I know it has been awhile since I last have put up an article, but it is time for a new season. This is part II of a series of players that have changed teams. Either through free-agency or trades I will breakdown each players impact fantasy wise.
New York Mets
SP Johan Santana:
The best starting pitcher in the game is now in the National League; what more could fantasy owners want. If the deal is finalized, the Mets become serious contenders not only in the N.L. East, but for the World Series.
The Acquisition of Santana to the Mets makes their rotation one of the best in the National League. With Santana at top followed by Pedro Martinez, and breakout star in 2007, in John Maine as a solid number 3, the Mets have a great trio in New York. At the fourth spot Oliver Perez, who when on has some of the nastiest stuff in the game and rounding out the staff is Mr. reliable in Orlando Hernandez. The biggest key to the Mets season is will the pitching staff staying healthy. Having Mike Pelfrey or Matt Wise who was signed in the off-season, both can fill in and start in case of injury. The Mets have not had the depth and quality in their pitching staff for years and now the do because of the acuquesations of Santana. Nevertheless, if healthy the Mets could see themselves back in World Series.
Santana from all reports wants to be a Met and I see him getting a deal done to come to New York. Regardless where he ends up, Santana will have much to prove in 2008. In 2007, he had and ERA of over 3.00 first time in four years and pitched only 219 innings his fewest since 2003. His 15 wins were the fewest since becoming a fulltime starter and his 13 loses compared to the last three years where Santana only lost 19 times was surprising. However, with motivation and with a better all around team behind him, his stats will return to CY numbers. Santana over the last four years has average 18 wins a year. Look for him to win 18-21 in 2008. He will pitch about 231 innings and have over 250 strikeouts.
OF Ryan Church:
Coming over from the dweller of an organization in the Nationals to a serious contender in the Mets, Ryan Church could not ask for anything more. Last year with the Nats, Church was able to stay healthy and produced. In 144 games, he hit 15 home runs with 70 RBI’s; had an OBP of .349 and SLUG .464. With Shawn Green not being signed, Church is penciled in as the starting outfielder for the Mets.
By playing half of his games in a pitchers park hurt his power numbers. His protection in the Mets lineup will allow for Church to have a good season in New York. Church hit 10 of his 15 home runs on the road and was able to hit .310 for the final two months of the season. He has all the potential to excel in New York and is definitely one of my favorite sleeper candidates for 2008. Expect him to hit .289 and have over 25 home runs and the ability to drive in over 90 RBI’s. His OBP will certainly be over .360 and SLUG over .500.
C Brian Schneider:
Coming over with Ryan Church to the Mets will allow Mets fans to see a great defensive catcher. Underrated at his position, Schneider will now have the spot light to become a household name by playing in New York. Offensively, he is adequate and with the Mets lineup that is all he has to be.
Scheider only hit .235 last seasons, but was given huge admiration by the way he held the pitching staff together in Washington. His offensive numbers may have suffered because of his desire to help the pitching staff. In May and June he was able to hit over .260 and with less pressure and a veteran pitching staff, Schneider could see his numbers rise in 2008. A NL only option for now, he has some potential to be someone to look for via free agency. Look for him to be him to hit .255 and have over 12 home runs with 63 RBI’s and have an OBP of .331 and SLUG .390.
RHP Brad Lidge:
Giving up the home run to Albert Pujols in the playoffs began the troubles for Brad Lidge. Since then, he has struggled to regain his form as one of the best closers in the game. Traded in November to the Phillies, he now has a fresh start. Will he be able to regain his form of 2005?
He now moves to one Hitters Park to another. How well will he be able to adapt to a harsh Phillies crowd? We saw his meltdown in 2006 and in 2007, yet he was able to have 51 saves over the last two years. He has blown 14 saves over the last two years, but being on a contender, Lidge has the opportunity to be a dominant closer again. 2008, is a make or break year for Lidge. He is a high risk, high reward fantasy player, but with the potential to save over 30 games he is very intriguing on draft day. Even though the Phillies have Tom Gordon, I think he is better suited as a setup man and Lidge will get the opportunity to close. It is difficult to predict his outcome, but look for Lidge to regain his form of 2005. Remember, he is not going to be the one of the first closers off the board and with his potential where is drafted he will have great value.
3B Pedro Feliz:
Having spent his entire 8-year career in a Giant uniform, now at the age of 33, he will look to produce on the East Coast. On Thursday, he signed a two year deal with the Phillies. He has been nothing but consistent over the last four years. He is an excellent defender and will provide power to an already formidable lineup.
Coming into 2008, Pedro Feliz will have to battle incumbent Wes Helms for the starting job. All though during last season the Phillies used a platoon role at third base. They combine for 11 home runs 76 RBI’s at batted .255. Last year Feliz hit .253 and had 20 home runs and 72 RBI in AT&T Park. Expect Feliz to beat out Helms and become the everyday third baseman. He has average over the last four years of 20 home runs with 84 RBI’s and an average of .255. He has never been a guy that has a high OBP (only once in his career he has posted an OBP of over .300) and by playing half his game in Citizens Park, Feliz and his owners should be very happy in 2008. Having protection in the line up and hitting in a hitter’s park he should post career numbers. A NL only sleeper, he has the ability to become a mixed-format regular because of his potential. Expect career highs in home runs, RBI’s and SLUG%.
OF Geoff Jenkins:
Having resurrected his career last year in Milwaukee, he was rewarded with a two year deal worth 13 million. He will go to Philadelphia in a platoon role with Jayson Werth. Is he worth a middle round draft or a late round draft pick?
Having a platoon role last year with Corey Hart, Jenkins hit 21 home runs, but 18 of those came off right handed pitching. He only hit .215 against lefties and if Werth get hurt one cannot count on Jenkins as an everyday player. He will definitely be worth drafting late and be used as a free agent pick up during the year. His numbers should stay similar to those in 2007(.255, 21 HR 64 RBI’s, SLUG%.471 and OBP of .319.) Expect realistic numbers from Jenkins and do not over value his move to Citizen’s Park.
He will now be able to become a regular in the majors and finally produce with high expectations. Coming into only two years ago, he was the future of the Mets. He made a big splash in his first experience in the majors and was not able to stay with the big club. How will he do in a new environment?
He should be able to exceed over 500 at-bats and play over 150 games. Last year in limited time he had 7 home runs with 29 RBI’s and hit .272 and had an OBP of .341; a get sign for a young hitter. He is one to watch in 2008 and should not be drafted, but should be tracked all year.
C Paul Lo Duca:
A four-time All-Star moved from a contender in the Mets to a rebuilding club in Washington. He had an average year for Lo Duca in 2007, but was not able to resign with the Mets. Can Lo Duca be the same player he was in 2006, where he hit .318?
With a weak catching crop in the NL, Lo Duca could still be a valuable piece to any fantasy team as a number two catcher. He always plays well in the 1st half of the season and struggles in the 2nd half of the year. Look for him in the back end of fantasy drafts.
SP Tom Glavine:
Last year is one that Glavine will never forget. He was able to win his 300th game and was unable in his last start to help the Mets enter the Playoffs. Who says no one can go home. After spending the last five years in New York, Glavine returns to a completely different team in Atlanta. How will he fair in Hotlanta?
The biggest numbers that scare me about Glavine is his strikeout decline last year. He only had 89 strikeouts in over 200 innings pitched. Never much of a strikeout artist, it still shows the regress of Glavine. In 2007, he had 131 strikeouts in two less starts. He will be lucky to win 12 games this year and should only be drafted late in all fantasy drafts.
One of the main ingredients of the blockbuster trade between the Tigers and Marlins, Miller will now pitch in the National League. Miller at the tender age of 22 will now have the opportunity to start the entire season. How will he do as a full time starter?
Only worth a look in the deepest NL only leagues because of his control issues. He has all the tools to become a great pitcher, but it will take time. He should be tracked all year and only start if he can show better control on the mound. The sky is the limit for the former Tar Heel.
One of the best prospects in the game will be the opening day starter at the age of 20. Unbelievable talent, he is the rare 5 tool player. He has the chance to become one of the best players in the game.
Having only played two season of pro ball, he is thrust into becoming the opening day starter in center field for the Marlins. In two years in the minors he has an average of .309 with 23 home runs and 122 RBI’s. He also has 52 steals with an incredible OBP of .396 and SLUG% of .487. All of this has come in only 192 games. He should be drafted late and be on any fantasy bench because of his potential.
Next week, I will finish the National League with the N.L. Central. Have any questions or comments email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.