survived the A-Gon trade, and is really the last bastian of prospective prospects left, that hasn't been pilleged. I will say that the Red Sox probably have the most major league ready team, that is likely to be formed at Pawtucket this year. Iglesias could be called up this year, especially if something happens to Scutaro or Lowrie.
Next up: Chiicago Cubs
Posted on: February 10, 2010 9:15 am
Edited on: February 10, 2010 10:04 am
Each week, I'll post a new division, until the season starts
Posted on: February 10, 2010 8:04 am
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