Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fantasy Friday vol. 2 - Middle Infeilders

Hopefully this post is slightly less long winded then the last. You will have to excuse me though, as I was attempting to explain to the reader why you should take (and expect similar numbers) out of a player in round 20 or beyond then a player taken in the 5th thru 7th rounds. Thus, I will try to make this article slightly more tolerable in terms of length.

As I visited in my last article, the name of the game is value. This should be a mantra throughout fantasy and sports in general, but as an owner of a team, you should do your best to get the best return on your 'dollar'. In terms of fantasy drafts, that dollar is draft selections. Suggesting, if you can pick up a player at a later point in the draft, whom you are confident will perform at the same or better level then a player picked higher in the draft, there is an obvious choice to make.

This article will focus on middle infielders of that caliber.

Second Base
For me personally, I am picky with what I get out of my middle infielders. Given that power is traditionally over priced from these positions, I typically shoot for players with speed as well as the ability to get on base and drive in runs. So ideally, a lead off or #2 hitter from the American League. That is not a rule of thumb, it just seems to be rather traditional.

The first second basemen I want to take a look at is Rickie Weeks. Weeks, like Navarro, had a tough go at the 2007 season, however he did do something things well. His power numbers began to develop, his walk rate was as good as it ever has been and he was very successful in swiping bases. Some may be worried about Weeks' propensity to miss time-whether through injury or demotion-or his low batting average, but in this case, I'm willing to roll the dice.

...To read more about my middle infield sleepers, check out my most recent article at Baseball Digest Daily.

Short Stop
Sifting through the short stop rankings, I can't help but think how shallow this group is. The top tier-whom Will Carroll recently tabbed as possibly "as talented as the Jeter, Rodriguez, Garciaparra group of a decade ago"-are miles ahead of those immediately behind them. In fact, of the consensus top 10, only Tejada appears to be bargain as he is being drafted at the end of the 6th round in Yahoo leagues. That said, Tejada is a guy I would target in the 7th round and if it didn't work out, I would shift to Plan B. In fact, Plan B is a guy I want on my roster no matter what.

That said, I introduce Plan B to you. Felipe Lopez, I cannot believe you are yet to have your 28th birthday. I know that you are thinking, 'Why Lopez?' That is perfectly reasonable as the guy had a miserable season in 2007. However, when looking a little closer, there are things that stand out to help explain what may have been the problem and which could go towards explaining why I have him as targeted short stop in 2008 drafts.

...To read more about my middle infield sleepers, check out my most recent article at Baseball Digest Daily.

If you would like to contact me to ask a question or simply challenge anything I have to say, feel free to email me at

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