Sunday, April 6, 2008

Don't Panic Yet - A look at some early season struggles

Some fantasy owners have a bad habit of panicking & making drastic moves too early in the season - whether it be making a trade that's not in their favor or balanced, picking up so so players who start the season hot, or worst of all, dropping good contributors who start the season ice cold.

Today, I'm going to take a look at some of the top drafted players who are off to cold starts & let you know whether you should worry or wait it out. I'm going to give one of the three following suggestions - 1) No need to worry (meaning the player will still put up top #s, 2) Hold (meaning just that, don't drop the player yet, but keep an eye on their performance), and 3) Run! (meaning it's probably time start thinking about an out plan).

Matt Holliday
- .182 Avg/1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, SB
No need to worry
Holliday always puts up better numbers at home than on the road, and his first three games of the season were on the road against the Cardinals; last season, Holiday put up a .376 Avg at home & a .301 Avg on the road. Don't worry about Matt's slow start; he'll still finishing the year with top-10 #'s.

Alfonso Soriano - .077 Avg /1 HR/3 RBI/2 R/1 SB
No need to worry
Soriano started slow last season as well, hitting .205 in the first half of April. He ended up with only 1 RBI in 74 April AB's in 2007, so he's actually ahead of last year's numbers.

What's worth keeping an eye on is his recent time at 2B, which would really increase his value in fantasy baseball. Don't panic yet, but his value is likely to increase if he adds 2B eligibility.

David Ortiz - .091 Avg/4 R/1 HR/2 RBI
No need to worry
Big Papi was only hitting .217 at this point last season, so no worries. Expect another big season from Ortiz.

Robinson Cano - .105 Avg/0 HR/0 RBI/0 R/0 SB
No need to worry
Cano has proven to be an excellent major league hitter after his first few seasons in the big leagues. He's off to a rough start, but he's hitting high in a great lineup, so expect him to end up having a great season.

Russell Martin - .053 Avg/0 HR/2 RBI/1 SB
Martin has started this year quite cold, and was recently dropped from 2nd to 6th in the batting order. Don't panic and make any irrational moves with Martin, but keep any eye on his performance. Given where he was drafted in many leagues (round 3-6), his performance will have to be extremely good this season to justify his average draft position.

Jason Bay - .167 Avg/4 R/1 SB
This is supposed to be a bounce back season for Bay, although he's off to a slow start. Don't panic yet, but monitor the situation closely. This might be a good time to trade for Bay at a lower than market value; I have confidence he'll finish the year with very good numbers.

Andruw Jones - .167 Avg/1 RBI
Ouch, this probably isn't the start the Dodgers were hoping for when they signed Jones to a big free agent contract in the off season. Jones still has power, and he's likely to finish the year with his 30+ HR & 100+ RBI; just make sure you're expectations are in line with the reality that he likely won't hit .270 or above.

Matt Kemp - .133 Avg/1 R/1 RBI
This one is the biggest surprise to me. I have very lofty expectations for Kemp this season (20+ HR/SB), but this is a rough way to get things going, especially with Juan Pierre sitting on the bench waiting for playing time. I don't think this slow start will have a major impact on the potential impact Kemp will make this year, but it will allow the Dodgers to give Pierre some playing time in Kemp's place over the short term. I anticipate Kemp to finish the year with 500+ AB & excellent numbers, but let's just hope the slump doesn't continue for too long.

Gary Sheffield - .143 Avg/1 RBI
Sheffield could possibly have another great season like he did in 2007, but given his age & recent injury, I'd be very afraid. Considering he's turning 40 later this year, he's still an excellent player; but at some point, his age is going to make it tougher & tougher to bounce back from injuries...although Julio Franco has proven that it's possible to play until you're ??, so who knows.

Soon, I'll be taking a look at some of the fastest starters to the year & their long term value (hint - don't drop Swisher for Nady).

Until next time...

No comments:

Roto Advice © 2008 All Rights Reserved.