Archive for March, 2011

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Home sweet Dome

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

O.K. Blue Jays

After 5 years, ‘Rogers Centre’ still doesn’t have the same ring to it.  No matter what you call it, it’s where the Jays will be swatting jacks (call it the Dwayne Murphy influence) in a few short (long) days.  If you’ve been checking in here every day since spring training began, you’re all ready for the season.  If you haven’t, you’re going to wish you had.  Why?  1) Because @Wilnerness590 is one of the best in baseball and B) Now, you’re stuck with the following preview of the 2011 Blue Jays.

On Cosby’s Board

Rajai Davis – LF, CF, RF

- The lead-off gig is his.  Draft him before he’s mine.

Jose Bautista – 3B, RF

- ‘Giuseppe Bow’ or ‘Joe Bow’ should keep rolling just like the song,  “Joe Bow Bow and a, Joe ah-Bow, and a Joe Bow Bow and a, Joe ah-Bow…”  All right the song’s tough to get across in blog form, maybe we’ll sing it on the show someday.  How about when Bautista reaches 30 bombs (he won’t hit many more this season)?  I’d draft him only as my third baseman and while I’m not a disbeliever, I hope to take care of third base in some other way.

Travis Snider – LF, RF

- The two home runs Snider hit at the Metrodome are still tattooed on my brain.  I’m not exactly sure what he’s capable of but I want him to accomplish it as my third outfielder.

Brandon Morrow – SP

- Morrow saves the staff from having every one of its members off the board (almost like I planned it that way).  His forearm inflammation is only supposed to keep him out for one start.

Yunel Escobar – SS

- His new pronunciation last year stole my line “Me-nel?  No, Yunel.”  I’ve gotten over it.  He’s the last of the 2-cat (R, .AVG) shortstops.

Off Cosby’s Board

The Lefties – SP

- Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil are examples of pitchers whose ownership would be much higher if they pitched in the N.L.  Romero has it even worse because more often than not he’ll have to face the other team’s #1.

The Closers – RP

- Injuries have made the closer carousel even more interesting to start the season.  Jon Rauch is the remaining healthy body but I’m not drafting him.  Frank Francisco is sorta kinda hurt and supposed to be the full-time guy when healthy … but I’m not drafting him.  Octavio Dotel is only sorta hurt … but I’m not drafting him.

The Disappointments – 1B, LF, 2B

- Adam Lind and Aaron Hill were just too disappointing last year.

Edwin Encarnacion – 3B

- Barring a correction his middle name is Elpidio, which is about as sweet a name as his minor league numbers (they were great in AAA, I wasn’t being sarcastic, Elpidio is an awesome handle).  If he batted higher in the order he’d be on way more rosters.

In Need of Innings – SP

- Kyle Drabek and Jo-Jo Reyes need more big league innings.

J.P. Arencibia – C

- Jon Paul will come up short in yet another marathon (obscure Seinfeld joke) because he just won’t have enough at-bats to be a viable fantasy option in 2011.

Jesse Litsch – SP

- Jesse Litsch.

Because Cosby’s Bored

Juan Rivera – 1B, LF, RF

- Rivera has 87 more career home runs than Travis Snider.  Let the chase begin (believe me I’ll be watching).

I wrote way too much about a team all of you already know way too much about.  I’m also assuming you’ve all read a million articles and tweets about Brett Lawrie (3B) so I’ll just say this, his AA numbers don’t really jump off the webpage.  With that said, the 2011 MLB Fantasy Prep School is now out for the summer.  I’ll let you know how I fare in my Monday and Tuesday drafts.  I’d wish you luck on draft day but you won’t need it, save the luck for Sundays in September when you actually want it.  Nice work all, it’s time to let the mashers mash.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: The Big Three

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

How to play the favourites

Trendy title, right?  It’s fitting as well because nobody wants to hear about ‘The Big Three’, no matter who it is.  Nobody wants to hear about the World Series favourites either.  So, this look at the Phillies, Yankees and Red Sox will be very concise.  The legend is simple:

For hitters: — Safe=Will Draft — Out=Won’t Draft — HR=Great pick — 2B=Good pick — WAH=Injury concern

For pitchers: — K=Will Draft — BB=Won’t Draft –  SHO=Great pick — CG=Good pick — WAH=Injury concern

Starting Pitchers

Roy Halladay (K, SHO), Cliff Lee (K, CG), Roy Oswalt (K), Cole Hamels (K), Joe Blanton (BB)

CC -no periods, honest- Sabathia (K, CG), A.J. Burnett (BB), Phil Hughes (K), Ivan Nova (BB), Freddy Colon (BB)

Jon Lester (K), Clay Buchholz (K), Josh Beckett (BB), John Lackey (BB), Daisuke Matsuzaka (BB)

First Base

Ryan Howard (Safe, HR), Mark Teixeira (Safe, HR), Adrian Gonzalez (Safe, HR), Kevin Youkilis (Safe*)

Second Base

Chase Utley (Out, WAH), Placido Polanco (Out), Robinson Cano (Safe, HR), Dustin Pedroia (Safe, HR)

Shortstop

Jimmy Rollins (Safe, 2B), Derek Jeter (No Way), Marco Scutaro (Out)

Third Base

Placido Polanco (Out), Alex Rodriguez (Safe, HR), Kevin Youkilis (Safe*)

Left Field

Raul Ibanez (Safe, 2B), Brett Gardner (Safe), Carl Crawford (Safe, HR), Jacoby Ellsbury (Safe, HR)

Centre Field

Shane Victorino (Safe, 2B), Curtis Granderson (Out, WAH), Brett Gardner (Safe), Jacoby Ellsbury (Safe, HR)

Right Field

Ben Francisco (Out), Domonic Brown (Out, WAH), Nick Swisher (Safe), J.D. Drew (Out)

Catcher

Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz (Safe), Jorge Posada (Safe), Russell Martin (Out), Jesus Montero (Safe, 2B), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Out)

Utility

David Ortiz (Out)

Closer

Brad Lidge (BB, WAH), Ryan Madson (K), Jose Contreras (K), Mariano Rivera (K, CG), Jonathan Papelbon (BB)

* Youkilis gets an asterisk because it almost rhymes, because I’m wary of guys recovering from hand injuries and because I’m worried about his second half declines.

There, that was easy.  Let the battle between Red Sox Nation and Yankee Pride begin…

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Down by the bay

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Boatloads of young talent

Is there a release date for Joe Maddon Baseball on the PS3 yet, or can you not have your own video game while you’re still a manager?  Would it come with a pair of Maddon’s glasses?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Unfortunately, same goes for the daily lineup he’ll field this season.

On Cosby’s Board

Evan Longoria – 3B

- Take the Longo way home.

The Young Guns – SP

- David Price will come close, but he probably won’t reach 19 wins in 2011 (not his fault – concerns about offence).  Jeremy Hellickson is one of my favourite young arms.  The only concern with the young righty is that he only threw 155 professional innings last year, so you may not have him for the stretch run (unless Tampa takes it easy on him earlier in the season instead).  You can thank the A.L. East for the good price you’ll pay for both on draft day.

Manny Ramirez – LF

- Man-Ram’s tough to ignore if he’s still around outside the top 200.  Being back in the DH role can only help, and he’s only 2 seasons removed from his last productive fantasy campaign.  A move to Texas would have had me calling for a Vladdy-esque resurgence, but instead I’m tempering my expectations (25 homers would be really nice).

B.J. Upton – CF

- Bossman Jr. will impressively steal about 40 bases, not an easy task for a 6-hitter.  15 homers would be nice as well.  Take the batting average hit, and run with the rest.

Off Cosby’s Board

Johnny Damon – LF

- Expect a slight bump up from Damon’s 2010 numbers thanks to the move away from Comerica and a permanent return to the 2-spot.  Even with that bump, Damon won’t crack the top 150 though, so don’t get too excited.  I’m excited to watch him attempt any throw.

2, 3, 4 – SP

- Look for a late-round pitcher who has a chance at an ERA better than 4 because James Shields doesn’t.  You can get guys with better upside than Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann too.

Ben Zobrist – 1B, 2B, CF, RF

- When translated, Zobrist actually means “Strange Eligibility”.  Zobrist needs to bat .300 (he can) and needs 25 steals to live up to his potential – that’s not a guarantee with the way he could be bounced between high and low spots in the order.

Kyle Farnsworth – RP (Closer)

- For starters, Ennis affectionately calls Farnsworth “Kerosene Kyle”.  On top of that, a bullpen that had no problem getting Rafael Soriano the ball has undergone quite an overhaul.  Let someone else ride this rollercoaster (career ERA = 4.39, career WHIP = 1.39).

Dan Johnson – 1B, 3B

- His 7 seasons in AAA showed he could hit 30 homers if given the chance to play every day in the big leagues.  His big league numbers don’t suggest that.  It would be beyond fancy if you entered the season counting on him as your starting 3B.

Reid Brignac – SS

- He hits too low.

John Jaso/Kelly Shoppach – C

- Shoppach is expected to see most of his time against lefties.  Jaso (groin) didn’t jump off the page in his first full season.  The two could be an interesting duo if you have the roster space and want to maximize all 162 games in a points or rotisserie league.

Sean Rodriguez – 2B, OF

- Maybe next year.

Because Cosby’s Bored

More Starting Pitching? – SP

- With the starting 5 set, and Andy Sonnanstine able to fill in if an injury occurs, there was really no reason to check the Rays’ farm system.  I did anyway.  If you hear the name Alex Cobb, go get a salad and then have a close eye on whether Tampa plans on calling him up.  Cobb hasn’t pitched higher than double A but his K rate is great.  Don’t pay as much attention to Alexander Torres, judging by his AA totals, he needs to bring his walks down before getting a shot.

This blog has gone too long without mentioning outfielder Desmond Jennings.  The speedster will start the season in AAA.  The Rays don’t want to call him up until he’ll have a chance to play every day.  With Tampa’s depth and their ability to juggle their lineup, it’s likely we’ll have to wait a while before we see this in the big leagues.  Nice indeed.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: O’s Town

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Balti-less

The Prep School took a field trip to Camden Yards in search of it all.  Instead they found (next to) nothing at all.

On Cosby’s Board

Nick Markakis – RF

- A return to the 2-hole should help him in every category including jacks (they disappeared last year).

Vladimir Guerrero – RF

- May get drafted out of loyalty for what he did for my fantasy rosters last year.  Wish we still got to watch him throw every day.

Adam Jones – CF

- Staying in the sixth spot in the order could be the best thing for Jones’ career and for those who draft him at a bargain price. 

Brian Roberts – 2B

- I won’t go into drafts thinking Roberts will be part of my team, but I can’t rule him out.  If a situation comes up where I end up with a 2nd baseman who’s eligible at another position and Roberts is there in the late-middle rounds, I’ll considering picking him.  The only other way I can see myself drafting Baltimore’s lead-off man is if I can draft Ryan Raburn or another capable replacement after I’ve grabbed Roberts.  Long story short, don’t go into the season with Roberts, his wonky back, and no Plan B at 2B.

Off Cosby’s Board

Mark Reynolds – 3B

- He was never on my radar in Arizona, the move to Baltimore (and lower in the batting order) doesn’t change anything.

Derrek Lee – 1B

- He was never on my radar in Chicago, the move to Baltimore doesn…you get the idea.

The Staff – SP, RP

- Congratulations to the Orioles for defying logic and not having a single pitcher that I feel deserves to be on my fantasy roster.  Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Justin Duchscherer, Kevin Gregg and Koji Uehara are not impressive enough to pitch a virtual inning for me this season.

Luke Scott – 1B, LF

- Scott playing everyday (aka facing lefties) is a scary proposition for any kind of manager, whether the Orioles think so or not.

Matt Wieters – C

- I won’t be the one checking to see if this is the year he gets it, though his minor league numbers are tantalizing.

J.J. Hardy – SS

- Nope.

Because Cosby’s Bored

- I’m bored of talking about Baltimore.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Southsiders

Friday, March 25th, 2011

If the sock doesn’t fit, you must acquit

Where would Ozzie Guillen finish in a fantasy league?  Is he too explosive to be near the top for a full season, or would some bizarre moves help him claim the title?  Regardless, he has a few guys on his real-life squad that will also be great fantasy contributors in 2011.

On Cosby’s Board

Juan Pierre – LF

- There’s a pint up for grabs if you know where Juan Pierre started his career.  He stole 46 bases for them in his first full season and has only failed to reach that mark (45) in one season since that campaign.

Gordon Beckham – 2B

- It’s been a couple of weeks since I stated on the show that Gordon Beckham had a lot of work to do before he’d get back on my roster.  After projecting his post all-star break numbers from 2010 over a full season, I’m again an avid member of the Beckham fan club.  Plus, this is his walk-up music.  Plus, plus, he gets to hit 2nd ahead of Adam Dunn.

Matt Thornton – RP (Closer)

- The presence of Chris Sale, and other closing options who will remain nameless, means we can only project Thornton as a poor man’s Billy Wagner.  As far as I’m concerned he’s the first closing option, and has a great arm, and that’s good enough for me.

Off Cosby’s Board

Guys you’ll have to draft too high – 1B, SS

- Adam Dunn should hit 40 bombs but the average is too much of a killer to make him a top-30 pick.  Alexei Ramirez is only being taken in the early-middle rounds because of his position (my shortstop will be taken care of earlier or later).  Paul Konerko is coming off a career-year (and I’m not a fan of how the Hawk calls him ‘Paulie’).

Alex Rios – CF

- Who gives a…well, fantasy owners might, but there are just too many intriguing options in the 4th and 5th rounds.

Carlos Quentin – RF

- Appears to have a 130 game max.

The Starting 5 – SP

- I don’t care that Jake Peavy’s lat is still attached and he’s just suffering from right shoulder tendinitis, I don’t want to put up with his DL’ing all year long.  Maybe I would if he pitched in San Diego, but not at the Cell.  Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Edwin Jackson and Philip Humber (Peavy’s rotation replacement) just aren’t flashy enough for me.

A.J. Pierzynski – C

- He fell victim to one of the best chirps I’ve seen up close.  As A.J. strolled past our 3rd row seats, one of my buddies from our annual ball trips (@kirkie16) just asked “How’s your jaw?”.  Poetic really, about as cool as our Margarita 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th innings at U.S. Cellular.

Because Cosby’s Bored

Brent Morel – 3B

- Words that rhyme with Morel:  floral, coral, oral, quarrel.  Synonyms for Morel:  undraftable, wait, low-power, 1-category (avg).

Since many major league managers check in on the Prep School during spring training, I eagerly await Mr. Guillen’s comments.  His way with words would be far and away his best quality when it comes to fantasy management.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Tiger style

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Roto City

In another example of the world not cooperating with fantasy baseball owners, Miguel Cabrera’s arraignment is set for April 15th.  That’s not just after all drafts, it’s 2 weeks into the season for crying out loud.  If history is any example, Cabrera owners won’t be doing much crying this season, as even if he is sentenced, he’ll serve time in Furcal-esque fashion – once the season’s over and he’s done helping you to a virtual championship.  He’s not the only Tiger who could help get you a title.

On Cosby’s Board

Miguel Cabrera – 1B

- Booyaa.

Victor Martinez – C, 1B

- You’re drafting him as a catcher, don’t get fancy.

Justin & Max Strikeout – SP

- Obviously they’re not actually brothers, but Max Scherzer should improve to the point where he and Justin Verlander are even more alike than ever before.  Scherzer’s tendency to give up the longball will ensure that Verlander remains the better of the two, but expect their draft position to be very close next season.  Both should be excellent sources of Ws and Ks.

Ryan Raburn – 2B, LF, CF, RF

- I plan on sitting here and watching Raburn this season.  If you’re planning on using him as a sneaky starting second baseman, you’ll have to reach for him because the options at that position will be next to none once Raburn is off the board.  The numbers I’m pegging for him in 2011 (.275 AVG, 20 HR and 80 RBI) would have made him a Top 5 second-baseman in 2010.  Those totals make him an attractive 3rd outfielder as well.

Phil Coke – RP, SP by the end of April

- Ahhhh!  Jim Leyland said Phil Coke will start the season in the bullpen.  Hold your horses folks (if – like many fantasy baseball fanatics – you don’t own any horses, then just hang on a second instead before freaking out about what Jim Leyland said).  Coke will still be in the Tigers’ rotation this year, they just don’t need him until April 9th.  A C.J. Wilson type transition (204 IP, 15 W, 3.35 ERA, 170 K) is not out of the question.  Have him on your radar in the late rounds.

Jose Valverde – RP (Closer)

- While Joaquin Benoit is downright scary on the mound, I’m not afraid of him taking Valverde’s job anytime soon.  Leyland is very loyal to his closers, and the Valverdian one should have plenty of opportunity to perform intense celebrations this season.

Off Cosby’s Board

Austin Jackson – CF

- Look for more steals from your late-round outfielder.

Magglio Ordonez – RF

- No more curls.  No more pop.

The Other Guys – SP

- Brad Penny and Rick Porcello are about as odd a pair as Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, but there’s nothing funny about the risk involved when drafting them.  Both can only really be counted on for cheap wins, so I’m staying away.

The Rest

- Carlos Guillen, Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Inge, Alex Avila and Will Rhymes don’t make the cut.

Because Cosby’s Bored

Pitching Prospects – SP

- Jacob Turner (the 9th overall pick in ’09) appears to be the better pitcher.  Andrew Oliver is the only one of the two who’s had both major league and AAA experience.  From what I can gather, Turner will only see major league time this season if a current member of the rotation struggles, and then Oliver (who went 0-4 after being called up last year) blows his chance, too.

It’s not often you see a team with 2 possible sleeper picks, but Phil Coke and Ryan Raburn appear poised to become reliable fantasy contributors.  Due to the popularity of this blog, I’m required by fantasy law to stop talking about them…starting…now.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Ohio Expectations

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Youth Improvement

Whoa!  The Listables is back with more young names that are well worth noting.

On Cosby’s Board

Shin-Soo Choo - RF – 모두타세요!  That’s ‘All aboard!’ in Korean.

Carlos Santana – C - He’ll have to do most of his damage against righties, but that will still be enough to make him a great option.

Chris Perez – RP (Closer) – Sick hair.  Better stuff.

Matt LaPorta – 1B, LF – Perhaps it’s a bit early to predict that this will be the year the former first-round pick catches up to major-league pitching, but you’ll want to have taken him as your third outfielder if 2011 turns out to be his breakout season.

Asdrubal Cabrera – SS – Only if I have to.  I probably won’t have to.

Carlos Carrasco – SP – The diamond in a rough rotation.  Round out your roster on draft day or wait and see how his season starts – he should be there.

Off Cosby’s Board

Grady Sizemore – CF – He’s coming off microfracture surgery and even when he’s healthy I think he should have ‘DL’ as one of his eligible positions.

Fausto Carmona – SP – I’ll always remember Fausto Carmona for a 4-game stretch in 2006.  He stepped in to close following the trade of Bob Wickman.  It was from July 30th – August 5th, 2006.  Look it up, thankfully only some of those stats hurt my fantasy roster.  Carmona hasn’t played for me since.

Orlando Cabrera – 2B, SS

Justin Masterson – SP

Travis Hafner – Util - The Indians haven’t given up on Pronk, but I have.

Mitch Talbot – SP

Tommy McThirdbaseman – 3B – You don’t want to be a part of the opening day 3B picture.  Here’s proof that Roger Dorn won’t be available.

Josh Tomlin – SP

Michael Brantley – LF, CF – Take a different outfielder late.

Austin Kearns – LF, RF

Because Cosby’s Bored

Lonnie Chisenhall – 3B – Famous Lonnies = One.  That’s it, and it doesn’t really count.  Chisenhall won’t be as heralded in The Cleveland Press because he won’t have the average to go with his 20-homer pop.

The editors felt the only way to end this edition of the Prep School was with a hyperlink.  I fought them on it.  They won.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: On Target

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Twin Shilling

Beaches, ocean and all-inclusive are all words that don’t relate to fantasy baseball.  As a result, I took a few days away from the blog.  City streets, snow and high gas prices are all words making it tougher for you to forgive me, and they don’t really relate to fantasy baseball either.  Still, it’s time to get back at it – and what better place to start than a state whose citizens can relate to a March snowstorm.

On Cosby’s Board

Joe Mauer – C

- Wouldn’t it be cool if he batted .400?  The knee concerns are dropping him in drafts to a more appropriate spot for a catcher to be taken.

Francisco Liriano – SP

- There’s no talk of him possibly closing this year so you can draft him as a starter in the 4th or 5th rounds and you’ll be happy with the results.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka – 2B, SS

- He’s probably going undrafted in some leagues because A) they are shallow and B) owners are afraid to attempt name pronunciation.  By season’s end, I won’t be shocked to see that the Japanese import put up runs, average and stolen base numbers deserving of a starting spot in 12-team leagues.

Michael Cuddyer – 1B, 3B, RF

- Cuddyer had to have a wart surgically removed on March 1st, and finally saw his first spring training action a few weeks later.  I had the same type of procedure in T-ball and it didn’t affect my play.  With that logical medical explanation in mind, expect the regular .275, 20 HR, 75 RBI from Cuddyer and consider him in the late rounds.

Jason Kubel – LF, RF

- Don’t like the presence of Jim Thome and not a fan of Kubel’s average against lefties, but he’s basically Michael Cuddyer with less position eligibility so if I have Cuddyer on this list I have to have Kubel too.

Off Cosby’s Board

Justin Morneau – 1B

- I’m throwing out one more ‘No’ to the vote For/Against drafting Minnesota’s recovering first baseman.  The point of a draft is choosing the players you want, and I don’t want a player coming back from a concussion, whether it appears he’ll be ready for Opening Day or not.

Delmon Young – LF

- Fantasy owners have noticed his 2010 totals.  Unfortunately this means if you want him you’ll have to leave some pretty good young players/pitchers out there, I’m not prepared to do that.

Mediocrity – SP

- Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing and Scott Baker will all finish near .500 but their ERA, WHIP and K numbers will be nothing to write home about (even though I just had to write about them – Hey, is the impact of the phrase ‘nothing to write home about’ lost on those who still live at home?  If so, and if you still live in the residence where you grew up, replace ‘nothing to write home about’ with ‘not good enough for your fantasy roster’ which unfortunately renders the sentence grammatically incorrect and also doesn’t have the same ring to it).

Joe Nathan – RP

- Question Mark #1:  As of March 23rd, the Twins still haven’t named Nathan their full-on, everyday, go-to closer.  Question Mark #2:  He hasn’t thrown a regular season pitch since October 3rd, 2009 (as far as I’m concerned, a tiebreaker counts as a post-season appearance).  Question Mark #3:  Aside from Matt Capps (who could close if Nathan can’t/doesn’t/messes up), Minny’s bullpen isn’t that great on paper.  That’s a lot of question marks.

Alexi Casilla – 2B, SS

- Strictly a 2-cat (R, SB) guy even if he gets out of the nine-hole.

Danny Valencia – 3B

- Nobody’s ever drafted a player because they were impressed by his batting average.  He may bat .300 from the 8 spot, but a 15 home run season would be a spectacular year.

Because Cosby’s Bored

Denard Span – CF

- Denard is actually Span’s middle name.  His first name is Keiunta (key-on-tay).  According to an interview on The Minnesota Score website Span told his Grade 3 teachers to call him Denard because he “got tired of teachers butchering (his) name”.  This attitude toward slip-ups has me thinking that Span will be doing all he can to show that his .264 average in 2010 was just a fluke and that he can get it back to the .290 range.  If he can do that, he’ll be an outfield bargain in the late rounds.

After cutting fantasy baseball cold turkey for about a week it feels good to be back on the wagon (or is it off the wagon?).  I don’t math but by my count I can post two team previews a day and have you completely ready to draft by Sunday night.  Start taking the necessary steps to prepare for information/corny joke/bad pun overload.

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Kansas City, Misery

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Royally _______.

To celebrate the completion of the N.L. Preview, and in honour of The Expendables being available on Rogers On Demand, the Prep School is proud to present the first edition of The Listables.  You give people what they’re used to seeing, but instead of doing it the normal way you just throw a bunch of names together and hope for the best.  It’s not a method I like to use often, but sometimes a team has too many players that don’t warrant much of an explanation.  Ladies and gentleman, your 2011 Kansas City Royals.

On Cosby’s Board

Joakim Soria – RP (Closer) – (y)

Mike Aviles – 2B, SS - Only good for runs and batting average, but he’s there in case you miss out at a couple of thin positions

Off Cosby’s Board

Billy Butler – 1B – Either have your first base spot filled by the time his draft spot arrives, or get something later

Luke Hochevar – SP

Alcides Escobar – SS – You’ll be able to grab him mid-season when you see he’s holding his own in the leadoff spot

Jeff Francoeur – RF

Jeff Francis – SP – Health always an issue

Melky Cabrera – LF, CF, RF

Alex Gordon – 3B, LF – When’s he going to get it?

Kyle Davies – SP

Kila Ka’aihue – 1B – No bonus points for home run distance

Brayan Pena – C

Bruce Chen – SP

Vin Mazzaro / Sean O’Sullivan – SP – I’d rather have a 5th starter on a National League squad that actually wins games

Because Cosby’s Bored

Mike Moustakas – 3B - It should be about 67 days from the time you read this to the time they call up the Moose to fill your 3B void

(credits rolling)

It’s safe to say that the concept Hollywood applied to The Expendables worked better for me when I applied it to my blog (The Listables).   Unlike the movie, I feel there may actually be a sequel in the near future.

***Alert:  The author’s childhood friend decided to schedule his destination wedding during the heart of draft preparation season.  Stupid, I know (not the wedding, the date).  As a result, any questions will be answered Wednesday, the 23rd (or soon after).   Don’t worry though, thanks to the best audio editor/Jas-of-all trades in the business – the Prep School will still appear daily (but will not include any news past Monday, March 14th)*** 

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every Saturday on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

FANTASY PREP SCHOOL: Delete the Mets?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Bummer in the Citi

If it weren’t for their pitching, they’d be attractive fantasy commodities thanks to their home ballpark.  If they were in any other ballpark, they’d be attractive fantasy commodities thanks to their hitting.  Are there any Mets worth owning?

On Cosby’s Board

Jose Reyes – SS

- A contract year is the perfect time for Reyes to be healthy and for him to be returned full-time to the lead-off spot where he most benefits fantasy players.

Johan Santana – SP (DL)

- Santana marks my first example of “The BOGO Pick”.  I learned recently (I’m not a shopper) that B.O.G.O. stands for Buy-one-get-one Free (see I don’t even know how to type it out).  So, from now on, any time I draft a pitcher just to stash him on my DL and add a young arm off the free agent wire, I’ll be calling it a BOGO pick.  I hope Santana is my first Bogo pick ever.

Francisco Rodriguez – RP (Closer)

- The nastiness of his stuff won’t be affected by Anger Management.

Angel Pagan – LF, CF, RF

- He could hit lefties better, but he does fill up the categories (R, SB, AVG) and sits in a very nice spot in the order (behind Reyes, ahead of Wright).

Off Cosby’s Board

The Bats

- No offence to David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Brad Emaus and Daniel Murphy – I’d rather my so-called power guys didn’t have to hit in a park where even Albert Pujols’ smashes are turned into doubles.

The Wings

- I won’t bother offending Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, R.A. Dickey, Chris Capuano and Chris Young, I’ve done enough by listing them here despite the fact they’ll make half their starts at Citi Field.

Because Cosby’s Bored

- Great fact you actually may use in a conversation:  The Mets are mentioned in 8 episodes of ‘Seinfeld’.  As is the case with the entire series, I can’t decide which episode I like best.

You may not have the same ballpark-bias as I employed for this post, and you may end up taking David Wright fairly early, but keep this edition of the Prep School in mind when it’s Sunday, he’s your last hope for a category-sealing home run, and the Mets are at home.  Best of luck.

***Alert:  The author’s childhood friend decided to schedule his destination wedding during the heart of draft preparation season.  Stupid, I know (not the wedding, the date).  As a result, any questions will be answered Wednesday, the 23rd (or soon after).   Don’t worry though, thanks to the best audio editor/Jas-of-all trades in the business – the Prep School will still appear daily (but will not include any news past Monday, March 14th)*** 

Quasi-legal/Promotional Note:  We at Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590 hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Prep School.  Before you go, keep the following points in mind:  A player is not guaranteed to tank just because Zach Cosby has removed said player from his draft board – in fact, that may enhance the aforementioned player’s chances of breaking out.  Team previews should appear daily until the season begins but, once posted, the draft boards listed are subject to change as spring training progresses.  And finally, think before you draft.  Any questions can be answered by filling in the comments section below or by listening to The Fantasy Show every Saturday on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on twitter: http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

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