Welcome to June’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 performances we can/can’t believe in.
Without further ado, So I’m a believer that:
Ryan Braun will be the #1 fantasy hitter for the season. Last month I said he could challenge, I’ve upgraded my belief.
Injuries suck. Good bye Andre Ethier remaining a top 10 hitter for the balance of the year. Good bye Jacoby Ellsbury being valuable.
Alex Rios has finally put it all together. He is a top 40 hitter at the worst, perhaps top 20. I was two years too late on this prediction.
Robinson Cano will end up the number one second baseman.
Six of the current top 10 hitters will not finish the year in the top 10. Those (oceanic) six are: Vlad Guerrero, Justin Morneau, Andre Ethier, Alex Rios, Joey Votto and Jose Bautista. They will be replaced by Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp, Troy Tulowitzki, Chase Utley, and Nelson Cruz (if his hamstring is better).
Jack Sheppard died in the bamboo forest (after smokey stabbed him) – not in the plane crash or the atomic bomb. (That was a ridiculous sentence). The flash sideways was corny but absolutely awesome. That nothing in the flash sideways actually happened (in a I think therefore I am kind of way).
It’s incredibly fun to own Miguel Olivo (four SBs), but I’d be mighty worried about Chris Iannetta.
The catching position is incredibly frustrating, to wit: your top five backstops: Olivo, Rod Barajas, Joe Mauer, John Buck and Jorge Posada. One is on the DL, two were drafted, one barely drafted and two were afterthoughts. This won’t continue, but the catching position is too volatile to spend an early draft pick on.
None of the late first-round first basemen darlings (Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira) will finish among the top 5 at the position. Also this should remind you that you can wait on first basemen. All first rounder 1bs (including Pujols) have put up worse fantasy seasons than Paul Konerko. In addition, Ty Wigginton, Billy Butler and James Loney have performed better than Howard, Fielder and Teixeira. Meanwhile Jorge Cantu, Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher, Martin Prado, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz have performed better than Teixeira and Fielder.
Adam LaRoche will have an under-the-radar awesome season.
I can’t buy Alberto Callaspo as anything other than a Placido Polanco clone – I just won’t do it.
You deserve a pat on the back for buying low on Ben Zobrist.
Come this time next month, I’ll be patting those on the back who bought low on Chone Figgins.
Elvis Andrus is the next Jose Reyes.
The original Jose Reyes is starting to look good, buy while you can.
Orlando Cabrera has played himself into consideration to be a top five SS option for the rest of the year.
You can sell high on Scott Rolen, but you don’t have to. He seems to hold up better playing on grass versus turf. He’ll get dinged up, but might avoid a massive DL-stint this year.
I’m not sure if I believe what I just wrote.
Adrian Beltre is proving me wrong. Those who bought him late deserve some kudos.
I hope you traded Chase Headley when he was stealing all those bases. He has stolen 2 bases since April 26.
Jason Heyward is awesome, but I’d still trade him. Listen, there is no way to quantify how he’ll hold up for a 162-game season (in a potential Wild Card/Pennant Race, no less). What happens when he sees pitchers for the third, four, fifth time? Odds are he’ll continue to succeed. However, he is only 20. I’d rather someone else take the risk and enjoy his rookie year from afar.
You all everybody!
Shin-soo Choo remains criminally underrated. Ditto Denard Span.
Andrew McCutchen is basically Carl Crawford with a bit more pop, a lot less hype and a much worse supporting cast.
Brett Gardner is everything I thought Nyjer Morgan would be
Russell Hantz will never win Survivor. Parvati is the best player ever.
I wish I listened to myself and drafted Ubaldo Jimenez on more teams. I said “I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up more valuable than Beckett, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Johnson or Chris Carpenter.”
Josh Johnson can become the next Roy Halladay. They’re both consistently awesome.
I’d trade Jaime Garcia – it can’t get better than this.
Jon Lester is the best pitcher in the American League – and his competition comes from the Rays (Matt Garza, David Price and James Shields).
You should trade Barry Zito. He will start to give up HRs, it’s a certainty.
Tim Hudson doesn’t strike out enough batters.
The American League East is brutal on pitchers AND hitters (three of the top five K pitchers are Ricky Romero, Lester and Shields).
Jonathan Broxton might make me wrong, as I predicted Carlos Marmol would end up the top ranked reliever. Broxton is equally as nasty and less volatile.
While Brett Michaels is cornier than the Lost finale, he’s still cool. His performance on Celebrity Apprentice was imminently likeable. Holly Robinson Peete has aged really well.
You can’t give up on Brian Matusz (which explains why I’m an unqualified Orioles homer), Cole Hamels, Randy Wolf, Carlos Zambrano, Rick Porcello and Gavin Floyd.
You can give up on Scott Kazmir, Jake Peavy, and Derek Lowe.
Alfredo Simon will get the most saves of anyone who is SP-eligible.
I’m going to be incredibly sad when I finish the samosa I am eating.
FB101’s 411: Stick to your guns. Don’t stop believing.
All stats as of May 27.
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