MVN has launched a new emag, “Roster” which is Seamless Baseball’s fantasy baseball draft kit. There are featured columns by Maury Brown, Derek Carty, Pizza Cutter, Daniel Rathman and Eric Seidman. There is also a mock draft. Check it out.
I really don’t know real too much about conventional fantasy baseball, because my idea of a fantasy draft involving baseball players, um, is not G-rated.
Well, truth be told these days I’m so tired my idea of the perfect fantasy kind of is, uh, a little twist on the old joke about this guy who approaches a woman in a bar and tells her – baby, you so hot – I’ll go home with you and do absolutely ANYTHING you want me to do if you can tell me specifically every single thing you want in only 3 words. And I looked at him and said – feed my puppies…
Anyhow, here is my column on the year’s preview for the Astros (there were a couple of mistakes in the editing, but I have corrected them here.)
Take a look – see what yall think:
2007: The Astros’ season was financially successful, thanks to the season’s devotion to Craig Biggio’s endlessly promoted farewell tour, but the team’s playing was lifeless and discombobulated, thanks to the organization’s devotion to first ensuring that Craig Biggio would not merely achieve his goal of 3000 hits, but be treated like a prima donna as well.
The now-departed GM, Tim Purpura, most likely at the owner’s direction, signed free agents Carlos Lee and Woody Williams, made virtually no effort to re-sign Andy Pettitte (and consequently Roger Clemens) and traded away fan favorite CF Willy Taveras and young pitchers Jason Hirsh and Taylor Buchholz for Jason Jennings, which turned out to be disastrous moves as Williams and Jennings (who turned out to be hurt) were two of the 10 worst pitchers in the NL.
Morgan Ensberg and Chris Burke were unable to regain their pre-injury abilities and Jason Lane couldn’t recapture his 2005 stroke. Now-departed manager Phil Garner, as is his wont, continuously shuffled the lineup as well as platooned as many players as possible at every spot except for left field. Lance Berkman hit for the lowest BA, OPS and SLG of his career, Carlos Lee won the NL GIDP title and broke Adam Everett’s leg, resulting in his replacement at short by the hapless Mark Loretta and would-be rookie of the year Hunter Pence lost over a month because of a fractured wrist.
Brad Lidge re-discovered his pitches, but only in the set-up role, Dan Wheeler forgot how to pitch, period, and was traded for a 2B/3B even Tampa Bay didn’t want and the bullpen overall lost 27 games. In short, everything that could go wrong went wrong and the Astros had their first losing season in seven years.
Off-season Additions: 1B/OF Darin Erstad, 2B Kazuo Matsui, SS Miguel Tejada, IF Geoff Blum, CF Michael Bourn, OF Reggie Abercrombie, OF Jose Cruz, Jr., OF Victor Diaz, OF Yordany Ramirez, RHP Jose Valverde, RHP Oscar Villareal, RHP Chad Paronto, RHP Geoff Geary, RHP Doug Brocail, RHP Shawn Chacon, LHP Wesley Wright, RHP Jack Cassel
Off-season Losses: C Eric Munson, IF/OF Eric Bruntlett, 1B/3B Mike Lamb, SS Adam Everett, 2B Craig Biggio, 2B Chris Burke, OF Luke Scott, RHP Brad Lidge, RHP Chad Qualls, RHP Matt Albers, RHP Juan Gutierrez, LHP Troy Patton, LHP Trever Miller
2008 Projected Lineup:
1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Kaz Matsui, 2B
3. Miguel Tejada, SS
4. Lance Berkman,1B
5. Carlos Lee, LF
6. Hunter Pence, RF
7. Ty Wigginton, 3B
8. J.R. Towles/Brad Ausmus, C
2008 Projected Staff:
1. Roy Oswalt
2. Wandy Rodriguez
3. Brandon Backe
4. Woody Williams
5. Chris Sampson or Shawn Chacon (Chacon will go to the bullpen if Sampson makes the rotation: Sampson will most likely go to AAA if Chacon makes the rotation)
Middle Relievers: Chad Paronto, Geoff Geary, Dave Borkowski
Lefty Relievers: Mark McLemore or Wesley Wright
Setup: Oscar Villareal, Doug Brocail
Closer: Jose Valverde
Fantasy Stud: Roy Oswalt should throw his usual 220 innings, winning 13-20 games, with his usual 3.20 (average) ERA and 150-200 K. Carlos Lee will have his usual line near .300-30-100 and Lance Berkman has a good chance for similar numbers. Michael Bourn should steal a good 40 bases if he gets on base.
Fantasy Dud: Kaz Matsui will most likely not approach his Coors Field numbers that he posted last year. Minute Maid Park is not a hitters park, contrary to popular belief.
Prospect Watch: The Astros’ farm system is the worst in the major leagues and the only prospect expected to make the 25-man roster is would-be starting catcher J.R. Towles, who rose (uncharacteristically for the Astros organization) quickly through the minors, shooting from High-A to the majors last year. He has posted a minor-league OPS of .863 over four years, and although he certainly is not expected to post such gaudy numbers, he should hit at least .250/.330/.380 (according to the ZiPS projection system). The possibility exists that Felipe Paulino might also make the leap to the majors from Double-A where he posted a 1.36 WHIP and a 3.61 ERA with 8.84 K/9 IP in the Texas League.