h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: May Edition

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Welcome to May’s “I’m a Believer” column. Yes, I got the name from a Monkees’ song. And yes, I like the song. Did you know that Neil Diamond wrote it, as well as many other songs by the Monkees? Isn’t Neil Diamond cool (Red Sox fans)?

Like the song teaches us, this column attempts to be a fun, quick read, mostly focused on what April performances we can believe in.

Still, believing in something is always difficult. These days, any hero seems vulnerable to money, the opposite sex, drugs, etc. Even numbers can lie as much as Tiger did with wannabe porn stars (too easy?).

But I’m here to tell you to “Don’t’ stop believin’!” We can look at fantasy baseball numbers and form an impression of what kind of player that person will be in the future.

“Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer/Not a trace of doubt in my mind.”

Ryan Braun can challenge to be the #1 fantasy hitter for the season.

Andre Ethier will remain a top 10 hitter for the balance of the year.

As much as I hate to admit it, Robinson Cano will end up the number one second baseman.

Kelly Johnson is not this year’s Aaron Hill.

Brett Gardner is playing over his head (hello .380 BAbip)…but will remain more valuable than Juan Pierre, Rajai Davis and Michael Bourn throughout 2010.

Orlando Hudson is quietly putting together a productive campaign from the second base position (he’s 10th in runs scored!).

Ty Wigginton is everything I’d thought he’d be when he came over to the Orioles, i.e. a .280+ hitter with upside to 25 HRs.

You better not sell low on Aramis and Alexei Ramirez – both start the year horrifically.

You can sell low on Grady Sizemore. Grady’s ladies have become hairy and ugly.

Troy Tulowitzki is going to pick it up to better heights soon – he performs poorly in March/April, picks it up in May and mashes throughout the rest of the season.

Mark Reynolds is way more valuable in h2h leagues than roto leagues.

Brian McCann is the reason you don’t reach for catchers (outside of Mauer) in the top 10 rounds. For additional evidence: only five catchers rank in the top 200 hitters (none over 148). Those five catchers (in order): Ivan Rodriguez (largely undrafted), Geovany Soto (mid- to late-round pick), Joe Mauer (returned to “power” norms?), Jorge Posada (injury risk) and Miguel Olivo (a one-time time-share backstop). The position is just fickle.

The shortstop position makes second base look as deep as the Grand Canyon. If you can buy Troy Tulowitzki low, please do so. Of the top 10 SS, one is Cliff Pennington, another is Rafael Furcal (DL) and another is Alex Gonzalez. Basically, 30 percent of the top producing shortstops wont be that way for long. This is why I had Jeter rated so high in the preseason and why you can’t give up on Alexei Ramirez.

You can’t sell fast enough on Kosuke Fukudome – he can’t hit once we get to summer.

Austin Kearns is now more useful than kernel corn.

You need to get on the Carlos Lee train. While it’s as late as Amtrak, it’ll eventually get to the station.

In 12-team leagues, you can drop Mark DeRosa, Carlos Beltran, Todd Helton, Alcides Escobar, Russell Martin, and JJ Hardy.

If Cameron Maybin can ever learn to get on base, he’ll be a star. With a .236 AVG and .302 OBP, he is tied for the 10th most runs and has stolen three bases.

Julio Borbon will steal 40 bases.

Starlin Castro has the best name since Castor Troy.

Pitchers remain a fickle bunch, and you should always draft a comparable National League pitcher over a comparable American League pitcher

I’d rather have a whole host of pitchers (including no-strike out Brad Penny) over Jake Peavy.

Roy Halladay would rather pitch to an “All-star” line-up comprised of every other National League East team than the Phillies line-up.

Zack Greinke would rather not be making the point that his season is making (that wins are meaningless in determining a pitcher’s worth).

Most aces you are worried about (Santana, Verlander, and Felix Hernandez) will be just fine. Still, the rope has gotten a little tighter on Wandy Rodriguez and Javier Vazquez – no one could fault you for selling on $0.50 on the dollar.

I knew I should have ranked Ubaldo Jimenez higher. (I swear).

Barry Zito is suddenly not Barry Zito circa 2002. Call me when he hooks another Hollywood hottie.

I’d be trading Francisco Liriano. The first time he’ll stay healthy over a full year will be the first time he’s done it. If he stays healthy, oh well, you got more value than what you paid for him (or where you drafted him). If you trade him, the risk is elsewhere. That’s better for you.

Phil Hughes is on his way to a bright career, any potential injuries notwithstanding, but I still prefer Phil Dunphy to Hughes.

Colby Lewis will end up top 10 in strike-outs this year.

You should be buying Cole Hamels. At some point his bad luck will turn into no or good luck. I call this the cooler principle.

Ricky Romero was drafted over Troy Tulowitzki for some reason.

Ryan Dempster continues to be an undervalued commodity – good Ks, not bad ratios, solid performer.

Relative unknown bullpen arms, Tim Stauffer and Kris Medlen, will provide some decent Ks as starters at some point this year.

Evan Meek, Matt Thornton, Fernando Rodney, and Alfredo Simon will end up with double digit saves.

Carlos Marmol will end up the top ranked closer at the end of the year.

FB101’s 411: Stick to your guns. Don’t stop believing, if you think Julio Borbon will steal 40, don’t give up.

All stats as of May 6.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] Zito – I must have mentioned a dozen times that Zito was prime for a fall. So shame on you if you were stuck with him over the last […]

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