Youkilis may be the AL starter but Morneau has been the best. (Conlawprof / flickr)
[Welcome to “Phantasy Impact” where we will take a look at fantasy baseball with stories, news, tips and more. In this column I will be using a percentage owned stat which is taken from ESPN reflecting how many leagues across the board a player is owned in. This should be very similar to whatever website you use for your league. This will be a periodic feature as I want to make sure not to tip off anyone in my keeper league. If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate emailing me at any time and I will be happy to help.]
The REAL All-Stars
The term “All-Star Team” as it relates to professional sports has begun to lose its meaning as the years go on. Sure you have a large collection of the sport’s best players, but when everyday people (also known as fans) get to vote for the starters it turns from recognizing the best to recognizing the most popular or the ones who play in the largest markets. While I know you can’t take the voting away from the fans (that’s almost as dumb as having the game end in a tie) there is something we can do.
Fantasy baseball has always rewarded fantasy owners for having the best players on their teams. Stats don’t lie. Well sometimes they do when they are skewed because of various factors, but you get my drift. If a player is putting up good stats then they are chosen by a team. So since fantasy numbers don’t lie, below is a collection of who really is the best player at each position and who should be starting in this year’s mid-summer classic. These players have compiled the best stats and are proven to be the most valuable player at their respective position. Now let’s take a look at the REAL All-Star team:
C – Joe Mauer (.322, 58 R, 5 HR, 41 RBI)
1B – Justin Morneau (.323, 55 R, 14 HR, 68 RBI)
2B – Ian Kinsler (.337, 84 R, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 23 SB)
3B – Alex Rodriguez (.312, 53 R, 19 HR, 53 RBI, 13 SB)
SS – Michael Young (.302, 63 R, 7 HR, 52 RBI, 6 SB)
OF – Josh Hamilton (.310, 60 R, 21 HR, 95 RBI, 7 SB)
OF – Grady Sizemore (.273, 60 R, 23 HR, 54 RBI, 22 SB)
OF – Ichiro Suzuki (.304, 63 R, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 34 SB)
P – Roy Halladay (11 W, 2.71 ERA, 121 K)
P – Cliff Lee (12 W, 2.31 ERA, 106 K)
P – Justin Duchscherer (10 W, 1.82 ERA, 66 K)
CL – Francisco Rodriguez (38 SV, 2.36 ERA, 41 K)
C – Brian McCann (.302, 42 R, 18 HR, 53 RBI)
1B – Lance Berkman (.347, 79 R, 22 HR, 73 RBI)
2B – Chase Utley (.291, 68 R, 25 HR, 69 RBI, 10 SB)
3B – Chipper Jones (.376, 56 R, 18 HR, 51 RBI)
SS – Hanley Ramirez (.311, 80 R, 23 HR, 45 RBI, 23 SB)
OF – Matt Holliday (.337, 52 R, 14 HR, 51 RBI, 13 SB)
OF – Nate McLouth (.281, 69 R, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 11 SB)
OF – Ryan Braun (.286, 52 R, 23 HR, 66 RBI, 8 SB)
P – Dan Haren (8 W, 2.72 ERA, 112 K)
P – Edinson Volquez (12 W, 2.29 ERA, 126 K)
P – Tim Lincecum (11 W, 2.57 ERA, 135 K)
CL – Kerry Wood (4 W, 24 SV, 3.02 ERA, 55 K)
See now doesn’t that look better than the Yankee/Red Sox team we have this year? Thank goodness for the Texas Rangers.
There are too many Molina brothers to keep track of. (Hjelle / flickr)
[KEEP AN EYE ON]
Yadier Molina, C STL (10.7% owned)
If you, like me, are sick and tired of your catcher dragging your team down, look no further than this guy. Molina has held his own offensively this season despite miserable years in the past. Another upside is that this Molina could be in line for more RBI opportunities if he continues to hit in the number five spot in the order behind Glaus and Pujols. If he’s still out there now is the time to get him. Key Stat: Molina is hitting .379 this season against lefties.
Ben Francisco, OF CLE (15.8% owned)
Not many people are giving this guy much of a chance in fantasy leagues. Francisco has taken advantage of his opportunity to play everyday and hit third in the Indians lineup thanks to injuries to Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez and the horrid play of Ryan Garko. Francisco is hitting .294 with 37 R, 8 HR and 35 RBI on the season and has been especially hot as of late. Key Stat: Francisco is hitting .337/.379/.567 at home this season.
Jose Contreras, SP CHW (32.7% owned and falling fast!)
I had been meaning to warn everyone about this guy a while ago. He started off well as he has a tendancy to do but then reality catches up with Contreras and has been miserable over the past month. Over his past seven starts he’s 1-3 with an ERA of 8.60. If you rode his magic for awhile, hopefully you got out fast before his free fall began. And as a rule for the future, there are ALWAYS better options than Contreras in fantasy baseball no matter how good his start is, you just have to look. Key Stat: After the All-Star break last season Contreras posted a 6.01 ERA and hitters hit a whopping .331 against him.
[Grab ‘Em Now Player of the 2nd Half]
Normally this spot is the “Grab ‘Em Now Player of the Week” but I thought it would be fitting to have it be for the second half of the season.
David Price, SP TB (0.6% owned)
If you don’t know about this guy yet, check out my “Prospect Spotlight” on him which has been named by many as the most in-depth and best scouting report on Price on the internet. But enough about me, back to Price. As of now Price is dominating (and I use that word as I can’t think of a better word in the English language to describe it) the minors. Between A+ and AA this year he is 8-0 with ERAs of 1.82 and 1.38 respectively and 59 strikeouts in 60.2 innings pitched and that stat line doesn’t even do him justice with how he is doing. It looks as if Price will most likely receive an August call-up if not sooner as he will be an incredible addition to a strong Rays rotation. If you have a roster spot, scoop him up now. If you are in a keeper league and he is available well then you just struck oil.
By Matthew Whipps
“The Diamond Cutter“
Major & Minor League Baseball Columnist
firstname.lastname@example.org | thefranch15e