January 26, 2004
National League East Hitters
Last week, I started providing a team-by-team look at many of the major league players from a fantasy baseball perspective. This week, that series will continue. I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons. First, I love fantasy baseball and love discussing what I think of certain players. Second, I know that many people who take the time to read baseball sites like this one participate in fantasy baseball leagues as well.
However, I do understand not everyone gets into fantasy sports, and that’s OK too. I do not think that my “analysis” will be too “statty” so it should be enjoyable for any baseball fan to read.
I know it is a little bit early to be talking about fantasy baseball, but I know that many keeper leagues have to turn in their ‘keepers’ this month. Also, aside from Ivan Rodriguez and Greg Maddux, most of the free agents still available will be bit players and may or may not affect some of the comments below. However, there could still be some trades which could alter some of these opinions. For instance, if Jacque Jones is traded, that would greatly change the value of Michael Cuddyer. It could also affect how Jacque Jones would be valued.
Another point to mention before getting started is that there are many forms of fantasy baseball. There are the traditional rotisserie leagues, 5x5 leagues, head-to-head, simulation, keeper leagues, American League Only, National League only and many more. Most leagues probably vary in subtle ways. I am not going to try to analyze for any specific variety. I will just give my opinions on the players. When I project a round-range where the player could be drafted, it will be based on a 30 round major league draft.
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.
Disclaimer: What you read below are simply my opinions. Obviously I have no knowledge of what will happen in the 2004 season, so please take the information for what it is worth (fun). Also, these opinions are subject to change as spring training approaches. All players listed are either projected starters, or starters based on my opinion. I will try to project where each player could be drafted, assuming a 30 round draft.
Here is the schedule for this project:
Tuesday - Part 1 - American League Central Hitters
Wednesday - Part 2 - American League East Hitters
Thursday - Part 3 - American League West Hitters
Friday - Part 4 - National League Central Hitters
Monday - Part 5 - National League East Hitters
Tuesday - Part 6 - National League West Hitters
Wednesday - Part 7 - American League Pitchers
Thursday - Part 8 - National League Pitchers
Friday - Part 9 - Rookies and Prospects
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST HITTERS
The National League Eastern Division should be a very competitive. The Phillies and Mets have made moves to better themselves. The Atlanta Braves have won 12 consecutive division titles, and they should still be pretty good. I still haven’t mentioned those World Series Champion Florida Marlins, who made some changes. The Montreal Expos, having now lost Javier Vazquez and Vladimir Guerrero should be down, but they still have a lot of talent and always seem to play better than they should. So, let’s get going on some analysis. If you have any comments, arguments, agreements, questions or anything, please feel free to e-mail me. When this project is complete, I would like to put together a Mailbag issue with many of those comments.
C – Johnny Estrada
Johnny Estrada came to the Braves a year ago when the Braves traded Kevin Millwood to the Phillies. In 2001, when Mike Lieberthal was injured, Estrada got his first big league opportunity. He got 298 at bats and hit .228 with 15 doubles and 8 homers. In 2003, he tore up AAA, hitting .328 with 29 doubles, 10 homers and 66 RBI. In 16 games with the Braves, he hit .306. If you don’t play in a keeper league, I would draft him just before Joe Mauer because he could hit pretty well. However, he is already 27.
1B – Adam LaRoche/Julio Franco
Between AA and AAA, Adam LaRoche hit a combined .290 with 20 homers and 72 RBI. The Braves would like him to take over the position and if he can put up similar numbers, the team would be thrilled. Julio Franco is 243 years old (ok, he’s listed at 45, but…), but he can still flat-out hit, especially against lefties. Last season, he hit .351 against left-handed pitchers. Another platoon situation. I wouldn’t draft Franco, but LaRoche might be a sleeper in a late round.
2B – Marcus Giles
After splitting time at 2B for the Braves in 2001 and 2002, Giles took the job for himself in 2003 and was one of the most productive hitters in all of baseball. From a post I did a month or so ago, Giles provided his team with the Most Bang for the Buck. In 2003, he hit .316 with 21 homers and 69 RBI. Many may think that he will come back down to earth next year, but I disagree. If you look at adjusted power numbers from his first two years, there is no reason to think that he’ll decline. The difference, however, is that those first two seasons, he hit .261 and .230. I would expect another very good year for Giles. Consider him in the 4th round.
3B – Mark Derosa
With Vinny Castilla going back to Colorado, it appears that Mark Derosa will finally be given a shot at a full-time job. I’ve always like Derosa, but that may just be because he has been around for so long (2004 will be his 6th season with playing time in Atlanta). Last year, in 266 at bats, he hit .263 with 6 homers and 22 RBI. Actually, despite more playing time, his average declined (the three previous years, he had hit .308, .287 and .297). I actually think Derosa can be productive for the Braves. I just don’t think it will transfer into productivity for your fantasy team. He may be worth taking really late.
SS – Rafael Furcal
Furcal had a very good, if not interesting year. For instance, he hit .287 with 13 homers in the first half. In the second half of the season, he had just 2 homers, but hit .307. Furcal set the table for the incredible Braves offense in 2003. Just look at these numbers, and consider how important they are in fantasy baseball. He hit .292 with 35 doubles, 10 triples, 15 homers and 61 RBI. He also scored 130 runs, and stole 25 bases (being caught just twice). I wouldn’t expect him to put up the same numbers (mainly because of their losses (Sheffield)). I think he’s worth a 9th round pick.
LF – Chipper Jones
Chipper Jones has been remarkably consistent over his nine full major league seasons. His average career numbers are .309 with 34 doubles, 31 homers and 105 RBI. In 2003, Jones got off to a slow start but still ended up hitting .305 with 33 doubles, 27 HR and 106 RBI. If you take out his rookie season, he has never had less than 29 doubles, 21 homers, or 100 RBI. In other words, he’s pretty good! Consider him starting in about the 4th round.
CF – Andruw Jones
Not only is Andruw Jones the best defensive player, maybe ever, but he can provide a fantasy team a lot. Over his past four seasons, Jones has averaged 31 doubles, 35 homers and 105 RBI. However, in 2000, he hit .303 and since then, his batting averages have been .251, .264 and .277. He strikes out a lot, but those power numbers make him worthy of a 5th round pick.
RF – J.D. Drew
There is no questioning that JD Drew can hit. The only question seems to be when he will get hurt. In his five full big league seasons, he has missed an average of 45 games a year due to injury. Last year, he played in just 100 games for the Cardinals. He hit .289 with 15 homers and 42 RBI. If you knew he would be healthy all season, he would be worth a 10th round pick. But because the odds of him being healthy all year are so low, I’d wait until Round 17 to even consider drafting him.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Jones, Jones, Giles, Furcal.
The Bad – Nothing really, this is a pretty solid lineup with a couple of questions.
The Questions – Will Derosa do well in a full-time role? How will LaRoche do in his first big league opportunity? Can JD Drew stay healthy? Can Giles duplicate his 2003 season? Will Estrada make people forget about Javy Lopez… or Kevin Millwood?
C – Ramon Castro
With Ivan Rodriguez not around (at least until May 1), this is a great opportunity for Ramon Castro. Of course, his season may be affected by a sexual assault charge. A big, 6-3, 225 pound catcher, Castro could put up some good numbers if the catching job is indeed his the whole season. In limited time with the Marlins over the past five years, his average is just .232. However, he has hit some home runs. I don’t think he’ll be great, but with increased playing time, he could develop more power and his average could come up. He may be worth a shot in the 19th round.
1B – Hee Seop Choi
Choi is a guy that SABRmetricians really like. In 80 games last year before his head injury, Choi was putting up some good power numbers (17 doubles, 8 HR), however, he hit just .218. The reason the SABRs like him is because he had a .350 on base percentage. There are a lot better 1B options, but with more playing time, he could increase that average, making him a viable fantasy player. Pick him after the 25th round.
2B – Luis Castillo
Castillo is one of those hard-to-predict fantasy players. You know he isn’t going to get many extra-base hits. He won’t drive in many runs. But he does hit over .300 and walks almost as often as he strikes out. Where Castillo’s extra fantasy value comes from in from stolen bases. From 1999-2002, he stole 50, 62, 33 and 48 bases. However, in 2003, he stole just 21 bases and more strangely, he was caught 19 times. I would wait until Round 8 to pick Castillo.
3B – Mike Lowell
.276 with 32 homers and 105 RBI. Not a bad season. Then remember that he battled a groin injury much of the season and missed 32 games. Also, when healthy, he was brought back slowly. 28 of those home runs were in the season’s first half. Mike Lowell is a very solid hitter at a very weak fantasy position. You can almost count on 25 home runs and 100 RBI. Take him in Round 5.
SS – Alex Gonzalez
The Marlins Alex Gonzalez is eerily similar to the Cubs version. In 2003, Gonzalez had, by far, his best season ever, hitting .256 with 18 home runs and 77 RBI. A career .244 hitter, Gonzalez had never hit more than 14 homers in a season, and that was 1999. The three seasons in between, he had a total of 18 home runs. I don’t want him on my team, but if the Cubs Alex Gonzalez gets drafted, this one could go after that.
LF – Jeff Conine
Jeff Conine has been around for a long time and he has been a productive player wherever he has been. In 2003, he was traded from the Orioles back to the Marlins at the trade deadline. Combined, he hit .282 with 20 home runs and 95 RBI. He has been consistent much of her career. You can pretty much count on a .280 average with 15-20 homers and 75-80 RBI. Nothing spectacular for an outfielder, but some of Conine’s value comes from being able to play multiple positions. Still I would wait until Round 22 to pick him.
CF – Juan Pierre
Juan Pierre didn’t hit home runs in Colorado, so that speaks for his power. But, he hits for a high average, steals bases, hits some doubles. In 2003, he hit .305 with 1 homer and 41 RBI. He walked 55 times, but struck out only 35 times. He is very similar to teammate Luis Castillo, however, because Pierre is an OF, don’t draft him until Round 12.
RF – Miguel Cabrera
I spoke of Cabrera back in August when I was frustrated with some of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s use of rookies. Cabrera’s rookie numbers may not jump out at you as remarkable, but I think that his performance in last year’s playoffs showed us all just how good he can be. The 20 year old started last year at AA Carolina where he played 69 games and hit .365 with 29 doubles, 10 homers and 59 RBI. He was called up to the Marlins to play the OF, despite having never played there before. The Marlins played him every day and in 87 games with them, he hit .268 with 21 doubles, 12 homers and 62 RBI. Although I don’t expect Albert Pujols-like numbers, Cabrera could take a big step forward next year. I wouldn’t feel bad about taking him in the 7th round, especially if he is eligible at both 3B and OF in your league.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Lowell, Castillo, The Future of Cabrera..
The Bad – Gonzalez, and Castro’s legal situation.
Question Marks – How will Castro react to playing full-time? Can Castillo remember how to steal bases? How good can Cabrera be? Can Lowell stay healthy?
C – Brian Schneider
Splitting time/Backing Up Michael Barrett the last four seasons, the 27 year old Schneider played a career high 108 games in 2003. He hit .230 with 9 home runs and 46 RBI. Normally, those aren’t numbers of a guy you’d like on your team. However, one thing to factor in is that the Expos will again play 22 games this year in Puerto Rico, at the hitter-friendly Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Four of Schneider’s nine home runs were hit there.
1B – Nick Johnson
Johnson is a deity to the stat-head community. If he could ever stay healthy for a full season, they may be right. In 2003, he hit .284 with 14 homers and 47 RBI, in just 96 games. The reason he is so well liked is that he walked 70 times, giving him a .422 on-base percentage. In 2002, he played just 127 games and hit 15 home runs with 58 RBI. So, what will he do in ’04? So much depends on his healthy. If he’s healthy, a .300 season with 30 homers and 100 RBI is possible. Where should he be drafted? I wouldn’t take him before the 13th round. The only reason to possibly take him higher would be if your league values on-base percentage.
2B – Jose Vidro
Vidro is one of the better 2B in baseball, but so much of his value is determined by his health. When he has played in at least 150 games (2000, 2002), he has hit .323 and averages 22 homers and 97 RBI. When he plays less than 150 games (1999, 2001 and 2003), his numbers drop to .311 (still pretty good, better than most 2B) with 14 home runs and 61 RBI. Still good for the 2B position. By those years, 2004 should be a healthy year for Vidro. I’d take him in about Round 5.
3B – Tony Batista
Tony Batista was one of the worst hitters in baseball last year. That said, he finished the year with 26 homers and 99 RBI (with a .235 average). He doesn’t walk, doesn’t get a lot of extra-base hits, so it has almost become HR or nothing for the 30 year old Batista. If your league strongly values the HR, consider taking Batista in the mid-rounds because in the last five seasons, he has averaged 31 home runs a year. If your league makes anything else important, let Batista drop down to the 20th round (and only that high because his position, 3B, is not strong).
SS – Orlando Cabrera
Cabrera came back from a rough 2002 with a very good 2003. He hit .297 with 17 homers and 80 RBI. He also stole 24 bases (25 in 2002). I think it is fair to expect a .290 season, with nearly 20 home runs and 90 RBI, along with 25 stolen bases from Cabrera in 2004. That, from a SS, makes him worth picking around Round 9.
LF – Brad Wilkerson
Brad Wilkerson is one of those really good players that you’ve probably never heard of. In his two full seasons with the Expos, he has averaged hitting .267 with 20 homers and 68 RBI. Last year, he hit .268 with 19 homers and 77 RBI. He walks a lot (89 in ’03), but also strikes out way more (316 in the last two years). Wilkerson is worth a 22nd round pick.
CF – Endy Chavez/Termell Sledge
Last year was Chavez’s first full year in the majors. He hit just .251 (OBP of .294) with 5 homers and 47 RBI. A speed guy, Chavez stole just 18 bases last year. It came out last week that Sledge had tested positive for a steroid last summer. I don’t think that will affect anything for 2004. Last year at AAA, Sledge hit .324 with 26 doubles, 9 triples, 22 homers and 92 RBI. He also stole 13 bases. At this point, I wouldn’t draft either. However, if Sledge wins this job in the spring, he’d be a good pick after the 24th round.
RF – Carl Everett
Carl Everett was an All-Star DH last year (even though he did usually play the OF), playing for the Rangers and later, the White Sox. He hit .287 with 28 homers and 92 RBI in 147 games. He will have to play the outfield in the National League. Assuming health which, with him needing to play in the OF is no sure thing, he could hit .280 with 30 homers and 100 RBI. Assume less. wait until at least the 13th round to take him.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Vidro and Cabrera.
The Bad – Losing Vlad Guerrero is bad. Worse even than keeping Chavez.
The Question Marks – Can Johnson and Everett stay healthy? How will playing those games in Puerto Rico affect fantasy numbers? Will Schneider thrive in full-time duty?
New York Mets
C – Mike Piazza
2003 was a lost year Piazza because of a major groin injury. It was really impressive that he was able to come back in September. The 35 year old veteran, who had caught at least 135 games a year for the previous seven seasons, could become an even more valuable fantasy player this year if he plays games at 1B, providing your team with some options. Forget his 2003 season, prior to that, he could be counted on for at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI. The injury does increase the risk, but he is probably still a 2nd round pick.
1B – Jason Phillips
Because of injuries to Piazza and Mo Vaughn, Jason Phillips got a lot of playing time in 2003. He hit .298 with 25 doubles, 11 homers and 59 RBI in 119 games. I would think that Phillips will get plenty more playing time in 2004. When Piazza plays 1B, Phillips can catch. Look for Phillips to take another step forward. I would take a flyer on Phillips in about Round 26.
2B – Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes was one of the most prized prospects in all of baseball going into the 2003 season. At just 20, he started the season at AAA, and played in 42 games. He hit just .269 there with 26 stolen bases. He was called up to the Mets and thrown into the starting lineup at SS. In 69 games, he hit .307 with 5 homers and 32 RBI. He also stole just 13 bases. I think there is a good chance that Reyes will be drafted way too high. It will be interesting to see how he develops. The stolen bases will be nice. I wouldn’t take him before Round 18, and only that high because he will soon be eligible at 2B.
3B – Ty Wigginton
After hitting .302 in 46 games for the Mets in 2002, Wigginton was given the starting 3B job for the Mets in 2003. He played in 156 games and hit .255 with 11 homers and 71 RBI. He also stole 12 bases. I expect the 26 year old Wigginton to really improve in 2004. Since he plays 3B, he should be drafted, but probably not until the 21st round.
SS – Kazuo Matsui
Kaz Matsui is the most recent of Japanese imports to the big leagues over the past five seasons. The 28 year old SS is the reason Reyes will move to 2B. I think if we have learned anything from the likes of Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, Kaz Matsui should be ready to contribute to the Mets. I would predict that he will hit #2 in the lineup. He won’t hit for the power he showed in Japan, but will probably hit a lot of doubles and score a lot of runs, and probably drive in some as well. I think I would take a risk on him around the 10th round.
LF – Cliff Floyd
Cliff Floyd has come so close to being a top-level big league player. The only thing that hurts him every season is the injury bug. In his 11 big league seasons, he has played in 150 or more games just once. Last year, he played in 108 games. In that time, Floyd hit .290 with 18 homers and 68 RBI. In 2002, he spent time with 3 teams and in 146 at bats, he hit .288 with 28 homers and 79 RBI. I would love to see Floyd play in 155 games just to see what he could do. The Mets now have a pretty good group around him, so if he stays healthy, he could put up monster numbers. The injury risk is high, so wait until at least Round 9 to pick Floyd.
CF – Mike Cameron
Four years with the White Sox, a season in Cinci, four campaigns in Seattle, and now Mike Cameron will make Shea Stadium his home. One of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball (with Torii Hunter and Andruw Jones). Last season, Cameron hit just .253 but had 18 homers and 76 RBI. The two previous seasons, he hit 25 homers per. But Cameron is just a .250 career hitter, and an adjustment to the National League could take a little while. Because of all that, I would wait until Round 14 to pick Cameron.
RF – Roger Cedeno/ Timo Perez
Cedeno hit .267 with 7 homers, 37 RBI and 14 stolen bases. The Mets front office wants to just release him and eat his salary. The owner won’t let them. That’s not a good sign. He made the money by stealing 55 bases while hitting .293 with the Tigers in 131 games. He has done very little in the last two seasons for the Mets. Timo Perez is a solid fourth outfielder for a team. In 127 games in ’03, he hit .269 with 4 homers and 42 RBI. He has never reached the level that the hype around his performance in the Subway Series, but he is ok. Neither of these players is worth drafting!
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Piazza, Floyd, Matsui and Reyes.
The Bad – The RF situation.
The Question Marks – Can Piazza and Floyd stay healthy? Can Wigginton and Phillips increase their production in their second full years? How good can the combination of Reyes and Matsui be?
C – Mike Lieberthal
In 2003, Lieberthal hit .313 with 13 home runs and 81 RBI in his 131 games. I don’t see Lieberthal ever getting back to the 31 home run mark he hit in 1999, but I think he can stay near .300, with 15 homers and 70 RBI. Those numbers put Lieberthal near the top of the second-tier of catchers. I would draft him around the 10th round.
1B – Jim Thome
It did take Thome a little while to get adjusted to the National League. Even so, he ended 2003 with a .266 average and 47 HR and 131 RBI. Let’s just take a look at his average season the past three years. He has averaged hitting .286 with 49 home runs and 124 RBI. Thome is right at the top of the strong fantasy first basemen. He wouldn’t be a bad first-round pick, but try to see if he’s still around in the second round.
2B – Chase Utley
Utley got his first big league playing time in 2003 for the Phils. He hit just .239 in 134 at bats, but added 10 doubles, 2 HR and 21 RBI. Before his call-up, Utley hit .323 with 26 doubles, 18 homers and 77 RBI in AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre. It is just a matter of time before the 25 year old becomes the every day second baseman. If he does start in the minor leagues, Placido Polonco would start at 2B. Monitor this situation in Spring Training. This position is directly related to the 3B situation, and things should clear up before opening day. Utley may warrant a 29th round pick.
3B – David Bell/Placido Polanco
Because of the contract the Phillies gave Bell after his strong 2002 season in San Francisco, Bell will probably get the first opportunity at the 3B job despite losing it last year. How bad was it? Well, in 85 games, he hit just .195 with 4 homers and 37 RBI. I think that you have to look back a little bit. In the previous four seasons, Bell had never hit over .268, but had averaged 17 home runs. Not a great fantasy option, even with those numbers, but worth a late-round pick. But there is risk, because I am sure they’ll have him on a short leash. Polanco primarily played 2B the last couple of seasons, but he moved to 3B when Utley was brought up. In 122 games, he hit .289 with 14 homers and 63 RBI. I would draft Polanco in the 27th round because he can hit and will play somewhere.
SS – Jimmy Rollins
Rollins is an All-Star, but hitting is not really hit thing. In his three full seasons, he has hit just .262 with his numbers gradually decreasing. His home run total has dropped from 14 to 11 to 8. However, his doubles have increased from 29 to 33 to 42. Much of his value comes from stolen bases, but those numbers have really decreased each year from the 46 he stole as a rookie, to 31, to just 20 last season. Rollins will be drafted, but don’t draft him too early, maybe the 16th round at the earliest.
LF – Pat Burrell
What happened to Pat Burrell? I think that was a question on a lot of people’s minds last season. I know, I drafted him in the 4th round. That didn’t quite go right. In 2003, Pat Burrell hit just .209 with 21 homers and 64 RBI. In 2002, he hit .282 with 37 homers and 116 RBI. His strikeout total decreased (although it was still high). Burrell will now be starting the expensive years of his long-term contract, so he will be in the lineup every day. I would think that he has spent the whole off-season learning to hit a curveball and should come back with numbers closer to his 2002 season. If that’s the case, he’s worth an 8th round pick.
CF – Marlon Byrd
Byrd is another guy who got off to a slow start, but did he ever finish well! In the 135 games he played last year as a rookie, Byrd finished with a .303 average with 7 home runs and 45 RBI. He also stole 11 bases. I would expect Byrd to take another step forward. He warrants a 17th round pick.
RF – Bobby Abreu
Abreu is a very well-rounded player, making him a great fantasy player. In 2003, Abreu hit .300 with 20 homers and 101 RBI, with 22 stolen bases. Over the past five seasons, Abreu has averaged hitting .309 with 42 doubles, 23 homers and 94 RBI. He has also averaged 29 stolen bases. Abreu is worth a 3rd round pick.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Thome and Abreu.
The Bad – 2003 seasons of Burrell and Bell.
The Question Marks – Will a full season completed make Thome even better? How will the 2B and 3B situations play out? Can Burrell remember how to hit?
Well, that is it for Part 5 of my Fantasy Baseball Preview. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. The same format will be used tomorrow to discuss the hitters of the NL West. Please let me know what you think. Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed! E-mail me.
This weekend, the Twins held TwinsFest 2004 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Be sure to check out some of the pictures on the Twins Official Website. It sounds like it was a great time. A couple people have sent me reports from Twins Fest. If you would like to share your thoughts with me, e-mail me, and I will post them on this site.
RICK REED WILL NOT BE A TWIN next year! OK, we all knew that, but until he officially signed with another team, the chance, although slim, was still there. On Saturday, Reed signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His agent says that he was promised a spot on the Opening Day roster.
URBINA’s GOT A (FIRE)ARM? I’ve been saying that the Twins need to go out and sign closer Ugueth Urbina. The likelihood of that became even smaller Friday when Urbina was arrested in Caracas for allegedly firing a gun into the air from the passenger’s window of a friend’s vehicle. Fortunately, the judge threw out the charges.
TWO GREAT SITES –
Twins fans, I’ve got to tell you about another incredible baseball website. Some of you may know Tom Swift from his work with Gameday. Well, Tom has started up a website of his own now. I took my first look at it last night and I will be a frequent visitor. His site is called NickelCurves. Now, I have to admit that I had no idea what that meant, but let Tom’s words explain it to you:
After studying living legend Christy Mathewson in the 1905 World Series, Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Charles Albert (Chief) Bender began to master his control. He developed a well-directed fastball and a sharp-breaking curve. The pitch Bender created is known as the slider. At the time, the Minnesota native retired hitters on his way to the Hall of Fame wielding a pitch he called the nickel curve.
This is the kind of interesting information that Tom provides. Also, be sure to check out his interview with Twins catcher Joe Mauer. But there is so much more. Be sure to check it out.
THE BASEBALL SAVANT is another great site. Currently, David is writing up some great analysis on the 2003 first-round draft picks. So, be sure to check it out!
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE RANKINGS – On Deck Baseball takes a look at the Twins minor league system. They do an in-depth analysis of each player. Then they rank the Top 40 prospects. Finally, they developed five prospect teams, listing a starting lineup, five starting pitchers and 2 relievers on each team. How good does this first team look?
1B – Justin Morneau, 2B – Luis Maza, 3B – Matt Moses, SS – Jason Bartlett, OF – Michael Restovich, Denard Span, Jason Kubel, C – Joe Mauer, SP – J.D. Durbin, Francisco Liriano, Alexander Smit, Boof Bonser and Evan Meek, RP – Jesse Crain, Grant Balfour.
The second team looks pretty good too. Then be sure to compare their Top 40 Twins prospects to my Top 30 Twins prospect list from a month ago.
Any thoughts on the Twins or Twins Fest, e-mail me.
The Timberwolves have the best record in the Western Conference. So, it was a good weekend for the Wolves and their fans. The Wolves won twice and, coupled with the Mavericks win over the Sacramento Kings, the Wolves and Kings are both 30-12.
Friday night, the Wolves got a controversial 80-79 victory over the hot Detroit Pistons. Kevin Garnett led with 24 points, 17 rebounds and 6 assists. Latrell Sprewell added 17 points and 8 boards. Troy Hudson and Fred Hoiberg each scored 10 off the bench.
Yesterday afternoon, the Wolves took on a very solid, underrated Phoenix Suns team. The final score was 99-95, but it was a back and forth contest all 48 minutes. Shawn Marion showed how good he is with a 31 point, 13 rebound game, leading the Suns. Sam Cassell came up huge in the fourth quarter (as per usual) for the Wolves, scoring 14 of his 32 points. Kevin Garnett added 19 points, 17 rebounds and 8 assists. Trenton Hassell scored 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
Up next for the Wolves? Well, tonight they play the Nuggets in Denver. It should be interesting to see how Latrell Sprewell and Trenton Hassell control rookie-phenom Carmelo Anthony.
Any thoughts on the Wolves? Send me an e-mail.
OK, that is it for today. Any thoughts on my baseball preview, the Twins, the Wolves, or anything on your mind, please e-mail me! Have a great week!
Back to Archives Home